Traditionally, agents relied on channels such as direct mail, networking, referrals, and social events. The Internet changed the world and we need to adapt our marketing strategy in 2021 including Real Estate Facebook ads in your advertising mix.
Long story short
Traditionally, agents relied on channels such as direct mail, networking, referrals, and social events. The Internet changed the world and we need to adapt our marketing strategy accordingly.
Look at the chart above. People spend on average of 06:30 hours online every day. From one side it means 6:30 hours less time to engage them offline but from the other, we have 06:30 hours of opportunities to be in front of their eyes.
When we think of online time spend the first thing that comes to mind is Social Media.
Social Media Stats
From 6:30 hours spent online 2:24 hours is spent on Social Media platforms. That’s why in our digital marketing strategies we rely on Social Media platforms.
From the map above you can see that 82% of the North American population aged 13+ are active Users of Social Media. It is 20% more than in Western Europe. Americans love social media.
According to Hootsuite data average time spent on Social Media in 2019 was 2:24 hours. This means time spent on social media accounts for almost half of the overall time spent online.
Why do we choose Facebook ads?
There are many Social Media Platforms that offer advertising capabilities for brands. At DESA.NINJA we heavily rely on Facebook advertising. In this article, we will explain to you why Facebook is the best platform for Agents.
Back in 2012 Facebook acquired Instagram and since then we manage Facebook and Instagram ads through the Facebook Business Manager. Which gives Facebook ads even more power from such huge exposure.
Brands on Facebook
140 million businesses use Facebook and its related apps (Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram)
58% of people in the U.S. say they’ve become more interested in a brand after seeing it in Facebook Stories (300 million people use Facebook Stories every day)
According to recent reports, the average time people spend on Facebook and Instagram is 37 and 29 minutes respectively. Facebook and Instagram allow you to integrate sponsored content natively and deliver your message at the right time and to the right person.
Facebook Ads vs Google Search Ads
If we compare Facebook Ads with Google Search Ads, FB is much less competitive. Let me explain why. Google allows targeting only by specific keywords (for example “real estate agent”). Imagine that 100 other realtors are bidding for the same keyword. This will lead to increased cost per click and therefore, a much higher cost per lead.
Whereas Facebook allows targeting users by demographics, behaviour, interests, age, gender. There is less chance for those 100 realtors to target the same audience parameters, which leads to cheaper cost per lead. Moreover, using different creatives (images, videos) also helps to decrease CPL (Cost Per Lead) since video and image have different auctions.
The reality of Facebook Leads
When it comes to Facebook-generated leads, 90% of real estate agents are very skeptical. From our experience, the main objective they have is that those leads are cold (far in the beginning of the funnel).
Why? Let’s discuss the main realtor’s objection in regards to Facebook leads.
Facebook generated leads are cold
I have to disagree here. Leads raised a hand and provided an agent with their personal contact information. Of course, there is no relationship and loyalty yet.
Think about this. If any bank is trying to sell a credit card to a client and they have 2 options: contact a potential client, who saw the ad and submitted the form or a cold call to a random person trying to convince him to apply for a credit card. Which type of client will most likely convert?
Obviously, the final conversion rate would greatly depend on agent presentational skills and experience. There’s no doubt the ultimate results would vary.
The main point here is to understand that after the Lead Generation stage we have to Nurture Leads through providing value.
Leads are too far out
I cannot agree more. Most of the Facebook-generated leads are 3-6 months out before making any sort of decision. Some even take a year or more.
From our experience, the short-term conversion rate from Facebook ads is 1-1.5%. For every 100 leads generated monthly real estate agent gets roughly 1-1.5 transactions.
Do not forget that realtor gets 100 leads/month and the pipeline (database) is growing every month, therefore increasing the number of transactions monthly after a 3 month period.
It requires too much effort to convert them
Converting Facebook generated leads takes a lot of effort and require a consistent nurturing for several months. Most leads can take up to 5-7 calls to connect and multiply touchpoints to convert.
This is where email and text sequences come to help real estate agents. This literally removes 90% of the realtor’s headache of following up with a potential client for the next 6 months.
For our real estate clients we set-up a 180-day buyer campaign or/and 60-day seller campaign, that educates prospects for the next months and keeps our clients on the top of their minds.
Facebook Ads Targeting
Now let’s talk about Real Estate Agent’s best friend – Facebook targeting options, we talked earlier. There are several options for you to reach your desired audience.
Even though I prefer going broad, targeting the whole city, limiting only the age range (30+) and ad placements (only FB and IG Feeds), there are some options for those who prefer going narrow.
For the Canadian and the U.S market please be aware that age, postal code, gender and Look-a-Likes targeting is not available due to the Special Ad Category.
For ads in certain special categories, the following audience options are different or unavailable:
- Locations: You can target your ads to people by geographic location (such as country, region, state, province, city or congressional district), but not by postal code. Specific locations you select will include a 15-mile radius around that targeted city, address or pin-drop. For example, if you want to reach people in the city of Manchester, your audience will also include people within a 15-mile radius of Manchester’s city centre.
