Whether you sell property on a local or an international scale, all estate agencies need leads. So regardless of your business size or location, it pays to use marketing methods that directly targets where your audience is at.
As the so-called ‘king of social media’ Facebook has incredible marketing potential for your estate agency, with user numbers expected to swell to 4.4 billion by 2025. But, aside from simply posting about your properties on your pages, you could be tapping into a far greater audience by creating Facebook adverts for your estate agency.
In this article, we’ll go over every aspect of setting up Facebook advertising from a beginner level. This will ensure your adverts truly target the right users to bring in those all important conversions.
ESTATE AGENT MARKETING ON SOCIAL MEDIA
You may have noticed that social media platforms are free to use. The main way the likes of Facebook, Instagram and Twitter make money is to allow for paid advertising across their platforms. For businesses, it can be an incredible way to generate leads especially as adverts can be set up with relative ease and reach a large audience.
One of the reasons social media advertising is so effective is because platforms tailor the content they show users based on their demographics and interests.
While some forms of social media marketing (posting, liking, responding to comments) are free, paid advertising is not.
However, paid advertising allows businesses to manipulate Facebook’s algorithms to align with their goals.
So instead of posting a link to your property and hoping for the best, you can control who sees it and the intended action you want them to take after doing so, such as liking your page or giving you a call to book a viewing.
Adverts in user’s feed will have the word ‘sponsored’ near the top of the post, helping people distinguish what’s a post from someone in their network vs a company trying to acquire them as a customer.
Below is a sample of our advert for Rentround, which focuses on attracting landlords to use our letting comparison service.
Oh by the way, interested in getting a free month of landlord leads?
Enough of the Rentround plug!
Social Media Post Ideas For Estate Agents
- Hot property news
- Investment ideas
- Before and after shots of renovations
- Video tours of property
- Property buying FAQs
- User generated content (customer reviews)
- Human interest posts
CREATING A FACEBOOK AD TO GENERATE ESTATE AGENT LEADS
Facebook has a dedicated advertising platform called Facebook Ads. You’ll need to run the ads from the business page for your estate agency, as ads cannot run from a regular Facebook account.
Once you open up Facebook Ads, everything you need to do will be requested from you within its step-by-step portal.
There are 3 layers of settings you need to work through when creating your estate agents Facebook ads.
At this level you’re setting your campaign name, it’s objective and declaring if your ad will be about social, elections or politics (for estate agents, this is unlikely)
This is the level where you need to start adding specifics about your estate agency’s objectives. You’ll need to input your budget, who you want looking at your adverts and start & end dates for your campaigns
The ads themselves
During this stage you’ll set up your creatives: what people see on their Facebook page from your estate agency. This includes the images, headlines & description.
Continue reading below where we go into more detail about these steps.
STEPS TO CREATE YOUR OWN ESTATE AGENCY FACEBOOK ADVERTS
Step 1: Select A Goal
Facebook will ask you to select one of the above 7 goal options. It could be argued that ‘get more leads’ applies to each of the options. However, each goal does operate slightly differently in terms of how it will get you there.
Consider whether it’s a particular property you want to promote or your business as a whole. Some goals may target one post or your page in general.
For increasing engagement, ‘boost a post’ would be the best option. Some companies also select this goal for running competitions, with the aim of generating views and likes for the page. Over time, this will give the business a larger audience for all its regular posts.
You can also use goals to tailor your reach, such as ‘promote your business locally’ which will ensure you don’t target a global audience, which wouldn’t bring in tangible leads for a local business. Instead, it would concentrate on showing the ad over a small geographic region which is more likely to result in conversions.
Step 2: Your reach
Regardless of which goal you choose, the next step involves going over the finer details of your advert settings
The best part when trying to bring in more estate agent leads through Facebook Ads? You can select the audience! As an estate agent you’ll already know your audience demographics.
It’s also helpful to check your business page analytics, as this can give further insight into who is actually accessing your page on social media too. Then, you simply need to align the audience settings on your advert, as these users are more likely to purchase from you.
Geographically speaking, you can drag the ad exposure slider between 1km and 80km of your business location, allowing you to be as broad or specific as you like with the geotargeting of your advert.
