Compass’ proprietary marketing platform is going social. The national real estate brokerage headquartered in New York City is launching Compass Digital Ads for Facebook, a new tool that will allow more than 7,000 of its agents to create digital ad campaigns for their listings on the social network in just a few clicks.
“Digital marketing is quickly surpassing traditional channels in real estate, yet agents have not been equipped with the tools to thrive in a digital world,” said Khurrum Malik, Compass’ chief marketing officer. “Compass Digital Ads for Facebook is one example of how Compass is putting digital technology in the hands of the agent.”
Malik said Compass plans to extend the capabilities of the advertising platform to Instagram, Facebook Messenger and the Facebook Audience Network.
Agents will be able to launch optimized digital ad campaigns in just two minutes by providing three inputs: budget, duration and listing. Those inputs, combined with Compass’ proprietary data, will activate campaigns to relevant audiences, a Compass spokesperson said. The platform will become smarter as more ads are run and tested, Compass added in a release.
“In the past, when Compass agents advertised on Facebook they either did this themselves on the complex Facebook platform (which was extremely time consuming), paid a 3rd party service to do this for them (which was costly) or worked with our in-house marketing and advertising agency,” the spokesperson added. “With Compass Digital Ads for Facebook, all agents can request Facebook ads through the Compass platform quickly and easily.”
The targeted ads will be compliant with industry standards, including those on Facebook, which recently slashed certain targeted advertising options in the wake of a discrimination complaint filed against the social networking giant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
“It’s not always easy to remember every industry standard and regulation, so Compass currently has full control of audience targeting to take this hassle away from our agents,” the spokesperson told Inman.
The tool comes at a time when digital marketing has become a tentpole of real estate advertising. An estimated 90 percent of homebuyers searched online during their home buying process, according to the National Association of Realtors profile of home buyers and sellers. The same report found that 50 percent of buyers found the home they ultimately purchased through the internet.
In beta testing the new platform with more than 200 agents, Compass has found Facebook drove 10 times more views to agents’ listings than their control group – which was agents advertising with no Facebook spend – and agents found it was 40 percent less expensive, on average, to run ads through Compass versus the industry standard of $19 per thousand impressions.
Through the platform, Compass estimates an agent can promote their listing to more than 10,000 people for just $100.
“As digital marketing becomes more imperative to my business, I needed a simple and fast way to promote listings and grow my digital footprint,” said Compass agent Scott Hustis of the Hustis/Jovanovic team. “Compass Digital Ads for Facebook removes the friction and time associated with creating effective digital campaigns, making it easy to build my business online.”
Last month, Compass joined other brokerages large and small in unveiling an online “Coming Soon” section on its website to showcase pre-market listings, saying agents were already preemptively sharing many pre-market listings on their social media accounts.
The privately-owned Compass also recently announced an additional $400 million in funding, taking its total to $1.2 billion in venture backing so far, and said it planned to use some of the new capital to double down on technology. The brokerage says its ultimate goal is to build a platform for the entire brokerage industry to use, and previously planned to license its in-house tech tools to other brokerages, though its first such deal quickly fell apart.
Compass is not the only company to develop software that will help agents develop and boost Facebook Advertising campaigns. Real estate technology competitors like Imprev, which boasts major clients in NextHome and RE/MAX; and Adwerx, which services some of Realogy’s portfolio of brokerage brands and others; both provide similar tools for their real estate clients. MoxiWorks, which hasn’t been shy about jabbing Compass, also has software that allows its customers to create branded Facebook ads.
Adwerx recently unveiled a change to their platform which will allow its clients to target “likely to move,” consumers on Facebook, which was one of the targeted options removed by Facebook.