Austin Craigslist – A Real Estate Advertising Sewer

Real estate ads on Craigslist

We don’t post ads on Craigslist. I’m not sure why any informed buyer, renter or seller would use Craigslist in Austin anymore, as it’s become a sewer of real estate scams and spammy garbage ads. If that’s not bad enough, Craigslist real estate ads in Austin represent the #1 subject of Ethics Complaints at the Austin Board of Realtors, as agents ignorant of advertising rules and the code of ethics try to market other agents’ listings. In short, the real estate section of Austin Craigslist has become a scourge and a menace to the Austin community.

Before anyone emails me or posts a comment about how great Craigslist is in your community, don’t bother. I know it works well in some communities. And I’m sure there are anecdotal instances of good outcomes and success stories in Austin. But it’s worthless as far as I’m concerned.

A scammer today posted our listing for 6010 Long Champ on Craigslist For Rent at $700/mo. This is a $2,400/mo. home in Westlake, for which the $700 price should have been red flag, yet at least 1 person we know of believed the ad. Later they forwarded the correspondence to us after concluding it was a scam.

Tenant Prospect Responding to Scam Ad (personal info altered/removed as indicated:

Good morning,

My husband and I are interested in seeing this home. The price & location are perfect for us –

Please contact us anytime at {contact info}

The scammer replied with the following (unaltered except is was all blue bold text):

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Craigslist – I am thinking of firing you!

For about 4 years now I’ve been posting all of our listings in Austin Craigslist. It seems like once upon a time, a long, long time ago, I received a call or two, and even a bonafide lead from one of our Craigslist property listing ads. I honestly can’t remember the last time it’s happened though. Must be more than two years now.

Usually all I get is a) spam, b) scam attempts or c) emails from other Realtors wondering if they can advertise our listing on Craigslist as a buyer agent. All three of these have zero value to me.

My general comment to clients when talking about the things we do to market a home for sale or lease in Austin is “..we also place it in Craigslist, which doesn’t ever generate any calls, but it’s free so we put it there just in case”.

So, if we’ve received no results at all from placing listings in Craigslist, is “it’s free” a good enough reason to keep doing it?

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