How to Set Up Your First Facebook Real Estate Ad

If you’re a real estate agent and you’re not marketing your property listings with Facebook ads, it’s time to get started.

While Facebook boasts more than 2 billion active daily users, recent changes to the platform mean that businesses’ page updates often go unnoticed by fans now. Ads have emerged as the winning option, with guaranteed results that you can measure and improve over time.

This guide will show you exactly how to set up beginner Facebook ads for real estate agents. Get the best advice from experts, see screenshots from every step, and, as a bonus, learn how to automate much of what you’d be doing manually.

Do you have a listing you’d like to start with? Good! Let’s dive in.

Step 1: Setting up Facebook Business Manager

First, you will need to set up your Business Manager account, where you will manage your real estate ads. Go to Facebook Business Manager.

Business FB Manager
Here, you’ll enter your business name, your name, and your business email address. Then, you’ll arrive at your Business Manager dashboard.

business manager 2
Here, you can connect to your business Facebook page (or create one), add ad accounts, and add any other people who may work on your ads.

business manager 3
Also notice that you can connect an Instagram account or other apps. Facebook owns Instagram, so it’s super easy to start marketing your listings on Instagram at the same time!

What’s the difference between a Facebook page and a profile?

Your profile is your personal account. That’s where you post photos of your family, interact with your close friends, and share personal news.

Your business page, on the other hand, is a separate entity, where you post the items you want associated with you as a professional (including your real estate agent Facebook ads).

You must have a personal account before you can create a business page. From your profile, you can create different types of business pages, as explains here.

types of business pages

Setting up your realtor Facebook business page

If you don’t have a Facebook page for your real estate business, you can set one up here by clicking “Create Page,” as shown in the above screenshot. For more details, here’s a great guide to setting up a real estate Facebook page by Fit Small Business.

Connecting your existing Facebook realtor page

If you already have a page for your real estate business, click “Add Page.”

add a fb page
Next, click “Add Ad Account.”

add ad account
If you do not have an ad account, click “Create Ad Account.”

add ad accounts to business manager
You’ll need to add some basic information, including a name for your ad account, a time zone, and a currency.

create new ad account

Once you create your ad account, you’ll be directed to the page below. Click “Business Settings” to reach the control center for your ad account.

business settings

From there, add a payment method by clicking “Payments” and entering your card information. With your payment established, you’ll be able to buy ads.
business settings 2
payment methods

Now, you’ve set up the basic elements of your Facebook Business Manager account: your business page, an ad account, and a payment method.

Step 2: Creating real estate Facebook ads

With your Facebook Business Manager account created, you’re ready to start building ads.
To begin, click “Business Settings” from the page you were on in Step 1 to drop open the navigation menu; select “Ads Manager.”

business settings ad manager
Facebook Ads Manager is where realtors can create and control their Facebook ads. To start, click “Create.”

create ad manager
You’ll see two ways you can create ads. We’re going to select Guided Creation under Create Complete Campaign. This is the easiest way to get started with Facebook ads for realtors.

how do you want to create ad
In the following section, you’ll determine the major settings and components of your ad.

A) Set your objective

The first question you’ll see, once you select Guided Creation, is “What’s your marketing objective?”

Your objective is simply the goal of your ad. Facebook will structure your ad according to the objective you choose.

Let’s say for this first Facebook ad that you’re advertising a property listing. You want to get people to view the listing and schedule an appointment on your website.

Based on those goals, getting traffic is the main objective for this property listing.

what's your marketing objective

Split testing

After setting your objective, you’ll see an option to select A/B testing, also called split testing.

With this feature, you create two versions of the same ad, with only one thing changed. Each version runs with different user groups, Facebook tests which one performs better, and you can improve your ads based on the results.

To keep your first Facebook ad simple, let’s skip split testing today. You can study up on split testing with this resource as soon as you feel ready.

Create New Ad Set

A Facebook ad set is a group of ads with the same budget, schedule, bid settings, and targeting settings.

For your first ad, you’ll need to create an ad set for it—give it a name and select where you want people to go when they click your ad. Most agents will direct users to their real estate website.

create new ad set

B) Audience

The power of Facebook audience targeting can’t be stressed enough for real estate agents. With this feature, you can direct your ads to be placed in front of your ideal target buyers for the property you’re promoting.

Let’s walk through a few targeting basics now, including recent changes that affect Facebook ads for realtors.

The Detailed Targeting box lets you tap into audiences according to their interests. Realtors have enjoyed targeting by specific traits like “homeowners” and “likely to move.” However, Facebook discontinued these choices on June 30, 2018.

Here are the primary targeting options that have been removed from Facebook:

  • Income
  • Likely to move
  • New mover
  • Recent homebuyer
  • Recent mortgage borrower
  • Mortgage online
  • Spending habits
  • Education
  • Employment
  • Field of study
  • Job title

The good news is that you can still use interest targeting and advanced geo-targeting. Geo-targeting lets you target people who

  • are in a specific area,
  • are traveling to a specific area, or
  • have visited a specific area recently.

