How to Run Facebook Ads for Your Real Estate Business — Yourself
As an entrepreneur (yes, real estate agents are entrepreneurs), you’ve become an expert at doing things yourself.
Because it saves money. Because it gets done the way you want it to. Because you can.
Facebook ads for your real estate business are no different.
Sure, you could use a service to create and manage ads for you.
But why spend your hard-earned money on something you could definitely do yourself and do even better?
We can’t cover everything about running Facebook real estate ads in one blog post — we’ll hook you up with the best comprehensive guides at the end of this post — but we want to show how to get started, so you can confidently dive in.
Here’s what you need to know about running Facebook ads for your real estate business.
What Facebook Ads Can Help Realtors Do
Facebook ads are a powerful way to get your real estate listings and content in front of the right audience. And despite all that power, they’re easy to use and affordable.
Facebook ads offer a pretty unparalleled opportunity to target exactly who you want to target.
You can choose a specific audience for each ad, based on factors like geographic location, age, education level and personal interests, as well as promote your ads to friends of people who already like your page (potentially warmer leads).
Real estate agents can use Facebook ads to promote their new listings, open houses, events, blog posts and freebies.
What You Need In Order to Run Facebook Ads to Your Real Estate Biz
Not much! Here’s the list:
- A personal real estate website for your business
- A Facebook page for your real estate business
- A Business Manager account for your Facebook business page
- The Facebook Pixel — meaning, HTML code that tracks who visits your website and makes it possible to run targeted ads on Facebook — installed on your website (check out the resources list at the end of this post for a handy guide)
How to Publish a Facebook Ad (the Basics)
Below is a high-level overview of the steps you need to follow in order to publish a Facebook ad. To help you with the nitty-gritty, we’ve linked you to the best online resources at the end of this post.
- Do your research
Before you jump into creating your ad, take some time to check out what businesses and agents are doing with Facebook ads.
For inspiration, look at what big brands are running so you can get a sense of what’s possible. To get a leg up on your competition, look at what other real estate agents are running so you can do better.
How do you do this? Head to any business page, click on “See More” of Page Transparency and if the page is running ads, you’ll see an option to view their ads library.
- Decide your objective
When creating your campaign, Facebook is going to ask you to choose an objective for your ad. Think about what you want to promote and what you want to achieve. Facebook’s list of possible objectives includes:
- Brand awareness: to increase awareness of your business
- Reach: to show your ad to the greatest number of people in your target audience
- Traffic: to drive people to a link of your choosing, like a specific blog post or your real estate website landing page
- Engagement: to increase likes, comments and shares of social posts
- Lead generation: to collect leads for your real estate business directly from Facebook (no landing page needed) all through a pop-up form that pulls in their Facebook data
- Conversions: to push people to a specific URL of your choosing, such as downloading a real estate e-book or signing up for a free consultation, where they are redirected to a “thank you” landing page to register the conversion
- Design your ad
Once you know what you want to promote and what your objective is, it’s time to design the creative of the ad. And guess what? It’s not as hard as you might think.
There are many easy-to-use sites and apps that offer amazing libraries of Facebook Ad templates that you can use as a jumping-off point to create your ad. You can customize details, change your font, pick from a huge library of stock images, or upload your own images.
The most important thing to remember when designing a Facebook ad is that Facebook dictates that only 20% of your ad can be text. The rest must be an image or photo. When in doubt, use Facebook’s Text Overlay Tool.
- Select your audience
With your designed ad ready to go, it’s time to head into your Facebook Business Manager account. After you’ve named your ad campaign, you’ll choose the audience you want to target at the “ad set” level.
Within your ad set, you can create a saved Facebook target audience, where you’ll select from various elements such as age, location, gender and interests, or you can use a custom audience. A custom audience is built from either your sources or Facebook’s sources.
Heads up: if you want to use a saved audience, you’ll have to create one before you start creating your ad campaign. Go to Assets (or the hamburger-looking icon in the upper left of your account), then Audiences within your Facebook Ads Manager to do this.
- Set a budget
Unlike running ads in a newspaper, for instance, Facebook doesn’t exactly tell you how much you owe for your ad. Instead, you get to decide how much you want to spend.
You can choose a daily budget, where Facebook will spend a certain amount on your ads every day. If Facebook sees that some days have more potential than others, it will spend more on those days and less on the others.
You can also choose a lifetime budget, where you choose your ad campaign beginning and end dates as well as total budget, and Facebook divides that budget evenly across the dates.
- Pick your placement
Where do you want your ad to go? You can choose to put your ad just in the Facebook feed, the Instagram feed, Instagram Stories or in Facebook Messenger. The options are plenty!
You can also choose to let Facebook decide by using the automatic placement option. Try it out for your first couple of ads, until you’re ready to start experimenting.
- Finalize your ad
You’re almost ready to go. At the “ads” level of your campaign, Facebook will now ask you to choose your ad format (such as single video or single photo).
You’ll then upload your file, add your ad copy and URL, choose a call-to-action button, and preview your ad.
During and after your ad campaign, you’ll need to check in on your ad’s performance.
How many people is it reaching? How many are taking action? How much are you spending to get clicks and leads?
Your observations and results will help you improve your next ad campaign.
The Best Comprehensive Facebook Ad Resources
With the right resources, anyone can create successful Facebook real estate ads.
This blog post is meant as a primer. When you’re ready to take the plunge into creating your own ads (you can do it!), use these resources and others like it to guide you each step of the way:
- The Beginner’s Guide to Facebook Advertising : This ultra-comprehensive guide explains everything in a series of well-organized chapters. Plus, it’s updated every year so you can be sure you’re getting the most relevant information.
- Facebook Pixel: The Complete Guide : AdEspresso also has a great overview and explanation of the Facebook Pixel.
- How to Design Facebook Ad Images Like a Pro (…When You’re Really an Amateur) : Digital Marketer’s short-and-sweet explainer on how to design Facebook ads has everything non-designers need to know about creating ads that look good and work.
- How to foolproof your Facebook advertising strategy : We like these tips and suggestions from Sprout Social on how to make sure your Facebook ads are as effective as possible.
Are you running Facebook ads for your real estate business on your own? If not, what’s holding you back? We want to help!