Have you ever run a Facebook real estate ad that just hasn’t performed?
Facebook ads for real estate agents are both the best and worst thing to ever happen to the industry.
How specific you can get with your messaging, targeting, and offers is incredible, but it’s also a huge platform that can take a long time to master. It’s not until you start diving deep into it that you realize just how many options are available.
The overwhelming options cause many to abandon campaigns that might otherwise have been saved. We like to look at Facebook as if you were mining for gold. Gold miners don’t just dig in one spot for a day and then leave. They exhaust their options before abandoning an area.
They spread out continually looking to find a significant deposit of gold, and when they find one, all of the gold miners rush to that area until all the gold is gone. We’ll call that a “gold rush.” A completely original term we’re going to coin here at Just Sell Homes.
With a little marketing power behind it, I think gold rush could really stick. I’m on to something! It’s catchy.
When you find an ad that really hits, think like a gold rush, start pushing your resources to that ad as long as it’s producing. When it starts to dry up, move on. Don’t get emotionally attached to an ad that used to bring in a lot of business. Start looking for the next one.
Finding that perfect ad or sequence of ads takes time and just because an ad you launched isn’t working right now doesn’t mean it will never work. Test, tweak, change, etc.…
As Frank Kern so famously said, “There’s a technical term when a new campaign works the first time out of the gate, it’s called a f***ing miracle.”
So let’s dive into what you need to do to fix an ad that isn’t getting the results you’re happy with.
When Your Facebook Ad Doesn’t Perform; First Check the Image.
The image or video you use is what gets people to stop and look at your ad. It has the single most significant impact on how well your ad performs.
Every time an ad doesn’t work, the first thing we look at is the creative.
Is it scroll stopping? Will people scrolling through Facebook or Instagram be made to stop and look because they’re curious? If the answer is no, then you need to change it.
Find an image, or the beginning of a video, that makes people want to stop and see what’s going on. You only have a very short window to capture their attention, so make it count!
This could be with bright, bold colours, something that stands out to them like a recognizable landmark, “Hey, that’s around the corner from me,” or photos of people that look like someone they would know.
That’s why a photo of a seller holding a sold rider in front of their home almost always outperforms a picture of the house with fancy sold graphics on it. When someone is holding a sold rider, more people stop to see WHO it is and if they know them. Fancy graphics are an indicator it’s an ad, and they’re more likely to keep scrolling.
Before you change anything, change the image.
Does Your Copy Speak To Your Ideal Prospect?
You have a great image that captures attention and stops that scroll. You’re confident the image is not the issue. What’s next?
The copy. The words you put on the screen. Are you giving them a reason to take the action you want them to take? A lot of real estate ads include things like “Call me if you want to buy, sell, or invest.”
There’s nothing in that type of language that speaks to a pain point or stressor or honestly answers the “What’s in it for me?” angle. They can call any real estate agent for help, why should they call you specifically?
If you’re offering a home value report, why should they get it from you? What are you offering that is of interest to them?
You can also use your copy to encourage more of your ideal prospects to reach out. For example, make sure to talk about selling your home from the outset with a home value report.
You want people to reach out who are thinking about selling their home, not just because they’re curious about what their home is worth. Use the copy to speak to them, tell them what they’re getting, why they should get it, and what to expect once they opt-in.
Are You Targeting Your Facebook Ad To The Right People?
The perfect creative and copy are meaningless if they’re not being shown to the right people. You could find the ideal image that gets people stopping, copy that eloquently explains how if they opt-in you’ll review their real estate investment portfolio and how you can help improve it.
You’ll have good statistics on cap rates and ROI, and relatable anecdotes an investor would relate to.
Guess what? If that gets shown to someone who isn’t an investor, you just wasted that “perfect” ad.
Your ad needs to speak to the people you’re picking in your targeting, or it’s useless. Imagine trying to sell a $20,000,000 property to someone who can’t even qualify for a loan on a car? You need to put your ads in front of the right people.
Facebook ad targeting is a huge topic of conversation, and we’ll be putting out a lot more content on this topic.
Did You Pick The Right Campaign Objective?
You have a great ad, and it is still not where you want it. It’s possible you picked the wrong campaign objective at the beginning.
