Can Facebook ads really generate leads?

The truth about social media ads and ROI… and how agents can use them to stay relevant and competitive.

According to the NAR, about 75% of agents say they use social media to help propel their businesses. 

And even more staggeringly, 47% of agents polled say that social media is the source that provides them with the highest quality leads, even when compared to:

  • High-powered MLS sites
  • Broker websites
  • Listing aggregator programs

But if social media is the best source of leads for the real estate industry, why do so many agents still struggle to find new prospects on these platforms? 

Let’s explore.

Building a reputation is different than building a pipeline

First, let’s define some advertising realities. There are two primary types of targeted digital ads available to real estate agents: 

  1. Impression-based ads seek to build up an agent’s exposure and reputation. 
  2. Lead generation ads seek to build an agent’s pipeline via lead forms or other calls to action.

Some agents who are frustrated by a lack of engagement or inbound leads may not realize that they are actually paying for impression-based ads, which offer fewer opportunities for direct contact. Impression-based ads are similar to bus bench ads or billboards in that they can help boost reputation and credibility — but rarely lead to direct contact. 

Lead generation ads, such as traffic-focused ads from Boost by HomeSpotter, help agents make contact with new prospects who may be interested in their services. 

In short, the ads that build an agent’s reputation work differently than the ads that build an agent’s pipeline. 

So, which should you use? It depends on your goals. 

Many firms use both impression-based ads and lead-gen ads to help their agents build their reputations and pipelines. Here’s what BHHS New England Properties’ Vice President of Operations, Katie Redican, has to say about the  brokerage’s ad spend and strategy:

“We use and promote Boost by HomeSpotter as a complement to impression-based ads. Those work for agents who want to check the box for online marketing and get their branding out there. We promote Boost as an option for agents to generate more leads, clicks and inquiries from an engaged audience.”

Katie Redican, VP of Operations, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties

How effective are lead generation ads?

One benefit to running lead generation ads is that agents can very easily measure the ROI of their spend. While impression-based ads tend to share the number of potential views the ads have received, lead generation ads running on social media can measure:

  • Engagement, including likes or comments
  • Total clicks
  • Total conversions

And in addition to the ad tracking data, agents can capture the contact information of leads who have converted on their landing page. 

“Our Boost ads average about 200 clicks per ad. That’s how we know they are targeting the right people on social media and the web.”

Katie Redican, VP of Operations, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties

Understanding the stage and timeline of each lead

Not all leads are created equal. It’s true that even a buyer who knows their exact criteria as they search for a home may be one week from making an offer, or one year away. 

After receiving the contact information of their new prospective buyer, it remains incumbent upon agents to follow up to determine their mindset and timeline. 

Many of our clients choose to sync their CRMs with Boost so that their inbound leads can be placed on automated email marketing plans — and so they know that each inbound lead is not falling through the cracks. In some cases, brokerages like Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties offer their support for these efforts. 

“After a Boost ad generates a lead, we drop those email addresses into our CRM automatically for the agents, and set those contacts up on automated campaigns. Agents not only know they’ve generated interested leads, they know they’re automatically following up with them.”

Social media: Real estate’s top lead source

While there are still a lot of gray areas about how the average agent is using or benefiting from social media, we can draw one clear conclusion from NAR’s recent research and the data from the 20,000+ ads we run for agents each month: the Facebook Ads Network remains the most powerful and effective way that agents can target local buyers and sellers in America.

Whether agents are looking to bolster their reputation or fill their CRM with new prospects, the smartest and most cost-effective way to do it is via online advertising. 

About Boost by HomeSpotter

Boost empowers agents to run effective, automated digital ad campaigns. If you’re hoping to make direct contact with potential new leads, a Boost advertising campaign can help you reach your pipeline goals. 

About Aaron Kardell

Founder and CEO of HomeSpotter

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