The Secret To Finding Warm & Hot Real Estate Prospects On Facebook

As real estate professionals, you all know the value of promoting yourself, your service and your listings to the buying public.

That’s why you all advertise, market, network, cold call, letterbox drop and a myriad of other activities, all designed to get exposure and find prospective clients.

And for many agents, one of the BIG promotional options they’d LOVE to crack is Facebook.

For one thing, the number of people on Facebook is H-U-M-U-N-G-O-U-S! Absolutely massive…

In fact, according to their Investor Relations 2nd quarter (2015) report, over 1.49 BILLION (yes, that’s B for billion!) users are active on Facebook as of June 30, 2015, an increase of 13% year-over-year.

To drill down a little bit more, their DAILY active user stats show 968 million (on average) for June 2015, an increase of 17% year-over-year.

Of course, if you are just wanting to get your real estate promotions in front of just your home city, there’s still a heap of folks using Facebook. For example, if I just consider my home city Perth (Western Australia), there’s over 1.2 Million people known to Facebook, which is pretty amazing!

Just imagine if you could get your home opens shown to even 1% of the Perth population? That’s still 12,000 people seeing your offering. Do you think that would increase the number of people who attended your opens? And if you’re a half-way decent real estate sales professional, surely you could swing a few of them to put in an offer?

How about if you could put out the call to 10% of Perth’s Facebook population about getting a free market appraisal for their home? Do you think you could probably land at LEAST 1 listing from that? Maybe even 5 – 10 (or more)!

Well, all this is fantastic to think about, but my suspicion is that for most of you, it’s a dream rather than something to just think about.

Maybe you’ve already tried using Facebook to find prospective buyers and sellers?

Perhaps you set up your own Facebook page to promote yourself or your agency?

And, maybe you’ve even spent some money boosting some of your Facebook posts to ensure that a decent number of people actually SAW your post?

So, if you’ve done any or all of these things, my question is: How did it go?

And based on my conversations with small business owners, real estate agents and anyone else who has tried marketing & promoting themselves with Facebook, it went pretty badly!

You’ve probably already figured out it’s really difficult to get people to like (become a fan of) your Facebook page to start with, unless you have a big network of contacts you can draw on to do this.

Even if you do have lots of fans, you’ve likely also noticed that every time you post to your page, not many people actually SEE your post. Ever seen something like this at the bottom of your posts?

94 people reached or 64 people reached

If you have worked hard to build up to even 1,000 fans and you consistently see numbers like that, it’s very disheartening as you would already know.

Actually, some of you would be THRILLED with 64 or 94 people reached… Go on, admit it. It’s true for some of you.

So, if that’s the kind of response you’re getting to your Facebook page posts, then you may have already decided Facebook is a waste of time and just not worth the effort…

So, if this is the case, how do you crank up Facebook to get in front of more people, and generate more enquiries for your service?

The only other way is to use one of Facebook’s 3 different kinds of advertising options.

Yes, that means paying to show your content to Facebook users!

You probably already know about boosting a post, if you’ve got a page up and running. That’s the baby step to Facebook ads, and it’s super-simple to use and get started with. Of course, it’s incredibly unsophisticated and gives you very little control over how it all works, so at some stage people need more and they move onto the Ads Manager.

That’s mid-level so far as sophistication AND marketing power goes, and for the most part it keeps 80% of Facebook advertisers relatively happy.

Of course, for those that want to shoot for the stars and have maximum control, maximum marketing power and maximum sophistication, there’s the Power Editor… which is a story for another day.

Now, the big “secret” to successfully marketing on Facebook is to understand what makes it tick. You see, most users of their ad options get it confused with Google and it all goes pear shaped pretty quickly.

We’ve all done a search on Google before, whether looking for ‘Perth travel agents’ or a ‘physiotherapist in Maylands’, etc.

And we’ve all seen the ads which show up at the top (and sometimes on the right hand side) of the search results page.

The key to understanding people searching on Google (vs Facebook) is that people go to Google with a need in mind. They are searching for the answer to a question. It is a “jumping-off point” to find the information they want to find.

In online marketing terms, this is called “intent driven” advertising. People only go to Google to search for a SPECIFIC need – they are seeking an answer to a question – which is where the intent comes from (they are on a “mission” if you will.)

However, on Facebook, people are there – usually – to pass the time, catch up with family and friends, be entertained, have fun and so forth.

In other words, their activity on Facebook is NOT driven by intent in the same way as on Google.

So, whether they are watching funny cat videos, uploading selfies or pictures of their food or reading about the winner of the 2015 Melbourne Cup (btw, congrats to Michelle Payne!) they are usually NOT there to find a house to buy or locate an agent to list their property!

So, the key to success with Facebook advertising is to target the people that are the closest to one or both of those activities (buying and/or selling a house) and ONLY show them your advertising.

Now, you might ask why this is the case, and the short version is that it’s too damn expensive to get your ad in front of everyone in a city like Perth.

Just to give you an example, if your goal was to show your Facebook ad to every adult in Perth within a few days, you’d have to spend $23,000 per day over 2 days (i.e. $46K!) to ensure that 1.2 Million people saw your ad at least once.

Here’s the budget estimator from Facebook to help give you an idea of the costs:

Facebook Reach and Frequency Estimate Chart

As you can see, if Facebook takes roughly 2 days to show your ad once to 1.2 Million people, you’d be up for MASSIVE bill!

