If you’re wondering how you can best leverage this time and keep momentum during the ebbs and flows of COVID-19, you’re not alone. Agents and brokers everywhere are taking a step back to look at their digital advertising and marketing plans, seeing where they should (and shouldn’t) cut costs, and looking to the experts for guidance.
The good news is that even with limited physical interaction, prospecting for new leads online and nurturing your database is still a productive and profitable way to move your real estate business forward. Digital advertising has proven to be a smart investment for agents during COVID-19. In this post we’ll share some data outlining the impact of COVID-19 on Facebook Advertising, as well as how BoomTown users are leveraging Marketing Central to launch best practice advertising programs on Facebook.
First, let’s take a peek at Marketing Central and see how it has helped Boomtown Users grow their businesses.
As of June 19, 2020, Marketing Central has produced the following results:
Over 2,875 Facebook campaigns have been activated 19,500,000 ad impressions have been served 39,700 leads generated from listing ads 46,650 lead re-engaged
Marketing Central utilizes Facebook’s machine learning platform to continually optimize campaigns to produce better outcomes for you. As Marketing Central’s adoption continues to increase, so to will the outcomes.
We’ll share a few of the leading campaigns that ran in May and outline drivers of their success, but first, let’s take a look at our COVID-19 analysis and how it has impacted advertising on Facebook.
COVID-19 Impact on Facebook Advertising
Since March, we have been keeping a close eye on the advertising landscape on Facebook and completed several month-over-month analyses that show COVID-19’s impact on Real Estate Ads. This chart shows the month over month change in each performance metric.
February to March: 25% decline in CTR (an engagement metric), a cost per lead (CPL) increase of 15%, and a click to conversion rate (CVR) decrease of 18%. This shows a drop in buyer engagement and intent. AKA, less search traffic, less browsing.
March to April: Buyer intent came back in a strong way. This is showcased by a substantial 47% increase in conversions and a CPL reduction of 25%. However, CTR continued to fall by 9%. Simply put, fewer people clicked on ads, but the people who did had more intent to convert. (They were more motivated, hotter leads.)
April to May: CTR started to bounce back with a 15% increase. This boost in ad engagement made conversion rates skyrocket another 24%. As advertiser demand from other industries starts to return to Facebook, the time agents and brokers have to capitalize on this opportunity is shortening.
In May of this year, media costs on Facebook were 50% lower than they were in 2019.
Now let’s take a look at some of the top-performing ad campaigns that ran through Marketing Central in May.
3 Top-Performing Ad Campaigns in May
1. A Single Image Listing Ad Generated 22 Leads for Less Than $20
BoomTown User Michele Claytor, with WelcomeHomeGreenville.com, spent $19.98 in May, promoting a new listing and created 22 leads for an astonishingly low $0.91 cost per lead.
She used “just listed” in the ad copy along with a front view of the home and property in a single image ad. The 12.89% CVR (conversion rate) and the 13.49% CTR (click-through-rate) are evidence of May’s unique advertising environment on Facebook.
22 leads from 1 ad 1,268 Impressions $0.91 Cost-Per-Lead 12.86% Conversion Rate $0.12 Cost-Per-Click 13.49% Click-Through-Rate
2. A Multiple Listing Ad Generated a 27.76% Click-Through-Rate
BoomTown user Sonny Downey, with EXIT Real Estate Gallery, used Marketing Central’s “Re-Engage Your Leads” program to achieve an extremely high 27.76% CTR!
This program automatically matches the home attributes that your lead was searching for on your site to pre-populate MLS listings in a carousel ad unit. This advanced targeting tool matched with Sunny’s engaging ad copy created Marketing Central’s most engaging ad in May!
92 leads re-engaged 7 new leads $1.61 Cost-Per-Lead $0.13 Cost-Per-Click 27.76% Click-Through-Rate
3. This BoomTown User Launched 20 Separate Facebook Programs in May
Brandon Brittingham of Maryland and Delaware Group of Long and Foster took advantage of May’s low media rates on Facebook to launch programs that filled the top of his prospecting funnel! His mix of different programs included 15 single image/single listing programs, 3 re-engage registered leads programs, and 2 engage non-registered users’ programs.
By activating these separate initiatives, he achieved the following:
(1) Stayed top of mind with registered leads who are familiar with his brand
(2) Created awareness for the people who visited his website but have not yet converted
(3) Served single listing ads to audiences of buyers to attract new visitors to his website
121 new leads, 197 re-engaged leads 51,676 impressions $7.60 Cost-Per-Lead 4.79% Click-Through-Rate
Invest in Your Digital Presence
Here’s the thing, digital presence has been critical for success in real estate for some years now. Because of COVID-19, we have to put even more of our efforts into digital presence and pivot in order to serve our clients virtually. The good news? Investing in your digital presence will serve you long after this time period, so your efforts will only improve the foundation of your business.
We encourage agents to “diversify their lead flow.” That means, don’t put all of your eggs in one basket when it comes to generating new business. Put a portion of your effort into your sphere, referrals, open houses, online leads, etc., that way if one of the lead sources runs dry, your business isn’t disrupted. Right now, some of those other channels may be slow or even at a standstill. Meaning, it’s the perfect time to bulk up your flow of online leads to supplement the rest.