If you are a real estate agent or real estate broker, you have probably heard chatter about Facebook advertising for real estate agents. If you’re like a lot of the agents I know, you’re busy marketing listings, meeting buyers at properties, holding open houses, dealing with contingencies, and the hundred other tasks that come up during the week. Naturally, you haven’t had the time to thoroughly explore Facebook ads.
In this article, I lay out how a great Facebook campaign in combination with landing page software and an email autoresponder can generate a steady amount of incoming leads.
Generally speaking, real estate marketing is tough. If you are in a large metropolitan city like San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, etc… you inevitably have several competing agents fighting you for sales in the neighborhood where you sell most of your homes. You may have invested in bus benches or postcards. You probably consistently leverage LinkedIn, attend networking events, and have maybe even invested in a coaching program. Perhaps you’re cold calling homeowners, door knocking, or sending a weekly newsletter about the local market.
While I agree the aforementioned tactics have their place and sometimes produce the desired results of selling properties, I am still convinced that no other medium can beat Facebook advertising for real estate agents when it comes to lead flow, cost per lead, and customer acquisition cost.
Without further ado, let’s jump into the details!
The workflow or setup I am advocating is driving traffic via Facebook paid advertising campaigns to a series of landing pages, also referred to as a funnel. That funnel should connect to a tool known as an autoresponder that can automatically send lead magnets and a series of pre-written emails to the prospect. A lead magnet is a piece of content that provides value to a prospect. At the end of the day, it’s used as a bartering tool. The advertiser offers a piece of valuable content in exchange for a prospect’s contact information.
Below I have divided this marketing strategy up so we can discuss each piece individually.
Facebook Advertising for Real Estate Agents – Why Facebook?
The online marketing landscape has materially changed. I am an advocate for Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and I have in fact done my best to educate business owners on how to interview and hire an SEO company, about Technical SEO and about On-Page SEO. I still admit, however, that it’s becoming more difficult to rank sites organically. While Google AdWords used to be the go-to platform for online advertising, Facebook has now successfully gained market share.
Nearly two billion people use Facebook every month to connect with friends and family, and to interact with brands and businesses. The advertising platform has matured to the point where there is a campaign setting for pretty much every marketing objective. Since Facebook serves native advertisements, businesses are acquiring customers, and yet customers do not feel their space has been invaded. Facebook cost-per-click and cost-per-video-views are typically less expensive than AdWords and YouTube.
Another thing I like about Facebook is that there are a lot of amateur marketers on the platform. Google AdWords has been around since October 2000. Since then, a lot of brands and marketers have nearly mastered the platform. Often, you will have many competitors, and your competition may be well represented. Consequently, the goal for high click-through-rates and low cost-per-clicks becomes a challenge.
With Facebook, this is not the case. Well, not yet at least. I frequently hear about someone who slapped together an ad and budget for Facebook and then complained about the lack of results. While browsing Facebook, I also see a fair share of low quality creatives, non-compelling ad copy, or a landing page that tells a different story than the ad. I like that the opportunity exists to build outstanding campaigns that soar high above the competition!
Out of all the parts of this advertising strategy mentioned in my introduction, the Facebook campaign requires the most skill. Any web development company can build landing pages, and there are a number of landing page software products that make it fairly easy to build funnels. A lot of marketers will claim to understand how to setup a Facebook advertising campaign. Trust me when I tell you, if it is not done properly and managed by someone who is analytical with a commitment to testing and improving, the campaign will waste money.
Getting Started With Facebook Campaigns
Add Yourself to your Business Page:
This next part is counter intuitive. You will need to add people to each page they will be working on, including yourself.
- In the upper left hand corner, click the three bars and then click “Business Settings”
- Click “Pages”
- Click “Add People”
- Select “Yourself” and “Save”
How to setup your Facebook Ad Account
If you were running ads in your personal account, you will want to “claim” the account in Business Manager:
- Access Business Manager settings
- On the left hand side, click “Ad Accounts”
- In the upper right hand corner under “Add New Ad Accounts,” select “Claim an Ad Account”
- Select your account
If you don’t have an Ad Account, simply create a new one:
- Access Business Manager settings
- In the upper right hand corner under “Add New Ad Accounts,” select “Create New Account”
- Set up billing
Okay, we are at the point where you now have a Facebook business page, access to Business Manager, and an Ad Account. You are ready to build campaigns and acquire new buyers and sellers via Facebook!
