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New Facebook Ad Targeting Tips

Nov 15, 2018 by

With 2.27 billion users, Facebook offers unique opportunities to connect with potential leads.

However, due to changes to its algorithm, companies have been finding it more and more difficult to get organic traffic to their posts. Having success with Facebook is largely dependent on creating a strong advertising strategy, which requires a combination of appealing ads and targeting them to the right groups. Unfortunately, due to Facebook’s new targeting option changes, this, too, is harder now than it used to be—but it’s not impossible. There are still several options you can use to target your perfect audience with Facebook ads.

Before digging in to targeting techniques, do a quick review on how to create a Facebook ad.

Start by selecting the dropdown arrow at the top right of your Facebook account, then click the “Create Ads” option from the menu.

Facebook will then walk you through the ad creation process step-by-step, with slightly different options depending on the goal you chose. For example, if you choose “Traffic” as your goal, you’ll be asked to indicate where you want to send your traffic: a website, app, or your Facebook Messenger account. You’ll also be asked to add any images or headlines you want to include in your ad.

Once that’s completed, you’ll come to the “Audience” section. This is where you’ll identify who you want to see your ads.

Filtering your audience is easy to do with Facebook’s criteria, such as “Custom Audiences,” “Locations” and “Detailed Targeting.” Use any or all of these options to pinpoint your audience. Remember to keep your audience broad enough that you still have a large enough pool of potential clients.

Custom Audience

The custom audience feature allows you to advertise to people you’ve already had contact with in some way. Examples of custom audiences include your current email list, someone who has visited your website without registering, or people who have engaged with your social posts in the past. Select the “Create New” option, and Facebook’s ad manager will display several options to help you hone in on your desired audience.

Another great feature is Facebook’s “Lookalike Audience.” You can use this option to find people who are similar to those in one of your saved custom audiences. The “Audience Size” setting allows you to choose how similar you want your target lookalike audience to be to your original audience. I recommend keeping this as small as possible—1 or 2 percent of the population.

You can use the same technique when choosing the ages and gender of your ad target. You can create a different ad for millennials versus baby boomers or for men versus women.

Locations

Choosing where your ad runs is very important. You can run it worldwide, across the country, or as local city or zip codes. Consider creating a separate ad if you have multiple cities or zip codes you want to advertise in; that way, you can customize your message for each area, even if it’s just changing the name of the city or zip code on the ad, it adds a hyper-local feel.

Detailed Targeting

Detailed targeting is where you can really fine-tune your ad audience to target potential buyers, sellers and referrers. There are two main sections to concern yourself with here: the include and exclude fields. These can be based on demographic data, interests or behaviors. You can include as many as you like, and if someone meets any one of your inclusion criteria, they may be shown your ad. Similarly, if someone meets any one of your exclude criteria, they will not see your ad.

You can create hyper-specific ads by pairing your inclusions with a specific zip code. Use the “Browse” option to see a list of popular options. Targeting the income demographic can help you reach out to the top earners in your area, or find people in the right range for your geographic farm.

You can also target certain life events, like engagements and newlyweds—occasions that often prelude a home purchase. Parents are another good group to target. (With this ad inclusion, it’s often a good idea to mention the convenience of the location.)

You can also type your own options in. For example, you can target people who may already be researching homes by adding Homes.com as a factor.

The exclusion option is great when you want to reach new clients rather than existing ones. Use it to exclude people who have already interacted with you or your website or social media. Just remember that when excluding people to avoid discrimination—this is in line with Facebook’s recent removal of 5,000 targeting options to help prevent misuse of advertising on the platform.

Targeting Examples

Before you start entering your targeting data, you should have a clear goal in mind. Know exactly what you hope to achieve, and envision the audience that would allow you to meet that goal. Here are a couple examples of how you can target different groups to meet your goals:

Convenience

As much as you would like people to work with you because you’re the best agent for the job, sometimes they choose their agent based on convenience. Target the people around your office or areas you frequent, so you can demonstrate how easy it would be to get to your office or otherwise get in touch with you.

