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Your Complete Guide to Running Successful Real Estate Facebook Ads

Your Complete Guide to Running Successful Real Estate Facebook Ads

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With dozens of options for targeting your core audience, running real estate Facebook ads is one of the most effective ways for real estate agents to find buyers and sellers, create awareness for their services, and more.

Real estate Facebook ads aren’t just for selling houses – you can run Facebook ads to build your agent brand and bring in new sellers who are looking for the perfect person to list their house.

To help you get started, we’re giving you the complete guide to Facebook ads for real estate agents, including:

  • Why Facebook ads are powerful for real estate agents
  • Different ways to use Facebook ads for real estate
  • How to set up real estate Facebook ads
  • The three best tips for creating badass real estate ads

Your complete guide to running successful real estate Facebook ads

Why Facebook ads are so powerful for real estate agents

If you’re not completely on board with using Facebook to boost your brand as an agent or need a little more motivation to use Facebook to sell houses, we’re going to give you the why you need.

With over one billion people actively using Facebook, it is an incredibly powerful marketing platform. We might go as far as to say that Facebook ads are essential for any type of business and that’s because you can run a low cost, highly targeted ads.

But let’s talk about some unique ways that Facebook ads are great for real estate agents…

Houses and property are pretty

People love looking at people’s houses and seeing what they would change and what they would leave, and just browsing houses can delight many a person. Selling houses is a visual thing, and Facebook loves to run visually pleasing ads.

Buying is an emotional investment as well as a financial one

Buyers and sellers want an emotional investment with their agents, and Facebook ads can let you show off your personality and why a potential client will want to work with you.

Who wouldn’t choose an awesome agent over one they know nothing about? Using Facebook ads to keep yourself top-of-mind is a totally valid strategy

Local targeting is way easier than national targeting

National targeting can be really hard to nail down because it requires reaching out to a larger audience based on more than just area. Also, some interest and demographic targeting can be hit-or-miss when you’re working with huge amounts of people like you do with national campaigns.

With real estate Facebook ads, geography is on your side, allowing you to target a more localized audience. Because you get ads in front of people in your desired area, you wind up with ads that bring in more dollars.

You know the saying – location, location, location!

Ads are incredibly flexible for agents

You can create and run custom Facebook ads for the types of clients you want to work with…

Do you want to work with dog owners? Sure, no prob. Do you only want people who have been on your website? Easy. Do you need to target people that like other Facebook pages, or your own? Do you need to retarget? Have a custom list? Don’t have a list at all? Facebook ads have a place for you – a profitable place.

Different ways to use Facebook ads for real estate

As a real estate agent, there are three main ways you can use Facebook ads to increase your revenue:

  • Finding buyers
  • Finding new sellers
  • Building awareness

Finding buyers is probably the easiest and most affordable types of ads you can run on Facebook. Once you get your targeting down, it just comes to making sure the content is right. You will learn all about that a little further down in this guide.

If you want to find new sellers, these are slightly more difficult because sellers like to use agents they actually know. But, that’s why this next one can be a powerful way to Facebook ads…

… building awareness. Sometimes it’s not about attracting buyers or sellers but rather just making people aware that you’re here to help. A lot of the time, these sorts of ads are cheap and easy to run (at least, in comparison to buyer and seller ads) and help you build an audience you can cultivate.

If you’re confused about how you might use Facebook ads to build awareness, here are a few ideas:

  • Share articles about home design, and talk about the styles you love
  • Use Facebook ads to talk about interest rates and different types of loans
  • Share your old listings to showcase the types of homes and areas you’ve sold in
  • Advertise activities and events in the areas you specialize in

Awareness ads can tell potential clients who you are, what you know, why they can trust you, and that you’re looking out for them. Using Facebook ads to build awareness is investing in your agent brand and/or agency.

Even if these ads aren’t getting you new listings, you can bring potential clients to your website, capture their email address, and add them to your email list.

How to set up real estate Facebook ads

Now you know why Facebook ads will help you increase your revenues and what types of ads you can run, but you’re missing one very important part – how to run your ads!

If you’re entirely new to ads, you might be a little overwhelmed by Facebook’s set up – never fear! Here’s a guide to getting those ads up and running. You might want to read it a couple of times. It’s a lot. Sorrynotsorry, we’re just trying to be the helpful folks we are.

7 steps for setting up and running real estate Facebook ads:

1. Decide how you’re going to target

This is a tough one because there are many different ways you can target, so for our example, we’re going to decide to use lead generation ads. You can see here that lead generation ads fall into the “consideration” category on Facebook’s ad creation.

What are awareness, consideration, and conversion, you ask? Good question. We think that Facebook says it best:

  • Awareness: Objectives that generate interest in your product or service.
  • Consideration: Objectives that get people to start thinking about your business and look for more information about it.
  • Conversions: Objectives that encourage people interested in your business to purchase or use your product or service.

There is some overlap in the consideration and conversion phases, so don’t think that starting with lead generation automatically means you won’t close deals – it’s entirely possible with these sorts of ads.

(Pssst… we talk about this a lot in our course – okay, carry on)

Here are the other common objectives for real estate ads on Facebook, just for kicks and giggles (and testing!):

  • Brand awareness: This objective is used mostly to throw yourself at potential audiences by showing ads over and over again (strategically) to an audience. This should only be used to get a message out to a group, not to get them to sign up for anything.
  • Reach: If you want a message to get to a whole slew of folks, this is gonna be your objective. Unlike brand awareness, Reach doesn’t care if you show the ad to a specific audience repeatedly. It cares about finding as many people as it can to show an ad to at least once.
  • Traffic: Here is where you’re gonna spend a few more dollars. This is an opportunity to get some clicks on your website or to a landing page that has an offer up and running. If you have something very narrow and specific in mind that you want someone to do on your website – read an article, look at the pretty pictures of a house – traffic objectives can help.
  • Engagement: Using this objective will tell Facebook you want to target the type of audience that engages on posts. We want to SUPER EMPHASIZE that engagement does NOT mean sales but rather likes, comments, and shares of a post. We’re still in gentle pushing territory here, and warming up your audience.
  • Video views: This is a great objective if you have a cool video of a house tour or one via a drone (we’ll talk more about this in the next section). A video’s worth like 10,000 words.
  • Conversions: Now we’re talking the big pushes. Conversion objectives are a little more complicated because they often include the Facebook Pixel, and you’ll need to learn more about that before you really tackle this objective. Conversions campaigns are great for warm-ish to warmer audiences.

At this point, you might be wondering…

How does Facebook know who’s going to convert, or click through, or look at the blog I posted?

Listen, we don’t wanna be creepy or anything, but you do know that Facebook watches your every move, right? They have legally (and with your permission) collected a lot of data on you  – and based on what you do around their site, they’ve created even more data on you.

This is why Facebook is so damn amazing for advertisers – they have SO much data and SO many users. This means they can easily cultivate an audience that does what you want them to do because they have robots deciding on facts about you with pretty decent accuracy.

Okay, I guess we didn’t exactly skip out on the creepy there, but you should know this information anyway. Facebook’s free for users, so using it comes with a price. It’s okay. It also means that people get more relevant ads in their feeds, which is super important for them AND you.

Rumplestiltskin from Once Upon a Time is all up on this message

2. Decide on your audience (and how much you want to pay to reach them)

This screenshot shows you how you can set objectives to start targeting your audience, and you can see we’ve chosen to look for Facebook users with the following interests: first-time buyer, land and houses, and Zillow.

It will take a bit of testing, but if all else fails, split your budget into equal shares and test difference interests.

Here are some other interests, behaviors, and demographics you might want to look at:

  • Age
  • Income
  • Gender
  • Marital status
  • Interest in Zillow, Redfin, Realtor.com®, Redfin, Trulia, homes.com
  • Interest in mortgage calculators or providers
  • Interest in house hunting, starter homes, or single-family homes
  • New job, new parents (growing family), or visiting a new area
  • Newly engaged, newlywed (1 year, 6 months, less than a month)

The second part of this step is deciding on how much cash you want to sink into reaching this audience. Part of how much you want to spend will be based on the interests you choose above, and part of it will be based on your budget.

Generally, $5 a day is a good recommended amount to start with, but spending a little more than that won’t necessarily be a bad thing.

3. Select your placement

Facebook ads have a variety of different placements, and it’ll be up to you which you want to experiment with, including Facebook ads, network ads, and Instagram ads (Facebook owns IG, in case you didn’t know).

In our course, we suggest you stick with sidebar ads and main feed ads, but if you have the extra funds, you should test out the placement to see what works best.

You can pick from several places that Facebook places ads on their site:

  • Feeds
  • Stories
  • In-stream
  • Messages (in Messenger)
  • In-article

Network ads say they are for the “audience network,” but Facebook doesn’t specify where these ads go. They do say, however, that you will get more bang for your buck if you leave this targeting clicked. We are skeptical, but some people do see some good results leaving it clicked.

Real estate Facebook ads are best on Facebook and not Instagram, but if you do choose to place them there, it’s super simple. Instagram ads pop up in the Instagram feed, and IG automatically resizes them for you. Done.

But again, Instagram is not a great place for your ad spend.

4. Pick your ad layout

There are lots of options for your ads, and we’re going to cover the two options that are best suited for real estate Facebook ads.

Pictures

There are several different ways to integrate pictures into your ads, but there is one thing you need to know – keep your text to less than 20% of the whole image. Facebook may reject your ad if the copy covers more than 20% of the image area.

To add images to your ads, here are your options:

  • Single images: It’s exactly what it sounds like… a single picture. The big advantage is that they’re simple and because of that, it can be pretty effective for warming up an audience. You’ll see an example of this in the next section.
  • Carousel: This format includes up to six pictures that can be swiped through. If you’re trying to give someone some amazing views of one house or trying to show several available listings in a specific area, this can be a good choice.
  • Collections: On feeds, this looks like one large photo with several smaller photos below. It’s basically a gallery of images. This is also good to showcase a house or show the “story” of a house that’s on the market.

Videos

Videos are perfect for showcasing the interior of a home, but the BEST use of it is to show off a house from the air. Drone footage shows a home from a point of view that people can literally not see any other way. A lot of the time, this kind of imagery will pull in folks that might not otherwise stop on your ad – there’s something striking about seeing a house from far above.

Depending on your objectives, some of these options might change – they aren’t all available for all objectives, and some are only available for some objectives. Don’t stress about it too much, and focus on the quality of what you’re presenting more than the format.

5. Select your creative

This is easy – whip out the best pictures of the house you’re trying to sell, or of yourself being your honestly quirky self. Or… well, both. We edited the following image a little, by the way… but not the placement of that lovely woman.

This is an example of a single image ad, and while Lori’s image isn’t the best, it does show her as a friendly, warm person that sells super cute houses. It’s well-edited, and with a few tweaks might actually be perfect.

This might be a GREAT image for a “warm-up,” or anything that falls into the “awareness” objective. That’s pretty good. And her copy is on point, speaking of which…

6. Figure out your ad copy

There are three effective strategies to use when writing the ad copy for real estate Facebook ads:

  • Call-to-action: This is the strategy that Lori used in the above ad. It says you have a problem, and I can solve it! Get started with that solution today! These types of ads work better with people who are out of the awareness stage – asking people who don’t know you at all to click on your link is a bit… against the grain.
  • Show it off: This is using a pretty house, lots of emojis to draw the eye in, and just going on about the drool-worthy property they’re about to tap on. Here’s an example of this type of copy:
  • Do it like Zillow: This is straight and to the point. You want to look at houses in [enter your target area], we can show you some awesome ones.

All of these ads work, and you – yes, we’re about to say it – can try them all.

7. Watch it and tweak it

Are your ads getting results? Are you looking at your metrics?

Facebook has pretty recently updated all of their metrics and what is tracked and how to read it, and it’s gotten much more simple and less… techy.

You can now easily check on the metrics for:

  • How many people have seen your ads
  • How many people have seen your ads more than once
  • How your ads are doing overall

If an ad isn’t doing well, make a tweak and then test that!

Protip: Make sure you only change ONE thing at a time on an ad. You should also shut the old ad off and launch a duplicate of the ad with the change. Then you can kind of see the progression of your ads and how well they’re doing.

Help, my ad was rejected! Now, what!?

First, don’t panic!

Facebook is very clear on why and how they reject things. And, when they do reject something, it’s almost always fixable – by reviewing one of the six points we walked you through above.

If you disagree with Facebook’s decision and have made sure you’re not violating any of their rules (it’s usually in the copy, we’re not going to lie), then you can ask for a manual review of your ad. This works most of the time and when it doesn’t, Facebook often gives a little more context for why they rejected your ad.

Pro-pro tip: We’ve hinted at it already, but we have a comprehensive course called the Facebook Side Hustle Course that teaches you the ins and outs of running Facebook ads.

You can approach it as a small business owner who wants to learn how to run an effective ad strategy OR as a budding entrepreneur who wants to learn how to run ads for other businesses.

3 of the best tips for creating badass real estate ads

Tip 1: Make sure your ad’s objective is clear

One of the most effective things you can do for your audience is simply to let them know, without saying it in words, exactly what you want them to do. Don’t insult their intelligence, of course, but definitely make it super clear what they need to do to get what you’re offering.

The “click for info” is pretty clear in this Zephyr ad, and it’s not even the main message of this ad. The main message is “look at this new property, look how beautiful it is – you deserve it – that’s why you should click.”

These kinds of messages are super hard to cultivate, which is why you should just steal this one if you have a property you can use it for because Zephyr nailed it.

Fine, fine. Invent your own ad that is sophisticated and lets your audience know that they’re sophisticated, too.

Tip 2: Try different types of ads

Don’t stop at just advertising properties. We talked about how you can use real estate Facebook ads to build your brand and business as an agent, so try ads for:

  • Open houses
  • Lower interest rates
  • New tools you’ve found
  • Helpful advice
  • Old listings
  • New listings
  • Multiple listings

See what works best for your audience – what do they most resonate with?

This tip may sound super simple, but continuing to test is incredibly important to find what works for you and your audience.

Take chances, make mistakes, that whole shindig. This is going to be how you build a valuable audience, and that’s something you definitely want.

Tip 3: Offer some sweet, sweet value

When all else fails… when people don’t click on your ads, or give you a click at all, or a like or a comment… and you just don’t know what’s up.

Or, you’re just trying to build your audience, get their feet wet (and yours too), you can do something very simple that asks for a tiny amount of commitment.

It starts with a question that will offer value. Start by asking yourself this question: WWMCG?

Or… What would my client Google?

Define that and write an article about it and post it to your site. You could also give away something you built, like a free home assessment.

Here’s an example:

There is a clear message here, and there is something that can be interpreted as super valuable to someone who is looking to sell their home (seller leads, anyone?).

Once someone clicks on your ad and follows your action, you have information about them that you can use to target them later in other ads… and you barely had to ask for it. Pretty sweet if you ask us.

A few final thoughts on Facebook ads for real estate agents

Facebook is incredible for real estate agents – for just a few dollars a day, you can put highly targeted ads in front of potential clients. This can lead to new listings now or down the road, selling your current listings, and a way to build relationships that clients will lean on down the line.

It does take some work to figure them out and this guide is a great way to get started. When all else fails, join our course. Besides the course, we have experts in our Facebook group who are willing to help you out.

Either way, we’re pretty confident that you’ll make some magic happen.

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