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Corkin.com vs Craiglist -- Who is the winner?

Like a lot of folks, I post real estate listings on Craigs List (http://seattle.craigslist.org/).  I'm the web-guy for our little team, along with being the commercial agent.  I maintain this blog, post on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.

So, one of my partners asked me about corkin.com the other day.  Corkin had sent an email, based on one of our CL posts. 

I decided to check on activerain for info, and to do some investigation on my own.  On activerain, I didn't find a lot of information, though I did find this blog post by Shane O'Gorman: http://activerain.com/blogsview/875460/Corkin-Social-Craigslist.

The fact that I didn't see a lot of posts makes me think that corkin.com isn't that popular with agents.  But, lacking a lot of input, I thought I'd run my own experiment, now "in progress".  My main goal with the experiment is to see what kinds of calls, emails, or other contacts I get from my postings on Corkin.

With that goal in mind, here is some information about Corkin and the process, and I'll update this blog post later with results as I get them.

What is Corkin.com?

Corkin bills itself as a virtual corkboard (now you know where the name comes from).  I would describe it as Craiglist meets Facebook (or Myspace).  As a result, its competing with both. You post your profile, you get friends and invite others to be friends, and you post your 'stuff' for sale.  Pretty straight forward.

What have I done so far (and how does it compare)?

So far, I've signed up (for free) and filled in my profile: http://www.corkin.com/Profile/view.cfm?userid=15561. I mostly completed my profile with the same information I provide on LinkedIn and Facebook. I even went a bit further and included more personal info about books, music, etc.   This was all pretty standard fair, I think. the process was simple enough, and probably simpler than a lot of sites are.

Next, I posted listings.  This was nice and simple, and I would say simpler than Craigslist. The process is pretty similar, in that I copy and paste the HTML from my Postlets page into their page.  One of the big differences is that on Corkin, you have a WYSIWYG editor for the HTML that you can use instead. This is something that Craigslist doesn't have and which I think it could use.  Corkin had fewer steps in general... though some are probably important. On Craigslist you provide the address for mapping, and there isn't a place to put that in the Corkin ad.

Now that the ads are there, Corkin looks to have some great features. Once you login, you can renew/relist your ads from within the larger ad list, not just from your account.  you can also link to just your ads (basically a link to a search results list).  For example, here are my ads: http://www.corkin.com/search/search.cfm?userid=15561

From each ad, you (and other users) can see how many views the ad has had. Users can also link to the ad or share it on Windows Live, Twitter, Facebook, and on and on. This is actually a nice feature and a bit like Postlets.  And, of course, users can comment on your listings (that could be good or bad).

So, on the whole Corkin isn't bad from a "input a listing" perspective.  The ultimate test though is "will I get any customers or sales"?  I'll have to report back on that.  I'm used to getting at least a couple of calls per week off of craigslist ads (depending on the listings). 

What about as a browsing or searching user?

I'm not sure how other users will view Corkin. One of the big issues is advertising. Corkin is just crazy with google ads.  On the top, on the sides, on the bottom.  I find it only slightly annoying.. but its still there. Other users might be completely turned off.  On Craigslist, basically no ads. 

But what about search?  I have to admit to not using a lot of craiglist search functionality. I can never find stuff with it. I drill-down using the categories and then search.  I tried a simple "Monroe 3 bed" search and got 0 results on Craigslist.  On Corkin.com, I was pleasantly surprised to see two of my listings were the top results.

It will be interesting to see what happens in the long run with trying to mix the classifieds post and social aspects.  Facebook has a Marketplace add-in for posting ads, so is that the same thing?  Not sure how mixing personal ads with real estate ads is going to fly.

So, the jury is out. Again, the ultimate test is if there are enough people using Corkin to result in getting contacts/customers.  In this area, I think Craigslist is going to be hard to beat, since Seattle was one of its first cities... so its has a long history of use.

I'll try and update this article next week to let folks know if I got any good prospects off Corkin.

Jason Hershey

 

 

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Comment balloon 19 commentsJason Hershey • February 01 2009 04:17PM

Comments

Craigslist is the big fish in my area. Anything else is very secondary here.

Posted by J. Philip Faranda, Broker-Owner (J. Philip Faranda (J. Philip R.E. LLC) Westchester County NY) over 9 years ago

Thanks for the info. We have several agents in my office trying to make better use of the web and sharing info and helping each other. There is so much out there.

Posted by Rob Nelson, Your Neighborhood Realtor (Crye-Leike Realty) over 9 years ago

It is harder to break through to smaller markets for these types of things. No one in my area even uses Trulia or Zillow so using something even more obscure doesnt work for me. But its a good comparison.

