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Why Your Facebook Real Estate Ads Aren’t Getting Leads

by Jan 17, 2020

You’ve finally done it. You’re running ads on Facebook, and now leads should come in hot and fast. But what if they don’t?

Some people might assume that Facebook ads simply don’t work for real estate, but the truth is not that simple. After all, our TurnKey Suite account managers generate thousands of hot leads for real estate agents each month using Facebook ads. With all of the success stories out there, Facebook ads can’t be the problem. Let’s explore a few reasons your Facebook ads are not getting leads.

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Boosting Posts Instead of Using Ads Manager

Many agents will “boost” posts on their Facebook page because it’s much simpler than setting up a standard Facebook ad campaign. Unfortunately, that means that you lose options that may better align with your business goals.

The goals for boosted posts encourage users to take action on Facebook only, but Facebook ads manager presents more flexible options. For instance, you have the option to “Get more messages” when boosting ads. This directs users to Messenger because Facebook wants to encourage people to use that app! On the other hand, you can optimize specifically for lead generation in Facebook ads manager.

Setting up a Facebook ad for real estate

Facebook ads objective should be set to Lead Generation or Traffic if trying to get leads.

Lead Generation ads tend to be the most expensive ad objective, so if you want to save you can also use “Traffic” as your marketing objective. Traffic ads are designed to be shown to people to most likely click your ad, so they work well with lead capture tools such as IDX Home Search. Usually, you should avoid other ad objectives like Engagement or Reach if you want leads. These ad types tend to spend money with less in return.

Poor User Experience

When running ads, you should put yourself in the shoes of your potential customers and think about what they will experience. Consider the different contexts in which someone might see your ads, and always keep in mind that no one visits Facebook to see ads. They come to interact with friends, family and organizations they follow. Anything that creates anxiety or uncertainty could lead to a lost opportunity.

Failing to Gain Attention

First of all, consider how your users will discover your ad. Most likely they will be skimming through their newsfeed where you are competing with family pictures, videos, and status updates. Would your ad stand out enough to cause your potential customer to stop and take a closer look?

If not, maybe you need to rethink the images you’re using. If advertising a property, consider how to show off the home’s biggest selling points visually. Maybe it’s a gorgeous kitchen with well-staged photos. Perhaps, the house is a fixer-upper, but the price is a bargain. In that case, maybe a banner with the price would be enough to capture attention.

Poorly Optimized Ad Text

The text you use also impacts how many leads your ads yield. Facebook limits the amount of text that will be displayed in your ad, especially on mobile devices. So if you write a long ad only some of that text will show up. To see the rest of the text, users will have to click the “See More” link.

Show More Link In Facebook Ad

Keep in mind that much of your ad text may be hidden until the user clicks “See More.”

Since you have less text visible, you have to nail the first line. Your first line should create enough curiosity that people will either click to view the rest of your text or click your ad. Similarly, the rest of your ad text should give people just enough info that they are ready to take the next step whether that’s searching for homes, attending an open house, or scheduling a showing.

You should also be clear about what action you want users to take. Marketers call this a “call to action.” For example, you might say, “See how much your home is worth” or “Search for homes in your area.” Usually, you should have one short call to action per ad, and it should be the last part of your ad text.

Setting the Wrong Expectations

On that note, you should consider what expectations your ads set for users, too. Imagine if you were face to face with a client telling them about a property. You get them excited about all the features, and maybe you even arrange a viewing. Then you drop a surprise like it’s out of their budget or needs a major repair. You could easily see where they’d lose interest, right?

The same principle applies here. You have to manage expectations. Be clear and forthcoming about what will happen when someone clicks your ad, and deliver on that promise. For instance, if you tell people how easy it will be to search for homes and schedule a showing, then your link should lead directly to a home search. Not only that, your lead form should be as simple as possible, too.

Misleading ads not only hurt your ability to get leads, but they will cost more to run. Each ad you run receives a relevancy score. A misleading ad will lower this relevancy score which affects the price you pay to run it. Not to mention, the distrust you create with a misleading ad, intentional or not, discourages people from sharing contact information and sends the wrong message about your business.

Your Offer Isn’t Appealing Enough

At its most basic level, lead generation is an exchange. You offer something of value in return for a person’s contact information. With the rise of the robocalls and spam, the price for contact info has risen, too. That’s why you need a powerful lead magnet at the center of your lead generation strategy.

IDX Home Sarch

You can think of a lead magnet as a good or service that you can offer a potential client in return for their contact info. Highly relevant offers like a free home value analysis tend to work best because these lead magnets will attract the right people.

In a highly competitive market, you may have to sweeten the offer even further to stand out from competitors. For instance, you could create a free guide to selling a home to people who request their home’s value. Get creative and experiment to see what convinces people to provide their contact information.

Your Campaign Isn’t Optimized

With so many options, running a Facebook ad campaign can be difficult for professional marketers let alone real estate agents. Audience targeting, budgets, and placements can all influence the performance of campaigns.

If your Facebook ads aren’t getting leads, you may not have enough people seeing them in the first place. For instance, you may need to broaden your audience location or targeting criteria to include more people. In competitive markets, an ad with a low budget may be outbid by other advertisers, and so adjustments to bidding strategies or overall could help an ad get in front of more people.

Real Estate Ad Audience Size Too Narrow

Your targeting settings can limit the can limit how many people see your real estate ads on Facebook.

Your campaign may not be getting in front of the right people either. For example, you may have your ads set to show up on Instagram, but if you’re promoting a million dollar listing where your target demographic is likely an older buyer, this may not be an ideal ad placement. Similarly, your ad may show up in the Stories section of Facebook and Instagram by default, but if your target audience doesn’t use the Stories feature this could be a waste of ad dollars.

You Need More Time

In a world that wants instant gratification, this can be a hard truth, but sometimes your ads just need more time. Real estate activity ebbs and flows with the seasons and as markets change. Unfortunately, you may just have the perfect ad campaign at the wrong time.

Does that mean you should pull ads during slow seasons? Not necessarily. Ads usually take experimentation to get right, and the slow season can be the perfect time to test what works for lower costs. Then when business picks up you’ll be ready to reap the rewards with a proven message unlike those who waited.

Plus, with the relatively low cost of Facebook ads, you can easily make up for the money spent with just one or two sales. That means you have greater leeway with this type of ad compared to buying leads on Zillow or which are more expensive.

Optimizing Your Facebook Real Estate Ads

Unfortunately, no one reason usually exists to explain why your Facebook ads are not getting leads. That’s exactly why people pay for services like Turnkey Suite to manage their Facebook ad campaigns. Since they handle Facebook ads daily, they can quickly make the adjustments needed to get the best results.

Account Manager Discusses Facebook Real Estate Ads Strategy

A Turnkey Suite advertising account manager discusses strategies for Facebook real estate ad campaigns.

If you are running your own Facebook real estate ads, then you will have to invest some time and effort to get more leads. Try setting up a few ad campaigns on small ad budgets, and monitor the results. If a campaign outperforms others, try increasing the budget for that campaign, and turn off poorly performing campaigns.

Running real estate ads on Facebook may seem like a lot of work, but like most things in life, you get what you put in. If you put in the energy, Facebook ads can return great results. Whether you choose to manage your own ads or hire someone to handle it, one thing is certain: doing nothing gets you nothing.


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Meet the Author

Jonathan earned his Masters in Mass Communications from the University of Florida. He specializes in online communications and web design. When he’s not developing marketing strategies, he enjoys hiking and playing the guitar.

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