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Lifting Your Ad Results to New Levels: Part 2

Going higher with more tips for effective real estate ads from Aitarget, Facebook, JagaJam and Donstroy.

The article was first published on Medium.

In the middle of March, social media experts Aitarget, Facebook, and JagaJam and large Russian real estate developer Donstroy shared ideas and exchanged best practices in social media advertising at a closed business breakfast for digital marketers in real estate.

We shared tips on targeting, dynamic ads, and Facebook Pixel in part one. Now it is time to continue upwards: to creatives, lead generation and optimisation.

Stand clear of the closing doors, please!


Fourth floor: short and sweet

Mobile made the world turn faster, so a simple image of a house will no longer engage users. You need a new type of content that demonstrates advantages in a few moments.

Don’t focus on a long text description in your ads, instead highlight one or two advantages that are important for your target audience (e.g. five minutes from public transport, the historic centre, or schools and playgrounds, or favourable mortgage conditions).

Put this core message on a creative optimised for mobile and don’t forget to brand it. Such advertising will stay in users’ memory and increases conversions, including delayed ones.

We recommend that Video for News Feeds and Stories be less than 15 seconds long. The most effective videos are three to five seconds in length. Use the built-in Facebook tool for creating slideshows to make these kinds of videos from any images and short text. Longer videos may be appropriate in other placements, such as In-Stream Video.



A sample of the video ad created with Video Creation Kit


To catch the attention of users who scroll their news feed swiftly and show longer videos to those who are ready to watch them, Daria Vladimirova of Aitarget recommends using the auto placements along with the creatives adaptation.


“Facebook allows you to cover all available platforms in one ad and at the same time add standalone creatives for each,” said Vladimirova. “Selecting ‘auto’ and uploading, for example, a square three-second video for Instagram, vertical 15-second slideshow for Stories, and a 90-second video for In-Stream, you allow Facebook algorithms to choose where and in which form ads will perform, maximising the conversion possibility. This brings greater coverage, makes budget spend more efficient, and provides optimal cost per result.”



Fifth: interior decoration

Olga Agafonova, Director of Strategic Development at JagaJam, spoke about the non-standard approach to content for real estate ads.

“Your posts shouldn’t be true to type,” she said. “Take photos of the building from different angles, non-standard perspectives, so the content will not pass unnoticed in the news feed. Imagine what a person sees when they dream about their future flat and show it. Offering an empty apartment is inefficient. Show an apartment in which they may want to live.”




Alexander Sushchenko, Head of SMM at Donstroy, gave examples of the company’s practices which brought good results. He recommends showing on video a wide panorama of the location, then going into details. If the environment is not attractive, it is still necessary to remain relevant and show ads in real time, working on the shooting angle.

For flats to sell undecorated, the “before/after” format is suitable, where empty walls turn into an attractive interior. For ready-made accommodations give a video tour of the rooms.


“It is important to approach video production for social networks as responsibly as possible and combine a helicopter shooting (air) with infrastructure details of the property on the ground and with interiors, public spaces, and details of future apartments design,” said Sushchenko. “The goal of your video is to answer all (or almost all) customer questions and interest them in the property to prompt further interaction.”



Sixth floor: lead the way

Beware auto-filling lead forms. While lead forms that auto-fill based on a user’s Facebook profile is an option that will save users’ time, it can add half-hearted people to your CRM.


“To improve the quality of your leads, add an extra question to the lead form where answers are entered manually, and/or turn on the ‘Higher Intent’ setting – a window to confirm sending the data while filling out the form in mobile Facebook news feed,” said Daria Vladimirova.


You could ask, for example, whether the user is looking for a decorated or undecorated flat, how many rooms and which district they need, or to sign up for a visit to your sales office.

In addition to the button driving users to your website, a lead form can end by allowing the user to download a file (e.g. a layout, special offer, or other content), or the “Call me” button.



Consent given to have a phone conversation will fade quickly even for interested users, so try to respond quickly and contact potential clients within 20 minutes of them filling in a lead form. Integrate lead generation with any CRM and utilise instant callback services.



Seventh floor: test yourself

To check whether you selected all the previous parameters correctly, and to find out what can be improved upon, make sure you carry out the right tests.


“A commonplace error is creating multiple ads targeted at the same audience,” said Daria Vladimirova. “This results in your ads competing with each other for a chance to perform, and effectiveness drops. If you have several offers, go for dynamic ads, and use several convenient tools for carrying out the tests to exclude the intersection of audiences.”


We recommend using these tests:

  • Dynamic Creative to test various combinations of text and images/video;
  • Split Test to compare targeting, placements, optimisations, or creative formats; and
  • Test and Learn to compare the performance of two campaigns (e.g. with different goals).

The penthouse view

In order to optimise, Facebook has to show your ads to a certain number of people. If your ad budget is too low, your ad will not get enough impressions or audience and Facebook algorithms may consider your ad ineffective and remove it from the auction.

To avoid this, your minimum budget for advertising a new building should be about $125. It is even better to budget for $150–310 per day. At the same time, you can get 2–7 times lower cost per lead compared to other platforms, and 4-5 times higher conversions.

So there you have it: a grand tour of Facebook ads for real estate, taking in every level from Facebook Pixel settings and format choice to testing and optimisations.

So did you find a great new place?


Julia Beketova
April 15, 2019

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