Setting Up Your First Campaign
There are a multitude of different campaign options. Each one serves a different marketing objective. For example, you can choose from:
- Brand Awareness
- Local Awareness
- App Installs
- Video Views
- Lead Generation
- Product Catalog Sales
- Store Visits
For purposes of this article, I am going to exclusively focus on campaigns that drive leads. Put another way, campaigns that send you prospective buyers and sellers. We’ll save Brand Awareness and Engagement campaigns for another day.
When you start a campaign, this is the first screen you will see:
Select “Conversions.” In this case, a conversion will mostly be a seller or buyer submitting their contact information so you can email or call them directly. Select “Continue.”
From here, you will move on to creating the Ad Set where you will define your audience, budget, and schedule.
Under Website you will want to select the conversion event. Please note, in order to select or create a conversion event, you will need the Facebook Pixel Code installed on your website or landing pages. If you have not installed the code, you can read through the instructions here: How to generate and install the Facebook Pixel Code.
You will want to select “Complete Registration” as your conversion event. This will track people that fill out and submit the form on the landing pages we designate.
The Facebook Pixel will track conversions and build a custom audience for retargeting. You will want to retarget people who visited your page but did not convert. More on this later in the article.
Audience and Detailed Targeting
If you are an experienced Facebook marketer, you can use phone numbers, emails, and Facebook user IDs to create a custom audience. If you already have a custom audience created, you can also use a lookalike audience.
If you are just getting started, you will want to build an audience from scratch.
Your options for locations include:
- Everyone in this location
- People who live in this location
- People recently in this location
- People traveling in this location
If you are targeting sellers, it’s a simple choice. Pick people who live in this location to attract them to list their home with you. For example, if you predominantly sell homes in La Jolla and Del Mar, you will want to run campaigns targeting sellers who live in La Jolla and Del Mar.
For buyers, it requires a little more thinking and reflecting on what you have learned about the market.
For example, in San Diego it’s common for renters of a certain age and demographic who live in the general downtown area to eventually buy a house in the suburbs. You may have experience working with couples in their thirties living in East Village, Gaslamp, or Little Italy that end up buying homes in more urban suburbs like North Park, Normal Heights, or Mission Hills.
Or maybe you work the Pacific Beach and Mission Beach area, and you have noticed that renters from Bay Ho, Bay Park, and Clairemont are starting to buy down by the beach.
I can’t stress how important it is to have a clear goal and to incorporate your expertise about buyer and seller behaviors into audience settings.
If applicable, you can also exclude locations from your locations settings.
The next setting is age. When it comes to age, I like to build Ad Sets that are structured to test. Typically, I will isolate age as a variable and run Ad Sets with a ten-year age span. Here is an example:
I like this structure because when I go to review the results, I can see which age segments are underperforming and which age segments are producing great results. From there, I shift budget to the high performing age segments to maximize results.
Unless you have specific data from your local market to suggest otherwise, you’ll want to choose “Both Male and Female” for gender. When reviewing statistics, you can analyze traffic trends as it relates to gender.
This is where things get a little tricky as our options for demographic, interest, and behavior targeting really open up. This section it what makes Facebook a unique and highly valuable publisher. Facebook knows a great deal of information about users by information from profile settings, user behavior on Facebook, and integrations with many third-party data aggregators.
I love the detailed targeting section because it enables me to get incredibly focused about who will see my ads.
For real estate ads, here are a few of the settings I advocate for interests and Behaviors:
- Real Property
- Real Estate
- Mortgage Loans
- Real Estate Broker
- Luxury Real Estate
- Real Estate Development
- Trulia Real Estate
- For Sale By Owner
- Residential Area
- Residential Community
- Licensed Realtor
- Dependable Real Estate Agents
- Likely to Move
- Home Ownership
- First Time Homebuyer
One step that a lot of people get wrong is excluding their competitors. Trust me, your competitors will always click your ad out of curiosity and to see what they can learn. We don’t need them costing us money and throwing off the statistics. So, be sure to exclude the following job titles:
- Associate Broker/Realtor
- Licensed Agent
- Realtor Associate
- Licensed Real Estate salesperson
- Real Estate Broker
- Licensed Real Estate Broker
- Real Estate Agent/Broker
- Associate Broker/Realtor
- Realtor Sales Associate
- Realtor©; Licensed
- Real estate specialist
I am guessing you are going after a new audience, so in this case, just leave the Connections field set to the default setting.
