When Craigslist got rid of enhanced listings in November, many real estate agents were forced to pull back on one of their main marketing channels.
The online classifieds giant prevented agents and other advertisers from including links in their Craigslist ads, and forced them to revert to plain text and fixed photos.
Now, real estate marketing software firm Imprev Inc. has come up with a workaround for agents who lost the ability to post full display ads on Craigslist when the classifieds giant changed its site specifications.
Through a new Craigslist display ad format available via Imprev’s marketing platform, agents will once again be able to create full display ads, complete with their contact information, brokerage logo, custom text, property images, and personal or team photos.
Per Craiglist’s rules, the ads will still not contain hyperlinks, but agents will be able to lay out full display ads easily, without having to use a cumbersome desktop software program, Imprev spokesman Kevin Hawkins told Inman News.
“Real estate agents were left hanging when Craigslist effectively pulled the plug on display ads,” said Renwick Congdon, CEO of Imprev, in a statement.
“Agents that use the Imprev platform can once again create engaging, high-quality display ads for Craigslist.”
Sample Craigslist display ad from Imprev
Congdon noted that the Imprev marketing platform is “exceptionally adaptive” and allows his team to quickly create new products as technologies evolve, helping brokerage clients avoid product obsolescence.
Canadian-based listing syndicator Rooof has touted its automatic photo upload process as another workaround to Craigslist’s ban on embedded photos.
Craigslist ads were one of the top six product types agents used to market homes in 2013, Imprev said, citing internal data. Before the change, agents had been generating thousands of ads to market their properties daily to Craigslist’s massive audience, which includes more than 60 million users in the U.S. and 700 sites in 70 countries, Imprev added.
In December, one of the nation’s largest multiple listing services, Rockville, Md.-based Metropolitan Regional Information Systems Inc. (MRIS), launched its own Imprev-powered marketing center allowing members to create marketing materials with information and photos imported directly from MRIS’ listing input tool, Keystone.
Two months earlier, Imprev updated its mobile marketing platform to provide Google Plus and Pinterest integration, allowing agents to create broker-branded mobile-optimized marketing items like fliers, virtual tours, postcards and brochures, and share them through those social media channels as well as email, a stand-alone website, Facebook, Twitter and PDF.