The selection “Everyone in this location” includes all of these choices.

Additionally, you can target prospective buyers by their interests. This might include activities that match with the amenities of the property listing. For example, you might target the interest of skiing for an ad promoting a home in the Rockies.

Her are more recommendations for appealing to target markets on Facebook, beyond demographics. You can also access our comprehensive guide How to Target Your Real Estate Ads to the Right Facebook Audience to learn more about this powerful feature.

How big should your audience be?

Audience size can be as low as 5–10,000 or as large as 30,000 when it comes to Facebook ads for real estate agents. It comes down to factors like the size of the local population, the breadth of a home’s appeal, and your experience. When just starting out, you can try a narrower audience and expand from there.

C) Delivery of your Facebook real estate ad

Facebook calls its delivery system “Placements.” You have two options.

Let Facebook show your ad based on its algorithm for placements. This option could result in your ad being placed all across Facebook:

  • Feeds
  • Instant Articles
  • In-stream videos
  • Right column
  • Marketplace

Or you can uncheck those spots where you’d rather not show your ad. Finding which placements work best for you will require some experimenting. The more you test different placements, the more insights you’ll have on optimal locations.

Optimization for ad delivery

Facebook allows you to choose an “Optimization for Ad Delivery” setting, which is your advertising goal.

For property-listing ads with landing pages, “Landing Page Views” is the ideal advertising goal.landing page views
Instead of optimizing for accidental clicks, your ad will be delivered to people who are likely to load the landing page and explore your listing.

D) Budget and schedule

Your budget should be sustainable over the long term, so Facebook ads can be part of your ongoing real estate marketing. Consider what you can commit to before starting a campaign.

budget and schedule
As a benchmark, the average Facebook real estate ad spend is between $250 and $350 for a 28-day campaign.

When budgeting, plan to run ads long enough to get traction and see results. As a rule of thumb, Facebook advertiser Jason How likes to wait for an ad to get at least 1,500 impressions before he makes any changes. By giving your ads time to run, the results become more meaningful because you’ve gathered more data.

E) Choose your listing ad format

Select from a variety of formats using images or video, depending on the content of your listing. The most basic option is to select “Single Image” and create a simple ad with one photo.

However, the more advanced options are advantageous because they give users more visuals to explore. You can show multiple views of a property with a carousel ad, or you can even promote multiple listings at once with a collection ad. You can learn more about the dynamic ad format options on Facebook with this HomeSpotter resource.

Enter the text for your ad

You’ll need to enter a headline and an ad description that tells people about the property listing and how to find out more information.

For in-depth advice about writing Facebook ad copy, check out our guides How to Write Real Estate Ads That Sell Properties Fast. For inspiration, check out The 5 Best Examples of Creative Real Estate Listing Descriptions.

You’ll also need to choose text for the ad’s call to action, or the button that users click on the ad. “Learn More” is the most common choice for real estate listing ads on Facebook.

Here’s a Facebook ad example showing the different types of ad copy.

ad copy

[Modified from source]

With your ad copy set, all that’s left to do is publish your ad. With your promotion on Facebook, you can see the hard work of creating the ad pay off as you gain more traffic for your listing.

Measuring performance of Facebook ads for realtors

To maximize the value of your ad spend, measure engagement to see which ads are performing well. Using that research, you can iterate to improve your ads and get more clicks.

You can access data under Measure & Report in your Business Manager control panel.

ads reporting
Important metrics you will want to keep your eye on:

  • Clicks
  • Click-through rate
  • Engagement
  • Reach
  • Impressions
  • Frequency

You can find definitions of each metric here.

According to WordStream, the average click-through rate (CTR) across all industries is 0.90%. But Facebook ads for real estate (agents, brokers, etc.) enjoy an industry average CTR of 0.99% and an average cost per click of $1.81. Conversion rates are 10.68% for real estate ads on Facebook. You can use these as benchmarks when looking at performance.

How to automate Facebook ads for real estate agents

While the process of creating ads is easy, many agents are too busy to maintain and improve their ads on Facebook. To solve this problem, HomeSpotter created an app called Boost to automate Facebook ads for real estate agents.

Boost by HomeSpotter lets realtors start advertising property listings on Facebook in minutes. It automatically creates an individual advertisement for every new listing and open house. Boost creates custom artwork for the ad, writes ad copy, optimizes the target audience, creates a lead page, and even tracks analytics.

Here’s a sample Facebook ad for a realtor created with Boost by HomeSpotter:

homespotter boost

You can try it out and see how your listing looks with just the MLS number.

let's find your listing
See more examples of how some real estate agents are automating listings with Boost by HomeSpotter and then learn more for yourself.

Start attracting leads through Facebook ads

Facebook remains an exciting, useful platform for realtors. Today, you learned how to create an account and set up your first real estate ad using Facebook Business Manager. Now you’re ready to get that property listing in front of a targeted audience through Facebook ads. With such a powerful platform, you’ll drive traffic to your listing and find a buyer for your property in no time.

About Aaron Kardell

Founder and CEO of HomeSpotter

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