If you want people to become leads for your real estate business and you picked video views as the objective, then Facebook is not optimizing your ad for lead generation. They’re optimizing it for people to watch the video in the ad.
If you want people to take a specific action, you have to tell Facebook what that is so they can optimize for it. With all the data Facebook has on us, they know who is likely to opt-in to your Facebook ad and who isn’t.
Lastly, has one of your ads that previously worked for a while dropped off? It could be a good time to recreate it with a different campaign objective to get it in front of new people. This option is usually the last resort before just pausing that ad and letting it sit for a while until you bring it back.
If you have underperforming ads and want to get a free review of your existing ads with me, we’re happy to jump on Zoom screen share and take a look. (I’m Andrew Fogliato by the way, the guy who coined the term gold rush, so if that doesn’t tell you enough, I don’t know what will)
Imagine crafting the perfect seller ads. Seller ads that bring in new listings. Inquiry after inquiry, contract after contract. Your GCI grows and you have the real estate business you’ve always wanted. It feels like a cool breeze up your shorts on a warm summers day.
That perfect ad doesn’t really exist. You need a series of seller ads. You need to test different seller ads to see which one works best in your neighbourhood. Then you need back up seller ad campaigns for when one starts being less effective and needs to be paused for a bit.
Then you need to get better at learning how to convert more leads.
This post is going to focus on the different ways to generate listing leads with many of the different seller ads you could potentially run. This is focusing specifically on paid Facebook seller ad campaigns. There’s way more strategy involved when you take into account all your marketing channels and options.
The OG Seller Ad: What’s My Home Worth?
Get your free home evaluation! Arguably the most overused seller ad in real estate, right ahead of “oh by the way, I’m never too busy for your referral”.
With that being said, the reason its the most popular seller ad is that it actually has worked really well. Some markets its so overdone by so many people that if doesn’t work nearly as well anymore. It’s worth testing in every single market though. There’s some we’ve seen it be a bust and some its pulling in seller leads that includes name, email, phone number, and address for under $3 per. On the flip side, some markets we’ve seen those numbers be over $40 per lead.
When crafting our home value ads we actually like to take a different approach. We move away from automated valuations towards personalized ones. We use it to establish that you’re a local expert giving them an accurate depiction of not their home value but what they could get if they were to sell their home today.
We focus the language heavily on what their home would get if they were to sell instead of just a free home evaluation. The shift in language attracts less of the “just curious” and more of those who want to know their homes value if they sold it.The more you approach it from the angle of “Are you thinking of selling?” or “Want to find out what your home would get if you put it on the market today?” attracts more of the right kind of lead.
The copy in a seller ad can help eliminate the wrong prospects before they ever opt in. It can help with targeting your ads to the right person just as much as the targeting you actually pick in the Facebook Ads Manager when building the ad.
We’ve tested landing pages for home worth campaigns and Facebook Lead Ads instead and we’ve found a better cost per lead most of the time with Facebook Lead Ads. We recommend testing both. The downside of a lead ad is if you do want to have it send an automated value to the prospect without you having to do anything. A landing page can make that process a lot easier for you.
If you want to generate more listing leads with seller focused ads its always worth testing if you haven’t yet a home value campaign.
Old Faithful: The PDF Guide Download
The very first client we ever had here at Just Sell Homes, and many who have come since, have said “I don’t want buyer leads, I just want more listings, so what seller ads can we run?” I didn’t want to just do a home value campaign because they had tried them many times in the past. So we sent out a survey to 100 of their past clients with a series of questions about what caused them stress, what mattered to them, etc… during the process.
The results were interesting. 70% of the responses were NOT about value of their home. It was about the stress around preparing their home for sale, how to get it ready for sale, and other answers that all came back to preparing the home for sale the right way. This led us to create a 3 page PDF for the client called “The Ultimate Guide to Preparing Your Home for Sale”. We’ve tested variations of the name but the guide ultimately is pretty similar with the different clients we’ve used it for. A checklist that goes in depth of everything someone would need to do to get the home ready for sale. They could even print it out and check it off as they do it.
Then we frame it in seller ads along the lines of “Want to see how professionals get their homes ready for sale?” then lead right into talking about the value they can get from the guide.
