How to Use Reachwerks: Craigslist Posting Reminders

You’ve written a bunch of incredible ads for all your vacancies, and now you’re ready to post them to Craigslist.

This is where Reachwerks comes in.  We’re kind of like a personal assistant, reminding you when you need to do things.  (Only we don’t get sick, and we can’t pick up your dry cleaning – yet).  What we CAN do is schedule and organize everything for you, and make your life a little simpler.

With the Craigslist Scheduler, we save all the ads that you want to post on Craigslist (along with all your photos, contact info, etc.) and then let you schedule when you want to run those ads.  When it’s time to post an ad, we email you all the content for your ad, ready for you to post to Craigslist.

Here are the answers to some FAQs about how things work:

Why would I use Reachwerks to manage my ads instead of trying to do it myself?

Some of the main reasons people love using Reachwerks to help them with Craigslist are:

  • We make sure you never accidentally post the same ad more than once every 48 hours (so you don’t violate Craigslist’s rules and end up getting flagged or ghosted)
  • Our professional designers have created a ton of classy, professional and enticing templates for your ads that display your vacancies in the best light possible
  • We place your ads automatically on dozens of other classifieds websites as well (like Zillow, Trulia, RentBits, Oodle, Vast, Trovit, OLX and others) – so you can update pricing in one spot and have it carry through all your advertising
  • We track statistics on your ads so you can see what’s working for you (and what’s not)

How do I create a Craigslist reminder? 

First, you’ll pick a day of the week, and then you’ll choose which ad you want to run.  Next, you choose the time you want to post the ad on that day, and the template you’ll be using.  Hit the “SET” button, and that’s it!

Once it’s set, you’ll receive an email reminder from Reachwerks with the content of your ad, ready to go, at the date and time you picked.

What’s the photo gallery checkbox for? 

A lot of our ad templates are designed to have just a few photos in them (usually between 5-8).  If you have more photos than that, you may want to make sure renters see ALL of them in your ad.  To do so, check the Photo Gallery checkbox.  That will add a copy of every photo you’ve uploaded for that ad at the bottom of the page.

Why don’t you just post my Craigslist ad for me?

Because that’s a big no no.  We are super strict about following the Craigslist Terms of Use (and you should be too).  Craigslist says:

“It is expressly prohibited for any third party to post content to craigslist on behalf of another. Users must post content only on their own behalf, and may not permit, enable, induce or encourage any third party to post content for them.” 

And they also say:

“It is expressly prohibited to post content to craigslist using any automated means.”

OK, I see a box of gobbilty goop letters.  How do I turn that gobbilty goop into my Craigslist ad?

Craigslist will let people use basic HTML code (the same stuff people use for creating websites) within their ads.  This means that instead of just using plain text for your ad, you can bold, italicize, underline, add images, format things into columns, make links, etc.  Our designers and web developers have taken Craigslist’s guidelines for what HTML code they allow, and used it to create some really fabulous-looking adtemplates.

So now, instead of you having to figure out how to use HTML (or just always using boring, plain text), you can just type up your ad normally and select which ad design you want to use, and we’ll convert all your photos and text into a cool looking “mini-web page” within your Craigslist ad.

The HTML code looks like a bunch of… well, gobbilty goop.  All you need to do is copy all of that code and paste it into the box where you’d normally type your Craigslist ad (called “Ad Description”).

Thanks, but I’ve still got questions…

Shoot us an email!  We’re here to help.

How to Use Reachwerks: Craigslist QuickPost

So you’ve already written your ad, and you want to post it to Craigslist.  You can either use our Craigslist Scheduler, or use the Quick Post tool to pop an ad online right away.

First, pick the ad you want to post from the drop-down box at the top – then, choose a template. We have a ton of awesome ad templates for you to choose from (even if we do say so ourselves).

You can add a photo gallery at the bottom of your ad if you want by checking the Photo Gallery box.  (A lot of our ad templates are designed to have just a few photos in them – usually between 5-8 – so if you have more photos than that and want to make sure renters see ALL of your photos, check this box. It will add a copy of every photo you’ve uploaded for that ad at the bottom of the page.)

OK – now it’s time to copy your HTML code.  (Craigslist will let people use basic HTML code within their ads.  We’ve taken Craigslist’s guidelines for what HTML code they allow, and used it to create our adtemplates. )  HTML code looks like a bunch of… well, gobbilty goop.  You need to copy all of that nonsense to your computer’s Clipboard so you can paste it later.

To copy the code, either right-click with your mouse and hit “Copy,” or you hit the CTRL key and the letter C at the same time (If you’re on a Mac, hit the CMD key and the letter C at the same time.)

