How to Create an Effective Real Estate Agent Facebook Ad

March 13, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

How to Create an Effective Real Estate Agent Facebook Ad

"Facebook is far better direct mail than direct mail itself.
Everything you want direct mail to do is done 10x better in a Facebook environment."
-Gary Vaynerchuk
, Inman Select 2016 Keynote

 

 

Facebook ads are easy, inexpensive, and efficient.  Facebook has some powerful tools that help you define your audience and distribute your content in a way that other ad generating service (like Google Adwords) doesn't have.

78% of adults in America had a social media profile in 2016 (up 5% from 2015).  Additionally, 78% of adults making $75,000 or more in annual salary were on Facebook (hello, pre-qualified buyers!).  Facebook is definitely the way to go.

Note: this is a pretty technical article talking about the what, how, and why of Facebook ads.  Not much light reading to be found here, but tons of great information if you are looking to step up your lead generation.

I've used Facebook ads and Google Adwords and have found a much higher percentage of quality traffic coming to my site through Facebook.  The problem with Google Adwords is that you can't set specific criteria for your target audience.  There are very basic conditions surrounding your ads which make for a very broad (and ineffective) audience.  With Google Adwords you can choose your geographic location and your keywords for when you want your ad to appear.  And that's about it.  You can narrow it down a little further by not including a few of Google's suggestions but it's still pretty basic.  For example, when I set up my ad to run on searches for "Salt Lake City Real Estate Photographer," Google also, by default, made the ad appear in completely irrelevant (but maybe, kind of similar) searches like "photography website" or "learn to shoot real estate."  So now I'm spending money on people who aren't interested in finding a real estate photographer.

As a side note, all those companies who promise to get you to the first page of Google are just creating ads for your company, and charging you 3x what it would cost you to make an ad yourself.  So don't think they have magic wands.

Facebook ads are broken down into 3 parts:

  1. Campaign
  2. Ad Set
  3. Ad

Campaign

The Campaign is what determines your purpose for having the ad.  Facebook has these options available and then tailors the ad distribution to meet your purpose:

Ad Set

The ad set is the meat and potatoes of the ad.  Here you will determine things like your geographic region, your audience age, interests, ad budget, and so forth.

 

Ad

This is what will actually be the image and the copy of your ad.  This is where the fun begins and you can get all your creative juices flowing.  Here you can choose your ad type (single image, a video, a slideshow, etc), your linked URL, your ad copy, and more.

 

 

Alright, now let's get into the detail of creating an ad and what I would recommend.  


Before you get started, you'll need to create a Facebook business page for your business.
This is a simple process and you can see the steps here.


First off, you'll need to decide your campaign objective.  For a real estate agent, I suggest local awareness, traffic, video views, or lead generation.  This will help people know who you are what you do.  Obviously only choose video views if you are uploading a video as your ad.

Next, you'll need to define your audience in the ad set.  You will have to determine your geographic region and other demographics and it is a good idea to tailor your ad to match that.  For example, if you place an ad for people living in Farmington, your ad copy should include the word "Farmington" or "Davis County."  You want to get pretty specific with this and really narrow down your target audience.  Don't just make a blanket ad for all of Utah because that won't yield great results.

Spend some time to figure out who you really want to work with as customers and resist the obvious knee-jerk reaction to say "I want to work with anyone who wants to buy or sell a home!!!"  That kind of thinking is only profitable for low margin, high volume business like McDonalds.  You are not McDonalds (meaning you don't provide a bland, one size fits all experience to your clients; you have something better).  You'll want to really nail down the city or town and the specific age range and interests of your ideal client.  You can use the NAR survey to help you get an idea of the general demographics of home buyers and sellers.

The most powerful of the demographic tools is the "demographics, interests, or behaviors" section.  In here you can choose very specific criteria.  The one I suggest including (which is built in) is called "Likely to move."  Go ahead and explore other suggestions or browse all options to help narrow down your target clients.  Also, look into adding people based on their job description for boosting referrals (think mortgage brokers...).

