Real Estate Facebook Ads & Marketing
I first started a Facebook account in 2005 as a college freshman. I was told it was like MySpace but exclusively for Ivy League college kids. Even though I wasn’t in the Ivy League, it felt exclusive! I was special!
Well, a lot has happened since then, and Facebook is no longer the up and coming cool thing. You’re as likely to get a lead from the Boomer generation as you are a Gen Z-er.
But it’s still an incredibly powerful advertising platform, second only to Google, absorbing almost 20% of all digital advertising spending. Even if Facebook is not going to be your primary lead generation method, creating and maintaining a running Facebook page is important to communicate to potential clients that, yes, you are still in business.
Pros and Cons of Real Estate Facebook Ads
Here’s what to weigh before deciding on blogging as your lead generation strategy of choice.
- Plenty of Education and Resources. Marketing your real estate business on Facebook is a favorite strategy for many agents, and there is a large industry serving and educating agents on this niche.
- Facebook Groups. Not only are Facebook groups a great place to connect with best practices of other industry professionals like in Lab Coat Agents, but forming your own groups can be a free way to leverage Facebook. Content posted to groups generally gets a lot more exposure, too, if engaging.
- Cutthroat Competition. I first boosted a Facebook post in 2015 for $20 and got tons of hits and attention. Even just two year later, my boosted posts weren’t getting half the same traction.
- Poor Organic Reach. Facebook is mostly a pay-to-play ecosystem. Unlike YouTube where your videos can be found organically and is more reliably pushed to your subscribers, Facebook organic reach is dismal. Having 10,000 page likes is worth very little. Your page has little of value.
- So-so ad targeting. Facebook once had the best-in-class ad targeting features. You could significantly narrow down exactly the type of people you wanted to see your ads. After Facebook’s supposed role in the 2016 election and fair housing concerns, however, Facebook’s targeting has been stripped of its most useful qualities. The result is that your audience will have a lower consumer intent than other channels like Zillow leads or Google search ads.
Getting Started with Facebook
Creating a Page
No, you don’t use your personal profile for your business page.
You will need to create a business page.
A quick to-do list for your new page:
- complete your page details
- create high-quality cover photos or video!
- invite friends and colleagues
- join local buy and sell and real estate Facebook groups
- set up your website to publish automatically publish articles to Facebook, if relevant
Advertising on Facebook
Get started on the Facebook Ads Manager!
If you have a website landing page, you want to select Get More Website Visitors. If you want to use Facebook to get the lead directly on the Facebook platform (no website needed!), you can select Get More Leads.
I would not generally recommend the other ad types.
For Get More Leads, you can modify the form that users will fill out within Facebook. When finished, you will go to build the ad in the Ad Creative.
Here you can create an image or video ad, including either as a single image/video or carousel ads.
Need some ideas for a good real estate ad? I put together a list of Facebook ad examples, including how to stalk the competition in the Facebook Ads Library.
You can then set your target audience, including by geography. Instead of targeting zip codes, you set a radius in your local area.
You can create detailed targeting for your ads, though there are far fewer features than there were just a few years ago. At a minimum, I would recommend targeting the prime buying and selling ages of 30-55 years old.
Finally, set an ad spend, duration for your ad campaign, and submit payment method!
That was easy!
The hard work is in crafting ads that engage your intended audience and convert into phone numbers and emails for you to contact.
One way to use Facebook ads for real estate agents is retargeting. You can set your ads up to retarget your website visitors with messages that encourage them to take action. Or you can even target your own past client and sphere of influence database. These are the people who refer you! Sometimes hopping into their timelines is a gentle nudge and reminder of what you’ve been up to in real estate.
Retargeting is a great way to focus your spending a little more on people who have already shown an interest in you and are a little warmer. It works great in tandem with other paid strategies that send visitors to your website.
Free Leads from Facebook Groups and Marketplace
Yeah, but you don’t want to spend money! You want to get customers for free!
As mentioned, that gets trickier and trickier on Facebook as they suppress organic reach. But there are some nifty tricks and niches you can make work to your advantage on Facebook and get leads for free.
In particular, leveraging the right Facebook Groups and Marketplaces can be a good way to earn eyeballs and trust without spending money.
Consider joining local neighborhood groups, college alumni real estate groups, local investor groups, and more. Give value and you will get value!
