Facebook ads are an excellent way to promote any business and generate leads. Real estate agents, in particular, can benefit in a big way from Facebook advertising because the platform is filled with potential clients who are looking to buy or sell a home.
Facebook ads are an incredible way to help you get in front of these home buyers and sellers at the right time. It's also a great way to help build your personal brand, establish yourself as the 'go to' real estate agent in your area, and generate leads that will turn into future clients.
This free guide will walk you through the steps to set up and run successful Facebook ads that can help you grow your real estate business like never before!
To set up and run Facebook Ads, you'll first need a Facebook Business Page and a Facebook Business Manager account. If you don't already have a Facebook Business Page, start with setting that up first. (You can reference our Real Estate Agent's Ultimate Guide to Facebook Marketing, which includes details on setting up a business page, available in our free Real Estate Agent's Social Media Toolkit.)
The Facebook Ads Manager is the main area you'll want to create and manage your ads. Facebook provides a good, quick tutorial on navigating the Facebook Ads manager to set up your ads, which can be viewed by clicking here.
Here we will cover more of the things you need to keep in mind when setting up your ads in relation to your goals and objectives when running Facebook ads to help make sure you have a good strategy going into running your first Facebook Ads.
When getting started with Facebook ads, it's essential to understand that Facebook's Ad algorithm is designed to show relevant ads to users, both for a good user experience and to help advertisers reach the right audience. This is a win-win-win. Users of Facebook see ads they like, advertisers reach the right audience, and Facebook generates ad revenue.
That said, you need to make sure your targeting settings are set in a way to maximize your ad spend.
Facebook provides Ad transparency through the Facebook Ads Library that allows users (and marketers) to see ads run by any business on Facebook. This can also help you figure understand more about Facebook's algorithm.
This can be particularly useful for you as a real estate agent, giving you the ability to see what ads other real estate agents or brokers are running on Facebook.
This information can be used in the following ways:
When creating your Facebook Ads campaign, you want every ad dollar to count. You need a plan.
To help you in your Facebook Ads planning, there are several questions to ask yourself to help make sure you have consistent results from your campaign:
With answers to the above questions in mind, you'll be able to match your answers to the best ad strategy below for your ad campaign:
Email marketing campaigns have become more sophisticated. When a business captures a new lead, whether from a content download offer, a home listing inquiry, or otherwise, strategic marketers set up pre-written automated email follow-up messages to be sent over a series of days to nurture those leads and book appointments with them.
With this concept in mind, you can create a series of Facebook ads based on your automated email messages to create awareness, engage and convert, nurture potential clients, and convert them into clients.
Using your email sequence, create a sequence of Facebook ads based on your email topics. Here are the type of ads you would likely want to create for your Facebook Ad Funnel:
The point, again, being to share helpful content that attracts your target customers, and at the same time, sets you up as the 'go-to' real estate agent in your area.
Once set up and running, you're setting yourself up for a consistent sales pipeline that will help you achieve your sales and revenue goals as a real estate agent.
Facebook page engagement custom audiences. Facebook now allows businesses to create page engagement custom audiences from those who interact with your page posts or ads. This would be people who have liked, commented on, shared, or clicked on a post or ad. In other words, these are people who are engaging with your content, making them one of the most likely audiences to be responsive to future ads.
Targeting these people can help you optimize your ad spend, allocating a portion of your ad budget to the most engaged audience to re-engage them and convert them into clients.
Website Traffic Customer Audiences. Leveraging the Facebook Pixel on your website, Facebook allows you to create Audiences based on what pages a website visitor views. Knowing the URL of landing pages, thank you pages, blog articles, etc., you can create an ad campaign around whether a visitor took the action you wanted them to while on your website. This enables you to create a highly targeted a relevant ad campaign.
Here are our recommended Audiences to create from your website traffic:
When you set up a Facebook Ads Campaign, one of the first things Facebook requires you to set is your campaign ad budget. You can update and change this value at any time, but it's an important consideration going into running Facebook ads.
Instead of approaching Facebook's ads with the mindset of "I'll start with just $100 a month on my Facebook ad budget, and see how it goes." You need to approach it with an answer to the question, "What is my revenue goal, and what ad budget do I need to achieve $X in revenue?"
Assuming you're being strategic, as outlined in this guide, your ad budget should be based on the amount of revenue you want to generate as a real estate agent.
You don't want to set yourself up to fail, as many new Facebook advertisers do by setting their ad budget too low to get any positive results. Or too high, out of the gate, burning through their ad budget before they've had time to test ad variations optimize ad spend.
Here are some steps to help you answer the ad budget question:
This will help you both determine what ads are converting (which to pause, which to continue running) and how much you need to spend to generate leads that can then be further nurtured into clients and turned into new deals closed. With this data, you'll understand how much you need to spend to get the number of leads you need to close the number of home sales you need to achieve your revenue goal.
Facebook's ad algorithm is designed to provide engaging results to their users for user satisfaction of their platform. When Facebook Ads have a higher engagement rate, (clicks, video views, longer video view time, likes, comments, shares, etc.,) Facebook rewards the ads with a greater audience reach and a lower cost per click on your ads.
