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How to Create Real Estate Facebook Ads that Work

February 08 2021

hsnap facebook ads that workFacebook is a powerful platform to advertise on. Not only are you guaranteed an engaged audience--nearly three-quarters of U.S. users scroll their news feed daily--but, if you know what you're doing, you can take complete control over your ads' content, budget, placement and delivery.

But control has its downsides, too. When you run your own ads, you're accountable for their performance. To ensure they do well and that you don't waste money, you really need to learn the ins and outs of Facebook's advertising platform. Then once your ads are live, it's important to monitor them and make adjustments as needed. This, of course, takes time away from your other responsibilities, like working with clients or prepping for things like listing presentations and showings.

So, if you want to create real estate Facebook ads that work, it's important that you avoid the most common mistakes so you can achieve the best results.

Mistake 1: Using a lackluster design

This seems obvious, but too many advertisers (not just in the real estate industry) miss the mark on this requirement. It's common to see a multi-photo post passed off as a real estate listing ad. A few lines of text and 5+ shots of the property do not make for a scroll-stopping ad when there are babies and beach scenes to compete with.

Put time and care into designing a nice ad graphic—just like you would if it were to go into the newspaper or on a billboard. Incorporate your logo, brand colors and headshot. Most importantly, use a striking photo from the listing you're promoting. It doesn't need to be taken by a professional photographer, but it should look like it was.

Mistake 2: Not targeting your sphere

There are many layers to effective advertising, and targeting is arguably the most important. Those who are new to advertising on Facebook typically target a single audience set based on factors such as location and income. Don't stop there. The platform provides tools that allow you to build multiple audiences, and you should take advantage of these.

Create what Facebook calls a custom audience. To do so, you'll upload contact information for people you know, such as your sphere and any leads you've generated. Facebook will match the data to its user base and allow you to target this specific group of people (if they have a Facebook account). There are three advantages to making a custom audience for all your ads:

  1. It will keep you top of mind. The next time someone in your sphere is looking for a real estate agent or has a referral, your ads will remind them that you're an active agent.
  2. You'll build brand awareness for leads and cool prospects. Repetition is key if you want them to remember you over competitors.
  3. It improves the opportunity for organic reach. People who know you are most likely to hit the share button, giving you free placement in their feed.

Unfortunately, many advertisers miss this custom audience opportunity, with only 3.5% of real estate agents targeting their sphere.

Mistake 3: Ignoring the lookalike audience feature

Similar to the custom audience, Facebook's lookalike audience is infrequently used (only by 7.5% of campaigns). To access this feature, you must first create a custom audience as we described above. Facebook will mine that data for common characteristics so it can find a group of similar users who are most likely to be interested in your ad and services.

This type of audience is more refined than blanket-targeting people based on interests and demographics. You can also layer location parameters on top of the audience to ensure your ad stays local.

Mistake 4: Optimizing for the wrong campaign goal

It's important to understand the ad objectives that Facebook offers so you can select the one that's right for your goals. Most agents make the mistake of optimizing for post engagement. When this objective is selected, Facebook shows your ad to users who are most likely to comment, like or share your post. Post engagement isn't what you're really after though—20 likes might look good, but it isn't the same as 20 email addresses and phone numbers.

The objective you should choose is lead generation. Facebook will show your ad to users who are most likely to convert. When someone clicks on your ad, they'll be presented with a lead form that collects their contact information so you can reach out to them. These ads are highly effective because Facebook will auto-populate users' contact information if it's available. This reduces friction for leads, making them more likely to submit their contact details.

Mistake 5: Not staying on top of updates and new releases

Facebook releases new features throughout the year. You'll do your business a disservice if you don't stay up to date on the new settings and tools that are at your disposal. These updates have ranged from new campaign objectives to targeting additions to different content options.

Don't Forget: Set realistic expectations

No matter how finely tuned your targeting is, your ads are bound to reach people who aren't eager buyers and sellers. It's not that Facebook ads don't work; it's that the audience doesn't log in intending to search for a real estate agent or their next home. That's why Facebook leads don't have the reputation of being high-intent. This doesn't mean you should disregard the platform or these leads. They're top-of-funnel and perfect for your nurture campaigns and custom audiences. Then when they're ready to make their next move, you'll be top of mind.

To view the original article, visit the Homesnap blog.