Do Facebook Ads Work For Real Estate Investing? Hell Yeah!

Do Facebook Ads Work For Real Estate Investing? Hell Yeah!

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  • June 11, 2015

Can you imagine in this digital era that we’re living in, that there are people in “business”who are marketing like it’s 1999?

People want the “secret sauce”…they want to have the path proven and the road map given to them. And many want the recipe for free!

Although they aren’t willing to take the risk and try things for themselves, they expect those of us who have done it to serve it up to them like the roasted beast on Thanksgiving.

Recently as I’ve been ramping up our real estate investing business, I’ve been visiting a number of online forums assessing the market and the competition. What I didn’t expect was that I would be walking through some kind of time warp.

Techniques and strategies that we stopped using in 1999, because they were becoming archaic back then, are STILL being heralded now. I have been simply amazed.

But the reaction I’ve received when I’ve suggested to people that it might be time to up their game and begin using digital means of marketing has been nothing short of shocking!

C’mon people. It’s 2015. Don’t you realize that you’re not in business these days to compete against one another. You’re in business to maintain relevancy. Without relevancy you become a VCR manufacturer.

I love this video by my boy GaryVee. He’s so dead on about how many in business are being left behind.

While quite a few people have reached out to me for counsel, the troglodyte masses have rounded up the posse complete with pitchforks and torches. I feel like Dr. Robert Neville spending my nights fending off mutant zombies!

Those who know me, understand that I always seek to antagonize. I live for challenging conventional wisdom. I enjoy substantive debate. Spirited discourse, in my opinion, is vital to our personal and entrepreneurial growth.

But I’ve come to realize over the years that a lot of people who may indeed be intelligent, disintegrate into vile monsters when challenged. Especially when that challenge is made in public. And even moreso when my challenge potentially affects their bottom line.

Disclosure: Anyone who knows me knows I’ve traveled the USA giving speeches, hosting conferences and training audiences both large and small (paid and for free) about real estate and they also know that I’m a strong advocate of social media marketing.

I know from a great deal of trial and error and incessant testing and collaboration, how to utilize social marketing for the benefit of driving revenue. I’ve worked with some of the biggest brands in the world and I’ve shown them the virtues of proper social marketing.

But I guess, none of that matters in some corners of the real estate world. Proselytizing the gospel of social media marketing has led to me being personally attacked and vilified. But just as in the proselytizing of the religious variety, I’m willing to endure the public lashings and persecution if a few real estate souls can be saved from their ultimate demise.

So let me tell you about my most recent foray into the deep dark jungles of real estate where many non-believers still reside. It’s a dangerous place and I don’t suggest you travel there without being cloaked with some serious armor.

Case in point. One lost soul posted the picture below:

yellow letter for real estate investing

He was happy and proud that he had just spent $3,500.00 to send out 5,800 or so letters. Now understand…these are 5,800 unsolicited letters to people he doesn’t even know still live at the addresses he is sending the letters to.

These names and addresses aren’t opt-ins. They didn’t ask to be marketed to. They didn’t give Fred permission to send these letters. He just bought their names and decided to send them mail.

In this forum that I visit, this practice isn’t only defended. It’s heralded and greatly cheered. Do you know what most of us call unsolicited mail? Spam!! This isn’t marketing. This is throwing as much shit against the wall and seeing what sticks!

What’s next? This is one step above being a Nigerian prince. I understand that many, many, many people have said that this kind of marketing works…and still works.

But even a Model T still “works.” One that’s still operating can get you to where you want to go. A typewriter can still be used to send out a letter. In fact a typewriter could have been used to type out those 5,800 pieces of unsolicited mail that this gentleman sent out.

But for some reason, we don’t drive around in Model Ts and most of us don’t use typewriters any longer, even though they both can work.

Now of course, Direct Mail is a viable marketing tactic when used correctly. But is it the most efficient means of communicating with customers these days?

