facebook ad targeting

Facebook Ad Targeting Changes: What It Means for Real Estate Agents

April 17, 2019

Many real estate agents have depended on Facebook as part of their marketing efforts for years. That is largely due to the site’s hyper-targeting tools that made reaching the right audience easy.

However, recent announcements about Facebook ad targeting being discriminatory have changed the way ad targeting will work for housing, employment, and credit (HEC) ads.

Here is a quick overview of what the latest Facebook ad platform changes mean to your real estate business.

The Changes

First, it’s important to understand what the changes are and why they were made. The National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA), the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the Communication Workers of America (CWA), and private parties accused Facebook of enabling, or at least not stopping, advertisers from discriminating against certain audiences. In response to litigation filed by these groups, Facebook has done the following:

  • Those running housing ads will not be allowed to target by age, gender, or zip code.
  • Advertisers offering housing opportunities will have less targeting categories available, including the removal of multicultural affinity targeting.
  • Detailed targeting options that describe or appear to be related to protected classes will no longer be available.

How the Changes Affect Real Estate Agents

You will have to deal with broader targeting for your ads. Instead of being able to target specific zip codes, you will now have to select an area with a radius of at least 15 miles from the center of a city or any address.

Facebook HEC ads will also no longer be able to specify targets based on the following discriminatory characteristics:

  • Race
  • Color
  • National origin
  • Ethnicity
  • Gender
  • Age
  • Religion
  • Family status
  • Disability
  • Multicultural affinity
  • Sexual orientation

Lookalike Audience

Your Lookalike Audience tool will also not allow you to consider any of the characteristics or targeting tactics that have been excluded. All of these changes will be reflected in the new portal Facebook is creating for HEC ads. The new portal will ensure these new limits are applied to Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger ads.

Ramp Up Your Ads

If you are worried that you will lose exposure to the right target with these changes, there are three ways you can ramp up your ads to draw more attention.

  1. Using Video: Most marketing experts are heralding video as the most compelling content out there. In fact, social video gets 1200% more views than the combined efforts of text and images.
  2. Get Shared: Good content of value or interest will help you get more shares. More shares mean more exposure. The best posts trigger emotion, offer valuable advice, and contain an engaging headline to attract attention.
  3. Try New Tools: Use Local Expert to target in-market buyers with ads on realtor.com. You can then retarget the same buyers on their Facebook newsfeed.

This overview will give you a better idea of what the ads will look like when the Facebook Ad Targeting changes come into play in September.

Lakeside Title is Here to Serve You!

Lakeside Title provides title insurance and a comprehensive selection of title-related services designed to protect your transactions and funds. Our streamlined processes make residential and commercial real estate transactions easier for lenders, realtors, buyers, and sellers.

To learn more, give us a call at 410-992-1070.