Real Estate Facebook Marketing: The Definitive Guide with Advice on Everything from Content to Ads

Real Estate Facebook Marketing: The Definitive Guide with Advice on Everything from Content to Ads

For many years, real estate agents have marketed their services in two main ways. First, their agency put out a lot of advertisements, such as newspaper listing announcements and even TV spots about how awesome their agency is. The second major marketing source was always word of mouth: people who have a good experience with a Realtor are likely to talk about it. Plus, a Realtor would make sure people knew what they did, and network like crazy. While these methods are still effective, modern realities demand more extensive marketing on platforms like Facebook.

Why participate in real estate Facebook marketing? Because over 71% of all adults use Facebook daily. This means that Facebook is one of the major places to see and be seen. In addition, you’ll also see that people ask for recommendations on Facebook. These requests often are for the different types of professional services, such as doctors, dentists, and Realtors.

Of course, you don’t need to be wholly dependent on Facebook word of mouth. According to a recent study by Mediakix, the average person spends 35 minutes per day on Facebook giving you, the realtor, ample opportunity to get in front of the right people with your killer Facebook ads. And, since Facebook places organic postings from business accounts at a significant disadvantage, most brands need to use ads. If you as a Realtor are using a different page for your business, then you’re likely seeing this problem.

Here’s the thing: Facebook loves Realtors in general. In fact, the real estate industry is so strategic to Facebook that they have their own page with resources and advice for the industry. The contents of this page illustrates why real estate Facebook marketing is strategically important: 

  • 79% of homebuyers use online resources, including mobile, at some point in their search. This is true whether they look for homes themselves or for a qualified Realtor.
  • 33% of millennials spend nearly 14 hours weekly on social media during their housing search. This is an important segment of homebuyers these days, so if you don’t do real estate Facebook marketing you’re missing out.
  • 3 out of 4 US Facebook users visit local business Pages at least once a week. Facebook doesn’t say this, but the statistic refers to all industries, including both retail and service businesses.

Where to Promote Your Real Estate Business on Facebook

With that said, successful real estate Facebook marketing takes many different forms. Some options are paid, while others are free. In addition, these methods require varying amounts of your time. As the operation grows, you might have your assistant help you with it.

Try getting a Facebook Business Page.

One of the first things to try is to post your social media content to a Facebook Business Page. To get one, you need to set up a Facebook Ads account, even if you don’t want to buy any ads. The Business page itself is free. Just keep in mind that content that’s posted for free on your page has less priority on your follower’s feed. This means that, as a practical matter, people will check your page for news rather than seeing it show up naturally. Luckily, there are other ways to make up for this.

Further Reading: How to Improve the Google Ranking of Your Facebook Page

Don’t forget your personal profile.

Consider leveraging your personal profile to occasionally mix in your real estate business with your private life because of the increased organic reach that profiles have. Not only that, but you might be surprised how many people in your circle don’t know that you’re a realtor. By mixing business and personal contacts you have the opportunity to gain unexpected sales leads.

Start a Facebook group

If there’s one thing that tends to be true about most Realtors, it’s that they care about their communities. They also tend to know a lot about what goes on there. One way to do free real estate Facebook marketing is by starting a community Facebook Group. That is if you aren’t too late. This is a place where people can talk about community issues. People can benefit from your area knowledge. Then you can become the “go-to” Realtor in your area. The one drawback is the amount of time it can take.

Further Reading: 10 Ways a Facebook Group Can Increase Lead Generation

Become an active member of other Facebook Groups

If you can’t start a Facebook Group of your own, then consider joining the established local groups. These can be the community group in general, or they could center around niches where you are active otherwise. Once again, be helpful to the group members and, in return, become someone who that demographic knows they can go to when it’s time to buy or sell a home.

Leverage Facebook Ads

facebook ads

Finally, you can always purchase Facebook ads. These take several forms, including sponsored posts. In addition, you can buy display ads for your agency. Many times, you’ll want to use this method to market new listings and the latest purchase contract.  Another thing to consider is paying to boost customer testimonials. This is especially useful if you have a particular niche, such as selling antique homes or sprawling estates. We’ll talk about this kind of real estate Facebook marketing in more depth later.

Further Reading: The Top 15 Facebook Ads Tools You Didn’t Even Know Existed

Real Estate Facebook Marketing Content

Unless you’re another real estate agent, seeing open house after open house and new listing after new listing will not win you many fans. These items are important, but only for people that want to buy or sell a home in the near future. Or for bragging with other Realtors about the latest inventory and perhaps some tough situations you’ve dealt with.

Rather than boring the non-Realtors, be a valuable source of information to people in your community. Realtors have a treasure trove of local knowledge, in addition to what’s required to successfully complete a real estate transaction. For instance, they tend to know how to decide on a housing budget, or how to estimate the maintenance costs on an older home.

While you shouldn’t completely omit listing or open house information completely (these help people know what kind of home you specialize in, for instance), there are many other options for successful real estate Facebook marketing content. These come in two categories: semi-professional and non-professional content.

