Facebook Ad Strategies for Real Estate Agents

With the changes in the Facebook advertising policy recently, real estate agents are left wondering how to market to the right people. The last thing any agent wants to do is waste advertising dollars by promoting their ads to those who have no interest in them. So, how can you ensure you’re reaching the right people with your real estate Facebook marketing? 

Know about recent changes

This year, those who post ads regarding employment, credit, or housing now have to mark their ads as a special category. As a real estate agent, you know that federal housing law prohibits discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, gender, disability, and family status. Civil rights advocates have been worried that with the detailed targeting available to real estate agents through Facebook ads, agents were unintentionally discriminating against some users. 

In 2018, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) filed a complaint that the targeting options were being misused. After a lawsuit was filed, Facebook and HUD came to a settlement to make changes that prevented landlords, employers, lenders, real estate professionals, and anyone else from discriminating against these classes. 

The changes have been slowly rolled out over the last several months. Real estate agents can no longer target based on age, gender, or zip code; you must use a city and allow a 15-mile radius. A beneficial change that did come out of the settlement is a user can search for all housing ads, even if the user is not in a targeted group. 

Creating custom audiences

So, how can you ensure those you want to see your ad are seeing it? By using custom audiences. A custom audience is a type of audience made up of people from your existing contacts. 

Here is how you can create and use custom audiences in you Facebook advertising to ensure those you want to see your ad are seeing it. 

The first way to do this is your email list. If you don’t already have an excel file of your entire email list, go ahead and create one. When you’re setting up your ad and creating your audience, you’re able to upload your list into your business manager. 

Don’t have a large email list? Use Facebook ads to grow it.  Consider creating an opt-in that isn’t geared toward housing, like a community calendar or a community guide. A great thing about these type of opt-ins is it gives you the chance to showcase your community expertise. 

Another way to create a custom audience is through video views. It’s as simple as recording a video introducing yourself and promoting it. Let the video run for about a month and build up as many video views as possible. After you have a good amount of views, you can create a custom audience based on those who watched at least 10-seconds of your video. 

Generating interest

Now that you have custom audiences down let’s talk interest. When you’re creating audiences for your Facebook real estate ads, you’re still able to include interests. There are two key interests that you should always include – those who have shown an interest in major real estate websites such as Zillow, Realtor.com and Trulia, and those who are considering buying a house. By including these targeted interest groups, you’ll be reaching Facebook users who have already shown an interest in the housing market. 

Now, that you have a better idea of how to structure the targeting for your real estate Facebook ads, the next time you’re ready to run a campaign, you’ll be fully prepared. 

Are you already using custom audiences in your Facebook real estate marketing? What have you found works best for you? Share your tips in the comment section.

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