Facebook Tips for Realtors
- 3-2-1 Rule. There are variations of this rule: the 5-3-2 rule, or the 4-1-1 rule. But to keep it simple, the 3-2-1 rule is about how often you post the three types of content. 3 posts are curated content (e.g. sharing local news articles and other people’s stuff). 2 posts are your own original, non-salesy content (Canva infographics, blog posts, your own videos of your hometown). And 1 post is promotional, promoting your real estate agent business to home buyers and sellers.
- Be Authentic. Avoid cookie-cutter and generic posts. Facebook is social media. Be sociable and conversational. Be true to you and your day. If you haven’t published an article and the only time you have is waiting in the drive-thru at Taco Bell, take a picture of your local Taco Bell and post about it.
- Stay Professional. Talk about real estate. Talk about your local area. Talk about yourself. But don’t wander too far. Don’t talk politics. Don’t badmouth anyone. Don’t post grody pictures of your bicycling knee injury. You can be yourself and authentic, engaging on a personal level, while still being professional and germane to your craft.
Examples of Successful Realtors on Facebook
Lanier’s Property Group
Sue “Pinky” Benson
Willow Glen Charm
If you are looking for yet more agents who are successful at Facebook, I would consider stalking agents who use Ylopo or Curaytor, two platforms that are focused on Facebook marketing strategies.
Resources and Training
Remember, here at Hooquest, I believe in spending as little money as possible. I don’t recommend purchasing coaching, training, or advertising until your business is already working.
There is also soooo much good knowledge available for free online. You don’t need to pay to get started taking social media seriously.
Below are some channels that teach Facebook marketing for real estate agents.
These are a few sites you may want to follow for great Facebook marketing tips. Most of these offer products and services, but have informative blog content to keep your social senses sharp.
If you are interested in content marketing and blogging, I recommend checking out the podcasts at:
The following are some podcast episodes featuring Realtors talking about their blogging tips and tricks in our industry.
- Real Estate Marketing Dude. Attracting Clients on Facebook Ads with Content – with Tristen Sutton
- Massive Agent Podcast. THE FACEBOOK AD GENERATING 1,000 REAL ESTATE LEADS EACH MONTH W/ JUSTIN ROBINS – EP 124
- Super Agents Live. Using Facebook Chatbots and your Sales Funnel – Samir Elkamouny
- Real Estate Sessions. Episode 252 – Scott Shapiro, Client Partner – Industry Relations, Facebook
Coaches / Training
Travis Thom – Elevated REM
Tools and Software
There is obviously an infinite number of tools and software related to building a website, including forms, WordPress plugins, hosting, IDX, page builders, and more. There are also countless website providers.
Below are just a couple of handpicked tools I’ve used or use that can get the most out of your blogging efforts.
FREE+. Buffer is an easy DIY way to schedule posts across all the major social media platforms. A starter account is free. Consider Buffer if you want to be more hands-on and curate content yourself, and just an easy way to synchronize it across several platforms.
$1275+/mo. Curaytor is a newbie on the scene, established in 2013, but one that has already made its mark. The product has a youthful vibe that focuses on marketing. They do not have an integrated CRM and instead have partnered with Follow Up Boss. The are an excellent option for agents and teams focused on social media, video, and email marketing.
$295+/mo. Ylopo is an innovative platform with a focus on social media leads. They have a unique program for serving dynamic ads based on your listings and audience. They have aesthetic websites that are unique among real estate sites in that they are built on Squarespace. They’re a strong contender if you are wanting to transparently leverage social media spending for your business.
There are quite a few social media tools for sharing and supporting your social media marketing.
“Done For You” Facebook Pages
If you are an enterprise looking for a managed social media presence, there are social media management companies that can take this all off your plate.
Back at You
$75+/mo. An affordable place to start, Back At You Media will automate your social media posts and footprints on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. They post not only local content but also listings from your local real estate market MLS that lead to landing pages where you can capture leads. Back At You Media is a great option for agents who want to keep their social media account looking alive and open for business.
$83.25+/mo. CityBlast does a lot more than just social, though social is their bread and butter (specifically Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn). They have additional options that include managing your newsletter, search engine PPC ads, and Facebook ads. Their service starts with a free, custom Facebook cover. Consider CityBlast if you want to someone to not just post to your feeds, but run your paid advertising, too.
Even if it’s not your primary lead generation strategy, keeping an up to date Facebook for Realtors is incredibly important just to let would-be customers know you are still in business. Lots of clients snoop out an agent online and want to see some kind of online presence, whether it is a professional website or an active Facebook page. Was your last post from 2018? Well, maybe you aren’t even doing real estate anymore.
And for other agents, Facebook is the number one destination for their marketing dollars, earning lots of paid leads that they will nurture for the long haul and build a business on.