Semi-professional content 

These are the content types where you showcase your professional knowledge without specifically advertising your listings. Talking about them helps to establish you as a subject matter expert and a leader in your field. Over time, this builds the trust of potential clients.

Market updates (but not too often!)

Market updates

This is where you talk about the kinds of homes that tend to be for sale at a given time. Or, you might talk about price fluctuations or mortgage rates.

Share your achievements!

Did you get a professional award? Make employee of the month at your agency? Reach a milestone sales level? Brag about it! Even people who, for example, live across the country and will likely never need your services will rejoice with you.

Client testimonials

Client testimonials

One of the best ways to promote yourself through real estate Facebook marketing is by showcasing your former clients. This is especially valuable if you can include natural pictures together with them (but not too often!) – and make sure they add positive reviews to your Facebook Page as well! Feel free to use clients who bought or sold with your help.

Helpful tips to buyers and sellers

The decision to buy or sell a home is major, even with the best professional help. Be that source of information and reassurance, even if they are still deciding what to do. Plus, having a better-educated client makes your job easier down the road. Consider putting some of your tips on LinkedIn as a blog post.

Advice on home maintenance / DIY tips

Advice on home maintenance / DIY tips

As you know, well-maintained homes are much easier to sell. So are the ones with updated appliances and great curb appeal. You can be helpful to everyone in your community, build goodwill, and improve the value of housing stock at the same time using this kind of real estate Facebook marketing. For extra benefits, consider cross-pollinating these posts with examples on your Instagram account.

Promoting your ecosystem partners

Every Realtor has a network of professionals that they can count on. For instance, closing on a home often requires lawyers and bankers. And as people move, they might need house cleaners, movers, and other help. Do your fellow professionals a favor and promote their services. Chances are that they’ll return the favor.

Further Reading: 19 Engaging Real Estate Social Media Posts Ideas

Non-professional content  

This is the really personal stuff, even if it overlaps with your profession as a Realtor. Here, you’ll distinguish yourself as an individual, in addition to being an individual. In other words, this kind of real estate Facebook marketing has you essentially stepping back from your purely professional role.

Personal photos and videos

Personal photos and videos

Post your pictures, whether that’s family or a great vacation. These are important ways for people to get to know you. Not only does it help make a human connection, but it shows people what kinds of hobbies or interests you have. In turn, this can help get leads because people love to work with people that they have something in common.

Local community information

This is a great form of real estate Facebook marketing because it can help people decide what neighborhoods they want to look for homes in. It’s easy to say “I want a middle-class neighborhood,” and another to know what amenities you like. In turn, this information can help them find the right house. This kind of material can include video introductions to various neighborhoods.

Popular local events

Communities thrive when they have events and mixers. Even during the worst of the pandemic, there were attempts at keeping everyone together-remotely. Show that you’re an important part of your community by attending, then discussing, local events.

Spotlighting small businesses

Another great way to engage in real estate Facebook marketing is by putting the spotlight on small businesses. These can be in your own neighborhood, or elsewhere in your service area. Let people know where the business is, and what makes it special. This is especially advantageous if the business is active on social media, as they may return the favor.

Holidays

Whether this is a family vacation or holiday greetings, people like to know that you’re thinking about them. Plus, it does a lot to show them what you are like as a person.

Quotes

It’s always a good idea to be inspirational. So, if you find a great quote then don’t be afraid to share it. These are often very memorable, and they’re likely to get shared. This helps widen your network.

Further Reading: Here’s What Your Facebook Posts for Increased Engagement Should Look Like Today

How to Leverage Facebook Ads for Your Real Estate Business

Finally, it’s often necessary in real estate Facebook marketing to purchase Facebook ads. After all, traffic from your organic feed only goes so far. If people aren’t already interested in you personally or your business, then you need to go out and find them. And, the easiest way to “find” new people at scale is with Facebook advertising. Here’s a quick primer on how this works.

1. Understand Your Targeting Options

Facebook Ads targeting options

Because business owners like to get the maximum possible return on investment, Facebook has a lot of targeting options available. These are intended to make sure your ads reach the right people.

  • Location: Obviously people in but also in surrounding communities who might want to move close by. In this case, you aren’t looking at “expressed” interest in an area but actual location. Facebook determines this with IP address and/or profile location.
  • Age: Understand who can afford your listing and what type of buyer is the ideal one to figure out the best age range to use. For instance, young married couples often want a “starter home,” while somewhat older homebuyers might be searching for a larger house and empty nesters may look to downsize.
  • Demographics: Target by 1) income, 2) “home ownership status” or “home value” or “length of residence” or “net worth.” Again, you’re trying to match the right potential buyers with your listings or niche.
  • Behaviors such as targeting people “likely to move” or who are “new mortgage borrowers.” These can be people who are transferring in their jobs, expanding their families, or trying to buy their first home.
  • Interests: Target people with specific interests as defined by Facebook if you think that it might be relevant. An example of this might be marketing a home near a country club to people that talk about golf.
  • Job Title: Within real estate, this is often more of a way to determine income levels or lifestyle considerations. For instance, people in management tend to like bigger homes in nicer neighborhoods.
  • Type of Profession: The best examples of this working well in my area of California are the tech or entertainment sectors. So, tech professionals might want a home in Silicon Valley, while entertainers want the Hollywood area.
  • Education Level: As with job titles, this is a measure of earning potential and lifestyle. So, people with doctorates often have high incomes and want either bigger or more luxurious homes.
  • Life Changes, such as recently married, new parents or divorced. This group is often looking for a new home to fit the changes in family size, or looking for similar considerations like school district.

