How to use Facebook to get real estate leads
Facebook can be an incredibly powerful medium for advertising because it's where a lot of people spend their time. In addition, consumers on Facebook are true to themselves and are actively interested in engaging with the content they come across—if it aligns with their interests.
For this reason, real estate agents can use Facebook to connect with buyers and sellers in their local area, by providing advertisements that link to meaningful content.
Preparing for Facebook Ads
1. Get your personal profile in order
You're familiar with the prep work that goes into selling a home, right? Well, there's prep work that goes into selling yourself too. When you share the ads and business content you create, your Facebook profiles get attached to them and that means you need to put your best self out there.
Depending on how you've been using your Facebook up until now, you may need to clean up some of the personal and political content, and ensure everything you're putting out there makes the right impression. That doesn't mean you have to whitewash your entire life but you should probably set that risqué Vegas album to "friends only."
2. Create a business page
The next step is to create a business page. Remember that personal profiles are meant to be exactly that, and it's actually a violation of Facebook's guidelines to be operating a business from them. Therefore, you need to create a Page for your business, which will allow you to promote it throughout the Facebook community and run strategic advertising campaigns.
Once you create a page, there's a few things you should do:
- Add an amazing cover photo
- Add your logo or headshot as the profile picture
- Fill in the "About" section with your public contact information and a quick summary of your business
- Get 25 friends and family members to like your page
- Claim your vanity URL
There are a few additional steps you can take after you've accomplished the list above: add a call-to-action button, create custom tabs, add business milestones, or even make it a goal to respond to all Facebook messages within 15 minutes to earn the "Very responsive" badge. You can learn more about all of these customization features in Facebook's Help Center.
Facebook advertising for real estate
Real estate agents typically use one of three types of ads for their Facebook advertising: standard ads, carousel ads, and boosted posts. Let's take a quick look at each and talk about a few basic tips.
Most Realtors are familiar with standard ads, even if they don't realize it. Standard ads are those typical "Sponsored" posts that you see across Facebook, featuring a single photo or video and a couple of sentences of text. Despite their simplicity, businesses use them for a reason: they can be very effective.
The main perk of standard ads is the high level of detail you can get into when targeting. Facebook allows advertisers to create "core audiences", which allow you to filter out Facebook users by location, age, gender, interests, and online behavior.
In addition, you can use "lookalike audiences" on standard ads, which basically mimic the demographics and social interests of your existing fan or client base. This can be a powerful way to connect with potential clients who are in a similar phase of life to your existing clients.
Quick tips for standard ads:
- Choose a stunning photo or video worthy of being your only impression
- Focus on the most important selling points in your copy & condense your pitch into one or two sentences
- Write in a style that reflects who you are
- Try out "lookalike" audiences to reach people similar to your existing client base
Carousel ads are possibly our favorite ads because they are hyper targetted and also completely gorgeous. With a carousel ad, you're sharing up to 10 images and messages within a single series. Each image can have its own link, allowing for multiple advertising opportunities within a single post.
Carousel ads allow for more creativity than other ad formats and some of the most powerful carousel ads use continuity between the images to improve impact. Check out this example from Facebook.com:
For example, carousel ads are perfect for sharing several featured listings, with each individual ad showing off a different photo, the text introducing the property, and the link going directly to the property details page. Alternatively, carousel ads can be used to tell the story of a single property, introducing several of its best features and rooms using an enchanting format.
When you combine this highly visual means of sharing information with the ability to use the same core and lookalike audiences available for standard ads, you have a dynamite advertising option that can help you reel in hot, relevant leads.
Quick tips for carousel ads:
- Get creative with your photo series to encourage scrolling
- Choose extraordinary, eye-catching images that complement one another
- Tell a story with your pictures and text
- Link directly to the best landing page for each image
- General real estate ads can go to area landing pages
- Property-specific photos should link to the property page
- Use audience insights to refine your target groups
- Include the optional CTA button
Boosted posts allow you to share content you've created with a larger audience than it would naturally reach. It's just like any regular post you would put on your wall, except it's boosted to an audience beyond your family, friends, and fans.
Boosted posts can be a great way to increase your brand recognition and can sometimes draw new fans to your page. However, boosted posts are not our top recommended method of advertising on Facebook because the advanced targeting options available with standard and carousel ads are not available with boosted posts.
That said, if you haven't exhausted your advertising budget with standard and carousel ads, or you're looking to expand general recognition within your local community, boosted posts can be a solid experiment. After all, you won't know what results you're going to get until you try!
Quick tips for boosted posts:
- Share content that is likely to resonate with a wide audience
- Choose a striking visual for the post
- Filter the audience as much as possible
- Watch your budget to ensure it's worth the cost
Launching your Facebook ads
Facebook can be a phenomenal tool for driving more leads to your real estate business. But like any marketing strategy, it's important to watch your ads carefully to identify areas of potential improvement. Monitor your Facebook ads' performance and then make strategic decisions based on the results. You should also test different elements of your ads, including images, text, and CTAs, to see what resonates best with your audience.