Originally published on inman.com.
We’re currently in an unusual landscape for social media and Google-based paid ads. Events are canceled or postponed worldwide, and companies are reassessing their marketing budgets. However, this could be good news for you if you have a strong platform to nurture and the ability to invest in online leads now.
When advertising on Facebook, a more crowded cue of ads means fewer people see each ad, and advertising dollars don’t stretch as far. During times of fear and panic, many professionals and business owners scale back their marketing budgets and efforts.
When the majority of agents press the pause button, this creates an amazing opportunity for anyone willing to step up and spend an increased amount on marketing when competition is low.
We’ve been spending a lot of time talking about digital marketing and advertising, especially with the situation we’re facing today. Right now, we need to take a few things into consideration when it comes to our ad spend budget and marketing.
Now more than ever, it’s important to optimize your ad spend while also continuing to post content without a professional photographer and the ability to visit the property itself.
To support the professionals in our industry, I started sitting down with various experts to mastermind. We wanted to help give insight into what you can do to optimize your business to stay focused and in control during these trying times. For this session, I invited some of my favorite experts in social ads — Andrew Fogliato and Ado Topuz — to present their views on how real estate agents and teams can focus their advertising efforts now.
Both of these fantastic experts work with the top teams in our network for social media content, ads and pay-per-click. We know that teams lead spend is a huge consideration for any real estate team, big or small. So, we’re here to tell you how you should control your lead spend in a crisis.
Fogliato is a specialist in Facebook and social media advertising for real estate agents. His company, Just Sell Homes, is a full-service digital marketing agency dedicated to helping real estate agents, teams, developers and vendors make a greater impact online.
Facebook ads are paid messages from businesses that are written in their voice and help reach the people who matter most to them. Advertisers create campaigns that have specific goals, which we call “advertising objectives.” They create ads within those campaigns to help them reach those objectives.
These ads aren’t new, but Fogliato says now is definitely the time to invest your money into your digital advertising. We do find ourselves in a time where you may not make your ad money back as quickly as before, so this is only an investment if you can afford it.
“We are seeing a shockingly low price per ad on Facebook,” Fogliato said on a webinar we hosted. “Almost everything is under $1.50 per lead. The truth is, it’s worth it to spend at least some of your budget on Facebook advertisements. People are still going to need to buy and sell their houses.”
He also added, “It’s not that people aren’t moving; it’s that most of them are tapping the breaks and slowing down for a quick pause. There is still a real estate market now, and it will continue after all of this.”
Now is the time to use your budget to get your ads out there. The only thing that’s really changing within the market is how you follow up with leads. Instead of booking appointments, you’ll need to book Zoom video chats and phone calls with them.
Advertising on Facebook will help you get leads and organize everything so it’s ready to go as soon as this fog lifts.
Topuz is a Google advertising specialist from Agent Locator. The company is based out of Canada with offices in Sarajevo and Mostar. It assists real estate agents in expanding their client base by giving them the tools they need to convert visitors to leads. Their LeadGen formula has helped hundreds of our clients gain the necessary exposure to boost their businesses.
Google Ads is an online advertising platform developed by Google. Advertisers can pay to display brief ads, service offerings, product listings and video content, and generate mobile application installs within the Google ad network to web users.
When it comes to the actual quantity of leads, Google has seen a reduction in buyer searches, which was sitting at 16 percent in a year-to-year reduction in March 2020, according to Topuz. This means that there’s 16 percent fewer people searching for homes currently on Google.
As for the quality of the leads from Google, they are currently people who need to buy or sell. These are the people who were caught in the selling or buying process when COVID-19 hit, or people who absolutely need to buy a house with the interest rates and prices right now.
“There has been an influx of people who are going immediately to the showing button or sending online requests, primarily because their agents aren’t going out to show them properties. These are people who are among the leads you’ll find on Google,” Topuz said.
Topuz also noted that the cost per lead on Google has dropped. It depends on the area you’re located in, as some areas have dropped lower than others, but the price per lead has decreased by 2-20 percent.
One of the primary differences between digital advertising before COVID-19 and now is that agents can actually form a relationship with their leads right now. We’re all going through the same thing at the same time. It’s about letting them know that you’ll be there for them and giving them updates whenever something happens. That’s a key factor right now.
Although most agents and brokers are scaling back their digital spend, there are still low-cost marketing strategies that will help you generate leads for your team.
Once you generate leads, you will need to have a strong lead strategy in order to convert them into sales. A client process improves the client experience and the number of clients who will choose to work with you in any market. In the virtually remote market around COVID-19, this step-by-step client process is the key to planting seeds now that will come to fruition later.
Build your sales funnel by using marketing automation software, and customize drip campaigns to the current tone of the market to stay top-of-mind with prospects while you nurture your leads. Leverage your social media profiles to generate more exposure and shareable content.
In the end, ad spend strategy at this time will depend on your financial reserves, risk tolerance and the conversion skills of your team overall. For those who choose to adapt to the unique needs of a crisis market, many opportunities currently exist to maintain or expand your digital advertising platforms.