Facebook ads are perhaps the most common paid way for business owners to find their target market, generate leads, and convert customers.
In the case of real estate investing, you can use Facebook ads to find motivated sellers.
I personally know people who charge thousands (or tens of thousands) of dollars for their expertise in Facebook ads — it’s a skill that’s useful, but can be overwhelming to learn. Heck, I once even paid someone $750 for just one hour to help me understand targeting on Facebook.
In this guide, we’re going to simplify things for you.
We’re going to show you how you can run effective ads on Facebook that provide you with a steady flow of leads for your real estate investing business — we’ll also give you tons of examples from what other real estate investors are doing.
Let’s dive right in.
Step 1. Think About Your Funnel
Before you even create a Facebook ad account, think about what will happen after a seller clicks on your advertisement.
Because if this part of your funnel isn’t optimized, then the ads are basically worthless (even if they drive a lot of traffic).
The goal is to generate leads — either through website opt-ins or by getting direct inbound calls from sellers.
The easiest way we know of to do that is by getting setup with a Carrot site. They call themselves a “lead generation hub” because they provide websites “so powerful, we don’t even call it a website anymore.”
Instead of building a website on something like WordPress or Squarespace, and putting all of the lead-gen functionalities together like a jigsaw puzzle, Carrot provides out-of-the-box lead-gen websites specifically designed for real estate investors.
Here’s a little preview of what that looks like…
There are a few elements that we really like about Carrot sites when it comes to running Facebook ads to them.
First of all, the phone number is always front and center (usually at the top of the page). So if people just want to pick up the phone and give you a call, they can do that.
Second, if people would rather provide you with their email, name, and phone number rather than call you right then and there, Carrot provides simple functionality to allow motivated sellers to “opt-in to get their fair cash offer”. It will then notify you via text message that you got a lead through your website and you can call them right away to capitalize on the opportunity.
Finally, for ad tracking and testing purposes, you can use Carrot to create UTM tracking links for different versions of your Facebook ads and you can build unique landing pages separate from your homepage to drive ad traffic to.
We think this is by far the easiest and fastest way to get setup with a high-converting website worthy of your paid Facebook ad traffic. Here’s a video Ryan Dossey (our founder) did on why he loves using Carrot for his own real estate investing business.
Step 2. Create Your Facebook Ad Account
Now that you’re setup with a funnel worthy of driving Facebook ad traffic to, we’re ready to create your Facebook ad account.
This is free to do… and it’s relatively simple.
But we’ll walk you through the steps regardless.
First, go to Facebook and create a new Page for your business (if you’ve already done this, you can skip this step). You can do this by clicking on the box of dots in the upper right and then clicking on “Page”.
You’ll then be prompted to create your page — you can add a name, a profile picture, a simple bio, and a link to your website.
To keep everything consistent, we recommend using the same branding assets on your Facebook Page as are on your website.
Here’s an example of what this can look like…
Once your page is setup, go here and click on “Create an Ad”…
You’ll then be prompted to log-in to your Facebook account. Do so and you’ll eventually be taken to a page that looks something like this…
This is your home for creating new ads. But before we dive into how to do that, the first thing you need to understand is the three tabs at the top: campaigns, ad sets, and ads.
The distinction between these three components of Facebook ads took my a while to figure out (I had to pay someone to finally make sense of it)…
But I’m going to simplify it for you so it’s super easy to understand.
From left to right (campaigns to ad-sets) the targeting and advertising becomes increasingly granular. You can have multiple ads inside of each ad set, and you can have multiple ad sets inside of each campaign. The purpose for these three components is to differentiate between different advertising campaigns and make testing easier.
Here’s a quick overview of each…
Campaigns are pretty simple. They just contain the advertising objective (traffic, leads, sales, etc.) that you want to optimize your ads for as well as your buying type (you can just set this to “Auction”). It is sometimes worth testing different objections at the campaign level to see how that changes your results. You might, for instance, get different results if you select “Traffic” vs. “Leads”.
Ad Sets are used to define your audience. This is where you’ll dive into Facebook’s extremely detailed ad targeting to find sellers in your area of operation. Different targeting (or ad sets) can produce different results and so it’s often worth testing at the ad set level.
Finally, Ads are the actual creative (image, headline, text, link, etc.) you use for your Facebook advertisements. There’s a preview section where you can see what the ad will look like as you design it. It’s also often worth testing at the ad level to determine which types of creatives grab the most attention and get the most clicks.
That’s a basic overview of how the Facebook ad platform works.
Now let’s talk about how you can actual go about setting up your first ads!
Step 3. To Pixel Or NOT To Pixel
The first thing you need to decide before setting up your ads is this: do you want to use the Facebook pixel?