Next, be sure to save and name this audience so it is easily accessible for future campaigns.
Here you will need to decide between Automatic Placements and Editing Your Placements.
If you choose Automatic Placements, your ad will run on the following platforms:
- Feeds: Mobile and Desktop
- Facebook Right Hand Column
- Audience Network
If you are just getting started, I would recommend leaving the setting on Automatic Placements. You can review the data and see if you can identify an underperforming platform. Always let data drive your decisions. If you find compelling reasons in the data, go ahead and edit the placements and disable a platform.
Budget and Schedule:
I suggest starting small with your budget, then collect some data and review your metrics. If you find your campaign is spending money and not converting, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and troubleshoot. If you find that your campaign is converting at a desirable cost per lead and there is more traffic available, then slowly increase your budget to increase daily lead flow.
This is the average amount you will spend per day.
A lifetime budget is the maximum you will spend during the lifetime of the Ad Set.
You can also run your Ad Set continuously or set a start and end date.
There really is no right or wrong answer around scheduling your ad. This is simply a personal preference. For my campaigns for Rocket Pilots, I use Daily Budgets and run them continuously. Since I watch campaigns so closely, it’s not necessary for me to predetermine an end date.
Optimizations for Ad Delivery:
Go ahead and select “Conversion,” which is Facebook’s recommended setting. Remember, in this case a trackable conversion will be a form submitted on one of the landing pages. I cover this in more detail in the section below.
Select “1 day.” In this case, once they are on the landing page we need them to convert almost instantly.
Unless you are really skilled or have specific data to support specifying the bid, just leave this setting on “Automatic.” This setting will let Facebook try to produce the most conversions at the most cost effective price point.
You can leave this on the default setting of “Standard.”
Name your Ad Set and Click “Continue
Creating Your Facebook Ad
The first step in making the ad is deciding on the ad format. You will have the following options:
- Carousel: Includes two or more scrollable images and videos
- Single Image: Includes up to six different ads with one image each. In reality, unless you are really pumping a lot of money into the campaign, six ads is a lot. I recommend two or a max of three.
- Single Video: Includes an ad with one video
- Slideshow: Incorporates a looping video ad with up to ten images
- Canvas: Combines images and video
I have seen all five formats produce results. Specifically for real estate agents, I recommend a single video ad.
In an upcoming section, I elaborate on the specifics around creating a killer video with free and inexpensive resources.
Once you have uploaded your video, you’ll want to add a powerful headline, some additional text to help encourage users to take action, and a newsfeed link description. The newsfeed link description is more copy that will go below your video. This is your final chance to add powerful copy to induce prospects to watch your video.
Add your URL and place your order. Voila! Facebook will review your ad to ensure it does not violate their terms of service. This process is quick and your ad will be up and running in no time.
Why Use Video For Your Facebook Ad?
I hope you weren’t overwhelmed or intimidated when I encouraged video ads over images. I promise you, creating a video ad is easy and well worth the trouble. Check out these compelling Facebook video stats below:
- Facebook users increased the number of videos posted per person by 75% globally in 2015.
- In November 2015 TechCrunch informed us Facebook hit 8 billion video views, doubling from 4 billion in April.
- The average video post generates 135% greater organic reach when compared to postings with images.
- Facebook videos have increased 360% across everyone’s newsfeed
- 50% of Americans who use Facebook on a daily basis also watch at least one video on the platform every day.
Video and mobile are here to stay. Facebook is pushing video, and users are responding favorably to this medium.
I hope I have convinced you that video is the way to go. Now I’m going to show you how easy it is to create a video ad on your own.
Creating Your Facebook Video Quickly and Cost Effectively
To produce your video you will need the following:
- A computer using the Chrome browser. If you are using Safari, Firefox, or Internet Explorer, you will need to download Chrome. Chrome is Google’s free browser. You can download Chrome here.
