The Why, What & How Of Facebook Ads For Real Estate Agents
64% of people in the UK are on Facebook.
Facebook is the most popular social media network in the UK which means there is a high chance that your target customers can be found on it.
Facebook ads are a form of paid advertising that you can use to target anyone with a Facebook (or Instagram) account. These types of ads are particularly powerful for generating real estate leads because:
- You can target specific people based on a very specific criteria you set
- They are generally much cheaper than traditional forms of advertising
Traditional Marketing v Facebook Ads
||Can be very costly. Have to factor in printing costs, distribution costs, expensive advertising costs. Things like leaflets / brochures are expensive and can’t be reused once distributed!
||Variable but typically significantly lower than traditional. Plus once an ad is created, it can be reused.
||Near impossible to target specific people In fact, it is difficult to have any idea who’s actually seeing your leaflets/magazine ads etc.
||Can target very specifically based on anything from age to home ownership status
||Reaching large numbers can be a logistical (and expensive) challenge.
||Can reach large amounts of people in an instant.
||Unless you receive a call or other contact, there’s no real way to measure whether your efforts generated any results or interest.
||Impact of your ad can be measured and tracked even if you don’t get a call (for example: how many people clicked, visited your website)
|Make Changes Quickly & Easily
||It’s difficult / impossible to make changes or improvements if new information comes to light or an error is highlighted.
||Quick and easy to make updates to ads and change things to make them more effective.
Whilst there is still a strong argument for using traditional marketing, there is no question that using Facebook ads is a strong addition to your estate agent marketing if you’re seeking to up the ante on the digital marketing front.
The Basics Of Facebook Ads For Estate Agents
Facebook itself has free training materials to take you through the basics of setting up your ads, what different ad types are, how to set your budget and so on. These training sessions are available on Facebook Blueprint.
In summary, creating an ad goes as follows:
- You need to access your Business Manager account or Facebook Ads Manager
- You then create a Campaign based on your objective (eg: get website traffic, get conversions etc)
- You need to decide WHO should see your ad (the targeting)
- You need to create the Ad Creative (what it will look like)
Within this, you’ll set your budget (ad spend) and let Facebook know what platforms and devices your ads should show up on. As we say, Facebook Blueprint has great tutorials on how to do these parts; but let’s look a little closer at some of the key factors for Estate Agents.
The Power of Targeting – Who Will See My Ads?
Compared to traditional marketing, Facebook ads offer a great opportunity to very specifically target certain people. As Facebook has so much data on us (????????), you can set your ads up to target based on anything from home ownership status to age; income to do whether someone owns a dog!
You can therefore take the profile of your target vendor or the ideal buyer for a particular home and target your Facebook ads accordingly.
Things You Can Target By:
- Relationship Status
Location is really important for Estate Agents as most of your potential customers will be based in and around your local area. You can pick a particular town or city and set a radius around it.
As you can see, in this example we targeted people living in Brighton. Facebook tells us (approximately) how many people it can reach with this ad and even how many clicks they predict we could get per day (though this should be taken with a pinch of salt).
Important Points To Note:
- Consider how much money and effort it would take to leaflet this number of people in your local area. This is where Facebook ads can be a huge winner for estate agents.
- Also, when we get the results from these ads, we’d be able to see how effective they were. For example, how many people clicked. With traditional efforts, like leafleting, we don’t have a clue what happened after it was posted through someone’s door.
|#PROTIP: Be careful to choose the option “People Who Live In This Location”. A lot of people accidentally target “Everyone In This Location” versus actual residents as they don’t update the option.
Interests are also another really powerful targeting feature for estate agents.
As you can see from these examples, you can target people by very specific interests and behaviours. Here we’ve targeted potential home buyers (house hunting) and potential vendors (property investors). This really helps you get your ads in front of those who match your target customer profile.
To read more about how you can target your existing email list with Facebook, have a look at our Complete Property Marketing blog here and click on section 4.
Ad Creative That Converts
If it’s not obvious by now there’s a lot of different things to consider when creating a Facebook ads campaign. For some, it makes more sense to hire an expert to help with this. If that’s the case for you, take note of these things to look out for when hiring a Property Marketing Agency.
As many considerations as there are, there are some key things you can make sure your ad creative includes to maximise results.
|Ad Creative is essentially the text, images, video and other components that the target person will actually see.
Basics of Facebook Ads Creative
Always follow the basics:
- Stand out – use images, video, text, emojis that will stand out in someone’s Facebook feed and interrupt their scrolling!
- Pass the “Blink Test” – include the main benefit / why for your ad in the image so people know it’s person in the “blink of an eye”
- Use the recommended image size (1200 x 628 pixels), so that your ad creatives look good on every screen
The most effective ads on Facebook (or anywhere else) address a PAIN POINT and provide a COMPELLING REASON for someone to click on them.
The Pain Point
A pain point might be “Is Your Home Taking Too Long To Sell?”.
A pain point addresses the problem that the target customer wants to solve. There will be a range of potential issues that your vendors and potential buyers are going through. Address them in your ad so that people connect with your ad instantly and feel like you’re talking to them.
The Compelling Reason
Why should someone click this ad now? A compelling reason gives the target customer a good reason to take action now. This could be something like a discount or limited time offer. Think like your target customer here – what would encourage them to take action today? Try to give them a no brainer reason to click on your ad!
Both the pain point and compelling reason needs to come across somewhere in your ad creative.
Types of Effective Ad Creative For Estate Agents:
- Use a customer testimonial (deals with the commonly stated pain point of trust for estate agents)
- Use Video ads. Video attracts 403% more interest than regular Facebook ads.
- Use Carousel Ads. These enables the potential customer to scroll through several images. This could be good for showing multiple rooms of a property.
- Target potential vendors with FREE valuations and highlight this in your image or video.
Some Next Steps
Right now, set up your Facebook Pixel. This is a little piece of code that goes into the “back end” (an area people don’t actually see) of your website. The Pixel enables Facebook to track visitors to your website – you can “remarket” them later.
You can read more about the Facebook Pixel here.
- As we say, it’s definitely worth using the Facebook Blueprint tutorials if you intend to create your own Facebook ads to get the step by step on how to set them up.
- Try Boosting ads. These are simple ads where you boost your posts to reach more people. If you have Facebook posts that seemed to generate interest among your current audience – it’s worth boosting them to reach more people.
- Run a “Likes” campaign. This is a campaign to get more people to like your page which is really good for the awareness part of the sales funnel. This is also a good idea as once someone has liked your Facebook page, its cheaper (or free) to reach them in the future.
- Remarket people who have visited your website. Set up “retargeting” ads to get in front of people who have already engaged with you. Provided your Pixel is in your website, you can “retarget” people who visited your website, watched or video or took some other kind of action. Remember, it takes an average of 8 times seeing a business before someone actually converts.