Hosting open houses for other agents in your office is a great way to start getting leads and clients when you become a real estate agent. Of course in order to be successful you need bodies through the door! Having a complete marketing plan for open houses is important, and Keller Williams is very good at this. One of the newest forms of marketing is utilizing Facebook ads.
Only business pages can create Facebook ads, so if you don’t have your real estate page setup yet, now is a great time. If you have a community page setup you can also run the ad through there and you may even get better results, this is something to test. You don’t want to run an ad from each page at the same time unless you are targeting completely different audiences, otherwise neither ad will do well.
Creating the Media
There are two ways to create the actual ad you want to go live on Facebook, you can create a post and then use that, or you can go right to the ad campaign and create the ad there. There are specific types of ads you can create in the campaign manager area include video ads, slideshow ads, single photo ads where you can upload multiple photos and see which one performs better, and carousel ads. The one thing you cannot do is upload a bunch of photos that will appear as they traditionally do on Facebook posts, and that is typically the type of ad for real estate that gets the best response. So for open houses I always create the post on my Facebook page FIRST.
There are a few things you want in the content of the ad, and a few things you don’t! You should have two objectives of the ad, getting leads NOW, and getting people to the open house. So you want to give them some information, but not everything. Test to see what works, but typically leaving the price off gets more people to click through to the link you include (which should go to whatever website you are using that will allow people to register so you have their information, or even a text code option they can use to get the info.) Test whether including the address gets more leads and visitors. Then you want to upload 6-8 photos, NOT all photos, again you want them to click on your link or text you for the complete information! Having more than 4 photos will get them clicking on your ad which will make it do better. Then you can test using emojis as well. Here is an ad I just did.
The ad ran for 3 days, $10 a day, reached 4,546 people with 1,343 post engagements, 28 likes, 6 comments, and 2 shares. I had 13 leads register on my website to view homes directly from the ad, and 6 groups of people through the open house on a holiday weekend. (My market is very small so that is an excellent turnout at an open house.) I even reached a couple that had been emailing and texting with me that decided to stop by the open house to meet in person.
The first thing you will need to choose when creating an ad is your marketing objective. Engagement works best on these ads, as people start clicking through the photos you included, liking, sharing and commenting, your ad gets a better score from Facebook and your cost goes down.
Now we get into the important part of the ad, choosing who is going to see it. First you have to choose location. You can do this a number of ways, by city with a radius around it, by zip codes, or you can put an address in and drop a pin at that location and do a radius around the pin. Test each one, in my area I find that zipcodes get better engagement for some reason. Then you can choose ages, men, women or both, and anyone you would like to exclude. Excluding other real estate agents is a good idea, you can do that by clicking on Exclude People under detailed targeting and then put in either names of brokerages or work titles such as broker and real estate agent. This isn’t fool proof if people don’t have these things listed in their profiles, but it helps.
You can also add other targeting categories in the detailed targeting area by interests, behaviors and demographics. You can browse or start typing in the box for things like targeting only home owners, or people likely to move, or those interested in real estate. These can all be tested or used for specific ads, for instance if you wanted to do an ad targeting engaged people you can do that here. For open houses I tend to leave other interests off. You can also choose connections and only show it to people who already like your page or are friends of those that do but this tends to not be good for open house ads.
Once your audience is selected you can save it for future use which can save you some time for your next ad depending on your plans.
The next section is for choosing where your ad will appear. Automatic placements will be auto checked but I suggest you edit the placements. I would uncheck Instagram and under Facebook uncheck right side ads. Instagram needs specific marketing and media content so you should never do an ad for both Facebook and Instagram at the same time.
Budget and Scheduling
For open houses I run ads for 3 days starting before the open house. Budgeting will depend on your area but $10-20 a day should be sufficient.
Page and Post
Finally you will be able to choose the post you created for the ad. You will see all of the other options there for future knowledge and testing if you would like.
Once your ad is up and running make sure you respond to any comments, you will find people tagging people so you can send both of them a message, invite anyone that likes the post to like your business page and send them a message reminding them of the open house or see if they are looking for other homes. Try to engage everyone, and of course follow up with the leads you receive as well if you had it connected to an IDX page or a text number for more info.
Getting 13 leads on only $10 a day, reaching 4,546 people with 1,343 post engagements, 28 likes, 6 comments, and 2 shares is pretty phenomenal. The great thing is you do end up reaching people that are not necessarily in the buying cycle right now – that may sound silly but you aren’t competing for their business with other agents! You are getting to them first, and now you can follow up with them until they are ready to buy.