- Age: You can’t edit this option. Audiences must include ages 18 through 65+.
- Gender: You can’t edit this option. Audiences must include all genders.
- Detailed targeting: Some demographic, behaviour and interest options are unavailable. Excluding any detailed targeting selections is also unavailable.
- House Hunting
- First-time buyer
- Property Finder
- Real estate investing
- New House
- Look-a-Likes – unavailable while using Special Ad Category (Housing)
- Unavailable due to the Special Ad Category
- Target specific city – you can only target a minimum radius of 15 miles when using the “Housing Category”
- Target Zipcode (not applicable for the U.S. and Canada)
- Area around address – you can only target a minimum radius of 15 miles when using the “Housing Category”
- Pin drop – you can only target a minimum radius of 15 miles when using the “Housing Category”
Being able to find your target audience is halfway to successful Facebook ads.
Best Practices for Real Estate Advertising Ad Copy & Creatives
Engaging Ads Copy
This is the most important part when it comes to generating leads with Real Estate Facebook Ads. Even with great targeting, you have to get noticed by your potential client.
The price will always be the biggest and big factor in the success of your Facebook ads. Do your best and research the client’s market median price. This will help you to appeal to the largest audience.
Apart from price, in the beginning, call out your audience. Get their attention while they scroll Facebook feed.
Add a few details and highlights of the home you are selling to grab people’s interest, so they want to learn more.
Try to find your clients’ pain points and mention them in the ad copy as well. Make them feel you understand their problems.
In the end, mention your offer and show a clear call to action. Make it a “no-brainer”.
I will be showing you several ads that got great results for both seller and buyer leads. This is a totally unique piece of information that you, as a real estate agent, need to remember and use in your ads!
If you are not entirely comfortable with home listings, here are some other ideas you can use in your Facebook Ads:
For Home Seller Ads
- Free Home Evaluation
- Your house sold in %n% days
- A list of homes in the city
- Seller Checklist
For Home Buyer Ads
- A list of homes
- Single home listings
- Subscribe to home alerts
- Buyer Checklist
Feel free to A/B test these ideas and understand what works the best in your local markets.
For the carousel ad, I strongly suggest including not only the house’s front photos but also the kitchen (preferably recently renovated) and bathroom.
Call to Action
You want your Facebook leads to take action and give you their contact information. Make CTA clean and visible. Once contact information is received, you will be able to build trust and rapport with a client.
Try to schedule a meeting as soon as possible. In this case, a client will not have time to look for other realtors out there.
Facebook Lead Form
This will be your main lead capturing tool. Facebook loves when all actions are taken on its platform, without redirecting to 3rd party landing pages.
Do not ask too many questions in the lead form. Focus on the main ones:
- Phone number
- When are you planning to buy a house?
This will give you a rough idea of when you’ll need to follow up and main contact information to keep in touch on a regular basis.
Remarketing with Facebook Ads
For most of our clients, we suggest running remarketing campaigns on Facebook to stay on top of clients’ minds. Again, for different markets, there is different content that works best. In our experience, the client’s testimonials work like charm.
Not to mention, you could also record videos on different topics that might interest potential clients. Some of those topics are:
- Professional “About Me” video highlighting your expertise and areas of focus
- Tips for first time home buyers
- Questions to ask before hiring a listing agent
- Home inspections basics
- Tips to increase the price of your home
- The benefits of using a real estate agent to sell your home
- Top 5 renovations that increase the value of your home
- Latest home design trends
- Local Market updates
- “Just Sold” video
Facebook Ads Suggested Budget
Facebook is very flexible on how much you are willing to spend per day. From my experience, the best budget to go with is $20-$30 per day. If you are trying to get buyer leads, expect the cost per lead to be around $2-$10, depending on your target market and creatives you are running.
Value and benefits of Facebook Ads
- Facebook offers one of the most cost-effective lead generation channels currently available. The average cost per lead varies $2-$10 depending on how competitive the market is
- Allows to consistently grow the pipeline with new client opportunities with little effort
- Replaces traditional methods of prospecting such as door-knocking or cold calling. Instead of making 100 calls a day, make 10 while sitting at home and having a pipeline to populate almost on autopilot
- Capture people that are “pre-market”. With the Facebook behaviour algorithm, you can get those leads who are just started researching home and yet not on Zillow or Realtor.com
Summing up a Facebook Ads lead generation
With Facebook lead generation ads real estate agents can complement if not completely remove their traditional advertisement and save tons of money and time.
It is crucial to start advertising on Facebook with the right expectations. Don’t expect lots of conversions (client) in the first 3 months. Even though these leads are a little warmer because they provided their contact information, there is no loyalty and trust between a realtor and a potential client.
Always focus on good leads and exclude bad leads. Email and text sequences will help you filter your constantly growing funnel.
Even with email automation, real estate agents need to have a proper system in place and are properly trained to follow up with internet-generated leads.