How to generate real estate leads with Facebook and Instagram ads in 2020
Referrals and networking are essential when it comes to generating leads for real estate. But given the technological landscape today with virtually everyone online, social media is the new way to go for realtors in landing potential clients.
Facebook and Instagram, in particular, are the best tools for generating leads. Yes, Facebook, where your relatives are constantly posting conspiracy theories and Instagram, where all your friends are posting their daily meals. Despite all the privacy concerns and decrease in popularity for Facebook, it still has 2.41 billion monthly active users according to 2019 Hootsuite data.
Instagram — notably owned by Facebook — is also extremely popular with 1 billion monthly users while it’s also the fastest growing social media platform in Canada, having witnessed a 27% growth since 2017. What makes them both effective is not only the fact that they are extremely visual platforms, but also their ad targeting algorithms. Facebook and Instagram collect loads of user data and are able to determine how their users will act or what they’ll be interested in. And so, compared to the old days where you would have to knock on people’s doors to find out if they’re interested in property or post flyers, you can narrow your search online at the local level to find leads solely interested in buying property. Now let’s get started! Here are the steps you should follow when running a Facebook or Instagram ad campaign in 2020.
1. Create a business manager account
The first thing you need to do is create a business manager account, this will allow you to create multiple campaigns for different businesses you own and keep everything well organized. Here is an article that explains why we believe Facebook Business Manager is the most effective way to run ads in 2020. We’ve linked a video below explaining how you can set up business manager on Facebook and get started on running ads today.
2. Set a budget
You will first need to determine how much you’re willing to spend on a monthly basis to get your real estate leads. Luckily for us, Facebook ads can be pretty inexpensive compared to traditional advertisements (e.g. newspapers or billboards) whereby you could get results even with just $10 a day. However, the greater your budget, the more leads you will naturally generate. We recommend a minimum monthly budget of $500.
3. Create a Pixel (Optional step for anyone with a landing page or website)
The Facebook Pixel is code that you place on your website. It collects data that helps you track conversions from Facebook ads, optimize ads, build targeted audiences for future ads and remarket to people who have already taken some kind of action on your website. Below are three video resources that teach you how to install the pixel on your website if you have one. One is for owners of Shopify websites, the other is for owners of WordPress websites and the final one is for owners of Wix websites. If your website was coded from scratch by a developer, you may have to reach out to them to install the Facebook Pixel code. If you get stuck in this process leave us a comment below we are happy to help you free of charge.
4. Create an ad campaign with the lead generation objective
Once you’ve decided on your budget, it’s time to create an ad campaign on Facebook Ads Manager (Note: You can create Instagram ads using this as well). Facebook has a number of marketing objectives to choose from ranging from engagement, conversions and traffic. But since we’re looking to land real estate leads and potential clients, let’s go with lead generation.
There are many benefits to lead ads. For one, there’s no need to spend money or time on a high-converting landing page as you can generate a lead within Facebook. There’s also the ease in which customers can submit their information since Facebook will pre-fill most of their contact details. You’d be surprised at how many people scoff at the idea of manually typing their info.
5. Target your audience
This is the most important part. You could have the best campaign ever but if you’re not reaching the right audience, you’re only wasting your budget. So let’s say you have some properties for sale in your home city. You could set the location to your city or even use a zip code to narrow things down further. However, in most cases you’ll be better off targeting the entire city and everything within a 20-25 mile radius of it. Also, make sure to change the location setting to “people living in this location” to avoid targetting travelers and non-permanent residents as they are less likely to be in the real estate market.
If you live in an area with a small population things can get a bit more challenging. We suggest targeting multiple major cities in each direction (north,east,south,west) within 25-30 km of the city that your property is located in.
Now to the detailed targeting. You’ve got your demographic, but now you need to narrow it down further to people looking to buy houses. You can do this by adding interests such as “Buying a house” or “Buying and selling real estate.” You can go one step further and add websites like Zillow or Trulia as people who are interested in buying homes would likely use those websites. With Facebook’s algorithm, your ad will now target exactly who you’re looking for. In the US you can even target people based on household income which is a huge advantage over what we are able to do in Canada.
You should also see an estimate of how many people you will reach as well as the number of leads you can generate per day.
6. Edit your placements
Typically, ads are set to automatic placements which is recommended by Facebook as it shows your ad to more people across various platforms. However, it’s best to edit the placements so you get the most bang out of your buck and get the ad where people will see it most — their news feeds. You can do this by selecting feed when it comes to the platforms on Facebook and Instagram. Of course, if you feel Facebook or Instagram stories are worth a shot, you can also give that a go and see if it leads to more conversions, but limit it to just those two platforms.
7. Choose your ad format
There are a number of different ad formats that you can use with each of them having their own benefits. This is entirely up to you. You could use a carousel ad which allows the user to scroll through images of what will be the home you’re advertising. You could use a slideshow which will automatically loop the images which also saves data for mobile users. Or you could use a video of the home. The average engagement rate for videos is 6.13% which is pretty high if you consider you’re potentially reaching out to hundreds of thousands to a million potential prospects.
8. Use engaging copy with an enticing lead magnet
Now, you need to get people to click on your ad. The images you use will be a big factor, but also the copy and your lead magnet. It’s always important to start off by mentioning the city of the audience to grab their attention. Then you want to mention what you’re offering in as little words as possible but enough to get them interested. Make sure to add a couple of emojis in the post as well as they usually garner more attention from the average user.
As for the lead magnet, you could offer a list of homes (your homes) under $350,000. Another option is the building plan or extra photos. Maybe even a guide for first-time home buyers. The call-to-action for these incentives would be to sign up so that potential leads receive them and get value. You could also simply just state that you have a home for sale and have your call-to-action be a learn more button, but it’s always ideal to offer something.
9. Create your lead form
10. Use a Facebook Messenger bot to deliver the lead magnet
Once they sign up, you have your lead and their contact info. They will be taken to a thank you screen which you can customize. There, you should add a bit of copy telling the user to click the call-to-action button below to get their lead magnet. But to improve your chances of actually turning your lead into a client, rather than providing them with an external link in the call-to-action button, instead, put out a link for a Facebook Messenger bot.
You can make one on ManyChat and this way, your bot will instantly deliver the lead magnet to them in Messenger which will not only result in a higher open rate, but also have your lead respond with potential queries.