- Loom: Loom is a free Chrome extension that will activate your computer’s front-facing camera and enable you to shoot your own video ads. Loom is user-friendly and an amazing tool for creating Facebook videos. It also has other great features like embedding videos into emails in lieu of an attachment. For real estate agents, it’s a great way to follow up with clients. Imagine a video email instead of a typical plain text email. You can download the extension and create an account here: Get Loom
- A Lapel Mic: Typically, your computer or iPhone will produce sufficient video quality. But sometimes audio quality will be an issue. I recommend an inexpensive Lapel Mic from Amazon.
Now that you have all of the necessary tools, it’s time to write your scripts. I would suggest keeping your scripts under a minute, upbeat, and include a clear call to action at the end.
Whatever is on your first landing page is what your call to action will be at the end of your video. Make sense? What I am saying is, your video is not pitching why you should list their house or why you are the right agent to help the prospect buy a house. We need to build trust and guide them through a well-constructed marketing funnel. So, your first goal is simply to create a killer video worth watching, which does a great job of persuading the viewer to click through to your Funnel.
In this context, a funnel is a series of interconnected landing pages, rich with marketing copy, lead magnets, lead capture forms, thank you pages, and with a seamless integration to an autoresponder. Funnels are what all the top marketers use to finesse prospects through the buyer’s journey. Funnels turn cold traffic into paying customers and enable marketers and business owners to use data to make adjustments to improve conversion percentages.
Funnel marketing in conjunction with paid advertising is one of the quickest ways to generate leads for your business. It also has the tendency to confuse people who are not familiar with the concept. In this section I have attempted to break down the setup of your landing pages so you know exactly how this process works. Below I will describe the two funnels you will need.
Primary Funnel & Building a Retargeting Audience
The first funnel consists of three interconnected pages:
- Opt-in Page 1A & Opt-in Page 1B
- Opt-in Page 2A & Opt-in Page 2B
- Thank You Page
Opt-in Page 1A & Opt-in Page 1B
That amazing video you just shot is going to drive traffic to Opt-in Page 1A and Opt-in Page 1B. Why are there two Opt-in pages? Because you are going to split test your traffic. Split testing is the method of conducting a controlled experiment with a goal of improving a metric. In this case, our metric is a conversion and we are defining a conversion on Opt-in Page 1A & 1B by the user submitting their name and email. I stress, their name and email. Not their phone number. Keep reading and you’ll see why.
The software we choose for landing pages is going to take the heavy lifting out of all of this and ensure that setting up a split test is very simple. To start, we will split traffic evenly. That means 50% of traffic will go to Opt-in Page 1A and the other 50% will go to Opt-in Page 1B. If you receive 500 clicks, 250 will go to Opt-in Page 1A and 250 clicks will go to Opt-in Page 1B.
These pages will be subtly different. In fact, I recommend only changing one variable. You can change the background picture, the color of the submit button, the placement of the form, or the headline representing the call to action. Some marketers will change the lead magnet to see if people will respond better to a different piece of content. While this isn’t a bad idea, it requires more work upfront. Now, you need two different lead magnets. Since that will most likely delay your launch, I recommend side tabling that approach and split testing lead magnets at a later date.
Okay, so now your objective is clear. You need to create two landing pages with one variable that is different. The reason for the variable is to evaluate which page is converting better after both pages have received a sufficient amount of traffic.
If you’re already stressing about what your lead magnet is going to be, don’t worry—an upcoming section provides plenty of easy to execute ideas.
Facebook Custom Audience
If prospects land on your pages but do not convert (i.e., submit their name and email), we will build a Facebook Custom Audience and serve them retargeting ads at a later date. We can serve ads to people who visited the landing page but did not submit their name and email.
Let’s walk through where we are in the funnel before covering the next Opt-in Page. Your video advertisement is running on Facebook and being advertised to people who are likely to buy homes or list their homes. They watch your video and are compelled by your professionalism and lead magnet. They click through to the landing page and see language that is consistent with what you promised in the video. They either landed on Opt-in Page 1A or Opt-in Page 1B. They entered their name and email. They are emailed the lead magnet by your email autoresponder, and you now have them in your email marketing list.
If they did not convert, Facebook will start building a custom audience we can retarget at a later date. We now have one custom audience.
