Facebook Ads for Real Estate- A Full Guide
With how effective Facebook ads can be, it’s more important than ever to understand just how they work and how you can leverage Facebook’s data to grow your business. However, getting started with Facebook ads can be confusing, and understanding how to work within your specific niche can make all the difference. So in this article, we’ll go over everything to do with Facebook ads for real estate- so let’s get started!
Why Use Facebook Ads for Real Estate
Using Facebook ads for real estate marketing campaigns might seem a bit strange at first. After all, buying a home is not something someone usually does on impulse, and most Facebook ads are targeting impulse buys. However, there are a couple key characteristics of Facebook Advertising that make it conducive to real estate marketing.
One reason Facebook can be effective for real estate marketing is their ability to target lead generation as an objective. This means that Facebook will show your ad to those most likely to fill out a lead generation form, which can then be leveraged into finding clients. Because you can specifically target for lead generation, you’ll boost whatever form of leads you’re already receiving. You can even send your customers to your own site to fill out the lead form, and gather even more information there!
It’s no secret that Facebook ads have a plethora of targeting options available, but what can be a little less obvious is just how important that targeting can be for real estate. There are plenty of different types of people to target depending on your chosen market, and the ability to single out these audiences makes Facebook just great for finding really specific, targeted marketing strategies.
Real estate is a primarily visual market, and Facebook is a primarily visual platform, which means they complement each other extremely well. Because of the ability to include photos, videos, and carousels, you’re able to put out a lot of visual content directed to your target audience. The increased exposure helps increase your personal brand awareness.
When you have so many options available to you in terms of images and videos to use, it can be hard to decide which one will perform the best. Luckily, Facebook has a built-in A/B testing mode, where you can create identical ads and change one thing at a time, like the chosen picture. This makes it much easier to determine which pictures of your properties people are responding the best to. You can both use this data yourself to find insights, and use Facebook’s built-in data gathering for better targeting through the platform itself.
How to target Facebook Ads for Real Estate
Effective targeting is possibly the most important aspect of advertising for any business, but it’s especially important when it comes to real estate, because of the specific needs of your audience. In this section, we’ll go over a full guide for targeting Facebook ads for real estate. If you’re looking for a quick answer, here are the most important targeting aspects for real estate Facebook advertising:
- Zip Code
- Age Range
- Income Level
- Home Ownership
- People Likely to Move
We’ll go over each of these targeting options for Facebook ads specific to real estate in more detail now.
Target by Zip Code
The ability to target by location is one of Facebook’s greatest advertising attributes, and if you think about it, advertising real estate would be next to impossible without this option. Luckily, Facebook allows you to target location extremely specifically, right down to the zip codes of your preferred audience. By setting your zip codes correctly, you’ll be able to make sure you’re advertising only to people in your market.
One important thing to note with zip code targeting is to make your range wide enough to reach a large enough audience. If you set your location too small, Facebook will have a hard time finding people to display your ads to. Additionally, when they do find someone to show your ads to, that ad auction will be more expensive on average. Each of these factors make it important to choose a large enough location radius for your real estate Facebook ads.
Another important tip for real estate Facebook ads location targeting is to also target areas where your customers often move from. For example, if you target an area with a lot of homes for sale, you might be advertising to a sellers market. If you know where your customers are moving from, you can target that area as well and gain an audience from both areas- the buyer’s and the seller’s market.
Target by Age Range
Depending on your target audience, people buying or selling homes are often within a very specific age rage. Luckily, Facebook allows us to target by very specific age ranges, which can help with reaching exactly this target market.
Although this is a simple step, it’s important not to overlook. You’ll want to be sure you’re not advertising to seniors in nursing homes or 18 year old’s in their parents basement. By simply setting your correct age range, you make sure your Facebook budget is spent more effectively.
Target by Income
Income level might be one of the most important determining factors when it comes to your target market. The amount of income someone has directly relates to their preferred home, and most people want to buy homes at the top of their income range. Facebook’s ability to target by income level allows us to take advantage of these specific needs.
Take a look at your target market, then figure out what their income is likely to be. If you’re not sure, you can always choose different income levels and see which ads are the most effective on Facebook.
