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REI Tech

Facebook Marketing for Real Estate Investors

facebook, you're doing it wrongSo…ever heard of “The Facebook”? 

Ha, I know. Dumb question, right? Unless you’ve been living on another planet for the past few years, then you’re probably keenly aware of Facebook and its colossal, undeniable impact – not only on the interwebs, but offline in our culture as well. 

Clearly Facebook is here to stay for a while, and chances are you not only have your own FB account (heck, my parents do, so we’ve clearly reached the tipping point :-)

…But you probably also spend far more time than you’re comfortable admitting piddling around there, looking at cute cat pictures, funny videos, what your high school friends ate for lunch, and far too much armchair political outrage.

Am I right or am I right?

{Mogul Elite: In the Power Pack tools for this lesson, you can download an MP3 of my private conversation with Joe McCall, in which I ask hm to reveal specifically how he's using Facebook to buy houses. Awesome stuff. Check it out.}

Facebook for Business?

You’ve probably also at least heard folks using Facebook for more than just a time-sucking “social network”, but as a legitimate business tool.

But have you ever wondered how that can actually work?

You’re not alone. Most investors want to know how to use Facebook to help grow business, but few actually know even where to start. Should you create a fancy FB page? Run some ads over on the side? Make a bunch of comments? Link to my website with funny cat pictures?

Truth be told, there’s more than one way to skin this cat (nice tie in, yeah?), but if you aren’t already using Facebook effectively in your business, then it’s about time you consider doing so. There’s gold in them thar hills.

Well in this special “Tech Tip Friday” I’m going to tackle some of the top questions I hear asked about using Facebook in real estate investing. 

Why Should I Use Facebook in My Real Estate Investing?

Have you ever spent hundreds of dollars buying bandit signs, then hours hanging them up with your sign stapler, all in hopes that the right person would see it at the right time? (And hoping you don’t get caught in a sting operation from the “sign police”?)

Have you spent the money to run an ad in your local paper, crossing your fingers that the right investor or motivated seller would respond – only to get zero calls?

Or even worse, how many of you have bought a list of homeowners addresses, created and printed direct mail pieces to see hundreds, if not thousands of dollars wasted with little to no outcomes from your marketing efforts?

With Facebook marketing you are essentially running an ad or hanging a bandit sign in front of a targeted audience, tailored to your specific message and desired outcome (wholesaling a deal, looking for motivated sellers, flipping commercial real estate). 

But here’s the catch – you ONLY pay if someone clicks on your ad.  No more paying for signs or ads that no one cares about.

Furthermore, we’ve already established that everyone is using Facebook. Everyone. Far more than will ever see your bandit signs or read your yellow letters.

So it only makes sense to find a way (the right way) to capitalize on Facebook as an effective marketing medium.

What’s so Special About Facebook Marketing?

Let’s first look at how Facebook makes money to understand it’s true marketing power.  Have you ever thought about how this “social platform” actually stays in business offering free accounts to the masses? (FB is now a publicly traded company valued at, according to Forbes.com, $1.26 billion dollars.)

Well the answer is simple – advertising

They are making nearly 80% of their revenue from online advertising. That’s right.  They’ve joined Google, Yahoo and all the other search engines in what they call “Pay Per Click” (PPC) advertising.

But here’s the truly powerful thing: Facebook has perfected their PPC advertising in such a way that you can positively laser focus your marketing right down to an ideal customer.

You aren’t just throwing darts at your marketing anymore. You have a target and you know how to hit that target squarely on the bulls-eye with their PPC advertising. It’s like a handyman putting his bandit sign smack in front of the hardware store. Or selling ponchos on a rainy day at the fair.

How Does Facebook PPC Marketing Work?

Facebook PPC marketing is similar to other search engine PPC campaigns, but with a few more robust and ridiculously awesome and powerful features.

Location – You can target your ads to only be seen by people within a few miles of your target location.

So let’s say you are trying to buy homes in a specific neighborhood – you could have your “We Buy Nasty Old Houses in Germantown” ad only run to people who live within that specific neighborhood.