Opt-in Page 2A & Opt-in Page 2B
This is the page they will visit if they converted on Opt-in Page 1A or Opt-in Page 1B. Typically, this would be a Thank You page. In this case, our goal is to retrieve their phone number. So, instead of a Thank You page popping, we are sending them to a similar page with a new lead magnet that requires their phone number.
The same principles apply here. Two different pages, one different variable so we can test, test, test, analyze metrics, and see which Opt-in Page is converting better.
The main difference here is the conversion. You will still offer a lead magnet. Depending on the technology you are using, the form could auto-populate with their name and email, and they only have to fill in their phone number. This is because they already entered their name and email on the previous opt-in.
The less information you ask for, the higher the conversions will be. You can test this out on your own, but I promise you—thousands of marketers have already done so and many learned the expensive way. That is exactly why on the first opt-in we are only asking for their name and email and not the phone number. That way, if they abandon on step two, at least we have their email.
Hopefully they convert again on Opt-In Page 2 and then you’ll have their phone number. The rest is straightforward. Call them and earn yourself a new client!
If they did not convert, Facebook will start building a custom audience, and we can serve them retargeting ads at a later date.
We now have two retargeting audiences:
- A retargeting audience from people who landed on Opt-in Page 1A & Opt-in Page 1B and did not convert.
- A retargeting audience from people who landed on Opt-in Page 2A & Opt-in Page 2B and did not convert.
Can you see how the messaging for the retargeting ads could be different for both of these audiences?
For example, the first custom audience may not be as interested. They clicked the ad but wouldn’t even put their name and email in. While, the second audience at least converted and received the first lead magnet. This could dictate your talk track in the retargeting video.
Please note, you will have to decide where to land traffic for the custom audiences. For example, you might want an additional, very simple funnel for retargeting traffic, and maybe one landing page for both retargeting campaigns with a Thank You page when the traffic converts.
I don’t mean to be redundant, but funnel marketing has the tendency to be confusing, so let’s walk through where we are in the process.
- Your video advertisement was running on Facebook and being advertised to people who are likely to buy homes or list their homes.
- Someone watched your video and was compelled by your professionalism and lead magnet you were offering.
- They clicked through to the landing page and saw language that was consistent with what you promised in the video. They either landed on Opt-in Page 1A or Opt-in Page 1B. They entered their name and email. They were emailed the lead magnet by your email autoresponder, and you now have them in your email marketing list. Or, they did not opt in and you started building a custom audience for retargeting.
- If they opted in, they either landed on Opt-in Page 2A or Opt-in Page 2B. Their name and email pre-populated (potentially). Compelled by the second lead magnet, they entered their phone number. They were emailed the lead magnet by your email autoresponder, and you now have their phone number. Or, they did not opt in and you started building a second custom audience for retargeting.
- A Thank You page pops up.
At first it sounds confusing, but there really aren’t that many scenarios. Let’s take a look at them:
Scenario 1: They land on Opt-in Page 1A or Opt-in Page 1B and do not convert. Consequently, we retarget them later.
Scenario 2: They do convert, but when they land on Opt-in Page 2A or Opt-in Page 2B, they do not convert. Consequently, they receive the content from the first opt-in magnet, join the mailing list, and we retarget them later.
Scenario 3: They convert on both pages, receive two lead magnets, join the mailing list, and you call them since you retrieved the phone number. This is the ideal scenario.
At this point we have covered the Facebook campaign parameters, structure of the marketing funnel, and different possible outcomes. You have seen the term lead magnet several times. Let’s talk about simple lead magnets you can put together.
Real Estate Lead Magnets
In this section I have provided several ideas for lead magnets. Pick from the ideas below and go create two lead magnets for your funnel.
Home Buyers Guide
This is a one-page write-up where you explain to buyers everything they need to know before entering the world of shopping for a home. You can talk about different types of homes, specific features, mortgages, affordability, interviewing agents, the process of submitting offers, counters, etc.
Home Seller’s Guide
Here is an example of a Home Seller’s Guide from realtor.com. Personally, I think you can write an abridged version and just cover the truly important points. That should be enough to create value for the prospective seller. But, it’s your call on how thorough you decide to be. Producing high quality, original content is a practice I strongly advocate. There are many ways you can market and repurpose content to help add credibility to your brand and grow your business.
