Profiling The Top Performing Ads From 2020

At Boost by HomeSpotter, we run hundreds of thousands of ads for real estate agents each year. Using our optimized templates and custom targeting settings, these campaigns see click through rates that are many times higher than the industry average.

But some ads rise above the rest and are able to hit an ultra high level of performance. Here, we’ve rounded up the top-performing real estate ads that Boost placed in 2020 — and we share our insights on what made them so special.

Wondering how to get to 100,000 views, or how to drive in 2,500 clicks to your listing? These agents prove that with the right image, copy and targeting, anything is possible. 

Putting the backyard up front

Agent:  Rick Wanamaker
Market: Des Moines, IA
Ad type: Open house announcement
Performance: 34% click through rate

The average click-through rate for real estate-themed ads is about 1%. So how did this Rick Wanamaker manage to achieve an astounding 34.8% click through rate on this open house campaign? Through a combination of strategic visuals and a timely offer.

Rather than use the traditional curbside photo, Rick made the surprising choice to highlight the backyard. This home features a stunning, oversized lot and (this is rare) looks as beautiful from the back as it would from the front.

Rick’s ad copy highlights the historic neighborhood and significance of the property — which would make sense to anyone viewing the stately home via their Facebook News Feed.

Last, we think the ad benefited from a short run time before the property’s open house. By creating urgency around the upcoming open house, the audience is given an opportunity to respond — either by RSVPing, unlocking directions to the event, or simply perusing the listing photos on Rick’s landing page. In this case, more than ⅓ of the targeted audience decided they wanted to learn more about this property.

Going beyond curbside with video

Agent:  Lianna Colestock
Market: Minneapolis – St. Paul
Ad type: Price reduction announcement
Performance: 2,494 clicks in less than 7 days

If you’re only using one photo within an ad, the curbside view is typically the best choice. Video ads from Boost allow agents to start with the exterior shot, while also highlighting some of the features — in this case, the 4-season porch and large yard — that make the property unique and valuable. 

In this ad, Lianna’s viewers get a glance at these elements, but the pace of the video is fast enough that they are motivated to click through to view the listing photos for more detail.

While Lianna mentions that the property has undergone a price reduction, she also:

  • Does not provide a final listing price on the ad.
  • Highlights the highly-rated local school district.

In doing so, she further encourages potential buyers to both consider this property and to click through to the landing page. 

Letting clients do the bragging

Agent:  Ericka Taylor
Market: Chicago metro
Ad type: Agent promotion
Performance: 8x CTR vs agent promo average

Agent promo ads from other vendors often get a bad rap because they tend to operate as “brand-builder” ads without a clear sense of ROI. You might get a final impressions count sent to your inbox, but you don’t know who saw the ad or if they retained your name or information for follow-up. 

Boost by HomeSpotter ads offer the ability for agents to target a local audience, and also to target their own sphere of influence — and that’s what Ericka did in this simple, effective campaign. By targeting her own contacts, the ad attracted several positive comments from previous clients. Ads with this kind of embedded social proof are wildly effective when it comes to driving interest from potential buyers and sellers who are otherwise unfamiliar with an agent.

In this case, the ad’s targeting (and the effusive praise in the comments) helped Ericka drive clicks to her website. Better than a bus bench ad with zero tracking, right?

A storybook ending (1,000+ clicks!) for a fairytale home

Agent:  Jan Wheeler
Market: Harrisburg, PA
Ad type: Open house announcement
Performance: 1,000+ clicks in 4 days

When you have a lead image like this one to work with, your ad is bound to be irresistibly clickable. Agent Jan Wheeler takes it even further, by emphasizing the storybook setting in contrast to the surrounding urban centers within the ad description. 

While this campaign only ran for a few days leading up to Jan’s open house event, it generated an impressive 1,177 clicks to the event landing page. Imagine sharing that news with your sellers!

Photography designed for sharing

Agent:  Kendrick Forbes
Market: Turks & Caicos
Ad type: Listing ad
Performance: 100,000 impressions, 350+ Likes

Leave it to The Agency, a luxury real estate brand that lists some of the finest properties in the world, to have a listing (and supporting photography!) like this. In a year where most people could only dream of white sand beaches and beautiful tropical water, this eye-popping listing was a surefire win.

But even we were surprised when we saw the numbers on this ad campaign — which gleaned nearly 101,000 views on Instagram. So, what made the difference for this property in Turks and Caicos?

First, the ad got a lot of early traction and engagement from users, which signaled the platform to show it more often. We believe this is because The Agency already has a large, organic following of people who love to see incredible properties. When an ad can appear to be organic within a feed, viewers are more likely to give it their time and attention. The result was record-breaking numbers on a post that many didn’t even realize was an advertisement. Talk about a win-win.

Unlocking more listings by being specific

Agent:  Lisa Hassel
Market: Austin, TX area
Ad type: Seller-focused ad
Performance: CTR 4x average

Listing inventory has been extremely tight for most of 2020. To encourage consumers to list their houses, Lisa Hassel used a Boost by HomeSpotter agent promo ad. But instead of using a generic real estate photo, or a photo of herself, she selected a listing photo. This is smart — listing ads tend to perform better than stock photography or headshots on both Facebook and Instagram. 

Within the copy, Lisa made it clear that she wasn’t selling a specific home — but she was available to work with sellers who were considering listing soon. She also offered a clear value to anyone who clicked through, in the form of a free home value report. All told, a seller-focused offer in this hot market was enough to earn 4x the clicks of an average agent promotion campaign. 

If you’re hoping to get in front of early-stage sellers without doing years of farming and door-to-door prospecting, this type of ad campaign could help you achieve your goals sooner.

About Boost by HomeSpotter

Boost helps agents create effective digital ad campaigns through optimized ad templates and targeting that can be customized by property. New campaigns take less than five minutes to create through our streamlined setup process. Click here to run a new listing campaign today.

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