RealTrends Q32021 BrokerPulse sees brokers still optimistic about the market, wary of competition and wondering when inventory will rise.

2021 RealTrends Brokerage Compensation Report

For the study, RealTrends surveyed all the firms on the 2021 RealTrends 500 and Nation’s Best rankings, asking for annual compensation data for the 2020 calendar year.’s Sean Black on the transaction revolution

Real estate is on its third revolution, from the digital revolution of the early 2000s to the information revolution kicked off by Trulia and Zillow to today's transaction revolution.


The RealTrends BrokerSource and HousingWire OpenHouse newsletters deliver twice weekly information on trends, strategies, analysis, people, and news shaping the real estate industry.

Winning at Facebook Ads In the Aftermath of the HUD Controversy

Winning at Facebook Ads In the Aftermath of the HUD Controversy

Facebook knows a lot about you. That’s why marketers like me love the platform. All of that information helps us pair our messages with the people most likely to act on them. People see ads relevant to them, so we don’t waste money on people who don’t want to buy a home. Win-win, right?

Not so fast…recent changes have made Facebook ads a harder win for real estate agents. Under new guidelines, housing ads are considered a “Special Ad Category” and agents face new restrictions when choosing their audience. So how does a smart agent come out on top when advertising real estate on Facebook?

New Rules For Facebook Ads

As you’ve probably heard, Facebook has been besieged with privacy and discrimination complaints. As a result, they introduced new rules for ads related to housing, credit, or employment. Advertisers must now declare if their ads belong in what they call “Special Ad Categories.”

Ads in these categories have drastically different audience targeting options than other ads. For instance, we can no longer exclude certain ZIP codes from seeing our ads. In fact, we now have over 5,000 fewer options for targeting interests and demographics.

Traditionally, digital ads charge for each time someone clicks or sees our ad. So broader targeted ads run the risk of generating clicks or views (impressions) from people with no intention of buying or selling a home. This costs us money for nothing in return.

Choose the Right Ad Type

Since we have less control over who sees our ads, we have to adjust what we can control: the ads themselves. This starts with choosing the right ad type to meet our goals. For most agents, Facebook’s lead ads will be our go-to ad type. Facebook can control your ad spend for lead ads based on the desired cost per lead, so we get her contact information in return for our money.

Engagement ads can be useful, too. Facebook can control your costs for engagement ads based on users taking the desired action such as liking a page or responding to an event. These ads provide value because they open us to future engagement with potential leads. For example, if we have an open house we could use an engagement ad to encourage more people to attend.

Speak to Your Target Audience

Since it’s now harder to choose our audience, we have to make it easier for our audience to choose us. In other words, we can craft our ads to speak specifically to our core audience. This requires us to understand our audience so we can address their needs, but first, we have to capture their attention. Engaging images and text make a huge difference in the success of your campaigns. That’s why many agents flock to companies like mine to run campaigns.

Agents can also speak specifically to their audience by offering added value. For instance, we might offer home value estimates to speak to potential sellers. Even if a non-homeowner sees this offer, they are less likely to click since they don’t have a home to evaluate, so we save money by making a smart value proposition.


Like all technology, the rules for Facebook ads change fast, but with 69% of Americans using Facebook, no agent should sit on the sidelines. Even with these changes, I have seen ad managers generate new leads for as little as $4 per lead on Facebook. We may have to change our game plan, but the return is worth the effort.


Author Bio
Jonathan works as a Digital Marketing Coordinator for Home ASAP. The company provides Facebook marketing tools and services for real estate agents across the U.S. including the Real Estate Agent Directory on Facebook. He earned his Masters Degree in Mass Communications from the University of Florida. He specializes in online communications and web design. When he’s not developing marketing strategies, he enjoys hiking and playing the guitar.


Most Popular Articles

Where is the housing market headed?

Rising incomes, low interest rates and all other factors, including the balance between families looking for housing and the availability of housing, point towards a continuation of the strong housing market of the last 15 to 18 months.

Oct 18, 2021 By

Latest Articles

Abortion, marijuana laws play a role in relocation decisions

People take the politics of a place into consideration when deciding where to move, but other factors including housing affordability and access to jobs and schools take priority, Redfin study shows

Oct 19, 2021 By