As a digital marketing professional, my job is to bring my client's message to potential leads wherever they spend their time. With almost 3 billion daily active users on Facebook, and a large percentage of those users high income earners, it makes sense to have a presence there, especially for Real Estate Agents looking to represent buyers and sellers of homes worth hundreds of thousands - if not millions - of dollars. So today let's talk about how Facebook lead ads are one of the best tools to generate leads for real estate agents and a great way to optimize your real estate marketing.
What is Facebook Advertising?
Facebook advertising is available to businesses who have a business page and ad account in good standing. Using the Ads Manager, you're able to create and run ad campaigns with a variety of objectives that can run on one or all of Facebooks social platforms that include, Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and their partner network for both desktop or mobile users.
With Facebook Ads, you're able to run campaigns to a target audience to: learn more about your business, encourage them to like your business page, purchase a product, provide their contact information. All this and more for as little as $1 a day making it one of the most cost effective methods of online advertising. However, what we're most interested in today are Facebook's lead generation ads.
How do Facebook Lead Ads Work for Real Estate Agents?
Before I go any further, I need to point out the obvious elephant in the room with Facebook ads. As a real estate agent, any advertising you do on the platform has to be designated a "Special Category". Special Categories were created to protect the audience from any potential discriminatory practices.
Because real estate agents have to follow Fair Housing guidelines, you must indicate you're participating in the "Housing" special category or risk your ads being rejected, or worse, having your entire account disabled permanently. But while Special Category advertising does reduce some of your targeting options what you're still able to use is plenty to reach the right people.
Now, with that out of the way, let's talk about how these ad types work. Facebook Lead Ads allow you to promote an offer in exchange for a potential lead's contact details. This is done through a lead form that must be submitted to access whatever the offer is. For a real estate agent, this could be a buyer or sellers guide, access to additional listing photos or listing prices, a free webinar or similar. In order for the potential lead to access this item they would provide at least their email address but there are options to request additional information.
Why are Facebook Lead Ads So Effective for Real Estate Agents?
More than anything, Facebook Lead Ads are an effective and cost saving way to promote "Lead Flow" which is any strategy that keeps a constant flow of leads moving through your marketing funnel to qualify them. You want to have a steady flow of leads coming in and consistently be qualifying them to turn them into clients. The more qualified leads you have, the higher volume of leads you have, the higher chance you have to turn them into paying clients.
One of the most attractive aspects of lead ads is that they reduce friction by displaying a pre-filled form with the potential leads contact information. This reduces the steps they need to take in order to submit info, thereby increasing conversion rate.
Why Makes Facebook Lead Ads a Great Tool For Real Estate Agents?
Facebook's organic reach is (to be blunt) crummy. The reach of your regular day-to-day posts have steadily decreased year-after-year resulting in only your diehard fans seeing and engaging with your content. Of course, there are ways to improve organic reach but that's for another post :) The point is, it's been my experience that organic real estate posts that "Sell" perform very poorly with your current audience - they already know you're a real estate agent and they've followed your business page to stay in touch and hear about what's going on in your day-to-day. That's not to say your business page shouldn't be about business - but the "hard sell" should be reserved for those folks who haven't worked with you yet. Save your organic posts for building relationships with your current followers and use your paid marketing to bring new people into the fold.
Here are a few key advantages to using Facebook lead ads:
With Facebook ads, you have the opportunity to reach a target audience who will be more likely to provide their contact information.
They improve the quality of leads by allowing your target audience to learn more about what the offer entails before submitting.
The ability to add a confirmation page increases the intent of your captured leads. A single pre-filled form of their information is easily submitted in the hopes of accessing the promised offer immediately. Often, the contact information Facebook autofills can be an email address and phone number used when the lead first signed up for an account and could no longer be valid.
Facebook allows integrations that can sort and organize your leads into a CRM or email list immediately. From here, you can set up an email sequence or other ways to move your lead through a sales funnel depending on the CRM platform.
What Are the Best Ways to Use Facebook Lead Ads as a Real Estate Agent?
While it might be considered the holy grail for every person that submits a lead form using these ads to become a client or make an offer on your home listing right away - most of the time that's not going to happen.
So, what should a real estate agent use lead ads for? I consider Facebook lead ads first and foremost a tool to do just that: generate leads. As a real estate agent, you could certainly coast along with referrals from friends, family and past clients. But, what if you could continue to build that list of potential references on a consistent basis? That would increase your chances of converting them to a full-fledged client exponentially, wouldn't it? If you can create a compelling Facebook lead ad, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised at your results.
Recently, a lead ad campaign I ran for a Realtor's new home listing generated just shy of 100 leads for $150. Is that good, you ask? Well, take the sale price of a $350,000 home for example; If you convert just one of those leads to a buyer or seller, the potential return on investment could be anywhere from $10,500 to $21,000 depending on the real estate agents representation agreement. At a little more than $1.50 per lead, that's not too bad is it? Even if you consider the entire $150 investment, it's a 6,900% - 13,900% ROI. That's insane. And your ROI only increases if more than one of those leads should convert.
How to Get Started Running Facebook Lead Ads for Real Estate
If you've made it this far, I hope lead ads are starting to sound appealing. If so, there are a couple things to consider before taking the leap and can help increase your conversion rate:
Set a goal
You can't declare any marketing effort a success unless you have clearly defined goals first. Set a realistic goal from the start of your lead ad campaign in order to measure success. An example would be: Capture 50 new leads at a cost of $1.50-$2 each.
Set a budget
If you've set a specific goal as above, you'll have your budget. 50 leads at $2 each is $100. Don't be tempted to increase your budget at first - stick to it.
Know your customer
If you've taken the time to create a buyer persona, you'll have a clear understanding of who you're trying to reach with your marketing. If haven't created a persona, or simply aren't sure what one is, read my series on buyer personas here:
Create a compelling offer
Potential leads need to be convinced it's in their best interest to hand over their personal contact information. So it's important your ad presents an offer of some kind that's worth the transaction. Additional listing information, buyer or seller webinars, exclusive lists of homes at certain price points, etc.
Write great copy
Your ad copy needs to sell the value of this amazing offer. It should be clear, concise and quickly explain the value of your offer to your potential lead.
Use eye-catching creative
Your images and graphics should also help to convey the value of your offer and speak to your ideal customer or buyer persona.
Hire a professional to deal with it
If this all sounds great but a bit much to deal with on your own, consider hiring a marketing professional with experience running Facebook lead ads. They'll consult with you about your overall goals, create your ads, set them up and run them for you. Most marketers who offer this service will typically perform the service for a set fee plus a percentage of the ad spend (Your budget for the ad). At Pyrpaw Marketing, we can run individual ads with this fee structure or it's included in our monthly management programs.
In the end, you should certainly give serious though to adding Facebook lead ads to your overall social media marketing and advertising strategy whether you choose to try them on your own or hire someone like Pyrpaw Marketing to help you. The potential to create a steady flow of leads with an excellent return on your investment is an opportunity too good to pass up.
If you have any questions about Facebook Lead Ads or any other topics related to digital marketing - Get In Touch!