In early 2019, Facebook announced that it would be limiting ways the real estate industry could target paid advertising. These changes were their response to a discrimination lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA).
Keep reading to learn the basics of the new rules:
What does this mean for you?
Real estate agents and brokers are now restricted in what they are allowed to use as targeting metrics for their Facebook ads. From reduced interest fields to broader geographical boundaries, it's very important for real estate agents to understand what they can and can't do under these new guidelines.
Housing ads MUST be set as a "Special Category" campaign.
When you are creating your ad campaign, there will be a checkbox where you will be required to indicate if your ad falls into the "Housing" category. By checking the box the Facebook ads manager automatically knows what ad categories to omit to ensure that you are in compliance with the new rules and regulations of housing-related advertisements.
New limitations on targeted demographics.
Facebook has discontinued certain target demographics for housing-related ads, including age and gender. In addition to these demographics, geographic limitations have no increased to a MINIMUM 15-mile radius, greatly increasing the amount of exposure of the ad.
Emphasis on advertisement copy and text.
Due to tighter regulations on targeting, it is advised that more emphasis be placed on the text within the advertisement for certain targeted properties (ex. +55 communities, active senior communities, etc.). Even so, it is important that the text in your advertisement not allude to any discriminating verbiage. Some examples include:
Text that mentions income
Neighborhood characteristics that target a specific demographic (ex. singles, renters)
References to local landmarks such as religious facilities and bars
Since these ads will be vetted by AI you may experience issues with text that is rejected by mistake, if this is the case, your advertisement will not post and you will be asked to rewrite the text. Please verify all text prior to posting the ad in order to avoid these issues.
Links to landing pages and websites.
If your advertisement includes a call-to-action that redirects the user to a website or landing page, Facebook will verify that the page does not include pop-up windows that ask for information. The landing page content must also match the content of the ad in order to be approved. Failure to include the right information may result in your ad being rejected.
If Facebook detects unwanted text or content in your ads you run the risk of three things:
Your ad is rejected and must be rewritten.
Reduced or no delivery of your ad.
Suspension from the Facebook Ads platform.
Making the most out of the new restrictions.
Digital advertising is a complicated beast, even more so with new regulations. Investing the time to understand what you are allowed to do is vital to getting the most out of your marketing efforts.
Our digital marketing experts are also working hard to understand the new regulations as well as developing effective solutions for our clients in the real estate industry.
Daniel Marr is the Director of Business Development for NWPC Marketing Solutions, a team of marketing experts dedicated to helping you achieve your goals and BOOST your brand! Our awesome team strives to build a culture of trust and commitment and work side-by-side with businesses as advisors and consultants.