Interest – You know those “Like” buttons you see all over Facebook? We’ve been now been indoctrinated as a culture to “press Like” every time something remotely tickles our fancy. It’s literally become a cultural norm.

Well thanks to that, Facebook now knows (and tracks) exactly what their users “Like.” Which then allows their advertisers to target ads specifically to you based on your interests.

This means as an advertiser you can choose to only show your ads to people who “like” certain pages, have joined certain “groups” or even like certain books, movies, entertainers, etc.

facebook ad samplesTo demonstrate, I just pulled a random screenshot from my own Facebook account (to the right here). Take a second to notice the ads. See how many are real estate themed? Think it’s a coincidence? Or could it be due to the fact that I’m in half a dozen real estate investing groups on Facebook and these advertisers specifically targeted members of those groups?

See the one about the raw food diet? A couple of years ago I got into juicing and “Liked” a couple of juicing-related Facebook pages. Targeted…boom!

The Frank Kern related ad at the bottom is especially powerful, because it’s not even from Frank Kern! At some point I “liked” Frank as a personality on FB, then this advertiser, assuming people who like Frank will probably also like his product or service, specifically targeted Frank likers.

How Can You Use This as a Real Estate Investor?

Let’s say you’re trying to flip a commercial property. You can target your ads to only people who have liked a Fan Page or Group that is related to commercial real estate investing, or who work for a company that buys and sells commercial real estate in your town. Kapow!

Demographics – Facebook collects so much information from their users that they can target your PPC ads specifically to people of certain ages or genders.

For example, you could run an ad that would focus on first time homeowners (aged 20-35) if you have a condo for sale in a downtown location area where this demographic is the most common buyer.

You can even choose to only show your ad to people whose birthday is today. Imagine running an ad like, “Happy Birthday! Here’s a new house…” Think that’ll get their attention…on their birthday???

"How Much Does it Cost to Run Facebook PPC Ads?"

Not a penny until you get a lead. That’s the beauty of it. 

That’s right, pricing for Facebook marketing is simple – you only pay when your advertising achieves its intended outcome – it brings you a lead (i.e. someone clicks on your ad, which is the same as Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.).

What would happen if you approached a bandit sign company, direct mail house or local newspaper’s ad department and said, “Hey, I’m not paying you until I get a lead from your marketing.”  (Hint: Not gonna fly.) 

It’s not a simple dollar amount associated with each click, but rather based on a “silent auction” where you bid against other advertisers trying to get in front of the same customers.

So you tell Facebook how much you can afford to pay (price per click) to have your ad run in front of one of your targeted customers. Facebook will never charge you any more than you set as your maximum amount per day. You’re in total control.

HOWEVER, keep in mind that if your bid is too low, it simply won’t be shown to any of your customers. You don’t want to necessarily take Facebook’s bid suggestion, which is typically higher than you need to really pay. But you also need to be competitive to what others are bidding, which you don’t really know yet.

Through a little trial and error, you essentially need to find the “sweet spot” where your ad will show up to your targeted customer, but you’re not blowing your budget out of the water. But don’t worry; Facebook has a tool called “bid range” that will help you set your highest bid price to ensure that your ad will run.

It’s important to note that there might be some “big fish” in your local market (or where you are trying to conduct your real estate investing) that might outbid you, so you will continuously need to monitor your ads to find the amount that will ensure your ads show up at the right time.

In addition, Facebook (like other PPC advertisers out there) also allows you to set a daily and monthly budget – never find yourself stuck with a HUGE PPC bill at the end of the week or month.  It’s a great way to budget your marketing dollars.

Remember, with Facebook PPC you only pay when someone actually clicks on your ad (versus when someone sees your ad like a lot of other PPC competitors) and you can set your daily, weekly and monthly limits with a maximum amount you are willing to pay for each lead. 

Here’s something to think about: One lead at your daily budget (say $5) could easily earn you a new motivated seller that lands you your next $25,000 deal. Which would allow you to outbid the big fish who’s bidding $4.50 per click.

