Why real estate advertising?
If you’re not already advertising your real estate business on Facebook, then you’re missing out on a valuable opportunity to grow your business. At Avenue, we find that a lot of our clients shy away from running real estate ads on Facebook, either because they don’t know where to start or don’t have time to manage it. If that sounds like you, then hopefully this post will convince you that now is the time to start making that investment in your real estate business.
Before we dive in, let’s look at some important statistics that you should know.
- 1.56 billion people login to Facebook daily, representing an 8% increase from 2018 (updated: March 2019).
- Mobile advertising revenue is reported to represent approximately 93% of advertising revenue for Q1 2019. If you’re not already set up with a mobile-responsive website, now is the time to fix that.
- Engagement on Facebook is 18% higher on Thursdays and Fridays, so if you want to advertise, but you don’t have a huge budget, these are the days to focus on.
So, how can you leverage Facebook Ads for your real estate business? Here are a few of the strategies that we’ve used to help our clients get 5x the industry average click-through-rate on Facebook.
- Focus on your aesthetic
If you’re going to put money behind an ad, you need to take the time to find a really captivating image, then marry your copy to the image you’ve selected.
We’ve experimented with hundreds of different real estate Facebook ads, and here are some of the images we find most effective:
- Exposed brick or loft spaces
- Unique or heritage features (wood-burning fireplaces, clawfoot tubs, pizza ovens, etc.)
- Desirable outdoor space (beautiful gardens, rooftop patios, pools, etc.)
Even if you’re not carrying any listings with these features, you can still leverage this idea by running a lead gen campaign aimed at buyers.
Here’s how you do it:
- Create a predefined search on your website that filters all active listings with one of these features (we’ll use lofts in this example).
- Source a few high-quality loft images from an open-source photo resource, like Unsplash (if you’re going to take photos of real listings, just make sure you’re abiding by reciprocity)
- Set up a Traffic campaign and optimize for landing page views to drive visitors back to your predefined search page(s)
- Use a call to action like “See All Lofts for Sale in [Your Area]”
- Target your ad to the postal or zip codes surrounding your search area
Optional: to test multiple ads, try setting up a few predefined searches for the same types of properties in different price ranges, then run Facebook ads with calls to action saying “Browse all lofts under [insert price].” We’ve found that having the price in your headline also increases your CTR (Click Through Rate).
If you’re not sure how to set up an ad campaign, we offer step-by-step instructions in our Facebook Advertising for Real Estate Webinar.
- Schedule your ad types
This is particularly important if your budget is limited, or your offer is time-sensitive. Remember the stat above about Facebook activity? Knowing that Thursdays and Fridays see more active users than any other day of the week, consider building an ad strategy around this.
One technique that we find particularly effective for real estate advertising is to run open house ads from Thursday-Sunday (assuming your open houses are on Saturday/Sunday). This is a great way to get a lot of traffic for a lower cost than you would throughout the rest of the week.
Here’s how you do it:
- Add open house details to your listing (this should pull through to your website)
- Create a traffic campaign and optimize for landing page views
- Set a defined end date of your campaign to ensure that your ads shut off 1-2 hours before your open house
- Select “Accelerated Delivery” so that your ads will be shown immediately
- Pick the best photo(s) from your open and use strong headline that mentions the date of the open house (ex: Sneak peek of this new listing Saturday and Sunday!”
- Target your ad to the postal or zip code immediately surrounding your open house
- Monitor and optimize your relevance score
Like most major ad platforms, Facebook uses a quality metric–called a relevance score–to determine how often to show an ad, and at what cost.
The better your relevance score, the more your real estate ads will be shown and the lower the CPM (cost per thousand impressions) will be. Conversely, a low relevance score will result in lower ad delivery and a higher CPM.
At the outset, one important thing to note is this: To take advantage of the relevance score in your ad strategy, you need to test multiple ads and targeting options.
So, how do you optimize your relevance score? First let’s take a look at what a relevance score is.
Your relevance score is based on 4 factors:
- Audience Definition
- Ad Relevance and Freshness
- Campaign Objective
- Expected Feedback
In plain English, what this basically means is this:
- Are you advertising to the right people?
- Is your ad captivating and relevant to them?
- Are viewers taking the action you want (landing page views, for example)?
- Does Facebook expect that people will continue to behave that way?
All of the ads you run on Facebook will automatically have a relevance score. If you’ve never seen it before, you simply need to adjust your reporting columns. To do that, check out How to View your Ad Relevance Score.
If you already have campaigns on Facebook running, go check your relevance scores right now. One easy optimization you can make right away is simply turning off the ads with the lowest relevance scores.
And now you’re ready to start optimizing. There is no exact science to this, but try to look for common features of the ads that are performing well, and then replicate those features in future ads.
Some variables to test:
- Video vs photo ads
- Gallery vs Carousel ads
- Price vs no price in headline
Once you’ve started to figure out what works for you, you need to keep going! Even the perfect real estate ad will get old eventually, and once your audience stops responding to it, your relevance score will start to drop. Optimization is an ongoing endeavour, but it’s what makes Facebook such a powerful tool. Test. Test. Then keep testing.
If you’re interested in getting a more hands-on lesson in Facebook advertising for real estate, check out our free webinars, or get in touch with us about booking a free in-person workshop in your brokerage.
And if this has convinced you that Facebook advertising is right for you business, but not right for you, that’s where Avenue can help.