[Case Study] This is How We Generated Hundreds of Real Estate Leads From Facebook Automation
We didn’t have content, we didn’t have fancy landing pages and no one knew about us.
Yet with a simple ad and a minimal advertising budget, we still managed to get HUNDREDS of real estate leads, through Facebook. This blog post shows you exactly how we did it.
Before getting to the meat, here are some interesting Facebook statistics that you should know about:
- 2 billion active users
- 49% of whom are mobile users
- Each month, 7-8 million indicate that they have moved
In a talk at Inman Connect’s Real Estate conference in New York, Scott Shapiro, Client Partner at Facebook, mentioned that Facebook records around 7 to 8 million monthly movers.
He went on to discuss how Facebook users are shifting more and more towards mobile use and how people today expect different means of communication, i.e messaging, a fact that lead to the explosion of Facebook’s Messenger platform and other messaging apps. In my previous blog post, I mentioned that more and more businesses are communicating with their audiences through messaging.
That being said, we took the opportunity to use this easily accessible advertising platform to target its monthly movers, using messaging as our means of communication.
You’ll see below the steps you need to start getting Facebook leads, followed by a real life “Use Case.”
1 – Set Up Facebook Business Page
First, in order to access the advertising and messaging platforms on Facebook, you must set up a Facebook business page.
Setting up your Facebook page is easy! Facebook has tons of tutorials that tell you how to set up a professional looking page for yourself or your brokerage/agency (so we won’t go into detail on that topic).
Below, however, are the key components of a business page that you should think about when setting up a page. They include:
- Profile Picture
- Cover Photo
- Call-to-Action Button
2 – Change Your Page’s “Call-To-Action” Button
Facebook gives businesses the option of changing their call-to-action (C-T-A) button on their pages. You can personalize it to whatever you want your visitors to do when they visit your page. Do you want them to call, send a message, sign up, etc? We changed our C-T-A button to “Send Message.”
Edit Call-To-Action Button
Hover your mouse over the button and click the“Edit” button
Click “Get In Touch” and then choose one of these options
3 – Promote ‘Send Message’ C-T-A
Facebook’s messaging app has enabled companies to get in touch with their clients wherever they are. What does that mean for you? You can now leverage Messenger as a new lead source.
Advertising & promoting the “Send Message” Call-to-Action
After selecting the “Send Message” button as our page’s call-to-action, we wanted to make Facebook users aware of the fact that they can send us a message if they are looking for a property.
There are two ways you can drive Facebook users to send you messages:
A. Promoting the Button
Promoting requires paying money so that a specific subsection of the Facebook audience can see an ad you have created. Here’s an easy way you can promote the button:
Hover over the “Send Message” Button and choose “Get Messages”
Fill out the “Headline”, “Test’, ‘Image”, “Audience”, “Interest” & “Budget”
Quick Tip: The ad’s headline, image, text, audience (…) should reflect your objective for the campaign. Do you want people to send you messages for a new listing? Are you looking for seller leads? As mentioned previously, you can leverage Facebook as a new lead source. So if you are looking for buyers, for example, you might advertise a listing or you can simply tell people that if they are looking for a house/apartment/condo you will help them find it (See “Use Case”)!
B. Pin Post
You don’t want to pay money for advertising? No problem. You can create a regular post with a “Send Message” C-T-A and pin it on top of your page.
Go to “Publishing Tools”
Click “Create Post”
After setting up the post, click the dropdown menu of the post and choose “Pin to Top of Page” as shown above
After pinning it, your Facebook visitors will be able to see the post every time they visit your Facebook page!
However, this method is not optimal since Facebook has killed organic reach, meaning it is now very difficult to bring visitors to your Facebook organically (without paying).
A couple months ago, we decided to test the concept of helping people find apartments/condos/houses through Facebook messaging. We set up a Facebook business page and ran ads that advertised:
‘Looking to rent or buy? Message us what you are looking for and we’ll find it for you!’
We then began the long and arduous task of testing audience types (generally 25–50 year old mobile users located in Montreal, where we are based), wording, time of day, and other factors that go into a successful ad (factors that differ for every company, region, age range, etc.) When we hit upon our sweet spot, the results were very exciting.
Being pretty much an unknown in the New Jersey real estate market (and with a minimal marketing budget), we managed to achieve very good numbers:
The results might not be a big deal for big real estate companies, but for an experiment, this is huge! This has major implications for real estate agents with small marketing budgets, as they can manage this too. Note that leads included buyers, renters and sellers.
IMPORTANT: Shortly after starting the experiment, two things became apparent:
1- It was impossible for a small team to handle that many leads per day.
2- Our response time was crucial to whether we converted those leads into actual closings.
It was clear that the longer we took to answer and follow up with those leads, the less likely they were to close.
According to Harvard Business Review,
“There is 400% decrease in chance of converting a lead if responded to at and after 10 minutes after he made contact with you.” — hbr.org
Other interesting statistics show that,
70% of buyers, sellers, and renter only interview one agent
Combine the two statistics, and you now have an impatient consumer with only this one chance to win them over.
We decided to capitalize on response time.
According to Zillow’s 2016 Consumer Report, response time is the number one factor buyers and sellers look for in an agent.
To increase our response time, we started focusing more of our time and energy replying to those incoming leads. Doing that however, created a new problem.
By shifting our time allocation to finding and prospecting clients, we compromised the quality of our service and, ultimately, our ability to close.
Through our day-to-day work, we noticed how mundane and repetitive the task of prospecting leads is. You go through the same script over and over again in order to get the information you need to pre-qualify one lead. Imagine doing that a hundred times a day.
Finding prospects, qualifying them, turning them to clients, servicing them and trying to get referrals from them is a lot for one person or even a small organization to do.
Being the tech geeks we are, we immediately thought about automation. Through automation we knew we’d be able to fix our response time problem. Not only that, but the technology would allow us, and other real estate professionals, to reclaim the time spent prospecting clients and allocate it towards servicing them.
This lead to our love for chatbots. We decided we wanted to build artificially intelligent chatbots able to automatically prospect and qualify potential buyers, sellers and renters. The chatbot can be integrated into messaging channels such as Facebook, SMS and on your website through a web widget. After you use the tools available on your channels to find new leads, it can take over and complete the initial engagement, freeing up time you would have previously spent on repetitive questioning and data-collecting.
The results of such technology?
80% Engagement Rate
The reason behind that increase in engagement rate was, to a great degree, caused by the ability of the chatbot to answer within seconds. A fast response rate did wonders since we were able to provide instant value to home buyers/sellers and renters.
The chatbot captured the leads, processed them automatically and notified the agents when the lead was ready to move forward.
We were now able to not only accumulate a high number of leads on Facebook, but also to maximize those leads by automating the repetitive initial steps of the engagement process. A list of 700 leads is only as good as your ability to act upon it.
In conclusion, we strongly advise professionals who are serious about the growth of their businesses to:
- Invest time in getting to know the value of platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and the popular messaging apps.
- Set up a business page on those platforms.
Edit their page according to their business goals.
- Invest (TIME & MONEY) to test those channels and play around with the ad platforms they offer.
- Use automation to increase their response time, which will in turn increase engagement & conversion rate.
Last but not least, think about what this increase in engagement rate would mean to the bottom line of your business!
If you want more information about the topic, or about messaging and how it can help your real estate business, please do not hesitate shoot us an email.
I hope the information in this blog post were of value to you. If you liked this post please recommend it and share it!