Broker abuse on Craigslist has been a common complaint by the consumer, but brokers beware: the consumer is getting smarter!

INMAN NEWS reports that Craig Newmark recently commented on Real Estate broker abuse on his site: The site depends on self-policing to catch inappropriate content. As the customer service representative for Craigslist, Newmark handles consumer complaints. The real estate sphere “does seem to get policed fairly well. In New York, I have agents quite frequently sending us e-mail about other agents’ inappropriate acts,” Newmark said.

While agents have improved their behavior on the site in the last five years, Newmark said, some still quite frequently post their listings in the “real estate – by owner” category.

“Literally every day I have to take a look at ‘by owner’ sites because agents post there,” Newmark said.

Agents should also avoid posting specific listings more often than once every 48 hours, he said. Top ranking on a page is lost in about 15 minutes because of the regular influx of listings, he added, so it’s not worth it to try to get a top rank there.

For other best practices — and to avoid the ire of other users — he gave this advice: “Disclose who you are and what agency you’re in. Cut down the hype level. Just be straight with people. Treat people like you want to be treated. Remember you are dealing with people a lot like yourself,” he said. Also, “don’t do any keyword spamming. That has to do with throwing in a lot of terms (in the posting) that don’t have to do with your property. People online are getting smarter and smarter.”

Of course, Craigslist does not really cater to the New York luxury market, but we are amazed and impressed at the speed Craigslist (started in 1995) has become the CLASSIFIEDS of our time, replacing miles of paid classified advertising in newspapers.