New Facebook Ad Rules
If you run Facebook Ads and you are a Real Estate Agent, then you need to know about the four significant new Facebook rules.
Back in March 2019, Facebook released an announcement about some new rule changes that will impact the housing industry along with the employment and the credit industry.
This announcement was a result of settlement agreements with the civil rights organizations and is meant to prevent discrimination.
What it essentially means for us as marketers, is that we will no longer be able to do the type of micro-targeting that we used to do back in mid-2018.
In this article, I will be going over these new Facebook rules. I will explain to you why these changes are not that big of a deal, and how you can get around them.
The Four Major Changes
No More Targeting by Age
Anyone running ads in housing, credit, or employment, will no longer be able to target by age. It means that the default age range for your campaigns will have a default of 18 to 65+.
No More Targeting by Gender
As a part of this change, you will no longer be able to create specific campaigns for only men or only women. You will be required to select both men and women in your targeting.
No More Targeting by Zip Code or Postal Code
You will no longer be able to target specific Zip Codes or Postal Codes in our targeting. The option of City, State, or Country targeting will still be available. You will always be able to drop a pin on the map; however, the minimum radius will have a minimum of 15 Miles.
No More Exclusion by Interest, Job Title, or Education Level
You will no longer be able to exclude people based on their interests, education level, or job title. This change is definitely the one that has the most impact on our targeting; however, there is a workaround for this as well, which I will explain shortly.
Why These Changes Are Not a Big Deal
Ok so you might be thinking of giving up on Facebook ads for real estate, but the truth is that these changes don’t really affect us as much as you think.
There are a few reasons for that.
The New Facebook Algorithm
Facebook’s new algorithm is getting better and better every day. The new algorithm will be ranking all available posts on users feed based on how likely they are to have a positive reaction.
There will be signals, predictions, and scoring that Facebook will use to ensure the right post is shown to the right audience.
Even though the age, gender, and interest exclusions will no longer be possible, we are still able to target and narrow down our audience by interest.
The fact that we don’t have the age targeting available will actually make us better marketers. We will now have to sit down and try to understand our target audience. We need to create user personas and understand their problems and what they’re looking for.
According to NAR‘s Home Buyer & Seller Trends Report of 2019, there was a median of 15 miles from the homes that recent buyers previously resided in and the homes they purchased.
So the 15 Mile default radius will actually work in our benefit and will help Facebook find more relevant people.
Now let’s say as an example we are trying to target First-Time Home Buyers. We know that First-Time Buyers are generally younger people. Since we can’t narrow them down by age, we need to do the following.
Step 1 – Find Your Target Age Range
Start by going to the Audience Insights tools. You can find the audience insights tool by clicking on the menu on the top left corner and then click on audience insights. Once there, add your target geographical location. In the example below I’m targeting Vancouver, BC.
Now let’s add some interests relevant to our target audience. Since we are targeting First-Time Buyers, let’s add “First-Time Buyer” & “First-Time Buyer Grant” as the target interest.
Now take a look at the demographics graph. Our main target audience is between the ages of 24 – 44.
Step 2 – Find Your Target Audience’s Common Interests
Now that we know our target age range, we want to find their common interests. So let’s go back to the audience insights and update the age range to 24 – 44. Now click on the “Page Likes” tab and take note of the interests that come up.
Now do the same thing but remove the “First-Time Buyer” and “First-Time Buyer Grant” Interests. (Note: Make sure not to add any obvious pages that are related to Real Estate Agents)
Step 3- Let Facebook Algorithm Take Care Of The Rest
As mentioned earlier, Facebook’s New Algorithm will be ranking posts and use signals and scoring to show the right content to the right audience. So right away, when your ad is shown to a few younger people who are not interested in the topic, Facebook will understand that and will minimize their impressions.
How to Exclude Other Realtors?
You may know that in most of the campaigns we used to create, we were excluding Real Estate Agents. The reason being was that we didn’t want to spend on our advertising dollars on our competition.
So you are probably wondering now that we no longer have the option of exclusion available how can we exclude other Realtors.
The answer relies on creating custom audiences. Watch my YouTube video to learn more about excluding realtors with the new Facebook rules.
If you are interested in learning more about this topic, we have put together a podcast that you can listen to here.
If you are interested in learning more about Facebook Ad targeting, check out our Free Real Estate Lead Generation Course, or view our latest blog posts.