Presence

You likely already have people coming to your website or people who you’ve worked with in the past. They’re a great target audience. People who have visited your website may be interested in a transaction and just haven’t gotten to the agent selection part of the process. People you’ve worked with in the past already know and like you, and may be a great source of repeat business and referrals. Target them as possible sources of new business or referrals.

If all this seems like a lot of work, don’t give up on using Facebook ads altogether. Homes.com actually offers social media management. We can design and post ad campaigns on your Facebook page for you. Learn how it works here.

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

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

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7 Photography and Videography Tips to Attract Potential Buyers

Aug 19, 2018 by

Recent studies show that buyers are paying close attention to photos and virtual tours when looking for a house online. Here are seven tips to help you capture the attention of potential buyers using photography and videography, and ultimately, convince them to schedule a viewing of the house.

Set the Stage
“Staging is everything, as it gives you the opportunity to control what people see,” says Kristin Kostrzewski, a design team lead at Quicken Loans. She suggests starting with the closets.

“Serious buyers are going to open everything to investigate functionality, so be sure to organize all closets and cabinets,” she says. She also suggests you “limit the amount of personal accents and provocative artwork, as they may send the wrong message.”

Think Like a Buyer
Do a walk-through of the home and see where you naturally go—then mimic that with your image tour. What catches your attention? What would you want to take a closer look at? Be sure to take wide shots as well as close-ups, and when you post your photos or videos, order them in a way that feels natural.

Let the Light In
Lighting can do wonders for an indoor space. It’s best to open curtains and doors to draw in as much natural light as possible. If the house doesn’t have a lot of bright lights, you may want to bring in your own. Even a cheap floor lamp can help better light your shots.

Stock Up on Shots
Having a small inventory of photos and videos limits your options when sharing. Take a lot of photos and videos so you have a wide variety of options, which allows you to showcase the home’s best assets.

“When shooting, be sure to capture images horizontally or in ‘landscape’ orientation,” says Cody Ross, photographer and videographer for Quicken Loans. “This provides for a more valuable shot because if you shoot vertically, you’re going to capture way more of the ceiling and floor than what you need to see.”

Use Social Platforms
To quickly show off a house on social media, shoot a 360-degree photo using Facebook 360. “You can take a panorama photo or use a 360-degree camera to capture what an environment would look like at all angles from a certain point in space—in front of it, behind it, below it, above it and side to side,” says social marketer Jessica Bryant. “This results in a rich, immersive experience that lets the viewer observe the surroundings as if they were actually at that location, like a frozen snapshot in time.”

Bryant says there are many benefits to using Facebook 360, especially in the real estate space. “360 creates an opportunity to really show off a home in a much more engaging and detailed way than a typical static photo,” she says.

“You can bring a virtual tour right into potential clients’ Facebook feeds and stir up further interest to visit the actual listing or schedule a full viewing,” she adds.

One tip she offers for using Facebook 360 is to use a timer. “360 means 360,” she says. “Be sure to give yourself time to fully get out of frame so that you’re not included in the snapshot. It may take you a couple tries to get it right.”

Think Outside the House
“The outside is just as important as the inside. Make sure the windows, siding and driveway are clean—flowers are a bonus—and that there are no glaring repairs needed regarding the porch and garage,” says Kostrzewski.

A short video or a picture of the area outside the house can be just as intriguing as an inside shot. Does the house back up to a beautiful park or is there a nature trail nearby? Be sure to capture it. If time allows, scope out the area and pay attention to the time of day you snap your shots and video—a sunset can help produce spectacular results.

Hire a Freelance Photographer
Save time and hire a professional, suggests Ross. “If you’re going to spend money to help stage the house, you might want to pay a professional to photograph it, too. It can help you step up your listing game even further.”

If you have any questions or would like more information on how the Quicken Loans Agent Relations team can help you grow your business, call (888) 980-4601 or email AgentRelations@QuickenLoans.com. You can also visit RealEstate.QuickenLoans.com.

Experts from Quicken Loans provided insight for this article.

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

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4 Tips for Buying a New Sofa  

Jun 26, 2018 by

While it can be exciting to hunt down that perfect sofa, with so many options online and in-store, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. And considering the fact that couches are not an inexpensive item, it’s important to make sure your decision is well thought out. The following factors should be considered when shopping for a new couch.

