The Beginner's Guide to Using Facebook to Capture Real Estate Leads
Are you a real estate agent struggling to convert your current and potential clients on Facebook?
Can you really use Facebook to grow your real estate business?
Besides posting your listings and client testimonials, there are a few tricks and tips to optimizing your Facebook business page that can help you generate more qualified leads and higher conversions.
In this guide we’ll be covering everything you need to know about using Facebook as a real estate agent, including:
- Why marketing on Facebook is worth your time
- How to start capturing leads today
- When and what to post to engage your followers
- How to use landing pages for higher conversions
Let’s start by discussing why Facebook makes a perfect match for real estate agents.
Why You Should Be Using Facebook As a Real Estate Agent
You probably have your own real estate website or you’re part of a real estate agency and they handle all the website work for you.
But you can’t rely solely on your website if you want to stay competitive.
The top earning realtors are also active on Facebook. They know:
Facebook is easy to use and super visual, which is exactly what you need to entice buyers and sellers. It’s simple to share posts and almost everyone is familiar with how the site works.
It’s where your clientele hangs out. There are more adults on Facebook than on any other social media platform.
Consider these stats:
- Close to 70% of adults have a Facebook account
- The average person spends 35 minutes a day on Facebook
- 45% of people say they’ve walked through a home only after viewing it online first.
It only makes sense for your real estate business to have an active presence on Facebook with figures like those.
Plus, access to Facebook’s Audience Insights tool is gold.
Ground zero for your Facebook business page, Audience Insights gives you intel like household size and how frequently your followers log onto Facebook -- information a regular Facebook profile page doesn’t offer.
Using these stats, you’ll be able to hone in on key demographics in your audience to run targeted ads to those most likely to respond to them.
So now that you know why it’s crucial to have a Facebook page as a realtor, let’s talk about the best ways to use it to your advantage.
5 Steps to Winning More Real Estate Clients on Facebook
Follow each of these tips and you’ll have a booked appointment calendar in no time:
1. Set Up Your Facebook Business Page
Many realtors will use their personal Facebook accounts to drum up business from their existing contacts.
But this is actually a violation of Facebook’s Terms of Service policy, which says if you’re conducting business in any way, you need to have a Facebook business page to do so.
So use your personal Facebook account to connect with friends, family, and new contacts while directing them to your business Facebook page whenever you’re on the clock.
2. Create and Post Free Quality Content
Why should anyone follow your Facebook account?
Because you’re going to post relevant and valuable content your followers will find helpful and interesting.
Instead of “selling yourself” by posting customer testimonials and listings every day, think about how you can give your followers value without asking for anything in return.
People will start to look to your account for information and build a relationship with you as a brand.
When the time comes to buy or list their home, you’re the one they’re going to turn to since you’ve been so knowledgeable and helpful in the past.
You’ll stay top of mind without your clients feeling as if they’re being “pitched” or “sold to” all the time. It’s a true win/win.
So how do you do this the right way?
Start with the 80/20 rule, which means 80% of your Facebook posts should be helpful, relevant content while the remaining 20% should be kept for listings, open houses, and other promotional information.
Create a variety of posts instead of simply relying on the boring photo+listing information standard.
Your followers have a lot competing for their attention so always ask yourself if what you’re sharing is relevant to them specifically.
Try creating content other leading real estate agents use, such as:
- Local news updates regarding homes or neighborhoods in your area
- Blog posts about home buying and selling, increasing property value, relocating to your town, etc.
- How-tos for first-timers and DIY enthusiasts (i.e., How to Stage Your Home, How To Flip a House, How to Spot a Solid Investment Property, etc.)
- Infographics, checklists, and timelines
Source: Bill Gassett, a Realtor, providing valuable information to people getting ready to move.
Keep this content short and super interesting. Your goal here is building relationships and pivoting yourself as an expert in your followers’ area. Think long-term payoff here -- not the short, hard sell.
Add more video posts. Videos give prospective buyers a better way to visualize a space when photos can’t quite place them there.
One Australian real estate group discovered listings with videos scored over 400% more interest than listings without them.
