Utilizing Facebook for Real Estate Investors
You’ve likely seen Facebook Ads for real estate investors. This form of advertising is on the rise because more REIs now realize how powerful Facebook is for advertisers. As a real estate investor, you utilize digital marketing to help reach potential buyers and sellers.
You likely employ SEO optimization for the copy on your blog posts, landing pages, and website. You also are probably using pay-per-click ads on search engines to target relevant audiences and generate leads. You may think you’ve covered all your bases, but you’re missing out on a vital opportunity to grow your business if you’re not incorporating Facebook into your online strategy.
Facebook has excellent features you can use to find your target audience and present yourself professionally. First of all, you should make a separate “fan page” for your business on Facebook rather than using your personal profile. This is a good idea because a personal profile is subject to Facebook’s 5,000 friend limit. Once you’ve made your profile, you can use Facebook’s ad manager to target your ads.
A brief note on what targeting criteria you should be paying attention to. Of the people interested in “Real Estate Investors,” 39.64% are 25-34, while ages 35-44 account for 24.34% of this group. Additionally, women accounted for 29%, and men accounted for 71%. This information is vital when deciding whom to target with your ads to ensure maximum impact.
When looking for sellers, the most essential criteria might be income level, as this will help you parse through who is merely planning to sell their house and who needs to sell their home as soon as possible. The latter group tends to be more motivated to sell, while those with more disposable income may have the means to hold onto an undesirable property for longer.
Something you should be careful about restricting is the geographic range of your advertisement. If you limit your ad to people located in your area, you miss out on absentee owners. Also, be sure to market to users interested in your competitors. People who are interested in other REIs are more likely to be in the market to buy or sell.
So, what if you’re skeptical of Facebook’s potential value to you? Maybe you or someone you know had a disappointing experience with real estate investing Facebook Ads.
It’s not unheard of for a business to spend money on Facebook Ads and see an uptick in leads without a corresponding uptick in conversions. However, it’s important to realize that the quality of the leads you’ll get from Facebook have more to do with your goals and your approach to the platform than the platform itself.
When setting up the ad manager for your account, you can use either Facebook’s automatic forms or send potential leads to your landing page with a custom form. There is a tendency to regard Facebook’s lead forms as more cost-effective because they generate more leads. However, this belief is misguided, as these leads tend to be of lower quality.
A lead form is designed to do one thing get you filled-out lead forms, and it does this very well. Lead forms produce such a high response rate by being extremely low-effort. These users barely have to process your ad for the form to populate itself with information pulled from their Facebook accounts. When you choose to use Facebook’s forms, users scroll until they see your ad. These users only see the text and visuals of your ad, which isn’t much information.
So, this method will produce a lot of leads, but that’s not necessarily useful if these leads don’t lead to conversions. These leads didn’t have to have much motivation to populate an automatic form. You’re liable to catch a lot more junk by casting a wider net.
We’re not saying to dismiss lead forms. On the contrary, they’re advantageous for targeting mobile users and can be a valuable part of your Facebook strategy. Still, we prefer a more deliberate approach for generating high-quality leads with a higher conversion rate.
The way to produce higher-quality leads requires more effort on the part of users than using lead forms. Unlike lead forms, which need light engagement with your ad, getting Facebook users to your landing page to fill out a form manually requires them not only to click on your ad, they must then go to your website and then decide to fill out a lead form once they get there.
Each step in this process is another place where a potential seller can decide this isn’t worth their time. The flip side of this? You’re weeding out people who only have a passing interest in your business. While this causes leads to plummet, you’ll see your conversion rate skyrocket. That’s because users will actually see (and process) your site before they fill out the form.
Simply using auto-forms might create ten times as many leads as taking users to your landing page, but that doesn’t make it better if you examine or pursue ten times as many leads for the same number of conversions. Using a method that requires a little more engagement from users helps you avoid potentially useless leads who have little motivation to sell their homes.
