How to Target Apartment Seekers on Facebook and Instagram
- 15 October 2019
You have an amazing website, you have a great sales team, and you are providing leads with a compelling way to engage with your community online, but your units are still sitting vacant. What’s missing and how do you fix it? It’s at this point in the process that leasing teams turn to internet listing sites to bring in traffic. They look to these listings as a solution to their vacancy problem. After all, this is where people go when they look for an apartment, this must be the best place to get leads, right? So you make sure your community posts listings across popular listing sites and then you wait for the leads to come in the door.
If you’ve tried this and aren’t getting the leads you were hoping for or paid way too much to advertise across these sites without great results, know that listsings aren’t the only way or the best way to target apartment seekers online.
In Facebook’s ad platform you can target the same types of people in your local area who are searching for an apartment but with more targeting options, more ad formats and greater control over the cost of the ads and the landing page experience.
Who Should You Target in Facebook Ads?
Facebook is one of the most powerful ad platforms out there. Not only does Facebook know who is in the market for an apartment, the platform can tell which apartment seekers have a pet, whether they like to eat at fancy restaurants or cook at home, and if they love to work out at the gym. When you advertise to apartment seekers using Facebook’s ad platform you can promote your apartment community using a variety of detailed targeting options across Instagram, Messenger, and Facebook’s Audience Network.
Inside the Facebook ad platform, you can specifically target people in a local area who are searching for apartments on internet listing sites while mixing in all sorts of interest and behavior-based targeting to find the right audience for your community. These are some of the most popular apartment listing sites that are available as targeting options inside Facebook’s ad platform.
- Apartment Guide
- Apartment List
Attributes You Can’t Target in Facebook Ads
Due to fair housing laws, there are several things apartment communities either cannot or should not use to target apartment seekers online. These targeting options extend beyond Facebook ads but Facebook has become one of the first platforms to preventively restrict advertisers from targeting people in a way that violates fair housing laws. Here are some of the targeting options you either cannot or should not use in your Facebook ad campaign.
- Educational Status and University Attended
- Family Status
- Zipcode (you can still target people in a 15-mile radius)
Get the Best Results for Your Budget
After running thousands of apartment ads on the platform we’ve come to learn what works and what doesn’t. Successful apartment ad campaigns on Facebook and Instagram require a thoughtful blend of in-market and interest-based targeting while keeping the audience size and targeting costs in line with the budget a community has on the platform. Targeting strategies have varying costs and some interests and in-market strategies have proven to be more successful than others. As Facebook grows its platform, new targeting options and improvements to old targeting options become available. Advertisers who’ve achieved this level of scale are able to apply the lessons they’ve learned and the tests they’ve run to give your community a leg up on the platform.
While ILS sites often require lofty budgets for advertising and present your ad next to competing properties in your area, Facebook and Instagram give you many ad formats and placement options for you to capture your prospect’s attention and keep them on your website, rather than one that markets your competitors. Facebook makes it possible to reach the people who visit listing sites in a more targeted way while using optimization strategies that help you see better results for your budget. Bidding strategies and conversion tracking can help play a role in getting communities a better return on their ad spend.
The Post-Ad Experience
Once you start generating engagement from your Facebook ad, you can send these prospects to specific pages on your website, prompt them to schedule a tour and add these leads to an email list or retarget them on the Facebook platform. We’ve seen success by using interstitials that prompt people to claim an offer or schedule a tour after clicking an ad. By sending people to your website where you control the post-ad click experience, your community has more tools at their disposal to convert prospects into leads, tours, and leases.
Learn More About Facebook Ads
Whether you need a larger audience or a smaller more qualified one, Facebook’s ad platform gives you an wider array of customization options and offers a more powerful platform for advertising than internet listing sites. When your current traffic level isn’t cutting it and you need to generate leads quickly, targeting apartment seekers on Facebook and Instagram can help your community reach their leasing goals faster. If you’re interested in learning more about Facebook advertising for apartments, check out some of the insights we’ve shared in these blog posts.
Boost Posts vs. Ads on Facebook & Instagram
Carousel Ads vs. Single Image Ads on Facebook & Instagram
Other Ways to Target Apartment Seekers Online
Facebook and Instagram aren’t the only platforms that let you target apartment seekers with visual rich media. Display targeting and YouTube advertising both offer audience targeting options that let you promote your community across popular websites. YouTube advertising makes it possible to target people on YouTube who are searching for an apartment in Google and Display platforms let you target in-market apartment segments that pull in interest, website browsing and search data to find new prospects for your apartment community.
While Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube offer powerful advertising opportunities, they limit you to the placements within their platform (or partner network in the case of Facebook’s Audience Network). Display advertising makes it possible to reach people on a much bigger network of websites which helps you promote your community in your area in more online spaces and to a bigger audience. If you are interested in learning more about how we use Display advertising to generate leads for apartment communities stay tuned for our upcoming Display Advertising article where we share the industry-leading tracking and optimization techniques we’ve used over the past few years to build superior Display advertising campaigns.