And 73% of homeowners say they’re more likely to list with an agent offering video -- yet only an estimated 12% of realtors currently have YouTube accounts to provide this service.
So start shooting more video, upload it to your YouTube account, and then post it to your Facebook page.
Need a few video content ideas? Realtors see awesome results on Facebook with:
- 360 degree walkthroughs of hot listings
- Short drone videos of neighborhoods you specialize in
- Before-and-after home renovation clips
- Home DIY fails
Post one to three times every day to start and then up your posts to no more than five, testing engagement rates continuously.
Don’t worry about how many people “like”, comment on, or share your posts. The point is showing off your value.
Learn the best times to post based on your audience. There’s no sense creating killer content only to post it when no one’s around to see it.
Research suggests that the best time to post on Facebook is between 1 - 3 pm (the timezone should reflect the location of your target audience) which is when engagement tends to be the highest with the most optimal days being Thursdays and Fridays.Research shows 80% of Americans live in Eastern and Central time zones and Saturdays and Sundays earn the highest engagement rates on Facebook.
That gives you a decent window to get started.
But think about your audience and when they may be most likely to browse Facebook. Are they retirees looking for a beach house on their leisure time or busy parents working around a school schedule?
While free content should be more about your followers, gated content has perks for both of you.
3. Add Gated Content to Grow Your Client Base
Your free daily content is meant to provide value to your subscriber base, but gated content is meant to grow your contacts and find new real estate leads.
Also known as a lead magnet because it works like a magnet to attract leads, gated content is a larger, more thorough piece of content. People will need to trade you their contact information (i.e., email or phone number) in order to receive it.
A few examples of gated content for realtors includes whitepapers, ebooks, and PDFs about topics like:
- Buying a home
- Selling a home
- Relocating to your city
- An insider’s guide to living in your town
- Neighborhood reports (i.e., schools, crime, traffic, etc.)
You can post this gated content just like your regular content or use it to create a Facebook ad.
For more on gated content for the real estate industry
Check out “ 40 Real Estate Lead Generation Strategies.”
4. 6 Ways to Take Your Real Estate Facebook Ads to the Next Level
Every realtor should be using Facebook ads to reach current and potential clients.
If you haven’t used them before, check out Wishpond's walkthrough and Facebook ads tutorial to stop wasting time and get started.
When you have the basics down, keep the following tips in mind:
Use the Carousel ad format so your followers can scroll through several images and listings at once.
Source. Example of a carousel ad.
Spend more during peak months. You’re bound to have slow times and peak seasons as a realtor. The secret is making sure you have ads in place during your busiest times of year.
For example, did you know selling a home in San Francisco can net you over $15,000 more if it’s listed during mid-late April?
When you save a bit of cash during your slower periods, you can spend more to push yourself in front of these buyers and sellers during these critical peak windows and reach a wider audience.
1. Market to your spheres of influence by targeting a custom audience.
When you upload a CSV file to Facebook with all your existing contacts, Facebook will target your ads specifically to those accounts which match the names, emails, and phone numbers you provide.
This helps you stay connected with clients who have already bought or sold homes with you before (and may need to do so again or refer your services to a new Facebook contact).
2. Experiment with a lookalike audience.
After you upload your client contact list, Facebook can create what’s called a “lookalike audience” based on some of the same characteristics as your real target audience.
This means Facebook will sort through your contacts and try to find other users in their database with similar features in terms of age, location, and income, for instance.
If Facebook finds a match in this “lookalike audience”, your ad gets broadcasted to them, giving you the chance to market outside your typical audience and gain potential contacts who share traits with your existing customers.
3. Target major life events like newly engaged or newly married.
This demographic can be a great segment to target for buyers - newly engaged and newly married people are making a major transition in their lives that could have them looking to get their first place to share or upgrade their their current living situation.
In fact, a study from Coldwell Banker found that 35% of U.S. adults that are currently married purchased their first home together before reaching their second year anniversary. (This includes those that bought a home with their current spouse before actually being married).
(Demographics → Life Events)
… On the flip side you can target relationship statuses to find divorcees. If you’re looking for seller leads, you can try targeting people who have listed their relationship status as divorced or separated.
