4 Reasons Why Facebook Isn’t Working For Real Estate Agents...Yet
Here’s the crazy-awesome thing about Facebook: we can all tap into the power of “The Network.”
Think about it for a minute…Facebook lets normal people like you and me pay them money to serve up ads to tens and hundreds of thousands of people outside our network.
By ourselves, our network is limited to a few hundred people.
With Facebook, we can magically reach tens of thousands of people in our own market.
You can launch an ad on Facebook and literally start receiving leads within an hour if you know what’re you’re doing.
No special degrees needed. No certifications. No special powers.
Facebook just says “go ahead, place an ad with us!”
I call Facebook paid advertising “The Facebook Furnace” because it can quickly fuel your real estate pipeline and take it to levels you never thought possible.
It can burn your time and your money REALLY fast.
If you’ve tried leveraging Facebook to grow your pipeline, my hat’s off to you because you at least know you should be participating in the largest social media platform known to man.
But if you’ve experienced “The Facebook Furnace” and seen time and money return nothing…I want to help you understand what happened and how to change it.
1. You’re Confusing Activity With Lead Generation!
One of the first things that agents need to get straight regarding Facebook is there’s a massive difference between being busy on Facebook and actually lead generating on FB.
Do you know the difference?
Here are examples of activity on Facebook:
“Smiley Faces, etc. etc.”
Those are all activity on Facebook, but none of them are leads.
You can’t communicate with and close a “Like…”
A lead from Facebook is someone who offers up their phone number,
email address and/or address (or ideally, all three at once!)
(…that’s right: if you really know what you’re doing on Facebook, people will even happily give up their home address to you! Shocking isn’t it?!)
What makes someone a lead off of Facebook is only if you can communicate with them about showing them property, listing their property, etc.
That’s it. No exceptions to the rule. Period.
It’s time to get rid of all the white noise on FB that you think is meaningful but actually isn’t.
“We’ve got 1,000 followers on our business page now!”
That’s nice, but how many leads are you getting from FB each day?
“This post was ‘Liked’ 457 times!”
That’s cool, but how many people gave you their contact information to actually talk about the property?
“Our reach was 100,000 people!”
That’s neat, but you didn’t get to talk with a single person in that group? So who exactly did you “reach”?
Meaningful Pipeline Growth from Facebook
To grow your production, you need a steady flow of phone numbers, email addresses, and/or home addresses coming to you every single day from Facebook.
You heard me right: daily. Buyer and seller leads should be constantly coming in from Facebook: drip, drip, drip, drip.
If you’re not getting daily leads from Facebook…you are missing out big time!
Do you evaluate success from Facebook based on activity or lead generation? They are not always the same thing!
2. Someone Has Convinced You That If You Post Enough, It Will Somehow Result in Leads!
Remember the movie, “Field of Dreams”?
It said something like “if you build it, they will come.”
Well, a lot of real estate agents have the same mentality when it comes to their Facebook marketing.
They are convinced that if they start a business page called “Sam’s Real Estate” and then post enough…somehow it will result in leads for their business.
Some agents even get real fancy and will start pages called “Las Vegas Luxury Real Estate” or something like that with the idea that ANYONE looking for real estate and Las Vegas will somehow end up on their Facebook page and then…what?
But it doesn’t work. Here’s why:
at a very basic level…the math doesn’t work! If you have 1,000 followers on your business page (which most of don’t!) and 5% converted to leads (which is a high conversion rate), that’s 50 leads. BFD!
unless you are Justin Bieber, you will not accumulate enough followers, likes, etc. etc. on your business page to make any meaningful impact on your pipeline. Don’t feel bad though, that’s just the way it is and it’s the same for every one (except Justin Bieber).
the people who like or follow your business page are pretty much the same people you already talk to anyway! Think about it…when you started your business page, who did you “Invite” to “Like” or “Follow” your page? The same people who already know what you do! The point is, the people who follow your business page is for the most part not a new audience for you.
lastly and most importantly: Facebook doesn’t make any money on your free posts to your business page.
think about it…Facebook makes money on what? Subscriptions? Nope. Advertising! Do you really think they are going to stack the deck in the favor of people who post for free on their business page…OR…paid advertisers? Ding ding! Paid advertisers win on Facebook!
Listen, I may not have to tell you all this because the proof is in the pudding: despite how busy agents are on Facebook, most of them are not getting meaningful lead generation.