Posted by Shane OnullGorman, Eau Claire Wisconsin, Real Estate Agent & Realtor- Buy or Sell (Eau Claire Realty, Inc.) over 9 years ago

Jason,  I would be happy to have the option but, to date Corkin is not available in my area.  It would be nice to know how much traffic each post is generating.  Good luck in this endeavor.

Posted by Steve Miller (Gardens as Art) over 9 years ago

Corkin has made contact with me - I am sure from my Craig's list postings.....I put the email aside to take a look at later....maybe now is later.......

Posted by Julie Chapman, New Homes Sales Lakeland Florida (DR Horton ) over 9 years ago

Jason - I have also signed up and posted using Corkin.  No value to date but it takes time as with all tools.  All the best to you and your business.

Posted by Kenneth Bargers (Prudential Woodmont Realty) over 9 years ago

There may be a future with Corkin, but its PR of 2 makes it of little worth at this time, and it loads very slowly. We have posted ads there and after two weeks they have not even been indexed...it's a young site...

Posted by Brett Fagan Bozeman Montana Real Estate, Boutique Luxury @ ESTATE House, Bozeman, Montana (Taunya Fagan Bozeman Montana Real Estate) over 9 years ago

I said in the beginning that I'd give an update... well, for me, its clear that Craigslist is the winner, at least for my situations.  Now, I must admit that I did not try and take advantage of the social network aspects of Corkin... it was just one too many more sites to deal with.  That could have made a difference and if someone is looking for social networking or just starting out, maybe it would make sense (but I somehow doubt it).

 

thanks all for your comments.

Posted by Jason Hershey, Helping clients make great real estate decisions (Tellus Real Estate Solutions, LLC) over 9 years ago

In my area Craig's List is so flooded that sometimes your listings get lost. I use tools like Point2 that send out to mulitple sydicates for me for free, which is great. I recieved the email from Corkin and, thanks to your site and information, I will give it a try. Figure it's free and like the lottery, Hey, You Never Know ... Thanks for your site and your updates. Most appreciated!  Susan - Royal Grand Realty, Westchester County, NY

Posted by Susan Theresa over 9 years ago

THIS IS MY FIRST VISIT, AND I WENT STRAIGHT TO THE AUTOMOTIVE SECTION. IT WAS FILLED WITH EVERYTHING, BUT AUTOS FOR SALE. YOU NEED TO CONTROL YOUR ADS. SO FAR CRAIGS LIST IS THE ONLY OPTION FOR ME. YOU HAVE NOTHING!!!!

Posted by MARK PATTERSON about 9 years ago

I signed up about a month ago and was able to get a property rented for a client. I am very thankful for Corkin for helping get that property rented. Free advertising is free advertising.

Posted by Steve Raines almost 9 years ago

I JUST RECENTLY JOINED CORKIN AND ONLY 24 PEOPLE LOOKED AT MY PARTS BIKE AND SOMEONE FROM TAMPA DROVE ALL THE WAY AND I SOLD IT SATURDAY I HAD MONEY TO PAY THE RENT BUY FOOD AT THE STORE AND GO TO CHURCH TODAY. BLESS CORKIN IVE BEEN OUT OF WORK FOR THREE MONTH NOW BUT MONDAY I SHOULD START A NEW JOB STOCKING AT A SMALL STORE THESE ARE HARD TIMES FOR PEOPLE I DONT SEE IT GITTING BETTER ANYTIME SOON I WILL KEEP MY HOPES A DREAMS ON HIGH   CORKIN IS TOTALY A BLESSING TO ME AND MY WIFE. THREE WEEKS AGO WE HAD A FOOD DRIVE AT CHURCH WE GAVE FOOD A WAY FOR FREE AND ONE HUNDRED AN FOURTY FAMILEYS GOT TWO FULL BAGS OF FOOD AND WERE ON A LIST FOR PRAYER I WAS OUT OF MONEY BUT STILL ROAD A BIKE ABOUT 13 MILES ONE WAY TO HELP OUT I WILL KEEP CORKIN IN MIND AT CHURCH TODAY AS I WORK IN THE CHURCH I HOPE YOU HAVE A GREAT DAY AND THANKS AGAIN FOR YOUR WEB SITE BUSINESS!!!

Posted by Josh Altrash almost 9 years ago

Jason, Thanks for the heads up on Corkin, and to you other bloggers for sharing your experiences. I don't sell cars or real estate, but I'm always on the lookout for new selling venues. I went to Postlets for instance. It's only for real estate.

Posted by Rafael Montserrat almost 9 years ago

Corkin has illegal ads

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