(Demographics → Relationship → Relationship Status… You can also exclude renters by going to Demographics → Home → Home Ownership)
4. Make use of behavioral targeting.
Facebook uses data from third-party source Epsilon as well as its own data to provide you with a segment of people who are likely to move and therefore more likely to need your services as a real estate agent.
(Go to Detailed targeting --> Residential profiles --> Likely to move)
5. Layer on additional demographic data.
Make use of demographic data like age, income, and zip codes that you service to laser target your ads to potential buyers and sellers).
(Go to Locations, Age and Detailed Targeting)
6. Give Facebook pixels a try.
Have you ever browsed for something online only to see a Facebook ad about that very same product a short while later?
It’s not magic or even internet stalking; it’s pixels.
All you have to do is grab this free code from Facebook and add it to the code on a specific page of your website or landing page.
So for example, let’s say someone filled out a contact form on your website where you've placed a pixel.
Since this visitor has shown interest in you or one of your listings, Facebook will then target your ads to this engaged potential client.
Targeting to the best possible match is way better for your conversions than posting an ad for someone who may never have heard of you.
Another way to increase your conversions is by directing your traffic to unique landing pages.
5. Use More Unique Landing Pages
If every ad or gated content routes your followers to your website, your conversions will suffer.
That’s because when visitors reach your website, there’s probably a lot to take in, right?
There’s information about you and your business, homes for sale, places to rent, links for scheduling appointments, and so on.
Individual landing pages simplify this process.
A landing page is a single page on your website with a single conversion goal.
When a visitor arrives on a landing page, they should have no trouble figuring out what they’re supposed to do.
The most common uses for landing pages in real estate include:
- Ad page traffic. Your Facebook ads will score higher conversions and ROI if you direct your traffic to landing pages specific to your campaign.
- Gated content. Send your followers to a landing page and they’ll need to provide an email * address or phone number before receiving a free piece of content. For more on this, see step #3.
- Subscriber list add. Send daily email blasts? Weekly newsletters? Mass text alerts? You can use a landing page to have followers sign up for these updates and be the first to hear about new properties.
- Property pages. Every property listing should have its own landing page. This gives buyers everything they need to know without any distractions.
- Home value appraisals. Targeting people most likely to sell or move, these landing pages require visitors to exchange their contact information to receive a free home valuation and find out how much their home is worth in the current market.
Have you ever set up a landing page before?
Or are you wondering how to make yours better?
Just remember to...
Stick to one goal and call to action. Don’t give your visitor too many options or clutter. If you want them to book a showing, only provide a link to do that. If you provide multiple links, your visitor will be too overwhelmed to make any decisions or take any action.
Use the right words and images to entice your audience. Think about what they’re looking for most.
Don’t forget the lead capture form where your visitors will enter their contact details. The less information you require, the more leads you’ll grab that can be added to your CRM and nurtured accordingly.
Remember: The simplest landing pages are usually the highest converting.
But that doesn’t mean they’re necessarily fast or easy to create.
You may want a little help on your side if you’re short on time.
The landing page creator over at Wishpond, for example, has...
- Over a dozen mobile-responsive, high-converting templates designed specifically for the real estate industry
- An easy-to-use drag-and-drop builder
- Copy + paste and duplicate features to copy, edit, and create different landing pages in less time
- A/B testing so you can see which elements work best
- 300+ integrations with programs and tools you already use
Just one of the landing page templates designed for the real estate industry:
Look for a landing page service ticking those boxes and you’ll be a giant leap ahead of your competition.
Now You’re Ready to Get Started
Time to put today’s knowledge to good use.
Start by creating a separate Facebook business page for your real estate marketing if you don’t have one already. Then brainstorm a few content ideas and enticing lead magnet possibilities to get the ball rolling.
Don’t forget to direct every ad, subscriber signup, and piece of gated content to its own unique landing page.
Accomplish these tips and get ready for your calendar, inbox, and phone to explode with leads in the very near future!
About the Author:
Dave Lawrence is the Head of Growth at Follow Up Boss. Follow Up Boss makes real estate lead conversion and sales follow up more efficient and automated, allowing clients to grow their business and make more sales.