Heck, there are even some real estate brokers and agents who have hired social media firms to do posts for them! These companies will post 3-5 times per week: listings, community news, articles on why it’s a good time to sell, etc. etc.
Sorry to break it to you but no one sees it and it won’t fill up your pipeline.
Paid ads win the game on Facebook, hands down.
Are you “all in” on paid ads?
3. If You’ve Tried Paid Ads on Facebook, You’ve Done The Same Thing As Everyone Else!
I don’t know where it started, but it’s shocking how real estate agents will all try the exact same things on Facebook!
If a real estate gets bold and attempts paid advertising on Facebook, they seem to all gravitate toward the exact same thing.
They boost a post.
And that boosted post is usually an existing listing.
Maybe, just maybe, you’ve tried boosting a Home Value Ad or some other very vague ad that reads something like “Hey, I’m Sam and I can list your home!”
Even if you’ve tried other ad types on Facebook you’ve struck out.
Here’s why this strategy doesn’t work…
For one: Facebook doesn’t allow advanced layers of targeting on boosted posts.
Meaning, you can’t refine your audience as deeply on boosted posts as you can other types of Facebook ads.
Some of the incredible targeting options that Facebook offers aren’t even available to you when you do a boosted post!
Boosted posts are like dipping your toes in the water of the pool, but never actually jumping in.
Don’t you want to JUMP IN to power of Facebook’s network?!
Secondly, your boosted post wasn’t reversed engineered to serve your marketing goal. Let me explain…
Real estate agents treat boosted posts like pouring gasoline onto a fire. If the meat is bad, it doesn’t matter how much gasoline you pour…the end product won’t taste any better!
Because your end game is weak, you’re just pushing people…to nowhere.
How many boosted posts have you tried and after a day said “this doesn’t work!”?
4. You Constantly Change Your Advertisements!
Here is the typical real estate agent progression if they tried paid ads on Facebook:
-Boost an existing listing
-Spend approximately $50-$10
-Get Likes, Shares, Comments (if you’re lucky)
-24 hours later, stop the boosted post and get really upset that it didn’t work
-Repeat but this time change the listing to something like a home value ad or some other advertisement that dumps them on your website or brands you as the neighborhood realtor
You have to understand something really important about Facebook: it is not a dart board.
The above progression is the same way I play darts…
Pick up a dart, aim as best you can, and throw the damn thing.
“Hope it hits!”
Facebook is not designed for you to constantly change advertisements.
It’s not a slot machine where you put a quarter in, pull the lever, and hope the cherries line up.
Be honest about the ads you’ve tried…did you really have any idea what was going to happen when you pulled the lever? :)
Save the slot machines for Vegas, baby!
A good way to understand how to win the paid advertising game on Facebook is to think of Facebook like a giant laboratory: whoever can “out test” everyone else, will win.
When I do private coaching with brokerages and look at their advertisements they’ve tried, there’s will be 20 different ads/boosted posts sitting there and brokers saying “SEE…IT DOESN’T WORK!”
The way to win on Facebook isn’t running 20 different ads to “see what works.”
It’s running a much smaller set of ads, making tweaks, running it longer, making tweaks, running it longer…etc.
It’s about making ads more efficient.
To SCALE your pipeline, you have to be able to PREDICT.
“If I put $100 on this ad, it will generate 75 phone numbers and/or emails.”
That’s called predictability. Without it, you will never ever SCALE up your lead generation.
Remember That Movie Called “The Matrix?”
Did you know that Facebook ads get smarter as they go?
Probably sounds hokey, but it’s true!
The Facebook “Computer”…the “Facebook Brain”…”The Matrix”….it actually thinks on its own and will self-improve your ads.
At the end of the day, Facebook is an algorithm that learns from user behaviors and it usually takes up to 72 hours for enough data to be gathered to produce predictable results.
Let me ask you a question: have you ever let a Facebook ad run for 72 hours, examined the data, made changes, and then re-ran the same ad?
IF an agent even lasts 72 hours (that’s a big “if”), they usually look at the data and go “well that didn’t work!” and then go try something else.
That’s called “I was looking for a silver bullet.”
The agent was hoping that they could somehow throw $100 bucks at a boosted post one time and a $10,000 commission check would magically appear on the other side.
Sorry to be a buzzkill but that’s not how it works.
Heck, that’s not how MARKETING works. Stop the madness!
Whoever can test the longest will win the game on Facebook paid advertising.
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