Finally, hit the Go to Craigslist button.  This takes you to Craigslist where you’ll follow their usual steps (which area are you posting in, what type of ad are you posting) until you get the page where you type up your ad.

You’re now going to paste that HTML code you copied into the box where you’d normally type your Craigslist ad (called “Ad Description”).  Remember – the HTML code already contains all your photos, all your text and your contact info, so there’s no need to retype anything in the description box.

Fill in any other blanks that you want to enter on that page, and hit Continue to finish posting.

Ta da!  You have a beautiful looking ad on Craigslist now.

Still need help?  Shoot us an email!

How to Use Reachwerks: Archiving & Unarchiving

So you’ve rented out your property, huh? That’s great! Do you want to save your ad but no longer list it in My Current Ads? We’ve made that simple!  First, go into Manage Ads.  Next, make sure that you have deactivated your desired ad by clicking the Turn Ad Off button. Then, click the Archive This Ad button to save it for next time. You ad will no longer be listed under My Current Ads but will be saved in My Archived Ads for future use.

When you’re ready to use your archived ad(s) again, all you do click the Manage Ads button. Then select My Archived Ads. From there, you find the ad that you wish to unarchive and hit the Unarchive This Ad button. Wala! Your ad is now moved back into to My Current Tabs and you are ready to make corrections, or re-post your ad! You won’t have to re-write a description or find more photos, because that’s all been saved for you!

Still have questions? Shoot us an email!

How to Use Reachwerks: Default Settings

The Default Ad Settings is a nifty tool in your Account Settings that lets you enter information in one place that automatically will be entered into every ad you create. From the Default Ad Settings page you can link your ads to your website, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Flickr, Linkedin, Foursquare accounts and even your blog! You can also put in a phone number, just make sure it’s one that will work for any ad you create because it will automatically be added to each of them!

Filling out the Default Ad Settings section when you first create your account is a great way to save time. It’s just another way that Reachwerks has made advertising on Craigslist easier and faster! Need more help? Shoot us an email!

How to Use Reachwerks: Manage Ads & Ads Distribution

Alright, you’ve created your ad and it’s looking great! Now what? The first step is to click on the Manage Ads tab. You’ll then see a list of all of the ads that you have created. To activate your ad (so that you can post it on sites like RentBits or Craigslist), click the TURN AD ON button on the ad that you want to post.

To select what sites you are posting to, click on the tiny down arrows to the right of Delete This Ad and a list will show up. Check off the boxes to each site that you want your ad posted on. Your ad will appear within 48 hours on those sites.  To remove it from a site, just uncheck the box.

Oops, did you realize you need to make changes to your ad? No problem!  Just click on the Edit This Ad tab on the desired ad, make the changes you want at any time, and then click Save + Continue.

Once you’re ready to post your ad to Craigslist, simply click the Post to Craigslist tab. Want more information on how to Post to Craigslist? We have that here!

“My property has been rented, thanks to this helpful site! How do I deactivate my ad?”

Once your property has been rented and you no longer need your ad(s) distributed, all you do is click the Turn Ad Off button on the ad.  Now it will no longer appear on any websites and you won’t be able to post it to Craigslist.

“I don’t ever want to use this ad for my property again. How do I delete it?”

Are you sure you don’t want to use the ad again? Because once you delete it, there’s no turning back! Ok, ok, you’re sure.  In that case, all you do is click on the Delete This Ad tab on the ad that you want to delete.  Your ad is now deleted FOREVER!

Still have questions? Shoot us an email!

How to Use Reachwerks: Create an Ad

So you’re ready to get started by creating a fantastic ad! This is where it all begins!  Follow these instructions and you’ll be on your way to getting renters in no time.

First, click on Create A New Ad. What type of ad are you creating? Select either Create an Ad for Rent or Create an Ad for Sale.  Select what you’re renting/selling, User name (that’s you!) – then, fill in the rest of the blank fields. It’s as easy as that!

If you want multiple phone numbers, email addresses, or links in your ads, hit the “Additional” buttons next to those fields and just type them into the boxes.

For rental ads, you can have your rent as a single monthly rate, or as a price range, it’s up to you!

Next, you’ll get to the Ad Description box – there’s no limit to what you say about your property so write to your heart’s content (this is where you really sell how awesome your place is). Focus on the details or your property and what makes you stand out!

Now, are you done writing your ad? Hit Save + Continue!  But wait! Do you want to set up a bunch of ads now, and then upload photos all at once?  Just keep hitting Save + Create Another when you’re done with each ad. Then when you’re finished, hit Save + Continue.

