Facebook Ads For Real Estate Agents: 3 Killer Ad Strategies avatar
Facebook Ads For Real Estate Agents: 3 Killer Ad Strategies

Little Known Ways To Gain More Real Estate Clients With Facebook Marketing


While I’m a digital marketer, not a real estate agent, I have bought and sold homes, and I’ve worked with dozens of real estate agents helping them with their digital marketing and so I know how many market their services: referrals, word of mouth, glossy postcards and flyers blanketing target neighborhoods, even grocery separators used to separate your food from the person in front of you in the check-out line, and many other grassroots local guerrilla marketing tactics. The problem with these strategies is that not only are all the other brokers utilizing these traditional marketing tactics, which makes it harder to differentiate, but there’s also an incredible amount of waste in traditional advertising (postcards as an example are just plain and simple carpet bombing).

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And finally, it’s not integrated (a post here talks about the importance of integrated marketing) with other more efficient lower cost online marketing tactics, specifically with Facebook advertising (and remarketing). Read our related post on marketing to all levels of the real estate sales funnel using Facebook ads, and using facebook ads to grow seller listing leads.

Why Facebook Ads For Real Estate Agents?

Facebook Ads for Real Estate Agents The Facebook ad platform provides some of the most cost effective and precise demographic and behavioral targeting out of any marketing platform whether it’s traditional or digital (which is why the company has a market capitalization of billionsn). Since many agents do not leverage Facebook’s fantastic ad platform, there’s a clear opportunity for agents willing to learn to gain a competitive advantage on their local competition, which is still stuck implementing old-school traditional marketing strategies.

The Facebook ad platform offers a rich, diverse, and deep level of targeting options. Two of the broad areas include Interests, and Behaviors, which then can be further segmented geographically (among many other segmentation variables). But let’s see how this targeting works, how laser focused you can get with your Facebook marketing, and how it can benefit real estate lead generation.

 Facebook Ad Tactic #1: People “Likely To Move”

Facebook has a behavioral category for people that are “Likely to move.” How fantastic is that? Consumers that are likely to move probably have a higher likelihood of needing a real estate agent, among a whole host of other products and services. Facebook knows who these consumers are from its rich behavioral data sets that include both online and offline data about consumers, and from its partners that collect information about consumers. Suppose you’re a broker in San Diego, and you specialize in the areas in and around the Poway, Rancho Bernardo, and Scripps Ranch areas – mostly upper middle-income neighborhoods with Household Incomes (HHI) above $100,000 per year.

Suppose you’re a broker in San Diego, and you specialize in the areas in and around the Poway, Rancho Bernardo, and Scripps Ranch areas – mostly upper middle-income neighborhoods with Household Incomes (HHI) above $100,000 per year. Laser Targeted Segmentation

 Laser Targeted Facebook Segmentation

If we pull zip codes in those areas in Facebook, we find 88,000 people that we can reach on Facebook. But when we add the behavior of “Likely to move” we narrow that target down to 4,600 people.

The beauty of Facebook ads for real estate agents is that you can continue to layer the targeting and get even more precise and focused.

Prequalify Potential Home Buyers

While it’s great to target people who are “Likely to move,” you can further focus the ad spend on consumers with additional variables to cut even more waste out of the ad spend – how about selecting on HHI? When we segment for people living in those San Diego zip codes with HHI above $100,000 per year we narrow our target down to fewer than 3,600 people – now we’re getting laser focused on a behavior that has a higher likelihood of converting to a lead, and cutting the waste out that is common with other traditional marketing tactics. So far we’ve layered our Facebook targeting with four segments:

            • Geography: by selecting zip codes in our territory
            • Age: 28 – 65 years of age
            • Income: HHI between $100,000 – $149,999 per year
            • Behavior: consumers that are “Likely to move.”

facebook ad segmentation home buyers


Target People That Have An Interest In Realtor.com and Zillow

Would people with an interest in Realtor.com and Zillow also be excellent targets, too? You can layer this targeting on as well. You know people visiting these sites are highly likely to be prequalified potential leads too.

