In today’s ultra-competitive real estate market, taking your marketing efforts to the next level is no longer a nice to have, but a must-have. You already know the power of social media posts to generate buzz around a hot new listing or to solicit new buyers and sellers, but what about Facebook advertising?
It turns out that Facebook advertising is perfect for real estate agents and brokers. This is because Facebook ads are ideal for industries that heavily rely on visuals and referrals – both of which are key for realtors. Consider what a National Association of Realtors study says about social media:
- 77% of realtors actively use social media for real estate in some way, shape, or form.
- 47% of real estate businesses note that social media results in the highest quality leads versus other sources.
- 99% of millennials (and 90% of baby boomers) begin their home search online (as opposed to in-person referrals).
Are you ready to take your social media marketing to the next level and get more leads, not just likes? Here are seven tips to get started with Facebook ads for your real estate business.
Real Estate Facebook Ads Tip #1: Pictures Speak a Thousand Words
The adage a picture speaks a thousand words is a given when trying to move a house. Especially in today’s COVID-driven market, potential buyers and sellers want to do most of the legwork online, without in-person contact. This means that most real estate transactions start online, which includes social.
As such, it is imperative to put your best foot forward in the form of superior images. Hiring a pro to take pictures for your real estate Facebook ads is highly advisable. Professional real estate photographers are especially adept at capturing the perfect angle of a home or using special lenses to visually represent the true depth of a home.
Once you have professional photos in hand, use them generously in your Facebook ads and posts. A like is great, but a lead is better, so posting and advertising about your listing is an easy way to test the power of leads vs. likes.
If you want to go the extra mile, virtual staging is now a hot new trend. Virtual staging helps potential buyers see a home in ways never before possible. Of course, be sure to disclose that the images are virtually staged. With such a big purchase at hand, building trust with a potential buyer is critical, and one of the ways to do this is through transparency (see more on this later).
Virtual staging can help potential buyers visualize their potential new home.
Real Estate Facebook Ads Tip #2: Videos Up the Game
If pictures speak a thousand words, then what can a video or a virtual tour do? For real estate agents, it can do a lot. Facebook video ads allow you to guide a potential buyer through your listing in the most optimal way, without having to be in person.
For example, if a room has two exit points, one of which leads to an unappealing part of the house, the virtual tour can guide the potential buyer through the house in the most appealing pathway.
If you don’t have a full-blown virtual tour to promote via your real estate Facebook ad, you can always use Facebook’s slideshow feature, live feature, or stories to quickly and cost-effectively utilize video/video-like features without all the typical video production costs.
In the example below, Levinson Real Estate uses a Facebook ad to promote its company video that focuses on soliciting new home sellers.
Real Estate Facebook Ads Tip #3: Think Outside of the Box when Targeting
Imagery, shareability, and trackability all make Facebook ads a realtor’s dream. Of course, depending on your listing, common demographics such as zip code, age ranges, and income are likely the foundation for your ad. While videos and images of your listing are a staple in real estate marketing, promoting a way of life, community, or market trends should not be overlooked.
For example, as a result of the pandemic, remote working options have made suburban neighborhoods hotter than ever. As a result, households have been moving out of crowded cities and into homes with nearby open spaces, parks, or beaches. Highlighting such COVID-friendly features will help your listing stand out in the crowd.
As another example of advanced targeting, the ad below from Keller Williams was used to engage buyers and sellers in geographical locations with large populations of LBGTQ+.
Real Estate Facebook Ads Tip #4: Have a Follow-up Strategy in Place
Did you know that being the first to respond can be all it takes to land your next listing or buyer client? Research shows 50% of consumers will choose to do business with the company or in this case agent that responds to them first.
Potential sellers and buyers know that today’s red-hot market means that timing is everything.
For example, your prompt response lets a potential buyer know that you will quickly apprise them of a new listing or promptly get an offer accepted to avert a bidding war. Having a plan in place to make response time a reality means that you will need a repository to manage your leads and track results. Facebook offers rudimentary reporting and lead management, so if you are looking for more robust reporting and tracking across multiple marketing channels, you will likely need to turn to a marketing partner.
Robust reporting and tracking can help you quickly respond to Facebook Ad leads.
Once you have that hot lead in hand, you will want to keep in contact with your potential client, listing, or buyer through a nurture strategy with content and messaging that underscores your expertise (e.g. reviews, new listings, market trends, closed listings, etc.), which incidentally is also critical to the next tip: building trust.
Pro tip: You can use Facebook lead ads to collect leads directly from your ads. You can then integrate your Facebook lead ads with your lead management system to follow up with and triage leads as they come in.
Real Estate Facebook Ads Tip #5: Build Trust
The bigger the purchase price, the bigger the trust factor required. Since a real estate purchase is likely the largest purchase a person will ever make in their lifetime, it makes sense that building trust should be top of the priority list. Building trust can be done through real estate Facebook ads that promote:
- Both positive and negative reviews
- Educational content
There is a difference between highlighting a home’s best features and being untruthful. The latter will not only end up degrading your credibility, but it could also get you in legal hot water. That is where transparency comes in. Yes, tell the great features of your listing, but during the sales process, don’t neglect the downsides as well. Be clear about square footage and upgrades. Don’t be afraid to use tools such as virtual staging for your virtual tour, but make sure the potential buyer does not expect a staged home when doing the in-person tour.
Another way to build trust is through ads that highlight reviews, testimonials, or positive reports, like the RE/MAX one below.
When it comes to reviews, many realtors strive for the holy grail of 5-stars, but bad reviews are just as important as the good ones. In fact, 85% of consumers look for negative reviews to make informed purchase decisions, and it is fair to assume that someone looking to hire a realtor will do the same. This is because bad reviews give clients a sense of the worst-case scenario. They want to know what can go wrong to understand how their potential agent will react. If you plan on using a positive review in a Facebook ad, be sure to respond to any negative reviews and work to remedy publicly facing client gripes as the bad reviews will be found.
Educational content is yet another way to build trust. No one likes the hard sell, and we all want to feel like we are getting a good deal. Content marketing is a cost-effective and easy way to achieve the trust-building goal. Home buying trends, mortgage rates, or even how to declutter your home are all great content options that build trust.
Real Estate Facebook Ads Tip #6: Test, Repeat, Test Again
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. Without a doubt, this saying rings true for Facebook ads for real estate businesses (or any business). Testing is paramount to Facebook ad success.
Luckily, there are several ways to create A/B tests on Facebook through the Ads Manager Toolbar. This feature uses an existing ad campaign or ad set as a template for your test. With just a few clicks, Facebook A/B tests compare different creative, audience, or placement and determine the best performing ads. If you are using a marketing partner for reporting and lead management, then you will have access to even more sophisticated testing mechanisms, and likely a marketing expert to analyze the results for you.
Real Estate Facebook Ads Tip #7: Consider Turning to a Marketing Pro
Just like your clients rely on your knowledge for their real estate needs, you may want to consider tapping into the expertise of a marketing guru. The upfront investment can translate to overall increased revenue for your business, not to mention a lot less stress. DIY marketing is not for the faint of heart. Successful marketing takes years of practice and expertise. There is a reason that marketing pros typically have college degrees. Ask yourself if you would rather spend your time learning the ins and outs of marketing or focusing on closing deals.
Get Started with Real Estate Facebook Ads
So what’s the next step? Great real estate marketing is both a science and an art, and a healthy dose of trial and error. Start with the tips in this blog and don’t be afraid to experiment to see success with your real estate Facebook ads.