Now, I don’t know about you, but I don’t know any real estate people who can afford to cough up that kind of money just to get 1 view of their ad to everybody living in a capital city like Perth!

The other problem with this idea of spraying your ad EVERYWHERE and hoping it generates the result you want is that it’s incredibly wasteful. Chances are very high that 90% (or more) of Perth’s population is NOT in the market to buy or sell real estate anytime soon.

That means you’re WASTING money showing ads to people who are poor (or terrible) candidates for your service.

Instead, the IDEAL option is to only show your ads to people who have SOME level of interest in buying and/or selling real estate.

Then, you cut out the wastage AND the ridiculous costs of trying to appear to every warm body in Perth who can fog a mirror. You bring in down to the HIGHEST level of prospect – the warm and hot prospect!

So, then the million dollar question becomes:

How do I target just the warm and hot prospects in my market?

Honestly, there’s MULTIPLE ways to achieve that result, but I don’t have an hour to go in-depth explaining all of them, so I just want to focus on ONE way that you could start using today!

Facebook Custom Audiences

Facebook has this EXTREMELY cool ad targeting option called Custom Audiences, and one (of several) things it does is that it allows you to upload a list of mobile phone numbers and/or email addresses of people you know to their ad platform.

What it then does is looks at each and every email address and mobile number and finds out if they match up with emails and mobile numbers they have for Facebook users.

EVERY SINGLE PERSON who has a Facebook account had to supply an email address to set up their account (it’s what you use to login to your account every single day) and many other people also add their mobile number to their account contact details.

So, when you upload these lists to your ad account, it goes off and compiles a list of every person they can find who matches 1 or more of those records and adds them into your custom audience.

Then, when you start running ads, rather than trying to blanket all of Perth with ads (and spending $46K!), it only shows your ads to people you have previously been in contact with.

Whether they attended a home open, phoned or emailed you from a referral, saw your sign in front of a property and contacted you, or even saw your listing on realestate.com.au, you can now show your ads just to them.

Chances are reasonable that some of those people will still be in the market for the service you offer (i.e. they are looking to buy or sell a property) so you are now able to show your ads to WARM and HOT prospects, rather than completely cold people – most of whom are NOT even suspects, let alone prospects!

So, to create a custom audience, you need to put together a big list of email addresses and mobile phone numbers (not landlines, only mobiles) and upload them into your Facebook ads account.

Go back and look at your database. Review your CRM records (you do use a CRM right?) Pull out all the home open records you collect (where people have to put their name and contact details down to come into the property). Go through your business card collection, your rolodex, your email contacts list and so forth.

Every email address and mobile number you can add to the list gives you more warm and hot prospects you can show your ads to.

And even if you’re only spending $100/month on Facebook ads, at least they are showing to the people most likely to be interested in real estate, whether buying or selling.

Suddenly, you don’t need $46K to show an ad to every warm bodied breathing person in Perth.

If your custom audience is even as small as 100 – 500 people, that’s better than spraying your ads far and wide, HOPING to hit a decent prospect.

Oh, and by the way, as you collect more emails and mobile numbers from prospects, you can upload them to your existing custom audience and increase its size and reach over time.

Free Real Estate Client Attraction Blueprint

If you’re spending $500+/month on real estate advertising (this can include your portal listings, letterbox drops, etc.) and you’d like to dramatically increase your leads, sales & ROI, then you’ll want to take advantage of one of my FREE 30-minute strategy sessions to help you improve the results from your marketing.

Whether you’re an agent or principal, I’ll work with you to design a custom Client Attraction blueprint, help you identify the perfect target market for prospective buyers, and show you how to maximise your marketing results.

My promise to you is that by the time we get done with this fast-paced session, you will walk away with 3 actionable strategies for you to get more listings and more buyers… without the need to spend a fortune on wasteful advertising.

There are two ways to success in the real estate market. Outspend the competition or be smarter than the competition. In this call, I will share with you how to be smarter.

Plus, if you’re not thoroughly convinced the custom marketing blueprint I’ll provide will significantly improve your current advertising results – even if you NEVER choose to work with me to implement it – just let me know before we finish our call and I’ll happily donate $30 to the charity of your choice! (Of course, you’ll get a copy of the receipt)

By the way, there’s no cost to you for this strategy call.

Obviously I provide online Marketing services for real estate businesses, and if you see some value in the free help I give you, there’s a good possibility you might want to work with me to improve your lead generation results. And if you choose not to, that’s equally fine.

But… before you go any further, you need to know that I can’t help everybody.

I can only be of benefit to agents or agencies that currently advertise or market online or offline. You need to already be spending at least $500+ a month in advertising costs and – ideally – have your own operational website that can be updated with new content as needed.

If you don’t do much or any advertising, I won’t be able to help you.

So, if you meet my criteria AND would like to take advantage of a free 30 minute Strategy Call, simply click the link below. You’ll see a form with a few questions about your current marketing program and what you are looking to accomplish, as well as some contact details. Choose a day and time from my calendar to speak with me, and we’ll get together on a skype call to go over your situation and goals.

Lastly, when my schedule fills up, that’s it! So, if you meet the criteria AND are serious about wanting to take what you’ve learned from my blog post and develop a blueprint to increase the effectiveness of your advertising and marketing, then get started by clicking the link below.

Click here to request a FREE 30 Minute Marketing Strategy Call