The 2019 Facebook Ads Guide

Facebook can be a powerful tool in a real estate agent's toolbox when it comes to capturing new prospective homebuyers. If you've never done it before, it can also seem somewhat intimidating. 

With a little strategic planning, you'll know how to get the most out of developing successful and profitable Facebook ad campaigns that lead to more homes sold. 

Below is our 2019 Facebook Ads guide, which includes more information on: 

  • Getting started and setting up your account

  • Knowing your demographics then targeting them

  • Designing your ads

  • Planning your budget

  • How to analyze and evaluate your campaigns

Getting started and setting up your account

Before you begin, you'll need to set up a Facebook Advertising account. There are three main components to this initial step: 

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  • Create your business's Facebook page. Once you create this, you'll be able to run ads by using Facebook Business Manager. This is a free tool that allows you to manage both your page and your ads.

  • Install the Facebook Pixel on your website. Doing this enables Facebook to see who visited your website then create audiences consisting of these groups so you can target ads to them. Do this prior to setting up your Facebook Ads.

  • Create audiences. These are the groups of people you'll target with your ads. You can create more than one if you want to tailor different ads for different groups. (More on knowing who to target in a bit.)

 
 

Once you go through these steps, you'll be able to create ads through Facebook Ads manager. 

Knowing your demographics then targeting them 

As noted above, installing the Facebook Pixel on your website will allow you to target visitors to your website. That's one demographic you want to chase. You'll also want to target other demographics in different categories that are most likely to buy a house, which Facebook Ads allows you to do. Some of these categories include: 

  • Location

  • Age - someone

  • Income

  • Whether they currently own a home

  • Lookalike audiences - you can do this using Facebook Ads' "custom audiences" feature. You can input your list of buyers and find like-minded individuals.

  • Behavior - Facebook has a "behavioral targeting" feature. One of those options includes drilling down to "residential profiles" and targeting individuals who are "likely to move."

With the categories listed above, you're sure to find the right mix of people who are looking to buy a house, are financially equipped to buy a house, and are located in a place where doing business with you makes sense. 

 
 

Designing your ads

Now that your account is set up and you know who you want to target, you can go about designing your actual ads. Below are just a few approaches you can take with your Facebook advertising: 

  • Images. Using high-resolution images for your ads is a great way to show off one of your beautiful properties.

  • Videos. Video ads are also great for showcasing your properties. Additionally, you can create ads in which you address your audience or your past customers provide testimonials. This is a great way to build trust with prospective new customers.

  • Create a sequence of ad funnels. You may use "sales funnels" for your email marketing. This is the practice of sending a series of sequenced emails that appeals to the prospective buyer at different points throughout the buying process, with different goals for each part - beginning, middle, and end. You can repeat this for Facebook ads as well. This would involve ads built around four parts of the process: a "hook" to draw your lead in, a "nurture" ad for those who responded well to your hook, a "testimonial" from a past buyer you worked with to prove your capability, and an "ask" ad where you offer your services to the prospective buyer.

  • Carousel ads. This format allows consumers of your ads to see multiple images - perfect for showing off multiple properties, or multiple aspects of a single property. It lets you show all your properties in quick succession.

These are just a few ideas - do some research on real estate ads that have worked in your area and tailor your content accordingly. You should have a diversified set of ad content. The most important thing is to test, test, test. If a particular ad strategy isn't working, get rid of it. If another one is successful, try to mimic those tactics as much as possible. The Facebook Dynamic Creative Ad tool makes testing very simple, creating variations on one ad you've created to give you multiple options. 

Planning your budget 

You should plan your budget before you begin the process. Know how much you have to spend and where you want to spend it. You should also have a revenue goal in mind - if you don't, it will be harder to gauge the effectiveness of your ad campaigns. Facebook offers a Budget Optimization Tool to help with this.

Also, make sure you spend the most money during the busiest times of the year. You'll want to ensure you get the biggest return on your investment possible.

This will vary depending on your area and the season - for example, if you're located in New England or Minnesota, the middle of a frigid winter may not be the best time to dump all your ad dollars into your campaign. Waiting for spring or early summer would make more sense. 

Know your market, and know when people in your area buy. 

How to analyze and evaluate your campaigns

Once you've launched your campaign, you need to analyze it so you can evaluate how whether you're hitting your key performance indicators (KPI). That's where Facebook Analytics comes in. Facebook Analytics gives you lots of useful data, such as: 

  • How often your different audiences are interacting with your content.

  • Omni-channel analytics, which tells you how often viewers went back and forth between your ad, your Facebook page, and your website.

  • Easy-to-interpret dashboards where you can see all your data.

  • The option to create event source groups, which allows you to track people who have found via multiple channels and retarget them as needed.

Use this data to measure your performance against your previously defined goals and adjust your campaigns as needed. 

 
 
 

Summary

While Facebook is a great platform for real estate agents looking to promote their services online, mastering it can take a lot of concentrated effort. Below is a quick summary of how to get the most out of Facebook ads: 

  • Start by setting up your real estate firm's Facebook page, setting up a Facebook Ads account, and installing the Facebook Pixel on your site for omnichannel communication.

  • Know the right demographics you want to target.

  • Design ads in multiple, tested formats so you can strategically determine which ones are most effective.

  • Plan (and monitor) your budget.

  • Continually analyze your practices using the data Facebook provides to see where you need to improve.

If you would like to further your knowledge on Facebook ads and up your digital marketing game, don’t miss out on joining The Hashtag Agent Community! Come join The Hashtag Agent, and you’ll be amazed at all the value that comes with your membership. Want to really accelerate your growth? Join The Hashtag Agent Academy: we offer a free 3 day trial, and it comes with all the tools you need to learn how you can accelerate your business.