Target by Home Ownership
This simple yes or no variable can make all the difference when it comes to targeting Facebook real estate ads. If you’re targeting first time home buyers, you’ll want to exclude this category, but if you’re looking for people looking to upsize, you’ll want to include this category. Facebook’s knowledge of who already owns a home can make your targeting much more effective, for almost no extra work.
Depending on your target market, you can choose from different options on Facebook, including renters, first-time homebuyers, and homeowners. By choosing the right variety of people to target, you’ll make your Facebook ads more effective for your chosen budget.
Target by Those Likely to Move
Although we don’t know exactly how Facebook determines this variable, it’s one of the most helpful options for real estate advertising, and it seems like this targeting option was created specifically for us! For finding both buyers and sellers, this option can be an invaluable resource in narrowing down your target audience and making your lead generation efforts more effective.
Five Facebook Targeting Options for Real Estate Advertising
These five targeting options are by far the most important for real estate, though they’re certainly not the only ones! If you have more specific data about your target audience, you can incorporate that into your facebook targeting as well! If you’re not sure if Facebook allows for the targeting you want, simply search some keyword in the detailed targeting box, and you’ll find out!
Facebook Targeting for Real Estate- A Quick Start Guide
So, we’ve gone over a few of the most important targeting options for real estate, but how can we actually apply that when it’s time to create an ad? In this section, we’ll go over a quick guide on how to start with targeting for real estate on Facebook. Keep in mind that Facebook targeting is a huge topic, and I can’t possibly cover it all here, but I will show you a method I use to start targeting with Facebook. So let’s get started, step-by-step:
Identify your key audience- This includes the basic aspects of your target market- age range, location, and gender. This first audience is called your Key Audience.
Segment your Key Audience- In this step, we split our key audience into a few different audiences based on single characteristics. For example, if you’re targeting both men and women, which you usually will be, you’ll want to create a separate audience for each gender. If you have an age range larger than 10 years, segment your audience into age groupings of less than 5 years. With location, you can be as specific as you like, and segment your audience based on zip code or even neighborhood.
Run ads with your audiences- For at least one day, run identical ads on each of your audiences.
Identify Refined Key Audience- take a look at your ad sets, and see which audiences are performing the best. From here, create a new audience based on what segmented audiences are working the best. This is called your Refined Key Audience.
Once you’ve identified your Refined Key Audience, you’ll be ready to start running Facebook ads with effective targeting. By combining your refined key audience with targeting by income, home ownership status, and likelihood to move, you can start creating extremely effective Facebook ads, with very specific targeting!
How to create effective Facebook Ads for Real Estate
Although targeting is extremely important, it won’t mean anything if you can’t create an effective ad. While you can apply basic marketing guidelines, there are some important things to take into account for Facebook real estate advertising specifically, which we’ll go over in this section.
Choosing the Right Format for Facebook Real Estate Ads
Facebook has a few different formats available for ads- static image, carousel, and video ads, and you can even choose exactly what placements you want your ads to appear on, if you’d like. In this section, we’ll go over each Facebook ad format, their pros and cons, and some tips for each. Remember, you don’t have to choose just one, you can test out a bunch of different formats as well!
Facebook Image Ads for Real Estate
By far the simplest ad format, images are the oldest form of display advertising on the internet. You simply display a static picture with some text above or below it, depending on the specific ad format. Lets go over the pros and cons of image ads for real estate now:
The Pros of Real Estate Static Image Ads:
Simple Format- Single Image Ads are the simplest and easiest to set up and get started with. You simply choose the picture, write your ad copy, and you’re good to go.
Highlight Important Aspects- Since you’re only showing your audience one picture instead of multiple or a video, you make sure they’ll see only whether you want them to see. If you want to highlight a certain aspect of your property, you can create an ad that prominently showcases that aspect. For example, if the kitchen or backyard is really great, you can show only that picture as the face of your property.
The Cons of Real Estate Static Image Ads:
Limited Interaction- There’s no way for your audience to interact with your ad itself aside from clicking on your call to action. This makes for an “all or nothing” situation wherein someone only has two choices- click on your ad or don’t.
