Everyone’s talking about Facebook ads these days, especially in the field of real estate and mortgage lending where a simple ad on a shoestring budget could generate a ridiculously high ROI.
I’m getting more and more emails and messages asking me to break down best practices for setting up Facebook (and Instagram) ads. That content is coming soon, and we’ll have a whole lot to cover from geo-targeting to landing pages, remarketing to A/B split-tests.
But before we go behind the scenes and “learn how the sausage is made” (my new favorite saying), I wanted to remind my Realtor, loan officer, and small business peeps that it’s not just enough to upload any stock photo, write a quick line of text, and start throwing money at your Facebook ad, expecting to see great results.
Just like any other form of marketing, you need a high-quality ad with a specific purpose, laser-targeted demographic, clear call to action, and enticing offer waiting on the other side of their click. Many of these will also work best with a separate web landing page (where they receive their free download in exchange for their email address and contact info) or the landing-page-like platform that Facebook offers.
So, today I wanted to share my 25 Facebook (and IG, since they are interconnected) ads that have proven to be ridiculously effective for real estate agents, mortgage lenders, or any small business.
This isn't HOW to run ads, but WHAT KINDS of ads to run that will maximize your results.
Of course, a lot of these pertain to finding customers who need to buy or sell a house, but I’ll cover a few tactics for mortgage lenders looking to attract new clients for a refinance and widen their network of Realtors for referrals, too.
(By the way, so few mortgage lenders are advertising on Facebook – only about 3% compared to the number of Realtors running ads, so opportunities are wide open!)
Let’s get started!
1. Open house and listing ads
An easy place to start is advertising your open house through Facebook. Research shows that you’ll get the greatest result if you run the ad for at least 5-7 days before the actual open house and include both people who live in that radius as well as those who have been there recently (checked in at local businesses, etc.). Of course, you'll ask them to register to see the open house and receive a free listing report, getting their email.
2. Home value report
Other than advertising listings, this is probably the most popular form of ad-into-a-lead magnet you’ll find, and it does work well since everyone loves to hear how much money their home is worth.
3. Value change alert!
Did I just get your attention? This is an AWESOME ad that I get great results from. Notice how it doesn't say that the value in their neighborhood (or their home) has gone up or down, just that it's changed significantly. That will get them clicking to find out!
We're always asking people to buy, sign up, and do business with us, so it's a relief when we just want a consumer's opinion in the form of a quick survey. Add in the incentive that they'll be in the drawing for some sort of prize or giveaway and this will be one of your most effective ads for building your email list – and getting to know your core target demographic.
5. Attention Investors
Click for a list of houses under $200,000, multi-family houses, etc.
This can be for home buying mistakes/listing mistakes/home loan mistakes, etc. Negative-slant blogs, articles, and ads really get people responding to your Call to Action, as psychological research shows that people are more afraid of making mistakes and losing money than they are motivated to earn money!
Are you helping with a charity event, client appreciation night, or educational seminar? Advertise it on Facebook!
8. Market report
A good old-fashioned report with real estate marketing conditions can be a great lead magnet from a Facebook ad. This one is very consistent and easy to set up.
9. Seller Checklist that will save you $30,000!
This one works ridiculously well, as you breakdown a list of everything the average seller can do to save up to $30,000 on their listing (or some amount you deemreasonable). Of course, it's based on existing data and national averages, but you'll basically make a case study for curb appeal, listing and marketing correctly, etc.
10. Buyer checklist
You can do the same thing for homebuyers, giving them a few tips, tactics, negotiation strategies, etc. to save money (and avoid pitfalls).
11. Welcome to the neighborhood!
Download your neighborhood report with the best restaurants, shops, and amenities in the area, as well as a list of schools (not rankings!), parks, and other helpful info!
12. A luxury living ad that speaks to their sophistication
A Harvard study found that ads that were more subtle or discreet and complimented the viewer's sophistication worked exceptionally well, especially for luxury markets. You can also substitute hard-working, intelligent, discerning, having good taste, etc. for sophistication
13. Human interest/profile piece
We’re always so focused on the nuts and bolts, but an ad that highlights you as a professional but even more so, family man/woman, community member, etc. is highly effective in garnering interest. Again, this works best with a short, professional video, but you’ll get a lot more clicks and leads off of it than you might anticipate. Personal and humanizing content is good!
14. Lifestyle-targeted ads
Golf? Cycling on the nearby bike trails? Walking distance to everything? Downtown/midtown living? Make an ad that speaks to that!
15. Ad aimed at out-of-town buyers and investors
As an example, run an ad in the San Francisco/Bay Area about the affordable prices and golden opportunities if they buy in Sacramento. I'm not sure why more Realtors don't do this!
Ok, mortgage lenders;
Most of these can be adapted to lending, like how to avoid common mortgage mistakes instead of home buying mistakes, etc. But I have some great ads for you, too.
16. 3 Homes with 3 Payments ad
Run an ad with three houses, ranging from smaller to bigger and nicer and write in that all three of them have the same monthly payment. (Based on three different lending scenarios/home loan programs/pricing, etc.) People will click just to see how you plan to pull that off!
17. Refinance savings report
Did you know that Fannie Mae estimates that 10 million US homeowners would benefit from a refinance, potentially saving them a collective $500 billion in mortgage payments? (Or something like that). Are you one of them? Click here to find out.
18. Can I save you $32,467 on your home loan?
Any variation of that savings-with-a-refi ad above will work but put in a very specific number for the dollar savings based on projections for the average refinance.
19. Rent versus buy
If you’re going after the first-time homebuyer market (Millennia homebuyers will be coming in drove soon!), you can run an ad demonstrating the benefit of buying versus renting in several ways, from being funny and visual to offering reports with actual hard data.
20. Ad for a first-time buyer checklist
A checklist or guide for first-time buyers is easy to put together and will get you a lot of activity.
Whether you’re a Realtor, lender, or offering any product or service, don’t forget that you can supercharge your ad results by offering a prize/raffle/giveaway. In fact, that can be the whole ad and you’ll get tremendous results for click-throughs (to expand your email list and social media audience, if not outright leads)!
22. Get pre-approved in seconds
A quick prequalification ad that leads to your website and the auto-prequal matrix.
23. “How to save $______ on your next home loan”
Run an ad and show them the benefits of a 15-year versus 30-year mortgage, rate buy-down with points, etc.
24. Target realtors working in your area – you have buyers?
Interest rates are so low now that most lenders are busy with refinances, but I notice that a lot of my clients are playing it smart and keeping 50% of their focus on Realtor relationships and referrals. One way to cast a wider net is to run an ad proclaiming that you have buyers who may need a Realtor to help them. Of course, you’ll want to actually deliver on this promise.
25. Free weekly marketing tip offered to lenders
You can target by occupation with Facebook ads so run an ad offering a free weekly marketing tip or mortgage update for Realtors.
Want some help with your Facebook ads to bring in new leads and maximize your ROI? Drop me a line at info@REMnorm.com.
A quick note on liability:
There are things you can and can’t say in your ads based on national Fair Housing laws, state regulations, as well as independent broker and company rules. I’m going to assume that you know these and follow them, but be careful when talking about interest rates, pricing, neighborhood specifics like school systems, crime, demographics, and more. If in doubt, it’s a good idea to run your ad by your broker first!