Last Updated on September 4, 2019
Massive Changes to Real Estate Advertising
Have you kept up with the massive changes with Facebook ads that apply across the board for real estate? And how have they begun to affect your online marketing?
If you’ve been living under a rock, or just don’t keep up with the near-daily changes on Facebook, then you may not have heard about the new special category that Facebook ads is now requiring for all agents, brokers, and marketers working for real estate agents.
So what has changed?
The largest change in my eyes, is that you are no longer allowed to exclude anything from your advertising. Now, I know what you might be thinking… “I just won’t use the special ad category and I’ll do what I want!”
Unfortunately, that’s the quickest way to get your ad account shut down, and you may never get it back again.
What does it mean that exclusions are no longer possible? It means simply that it makes your job much harder to get the “qualified” leads you want. While inclusions have also been limited, not being able to exclude people such as other Realtors from your ads, simply means it’s going to cost you more money to get the same results.
What is an exclusion?
Let’s use a very simple example. Let’s say you wanted to include people in your targeted Facebook ad that like the following pages: Zillow, realtor.com and homes.com.
Now that sounds easy enough, right?
What you would have done before this change is also EXCLUDE people who are real estate agents, as you do not want them clicking on your ads and submitting their info. This changes the Facebook Pixel (Facebook’s special code that helps you track how your ad is performing) and in turn will show your ad to even more agents if they are the ones submitting information on your ads!
Now that exclusions aren’t possible, lots of people you would have excluded are probably going to click on your ads.
I personally don’t think this was Facebook’s intention when eliminating exclusions, but unfortunately, this is the new Facebook ads reality.
What else should I know?
A few things that have changed are all in regards to Fair Housing laws. These items are things agents, and/or their marketers, should not have been targeting against anyway, so it’s not something you should be too concerned about.
However, one major change that was also made is that all advertising must go to a certain town, plus 15 miles. Without exclusions, this also means all those areas where you DON’T want your advertisement showing, are going to be shown and there is absolutely nothing you can do about it.
But how to we get around it?
In short, there is no way to “get around it.” But there are a few things you can do to ensure your advertisements are being seen by the right people.
First, make sure to call out your audience specifically in your ads. Since you need need to have a 15 mile radius around a specific town… if you want to ONLY target that town, call the town out by name! In my case, the town I live in is Huntington. If I was going for buyers or sellers, I would call people in Huntington out by directly saying something like “Hey Huntington Residents” or “Looking to move to Huntington?”
This will do a few things.
Help the right people pay attention
As you may know, Facebook reads your ad copy. By calling Huntington out, it will tend to show your ad to people who have activity in and around Huntington. This means more of the RIGHT people seeing your ad.
This will also naturally let people who are not living in, or interested in living in Huntington, to immediately mentally gloss over your ad, since it does not apply to them or what they’re looking for.
Use images that apply to your desired audience
Make sure to use local images in your ads of the area you are advertising in. While many homes look the same in many areas, surrounding towns and villages may have a different look and feel.
If that is the case where you are advertising, then make sure the images you are using match the area you are advertising directly. This will naturally create an emotion in someone’s mind if they have been searching in the area, or already live there.
What kind of images should I use?
Be creative. Use restaurants, parks, video, and anything else you can think of to make people know you’re talking about the area that you are advertising to.
While this means more legwork upfront, this also means that the people who do respond to your ad will be more likely to be qualified for what you’re selling them!
Should I be worried?
Well, if you’ve been breaking fair housing laws to get your ads in front of the right people you should be worried. Be VERY careful moving forward, and go back through your ad account to delete any ads that you even think may have violated any of them.
If you’ve been following the law to a “T” while advertising, you will need to make some minor adjustments, but overall you should not notice a massive increase in ad spend or cost per lead.
Happy Advertising! Have questions? Add a comment below!
3 thoughts on “Big Changes to Facebook Ads for Real Estate Agents: What You Need to Know”
1000 closings in 12 years? Mmm 83 per year average Really????
You are a success and give good advice but please remember to use UPPER CASE R when spelling Realtor. Realtor is a registered trade name and requires the R to be in upper case. Realtor.com was given permission to use the lower case r to make it easier for people to type it in their computer/i-phone etc.
Don Flannery, Realtor since 1969
You’re absolutely right Donald- thank you! We’ll get that fixed.