Lack of Flexibility- Aside from creating entirely new ads, there’s no way to showcase different aspects of your properties- you’ll have to choose just the one you think will be the most effective. If you pick wrong, you may waste some of your budget on an ineffective ad.
Facebook Static Image Ads- Quick Start Guide
Because of the limitations of static image ads, if you are going to use them we suggest creating many different but similar ads with different images. This way, you can test for yourself which pictures are reasoning the most with your audience. Here, we’ll go over how to get started with this method step-by-step:
1. Choose a selection of different pictures you think are the most eye-catching and best for your ad. They shouldn’t be too in-depth, but should be intriguing. Choose at least 15- they can be similar pictures, as in different angles of the same shot, but they should be differentiable.
2. Create 15 (or however many images you’ve got) separate image ads in Facebook. They can all be under the same campaign and ad set. The easiest way to do this is through Facebook’s duplicate feature. Be sure you’re duplicating the ad itself, not the ad set or campaign.
3. Choose a low daily budget for each ad and run these ads for as long as it takes to get significant results. A higher budget will yield results more quickly, but this process can be done with as little as 5$ per day per ad.
4. Check your ads manager, and see which ads you’ve been running have the lowest cost per click. Usually, these will also have the most total clicks. These are the images people are clicking on the most.
5. Rank each ad by its cost-per-click- the lower the better. We now have our list of top performing images!
6. Turn off all ads except for the top 8, and increase their budget to get results faster. Run these top 8 images for at least another day, or however long it takes you to get significant results. The reason we do this is that usually the ranking will shift around among the top 8, but the rest of the images lower than rank 8 are generally not worth running at all. Of course, you can always include more images, or increase your cutoff number- maybe you include the top 16 images. This is just the method I’ve used for success.
7. After you’ve found your best performing images, you’ll be well on your way to creating some really effective, and simple, single image ads for Facebook. If you combine this method with the targeting method mentioned above, you’ll be sure to see quick results from your Facebook real estate ads.
Facebook Carousel Ads for Real Estate
Carousel ads are multiple images displayed next to each other that the user can scroll through. They allow you to draw your audience in with a really catching first image, then expound and showcase more about it in the following images. This way, you’re showing the small details to those you want to see it. You’re being both broad and specific at the same time. We’ll go over the pros and cons of Facebook carousel ads for real estate now:
The Pros of Carousel Ads for Real Estate:
Interactivity- Of all the ad formats Facebook has available, the carousel provides for the most interactivity. By allowing users to scroll through your images, you provide a sense of engagement, and make it more likely your brand name will stick in their head, even if they don’t click on the ad today.
Options- While the method of showing a really eye- catching first picture with more details in the following ones is a great one, you can also include only eye- catching pictures! Facebook also has an option to automatically show the picture that’s performing the best. However, the real magic comes when you put these methods together: run a carousel ad first, and see which picture people are reacting to the most. Then , use that image as the front one for your more in-depth carousel. This ensures you’re leveraging all the data Facebook has to choose the best possible image.
More Info- Carousel Ads provide by far the most space for unique text, allowing for much more expression than with a single image ad. However, by sure you’re not distracting from your pictures- they should always be the main focus. As a general rule, text in ads should be one of three things: Removing potential objections, explaining anticipated questions, or a call to action. If the text isn’t doing any of these things in the most concise manner possible, it’s probably time to look at tweaking your ad copy(text).
The Cons of Carousel Ads for Real Estate
Required Interaction- While interaction is a plus it should be noted that for users to see all of your ad, they’ll have to interact with it. This means that a large part of your impressions will be seeing only a portion of your ad. Although there are strategies to mitigate this factor- like allowing Facebook to show the best performing image first- it’s still something to keep in mind when designing a carousel ad. Because of this, you’ll want to front-load your content as much as possible. Just remember to keep it clean, as always.
Other than this fairly substantial downside to carousel ads, they can be a great way to start advertising on facebook, especially with real estate, both because of the highly visual nature of the market, and the desire for people to see multiple angles of everything.