You can save your audience criteria so you don't have to go through this whole process all over again.  It would be a good idea to save multiple audiences that match different criteria so you can leverage them for future ads.

You will also need to decide what your budget is for the ad.  I really recommend spending $5/day for 7 days on your first ad then looking at the results.  This is a marathon, not a sprint, and you'll need to play the long game here.  This also helps you not waste a ton of money on your first offering.  Remember, any advertising you do is not going to be a silver bullet for your business and you'll have to run several samples before you find a good groove to work in.  Also, most people need to be "impressed" multiple times before they take action.  Not like "Wow, this is an impressive ad" but rather "impressions" is the term for when someone is shown an ad.

And finally, that brings us to creating the ad itself.  For the ad format, I would recommend a single image, slideshow, or video.  A single image is powerful when trying to send people to your landing page to learn more about how awesome you are.  A slideshow and video are attractive because we are attracted to motion.  Thanks to Facebook, they are played automatically (without sound) and then people can click on them if they are interested.  People also respond to faces more than anything else.  So I always recommend that your ad primarily include your face.  Your ideal clients don't care about your brokerage, they don't care how many home sales you had last year.  They care about making a warm and friendly connection with you.  If you can't do that, they will pass you by for the agent who can.

Next is the image.  This is hands down the most important part of the ad so don't cheap out on it.  For your photo(s), show your human side.  Toss up a headshot that has some feeling behind it.  The photo(s) need to be high quality, crisp, clean, and evocative, taken specifically for the purpose of marketing YOU.  Don't crop out your head from your last family vacation or snap a picture with your cell phone.  It should be no surprise that McDonald's spends over 2 hours and $20,000 to photograph a $2 hamburger.  Think about that before you make a Facebook ad with a head shot that is 5 years old.  Let me know if you need some updated photos and I'll be happy to help.

Video is a great way to get attention as well.  I recommend between 30 seconds and 2 1/2 minutes for the best effect.  Longer videos tend to lose interest quickly while shorter videos might not have enough video real estate (ha!) to hook someone.  You can use a promotional video or hire a visual artist (like me) to put together an attention grabbing slideshow like this one:

 

 

Full motion slideshows like this come in all shapes and sizes and work at grabbing and keeping attention.  Whatever you choose, make sure it is about your and telling your story.  That's what people want to hear, even if they don't realize it.

And finally, that brings us to the ad copy.  This is the text you will include with your ad.  Make it short and sweet.  Long text is boring and people usually don't read it unless they are already invested in your ideas (like how you made it this far in this article).  Here are some key tips when writing your ad copy:

  • Communicate a sense of scarcity, authority, or mystery.
    • Scarcity: A one-size-fits-all agent won't work for you.  Let's see if I am a good fit to find your next home in Salt Lake.
    • Authority: My unique insight from buying and selling investment property will help you avoid the common pitfalls many other agents don't see.
    • Mystery: Learn why Mary Agent is the next up-and-coming real estate agent in the Cottonwood Heights area.
  • Avoid click-bait type headlines "This real estate agent uses 1 simple trick to sell homes in 2 months or less!"
  • Talk about the benefit your client receives instead of what you have to offer.  This is often as simple as changing a few words around.
    • Example: "Come see a real estate experience you'll love" vs "Come see why I deliver a great real estate experience."

Add a call to action button to help people know what they are supposed to do next.  Learn more, contact us, call now, send message, etc.

Lastly, you have the option to send your clients to an external website.  Make sure the site you send them to isn't a generic "I'm here for ALL your real estate needs!" website that so many other agents employ.  You'll lose all that traction you made with your carefully crafted ad.  You'll want to be sending them to your digital business card or carefully curated landing page to keep the story going and build that connection.  Think about creating a landing page specifically for your Facebook ads that has a lead contact form so you can gather names and phone numbers.

When you throw all that together you have the makings for a simple, warm, and engaging Facebook ad.

 

 

 

 

 


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