There’s a little term in economics that some in this particular real estate investing forum don’t seem to have a clue about. That term is Functional Obsolescence.

At some point most of us in business learn that while something may still “work”, it may be functionally obsolete.

Let’s look at Fred’s numbers that he used to substantiate his “marketing campaign” of sending out nearly 6,000 unsolicited letters. ( I call him Fred so as to not embarrass this young man)

what a yellow letter in real estate can result (sarcasm)

So Fred, who just sent out 6,000 or so letters, says from that mail drop he would ordinarily expect to receive 60-78 phone calls and close on 18-24 deals.

But yet, I’m the one who’s not to be believed.

I’m going to go out on a limb and say that if one could close 18-24 deals per month on a $3,500 investment, EVERY real estate investor on the planet would be doing this.

In fact I’ll go a step further. If it was even remotely realistic that you could close 18-24 deals on a mail drop such as this, I’d have people lining up BEGGING me to accept their money to get in on that kind of program.

I’d be printing money! My deposits would be so big the IRS would surely come knocking to find out what I was doing.

But yet, I’m the one who’s not to be believed.

No one in the entire forum challenged these numbers. The usual suspects came in to give Fred virtual hi-fives. No one dared to make issue of this. Until I chimed in.

bcturdThen the attempt at silencing the interloper began in earnest. Even resulting to me being called full of shit.

But, hey, that’s been said about me by people I actually respect. So hearing it from troglodyte mutants doesn’t bother me whatsoever.

Although Fred posted some wholly outrageous, nonsensical numbers that were widely applauded and accepted, the peanut gallery insisted that I provide some kind of proof that social media marketing actually works.

Yeah…you heard that right. These non-believers want proof of what everyone else in business seems to know.

Although that kind of data is plentiful and can be found by a simple Google search, they demanded proof from me.

So here goes:

These are the results from a recent campaign I ran on Facebook. Doesn’t take a genius to understand CTR and it takes less of a genius to look at my spend vs. what Fred spent.

Barry Cunningham's Facebook ad results

If you can’t make out the numbers, feel free to click on the image and enlarge it. And that’s not even my best performing ad.

Did I get 18-24 deals? Of course not. I just got 4.

I’m so pissed. I spent 30 minutes making that video and I spent $60 bucks of my hard earned money and I was only able to nail down 4 measly real estate deals from an audience who willingly decided to engage with my content. #sarcasm

Maybe that’s because we stopped running it after 48 hours so that we could handle all of the inquiries!

But wait…there’s more. Notice to troglodytes…while Fred’s letters for the most part ended up in circular files, never to have any usefulness ever again, I’ve created an audience that I can continue to market to over and over again for pennies!

I can turn this ad on with the click of a button and keep getting tons of people to call or opt-in. Imagine what would happen if I decided to spend the kind of money Fred spent. I’d have to hire an army of people to man the battle stations.

Now check this out. This is where it really gets good. This is going to blow the troglodytes away!

Merely by people taking action and clicking, they allow me to amplify my audience. If you knew anything about Facebook advertising, you would know that you’ve done the exact same thing.

Simply by reading this article, you have now become a part of amplifying my reach on Facebook. So for that, I sincerely thank you for reading this article and helping me to enlarge my marketing audience on Facebook.

Oh and by the way, said audience amplification didn’t cost me a single dime. You really have to love internet marketing. Mom would be proud of the way I’ve been using the old noggin!

But as I said on the forum…I encourage more investors to continue down the road of conventional wisdom. It makes things so much easier for us true believers!

And as Simon Sinek has said, it’s not about doing business with everyone. It’s about doing business with people who believe what you believe.

I’m all about that.

About Barry Cunningham

Remember us? was one of the co-hosts of the long-running, truly goundbreaking, and arguably the #1 online radio show about real estate investing. Real Estate Radio USA was on the air 5 times per week before podcasting became cool. But now, we're back as a full multi-media operation and we're aggressively buying houses again! We're back baby!

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