2. Understand How Custom and Lookalike Audiences Work

facebook ads custom audience sources

Here, you’re looking for people who may have a brand affinity or are actively looking for a Realtor. This can be as simple as reaching out to people that have already made contact at some level. Or, you might look for similar people.

  • Retarget website visitors: Here, you use cookies from potential consumer’s website visits. Then, you show them Facebook ads to reinforce your marketing efforts. To take advantage, make sure you have Facebook Pixel installed on your site!
  • Target people in your CRM database: These are people that have expressed interest in your services by filling out a form. They might also be past clients (people DO upgrade, right?).
  • Those who engage with your posts: People that engage with your content on Facebook are already interested in what you have to say. Invite them to hire you as an agent!
  • Create a Lookalike audience of any of the above or of those who follow your Facebook Page. This data is a good indicator of your target demographic. Remember, there are lots of others who may only need to find you.

3. Understand How A/B Testing with Different Variations Works

Some ads perform better for various audiences than others. In addition, your brand voice might suggest certain stylistic choices. Be sure to maximize them with A/B testing.

  • Image / video / carousel / link –> Here, you’re trying to decide what kinds of media work best for your real estate Facebook marketing ads. While you may not want to use video in all of your ads, consider doing it often:  Listings with a video received 403% more inquiries than those without! If you already put video tours or panoramas on the real estate listing websites, consider using these for the Facebook ads. You can also link to the video, use still images, or a carousel of images. With A/B testing you’ll know which options work best for what audiences.
  • Visual assets: What pictures or kinds of pictures work the best? Do people love that shot from the curb, or prefer a presentation of the fenced in back yard? It’s often different depending on your audience.
  • Text assets: People may want to know upfront how much square footage a property has…or not. With this item, though, you need to be careful about the limits on text in Facebook ads.
  • Targeting: In this usage, which audiences are most likely to respond to your ad.

4. Master Ad Copy

  • Don’t put full details in ad – entice to click. Not only will this keep you in line with the text limits, but it also draws people to your landing pages or listings for more details.
  • Put link with more info near top. By making the link easier to find, people are more likely to follow it.
  • Couple ads with landing pages with CTA. People can look at your listings all day, but it won’t do any good if they don’t contact you. Try and get that all-important lead information with a compelling call to action.

If you’re looking for some great real estate Facebook Ads to be inspired by, check out this post: https://adespresso.com/blog/real-estate-advertising-facebook/. You can also simply go to the Facebook Ads Library and check out your competitors ads here: https://www.facebook.com/ads/library/

A search for real estate ads brought up these examples:

facebook real estate ads example

Further Reading: 9 Ways to Enhance Your Facebook Ads ROI

There’s little question that real estate Facebook marketing is important for growing your business. After all, the days of simply putting ads in the newspaper and letting your agency do most of the work are over. These days, with people spending a ton of time on Facebook it’s imperative that you meet people there. Luckily, by following the steps in this guide you can soon be growing your business online.

Looking for more social media marketing for real estate advice? Check these out:

Hero photo by Zac Gudakov on Unsplash

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Neal Schaffer
Neal Schaffer

Neal Schaffer is a leading authority on helping businesses through their digital transformation of sales and marketing through consulting, training, and helping enterprises large and small develop and execute on social media marketing strategy, influencer marketing, and social selling initiatives. President of the social media agency PDCA Social, Neal also teaches digital media to executives at Rutgers University, the Irish Management Institute (Ireland), and the University of Jyvaskyla (Finland). Fluent in Japanese and Mandarin Chinese, Neal is a popular keynote speaker and has been invited to speak about digital media on four continents in a dozen countries. He is also the author of 3 books on social media, including Maximize Your Social (Wiley), and in late 2019 will publish his 4th book, The Business of Influence (HarperCollins), on educating the market on the why and how every business should leverage the potential of influencer marketing. Neal resides in Irvine, California but also frequently travels to Japan.

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2 Comments

  1. The main issue (and this went way over most people’s heads, seemingly) is that most web designers are far too precious about responsive web design. It seems untouchable amongst certain groups. Whilst responsive design can be beneficial in certain circumstances, it is not a cure-all for web design across multiple platforms, and there are downsides to going responsive. It’s nice that you’ve highlighted that fact in your comment.

    • Hi Holly – not sure where in the article that was mentioned but appreciate your comment nevertheless!

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