8 cool Craigslist tools

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Craigslist.org is a very popular Web site for real estate classified ads — be it a home for sale, apartment for rent, or office to lease. And it’s a place where real estate agents and owners alike can advertise properties.

The following are some tools to reach Craigslist searchers:

Classified ad creation tools

GoGoPin lets you easily create eye-catching graphic ads. You can include photos, clipart, graphs, speech bubbles and much more. You can even add photos taken with your cell phone. (See some sample classified ads.)

What makes GoGoPin a favorite of mine is the ability to export the graphic ad to Craigslist. Simply copy and paste the HTML code in your ad. GoGoPin ads are free.

Tip: You can hyperlink your ad to any Web page by simply adding a URL when you save the ad. Now, if a Craigslist reader clicks your ad, they are sent to a more detailed page, or your Web site.

Postlets lets you create graphic classified ads that you can display on Craigslist simply by copying and pasting the HTML code. (See a sample Postlets ad.)

Viewing tool

CraigsToolbox is an amazing Firefox and Internet Explorer add-on that automatically reveals images and other features in your Craigslist search results. Beside images, you can see the map location and text preview without having to click each ad. You can also request notification, via text message, of all new ads.

The tool is available for a free trial and the annual cost is $9.99. CraigsToolbox also works for non-real estate ads. (View a video demo of CraigsToolbox.)

Mapping tools

PadMapper allows users to search for apartment and house rentals on Craigslist (as well as Oodle and Apartments.com) and displays the properties on a map with details, including the date the ad was placed. The mapped listings can be shared via e-mail, link or embeddable code.

PadMapper has good search filters, such as sliders for rental cost and number of bedrooms, listings less than seven days old, sublets, no-fee apartments (in New York City and Boston), pets, photos, and proximity to subways, etc. …CONTINUED

Tip: Set up e-mail alerts on PadMapper to receive new listings that meet your search criteria.

MapThatPad is another rental search tool. When searching for apartments, use MapThatPad to map the properties you find, add notes, save the map and then send it to clients (or their parents). A "bookmarklet" (a small program contained in a bookmark) makes the tool easy to use. The tool currently only works for apartments but it may be expanded to include homes.

A great feature, and time saver, is the ability to contact all apartment listings with one e-mail.

Multi-location search tool

SearchTempest lets you do a proximity search of Craigslist, based on distance from a specified ZIP code area or in many selected states and cities, thereby saving you the time of searching each area separately.

What’s nice is that CraigsToolbox works on SearchTempest, allowing you to see images in the results. SearchTempest also has a forum to help you get advice and help.

You can get an RSS feed for any search you do on SearchTempest, to keep up to date on new listings.

New alert tool

CraigslistChecker is one of many ways to set up and receive alerts about new Craigslist ads, and its beauty is its simplicity. Just enter the URL of your search results and every hour you will be notified by e-mail about new listings that meet your search criteria. End the updates by simply clicking the cancel link in your e-mail. Simple.

Mobile app

Craigly is a mobile Craigslist app for iPhones. Among its neat features is a multiple-location search by city, state or distance from your location, image preview, and portrait/landscape views. You can also post ads with photos. The current cost of the Craigly app is 99 cents.

Hope one or more of these tools are useful to you. What Craigslist-related tools do you use?

Joseph Ferrara is publisher of the Sellsius Real Estate Blog and a partner in TheClozing.com, a real estate news aggregator site. He is an attorney with 25 years of experience in New York, and he also coaches agents on the use of blogging and social networking.

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