"OK, I Like the Sounds of This, What Should I Do First?"

First and foremost you want to identify the outcome you want from running a Facebook PPC campaign. 

  • Are you looking for more motivated sellers?
  • Looking for private money lenders?
  • Looking to sell a specific house, in a specific area, to a specific type of buyer?

Bottom line: What is your goal with your PPC advertising?

Then once you’ve decided your intended outcome, then you work backwards from there creating a marketing plan.

So let’s just say you have a rehab property you are about to wrap up, and you’re hoping to sell ASAP. So the ultimate goal of your Facebook ad is to sell the darn property

But it’s unlikely someone’s going to immediately buy your rehab just from seeing an ad, right? You’ll need to get them to actually come out and at least see the property first.

So you’ll need to attract their interest first through your ad copy. The sole purpose of your FB ad will be to get them intrigued enough to want to know and see more – enough to click your ad.

So what you could do is write an ad which then leads them to a website (maybe a Postlets.com page, Freedomsoft page, or whatever) where you have compelling videos, photos and more information on the property that would make the ideal viewer want them to come out to see your property.

You’ll also want to include a form on your website that will allow them to request a tour of the property – this way you are capturing your lead’s information and can follow-up.

If you don’t have a website you can easily create one using a template, using Freedomsoft, REI Theme or one of any number of other templates out there. Or you could set-up a Facebook Business Page to accomplish the same goal.

"What Should I know Before I Create A Facebook Ad?"

Set-up Your PPC Account

First you need to set-up your Facebook PPC account. Simply go to:  to http://www.facebook.com/ads. Select “create an ad” and fill out the form.

Determine Your Landing Page

You will need to determine your landing page.  Meaning, where will the user be taken when they click on your ad. Is it your Facebook business page, Fan Page, personal page or off Facebook to a website of your own? Any of these could work for you. Determine the landing page and be sure that it has a call to action congruent with your ad campaign goal.

Write a Catchy Title

You are limited to 25 characters for your title so you want to be sure your ad title captures your potential customers attention. They typically won’t approve an ad with all capital letters or using poor or misspelled English.

Tip: If you’re running an ad to buy or sell real estate in a specific area, be sure to include the area in the title, as most people aren’t used to seeing ads on Facebook with their local area listed – it’s very personal and very effective.

Write Your Ad Copy

You want to write ad copy that is going to convince your viewer to click on your ad. Ads are limited to 90 characters. Don’t just state the features of your offer but also the benefits – appeal to the emotion of your viewers. 

Choose a Good Photo

This is by far the most important part of your ad. Nowadays people are very visually focused. It’s not unusual that the right image will help your click-through rate double or triple. And the wrong image can double or triple your cost per click! Not only will you be get less people to visit your page, you end up paying more!

So unless you enjoy freely giving away your money to Facebook, you need to understand the best ad images to use.

Since it’s such an important piece of the puzzle, here are some really awesome tips on ad images:

facebook smiling1. Use pictures of attractive, smiling woman and men. For ads that are shown to men, use an attractive woman. And vice versa for ads shown to women. If your audience is gender neutral, then go with women. Women who look overjoyed, free and are looking directly at the camera convert best. Also consider trying images of women who joyfully have their arms in the air.

Close up pictures work best so try not to cram too much into your images. A good idea is to step away from your computer and see if you can still see your image clearly in the 110 x 80 format. If not, re-size, rinse and repeat.

facebook funny2. Funny stuff gets attention. Often something a little quirky, oddball or down right funny can grab attention. Even if it's not directly related to your ad. No brainer there, right? Remember the main job of the picure is to draw attention to your ad, then your ad is designed to get a click from the right prospect.

facebook cleavage2. Cleavage gets clicks. You may or may not want to go this way, but it’s a proven fact. Google and marketing companies have done studies on this and consistently proven attractive woman with a bit of cleavage produce the highest click through rates. Just saying.

facebook real3. Choose real photos over stock images. This might be hard to believe but a lot of PPC test results show that a “non-professional” photo will result in more clicks on Facebook PPC.

