Getting the Most Out of Craigslist

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Steve Small's presentation at the Apartment Internet Marketing Conference 2009.

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Getting the Most Out of Craigslist

  1. 1. GETTING THE MOST OUT OF CRAIGSLIST Steve Small, CEO Yield Technologies, Inc. April 30, 2009
  2. 2. Steve Small PRESENTER BACKGROUND  AMLI Residential (www.amli.com) CIO from 2000 through 2007  Owns luxury apartment communities throughout the US  Wholly owned by Morgan Stanley Prime Property Fund   Yield Technologies, Inc. (www.yieldco.com) Global management consulting and technology services  company. Focuses on various revenue management and marketing  solutions. Licenses certain AMLI technology 
  3. 3. Craigslist Overview  Local classifieds and forums for 450 cities worldwide - community moderated, and largely free.  Jobs, housing, goods, services, romance, local activities, advice - just about anything really.  9 billion page views per month  #7 in terms of English-language page views.  More than 30 million people each month use craigslist, including more than 25 million in the US alone  eBay acquired 25% of the equity in craigslist from a former shareholder in August of 2004
  4. 4. Ad Listing Challenges…  Our teams were spending a considerable amount of time just loading ads to the site.  It was a challenge to maintain fresh content and quality ads.  Little visibility (quantitative nor qualitative) into the success of our postings.  Lack of integration between craigslist and our enterprise software solutions (Yardi, RealPage, MRI, etc….).
  5. 5. Global Perspective KEY ASPECTS  People and process first; Technology second.  Install business transparency.  Feedback business results and metrics in real-time.  Make it easy to for customers to do business with you.  Invest in your Internet presence.  Take a disciplined statistical approach to how you allocate effort and cost.
  6. 6. Transforming the Enterprise YIELD OPTIMIZATION  Is it Actionable?  Is it understandable to the organization?  Can everyone participate? Yield Optimization is about actionable ways to improve marketing, product mix, customers, and business processes.
  7. 7. Craigslist Initiative GOALS – BUSINESS PROCESS  Which ads are more effective in a particular market? Fancy or simple ads  Short or descriptive  More pictures or fewer  Community focus vs. unit focus   When is the best time to post?  Which product types is the market most interested in?  Measure - Deliver an in-depth analysis of ad listing statistics and metrics to prove the value of this marketing venue.
  8. 8. WHICH CRAIGSLIST AD WILL SELL THE JEEP?
  9. 9. Craigslist Initiative GOALS - MECHANICS  Dramatically reduce staff time required to post.  Generate consistent and high-quality ads.  Integrate with the property management applications.  Provide content management.  Make it easy – robust help, training, and deployment.  Comply with the letter and intent of craigslist Terms of Use.
  10. 10. Craigslist Ad Components AN AMLI APARTMENT AD Title Template Unit Types and Specific Units Contact Information Apartment Descriptions Apartment Features/Amenities Community Descriptions Community Features/Amenities Alternate Contact Method Community Photos Unit Photos
  11. 11. Craigslist Ad Components ANDY’S CONDO Title Template Unit Types and Specific Units Contact Information Apartment Descriptions Apartment Features/Amenities Community Descriptions Community Features/Amenities Alternate Contact Method Community Photos Unit Photos
  12. 12. RentSentinel RentSentinel is a content management and analytics system - the User posts and enters the captcha. 3 WAYS TO POST …  Post manually using cut and paste – Traditional method used by Postlets, Vflyer, etc.  Post using self-publishing email RentSentinel creates ads and manages the self-publishing  email for the user  Post using a craigslist account RentSentinel logs the user into their craigslist account and  creates ads – no confirmation email necessary.
  13. 13. Use the Content We Already Have SYNCHRONIZATION WITH MAJOR PROPERTY MGMT SYSTEMS
  14. 14. Dashboard for Managing All of Your Ads
  15. 15. Posting using the Ad Wizard
  16. 16. You can Edit Ads before Posting
  17. 17. Content Management System
  18. 18. Make it Simple and Easy
  19. 19. AMLI 535 FIRST MONTH RESULTS… Percentage of Month New Prospects Phone Calls Visits Total Visits January- No RentSentinel 16 5 14 23.08% February-With RentSentinel 39 9 27 47.62%
  20. 20. What Days are Best to Post? AMLI 535
  21. 21. Look at Views and Leads in Real Time
  22. 22. What Days are Best to Post? ANDY’S CONDO
  23. 23. When are our Ads being Viewed? ANDY’S CONDO
  24. 24. When are our Ads being Viewed? AMLI 535
  25. 25. When should we Post? AMLI 535
  26. 26. When should we Post? ANDY’S CONDO
  27. 27. What Products are in Demand?
  28. 28. Where are our Customers coming from?
  29. 29. Distance Band Report
  30. 30. June 01 Release Features  Craigslist login account becomes primary posting method.  Ad timing recomendations.  Enhance ad content and building capabilities.  Syndication of additional sites: FrontDoor  Google Base  HotPads  Oodle  Trulia  Vast 
  31. 31. June 01 Release Features  Amenity builder – ad editor interface to online sources describing community area amenities.  Dashboard to rank community’s success relative to the overall portfolio.  Indexed ad content – correlate success of posts to content.  Which ads are more effective in a particular market? Fancy or simple ads  Short or descriptive  More pictures or fewer  Community focus vs. unit focus 
  32. 32. WHICH CRAIGSLIST AD WILL SELL THE JEEP?
  33. 33. www.RentSentinel.com
  34. 34. Value Proposition  Save time – create high quality craigslist ads with minimal effort.  Simple deployment – just login.  Immediate payback - De minimis cost per lead.  Create an adaptive marketing process rather than settling for a point-in-time goal.  www.RentSentinel.com
  35. 35. GETTING THE MOST OUT OF CRAIGSLIST Steve Small, CEO Yield Technologies, Inc. April 30, 2009

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