Thousands of real estate agents rely on Homesnap, a home shopping app and the public face of the real estate industry’s Broker Public Portal national MLS website, to advertise their listings online. The real estate tech platform and mobile app that shares information about homes with consumers and helps agents find leads is adding a new feature — and taking stock of its past work.
Homesnap, which generates ad templates for agents and figures out where to place them, is debuting ads across Google along with its existing ad capabilities for Facebook, Instagram and the navigation tool Waze. The lead ads used by Homesnap capture a potential client’s contact information and other information like future move dates when they click on an ad.
The Google rollout is accompanied by a new ad platform that differentiates between Facebook and Instagram ads instead of lumping them together. Waze ads are out of beta as a full-fledged advertising option. The ad platform is available on the web, iOS and Android.
“There’s a lot of wasted ad spend: bad advertisements, bad billboards, local sporting team sponsorships, park benches. Very expensive advertising,” Homesnap Chief Product Officer Lou Mintzer told Inman in an interview. “What we’re doing is in line with our mission as a company to support agents and build tools for them to be successful and productive. This lets them advertise themselves and their listings directly on four platforms.”
Homesnap started with Facebook ads. The quartet of online advertising options will now target Facebook users, millennial homebuyers on Instagram, drive-by traffic past a listing through Waze and people searching listings on Google. Agents can preview their ad campaigns and set their budget.
The Google advertising features includes three components: ads on Google Search, ads through Gmail and ads on websites that use Google advertising.
“We’re not just hitting people in one place. We’re hitting them across the whole Google ecosystem,” Mintzer said. “The level of intent is higher on search. A lead from Google — it’s the best lead, basically.”
It took this long — six years since Homesnap’s launch — to add Google to Homesnap’s ad tools because of how complicated the online search giant is, Mintzer said.
“There are a million ways to do it wrong and very few ways to do it right,” Mintzer said.
As Homesnap rolls out its new tools, the company is touting new insights on its past offerings. A case study by Facebook and Instagram conducted in August found that Homesnap users earned a six-time return on their ad spend and found a seven-time decrease in cost per lead across both platforms.
In its own study, Homesnap said that agents using the platform sold homes 10 days faster and for 1.1 percent more money.
Homesnap is trying to decouple real estate advertising from national platforms and offer agents social, online and mobile advertising instead.
“They’re all good platforms. We’re not trying to push people on Facebook or Google or Waze,” Mintzer said. “We want to give agents the opportunity to diversify their marketing across these four platforms and encourage them to double down on the ones that meet their objectives.”
In February, Homesnap announced it had raised $14 million in series B funding, and the Broker Public Portal’s partnership with the well-known home shopping app helped it reach 150 percent growth — a jump from a user base of 45 MLSs to more than 120 MLSs comprising 800,000 agents and brokers — a year after solidifying a 50-50 ownership deal with the platform.