Short PDF downloads that provide a ton of value are incredibly valuable. The ideal PDF download lead magnet offers more than just what you could make a blog post. It would be a resource like a checklist. The beauty of the PDF for how to prepare a home for sale is that people generally don’t download that if they’re just curious about their homes value. They may be a while out from selling but they’re at least thinking about selling instead of just finding the home value.
Use Cautiously: We Have Buyers
We have buyers for your home! It’s simple, and to the point. That’s what sellers want, they don’t care as much about you the real estate agent as they care about a buyer for their home.
The tricky part here is that a lot of home owners are used to people saying this when they are essentially lying. So the more detail you can give about your buyers the more genuine it appears. So instead of “We have buyers for your home” you can say “Do you have a 4 bedroom detached in X neighbourhood? Our clients John & Sarah are looking for a home and nothing on the market right now fits their needs. So if you know someone thinking of moving we have buyers looking right now in X neighbourhood.” Ideally, you do that with a video standing IN the neighbourhood you’re talking about. Go to a park or somewhere recognizable so someone who lives there has instant recognition as they’re scrolling that its their neighbourhood.
The more personal you make it, the better it goes. ONLY do this if you actually have buyers. Doing this when you have none is no different than lying. Use it sparingly when you actually have buyers and target it to the specific area(s) your client is looking for. With Facebook ads you can get VERY specific with how targeted they are.
You do not need fancy copy, just make the ad pop by having imagery and copy that calls out the specific area and then say what you have. The more specifics you can share the better.
The Slow Burn: The Market Update Seller Ads
Building an audience before you need to sell something is the best long term strategy. This is where market updates can come in. Run ads offering market updates for specific neighbourhoods, the smaller you can make it the more likely people in the area will sign up for it, and get local homeowners signed up to find out what’s going on in their neighbourhood. From new listings, notable sales, and overall trends, you keep them informed on what’s going on.
The key to good market update ads are to add your insight. Anyone can go out and see stats that have been reported, but sharing your thoughts and expertise builds trust and will lead to business down the road.
When you send out your market updates you add in calls to action. From offering free home evaluations, letting them know what buyers you have at the time, or leveraging multiple CTA’s by adding the Dean Jackson Super Signature can work wonders. It’s the perfect mix of asking for the business without being in your face sales-y.
The End Around: Target Buyers
Not all real estate seller ads actually directly target buyers. With a few exceptions like first time home buyers, recreation properties, and investors for example, most home buyers need to sell their current property to buy the next one. Knowing this, and the fact that buyer leads are usually significantly cheaper to acquire on a cost per lead basis, just target buyers that are likely to have a home for sale.
Create ads that are targeting buyers whether its a specific listing, PDF buying guide, or a general list of homes for sale. These campaigns start as buyer leads and when you start having conversations and learning about them you can position yourself to also get the listing.
The Double Dip
Someone opts on one of our ads, great! Your seller ad created a seller lead. They get sent to your thank you page, the worst thing you can do here is just say “Thanks, we’ll be in touch!”
This is your opportunity to go further and provide them even more value.
At Just Sell Homes, we call this the Double Dip Offer. Why do we call it that?
I just really like Seinfeld. That’s it. No other big fancy reason. It’s an homage to my favourite show growing up.
It works like this: You run an ad, in this case lets say a what’s my home worth campaign, they opt in. You get all their information. Now, on the thank you page, make them another offer. They just ordered a report on their homes value. Now offer them the guide on how to prepare their home for sale. People who opt-in on both options are definitely going to be a higher quality lead than someone else. They’ve now received even more value from you. This doesn’t have to stop here. They can opt for the guide and then be sent to a page about looking for their next home. If you don’t have another offer you want to send them, push them to a page with a case study or some testimonials.
When they become a lead, that’s just the start of their interaction with you, treat it that way!
Bonus Tip: Set up your Facebook custom audiences so that anytime someone opts-in to a campaign, they’re retargeted with ads with your double dip offer OR client testimonials. This can help your conversion. If you’re advanced, you can set the Facebook ads to act as a drip campaign. For example, for Day 1-3 after opting in they see one specific ad. Day 4-6 another one, and then Day 7 a book a call CTA. This can help convert at a higher rate.
Want help setting up campaigns in your business? Book a call to see how we can do it for you.
