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Live from Real Estate Connect: What’s Next for Craigslist
Monday, January 10, 2005

Things heated up at Real Estate Connect when Craigslist founder Craig Newmark crashed the first panel of the day. Under fierce cross-examination, he revealed some hints about the future of Craigslist’s real estate listings:

Craig Newmark: “We’re strongly thinking about [charging for listings]. Brokers are asking us to do that to improve quality. The first step will be opening up a broad discussion of how to do it right. That’s going to be a fascinating discussion that will increase my customer service work a great deal… Right now the newspapers are perturbed by the fact that we seem to be getting classifieds that they aren’t. I tell them that’s not their big problem. The big problem for them is loss of trust. People don’t trust mainstream media to ask difficult questions and be persistent. The most trusted name in news is Jon Stewart and the Daily Show. But the whole nature of mass media is changing and will probably change abruptly in three to five years.”

More after the jump, including Craig declaring, “I have no Batman fantasy.”

More snippets from Brad Inman’s conversation with Craig Newmark:

Craig: “We now see a lot of for sale listings on the site, for sale by owner and brokers posting. We might have to split that up into a couple of different categories…”

“The problems we’ve seen are brokers charging a fee for apartments posting in no-fee section, some not disclosing who they are. Sometimes subtle forms of bait-and-switch. This is becoming the exception. We’re hearing that things are getting better… People only cut corners when they think everyone else does… I’m trying to dress in black more and be more cynical, but it’s not working.”

“People post a property and then to get to top of browsing list, they post it again a couple of days later. We’re working on improvements to that now that we hope to see in a few months.”

“People are generally responsible for their own ethics. I have no Batman fantasy, professionally. [laughter] But the deal is that things are getting better in that regard. I have however recently been bitten by a radioactive spider and now feel like I can stop a subway out of control myself.”

For a very, um, unique point of view on the issue of Craigslist charging for its real estate ads, we suggest a perusal of DramaNYC poster Peter Everhard’s screed, “I am the Anti Craig.”


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