An easy way to clean up Craigslist apartment ads

Management companies, individual property owners and legitimate real estate brokers can quickly and easily clean up the mess that the apartment locator services that YoChicago calls bedbugs have made of Craigslist. Renters will thank them for doing so.

Renters need a way to search Craigslist for property ads and avoid wasting their time on the tens of thousands of fraudulent, bait-and-switch and come-on ads posted by the bedbug locator / finder services.

Advertisers can achieve that goal by making a few simple changes to the way they write their Craigslist ads.

How can that be accomplished? First, begin your ad title with a phrase that makes it clear who the advertiser is:

  • Advertiser-owned
  • Advertiser-managed
  • Exclusive listing
  • The bedbugs can only use these phrases in the very rare instances where they have an exclusive listing on an apartment or own or manage it. Misuse will place their licenses in severe jeopardy.

    Second, include the exact address of the property in the ad title. The bedbugs are unlikely to copy this because a) they don’t want renters going directly to the property; b) they don’t want renters to see how repetitive their ads are; c) they don’t want renters to see how few options are actually available in some neighborhoods; d) they don’t want landlords to see that they’re misrepresenting availabilities and rent rates; and e) they don’t want landlords who won’t do business with them to see that they’re advertising a property without authorization.

    Including the type of advertiser and exact address of a property in the ad title will result in more renter views even when renters haven’t yet learned to search for Advertiser-owned, Advertiser-managed and Exclusive listing properties.

    Third, add the following language at the end of your Craigslist ad:

    Make your apartment search more efficient by searching Craigslist for Advertiser-owned, Advertiser-managed or Exclusive listing properties.

    YoChicago will be promoting this concept to landlords, management companies and legitimate brokers. Help make Craigslist searches more efficient by spreading the word, and by giving us your comments on how to make the concept more effective.

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