Advertising may seem like a scary subject if you haven’t tried before, but using Facebook ads for real estate agents is a fairly easy and quick way to boost up your brand and attract new clients. From simple post boosts to listing advertisements, you’re guaranteed to find something that you’re comfortable with and that fits in your budget.
In this post, I’ll walk you through the various types of Facebook advertising, how to get started, and best practices.
‘Boosting’ Facebook Posts
If you aren’t quite ready to jump into the Ads Manager on Facebook, or are sticking with a lower budget, I suggest you start with Boosting your posts. Boosting a post is very easy and can be done from your profile, without having to mess around with the Ads Manager. Boosting a Facebook post pushes it higher on the News Feed. You can also target boosted posts to specific groups based on age, location, and interests.
To boost a post, all you have to do is click “Boost Post” at the bottom of anything you’ve posted to your Facebook business page. From there, you’ll select your targeting, budget, and duration of the promotion.
Not sure what to boost on your Facebook page? Here are some suggestions:
- Write a blog post about how to save for a down payment and boost it to anyone aged 25-35 (first time buyers) in your area.
- Share the link to a new listing and boost it to the appropriate age group in that neighborhood.
- Hosting an open house? Share a few images of the house and the open house details, then boost it to anyone in that neighborhood.
See more tips on what to post to your Facebook page here.
If you’re ready to spend a little more time and money on Facebook Advertising, it’s time to get comfortable with the Ads Manager. Facebook ads for real estate agents can vary from promoting your brand to sharing home listings.
Quick Intro to Facebook Ads
For a more in-depth introduction to the Ads Manager, I suggest checking out Facebook’s guide. If you’re a rebel and plan on skipping Facebook’s guide to Ads, here are a few things you should know.
It’s important to understand how Facebook ads are organized. Here’s a simple breakdown of the steps you’ll take when creating a Facebook ad.
Here, you set the objective of your advertisement(s), such as brand awareness, post engagement, or website conversions. Facebook will do its best to optimize your ads, the ad set-up, and performance tracking based on the objective you select.
Here you can see the different objective options. Throughout this guide we’ll be using the local awareness, traffic, and engagement objectives.
At this level, you’ll set the audience, placements, budget & schedule. Remember that you can create multiple ad sets within one campaign. For example, you can have one ad set targeting first-time buyers, aged 25-35, and another set targeting empty nesters, aged 45-60.
In this example I’m working with the ‘Local Awareness’ objective, and have selected to target those aged 25-35 in Downtown Cincinnati and the surrounding neighborhoods. On the right you can see the estimated potential and daily reach, which adjusts as you expand or specify your target audience.
Now we move onto the ad set’s placements. I generally recommend you just stick with automatic placements, and Facebook will place the ads where it thinks they’ll do best. However, if you don’t want your ads to show up on Instagram, you’ll want to select ‘edit placements’ and unselect Instagram.
The final step in setting up the Ad Set is selecting your budget. I recommend starting low, as you get the hang of things. The more you spend each day, the more people you can potentially reach that day. You can also select Lifetime Budget if you’d just like to have a $30 budget for this whole ad set. When you select Lifetime Budget, Facebook will do its best to evenly spread out your budget over the selected date range.
This is the actual advertisement. Here you’ll select the imagery, the copy, and where the ad leads to if clicked.
You can create as many advertisements as you’d like within an ad set. I recommend creating about 4 ads per ad set to start with. Try out two different copy variations, paired with two different images.
Within the Ads Manager, you can import and save audiences. If you have a CRM full of leads, export those contacts, and then import them as a CSV file into Facebook. If you provide email addresses and phone numbers, Facebook can run through all its users to see if they match the information you provided, and then you can target advertisements directly to those leads! Cool, right?
Read more on Facebook Audiences here.
Advertising Your Business Page
As a real estate agent, you want everyone in your neighborhood or city to know your name. The larger your network, the more people will think of you first when they’re ready to sell or buy a home. Facebook makes it extremely easy to build up a network and share your personal brand.
Make sure you have a completed and active business page on Facebook. You should have your website URL, phone number, and email address readily available, so that prospective clients can easily contact you. Also be sure you are posting relevant content like blog posts, listings, and open house details.
Check out our tips on creating a great business page and keeping it full of great content.
