Facebook is an amazing marketing tool because it has the power to target people based on demographics, as well as interests and behaviors. If you’re not familiar with Facebook ads, it’s a true powerhouse for marketers and small businesses and allows them to reach their ideal customer with ease.
For real estate agents, you don’t need to be hyper focused on interests and behaviors like eCommerce and other online businesses need to be. Since you’re a local business, you do need to reach the people in your community. If you want to connect with home buyers and sellers, Facebook ads can help you do just that. And for a fraction of the cost of many other lead generation strategies (especially companies that just sell you a giant list!)
First thing’s first, if you don’t already have a business page on Facebook for yourself as a real estate agent, you need to get one set up. It’s paramount to looking professional, and also required if you’re going to be running any ads. To set up your page and ad account, just follow the steps below.
You must also have a personal Facebook account in order to create a Facebook Business Manager account and Facebook page – these are Facebook’s rules so please make sure to sign up for a personal account first if you do not already have one.
Then, to create your Business Manager account:
- Go to business.facebook.com.
- Click “Create account.”
- Enter a name for your business, select the primary Page and enter your name and work email address.
Note: If you don’t yet have a Page for your business, create one here then come back to these instructions.
Set Up Your Ads Account:
When you sign up for Facebook, you’re given an ad account by default. Go to Facebook Ads Manager ad accounts page to access your account and run ads.
In order to run ads with Ads Manager you’ll need to have a Facebook Page and you’ll also need to set up a valid payment method with in Ads Manager. You will be prompted to do this when you access your Ads Manager.
As we mentioned in the first section of this lesson, Facebook advertising targeting can get super advanced and that’s what makes it such a powerful tool. For your real estate services, we’re going to take an approach that’s one step up from basic, but not as advanced as what marketers would need to do for online businesses (that’s a much larger customer pool that requires extra steps and targeting to actually get results).
To get results as a real estate agent, we’re going to run two different types of ads.
- Lead Generation
- Awareness (optional)
How are these two campaigns different? To start, lead generation campaigns are just like they sound: they’re a campaign to generate leads for your business that you then try to convert into a client either by calling, emailing, sending them to a landing page or messaging them.
An awareness campaign doesn’t show direct results, but it helps to build your brand, credibility, and increase demand for your services. In this campaign, you are making your potential clients aware of your services and why they should consider buying or selling a home right now. Think of it like a TV commercial. Most TV commercials don’t generate leads or result in an immediate purchase, but they seek to put you top of mind so that when someone needs the services you offer, you’re the one they remember and call.
It’s important to run at least the lead generation ad campaign, but it can be really helpful to also run an Awareness ad campaign at the same time.
How to Set These Ads Up:
Go into your Facebook Ads Manager and click the + button to create a new campaign.
First, choose your objective for your ad campaign. Choose from:
- App Promotion
For lead generation ads, you will choose “Leads” as the objective. You will then create a form later in the ad creation process where you can collect your desired information from leads.
For awareness ads, you will obviously choose the “Awareness” objective.
Once you’ve chosen your objective, you will then need to click the special ad category button and select “Housing” since your ads will pertain to real estate. This is just one of Facebook’s rules, and you must follow it. It won’t effect much, just some of your audience targeting abilities to “protect against discrimination.”
As you move through the options at the Campaign, Ad Set, and Ad level, most auto-selections that Facebook already has in place are fine to leave as they are. The only change you will want to make as you scroll through the options is your budget. Set your daily budget (you will need to do at least $20 per day to get good results, oftentimes lead generation campaigns will require a higher daily budget depending on your location)
Then, once you get to the Ad Set level, you will have the opportunity to create your audience (who you want your ad shown to). For real estate, you will not have the enhanced targeting abilities you would for, say, an eCommerce store. This is because housing is considered a special ad category and therefore vulnerable to “discrimination.” You can still use the most important targeting features though, which is obviously location.
So for your audience, set your location and use a 50 mile radius. Leave the auto-selection of “People Living In or Recently Visited This Location.” You will not be able to make any other adjustments to demographics, but you can add interests and behaviors under Detailed Targeting. You can do this if you like, many real estate agents choose to not add any as Facebook is good at learning who is interested in your type of ad and automatically targeting them.
But if you want to test (and like all marketers, we always recommend testing!) to see if detailed targeting vs not using detailed targeting gets you better results, you can try adding interests like these:
- First-time buyer (real estate)
- Home Improvement
- Property finder (real estate)
- Home repair
- Single-family detached home
- House (real estate)
- Residential area (real estate)
- Starter home (real estate)
- Real estate investing
- Mortgage calculator
- For sale by owner
- Real estate (industry)
These are a few interest/behavior ideas, but feel free to come up with more. Get into the head of your local buyer or seller and think about what content they are consuming, what pages they’re following, and what their interests are. It’s important to test what works best for you because results will depend on your location, other ads that are being run there, user behavior in your location, and the quality of your ad images and copy (text).