Lifestyle Fit
It’s easy to be wooed by a gorgeous couch. That cream-colored sofa may look great at first, but if you’re a new parent, a proud pet owner or find yourself hosting large social gatherings several times a month, you may want to consider choosing a piece of furniture that is easy to clean. Those with young kids know that spills happen, party lovers understand what a splash of red wine can do to that taupe loveseat, and cat owners know the lure of leather. Make sure to find a piece of furniture that aligns with your lifestyle. Psst: Dark colors and patterns often hide spills with ease.

Size and Shape
Consider your space carefully when choosing furniture. That L-shaped sofa may be the piece of your dreams, but will it overwhelm your modest-sized living room? Will that small loveseat get lost in the center of your formal space? Make sure to measure and re-measure, especially if shopping online.

Comfort
If you’re buying a sofa for a room you spend a ton of time in—say, your family den versus your formal living room—comfort should be key. Opt for buying in-store, where you can park yourself for an extended period of time before making a decision.

Versatility
Maybe you plan to move within the next two years, or frequently host overnight guests. Choose a functional piece of furniture that’s versatile. Say, a sofa that turns into a bed, or a medium-sized piece in a neutral color so it will fit in whatever home comes next.

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3 Tips to Boost Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace

Jun 18, 2018 by

Boosting diversity and inclusion has become a top priority for many business professionals around the world. Here are three steps you can take as a real estate professional to help strengthen diversity and inclusion in your workplace.

Attract Diverse Top Talent
Having a mixture of cultures, backgrounds and abilities in your workforce can bring different experiences and talent, which can help to increase innovation and perspective.

Local and national minority organizations are great places to strengthen and cultivate relationships with diverse groups of real estate professionals.

These organizations include:

  • Asian Real Estate Association of America (AREAA)
  • National Association of Gay & Lesbian Real Estate Professionals (NAGLREP)
  • National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP)
  • National Association of Real Estate Brokers (NAREB)
  • National Association of Women in Real Estate Businesses (NAWRB)

“Consider hosting quarterly educational events where you invite high schools, universities and secondary colleges to learn about the real estate industry,” says Teresa Palacios Smith, vice president, Diversity and Inclusion and Multicultural Strategies, at HSF Affiliates LLC. “Host town halls and open forums at your office(s) so that you can invite new and established agents to learn more about your company and the opportunities and tools you offer that can set you apart from your competition.”

Engage and Retain Employees
When employees feel engaged, they’re committed to their team and their company. Be an open organization where team members of all backgrounds, religious beliefs and sexual orientations can be who they are.

Smith emphasizes, “Real estate agents want to be around other successful agents and be part of a company that fosters innovation, mentorship and education, and has strong marketplace visibility.”

Empowering each employee to discover their own potential, through conferences and other development opportunities, shows you’re invested in each of them as an individual, as well as in their growth and advancement.

By building an inclusive environment for your team members, you’re developing stronger networks and connections for your business, and it may also help cut down on the costs of expensive turnovers.

Get Involved in Your Community
Community involvement helps benefit the future growth of the area where you live, work and play, and it provides you an excellent opportunity to attract new employees and clients.

“Depending on the level of participation, getting involved can also develop leadership skills, establish you as an expert in the field and create loyalty among your brand,” says Smith.

Develop strategic relationships with diverse organizations and groups within your community, such as faith-based and non-faith based organizations, nonprofits and local government agencies (police, fire and schools).

Community involvement is also an easy way to boost morale and company culture: It gets team members out of the office and interacting with each other for a cause they care about and support.

People make decisions with their head and their heart, so make sure that your talent and client base is represented in all aspects of the business.

If you have any questions or would like more information on how the Quicken Loans Agent Relations team can help you grow your business, call (866) 718-9842 or email us at AgentRelations@QuickenLoans.com. You can also visit us at RealEstate.QuickenLoans.com. 

Experts from the Quicken Loans Diversity and Inclusion and Talent Brand teams provided insight for this article.

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

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