December 20 2010

To Flag or Not To Flag, That Is the Question

The flagging situation on Craigslist.org reminds me somewhat of the classic game, Sorry!  Each color on the board is trying to get to their appointed “home” section in order to win the game but to do this you have to go around the whole board and hope that you don’t pick the wrong card that will make you move back multiple spaces or even worse send you back to the start.

The flagging system was made so that the moderators who flag posts are the users themselves.  In theory this is a great idea but it has gone completely awry with flagging software made in order to get rid of postings with certain key words and such, and people flagging other postings in order to knock out their competition.  Then there are well intentioned people who just don’t want spam within their area Craigslist.

Don’t get discouraged though, flagging programs are not allowed on Craigslist and they do try to stop them as much as possible.  But you have to take the proper measures to make sure that your posts don’t look like spam and that they aren’t spam in order to properly get your posting the views it deserves.  I’ll give you a few of my tricks I like to stick with in order to help keep flagging and looking like spam to a minimum.

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1.    Terms of Use aren’t guidelines, they’re rules.
Take time to read over Craigslist’s Terms of Use and then abide by them.  It may seem like a no brainer but there are many people who wonder why their account has been blocked by Craigslist when they were clearly going against the Terms of Use on something they thought was tiny but in reality was a big deal to those seeing the postings and ultimately flagging it.

2.    Infomercials are meant for television not Craigslist.
Don’t take the information from your brochure that says “Lovely new home in quaint little village full of happy new homes waiting just for you!”  People on Craigslist want to get straight to the point, tell them the bed, bath, square footage, if there is a community pool, park, etc. up front.  Save the sweet talk for your website.

3.    Pictures, pictures, pictures!
If you’ve read a few of my previous blogs, you’ll come to find that having at least one quality picture with your posting is something the I highly recommend for all of our postings.  If it is a drawing of a home it looks more like the home is not yet built, people want something now that is why they are looking now so show the picture of the home.

4.    Last but not least, don’t over post.
Posting the same thing in different areas of Craigslist won’t get you more customers it will just get you flagged.  Stick to posting in the area the home is actually located and if you feel the urge to repost it then wait 48 hours or longer.

Happy posting!

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