Why You Should Advertise Your Vacation Rental On Craigslist [Video]

Markus Nordvik —  June 20, 2013


Craigslist is an advertising opportunity that vacation rental owners seem to love or hate — and sometimes both. But there’s no denying it can generate inquiries.

Let’s start with positives

  1. It’s massive. In fact, it’s the eighth most visited website in the U.S.; One in every five Americans uses Craigslist each month.
  2. It’s free. That’s the main reason I encourage homeowners and managers to at least give it a try — there’s little to lose and, potentially, a lot to gain.

On the other hand, there are some negatives

  1. You need to do a little work.You need to set up your own quality posting. Craigslist isn’t like HomeAway where all listings look the same: you start with a blank page and it’s up to you to design it.At MyVR, we created a tool to help generate the HTML for a great-looking post right from your existing website information. To make sure renters find it, you can renew your post as often as every 48 hours to bring it to the top of the list. You can also use our tools to remind you to renew your post, or to let you know when it has expired and a new ad should be posted.
  2. It’s a place that attracts spammers and fraudsters. This is a serious concern, but you’re likely to encounter these individuals across the vacation rental industry regardless of any one specific site. It’s important to be cautious with inquiries from overseas and be on the lookout for people asking you to wire money or use Western Union.

In short: Give it a chance

In the end, how well Craigslist works for your rental will depend on your property and the location. But I suggest giving it a try at least for a few weeks because:

  1. It’s a huge audience
  2. It’s free
  3. And, MyVR has created a tool help you make it easy.

A couple of tips

Craigslist is very concerned about people using their marketplace with bad intentions and may flag some posts for removal. To avoid having your post mistakenly identified as malicious, post your property only once and in the appropriate region.

Making things trickier, Craigslist will send you a confirmation that your post has been activated, even if it has been flagged as suspicious and is not publicly viewable. It’s best to do what you can to avoid that situation.

When managing inquiries from your Craigslist post, be on the lookout for spam and fraud red flags. Whereas spam is a nuisance, fraud can truly hurt you.

You may also experience phishing attempts, where someone tries to gain access to your password-protected accounts. So read up on phishing and be wary of inquiries that contain links or ask for personal information.

Markus Nordvik

Markus Nordvik

Posts

Co-founder and head of customer success at MyVR. Markus works to make every customer happy and successful at marketing their vacation rental.
MyVR Free Trial

2 responses to Why You Should Advertise Your Vacation Rental On Craigslist [Video]

  1. Thanks for the recommendation. We haven’t been using Craigslist because we figure it is a different market, but it’s FREE so why not try. Is it okay for us to post a rental like http://www.harrishawaii.com/wailea-vacation-rentals-wailea-ekolu-unit-707 in the California Craigslist? Or will it be removed because the property is in Hawaii and not California?

  2. It’s hard to say definitively whether it will be removed. It’s very possible. Craigslist’s policies indicate that they’d like you to post in your own area. That said, you may get away with some infrequent posts there. Some owners have had success doing this, and we can see their post does get views.

    Where we know owners will be unsuccessful is if they try to generate multiple posts in various locations. These CL ads get removed and we can see that they get no views.

    We’ve seen a high correlation between proximity of the property to the CL Market selected, and views of the CL ad. You may choose to try it in California and see if it works, but it’s clear that Craigslist prefers users to post in their local area.