This is probably because we all have a certain amount of “ad blindness”, so the more professional and “salesy” it looks, the less we see it. People are pre-conditioned to see “non-professional” photos versus professional photos on Facebook.  

Also a lot of people are turned off by stock photos because they look fake.

facebook contrast4. Use strongly contrasting colors. Again, our goal with the image is to grab the user’s attention. You want your ad standing out, right? If your ad uses colors that sharply contrasts with Facebook’s blue color scheme, it’s much more noticeable. For example, use a picture of someone in a grass field. The green will definitely stand out. The more contract, the better.

facebook red border5. Red borders often rock. One clever technique is to add a thin red border to your ads. Red contrasts well with Facebook’s blue and will get users to notice your ad. You’ve probably seen ads like this from time to time. And the key is…you noticed them, right?

facebook text6. Test a bunch of images. Facebook allows you to do this – rotate many images at once. Then you can check your stats and see which images are truly getting the most clicks, and stop showing the others. Experts suggest 7 to 10 images per campaign.

7. Add text to your images. This is a sneaky little trick few think of, but can be a really slealthy way to get more words in your prospects mind. Facebook ads limits the amount of actual text in your ad. But include some words in your image itself completely skirts this!

Determine your Audience

You can select your target audience when you create your ad.  You may narrow down your audience by gender, geographic location, age and interests – again, this would be part of your marketing plan and intended outcome or goal.

Determine your PPC Budget

As we talked about earlier, you can determine your budget when you set-up your ads. Now is the time to decide your daily, weekly and/or monthly budget and maximum bid price.

Manage and Split Test Your Ads

Once your ad is up and running, Facebook provides a number of statistics about the performance of your ads. You can use these stats to help you make adjustments to your ads and split test new ads.

Some of the stats that are available from Facebook include:

  • Actions – number of actions taken within 24 hrs by those who have seen your ad
  • Frequency – average number of times your ad is shown to the same person
  • Click Through Rate (CTR) –number of clicks on your ad divided by the number of people who saw it
  • Reach – number of people who see your ad

In order to make the most of your PPC ads you need to test to find out which kind of ads will provide you with the best results. You’ll do this by running several similar ads at the same time, with small variables/changes in each ad. This will help you determine what types of ads appeal to the ideal customer and help you achieve your marketing goals spending the least amount of money.

You should always carefully monitor your ads stats and make changes and improvements as you go along.

Don’t be discouraged by low conversion rates, especially if you’re used to Google AdWords. Average conversion rates in FB are approximately 0.02%. You’re doing well if you see conversions in the 0.4% to 0.5% range.

So there you have it!

Facebook can be an amazing new tool in your marketing arsenal that can provide you with very targeted and low cost marketing (if done correctly) with fantastic ROI.  In your real estate investing business you can use it to find buyers, find partners and advertise your specific properties.

I’ve broken it down here into a few easy steps to help you get started marketing on Facebook.

{Mogul Elite: In the Power Pack tools for this lesson, you can download an MP3 of my private conversation with Joe McCall, in which I ask hm to reveal specifically how he's using Facebook to buy houses. Awesome stuff. Check it out.}


Do It To It! Immediate Action Steps
  1. If you don’t already have a Facebook page (gasp), then go sign up at www.Facebook.com for either a personal page, FanPage or business page (or all 3).
  2. Set-up a Facebook PPC account - http://www.facebook.com/ads
  3. Determine your goal(s) of your Facebook Ads
  4. Work backwards from your goal and create a marketing plan to achieve your goal using PPC
  5. Determine your “landing page” for users who click on your ad
  6. Write a catchy title (no more than 25 characters)
  7. Write Your Ad Copy
  8. Choose a photo (“non-professional” works best on Facebook)
  9. Determine your audience (interests, location, gender)
  10. Determine your PPC price
  11. Manage your ads
  12. Split-test your ads
  13. Make money – Kapow!

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