Facebook Dynamic Ads is a great way to test multiple ad images, headlines, ad text, and call-to-action. You can create many ads from one that Facebook will dynamically run and automatically optimize and show your target audience the best combination of ad assets based on your campaign objective or goal. This saves you time from creating more separate ads and helps you automate part of the testing process to get to a winning ad.
Before Facebook offered this capability, advertisers had to create lots of separate variations of the same ad, or utilize third-party ad tools, like Ad Espresso, to run these kinds of tests.
When creating a Facebook Dynamic Ad, you can add up to:
Facebook Dynamic Ads automatically randomizes the combinations for you, creating a streamlined process that could be the key to your success.
Facebook Ad Fatigue and How to Avoid it
An often overlooked ad performance metric Facebook provides is ad Frequency (the average number of times the target audience has seen an ad or ads in a campaign.) This metric directly correlates with your ads Engagement Rate Ranking. The more often Facebook users see an ad, the more they start to ignore it, and engagement goes down.
As a result, Facebook starts showing that ad far less often, even to the point where Facebook may stop showing it entirely. Some users even start blocking or flagging your ads, even leaving negative comments on your ads. This obviously impacts your ability to generate results from your ad.
There are three ways that ad fatigue happens:
Facebook provides a tool to view your audience overlap on your saved audiences under Audiences in your Facebook Ads account.
Facebook Messenger Ads are a great way to create engagement with potential home buyers and home sellers. If you happen not to be familiar, Facebook has a Messenger app, accessible both on the desktop within your Facebook account and separately as the Facebook Messenger app on your smartphone. This is essentially like text messaging Facebook users on a one-to-one basis.
Facebook Messenger Ads allow you to show your ads directly within users' messenger inbox. This has the potential to increase engagement with your target audience in a more personalized way. You can also leverage third party Facebook Messenger Chatbots tools, like MobileMonkey. Chatbots can help automate the back and forth dialog to get potential clients to take action you're going for, (download a guide or ebook, join your Facebook Group, etc.) We cover more about utilizing chatbot tools in our Real Estate Agent's Ultimate Guide to Facebook Marketing, available in our free Real Estate Agent's Social Media Toolkit.
When a user engages with your Facebook Messenger Ad, they essentially become subscribers for you to continue messaging. You can create Custom Audiences from these users for remarketing or for creating a look-a-like audience.
You can also export user data from your Messenger app subscribers to create custom and lookalike audiences that you can later use to serve targeted Facebook ads. These users are typically highly engaged and super-familiar with your business and content, making them an ideal audience for marketing your products. When you target warmer audiences, you'll find you convert at a higher rate, and your ads cost less.
Using your Messenger subscribers, you can also create a lookalike audience to reach more Facebook users that are likely to engage with your ads.
Before diving into this section, let's first look at a few interesting Facebook Video stats:
Facebook video is a huge opportunity to build your personal brand as a real estate agent. When combined with a Facebook Ads strategy with a lead generation content offer, you have a winning combo to generate more buyer and seller leads. The Facebook Live video introduces a unique opportunity through Live streaming video that happens in real-time. And, since 1 in 5 videos on Facebook is a live video, this is an excellent opportunity to gain an audience that you can leverage through remarketing to generate leads.
In the following, we'll cover how to combine Facebook Live video.
To help ensure your videos are viewed and to gain the needed audience for retargeting, you'll want to make sure to optimize your copy that promotes your video, as well as your video thumbnail image. These will influence the response and engagement you get on your videos, and ultimately the audience size you accumulate.
Promote your video in the Facebook Newsfeed, but you should also consider in Facebook In-Stream Video. Your ad will show to Facebook users between video views they are streaming, including watching videos from big brand names and news publications. A Facebook In-Stream Video Ad, however, needs to be shorter. It can only be between five and fifteen seconds. So, it's more of a short commercial for branding and to build your audience. One of the great things from a marketers perspective with Facebook In-Stream Video Ads, is that the viewer cannot skip the video.
This ad type is also shown to the ideal end-user. This is because a user must have been watching a video for at least 60 seconds. This means you have a viewer who is more engaged with video, increasing the likelihood that they will watch your short video in its entirety. And since you're able to set your audience targeting parameters for your Facebook Ads, you'll be reaching your ideal target home buyers and home sellers that you would like to generate leads with.
Facebook also makes its Audience Network available for your video placement. This can increase your reach with your ads showing on other sites and mobile apps.
Facebook provides great data tracking on your Facebook Ads performance. This data can be utilized to help you know which ads, which ad text, which ad images, which calls-to-action, which videos, etc., are performing the best and ultimate driving leads for you as a real estate agent.
Facebook has retired their Facebook Analytics tool to consolidate available data in the Facebook Business Manager. To learn more about utilizing Facebook Ads analytics, reference our Real Estate Agent's Ultimate Guide to Facebook Marketing and the section titled Understanding Facebook Insights and Analytics in your free Real Estate Agent’s Social Media Toolkit.
Now you know how to set up and run effective Facebook Ads to promote yourself as a real estate agent and generate buyer and seller leads. We've covered everything from creating custom audiences on Facebook, setting campaign objectives to measure success at every stage of the campaign, as well as how to optimize results by testing different ad variations! If you would like to further your personal branding and generate more real estate leads through Social Media, be sure to download our Real Estate Agent's Social Media Toolkit now and get started today!