Craigslist continues to be the most popular classifieds website in the US, with 80 million monthly ad postings, 50 billion page visits, and over 60 million users. Many vacation rental owners and managers have listed their properties on the website since it launched in the late 1990s to increase leads and reservations.
But is advertising vacation rentals on Craigslist still a successful tactic for getting results? Let’s examine some potential benefits and drawbacks of advertising your holiday property on Craigslist.
Pro #1: It is free
Advertising your vacation property on Craigslist is typically inexpensive or free. And that will not change very soon if the past 20 years provide any indication. By creating a free account, you may submit your vacation rental listings with pictures, descriptions, amenities, and map information.
Pro#2: You can drive visitors to your website.
You can advertise your rental properties on Craigslist and social media sites like Facebook, and travel firms like Airbnb. The best part is that you may include a link to your vacation rental website in your advertisements, increasing traffic to your site and inquiries and direct bookings.
Additionally, you can include your email address in your listing so that some queries will be sent directly to it. Collecting this database of possible guest email addresses in the first place is a terrific method to boost your future marketing efforts and screen out any inappropriate requests that arrive via email directly.
Pro #3: You’ll attract more visitors.
Even now, twenty years after its inception, Craigslist is more popular than ever. At the moment, Craigslist claims to have 60 million users worldwide! You can get in front of people specifically looking for your location by posting your rental and other ads focused on your neighborhood. And maybe you’ll soon be in line to get a large chunk of those 50 billion monthly page visits!
Con #1: It’s a haven for con artists
Owners and visitors are increasingly falling prey to vacation rental scams when posting or replying to Craigslist ads. Because of this, it’s critical to remain alert whenever you receive inquiries via the classified platform. Always use a distinct, strong password for every website you create an account with to protect your account from phishing attempts.
Con #2: Quantity does not equate to quality.
Researchers Boeing and Waddell scraped around 11 million real estate ads from Craigslist for a 2014 study. They then evaluated the data to identify patterns and trends in the US rental housing market. An important finding from the study is that just 1.5 million of the 11 million samples were usable after duplicates, and those with unclear pricing or square footage were eliminated. The study, however, was focused on metropolitan housing markets rather than vacation rentals.
Short version: Before visitors can uncover legitimate listings that might interest them, they must sort through a vast volume of low-quality rental adverts and spam postings.
Con #3: The shelf life of posts is brief.
If you want your Craigslist advertising to remain current, you will need to renew and publish them periodically, unlike your vacation rental website or other listings on OTAs. Craigslist classified advertising in some big cities expires after seven days, but in most other places, you have up to 45 days before your ad expires and needs to be renewed.
Advertising on Craigslist can be a lot of work for little return for rental managers with many properties on their books, especially if you’re in some of the top cities and have to update all those ads weekly.
Utilizing Craigslist to market your vacation rental has both advantages and disadvantages that you should be aware of. Has your Craigslist classified advertising been successful? Or do you have any tales about steering clear to share? Comment below and let us know!