Facebook Advertising for Real Estate Agents – a New Approach to Getting Property Listings

by Dec 5, 2016Facebook Strategies

As a resident of Melbourne, I see every agent in my local area approaching the hunt for property listings the same way. And it’s no different across the country. I receive glossy postcards and flyers in the letter box asking for an appraisal of my residence on a regular basis. This is a strategy based on hope and from what I hear from every agent I speak with – it’s very hit and miss. The funny thing is it’s not uncommon to see 3-4 flyers delivered at once from different agencies all adopting this strategy and none of them stand out from the other.

The other problem with this strategy is that not only are all the agents running these traditional marketing tactics, which makes it harder to differentiate, but there’s also an incredible amount of waste by targeting all households and not knowing whether homeowners or renters live there.

This blanket targeting of neighbourhoods by the real estate industry has been going on for over 30 years but it’s almost 2017 and times have changed.

The great news is, every agent has the opportunity to embrace online channels and the Facebook advertising platform provides the most cost effective and precise demographic and behavioural targeting solution out of any marketing platform available today (traditional or digital). Since most agents do not leverage Facebook’s fantastic ad platform, there’s a clear opportunity for agents willing to gain a competitive advantage on their local competition, which is still stuck implementing old-school traditional marketing strategies.

The Facebook ad platform offers rich, diverse, and deep levels of targeting options. In Australia there about 16 million people you can reach on Facebook. To segment these people, there are 3 broad areas of targeting: interests, behaviours and demographics. Each of these areas can be refined to target the exact audience a Real Estate agent wants their ads to be shown to.

For example, say an agent specialises in selling family homes over $1million in certain postcodes or suburbs. By getting laser focused we can target the homeowners of the properties the agency specialises in selling. Using the Facebook ads platform, homeowners (as apposed to renters) can be targeted who live in the selected postcode or suburb. Furthermore, these can be segmented by whether the homeowner is a parent (suggesting they own a family home), and by the value of their home, in this case above $1million. Facebook utilises many 3rd party data sources to get this information together with the tracked activity of people’s Facebook profiles. And if you really want to super target the audience, we can further segment by whether they are interested in Real Estate. Facebook knows this as they track every Facebook user’s web browsing activity while logged into Facebook. So if a user is looking at realestate.com.au while logged into Facebook in another browser window, Facebook knows about it (and so do we as advertisers).

The targeting offered by the Facebook ad platform presents a huge advantage in real estate lead generation for property listings provided it’s done the right way. Targeting is only one half of the equation. What agents push to the audience is just as important and by presenting a similar message to your postcards on Facebook, you will misfire. Let me explain.

Postcards, flyers, and local community papers – the standard tactics for creating awareness will be far more effective if they are integrated with a Facebook strategy. Today consumers need an average of 12.4 sources before making a purchase decision (source: Think With Google). What that tells us about consumer behaviour is that multiple impressions are important to maintain brand awareness and to stay top of mind and push people closer to a purchase decision. What do the majority of people do when they get a postcard promoting an agent or asking for an appraisal? They toss it in the bin!

Similarly if people see an ad requesting an appraisal of their property on Facebook, they will ignore it (even its it’s laser targeted). You must remember that Facebook is a social platform and even if they are in the market to sell their property they do not want to be pushed into having an appraisal done via Facebook. They are far more likely to respond to an agent’s ad if the ad is providing value and can help them in some way. So what would add value to someone who is looking to sell their home? What I’ve found is that people on Facebook respond to agent’s giving away guides on how to sell their property. The guide must be neutral and does not hard sell the agent’s services. Once downloaded the guide acts as a reference for them and places the agency top of mind for the consumer. However, I do recommend agents ask if the lead is interested in a property appraisal after they’ve downloaded the guide. Some people will be interested in moving quickly and will want to meet with the agent if they are already in the process of getting ready to sell.

For a video walk through on how this strategy works, please watch this video:

 

This strategy can be adopted by any real estate agent to promote brand awareness and generate important leads for property listings. As an agent, if you want to gain a strong competitive advantage over your slower, less sophisticated peers, Facebook ads for real estate agents are a fantastic way to grow your business and local market share.

Don’t let your competitors get ahead of you! If you need help with getting property listings on Facebook and differentiating your agency from your competition, we can help. Please call on (03) 8692 0088 or email me today: tim@timlumsdendigital.com and find out how we can help you win in your area!

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