Growing a real estate brokerage—or any other business—into a lasting brand is all about attracting the best talent and investing in their professional growth.
This strategy has been the recipe for success of some of the most iconic businesses of all time.
“The secret of my success is that we have gone to exceptional lengths to hire the best people in the world.” —Steve Jobs, late founder and CEO of Apple
"If you pick the right people and give them the opportunity to spread their wings and put compensation as a carrier behind it, you almost don’t have to manage them.” —Jack Welch, former CEO of GE
“I would only hire someone to work directly for me if I was willing to work for that person.” —Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook
Smart business owners who have a strong recruiting strategy to attract high-quality applicants have a huge competitive advantage. To craft a winning recruitment strategy, you need two things: a strong recruiting value proposition and broad brand awareness.
Let’s unpack each of these a little further.
The first component, your recruiting value proposition, must answer every prospective agent’s top question: “Why should I work at your company?” Your brokerage’s culture, commission structure, training and support, and even your physical offices are all pieces of your recruiting value proposition. Each piece is a tool you can use to lure talented agents away from your competitors and retain them for a longer period of time. If you don’t have a strong recruiting value proposition, most top-performing agents won’t want to work for you.
But this isn’t the focus of this article. Instead, we’re going to focus on the second component of a winning recruiting strategy: generating company brand awareness (also known as "employer branding").
Company branding is all about putting your recruiting value proposition in front of the right people using relevant advertising. It’s about positioning your brokerage as the best place for agents and staff to work in your area.
In the past, company branding was sort of tricky. Traditional advertising mediums such as TV, radio, and print were too expensive for smaller brokerages and couldn’t guarantee a target audience. Thankfully, that’s no longer the case. Today, company branding is more affordable and effective than ever for brokerage owners, namely because of social media.
I’m going to walk through a company branding campaign that will help your brokerage attract a larger number of top-performing agents using targeted Facebook ads. Unlike traditional advertising mediums, Facebook lets you target individuals in your market based on a wide variety of attributes, such as industry, job role, interests, behaviors, and income, among others.
The campaign is designed to target only real estate agents in your area, which means you’ll be paying to show your recruiting ad only to people who are likely to take action.
Prepare for Your Recruitment Campaign
Before you start building your Facebook ad campaign, you’ll need a method for managing inbound inquiries. I recommend creating a page on your website with a form, or, at the very least, a page with instructions for contacting you.
The second thing you’ll need is a great video that showcases your recruiting value proposition that you can use as the ad in your campaign. This video needs to answer the question that every agent will be asking: “Why should I join your brokerage?”
At the end of the day, the success of your campaign will depend on how clearly you articulate your recruiting value proposition. Here are some tips for creating a great recruiting advertisement:
- Tell viewers that you’re looking for agents in the first 10 seconds of the video to grab their attention.
- Briefly explain what it is that makes your brokerage stand out from the rest.
- Include positive testimonials from current agents about your culture, training, or support.
- End the video with a call to action that encourages viewers to contact you. (Make sure you explain what steps they need to take.)
If you don’t already have a video like this, I highly recommend that you have one professionally made. Video ads generally outperform image ads—partly because they’re better at grabbing attention and getting a message across. If you’re not interested in having a video made, you could also use an image that reflects your company brand along with more information in the text section of your ad.
Structure Your Facebook Advertising Campaign
To start building your campaign, you’ll need to log into your Facebook Ads Manager. (You can find instructions for how to access your Ads Manager here.)
Facebook ad campaigns are broken down into three tiers: campaign, ad sets, and ads. The campaign level is where you choose the marketing objective of your campaign. The objective you choose will depend on what action you want prospective agents to take. In this case, since you want anyone that sees your ad to click on a link to visit a page on your website, choose “traffic.”
After you’ve selected “traffic” as your objective, click “continue.”
The ad set level is where you set your desired targeting, ad placement, and budget. In the “locations” section, you’ll want to include a 30-mile radius around one or several of your office addresses. (The radius you choose might be larger or smaller depending on your market.) Make sure you select “people who live in this location” as opposed to “everyone in this location.”
When you’re running ads that are designed to recruit prospective employees, demographic targeting can be a little tricky. There are strict anti-discrimination laws that make it illegal to make hiring decisions based on things such as age, gender, ethnicity, race, and religious background. While you might be tempted to only show your ad to older, more experienced agents, I wouldn’t recommend targeting people based on their age. You can, however, target people based on whether or not they work in the real estate industry. To do that, include “real estate” as a behavior in the “detailed targeting” section. This will target anyone who works in the real estate industry. You can narrow down this audience even further by including people who are employed by certain large real estate companies (including your main competitors).
Note: It’s important to make sure that you’re including “real estate” as a behavior and not simply an interest.
Under the “placements” section, leave “automatic” selected to let Facebook figure out where your ad is performing well. Under the “budget and schedule” section, set your daily budget. Your daily budget can be as little as $5 per day, but keep in mind that a larger daily budget means your ad will be shown to more people. Select “set a start and end date,” and choose a beginning and ending time for your campaign. I recommend at least two weeks.
After you’ve set your budget and schedule, click “continue.”
At the ad level, select “single video” under the “format” section.
Then, upload your recruiting video under the “video section” by clicking “upload video.”
Under the “links” section, copy and paste the link to a page on your website with the form or instructions for how to apply.
Include a simple headline like, “We’re seeking agents in [your market],” along with text that explains your recruiting value proposition and steps for how to get in touch.
Click “confirm” to finish building your campaign. Once Facebook approves your campaign, it will begin running on your set start date.
Tips and Best Practices for Running a Facebook Advertising Campaign
- Do not make constant changes to your campaign. Every time you make a change to your campaign, you restart all of the testing and learning that Facebook has already done (commonly referred to as their “algorithm”), which means you’ll have to wait that much longer for your results to improve. Your ad will also need to be re-approved by Facebook every time you make a change, which will slow you down even more.
- Do not make drastic changes to your daily budget. Changing your daily budget by large amounts will negatively impact the results of your campaign. (It basically confuses Facebook’s algorithm.) As a good rule of thumb, only increase or decrease your daily budget by 25 percent at a time, and wait at least 72 hours between each change.
- Be patient and keep testing. Don’t expect immediate results. As soon as your campaign is live, Facebook starts running tests to find out what kind of people are engaging with your ad. The length of this testing phase will depend on your daily budget, but it generally takes about 72 hours to a week. In most cases, that means your results will tend to improve over time, so be patient. If your campaign isn’t performing well after the initial testing period, consider testing different audiences.