I’ve used Craigslist off and on for the past year to find buyers for properties, build a cash buyer’s list in my local area, and find motivated sellers to make offers to. The reason why I say “off and on” is because I could never find my groove and work Craigslist consistently. Mostly because I thought it was a drag to scour through all of the ads. In the past I’ve seen some tools that are supposed to make it easy to find the types of Craigslist ads you’re looking for and send follow up emails with a click of a button. I’ve never used any of those, but I recently learned of a free tool that has made working with Craigslist much more bearable. Whether you outsource this work (I do!) or do it yourself, SearchTempest is definitely worth a look.
SearchTempest makes your searches easy…you can:
- search multiple cities at once
- search by distance from a specific city or zip code
- save your favorite searches
I suspect there’s more to the tool that I am yet to discover, but those perks right there are enough for me.
A little over a week ago, fellow BiggerPockets blogger Jason Hanson suggested a Craigslist marketing strategy that involved contacting absentee owners/landlords about doing lease options. He even put out a 30 day challenge encouraging people to give it a shot which was a great idea! Maybe lease options aren’t your thing, but SearchTempest can you help you with a number of other real estate investing strategies such as virtual wholesaling because you can find motivated sellers in numerous target markets with a simple click of the mouse.
One of the things you’ll want to do when using SearchTempest is take advantage of negative keywords (in fact, you can use negative keywords on Craigslist as well so this isn’t unique to SearchTempest). For example, let’s say you’re looking for deals in the Arlington area of Jacksonville, Florida but you don’t like to deal with condominiums or townhouses.
What you’re going to do is type in “Arlington -condo – townhouse – townhome” in the “What” field and of course complete the other criteria such as minimum and maximum price and bedrooms. The negative keywords are super helpful because you’ll remove a ton of ads that you don’t want to waste your time looking through.
I hope this small tip is helpful to you for your Craigslist marketing efforts! If you make it a regular habit to do your favorite searches via a tool like SearchTempest you should definitely get some solid leads and deals!