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Facebook Ad Changes: How Will They Affect Real Estate Agents?

Mar 21, 2019 by

Federal housing laws prohibit the discrimination of people based on race, color, religion, national origin, gender, disability and family status, but for years, civil rights advocates have been warning that Facebook’s ad targeting can be used to discriminate against these protected classes. Last year, the Department of Housing and Urban Development filed a complaint that Facebook’s ad targeting options were in fact being misused to discriminate against protected classes of people. After lawsuits from housing groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union and the National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA), Facebook reached a settlement to make changes that will prevent landlords, employers, lenders, real estate professionals and others from discriminating against these protected classes.

In the past, Facebook has put the onus on their advertisers to use the targeting capabilities fairly and legally by providing anti-discrimination guidelines. When that proved ineffective, Facebook attempted to solve potential misuse of their ad targeting by removing over 5,000 ad targeting options.

Now, Facebook is planning a complete overhaul to their ad targeting options that will remove many of the options entirely to prevent people and companies offering housing, loans and jobs from discriminating against protected classes. Facebook will also be working with representatives from the NFHA to develop an in-house training program on fair housing for Facebook’s staff and leadership team. The NFHA will also monitor Facebook advertisers to ensure compliance with federal housing and lending laws.

The hyper-targeted ads on Facebook were an incredible asset to real estate agents who were not abusing them, and it’s too early to tell if Facebook’s new ads will be as effective with limited targeting options. However, Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg expressed that “our job is to make sure these benefits continue while also making sure that our ads tools aren’t misused. There is a long history of discrimination in the areas of housing, employment and credit, and this harmful behavior should not happen through Facebook ads.”

The new ad targeting changes will not allow people in the housing, credit and employment industries to target by age or gender, or by options associated with protected classes. These advertising sectors will also require zip code-targeted ads to include a minimum 15-mile radius around the area to prevent regional discrimination, and will no longer consider age, gender and zip codes when creating “lookalike” audiences for advertisers.

One way the changes could actually be beneficial for real estate agents is through the new tool Facebook is creating that will allow users to search for all housing ads regardless of whether or not the user is actually in the targeted group. This could help make real estate ads more widely available than they currently are, and help agents reach interested people outside their immediate advertising area.

Facebook intends to roll out all these changes to their advertisements by the end of the year, and the changes will likely be reflected by other social media sites and big advertising providers, such as Google and Amazon.

For more social media guidance and help with content creation, posting and engaging with your audience, check out Homes.com Social Fuel.

Patty McNease is vice president of Brand Marketing at Homes.com. For more information, please visit marketing.homes.com.

The post Facebook Ad Changes: How Will They Affect Real Estate Agents? appeared first on RISMedia.

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The 2019 Market: Prepare for Changes, Master the Fundamentals

Nov 30, 2018 by

We’re in the midst of a shakeup in the real estate industry. Technology is threatening to take agents out of the equation, making the profession obsolete. Or is it? The real estate industry is definitely in a state of flux; however, a true professional will never be replaced by the latest gadget, app or tech trend. How can you shore up your business to thrive in this new era? And, how can you sharpen your skills so you can exceed your clients’ changing needs?

Use technology as a tool. Technology is not the enemy. In fact, technology is a useful tool to help you streamline your business and become a more efficient and effective agent. The key is to use it as a component to your business, not as the basis for your business.

Focus on the fundamentals, which include consistent contact, filling needs and delivering the unexpected extras. These are the timeless tools that make up the foundation of a lasting business and can weather any changes in the market. The truth is the fundamentals remain relevant regardless of the latest trends.

Understand your market. In addition to knowing your own sales numbers, learn all you can about your local market. What factors are having the biggest impact on your local economy and the market? Get involved in your local real estate organizations to stay up-to-date. The more you know, the better prepared you’ll be to answer your clients’ market-related questions.

Invest in your relationships. According to Brian Tracy, “The value of a relationship is in direct proportion to the time that you invest in the relationship.” When you work by referral, your relationships drive your business. Regardless of what’s going on in the market and the latest industry trends, if you devote your time, effort and energy into each and every client in your database, you can be sure you’ll outlast your competition in the business.

Sharpen your skills. The sharper your skills, the better equipped you’ll be to meet and exceed the needs and demands of your current and potential buyers and sellers. Regardless of how easy technology makes it to buy and sell a home, your clients still need you on their team throughout the process to help them negotiate with the other party, find the right home and guide them if challenges arise during the transaction. Let’s face it; technology is a poor substitute for true human advocacy.

Follow these tips and you can be sure to future-proof your business. Want to learn more? Tune in to “Brian Buffini’s Bold Predictions: What’s Ahead & How to Win in 2019,” on Tuesday, December 4 at 9:00 am PST. Industry expert Brian Buffini will share his market forecast and offer tips to help you meet the challenges and thrive.

Brian Buffini immigrated to San Diego from Ireland in 1986 and became a top performing REALTOR®. He then founded Buffini & Company to share his powerful lead-generation system. Buffini & Company has trained over 3M people in 37 countries and coaches 25K+ business pros. Today, Brian’s a New York Times best-selling author and reaches over 1 million listeners a year through “The Brian Buffini Show” podcast. For more, visit buffiniandcompany.com.

For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com.

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Big Policy Changes Benefit Lenders

Dec 28, 2017 by

There’s a new sheriff in town and he’s making some big policy changes at the CFPB that greatly benefit lenders. CLICK HERE to subscribe to RESource.TV

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