With the spread of COVID-19, real estate agents around the world have had to quickly adapt. Property buying and selling will still happen, but in the interest of safety and protection, agents have had to take different measures to address the virus. In certain cities like New York, agents have had to take a complete step back from any showings or interactions with clients. In other places, agents have had to implement new cleaning and disinfecting measures to stay safe.
For all agents, a lot of the real estate ongoings have moved online. Since agents cannot afford to simply stop work until the virus goes away, they’ve had to increase online marketing and advertising efforts to maintain leads. Facebook ads are one way that agents can maintain a presence and find qualified leads during this time.
According to a study by Mediakix, people spend an average of 35 minutes per day on Facebook. It’s no surprise that real estate professionals are seizing this opportunity to reach their target audience with Facebook ads. Despite the power of Facebook ads for real estate, it’s unrealistic for agents to create an ad and expect immediate results. Unfortunately, the exact opposite can happen.
Agents can spend their ad budget on failed campaigns without seeing any returns. If they aren’t getting results from Facebook ads, it can be challenging to figure out why they aren’t working. Here are common issues agents should look out for when they don’t see any returns.
Visuals and ad targeting are the top two reasons Facebook users may not see returns on ads. Stunning imagery is non-negotiable, especially when marketing a property or neighborhood. As prospects are scrolling through Facebook, ads that feature high-quality visuals are more likely to catch their attention. Those that lack appealing imagery, however, typically fall flat.
With the growth of video marketing, many agents are incorporating video into their Facebook advertising strategy. Video ads are an excellent way to bring properties to life and give prospects a realistic look inside of homes. Agents can use video ads on Facebook to showcase current listings, neighborhoods, open houses, just sold listings, and client testimonials. Videos can also let an agent’s unique personality shine.
A study by Vidyard and Aberdeen Group reports that video users grow company revenue 49 percent faster year-over-year than organizations without video. Additionally, the National Association of Realtors 2018 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers found that 73 percent of sellers are more likely to list their home with an agent who leverages video to market their property. When uploading videos, agents should make sure they follow Facebook’s recommended specs for video ads.
Once agents have eye-catching visuals, it’s crucial to break down targeting. When Facebook ads launched in 2010, real estate agents were able to target their audiences on a granular level. However, in August 2019, the platform launched its Special Ad Categories, restricting targeting options. Agents must now run real estate ads under the housing category and are no longer allowed to target by age, gender, ZIP code, multicultural affinity, or other specific characteristics.
These changes have negatively impacted agents’ abilities to make their targeting efforts more focused.
However, Facebook ads still deliver a high return on investment (ROI), and agents must maximize the limited options available to ensure the right people see their ads. Instead of targeting ads based on demographics, agents can select options under the “Interest” category, which includes starter home, terraced home, vacation rental, Zillow, Trulia, townhouse, and other specific interests people may have.
While ZIP code selection is no longer available, agents can still target the general location of their market. However, when creating their ad, they should be sure to include information related to the specific property location to ensure that their ad generates high-quality leads. Most agents can easily gather this information through a basic internet search which will provide relevant facts and user-generated content like reviews that allow out-of-towners to get the inside scoop on locals’ favorite spots.
Even though images and targeting do a lot of the work when it comes to Facebook ads, copy is still important. The viewer has to see something that compels them to click on the ad. Real estate Facebook ads should have one clear goal. With a compelling call to action (CTA), people should instantly know what to do, and it should be easy for them to do so.
Not only should agents make sure their CTAs are direct and concise, but it’s also a good idea to personalize them. According to HubSpot, personalized calls to action perform 202 percent better than basic CTAs that remain the same for every visitor. Agents should consider their target audience and create a CTA based on individual prospects. For instance, agents can include a CTA that speaks directly to their audience’s values or needs, such as the mention of a particular neighborhood or school. Real estate Facebook ads that have one concise, compelling call to action make it clear what visitors should do and increase the number of clicks.
Purchasing a home is one of the most significant decisions a person can make, both financially and personally. Building trust with potential clients can be challenging yet crucial. To establish trust, agents must be as transparent and authentic as possible. Agents should be direct and truthful in their real estate ad copy. For instance, they should be upfront with consumers by including property details such as the price, location, square footage, number of bedrooms, etc. in their Facebook ad. It’s also important to consider the type of copy that will appeal to potential clients. Agents should keep their audience’s pain points in mind when crafting the overall message of the ad.
Some agents may get lucky and quickly hit a home run with their real estate Facebook ads, but this isn’t the case most times. They can, however, improve their ads by testing them. For example, agents can run two different ads to see which one resonates the most with their target audience. Or, if they notice their ads aren’t performing well, they can swap out one element, such as the copy or imagery, to see which one is more effective. Agents who test their real estate ads can be more confident that they will likely yield the results they want.
While real estate Facebook ads can be highly effective, this doesn’t mean they will always work immediately. If agents don’t see any results, they should take the time to review their ad copy, calls to action, visuals, and targeting options. By looking at these elements, agents can get a better idea of why their ads aren’t working and what they can do to reverse the tide. For many agents, face-to-face prospecting and selling is no longer an option at this point in time. Understanding how to create successful Facebook ads has been important since the rise of social media, but it is especially important now, as people are using online media to communicate more than ever before.