Must-Read Real Estate Reports on (fill in with local market)
This is a report full of valuable statistics about a certain market. Example headline:
“Are you considering moving to Carmel Valley? Download this must-read report loaded with insightful information about the Carmel Valley real estate market. Be the most informed buyer!”
Then simply write up a report with median list price, amount of inventory available, predictive stats on home value appreciation, median square footage, number of homes sold last month, walking scores, etc. Just load it up with valuable information. If you work the area, you probably have these stats committed to memory!
New Listings Report
With this lead magnet you are promising to inform buyers of new listings to hit the market. The downside is, this report might be harder to automate. It will most likely require you to manually email the list through the autoresponder. The upside is, people who opt in might be watching the market closer and could potentially be more serious buyers. Maybe they will respond better to an agent that provides them exactly what they are interested in, concluding in a call or consultation over coffee.
Consider using a light-hearted lead magnet showcasing all of the entertainment and things to do in the neighborhood. You could highlight popular restaurants, parks, gardens, beaches, bars, venues with live entertainment, good spots for family outings, or great places to take the dogs.
The lead magnet is important, but don’t get carried away with the length. Remember: your clients are busy, as well. You need to provide them value, but they may just skim the report from a mobile device while they are on the go.
Facebook Retargeting Video Ad Scripts
Throughout this comprehensive guide, I have mentioned custom audiences and Facebook retargeting several times. You now understand how to make your initial video and how to enable Facebook to create your custom audience.
It’s now time to ensure you are setup to run effective retargeting ads. Again, you will have to decide between banner ads and video. For reasons previously mentioned, I suggest going with video. When you sit down to write your video scripts, be sure to write two quick scripts for your two retargeting campaigns. Remember, you will be retargeting people who landed on Opt-in Page 1A or 1B and did not convert, and people who landed on Opt-in Page 2A or 2B and did not convert (the second group did convert on Opt-in Page 1A or 1B).
Plan smartly. If you write all your scripts at once, when you film yourself utilizing Loom you can knock out all three scripts at once. In fact, I just met with a real estate agent and helped him film the videos. We finished three videos in a 90-minute meeting. The key to successful videos is having the right equipment (computer, Loom, and lapel mic), pre-written scripts, and practicing the scripts before recording. If you take the time to prepare properly, shooting three videos will be a breeze.
Building both of your Facebook Retargeting Campaigns
Pat yourself on the back for installing the Facebook Pixel and planning ahead! Now selecting your audience will be a piece of cake.
To build a Facebook retargeting campaign you can reference the instructions detailed earlier in this article. The key difference will be when you get to the audience section. You will not be filling in data for age, gender, or detailed targeting.
Instead, you will follow these simple steps:
- Under Custom Audiences, click “Create New” and then click “Custom Audience.”
- Select “Website Traffic.”
- In the drop-down menu, select “People visiting specific web pages but not others.”
- In the first drop-down, select “URL Equals” and type in the landing page URL for Opt-in Page 1A and Opt-in Page 1B. (This is one URL. Remember: the software will split traffic between two pages but utilize one URL.)
- In the drop down to exclude a page, select “URL Equals” and type in the landing page for Opt-in Page 2A and URL for Opt-in Page 2B.
- Name the audience: A good name could be “1st Retargeting Campaign” or “Did not opt-in on 1st Lander”
It’s important to understand who this campaign will target specifically. In this retargeting campaign, you are serving a video ad to people who landed on “Opt in Page 1A or Opt in Page 1B” and did not convert. So, they watched your initial video ad on Facebook, clicked through to the landing page, and for whatever reason did not enter their name and email to receive the lead magnet you were offering.
For the ad, you can follow the instructions at the beginning of the guide. The only difference is you will be using the video you made specifically for this retargeting campaign.
Your Second Retargeting Campaign
Follow the same steps above. The only difference is in step four:
- In the first drop-down, select “URL Equals” and type in the landing page URL for Opt-in Page 2A and Opt-in Page 2B. In the second drop-down, select “URL Equals” and type in the landing page URL for your Thank You page (step three in the funnel).
This campaign will be targeting people who did not convert on Opt-in Page 2A or Opt-in Page 2B. They made it to this page, so by design they converted on the first landing page. You have their name and email, and they received a lead magnet but they did not provide their phone number. That’s why we are retargeting them!