Once you hit Save and Continue, the Manage Photos tab will pop up. Great photos can make ads really stand out from the rest. To add photos into your ad, click on the Upload New Photos button, select the photo or photos you want from your computer, and hit open. You’ll see them uploading below and will get a “Done!” message when they’ve finished uploading.

You can edit the photo captions by clicking on the text underneath them. By default it says “Unit Photo” – just type over it with your new text (like “Amazing View” or “Sweet Kitchen”).

To delete a photo, click on the X in the upper right corner.

To change the order that your photos appear in your ads, click your mouse in the center of the photo and drag it to the spot you want it in. Ta da!

When you’re done, hit Save + Continue.

You now have created an amazing ad and are almost ready to post!

Still have questions on how to create your ad? Shoot us an email!

How To Go From Craigslist Rule-Breaker To Expert Marketer

So – you want your property to be on Craigslist.  And potential renters want to find your property on Craigslist.  Sounds like an easy enough equation.

Ha!  Yeah, right.

If you work at a large apartment community, you probably have a love-hate relationship with Craigslist.  We feel your pain.  But trust us – it doesn’t have to be painful.

First, let’s take a step back.  Why are you posting on Craigslist?  Because you want to get your vacancies in front of renters, right?   So, those renters are your target market.  And you need your advertising to appeal to your target market, and get found by your target market.

Now, what does your target market want to see when they do a search on Craigslist?  A variety of advertisements fitting their criteria.  What DON’T they want to see?  The same ad over and over and over again.  If they don’t like it once, will they like it the third or sixth time they see it?  No.  Your risks from over-posting are:

  • You frustrate your target market and lose that person as a renter
  • You get flagged as spam and your ads go down
  • You get ghosted and can’t use Craigslist at all anymore

Why do those things happen?  Because Craigslist is built for your target market – the renters.  They want them to enjoy their experience so they’ll keep using Craigslist for everything they need.  If renters see Craigslist as a site full of spammers without unique content, they’ll stop using them.  So Craigslist wants to put a stop to crappy renter experiences.

So – you most certainly don’t want to make your target market AND Craigslist angry.  What do you need to do differently?  Follow Craigslist’s Terms of Use religiously .  We say ‘religiously’ because over at Reachwerks, the Craigslist Terms are kind of our bible.  And here is the Term that we see being violated most often:

“A user may post the same or substantially similar content no more than once every 48 hours.”

The same or *substantially similar* content.  Think about that.  If you post more often than every 48 hours, are all of your Craigslist ads substantially different from each other?  No?  Then you’re violating the Terms and are just waiting to get flagged or ghosted.

This means that you need to have unique content in each ad.  Those ads don’t just need to LOOK different, they need to actually have different content.  You can’t just copy and paste your generic property description over and over again, even if it’s laid out in a few different pretty designs.

Yes, it takes some leg work to create unique ads.  But it’s what you have to do – both to abide by Craigslist’s rules, and to avoid frustrating renters who see you as a spammer.  Here are some examples of unique ads to get your creative juices flowing:

  • An ad geared towards a specific target market, such as commuters, that describes your 1 bedroom + den vacancies and explains your ZipCar, bike storage racks and bus routes
  • A unique description of a particular 2 bedroom floorplan at your property that sits along the south side of the building and gets great light from the large balconies
  • A summary of your vacant ground floor units with details about what pet breeds you accept, any pet fees, a description of the dog run you have on-site and a list of nearby off-leash parks
  • An ad about your 3 bedroom vacancies that talks about your great new kitchens, the rooftop pea patch, and nearby farmers markets

So – now it’s time to silence your cell phone, close your email program, and start writing cool, unique, descriptive ads.  Think of who lives at your property currently.  What do they love about your building?  If you don’t know, ask them.  Can’t write well?  Have someone else in your office write for you.  Or hire a savvy resident to help you out.

Once you have a bunch of great, unique ads written up, you’re sitting on a marketing gold mine – you don’t just have to reserve those creative masterpieces solely for Craigslist.  Use them on flyers that you drop off at corporate HR departments.  Add some pages to your website to help you creep up the search engines.  Pop it on your Facebook page with links to the local stores you mentioned.

Congrats!  You’ve officially graduated to Expert Marketer (Reachwerks certified!).  Now go forth and advertise those vacancies – without breaking the rules.

Reachwerks’ web-based solutions for the multi-family housing and real estate industry simplify your marketing and daily operations so that your day runs more efficiently – without breaking the bank. We help you tackle your online advertising, document management, appointment and to do list, and more.  Contact us at interact@reachwerks.com