Blog August 13, 2013

Multifamily Online Marketing Reporting – Craigslist Ad Performance Tracking

By MRI

This week I’ll be wrapping up my coverage of VaultWare reporting with Craigslist results reporting. Part of the powerful functionality included with the VaultWare Reservation System is the Craigslist Posting Tool and Craigslist Availability Links. Both allow you to include imperative links that enable customers to check availability and reserve an apartment through the property’s VaultWare system. By using these features, properties can quickly and easily populate Craigslist postings with HTML or plain-text ads generated using the content in VaultWare Content Manager, saving property managers the hassle of individually creating each submission. And if you’re using VaultWare to syndicate your ad content to your Internet Listing Service ads, your website, or mobile website, then your Craigslist Posting Tool is ready and waiting to start creating highly effective ads.

cl1-resized-600When using the Craigslist Posting Tool, the VaultWare Tracking reports become very useful for analyzing prior ad performance to help you plan your Craigslist strategy. What day of the week is the best time to post an ad? Is there a time of day that yields better results? What ad titles perform the best? VaultWare Tracking can help shed light on those critical questions.

The example report to the right reveals that within the last month, Thursdays and Fridays produced the most views per post, with the latter proving to be the most successful with an average 123 views per post and 27 people checking availability per post. Posting frequency dips on weekends, but the results of those weekend posts show that for this specific portfolio, Saturday and Sunday aren’t the best days to spend posting to Craigslist. Instead it would be more prudent to continue advertising more frequently on Tuesdays and increase posting frequency on the last two days of the work week.

Craigslist Posting by Hour of Day Report

 

cl2-resized-600Similar to the Day of Week report, the Hour of Day report gives you visibility into the best time of day to post to Craigslist. Again, you can drill down into individual property results, but this report reveals that creating ads on Craigslist first thing after the office opens is a common practice across the portfolio. However, while a very small sample set, the higher views per post tend to come in the afternoon. Instructing your leasing team to push posting times to a later time in the day is an easy way to potentially increase your results.

Craigslist Posting by Title Report

Moving beyond time-based analysis of Craigslist ad performance, the Posting by Title report helps determine what ad Titles yield the highest click-through rate. By analyzing the views per post by ad title, property managers can easily see which titles entice customers to click versus those that make apartment hunters move on to the next ad. You can use this report to define your list of keywords and phrases that pique potential resident’s interest in order to prompt them to learn more about your listing. Just as beneficial, the Posting by Title report will reveal the ad titles to avoid.

Craigslist Posting by Property Report

As shown in the example below, the final Craigslist report gives you a snapshot of your portfolio’s performance results over a specified timeframe. The property management staff can quickly see which properties are getting more than their fair share of Craigslist leads, as well as what properties could benefit from further analysis. A simple change in the time or ad title phrasing could significantly improve a lagging property’s leasing results.

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Want to learn more about VaultWare and the included VaultWare Craigslist Posting Tool? Check out the entire suite of VaultWare Apartment Marketing solutions on our website.

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