Building the Funnel with Landing Pages:
Throughout this article you have seen me mention, dozens of times, landing pages and how those landing pages interact and connect with each other. It’s important to understand, this is a fundamentally different concept than having a full-on website. Isolated landing pages are typically utilized to convert paid traffic from publishers like Google, Facebook, and the Yahoo! Bing Network. They are not traditionally used to utilize SEO best practices, like Technical SEO and On Page SEO. The strategy outlined in this article is promoting using landing pages via landing page software to convert paid Facebook traffic to real estate leads.
Landing Page Software
This naturally brings us to the process of selecting a software solution to build our landing pages. If you are technical, you may have noticed I skipped over the option of coding from scratch in HTML. That’s because even proficient coders will miss out on key features available from top-notch software providers. The idea is to have a tool that is dynamic, easy to make changes, simple to split test, and has built-in analytics. And most importantly, it must be user-friendly to those with no coding or web development experience.
Please note: there are literally dozens of products on the market. I did my research, and over the years I have used a handful of different products. I am providing a short review of two products I have personally used and the two products I feel are the best on the market. There is a third product that is probably worth mentioning, and that is Unbounce. Unbounce is considered a leading software and is best known for landing pages and what they refer to as convertables, which are pop ups or exit overlays.
ClickFunnels is my top choice for landing page software and the tool we use at Rocket Pilots. The key to improving landing page conversions is continually testing various versions. I love ClickFunnels because it’s easy to test various page versions. The drag-and-drop editor is user-friendly and split testing is a core, native feature. With ClickFunnels, you can test, test, and test with ease!
ClickFunnels makes it easy to build funnels, which are landing pages that connect with one another and steer the user through a predefined journey. They provide funnel templates so you can edit instead of build from scratch.
There are free templates to choose from and also a marketplace where you can purchase templates. The marketplace is divided into three categories: template type, categories, and tags. In the template type category, you can choose from single landing pages or whole funnels. Under categories you can choose between Opt-in Funnels, Sales Funnels, Sales Pages, Thank You pages, and many more! The tags category gets even more specific and allows you to choose from real estate, mortgage, and other industries. Marketplace pricing ranges from $7 all the way up to $297. There are many templates for $17 and $47.
Here are some summarized features of ClickFunnels:
- An easy to use landing page editor
- All pages are responsive and present well on mobile devices
- Free templates to choose from
- Marketplace to purchase templates
- A/B split testing is native to the software
- Funnels: Not just isolated landing pages
- Integrations with email autoresponders like AWeber, MailChimp, GetResponse, and more
- Hosting is included
- 14-day free trial
- Facebook Group: The community is active and marketers and businesses share information, funnels, and tips to help each other out
While you are getting started, the training videos are informative and help you become proficient with the software. The support in my experience has just been okay. But, I love the Facebook group. The Facebook group is only for software subscribers, and most active users freely share information and are happy to help out other members.
Since today’s marketing products are dynamic and constantly changing, I’m a strong advocate of marketing groups that promote learning. In fact, I am an active member and moderator of a Facebook marketing group for real estate agents. I help the founder, James Rembert, who is an expert real estate Facebook marketer, provide value to the group. If you are a real estate agent, broker, or marketer and would like to join the group, just let me know on Facebook and I would be happy to invite you.
ClickFunnels offers a 14-day trial so you can take the software for a spin prior to making a commitment.
The basic plan starts at $97 per month, which includes:
- 20 Funnels: They do allow you to delete funnels
- 100 pages
- 20,000 visitors per month
- Integrations with email autoresponders, shopping carts, and customer relationship management systems
This is my second choice for landing page software. Leadpages is a mature product and is used by thousands of marketers. In my opinion, it is not quite as robust as ClickFunnels, but they share many of the same product features.
Leadpages is probably best utilized for stand-alone landing pages. The pages can be used to host webinars with a Google Hangout integration, promote blog subscribers with an opt-in pop up, or use a lead magnet to collect leads.
Here are some summarized features of Leadpages:
- Easy interface
- HTML editing, if you know how to code
- WordPress plugin
- Mobile responsive
- Double opt-in compatible
- Pre-populated fields for users who have previously filled out a form
- Email autoresponder integration
- Countdown timer to create urgency
Leadpages pricing is offered monthly, annually, or on two-year plans. They do not offer a free trial.
