6 minute read

Video duration: 3min 45 sec

Over past 12 to 18 months, Facebook has shown clear signs of their interest in the real estate industry – more aptly, the money that flows through it.

A great article written by Chris Rolls in Elite Agent Magazine recently, made the point that the way forward for agents and agencies is not to try and replicate the business models of the major portals, as many have tried and failed before, but instead to forge an alternative model – enter Facebook.

In the article, Rolls says:

Facebook advertising has many advantages over the current model of the traditional real estate portal. Firstly, it allows buyers to consume real estate advertisements in an environment they are already comfortable in.

One of the other significant advantages that Facebook has over the portals is simply this: You are relying on people to come looking for a property on the portals. With Facebook, you’re taking a property to people that are likely interested in it, before they go looking for it. This presents an opportunity to agents and agencies to reduce the cost to acquire buyer leads. Granted, they’re using Facebook Ads properly and not just boosting posts.

(Check out this video on the difference between Boosted Posts Vs. Facebook Ads)

You can certainly waste money on Facebook if it’s not done right.

There are agents and agencies who are, right now, securing buyers for properties using Facebook Ads without ever advertising the property on the portals. Some would say they’re missing the opportunity to potentially reach other buyers, possibly those who would pay more for the property. But at the end of the day, they’re getting a great result for their client, at a much lower cost than spending a clients’ VPA (Vendor Paid Advertising) on the portals. Win-win.

Cost to acquire buyer leads: The new battleground

We’re already seeing a significant shift in the real estate industry conversation to ‘how can we acquire buyer leads at a lower cost than the portals’. And it’s spawning all sorts of creative new ways to acquire buyer leads – including Facebook Ads.

But while Facebook can potentially deliver buyer leads at a lower cost than other channels, it does present a real threat to agents and agencies – the ability for home sellers to run highly targeted ads on social media platforms all by themselves.

Unlike any other communication channel, social media has put property sellers and landlords on the same marketing playing field as real estate businesses and the portals, as well as direct access to some of the most powerful advertising tools that exist today.

Armed with a little bit of knowledge, easily attained from ‘how-to’ videos on YouTube, a home seller or investor has the ability to easily create a Facebook Page for their property (for free) and begin running highly targeted Facebook Ads to likely buyers or renters themselves.

Agents who have mastered the art of Facebook Ads, and who can illustrate their expertise to clients and prospects, are less likely to be affected by this threat. Agents who only rely on traditional, more expensive, channels will eventually lose the battle for relevance and attention.

Does this all mean you should drop your portal subscriptions? Of course not. But it does raise an important discussion that our industry needs to have in order to stay relevant to consumers – how is our client’s money best spent and what is going to deliver the best result at the lowest cost, for them.

What are your thoughts?

Leave a comment below.


Video transcript:

Hi, digital marketing advisor Josh Cobb here. I hope you’re having a great day wherever you are, and on this week’s episode, we’re going to talk about Facebook in real estate, and I’d like to start by referencing a great article written in Elite Agent Magazine that you absolutely should read.

It was published just this week and written by our good friend Chris Rolls at PieLAB Ventures. In the article, Chris was making the argument that the rise of Facebook in real estate is something that we really need to start talking about very seriously and very soon, and one of the points that Chris was making that many businesses have come along to try and replicate the business models of our major portals and have not necessarily been successful over the last five years or so, simply because they have tried to replicate the business models of our major portals, and we really need to have a conversation about how to generate buyer leads at a lower cost, and that’s really where the battleground is going to be over the next few years.

Facebook has certainly made it very clear that they are interested in real estate and the amount of money that flows around in this industry, and they’ve done that by the release of things like their Dynamic Ads For Real Estate, which they launched last year, and also, the ability now to search for property to buy, or to rent, inside the Facebook Marketplace. So, they’ve certainly shown an interest in the real estate industry, and we certainly think we’re going to see more of Facebook’s investment going down that path, but something I wanted to talk to you about this week really is the importance of educating yourselves on these platforms when it comes to running advertising for your listings, and I’m not just talking about boosting posts. I’m talking about running Facebook Ads and Instagram Ads for your properties to a very targeted segment of people that are likely to be interested in your listings.

Many agents out there, probably many of you watching this right now, are, some of you are already doing this, but we really need to have a conversation, as an industry, around educating ourselves on these platforms, simply because there is nothing stopping a vendor, or a landlord, from creating a page on Facebook, or Instagram, and running ads to that page on Facebook, or Instagram, and using Facebook Ads’ platform to run those ads to a very select group of people that might be interested in their property.

There is nothing stopping a vendor, or a landlord, from doing that right now. It costs them nothing to set up. Obviously, they have to pay for their advertising spend, but it does not cost them anything to set up. So, that’s really something we need to consider in real estate is to educate ourselves on those platforms and become the trusted expert on running ads on social media, and again, not just boosting posts. Everyone knows how to do that. I’m talking about running Facebook Ads, highly targeted ads on social media, to a very select group of people that might be interested in the property.

You need to make sure that you’re educating yourselves on those platforms before your competitors do, and certainly, before your potential vendors, or your potential landlords, realise that they can run ads on Facebook themselves for their listing with no fees involved apart from their advertising spend, of course. So, that’s my challenge for you this week. Make sure that you’re educating yourselves on Facebook Ads, and Instagram Ads, and social media advertising in general and educating your vendors and landlords that you are the expert in that area over and above every other agent in your local market.

So, thanks for watching. I hope you found that helpful. Head across to stepps.com.au to keep up to date with all things digital marketing in real estate. We’ve got plenty of tips and strategies on our blog, including those relating to Facebook advertising. Certainly, our podcast is there, as well, and if there’s anything we can do to help you out when it comes to digital marketing, be sure to reach out to our team. My name is Josh Cobb from Stepps, signing off. I look forward to seeing you next week.

Author: Josh Cobb

Phone Number: 0427 184 183

Email Address: josh@stepps.com.au

Stepps was founded by Josh Cobb in 2014. Josh has advised more than 100 brands since starting the company and hundreds of agents who have attended his workshops. He is the host of the popular Real Estate Pros podcast, oversees digital strategy for top performing real estate agents and teams, and travels the globe with several international speaking engagements each year.

Recently, Josh was named as a finalist in the 2017 REB Awards for Industry Thought Leader of The Year and the winner of  Brisbane Young Entrepreneur of The Year 2017 – Marketing, PR & Events.

In addition to web development and digital strategy consulting, the company also runs Stepps Media, a fast-growing education company that produces an iTunes top-ranked podcasttraining events, email and webinars.