Another issue with auto-forms is that they may be outdated. For example, people’s information on their Facebook profile isn’t necessarily updated every time they change phone numbers or move to a new address.
That means you could potentially receive hundreds of leads that don’t even give you the necessary information to pursue them. After all, they’re hardly leads if they don’t lead you to potential sellers! If you bring users to a landing page to fill out a form manually, you ensure that the information you’re provided with is accurate.
Here are a few stats that demonstrate Facebook’s tremendous reach:
- 2.80 billion monthly active users
- 1.84 billion daily active users
- 2.6 billion family daily active people
- 3.3 billion family monthly active people
There’s a huge audience using Facebook, but how effective is the platform for reaching the audiences you need? The answer is that it’s very effective, allowing you to reach up to 59% of social media users across all platforms.
Here’s why that matters. The same people on Google are also on Facebook or other social media platforms. Most people looking for a way to sell their house fast or as-is also have Facebook and other social media accounts.
Even better, there’s an even larger untapped market of people who haven’t been seeking ways to sell their house fast or as-is.
How do you get through to that market, though? How do you use real estate investing Facebook Ads to convince them to sell their off-market homes if they weren’t looking to do so?
First, it’s important to understand that you’re convincing them so much as making them aware of the possibility. Many people in your potential audience don’t know that they would even be able to sell their homes at this point. In addition, many of these sellers have properties that are not ready to be listed.
These people have homes that need to have major repairs and renovations done, hoarder homes in need of intensive cleaning, or face foreclosure. It’s your job to make them see that they can sell their house to you, getting rid of their burdens quickly and easily. So how do you do that in your Facebook Ad for real estate investors?
The Importance of Visuals
For one thing, you shouldn’t go straight for the selling slogan. People who browse Facebook aren’t looking to be marketed to. These users are looking to see what their friends are doing and discussing. You need to think about what your audience wants before you throw out an ad with a picture of a nondescript house with text declaring something like “we buy houses.” That’s no way to bring attention to your Facebook Ad for real estate investors.
Real estate is extremely visual. You can’t just use relevant search terms in your ads and expect them to be effective. Remember, these users we’re trying to reach are not even considering selling their homes, so keywords are useless. You need to show them homes just like theirs to communicate your message: “you can sell your burdensome, seemingly unsellable home to me.”
How do you draw attention to your Facebook Ad for real estate investors? You have to show these potential sellers pictures of what they want to be. Show them somebody who has just sold their seemingly unsellable house.
You need to use images and videos of homes in need of repair. I mean ugly-looking homes with serious renovation-related needs and even images of hoarder homes filled with clutter and filth.
To accomplish this, you should use pictures from both inside and outside of the house. Additionally, it would be best if you used houses in various settings so that you can appeal to users across rural, suburban and urban areas.
A user who sees a Facebook Ad for real estate investors like that says to themselves, “if they bought that home, they’d buy mine!” It’s all about getting viewers to realize you have the solution to their problems and then connecting them with your message (cue the “we buy houses” slogan).
Again, people are on Facebook for personal enjoyment, not because they’re looking forward to seeing a Facebook Ad for real estate investors. So, keep that in mind when selecting the quality of the photos you plan to use. Users aren’t on Facebook to buy or sell their house; they’re looking to engage with content uploaded by their friends and family.
Suppose an image is captured on a phone camera instead of by a professional photographer. This makes users feel less like they’re being advertised to and more open to engaging with your content.
It’s important to note that 92% of people trust the recommendations of family and friends. So even if you don’t convert a lead, you want to increase brand familiarity to be the first real estate investor people think of when they’re trying to think of ways to help out their friends and family who have a property on their hands that they’re looking to sell as-is.
Real estate investors should use Facebook Ads to find more motivated sellers of off-market properties within their area. These are people with houses prime for buying that might have never searched for a way to sell their home because they did not realize that was even an option.