What if we told you there was an advertising platform with results that satisfied 90% of real estate agents? And yet only 5% of agents are seeing mobile campaigns as a significant source of leads – because their FB ads aren’t optimized for conversions. Would you see this as an opportunity? You should.

While 64% of agents have tried Facebook advertising, few have figured out how to convert it into a mobile lead generation engine. Part of the reason for this is that many agents are driving mobile traffic to non-mobile optimized pages, which we wrote about here. Another reason is that – until recently – Facebook had not created the perfect mobile ad unit for real estate. As of a couple of weeks ago, however, things have changed. Now is the ideal time to jump headlong into Facebook advertising.

Facebook Canvas

What is it?

According to Social Bakers,

Facebook Canvas is the latest way for this 92% to advertise on the social media behemoth. It lets you create an interactive canvas for yourself and your listings using videos, images, and call to action buttons. It checks all the boxes with regards to the latest trends in social media tech – you can zoom in, swipe through a carousel of images and tilt to view panoramas. Making a Canvas ad isn’t like posting a video or image ad, it’s fast, full-screened and immersive mobile advertising through Facebook – a.k.a where over one billion eyes are pointed.

What do we like about it?

  • It loads pretty damn fast – so the immersive effect of the full-screen ad starts and stops before you have time to lose interest.
  • It’s highly interactive, which we all know helps consumers stay invested
  • It’s mobile focused, which acknowledges that the majority of ad traffic coming through Facebook is via mobile.
  • It gives you the opportunity to showcase yourself and your listings in a highly customized format within Facebook.

We love Marvel’s Doctor Strange (2016) Canvas (shown below).

What don’t we like about it?

  • You need some pretty decent design chops to make it look really good. Your Canvas will only be as good as the experience you design with it.
  • Conversions and leads through Canvas cost more than the average FB ad unit. However, if your Canvas is good, you’ll end up with more qualified leads than you would with a simple click-through FB ad.
  • It doesn’t work for desktop viewers. While most FB ad conversions come through mobile, engagement from your fans is still important. Sharing your Canvas on your business page will result in a disappointing experience for many.

What does this mean for real estate?

This might just be the last nail in the print advertising coffin. The fact is, with a cleverly designed Canvas, you can deliver a far greater content experience (tied directly to lead conversion) than you could with a piece of print advertising. With higher quality images, 360 video and virtual reality, your listings can now jump off the page – or the screen, so to speak – in a way they never could. With Facebook Canvas, you can have your cake and eat it too – stunning images and streamlined marketing.  If you’re not well-versed in effective and efficient marketing, Canvas will instantly make clear what works in advertising and what doesn’t.

We just brought Canvas to real estate
Frankly, we couldn’t wait to see how Canvas would be used in real estate so we’ve already started building Canvases for our clients’ real estate listings. You can see a walkthrough of it here.

For agents who sign up by January 31st, we’ll design your listing Canvas for just $199.
That’s $200 in savings. You can sign up here before the promotion is all gone.

Facebook Marketplace

What is it?

Facebook Marketplace is a kind of corporate, Zuckerberg-ized reimagining of Craigslist. Since – according to FB Marketplace project manager Bowen Pan – “up to 450 million people already use Facebook to buy and sell used goods every month,” it’s not surprising FB would try and integrate a community-based goods exchange into their own interface (The Verge). Its three main features include: Browse to Buy, Sell Your Stuff, and Search Your Surroundings, which lets you filter what you see by location, category, or price. When you first tap on the Marketplace icon, you’ll be taken to a home page filled with stuff FB thinks you want. The more you click, the better Facebook’s algorithms will know and suggest things you might be interested in buying.

What do we like about it?

  • One of the things that differentiates FB Marketplace from other platforms like Craigslist is that buying and selling is much less anonymous. FB Marketplace lets you see people’s profiles and get a sense of whether or not you trust them. This means more buyer-seller accountability. As we’ve noted before, Craigslist has an issue with scammers – FB Marketplace could potentially reduce/eliminate this issue.
  • Tech Crunch notes that in having FB Marketplace “where we already spend our time” is “like setting up a farmer’s market in the center of town.” We wouldn’t put it quite so idyllically, but the gist is there: it’s super convenient.
  • You can add links (to your website or landing pages, for example) on your postings, which is a big step up from Craigslist.

What don’t we like about it?

  • FB Marketplace kind of stumbled out of the gate. It showed up in several Bookmarks folders without anyone’s consent, which angered a lot of people. It also started out with some pretty hilarious “technical issues,” such as people accidentally trying to sell their girlfriends or $25 cans of beer, etc.
  • There’s no option for rating a seller or selling/buying experience, despite FB Marketplace’s claim to be a consumer-centric feature. It’s increasingly common for consumers to be able to rate their experiences (Yelp, AirBnb, etc.), and so FB Marketplace’s negligence of this is behind the times.
  • Instead, it relies (like Instagram and Twitter) on self-policing. Consumers will have to “report” things that don’t conform to the abstract concept also known as “community guidelines” – which can be problematic.
  • Unlike Ebay and Airbnb, FB cannot be held accountable if you get scammed using the feature.

Image via TechCrunch

What does this mean for real estate?

Craigslist has been ruling the consumer-to-consumer housing marketing for a while now. However, as with most things, housing has already seeped into Facebook’s “groups” – there’s at least one apartment-hunting/sharing group for every city. So what’s the difference? Facebook Marketplace is integrated in such a way that casual browsing is heavily supported. Facebook, Tech Crunch claims, “has a chance to do to shopping what it did to video consumption: make it spontaneous.” What this means is that buying, renting and selling homes may become a much simpler and faster process. In fact, agents can post property listings directly to FB Marketplace – there’s a “Housing” section within the feature.

With Marketplace and Canvas, Facebook continues to find new and better ways to make advertising technology resonate with its enormous audience. FB is even starting to sell ad placement within Messenger.

Luckily for the real estate community, these are mediums that work really well for us. Both Facebook Marketplace and Facebook Canvas are ushering us into this new era of social media marketing and e-commerce. As always, contact us for more professional advice tailored to you. In fact, we’re running a promotion right now to build your own listing canvas for $199…that’s a $200 discount.

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