Facebook ads for realtors targeting zillow and realtor.com

Target First Time Home buyers

Facebook even has a demographic category called, “First time homebuyer.” This segment targets people that are likely to be first time home buyers.

first time home buyer facebook ad segment

Facebook Ad Tactic #2: Integrating Facebook Ads with Traditional Advertising

Postcards, flyers, and local community papers are still standard tactics for creating awareness. But traditional real estate marketing will be far more effective if it’s integrated with online tactics.

Today consumers need an average of 12.4 sources before making a purchase decision (source: Think With Google). What that tells us about consumer behavior is that multiple impressions are important to maintain mind share and push people closer to a purchase decision. What do the majority of people do when they get a postcard promoting an agent or a property listing? They toss it in the garbage! What did that single impression cost? It was the cost of the postcard and its distribution so probably somewhere between $0.20 – $0.65.

Why not extend the reach and impressions by implementing Facebook ads that will reach those same people, but for a fraction of what that postcard cost and on an ongoing basis pushing the potential home buyer closer to a decision on utilizing your real estate services.

If you’re going to blanket a zip code with postcards at least integrate complementary Facebook ads promoting your services to the same zip codes – this will produce “lift” in response to your postcards. Preferably you would start your Facebook ad campaign slightly before your postcards drop, and continue to run them for a time afterward.

 Facebook Ad Tactic #3: Awareness with Mortgage Brokers For More Referrals

Job title targeting is one of the other fantastic variables you can fine tune Facebook ads with. Mortgage brokers are a good source for referrals. If you wanted to create awareness about your real estate services among mortgage brokers and maintain mindshare that you’re the best in the community, Facebook ads are another fantastic way to target them. (If you’re a mortgage broker, we have a related post here, Facebook Ads For Mortgage Brokers – Case Study)

Below we selected for anyone with a mortgage broker related job title, and we even threw in people that work at Wells Fargo with a mortgage-related title (we could do the same for all the other banks too). We managed to reach under 1,000 people which is fine when you’re doing laser targeted focused community marketing. An ad campaign like this would cost very little money, but would have a huge impact on awareness of your brand of real estate services. Facebook Ads Targeting Mortgage Brokers In conclusion, I presented 3 Facebook ad tactics any real estate broker professional could implement quickly to grow hyper-focused brand awareness and leads. If you want to gain a strong competitive advantage over your slower, less sophisticated peers, Facebook ads for real estate agents are one fantastic way to grow your business and local market share.

The three tactical ad strategies presented above are just the tip of the iceberg – there are so many more targeting options. With Facebook, you can be incredibly targeted and endlessly creative in how you reach the home buyer audience. Don’t let your competitors get ahead of you! If you need help with your local Facebook advertising, we can help. Please call or email today and find out how we can help you win in your market.
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Facebook Ads For Real Estate Agents


Not sure if you want to do it on your own? Call us!

Read another related post on how to use Facebook Live video for realtors to further distance yourself from your competitors, and why you should stop using boosted posts now.

  • Yes. Yes. Yes!

    Another strategy that we’ve been promoting has been updating property pages and sharing those updates on Facebook. Then, we run ads to “likely to move” demographics we feel might be interested in those updates.

    Good work!

    • Thanks for your comment Levi! That’s a great idea too – nice!

  • Ronnie Possatti

    Unfortunately i’m not able to test these tips on my country (Brazil). The options of your facebook book ads seens to be only valid for US. =/ nice idea tough. If you have any tips for real estate ads on facebook outside US i’d be glad! nice job on the post.

    • Hi Ronnie,
      thanks for your comment. Facebook is constantly changing what targeting options we have. Unfortunately, I can’t see what Facebook is offering in its ad platform outside of the U.S. I do know that much of Facebook’s targeting options come from data aggregators in the U.S. that collect data on consumers here which I know are not available in other countries.
      Sorry couldn’t be of more help. But if you find any good targeting options I’d be happy to see them.


  • Nick Saponaro

    Awesome tip on the “likely to move” option! It just so happens that I’m a San Diego agent as well, so this couldn’t have been more on point for me. Thanks a lot.

  • Andrew Cherry

    could you get more specific as to the benefits of targeting mortgage brokers ?
    We run campaigns to generate listings and buyers and to get people to open houses .. Will targeting mortgage brokers help ?

