What To Do When Your Facebook Ad Isn’t Performing

Jun 17, 2020

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)