An estate agent in Wimbledon may wish to target those aged 30-55 living in London, as this demographic corresponds with their main customer base. London based estate agents are also more likely to opt for a wider geographical advert reach, due to the commuter belt surrounding the city.
Avoid the temptation of going too broad on the audience especially if your goal has the option of targeting the whole country (without at least narrowing down age or interests). Otherwise, you’ll target everyone – including those who are unlikely to purchase from you, which would be a waste of your advertising budget.
Facebook also allows you to target specific people based on their interests. This is an extremely valuable setting that enables you to target the people most likely to become leads for your estate agency.
For estate agents the best interests are property, landlords, property investors etc
By using these settings, you’re ads will show to people in the world of property and therefore more likely to interact with your adverts
Facebook is used by all age ranges, but property sellers & landlords are not usually 18. Therefore you wouldn’t really want your estate agency marketing efforts to target a ‘younger’ age range.
Set your Facebook adverts to above 25 years old, or perhaps even older. This narrows your audience potential, but focuses on the right people that are more likely to become leads.
When selecting the ‘boost a post’ goal, you have the option to select additional social media platforms owned by Facebook that will also display your ad. This includes Instagram and Messenger.
Something to remember here is that if you select to display across these platforms, it might decrease your advert’s reach across Facebook specifically. So, if your customers aren’t on Messenger or Instagram, you should untick this option or better still, select a different goal type from step 1.
Unsure which platform suits your customer base? Sprout Social has a fantastic guide to help you.
You’ll probably be getting a tonne of property sellers on your website that don’t contact you or leave their personal details.
Well with Facebook, you can re-target these visitors. The platform enables you to specifically target people that have visited your site in the past.
This is quite powerful as those who have visited your site would be familiar with your brand already. Therefore with the addition of seeing your advert in their feed, it makes them more inclined to re-click and hopefully contact you or leave their details.
You’ll need help from your tech team to set this up. From the Facebook Ads Manager you’ll need to generate a pixel and place it on your website. This will track site visitors and feed back information to Facebook to help with re-targeting.
STEP 3: SET A BUDGET
Facebook adverts typically have a budget of between £1 and £500 per day or a 79p average for CPC (cost per click) style adverts. Using a sliding scale, you have the option to control your daily spend, making sure you keep in control of the budget.
What you have to factor in is how long you want your advert to run for, and the type of aim you want to achieve. For example, do you want more likes to your page, or enquiries about a particular property? If you’re unsure, start off with a few test adverts on a lower budget.
A helpful feature is that Facebook will give an estimate of how many people will be reached depending on how much you spend before you go ahead. The same preview can also be generated for page likes, link clicks etc depending on the goal you selected.
Sadly for big spenders, there’s isn’t an infinite number of leads. You may be able to get a small volume of leads for a relatively low price. However as you start to spend more, the number of leads attainable tails off. Therefore over a certain amount of leads (dependent on your targeting) will start costing you more, raising your cost per lead.
For estate & letting agents, determining a target cost per lead is depending on your agency fees. Let’s say that your letting agency’s success rate of converting leads is 3%.
So for every 100 leads, you get 3 management instructions. Each lead costs you £10, so you spend £1,000 for 8 successful conversions, which is £333 per successful lead (quick maths).
This may seem expensive. However if you’re in London charging a 10% management fee, this could be big bucks!
1 conversion is potentially worth £1,800 a year in revenue (based on an average rent in London of £1,500) – not bad for £333.
These numbers improve dramatically if you have high landlord retention rates. Looking after the same property that you got for £333 for 5 years is an amazing return on investment.
STEP 4: AD CONTENTS
Every Facebook advert requires thoughtful messaging and imagery. Your image will need to adhere to Facebook Ad requirements and if you’re unsure, it’s highly advisable to hire a graphic designer to help you.
After all, not only does the image or video need to pass Facebook’s standards, but it also should show your company off in the best light, especially when you are paying to have it seen by thousands.
As for the message, make sure it’s engaging without waffling on. Use emojis or bullet points to break up long pieces of text. If you’re including a link, use Bitly which will help you track your link clicks better, and create a more attractive link to click on versus a long URL.
Facebook Ads also allows you to track link clicks, but Bitly links can go out across all feeds, allowing for better tracking overall.
