How to Run Successful Lead Generation Ads for Real Estate in 2023


How to Run Successful Lead Generation Ads for Real Estate in 2023

A short guide to help you set up campaigns, what audiences to use, and top tips.


If you are in the real estate industry, generating leads is essential to your success. You need to find new and innovative ways to bring in potential customers, and you probably know by now that digital advertising is a great way to do that. However, coming up with the right approach and using the like of Facebook Ads or Google Ads, it can be quite a daunting process.

In this blog post, we will discuss how to run successful lead generation ads for real estate agents. We will cover the following topics:

  1. What ad approaches you should be using
  2. How to structure your landing pages
  3. How to set up your campaigns for success

Generating leads can be a tough process, but with these tips, you will be well on your way to success.

Best approaches for generating leads for real estate

For buyers

Quite often many agents will disregard engaging with potential buyers at the start of their journey, as their top priority is finding someone who's looking to sell. However, what they don't realise is that starting to build a relationship with an individual who's not necessarily looking to buy (or sell) right now, could end up later down the track.

You can use lead generation ads to target individuals who may be interested in buying a property in the future. By doing this, you are able to start building a relationship with them from the very beginning. This way, when they are ready to buy or sell, they will think of you first.

Top ad approaches for buyers

  • Top tips for buying
  • What you need to do before looking to buy (step guide)
  • Properties watch / properties for sale
  • Property newsletter

Why focus on potential buyers?

Most real estate agents tend to lean towards advertising directly to those looking to sell their property right at this moment and they are often weighing up which agent to go with. However, if all agents are trying to get in front of the same pool of sellers at any given moment, most are left feeling overwhelmed and bombarded with messaging and the likelihood of you converting them is sorely diminished. Not only this, but it's also more expensive to get in front of these individuals.

Hence, focusing on the other side of the property journey could be your best bet to win more customers long term. Typically there are more buyers than sellers meaning your total 'audience pool' is significantly increased, making your advertising spend more effective.

For sellers

When you're looking to generate seller leads directly from ads, you need to remember that your potential customers are going through a very emotional process. They may be feeling stressed, anxious and even overwhelmed. Your job is to make this process as easy and stress-free as possible for them.

The best way to do this is by providing them with as much information as possible. This can be in the form of blog posts, eBooks, guides or even video content. By doing this, you will not only be helping them through their journey, but you will also be positioning yourself as an expert in your field.

Many agents put a lead capture form on every page of their website. However, what many don't realise is that lead capture forms can actually do more harm than good. If you're bombarding potential customers with lead capture forms, they are likely to get frustrated and leave your website altogether.

A better approach is to use lead generation ads to drive traffic to specific landing pages. On these landing pages, you can then include a lead capture form. This way, you're only targeting potential customers who are already interested in what you have to offer.

Top ad approaches for sellers

  • Tips for selling your home
  • What to do before putting your home on the market (step guide)
  • How to get your home ready for sale
  • Selling your home checklist
  • Property newsletter
  • Are you thinking of selling your home? (quiz)
  • Download our free guide on preparing your home for sale
  • Get an estimation of your home's value

As you can see, there are a number of different approaches that you can take when it comes to generating leads. The most important thing is that you find what works best for you and your business. With these tips,  you will be well on your way to success.

Examples of good ad approaches

Tips for buying - Tommy's Real Estate Wellington

What's my property worth? - Tall Poppy Real Estate

Looking to sell? - LJ Hooker

How to structure your landing pages

Now that you know what ad approaches to use, it's time to start thinking about your landing pages. Your landing page is the first thing that potential customers will see when they click on your ad, so it's important to make a good impression.

Here are a few tips for structuring your landing pages:

Include a lead capture form: As we mentioned before, lead capture forms are a great way to collect information from potential customers. Make sure that your lead capture form is short and sweet, and only asks for the bare minimum amount of information. You can always get more information from them later down the track.

Include a call-to-action: Your call-to-action is what you want potential customers to do when they land on your page. This could be anything from signing up for your newsletter to downloading a free eBook. Whatever it is, make sure that it's clear and easy to understand.

Make it mobile friendly: These days, most people are browsing the internet on their smartphones. This means that it's more important than ever to make sure that your landing pages are mobile friendly. If they're not, you're likely to lose a lot of potential customers.

Include social proof: Social proof is a great way to build trust with potential customers. Include testimonials, reviews and case studies on your landing page to show potential customers that you know what you're doing.

Keep it simple: When it comes to landing pages, less is definitely more. Don't try to cram too much information onto one page. Keep things short and sweet, and make sure that the most important information is easy to find.

The other option is to create a lead generation form on the ad platform itself, which is typically the most cost effective way to generate leads. You can do this on most social platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Tik Tok, or create a 'lead extension' on Google.

As you can see, there are a number of different approaches that you can take when it comes to generating leads. The most important thing is that you find what works best for you and your business. With these tips, you will be well on your way to success.

How to setup your campaigns for success

The most important part is setting up the campaigns in the correct structure, settings, audiences and more. Luckily Kepla will do this for your right off the bat and test various ad themes at scale which are auto optimised for the best results, but if you are still playing around in the likes of Facebook Ads Manager, Google Ads, and LinkedIn Ads Manager, here are some tips that you can use.