Facebook Carousel Ads for Real Estate- Quick Start Guide
Because of how useful carousel ads can be for Facebook advertising, we thought we’d put together a quick guide on how to get started with the format. This won’t be a fully in-depth guide, but it will get you some effective carousel ads up and running:
- Choose a selection of different pictures you think are the most eye-catching and best for your ad. They shouldn’t be too in-depth, but should be intriguing. Choose at least 15- they can be similar pictures, as in different angles of the same shot, but they should be differentiable.
- Create 15 (or however many images you’ve got) separate image ads in Facebook. They can all be under the same campaign and ad set. The easiest way to do this is through Facebook’s duplicate feature. Be sure you’re duplicating the ad itself, not the ad set or campaign.
- Choose a low daily budget for each ad and run these ads for as long as it takes to get significant results. A higher budget will yield results more quickly, but this process can be done with as little as 5$ per day per ad.
- Check your ads manager, and see which ads you’ve been running have the lowest cost per click. Usually, these will also have the most total clicks. These are the images people are clicking on the most.
- Rank each ad by its cost-per-click- the lower the better. We now have our list of top performing images!
- Turn off all ads except for the top 8, and increase their budget to get results faster. Run these top 8 images for at least another day, or however long it takes you to get significant results. The reason we do this is that usually the ranking will shift around among the top 8, but the rest of the images lower than rank 8 are generally not worth running at all. Of course, you can always include more images, or increase your cutoff number- maybe you include the top 16 images. This is just the method I’ve used for success.
- Rank each ad by it’s new cost-per-click. Here’s where things get just a little complex, but stay with me.
- Facebook Carousel ads allow for 4 images, and we’re going to use all 4 slots in two separate carousel ads:
The first carousel ad will look like this:
The Second carousel ad will look like this:
This method allows us to include all of the top performing images- after all, they’re probably pretty good, and it also allows us to showcase our two best performing images first- at the same time! It would be a shame to hide the beauty of Rank #2 behind Rank #1, so we’ve given it it’s own ad, with the lower ranking images to back it up.
Really, you can think of it as a team versus a b team- sometimes the b team might surprise you, and outperform the a team. That’s why we have carousel ad #2- it gives the B team a chance.
This is a simple step-by-step system that will get you some effective carousel ads up and running, and in the process learn which images your audience is responding to the most. Hopefully it helps jumpstart your Facebook carousel ads!
Facebook Video Ads for Real Estate
Because of the highly visual nature of real estate, Facebook video ads are especially conducive to the real estate market. There are a few different placements, and video ads have by far the best engagement metrics of any ad format on Facebook. Because of this, we recommend running at least one video ad, even if you’re running other ads at the same time. Let’s now go over the pros and cons of Facebook video ads for real estate:
The Pros of Facebook Video Ads for Real Estate
Complete View- Using video just gives your audience a more complete look at any individual property than any one image or series of images ever could. It’s the best way to get your information across in the least amount of time.
High Engagement- Video Ads have by far the best engagement metrics out of all ad formats available on Facebook, and drives more results faster.
Additional Metrics- When you run a video ad, Facebook keeps track of several different metrics, including video views, time watched, and post likes. With this, you can create more effective Facebook Audiences based on custom or lookalike audiences.
The Cons of Facebook Video Ads for Real Estate
Long Set-Up- While a simple video walkthrough of a property will do, the most effective Facebook video ads have substantial time and effort put into them. For example, you might splice together different rooms into a single video. Or even different properties into the same video.
Hard to Test- Because each video ad requires substantial time to set up, it’s harder to test multiple versions of your ad, which means most of your experimentation will come from audience testing.
Facebook video ads, by the number, are the most effective way to advertise on Facebook. However, it does require a substantial time investment to produce an effective video ad for real estate, so it’s important to make sure you’re doing a good job, and creating effective ads. Overall, we recommend running at least one video ad for your marketing on Facebook, even if it’s the only one. They’re that effective.
Facebook Ads For Real Estate
Overall, Facebook ads are an extremely effective method for real estate marketing, but you’ll have to get a lot of little things right. Facebook ads are a big topic, but we feel we’ve covered everything it will take to get started. If you’d like to learn more, sign up for our newsletter below!