There’s a tonne of things to consider when creating your adverts. Do you use images that replicate your target audience? So in this example you may include images of males aged over 30 are more likely to be selling property compared to an 18 year old.
On this note, a lot has been written about the use of images where the image creates a direct gaze (i.e. an image of a person that is staring straight into the eyes of the person viewing the campaign).
Staring directly at someone implies a demand or a request, as well as the expectation of a response. And honesty – we tend to trust people more if they can maintain an eye contact with us.
How about including stats on your images? If you save on average let’s say £1,500 for home sellers, it may be better to include that stat as an illustration as opposed to a picture resembling your target audience.
Finally, Launch Your Ad
So long as your ad adheres to Facebook standards and you’ve connected a payment method, your ad will launch soon after filling in all of the details. Or, on the date you set the advert to launch on. The ad itself will display automatically, so while you continue with your social media marketing, this particular post will work all on its own for as long as you set it live for.
MONITORING YOUR FACEBOOK AD
There’s a couple of ways you’ll need to monitor your Facebook ad in terms of the page activity and the actual performance of it.
If you’re planning on creating a large budget which brings in a lot of traffic, this can take up quite a bit of time. Consider hiring a social media marketer to help you if you’re a small team or lack experience in this area.
Then of course, there is the advert itself! KPIs are important in all areas of your business, and your Facebook ads are no exception.
Facebook Ads Manager will allow you to view a breakdown of all the key components we mentioned above. If you’re au fait with social media marketing, you may want to check out this article which goes into greater detail about conversion tracking on Facebook.
In a nutshell, conversion tracking enables you to see which adverts are getting you ‘conversions’, or leads.
You’ll see which of your Facebook campaigns and ad sets are getting you leads and at what price. When you begin to see which ads are doing better, then it’s common to throw more budget at those ads and reduce the spend on lower spend ads.
It sometimes isn’t that straightforward however. Some leads may be achieved at a low price, but if they aren’t converting into house sales or properties managed, they have little value.
You may find that your expensive leads actually become properties on your books, compared to cheaper leads.
It comes down to trial and error. Running a few ads, seeing their performance in terms of lead generation and conversions, then comparing them to other advert campaigns.
Social Media Marketing Terminology
As an estate agency, marketing properties is what you do. That said, social media marketing is its own discipline. So before you set up your Facebook advert, it’s important to understand some of the key indicators you need to aim for. Doing so will ensure you interpret your analytical reports properly to achieve those all important conversions.
Reach: The total number of people who were exposed to your advert. Reach is usually the highest figure because it doesn’t require any user interaction. The advert simply needs to appear in the user feed with them scrolling past it for it to count. The real-world equivalent would be a billboard advert – not everyone will purchase the product advertised but millions may see it. Some users may remember they have seen the advert and turn into a lead at a later date.
Engagement: How many people actually engaged with your advert in some way. Engagement is calculated differently on all platforms, but for Facebook, it’s measured by reactions, clicks, comments and shares. Engagement is the aspect to aim for because people aren’t just seeing your advert they are responding to it, which is more likely to achieve leads.
Clicks: If including a link in your advert, the number of clicks the advert receives. Compelling messaging and imagery is what is going to get people to click your link, as is targeting the right audience. Think about it: would you click on a link you weren’t interested in? So keep it relevant to who you are targeting! For example, first time buyers or investors.
Tips For Success
Check both your paid and regular social media analytics regularly. This is one of the best ways to figure out what your audience warms to, and what they are glossing over. Don’t be afraid to switch things up, especially if your posts aren’t gaining much traction.
Consider the type of content you post in relation to the time you do so. It may take some time to figure out what works for your individual business, but if you listen to the analytics you’ll soon find your groove.
TO SUM UP
Given more of us are spending an increasing time online, it pays to align your marketing strategies in response. Whether you’re a local estate agent or a worldwide company, Facebook Ads will allow you to tailor your campaigns to your individual business.
The key to success with Facebook Ads lies in understanding your audience so that you can select the right campaign type, along with the demographics you wish to target. By closely monitoring your campaign and sticking to the post types that bring in a high level of engagement and interest, conversions are more likely to follow.
For the best results, combine an active presence on Facebook with paid advertising. Doing so will support both your organic and paid reach in greater measures.