The Facebook pixel is a little piece of code you can add to your website to track conversion events (like seller opt-ins).
Why does that matter?
Because when Facebook can track conversion events on your website, it’s ad delivery system can optimize automatically to produce more of those conversions. The alternative, of course, is to ignore the tracking pixel altogether and just allow Facebook to optimize for ad clicks.
Generally speaking, best practice is to use the Facebook pixel (but if you’re in a hurry and don’t want to worry about it, you could probably get away with just optimizing for traffic).
It’s relatively easy to setup.
On the left side of your dashboard, click on “Connect Data Sources” (if you don’t see this, you might need to create a business Facebook ad account).
Choose “Web” and select “Connect”…
Then give your pixel a relevant name and click “Create Pixel”…
From there, you’ll be prompted to enter your website URL… which Facebook will then require you to verify. This is a pretty simple and Facebook will walk you through the rest of the steps.
Once your pixel is setup, you’ll be able to run ads using the “leads” goal and Facebook will automatically optimize your ads to be delivered to people who are most likely to opt-in on your website.
Pretty cool, right?
Now let’s talk about targeting.
Step 4. Nail Ad Set Targeting
Again, the ad set is where you’ll choose the targting for your Facebook ads. And Facebook is nothing if not exhaustive in its list of options.
For your campaign, you can choose “Traffic” if you didn’t setup the Facebook pixel… and you can choose “Leads” if you did. In the ad set, you’ll be able to choose the pixel you want to use for measuring conversion events…
You can also set your budget and schedule at the ad set level if you like.
And finally, we get to one of the most important parts of Facebook ads — the audience.
You have a ton of options here, but we’re going to keep this super simple and show you the targeting that we recommend for virtually every real estate investor.
First, you’re going to enter in the postal code where you operate so you’re ONLY targeting people who actually live in your investing market.
Select 40+ for the age you’re targeting (most motivated sellers are older) and leave it set to any gender.
And that’s it!
If you operate in a lot of different zip codes, then you might play around with the detailed targeting and target people in a certain income bracket or with interests in home repair, or people who are landlords. But in most cases, you’ll be fine just targeting by zip code.
You don’t want to narrow your audience size too much or your cost per click will end up being really high.
If the cost per click is manageable after running ads with the simple targeting above, then you can try and niche it down further and see what happens.
Step 5. Nail Your Creative
Now we get to the fun (maybe?) part of creating ads…
This is where you’ll write the copy for your advertisement, choose an image or video, craft a headline, and choose a CTA.
If you’re like most real estate investors… you have no idea where to start.
But I’ve got good news.
First of all, I’m going to show you a ton of examples here from other real estate investors generating leads with Facebook ads that you can pull inspiration from. And second of all, you can look at any of your competitors Facebook ads for free by click on the “Page Transparency” section of their business Facebook page (you can thank me later!).
After all… there’s no need to reinvent the wheel!
Now let’s take a look at some great examples of ads from real estate investors.
Here’s one from Cash Option LLC…
Another from USA Cash Offer…
And one from Cash Jolt…
As you can see, this isn’t rocket science.
Just do like you always do when you’re trying to find motivated sellers — tell them that you can make them a fair cash offer on their home, close in as little as two weeks, and you’ll even pay all closing costs.
Step 5. Consider Retargeting
We saved the best piece of advice for last.
Because targeting on Facebook doesn’t offer a lot of options for real estate investors trying to find motivated sellers, one of the best ways to utilize Facebook ads is by retargeting — this means running Facebook ads to people who already visited your website.
Here’s an example of what that looks like…
You’ll need to setup the Facebook pixel for this.
Once you have, you’ll want to create a custom audience connected to your website pixel.
Then select your source (the pixel you created for your website) and choose “All website visitors”. Then name the audience something relevant.
Once you’ve created this audience, you can select inside of the Ad Set category when you’re creating your ads. And voila! You’ll now automatically retarget people who visited your website.
This is great for staying in front of sellers who are still considering but haven’t yet taken action. It’s worth putting at least a little bit of budget everything month (even just $100 or so) toward retargeting.
Facebook ads are powerful.
But they’re also sort of complicated — and they’re nothing if not overwhelming when you’re just trying to figure them out.
In this guide, we’ve shown you how you, as a real estate investor, can get started with Facebook ads and use them to find motivated sellers in your area of operation. Create an ad account, run ads to your target zip codes, and definitely setup retargeting so that you’re staying front-and-center with sellers who are still in the consideration phase.
That’s pretty much all there is to it.
All that’s left… is for you to try it out for yourself!