Setting up your campaign

Facebook Ads Lead Generation

Same as the above, select ‘lead generation’ objective and use ‘on platform’ lead events. You’ll need to create a lead form for this. We find 'on platform' form capture is better at a prospecting level, whereas if you are remarketing back to existing website visitors or audiences it’s much better to send them to a landing page. This is where you would need to select 'conversion' objective and specify a particular website event such as a form submit.

For Meta, the best thing to do is to create a campaign in Kepla. You can set up a lead generation campaign in Kepla by following the steps below.

Step 1 - Select ‘Leads’ as objective
Step 2 - Select ‘Meta Ads’ channel
Step 3 - Enter your budget and timeline
Step 4 - Enter your demographic and select audiences
Step 5 - Create ads using our AI tools and select a lead form

Google Ads Lead Generation

The most effective option for this is Performance Max and setting up as ‘leads’ objective. You’ll need to create a ‘lead form’ extension and choose a landing page that is best suited towards your ad message. Note that this will create different types of ads across their entire Google Ads network such as: Search, Display, Video & more. You'll need to upload a number of ads, headlines, descriptions and more for this campaign type, we recommend having at least 3-5 headline and description variations which Google will then test out different combinations of your ads.

However, there are drawbacks to selecting this campaign type such as loss of ‘control’ in terms of settings, how your ads are served, budget distribution and more.

Step 1 - Select ‘Leads’ objective
Step 2 - Select Performance Max

What audiences to use?

Facebook Ads

There are a number of ‘property’ interest based audiences that you could choose from, however, the best results come from using ‘lookalike’ audiences. For it to be most effective you’ll need to have over 1,000 contacts already in your CRM or customer database, which you can upload to Facebook. From there, you can create a ‘lookalike’ of that audience. Facebook will try and find similar people who ‘look like’ that audience, but aren’t existing customers.

Step 1 - Create Lookalike
Step 2 - Select audience to create lookalike from and segment

Google Ads

There are a number of audience and targeting options which are useful. Google also have a better reporting interface to see which audiences and demographics are performing the best.

Note, you can place audiences under ‘observation’ or ‘targeting’. If you place them under ‘observation’ it means that you can report on how those audiences perform, instead of only targeting them with your ads. For certain campaign types in Google, targeting makes the most sense, although we’d not recommend this option for ‘search only’ campaigns.

The best audience types (by order of priority):

  • Customer lists and website visitors
  • In market and life events
  • Detailed demographics
Step 1 - Upload contact or customer list
Step 2 - ‘Similar segment’ audience will be populated

Important things to consider

On top of creating the campaigns there are a few tips we’d recommend to boost your chances of running an effective campaign.

Remove app inventory from Google Ads campaigns

If you are running a Performance Max or Display campaign, we recommend excluding (when possible) all app placements. This means your ads won’t be served within apps, which typically lead to a lot of people miss-tapping and wasting your previous budget.

Structure your campaigns by prospecting and retargeting

Remember to create separate campaigns for those that have never been to your website or interacted with your business (prospecting) and those that have (retargeting). By doing so, you can then create different messaging, have a different landing page experience, and configure budgets and settings to suit both.

Segment audiences into different ad sets to personalise ad creative and copy

Different audiences shouldn’t receive the same message. To increase engagement of your ads we recommend aligning your chosen audiences with messaging that will resonate best. One of the other reasons to do this is so that you can

Exclude existing customers and website visitors from prospecting campaigns

If your goal is to grow the number of sellers who haven’t previously sold with you, we’d recommend excluding your existing customer base from prospecting campaigns. This ensures that you aren’t spending precious advertising dollars on people that already have a relationship with you.

Set up appropriate ‘conversion’ events, create ‘micro events’ to feed platform algorithms

We recommend setting up events for form submissions, engaged website visitors. and other events that you can then send to the ad platforms. Depending on how your website is built, this can be quite easy, or may require developer support. You can also use Google Tag Manager, to set up these events which is handy if you don’t have a developer to call.

Use Zapier or native integrations to send leads directly into your CRM or Marketing Automation Platforms

If you use a CRM to manage your contacts you are likely able to connect it to the ad platform. This means that when a lead comes through either through an ‘on platform’ or website form, their details get sent automatically to your CRM. This is particularly useful if you need to send them follow up content and nurture them overtime.

Ensure you can measure where leads came from, cost per lead, and lead quality

Even if you are generating leads, you should set up cross channel reporting that combines campaign activity (clicks, spend, # of leads) with the quality of that contact. Sometimes it’s good to put a ‘score’ or ‘value’ to a lead depending on what stage they are at. Pulling together this reporting can be quite time consuming, but one way to

Final Thoughts

Now that you know all about creating ideal ads, how to create a good landing page, and structure your campaigns, you should be all set!

If the above seems like quite a bit of work, particularly around setting up, optimising and reporting on campaigns, we'd recommend signing up to Kepla. Our platform can do a lot of the heavy lifting for you, helping you create effective campaigns, optimise your budget, and report on the results.

You can book in a demo of Kepla here, to see what it can do for you or your real estate branch.

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