With social distancing in full effect and various sectors of the economy slowed to a crawl, many agents are withholding their marketing efforts. But while that attitude is certainly understandable given the uncertainty of the moment, now is an ideal and cost-effective time to ramp up advertising campaigns.
There’s never been a better time to advertise on Facebook and Instagram
As a result of stay-at-home orders, people are spending (significantly) more time on social networks. Social media, led by Facebook and Instagram, accounted for the second-largest increase in at-home media composition in the United States this past month, trailing only cable and streaming services. Facebook Messenger usage doubled. And, most tellingly, according to The Wall Street Journal, Mark Zuckerberg confessed the rise in Facebook traffic is “well beyond” what the company would normally expect to see.
Why should this matter to you, the agent? Well, as more users spend more time on social media, the number of available impressions—that is the ability for a given user to see an advertisement—increases. And right now, with Facebook and Instagram usage at near-peak levels, the volume of total impressions is high as it’s ever been. To put it another way, agents may just have access to the single largest and most engaged audience since social media became a viable marketing channel—which, in and of it itself, should be enough to motivate just about anyone to start advertising.
However, if you need more convincing, consider: So far, demand for advertisements hasn’t caught up to the increased supply. Many businesses, most likely cutting costs due to experienced or anticipated slowdowns, aren’t spending on social media marketing (or any marketing, really) like they used to. That could very well change any day. But, as of now, supply is far outpacing demand—and when that happens, prices fall.
When our digital marketing experts at Homesnap analyzed recent advertising data and crunched the numbers, they found agents who are able to invest on Facebook and Instagram can expect a higher ROI and many more leads, up to 40% more clicks for every dollar.
Worried that consumers aren’t still buying and selling property? Don’t be.
Having seen the above, you may be inclined to think there’s a reason no one is advertising and prices are cheap; maybe no one is buying. But, according to Homesnap research, that isn’t the case. New listings have slowed, certainly, but they haven’t stopped.
When analyzing real estate industry data, we found that the number of new listings this time this year has dropped by about 50% compared to this time last year. Losing half of the market is no doubt significant—we’re not trying to downplay it—but that still leaves hundreds of thousands of potential buyers and sellers looking to transact.
Furthermore, we found no discernible difference in the rate of closings between this time last year and now. It appears properties that hit the market pre-COVID-19 or in the early weeks of the virus’ spread are still transacting at a normal rate. That could be due, in part, to the rapid adoption of virtual showings and digitally replicated open houses within the industry.
So, in short, it seems that while consumers aren’t entering the real estate market at the same rate as years prior, those that did before the COVID-19 outbreak and subsequent social distancing aren’t abandoning the market either. We advise you to advertise accordingly.
If not now, consider the future
Taking advantage of cheaper Facebook and Instagram audiences can help put your business front of mind of consumers, as well, which can pay dividends in the future.
When social distancing guidelines are eased and stay-at-home orders are lifted, we expect a significant surge in the volume of properties hitting the market. In the wake of COVID-19, consumers are not cancelling their plans to buy or sell, but delaying them. If anything, when this is all over, they’ll more than likely be looking to make up for lost time. And what better way to capture and nurture those leads by appearing on the places they spend the majority of their time? Picture Facebook and Instagram ads as the digital equivalent of a billboard above a gridlocked freeway.
How Homesnap can help
More consumers are spending more time on social media. Advertising to them is cheaper than ever. Now is not the time to pull back on your marketing spend; instead, now is the time to take advantage and get ahead.
Learn more about Homesnap Pro Ads to start running ads on Facebook and Instagram. We can instantly set up and run campaigns so you remain front of mind for your sphere.