- The Standard plan for home businesses and solopreneurs is $37 per month
- The Pro plan for small businesses and professional marketers starts at $79 per month
The same plans are available at $25 a month (standard) and $40 per month (Pro) when you opt for an annual subscription, or $17 a month (standard) and $42 per month (Pro) when you opt for a two-year subscription.
The truth is, you are in good hands with either software. For some people, the decision comes down to user interface preference. For me, I like that ClickFunnels was built with funnels in mind. They also have other products called Actionetics and Backpack. When your business expands, these are potential add-ons. Lastly, I also lean toward software products with free trials. Either one will do the job, but my recommendation is ClickFunnels.
Email Autoresponder Software
Now that you have chosen your landing page software, it’s time to settle in on your email autoresponder. As you can imagine, there are dozens of choices on the market. I have read and researched about ten of them and used a couple of them myself.
If you are just getting started and want to control expenses, MailChimp has a forever-free plan. You could use this plan for a while and upgrade as your list grows. The interface while you are logged in is clean and simple, but building email templates can be a little tough for the non-technical. They do not have professional services, but there are plenty of freelancers who are familiar with MailChimp.
GetResponse might win the battle of a feature-to-feature comparison but probably has the worst interface of the three autoresponders. They offer a free trial and are priced in the middle of the three options.
AWeber is my personal favorite and my choice for Rocket Pilots. I just simply like the interface and found building email templates to be incredibly simple. It’s a drag-and-drop environment and accommodating to the non-technical. Most SaaS (software as a service) companies offer support via chat or email, but AWeber offers phone support, which is rare and fantastic. They offer a 30-day free trial and then charge $19 a month. I think their interface, native integrations, and exceptional support make AWeber worth every penny.
Summary and Action Items
Well, if you made it this far, you are dead serious about turning your business into an outright success. I know it seems overwhelming, but that’s only because I was thorough in my explanations. You can do it!
One of my favorite Mark Twain quotes about getting ahead goes as follows:
“The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex, overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, then starting on the first one.”
Practical, right? Don’t let the information be intimidating. Instead, do what Mark Twain said and get started. Begin with the landing page software and work on building the funnel. Once your funnel is built, create your lead magnet and connect it to your autoresponder. From there, acquire the necessary equipment for producing the Facebook videos. Once you have your video equipment, write your scripts and shoot your videos. From experience, I recommend memorizing your scripts. This will allow you to avoid reading a script or a teleprompter and conclude in better eye contact with the camera. After your videos are recorded, build your Facebook campaign and start driving traffic. Below, I have put your action items in order so you can get started!
Your Real Estate Funnel and Facebook Advertising Action Items
- Create a landing page software account with ClickFunnels or Leadpages
- Create an autoresponder account with AWeber, MailChimp, or GetResponse
- Start your Facebook business page and add yourself
- Create a Facebook business manager account
- Create a Facebook ad account and claim the account in Business Manager
- Decide on your lead magnets and write them up
- Build your main funnel
- Build your retargeting funnel
- Write your video scripts: Main video and your two retargeting videos
- Order your lapel mic and download Loom
- Shoot your videos
- Build your primary Facebook video campaign
- Build your two Facebook retargeting campaigns
- Review your primary funnel and retargeting funnel statistics, and make ongoing tweaks to landing pages to improve conversion percentages
- Review your primary Facebook campaign and your two retargeting campaign statistics, and make ongoing tweaks to improve conversion percentages
- Call leads and set appointments
- Sell Houses!
- Repeat steps 14-17 over and over again
The principal point of this comprehensive guide is to teach real estate agents, realtors, and brokers exactly how to leverage Facebook marketing and the internet’s latest and greatest tools to generate leads. I certainly hope I have achieved this goal.
I am available to field questions, so please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below or contact me directly if I can help clarify any step in the process.
Lastly, if you would like your funnel and Facebook Ads professionally managed, I would be happy to represent you and help you exceed your financial goals by selling more houses in one year than you ever have before! Contact me today, so we can discuss your custom marketing plan, and let’s make you the most successful agent in your office!