By Laura Lancaster | August 12, 2018
Late last year I was hired by Marco, a realtor from New York who was learning how to use Facebook ads to find new customers. The first day we talked he was really pissed off. He was spending $50/day on ads (open house ads, video listing ads, blog post ads) and getting nowhere. The only leads trickling through his sales funnel were people who quote/unquote “were a complete waste of time.”
So we dove right in and got to work. Within 30 seconds into his ads audit we understood what was happening. The bulk of his budget was going into boosted posts with hardly any targeting or segmentation. There was no tracking pixel installed (i.e. – no way to retarget any of his website visitors), and simply no overall strategy. Paul was winging it, and unfortunately for him (but lucky for Zuckerberg) it cost him over $1k. Yikes.
If you’re a real estate agent or broker running your own ads make sure you’re avoiding these mistakes, and instead start implementing practical strategies to help you expand your reach, generate more leads, and make more sales. From our experience, here are the top 3 ad strategies for realtors right now:
#1: Zero In On Your Target Audience With Layering
You should always test different audiences of various sizes, but make sure you include at least one narrowed audience in your advertising strategy. From our experience running ad campaigns for realtors, this type of micro-audience is going to be where your best new leads come from.
For example, let’s say you’re a realtor in Chicago and you specialize in an upper middle-class neighbourhood popular with young families and newlyweds (i.e. first time home buyers). The Household Incomes in this area are above $100k per year.
Start by entering Chicago + 50 miles. This might seem quite broad, but Facebook’s algorithm does an amazing job of optimizing this automatically and finding the best locations to target within the set area. Same with the age range. Keep it broad and let Facebook’s algorithm do its thing.
Next, under the Detailed Targeting category, enter likely to move and first time homebuyer. This brings the audience to 480,000 – still too broad. Now click narrow audience and enter in incomes higher than $100k. Select narrow audience again and enter in Realtor.com, Trulia, and Zillow (these targeting options work really well because you want to make sure you’re zeroing in on the people actively looking for a house). This brings the audience size to 81,000 – perfect!
#2: Optimize for Mobile
In 2015 mobile web traffic surpassed desktop traffic for the first time ever. We’re now living in a world completed dominated by mobile device usage. More and more people are choosing to journey through their Facebook feeds on their mobile devices, and last year mobile made up a huge 87% of Facebook’s ad revenue.
You know what that means – it’s more important THAN EVER to optimize your ads for mobile.
If you’re running video ads we suggest using square videos (1:1) instead of landscape videos (16:9) because they take up 78% more real estate in a person’s mobile newsfeed. This gives you a higher chance of attracting potential customers and driving more traffic to your website.
When you’re previewing your ad in your Ads Manager, make sure you have mobile preview selected, and that your headline isn’t too long. We also suggest split-testing variations of ad copy with and without emojis (if you’re targeting a younger audience), and trying not to use any text overlay in your ad image.
#3: Be Authentic
As a real estate agent one of the biggest hurdles you face is building trust with potential customers.
So how do you build trust? Simple. Be real. Be honest. Don’t hide behind salesy ad copy that sounds like every other real estate ad popping up in their newsfeeds. Write ad copy as if you were talking to a potential customer face to face. Avoid a static description of features, and instead make sure you describe how they’re going to feel in their new home.
Another great way to “humanize yourself” is to create a Facebook Live Video. These work especially well if you want to promote a new listing. Introduce yourself at the start of the video and take your viewers on a live virtual tour of the house. This achieves two things: showcases the listing AND helps your customers see you as a real person who they can trust with a huge financial decision.
HOT TIP: Turn your Facebook Live Video into an ad after it ends, so you can generate even more views. From our experience, the best ads are the ones that don’t look like ads, and these Live Videos do an excellent job of providing valuable content to your potential customers while also promoting your services in a casual way. Also – Facebook is trying to encourage more businesses to use their live video function, meaning they reward you by showing it to a much larger audience than other types of posts. Sneaky lil’ win/win there for ya 😉
Want Some Expert Eyes on Your Facebook Ads Campaign?
We’re currently doing more in-depth research into real estate advertising, and we’d love to offer you a free audit. No catch, no hard-sell, just some helpful advice specific to you and your advertising campaign. You’ll get:
- a 10 (ish) minute review video where we’ll go through your ad campaign and give you suggestions on everything from your audience strategy to your ad creative.
- Insight into what type of campaigns work best for realtors.
- An understanding of the baseline metrics when it comes to realtors (i.e. what’s an average cost per click, cost per video view, etc.).
THIS IS A LIMITED TIME OFFER ENDING AUGUST 2018. If you’re interested, please fill out the form below to request your audit: