If you’re a licensed real estate agent, you probably remember learning about the Fair Housing Act, which was included in the 1968 Civil Rights Act. This legislation made it illegal to discriminate against tenants or buyers based on race, color, religion, gender, or national origin.
But, as any seasoned real estate agent or broker knows, this kind of discrimination continues to occur 52 years later.
That’s why Facebook advertising — one of the most effective ways modern real estate agents are using to market their properties — places all real estate advertisements in a special category. Agents and brokers must go through a specific process when making ads on Facebook, but it’s worth it.
While often overlooked by the real estate industry, Facebook ads can help you sell a house fast. In this guide, you’ll learn why real estate Facebook ads work and the steps you must take in order to connect buyers and sellers, or landlords and tenants, in a targeted, efficient manner.
Ready to find qualified leads, get expert real estate marketing advice, and sell properties faster, all in one place?
Why use Facebook for real estate ads?
Real estate offices have historically relied on newspaper advertising, signage, and networking to make sales. But times have changed. Now, buyers do their own research — not by scanning the newspaper circulars, but by logging on to Facebook.
In 2019, 69% of suburban adults in the United States had Facebook accounts, according to Pew Research. While it’s not the only social media platform for advertising, it is one of the most popular platforms. People log on every day to check in to see the opinions, pictures, videos, and news their friends and family members are sharing.
Smart real estate agents know real estate advertising only works when it’s targeted to the right demographic, and that’s where Facebook Ads shine. You’re able to narrow down your target audience so that only the people who you want to see the ad will see it, saving you time and money.
How to advertise with Facebook
To begin advertising your listed properties on Facebook, you’ll need your own Facebook profile and business page. Your business page, which should follow your state’s regulations regarding brokerage contact information, is what you’ll use to make your ads.
When you log on to the Facebook Business Manager, you’ll be asked to choose your marketing objective. You may want to increase your brand awareness as a way to earn more listings, or you may want to make ads for lead generation to sell a property.
Next, you’ll select the exact demographic you want to reach. For example, you’ll likely want to skip over anyone under 18. If you’re looking to find renters for studio apartments, you may want to look for only single people. You can even pick an exact location by limiting your ad to a specific zip code.
But the targeting doesn’t stop there — Facebook lets you refine your audience even further. Perhaps you’d like to find someone who is recently married, a first-time home buyer, or looking to move.
Once you’ve narrowed your focus, you can upload your ad, create a budget, and pick a time frame for the ad. If you choose the PPC (pay-per-click) option, you’ll only pay when someone actually engages with your ad.
Sound confusing? Constant Contact has a built-in Facebook Ads tool that simplifies the process.
Best practices for creating digital ads
The most common reason real estate agents are willing to spend money on advertising, of course, is to promote their listings. However, you may wish to create a campaign designed to enhance your trust and brand within your community, educate potential sellers on your specialties, or simply build your email list.
If you’re looking to sell a house fast, be sure to incorporate these best practices for digital advertising:
- Use engaging, high-resolution photos of an attractive feature of your listing
- Add engaging copy that makes people want to learn more
- Include a CTA (call to action) so that viewers will know what you want them to do
- Link your ad to a well-designed landing page on your firm’s website
- Create educational videos that help people connect with you on a personal level
Because the real estate industry has been forced to adjust to safety protocols associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, virtual showings have become more valuable than ever. Consider creating ads that highlight an upcoming online open house.
To learn more about best practices for real estate advertising, be sure to check out Constant Contact’s The Download to hear advice from marketing experts within the industry.
Special rules for advertising housing
But what about that Special Ad category? Facebook added an extra step that agents and brokers must take in order for their ads to be approved.
To run your ads without being pulled or flagged, you must first submit your ID to Facebook. In Business Manager, you’ll need to click the Settings button in the top-right corner, specify that your ad falls under a Special Ad Category, and select “Housing.”
Next, you can specify that your ads will only be running in the United States, and then press Get Started. You’ll need to set up the two-factor authentication and keep it set up. If you disable it, your ad may not be approved. Then, you’ll just have to confirm your primary location, enter your mailing address, and upload an ID issued by the United States government.
The process for approval can take up to 48 hours, so plan ahead when listing new properties or beginning digital marketing campaigns. Once you’re approved, you’ll remain so as long as your ads don’t discriminate against or target profiles based on protected status.
Check Your Metrics to See Success
Wondering how well your ads are working? Another great benefit to launching Facebook ads is that you’ll be able to see the behind-the-scenes metrics to determine effectiveness. A popular way that marketing professionals compare the performance of different photos or copy is by implementing what is known as A/B testing.
This is when you create two ads for the same property, launch both, and then watch to see which performs better. You’ll then want to put more resources toward the better ad and refine future marketing based on your findings.
Before, during, and after your campaign is running, you’ll also want to remain active on Facebook. While you don’t have to post every day, consistency is key. Let your business page be an opportunity to share your values and any community activities that set you apart from other agents. This industry is built on trust, and your efforts can pay off — for your clients and for your career.