Property Grunt

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Craigslist Wars: Craig Strikes Back

Craig has finally dropped the big one in the Craigslist Wars and has announced he will be charging for real estate ads.

According to Money magazine

The company plans in 2006 to begin charging employers to post job listings in four new cities: Boston, Washington, D.C., San Diego and Seattle. It's also set to collect a nominal fee, no more than $10, from New York City real estate brokers for their property listings.
My prediction is that there will be a massive exodus of rental brokers to the free Google Base since the only reason why agents kowtowed to Craig’s policies was because of its free ads. However I don’t think Craig is losing any sleep over that.

The biggest threat, as usual, is Google. It has introduced Google Base, where users can upload anything -- e.g., "49ers tickets for sale" -- into its searchable database. Piper Jaffray analyst Safa Rashtchy calls Google Base "Craigslist on steroids." Google's technological prowess -- and money -- mean it can add features in weeks that Craigslist has contemplated for years.
If only Newmark and Buckmaster cared. "We don't even really think in terms of competition," says Buckmaster. "Our site usage is growing at, like, 200 percent per year. If the activities of other companies cause that number to be reduced, I don't think we'll necessarily lose sleep. It's probably inevitable." Buckmaster says he's more focused on a long list of projects, including adding cities, introducing foreign-language support outside the U.S., connecting regional sites and improving search capabilities.

As everyone knows, Craig has been on a search and destroy mission to take down scum bag bait and switch rental agents but he did make known of his plans to charge for real estate ads. But although it must have been fun taken a flamethrower to scum bag brokers I think Craig decided to implement his own firing solution to the end the matter.

What will be interesting to see how Craigslist and Sellsius will co-exist. Craigslist does have a large following however Sellsius costs only $29.95 for the year. Next year is going to be quite interesting.