'Lowly' Craigslist and Kijiji win over high-end listings

“The idea that these sites are just for lower-end properties is totally false at this point,” said Cindy Wennerstrom, principal of Toronto-based Oro Properties. “As a trend, I would say their use across the industry is rising.”

Wennerstrom posts upwards of 50 listing a month in the free classifieds of both Kijiji and Craiglists. About 70 per cent of those listings directly lead to a signed rental agreement, she said.

The numbers reflect those of other real estate professionals managing their own portfolios or those of others.

In many cases, those property investors are paying professionals like Wennerstrom to use the free online classifieds. It’s a not so tacit acknowledge of the time costs associated with managing those listings, but also speaks to the creative way those professionals marketing their properties on the sites to reduce listing times and minimize cash flow interruptions.

Their growing use may be behind the spike in prices for the extra services Kijiji offers.

The Canadian site is now charging $3.99 for bumping an old listing back up to the top of the queue – double what it used.

That hasn’t deterred landlords, and even property sellers, increasingly using the sites to promote pricey listings in some of Canada’s toniest neighbourhoods.

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