To ensure that you’re generating interest and foot traffic for your agents’ open house events, you’ll want to reach likely buyers and sellers through social media ads. If you aren’t able to outsource your ads to a third-party vendor, there’s another option: to manually create individual open house ads that run across Facebook and Instagram.
Keep in mind that running manual ads requires a lot of upfront effort. One broker that we interviewed mentioned that for her open house blitz events, she has four staff members place ads for two days prior to the event. In other words, plan ahead and don’t push off your ad placement for late on a Thursday afternoon.
Step one: Ask agents to submit or mark their open houses
Start by having a plan for how agents can submit their open house events for promotion. Each real estate company will do this differently, but most will build in a deadline before that weekend’s event. For example, you may want to request that all open houses be marked in the MLS by Tuesday evening if you plan to begin building the ads on Wednesday.
Stragglers are inevitable so be prepared to either accommodate last minute open houses or have a firm policy for those that didn’t make it in on time.
Pro tip: Property details for submitted open houses can change along the way. Manually placed ads won’t respond to these updates, because they are generated from your submitted data, not an MLS feed. You may want to plan on updating open house ads and landing pages when new photos become available and to stop running campaigns when an open house event is cancelled due to an accepted offer or other reason. If you are not able to make these adjustments in a timely way, have a clear policy explaining the program’s limitations to agents.
Step two: Collect and organize the assets
In order to set up open house ads for Facebook and Instagram, make sure to collect the assets you need for each property. A successful ad will include all of the details that consumers need to decide if they’re interested in attending the open house, as well as effective branding for the company and brand.
Here are the assets you’ll need:
- Broker name and logo
- Listing agent name and photo
- Listing photos
- Listing address
- List price
- Listing details: # beds, # baths, square footage
- Public listing remarks
- Property landing page URL
Note: While many brokers and brands run the open house ads from their Company-branded Facebook page, others run the ads from each agent’s page. If you plan to run the ads from your agents’ pages, you’ll need admin rights to their Facebook or Instagram accounts.
Step three: Build a campaign in Ads Manager
Once all the assets are collected, you can set up new campaigns using Ads Manager. In this step, you’ll:
- Set the campaign objective and budget
- Determine your campaign dates and optimization method
- Upload the assets for the ad
- Create the ad’s targeting parameters
You can choose geographic areas, consumer interests and make use of your website pixel and custom audiences to craft effective targeting settings per property. Just make sure to keep up-to-date on the special guidelines and limitations for housing content so you don’t violate any Fair Housing rules.
“It’s gotten a little tricky the last couple months, when Facebook rolled out their restrictions for the special ads categories. We can no longer target users by ZIP code so instead, we’ve been focusing on city or DMA. If a listing is in Kansas City or Springfield, we set it to those cities. If we need more coverage, we map it to the Kansas City DMA or Springfield DMA.” — Marissa Easter, Director of Marketing, ReeceNichols
Step four: Monitor and measure your performance
Finally, be sure to have a plan for campaign monitoring and reporting. On Facebook and Instagram, each ad is a post that users can react to in real-time. These comments can be positive or negative and some comments require quick follow-up. Make sure that your social media or marketing team is prepared to handle community management in conjunction with the timing of your event.
At the end of your campaigns, you will have access to a rich source of information and campaign results data within Facebook’s Ads Manager. Plan on summarizing the performance for each agent’s ad so they can share it with their seller. Last, work to create a bird’s-eye view of your overall campaign performance across all open house ads.
Not sure you want to run these ads on your own?
We run thousands of Facebook ads for real estate brands just like yours, each and every week. Reach out today if you’d like help promoting your broker-listed open houses.