You finally found it!
Have you been looking for a way to tap into the power of the internet and generate your own real estate leads without actually buying them?
A lot of real estate agents have a love hate relationship with the internet and online portals like Zillow, Trulia, Homes.com, …. These portals do an amazing job of using the listings of the agent, advertising them online, generating leads for those listings and, here it comes, selling real estate leads back to those agents! A truly fantastic business model that is so successful that the portals are now so powerful that it is nearly impossible for single agents (and even for brokerages) to compete with them (meaning outspend them in order to get the leads).
Agents often tell me “but we need to be on Zillow! That’s where our customers are and that’s where home sellers expect to see their home listed”. And this makes sense. The online portals spend so much marketing dollars that they have become the go-to search engine for everything real estate related.
Lucky for real estate agents there are a few other portals where their customers hang out: social media. Everyone who is anyone is on Facebook and most of us are on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Snapchat to name just a few.
But wait a minute, this is a blog post about real estate leads! How can we find the right prospects on social media?
Very simple… the social media sites track your every move. Everyone is constantly logged into their Facebook account. And even if they are not, the social media platforms follow their users around the internet, on other sites as well. All their online behavior is tracked and recorded, and maid available to online marketers.
Most commercial websites have Facebook tracking code installed. Don’t believe me? Add Facebook Pixel Helper to Chrome and see for yourself.
And here's Realtor.com:
Hey wait a minute… Homes.com doesn’t have the pixel…. but we’re good! They have something else that connects them to Facebook: a share button:
and even better: it’s possible to create an account using a Facebook login:
But this still doesn’t explain how to get real estate leads using Facebook???
This is actually very simple: Facebook (and Twitter and Instagram) allow marketers to target people based on their interest...
It’s perfectly possible to run an ad targeted towards people who show interest and who visit pages related to real estate!
So imagine the following scenario: a homeowner sees his neighbor’s home for sale one day. The homeowner has been living in the same home for about 9 years and since then the kids moved out and went to college. He or she heard rumors about this crazy market and home prices increasing year after year. So the home owner gets curious “what’s the neighbor wanting to get for his home? What are homes going for these days?” so you guessed it: he visits Zillow to get the info. He doesn’t contact any agent since he has all the info he needs: he’s just becoming aware of his need: time to move!
Now the savvy real estate agent goes to work and targets the homeowner with relevant ads on social media: some more homes for sale, a free report, some mortgage rate info, who knows, maybe even an ad saying “what’s your home worth” – nothing too salesy rather some valuable info, and a small exchange of contact info at the right moment in time.
Now the home owner is not only becoming more and more aware that he has a desire to make a move, he also is becoming aware the savvy realtor might have a solution for him…
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Here’s the step-by-step instruction on how to target based on interest and ‘steal’ some leads from Zillow
Facebook – Instagram
Log into your Facebook Ad account and go to the Audiences tab:
We’re going to create a Saved Audience
Go to Detailed Targeting and just start typing anything actually. Facebook will auto-complete. So we are looking for people interested in real estate and we know that there’s a good chance they will be on Zillow. So that’s what we start typing:
Now keep going, add some more interests and you will see Facebook starting to suggest related categories. Add them if you feel they are relevant.
Now it’s time to add some geographics into the game:
Facebook will show you a potential audience size as you add more criteria.
Finally it’s a good idea to narrow it down with some demographics so you’re targeting your audience with relevant ads:
Now give your audience a catchy name and hit CREATE
You’ll be generating your own private Real Estate Leads in no time!
Twitter offers great targeting capabilities as well and even a cool feature that is not available on Facebook… while Facebook does not offer the option to target people who like a certain page, Twitter does offer the option to target Followers
So you can directly target followers of Zillow, Trulia, …., Home Depot, … and even your competitor’s followers
Add additional demographics to narrow down your audience, like how ownership or length of residence
This way you are sure to target exactly the right audience and generate motivated real estate leads!
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