- Facebook ads can and should be used for real estate marketing because they are cheaper than Adwords.
- Facebook ads are visual, which appeals to potential homebuyers and allows you to bring potential customers you have already earned back to your website through retargeting.
- I am convinced that the largest opportunity for real estate agents is simple Facebook retargeting.
Many agents understand the world of Adwords, or at least know that they can use Adwords to bid on keywords that might help them generate leads. If you’ve ever used Adwords, you also know that those clicks can be costly, and then you have to convert that click into a lead. You can easily spend hundreds of dollars on a lead.
What if I told you that you could get clicks, and therefore leads, a lot cheaper than Adwords by using Facebook ads?
Facebook ads are amazing at the extreme top of your marketing funnel for brand awareness and to get people to your website initially.
If you’re more sophisticated, you can then retarget these website visitors via different ads and bring them further down your marketing funnel to a lead conversion.
Using ads for acquisition
In the marketing world, we talk about the first visit to your site by a potential customer as being at the top of the funnel. Facebook is a powerful platform for generating top-of-funnel traffic for real estate for the following reasons:
- Real estate is visual, and Facebook rewards visual content. Facebook also owns Instagram, which is purely visual.
- Facebook allows hyper-targeting based on many factors pertinent to real estate.
- Clicks are cheaper than Adwords because you are not bidding against others, thus entering an auction for the click and positioning.
Let’s play out a scenario:
You sell high-end homes in Denver, Colorado. You’re not interested in selling $200,000 homes to first-time buyers. Instead, you are targeting the rich tech people moving from Silicon Valley who are tired of seeing $1.4 million price tags on two-bedroom, top-floor condos in the city but who think that a $900,000 four-bedroom house in Denver is a steal.
Using Facebook ads, you can target people who live in the San Francisco Bay Area, and who make more than $150,000 per year. At this point, you are casting the net wide. You show them an ad like this:
The goal here is to get their attention and solidify your brand in their mind as the place to go when they finally are ready to move to Denver.
Getting them to your site is only the first step, yet this is where most marketers or business owners stop. Now let’s talk about retargeting.
Facebook retargeting for real estate
I am convinced that the largest opportunity for real estate agents is simple Facebook retargeting. With retargeting, you can put users who visited specific pages into ad groups on Facebook, then show them specific ads based on that behavior.
In a nutshell, you drop a cookie (otherwise known as a pixel) on their browser, which lets you identify and target them with specific ads. This strategy gets fascinating and powerful when you layer on different pixels based on what they keep viewing on your site and move them between different ad sets based on if they are close to contacting or buying.
I am less interested in the tactical implementation of retargeting than the ever-intriguing strategies behind them. If you need help with implementation, Facebook’s implementation guide is a great place to start.
Retargeting can take two main directions — direct sales or education to bring the prospect deeper into your conversion funnel. In the world of real estate, where buying a home is one of the largest and most emotional transactions of someone’s life, the decision process is long.
As you begin to set up your Facebook ad campaigns to target new customers and then nurture them with content, talk to your existing customers first about their journey to buying a home.
Learn what questions they are asking, what made them feel comfortable contacting you and more. From this user research, you can then build the right pages on your site that contain the right Facebook pixels to serve your new potential customers the right messaging at the right time.
Go and grow
Facebook advertising is still incredibly inexpensive, and as part of an overall marketing program that also incorporates other acquisition channels, such as SEO and referral campaigns, you can drive more potential customers deeper into your conversion funnel and ultimately grow your business.