Posted over 12 years ago

How to Use CraigsList to Build a Wholesale Buyers List

Craigslist is an outstanding way to build a wholesale buyers list for little to no cost. 

Before reading on its important for newbie wholesalers to know that you can do this before you ever have a deal under contract. "How" you might ask? The key is partnering up with a few other active wholesalers in your area!  They have lots of deals - market those while you're working on getting your own under contract! However, one piece of advice: always ask permission to market another wholesaler's deals. You will only tick people off if you don' its simply not cool. What's great is that you can not only build a buyers list, but you can make some money if you find a buyer for the other wholesaler's property!

Additionally, let's talk about cost. Yes, Craigslist is free, so it could be zero cost, but if you're looking to generate a large list of potential buyers and have better things to do than sit around posting ads on Craigslist (trust me, you do!), you will want to consider paying a virtual assistant to help.

So now that we have all of that out of the way, here's how you can use CraigsList to build a wholesaler buyer's list.

There are three key things we do with every ad:

  • We hide the email address so that people don’t email us
  • We include a link to our squeeze page that requests their email address and then provides access to the deals
  • We place the links in the “For Sale By Owner” category for the appropriate county area (for us Broward, Miami, West Palm)

We have been experimenting with 4 different types of Craiglist ads, and each of them have a different effectiveness for us (but I haven’t completed my 3-month analysis to determine if I will completely stop doing any of these types of ads).  Examples below:

(1) TEXT AD: Property information on 1 or multiple properties at once (including property pics)



(2) TEXT AD: Generic ad promoting the fact that we sell wholesale deals


(3) GRAPHICS AD – Promoting multiple deals we have going at the moment


(4) GRAPHICS AD: – Generic ad promoting the fact that we sell wholesale deals.

generic Craigslist Ad

So far we’ve found that the ads that have property info in them get a bit more attention than the generic ads.  However, we do get some clickthrus on the generic ones, so I’m going to keep using them for now until the cost-benefit analysis tells me I should stop.

I can tell you that this is not a science...its an art. You have to be willing to experiment, use Google Analytics to see what's working and what's not, and be willing to tweak things when they aren't working.

We started using this method in July of this year and we're still working to find the right formula of which types of ads to focus on (based on # of clicks) and how many ads to do each day.  I'll be sure to share my findings after 6 months of doing this, but in the meantime we're experimenting away!

I certainly hope these tips helped -- I actually do a monthly internet marketing report at if you're interested in more detailed results on a monthly basis (just select "Internet Marketing" from the Categories selection box).

Adios amigas y amigos!

Important P.S.  Nick J. raised a great point in the comments about the follow up necessary after getting a lead. My very first blog post was on that topic so, check out "Will the REAL DEAL Investors Please Stand Up!"

Also, Nick has a great blog post on using Craigslist to find buyers as well. I'll warn you its a loooong post but worth the reading for sure! Check it out here.


Comments (22)

  1. Thanks for this info!  Every insight helps, but this is especially powerful.  

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  3. Shae, Do you know of any good Wholesale training CD's or seminars? (Yes I'm Definately a Newbie) There are tons out there and I don't know which one to choose. Thanks!

  4. Awesome post! I've been doing this for about 6 months now and I'm getting a consistent 5-10 new buyers per week. I have ad templates that I just rotate through from week to week. Even if you don't have any properties for sale, you can still do this. When a buyer contacts you, just tell them that the property is no longer available and that you will alert them when you come across another good deal. This also works great to get seller leads too.

  5. Hi Sharon, feel free to send me a direct message.

  6. Hi Shae, Thanks for sharing your knowledge and experiences. I have learnt quite a lot from your articles, blog etc. I would like your assistance on a few areas that you have proven to be very savvy. Please contact me. Looking forward to hearing from you.

  7. Great suggestions - thanks Susan!

  8. Try the advice of Mike Warren-you can FB, Twitter ,google him, he had a webinar last night that was fabulous,free and informative too! He suggests to post CL early in morn, lunch and slightly after dinner-sorta when people eat/take a break and he tells why. Check him out. Hope this helps.

  9. Thanks to both of you Shae and Nick! Obviously that's where I've been going wrong. I'll bet this little change will yield some impressive results!

  10. I love this interaction fellas :-) Joe, I post in Real Estate FSBO section and sometimes in the real estate wanted section as well. I've never posted in real estate services. Nick, thanks for the "rockstar" compliment - that's very kind of you :-) I'm working hard to live up to it!

  11. Point taken. Thanks for the ideas on time too, those definitely make sense. I'm going to keep a log on all of times, days, etc and see what works best in my neck of the woods. I'll post a thread about it after awhile and see if others' experience synchs up with it.

  12. Everyday is a good day. You'll have to do your own testing. For instance: Shae(who's a rockstar btw) lives in a completely different market than you do where sellers may act or do differently. She may have the greatest results at different times than you. She also has different wholesalers than you do. My research(if you can call it that) hasn't determined what day is best but rather what time of day is best. for instance, whether you want to believe it or not, most 'wholesalers' aren't really 'wholesalers' they're normal people trying to make a buck and they have 'W2' jobs that they work M-F 9am-5pm . what I've learned is that when I'm marketing to get more wholesalers and sellers for that matter(b/c another thing about wholesalers, they usually need their own primary home taken care of LOL) I post between 8am-10am and 4pm-7pm and then around noon on the weekends. I must admit, I don't do this anymore because I've been able to perfect the skill of outsourcing, however when you're just starting out, it's a good rule of thumb to stick by as a baseline. The you can have something to base your results off of to determine which way you go. You'll notice that Shae makes it point to track her results and that is why she is and or will continue to be successful because she will adjust her strategy based on her actual results.

  13. Thanks Nick! I will post it in all of those first thing tomorrow, since I seem to remember reading that Monday was the best day.

  14. Joe, Also, do FSBO, Real Estate Wanted, I even include Apts/Housing for Rent

  15. Great post Shae! Quick question for what area in craigslist do you put your ad? I've been putting mine in Real Estate Services, more or less the same as you worded it since yours seemed to work, and I've gotten very few responses over the last couple of weeks. So I thought that maybe there was a better place that I could put it. Thanks!

  16. Thanks Josh! Checking inbox now...

  17. Awesome, Shae! (check your inbox)

  18. Thanks Nick!

  19. really good stuff! I'm glad we were able to link to each others post. It will give prospective readers more than enough information to be successful on Craigslist. I really like your ads btw

  20. Ok Nick, just updated my post :-) Thanks for sharing!

  21. Hey Nick, how's it going? To answer your questions: 1) I make the image clickable and add a standard text link - why not do both? :-) 2) No, I have not analyzed time of day/day of week. Thanks for that suggestion - I will do that. 3) Yes, perfect question and I actually have an entire post dedicated to that called "Will the Real Deal Investors Please Stand Up" -- check that out here: I'm going to edit this post to include a link to that so I can tie these points will include a link to your post which was very good stuff :-)

  22. I think this was a great post! I would like to see my post utilized with your post and the post that I mention in my post to create some sort of master post for CL. I don't know how to make my link live but here is my CL buyers post: when you say you create link, do you make it a clickable picture or do you actually just include a standard text link? Also, have you included the time of day and day of week into your experiment to learn when the best time to post a new ad is? One last thing (sorry I'm full of questions and can chat all night about little topics) Are you contacting these respondents to qualify them once they have entered any info on your squeeze page? I find that CL is great for building buyers but you have to learn who is wasting your time and who is real enough to actually buy.