Have you ever thought about using targeted Facebook ads as a networking tactic when attending an event?
I had the chance to sit down with Jason Stephen, CREA’s 2019 President. We discussed everything CREA, online marketing, social media, and Facebook tactics for REALTORS®.
“Funny, I Just Saw Your Ad On Facebook!”
Jason and I were both basketball coaches before becoming parents. Jason said he got a client out of that here and there though it wasn’t why he coached. I didn’t want to be “that guy” who walked around handing out business cards at games and practices either.
People don’t want to be sold a service while they’re trying to support their children at a game or practice. At the same time, you want people to know what it is that you do and how you can help them.
So, how can I get them to come to me?
I noticed that parents would pull out their phones during time outs. I decided to run a Facebook ad with a picture that included my face and logo. I then targeted it to the specific building we were playing in and the people attending it. After the games parents would walk up to me saying “Hey! Funny, I just saw your ad on Facebook!” I would smile and say “Wow! What a coincidence!”
It’s an easy way of advertising your services and keeping yourself at the forefront of people’s minds. This applies to any event you’re attending as well. For example, I’ll create an ad when I speak at a conference. I take a picture of myself in front of the building and create an ad inviting attendees to my session.
You don’t have to speak at an event to let people know you’re there. If you’re attending a community event and have a table set up, create an ad and let people know where you’ll be!
Getting Your Facebook Ads Approved
You’ve created your ad and yet, no matter how many times you try, Facebook refuses to approve your ad. There are 2 main things to watch out for:
It could be that you never certified your compliance with local regulations.
You could be using the wrong type of language/words in your ad.
One of our clients runs 2 crossfit gyms. When we run an ad for them, the ad cannot contain a before-and-after picture as it may cause the viewer to feel bad about themselves. Facebook also disapproves ads that use the word ‘you’ too often. Generally those ads make the viewers feel that they aren’t enough and need to be doing more.
We Can Help You!
Need help targeting your Facebook ad to the event you’re attending? Just Sell Homes can help you with that. Click here to book a free consultation.
Got any topics you’d like us to cover in a future episode or a guest you’d like us to sit down with? Let us know in the comments below! You can also reach us on Facebook and Instagram.
There are several different ways to maximize video exposure, both paid and organically.
Maximize video exposure through paid campaigns
It is quite straightforward to maximize video exposure: Figure out who the ideal audience is, and then target them with an ad that has money put behind it. Our preferred method is the Facebook Ads Manager.
Generally, from a three-second-view standpoint, your results are going to be one to three cents per view. It might be a little bit higher if you’re measuring by 10-second views – four to six cents per view. This is usually pretty consistent.
Maximize video exposure organically
It comes down to content promotion. One way to do this is tag people in the video if you have that option. For example, when we do Over a Pint, we make sure to tag whoever is in that episode as then it can go out to their network as well, assuming they approve the post on their end.
Additionally, you can email it out to your list or post in relevant groups – “relevant” being the key word; don’t just spam it out.
Find those places where you can organically promote it, and don’t forget to send it out to your list.
Then, depending on the video, there are different ways you can approach it.
For instance, we have a plan with our Over a Pint videos. Some of those videos are over an hour. Majority of people still won’t watch the shorter ones. So we’re taking those hour-long videos and cutting them into smaller segments that are only 30 seconds to two minutes long to counter this, highlighting a specific subject that was discussed in the video.
By dividing the longer videos into shorter clips, we’re leveraging them to get more exposure on the full video. It’s not necessary to constantly be making a new video each time – take your longer videos and make them last, while also driving up traffic. That’s smart leveraging.
It is smart to get videos transcribed. Upload them to Rev.com and get some transcriptions done at $1 per minute. You can then turn that into blog posts (much like this one) and also send them out in emails to your database, always redirecting back to the original video. Again, we’ve expanded our game plan and added another layer of leveraging.
Paid exposure – Choose your ideal audience, pay to get it out to them, and choose video views as your objective on Facebook Ads Manager.
Organic exposure – Tag the people in the video and send it out on every channel you have. Make some slight alterations and cut it up into little “bite-size” pieces of content.
If you have any additional questions on this subject, or even on another unrelated subject, send us a message at [email protected]!