At more than 2.7 billion users, Facebook is by far the largest social network in the world. However, it’s so much more than a social network. It’s one of the most data-driven advertising platforms in the world, with endless options for finding and engaging with possible leads.
Real estate professionals—such as real estate investors and realtors—have every reason to make the most of what this platform has to offer. They can use it to develop an online presence, engage with other pros, or move their inventory of properties.
Advertising is an area where Facebook truly excels. Every advertiser on the platform has access to amazing tools for ad creation, targeting, and conversion. Using the right practices, any real estate professional can create real estate ads that work.
- Start with Targeting (a lot of it)
- Invest in Excellent Photos and Editing
- Bring Your Properties to Life with Video
- Choose an Ad Format that Fits Your Message and Assets
If you want to create Facebook real estate ads that work, let’s begin with the Facebook Ads feature that matters the most: Targeting.
Start with Targeting (a lot of it)
Targeting is important with any ad platform, but few platforms give you anywhere near as many options as Facebook does. The targeting options here are so precise that both advertisers and pranksters have used the ad interface to target a single person without using that person’s name.
You can target people by their:
- Location (all the way down to city and community)
- Behavior (For example, their prior purchases or how often they use their device)
- Job Title
- Connections (For example, their participation in a real estate-related Facebook group)
- Interests (For example, their interest in topics like flipping houses)
With all of these options at your disposal, it is essential that you put them to use. This platform is known for it’s targeting, and if you’re not going to take advantage of it, you may as well spend your money elsewhere.
Using targeting correctly is a challenge, but it’s just a matter of reaching the people who are in the best positions to buy your homes. Remember the following tips, and you can easily get better at targeting as you go:
- Exclude incomes that can’t afford the listing that your posting.
- Remember that the average first-time homebuyer is 33 years old. Younger targets are less likely to be able to convert, even if they may be tempted to click the ad.
- Don’t necessarily limit your ads to only the local area. Many home shoppers are interested in relocating.
Once you have an idea of who you’ll be targeting, you’re ready to start planning your ads. Before you do anything else, make sure that you have excellent photos that can help your properties stand out.
Invest in Excellent Photos and Editing
Facebook is a visual platform. Nearly all of the ad formats that it offers (more on each of those in the next section) is a display of images.
That means that your images are the anchors of your ads. The images will be responsible for most of the impact the ads have on the people who see them. Are the images that you’re working with now going to leave the right impression?
If not, that’s a problem that you need to solve before you pour money into an expensive ad campaign. You need to invest in making your photos well-shot, well-edited, and at the right resolution to show up clearly on a computer screen.
If your listings don’t have good photos yet, you should hire a professional photographer on a short-term contract. Give them the time they’ll need to create good images and finish the editing process.
It can take a larger portion of your budget, but you should also consider the extra expense of producing videos that can bring your properties to life.
Bring Your Properties to Life with Video
Video ads are fully-supported by the Facebook ad system. Not only are they allowed, but many Facebook advertisers believe they are the most effective option.
There is some evidence for that position. Research has shown that video ads can get as many as 2x more clicks than other types of ads. Videos aren’t guaranteed to be more effective for all types of industries, but for real estate, their power should be obvious.
People want to experience homes before they buy. An image doesn’t tell them as much as the feeling of taking a virtual tour. Only videos can create that kind of experience. For that reason, they may be more effective for real estate investors than they are for other advertisers.
Make sure that you have your videos produced by a person or team who knows what they’re doing. Once again, an ad campaign is a big expense in its own right. You don’t want to ruin your investment with amateur video.
Fortunately, when you’re advertising real estate, you don’t need to go all out on your videos. You don’t need actors or commentary. What people will expect is a smooth, casual walk-through of the property. If you want to jazz it up a little, you can do so by adding some music.
If you follow the steps this far, you’ll have both good photos and good videos. After that, your biggest priority is choosing the ad format that fits your message.
Choose an Ad Format that Fits Your Message and Assets
Facebook has a variety of different ad formats that you can use to spread your message. The differences between them can be important, depending on what you want to accomplish with your ads.
Below, you’ll see a breakdown of the different types, along with an explanation of how they appear and when they should be used.
Image ad format
What is it?
The image ad format is Facebook’s most basic ad type. It uses a singular image—backed by a couple of dozen characters of copy—to drive people toward a destination website or app. It’s a simple format that’s cheap to develop and easy enough to create that you can easily test different combinations.
When should it be used?
This ad format can be effective in most situations as long as the image that you’ve picked is compelling. You can test out the different images you’ve created until you’ve found one that gets good responses.
You can also easily test different ads with different groups that you’ve targeted.
Video Ad format
What is it?
This ad format features a video that is surrounded on both sides by small amounts of copy. You will be able to add a title, a video description, and another small heading. These ads can be made to play during streams of other videos, on the targeted customer’s feed, or as part of the “stories” feature.
When should it be used?
The video format should be used when you really want engagement and you’re ready to pay for it. This format can be really effective for attracting home buyer leads because it allows you to give a more complete view.
Carousel Ad format
What is it?
The carousel ad format allows you to feature up to (10) images in a sidescrolling display. You can use the carousel to show the same home from different angles or to create a panorama view of a certain home feature.
When should it be used?
This format was created so that you could fit a ton of great images in the space of a single image ad. Therefore, you can use it to effectively replace an image ad in any situation where you want to share many different images.
You should experiment with different types of ad formats to learn which one earns you the response you want. Image and carousel ads are both good fits for your best photographs. Video ads may perform better than others, as long as you’re willing to produce the video that makes them possible.
Start Making Facebook Real Estate Ads that Work
Now, you know how to start building Facebook ads that work and help you achieve your goals. Just remember that it starts with a significant amount of targeting that will allow you to deliver your message to the audience that needs to hear it most.
After that, you’ll need to invest in the highest-tier images because this is a platform that thrives on visual media. Make sure that the images and videos you’ve created for your content are matched to ad formats that allow them to stand out.