    • Hi Andrew – depends on your goals/objectives. But mortgage brokers can be a good target from an awareness standpoint in your local market as they interact with many potential buyers, and often, since financing is more stringent these days post 2008 meltdown, buyers start the home buying process with the mortgage broker first to find out what they are pre-qualified for before looking.

    • Patric James

      Hi Andrew, how do you set up campaigns to generate listings and buyers and to get people to open houses? And have you had some results from running them? I live in a small area (town has 50,000 residence/businesses).

      • Hello Patric,
        We have an upcoming free webinar that goes over this specifically for realtors that you can register for here, https://www.39celsius.com/facebook-ads-realtors-webinar-registration, or a Facebook course for realtors that goes over in detail specifically how to setup, target, and run campaigns for listings and open houses, and more, http://facebookadsforrealtors.com/.

        But in short, you need to decide on the campaign objectives – typically for getting more to an open house you need to use a “send people to a destination off Facebook” campaign objective and drive the traffic to a landing page about that specific open house, as an example – from there you need to specify your demographic targeting depending on who you want to reach, i.e. is it a condo for first-time home buyers, or a home for a family, etc – this will determine who you target inside Facebook.

  • Joe Torres

    You state “We managed to reach under 1,000 people which is fine” but right in your own screenshots for two of the three ads, you’re getting a warning from facebook that states the ads to specific to be shown and to please be more broad, can you comment on this?

    • Hi Joe, yes, that’s a good question. Facebook’s ad algorithm does work better with a larger audience so you should experiment with audience size and see how the metrics perform (i.e. relevance score, CPM, CTR, etc). However, there’s nothing wrong with going hyper-local like this, but the smaller the audience the more you might have to experiment with the ads. A couple things could happen with smaller audiences; one, there may not be enough people responding to the ad and Facebook’s ad algorithm has a built-in safeguard which could slow down delivery of the ad to the audience and limit your exposure. Or, you could over deliver the ad to those same people as well (i.e. showing it too many times) – in this case, you would want to consider limiting the daily frequency. Either way, my recommendation is that you will have to experiment a bit to find that sweet spot between too broad or too narrow.

  • Geeta K

    i am unable to see options like – likely to move in behaviour. what can i do?

  • Geeta K

    for instance, if i want to sale property worth rupees 3cr to 5cr in mumbai, india, – what should i target with?

    • The “likely to move” target may not be an option that’s available in every country in Facebook – which I believe is the case in your situation, unfortunately.

  • Nicholas Bowman

    Love it! I’ll give it a shot. Best blog I have stumbled over in awhile. I truly Thank You!

  • michelle stockman

    My FB preferred audience/advertising page does not look like that at all … I have a business page, but do not see these options. Do I need to set it up completely separate from my personal page to get these options?

    • Hi Michelle,
      Which options specifically are you not seeing? “Likely to move” is typically something that is only offered in the US – are you outside the US?

  • What country are you in? Some of those options are only available in the U.S.

  • Mike Kinsella

    I’m in Canada – any variation of this “likely to move” for us?

    • Hi Mike,
      “Likely to move” may not be available in Canada – it’s a Facebook Partner Category provided by Epsilon. I don’t think there’s a variation for Canada.

  • Trisha Merriam

    Thanks Toby. A friend of mine recently asked her real estate agent to advertiser her listing on Facebook. Her agent told her it was illegal to target real estate ads based on discriminating factors such as income. Have you heard this?

    • That makes no sense – the equivalent in traditional marketing would be not being able to send flyers/postcards advertising listings in certain zip codes that you know are full of upper middle income households because you selectively chose that neighborhood based on income. Facebook wouldn’t exist if you couldn’t advertise based on demographics such as household income.

      • Kerry Stafford

        Your Realtor is likely confused by this :

        “Equal Credit Opportunity Act: The Equal Credit Opportunity Act makes discrimination unlawful with respect to any aspect of a credit application on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, age or because all or part of the applicant’s income derives from any public assistance program.”

        Targeting your advertising to within a specific demographic based on income is fine. Targeting your advertising to exclude a racial group or an area where racial groups are more prevalent is not.

  • Ana P (ODesk Solutions)

    Great post! Very helpful information. I will certainly use this information for my client’s FB ads!