Now that you have a great business page, it’s time to advertise. Start by clicking the green ‘Create Ad’ button in the top right corner of your Ads Manager dashboard. Let’s get started!
The initial set-up should include:
- Campaign: Local awareness, since we’re targeting prospective clients in your area.
- Ad set – Audience: Cover the neighborhoods you work in, plus a little extra. There may be people outside of your specific area that are looking to move into the neighborhood you work in.
- Ad set – Placement & Budget: These are up to you, depending on who you are targeting and how much you plan on spending on this particular ad set.
Now for the fun part: the advertisement itself! Facebook will likely generate an advertisement based on your Page’s cover photo and description. Sometimes this ad looks great as is, but most of the time it will need some editing.
When choosing what photo to use in an advertisement, select either a professional photo of you or your team, a photo of the city or neighborhood that you focus on, or a photo of some happy home buyers – bonus points if can share a photo of your past clients. One thing to note – Facebook doesn’t like it when you have text on your images, so do not select an image that has your name or company name on it.
In the text, headline, and news feed link description sections, write something friendly and informative about yourself or your real estate team. Promote yourself as the expert on your neighborhood, or “the perfect agent for first-time buyers”.
Looking to attract new home buying leads? Advertise home listings with Facebook ads! Be sure that any listing you share has your information on the web page. You don’t want to advertise a listing that pushes the buyer to another agent.
For this type of ad, the initial set-up should be:
- Campaign: Traffic – you want to optimize this advertisement to drive as many clicks as possible.
- Ad set – Audience: Since we aren’t using the Local Awareness settings, you have more options for audience targeting here. If you did create a Custom Audience beforehand, you can select that here. Or, you can build a new audience with these settings, selecting location, age, gender, languages, and a variety of options in the ‘Detailed Targeting’ section.
- Ad set – Placement & Budget: These are up to you, depending on who you are targeting and how much you plan on spending on this particular ad set. Now that we’re using the Traffic settings, you’ll see more options under Budget & Schedule. I recommend leaving these settings as they are, with an automatic bid amount, and Link Click (CPC) selected as when you get charged.
You guys already know how to make a listing look great online – it’s your job. So when you’re selecting the image and copy for this Facebook ad, make sure the photos are of good quality, and that the ad clearly states where the home is, and the price, if you think it’s appropriate.
If you’re sharing listings from Casamatic, you’re in luck. Everything will be set up for you – a great image straight from the listing, a pre-written headline, and description text.
Facebook has a great option for the ad format called Carousel. This allows you to upload multiple images, letting viewers scroll through the images as they look at the ad. For home listings, this can be a great way to not only show the exterior of the home, but also the kitchen, finished basement, or great backyard. With Carousel ads, you can also make each image go to a different URL. So, you could showcase 3-4 homes in the same neighborhood, and allow viewers to click through and learn more about whichever home they like best.
Before you create an advertisement for an event, you’ll have to plan the event itself. These can range from open houses, to first-time buyer seminars, or happy hours just to get to know your clients.
At Casamatic, we’ve hosted events for first-time buyers to chat with real estate agents and get an intro to the home buying process, and they’ve gone very well. Inviting millennials to a brewery and offering a free drink on the house will guarantee eager attendees (at least it worked in our case). This is a great way to get to know your leads and clients better, or reel in some new leads.
To advertise a Facebook event, your set-up should include:
- Campaign: Engagement, Event Responses
- Ad set – Audience: Select an audience in your area. Age can vary based on what kind of event you are hosting.
- Ad set – Placement & Budget: These are up to you, depending on who you are targeting and how much you plan on spending on this particular ad set. Keep the optimization for ad delivery as ‘Event Responses’.
The creative for this advertisement should auto-generate from the image and description text of the event page. Of course, edit if need be.
The great thing about advertising Facebook events is that people can RSVP directly on the ad, without even having to click through to the event page. So, be sure the text in your ad clearly states the purpose of the event.
Sometimes it can take a week or two for your Facebook ads to begin gaining traction, so don’t worry if you aren’t getting a lot of ad clicks right away. Be patient, and check in on your ads each day to see how they’re performing. I recommend you review and adjust your ads once a week, editing the copy and images to continuously test what performs best.
What other tips and tricks do you guys have for Facebook ads for real estate agents? Share your ideas in the comments below!