6 Reasons Your Facebook Ads Aren't Attracting New Renters

Alex Middel
May 3, 2016

Facebook Ads can be an amazing lead generator for multifamily communities. The advanced targeting, low cost and ease of use make it extremely appealing to jump right in and start launching your ads.

Unfortunately, here’s the process most multifamily marketers go through:

  1. Create an ad
  2. Watch their daily budget max out with nothing to show for it
  3. Rack their brains trying to figure out why the ad didn’t work
  4. Repeat

If that sounds familiar, you’re not alone. Thousands of businesses throw money down the drain every month by creating Facebook Ads that don’t convert, or have awful click through rates (CTR).

Luckily, putting a stop to underperforming Facebook Ads could be as simple as fixing a few common issues. Here are six of the most common reasons your Facebook Ads aren’t bringing in new renters.

You’re Targeting The Wrong Audience

The success of Facebook Ads depends heavily on your ability to target the right audience. Sure, Facebook has over 1.5 billion monthly active users, but if you don’t understand who your audience is, it doesn’t matter. Here’s a hint: your target audience isn’t “people looking for an apartment.”

A lot of multifamily marketers make the mistake of creating one audience that consists of every type of renter they want to target. From an aerial view, this might make sense. The wider your audience, the more people that will eventually click your ad right?

But here’s the problem. It’s difficult to create a single ad that appeals to everyone. An ad that a 24 year old female would click will be different than what a 45 year old male would. The result is a lower CTR, which can mean paying more for each click, and lower conversions.

How to fix it: Start by defining who you ideal renters are. Are they older professionals with an established career? Or are they recent college graduates looking to get their first apartment in a trendy area?

Then, create separate ads targeting the specific renters you’re after. Use Facebook’s targeting filters to your advantage. Sort by age, location and any other characteristics you can think of. One of the best targeting filters is interests. You can target people interested in renting or leasing an apartment in your area.

Facebook additional interests detailed targeting screenshot

The more targeted your ads are, the higher your CTR will be, which means a better ROI for your Facebook Ads campaigns.

You’re not Running Enough Ads

Two or three ads aren’t enough to learn what works and what doesn’t. Facebook doesn’t put a cap on how many ads you can run, so why limit yourself?

As we mentioned in the previous tip, running multiple ads will allow you to reach different audiences. Not only that, but it stops you from putting all of your eggs in one basket.

How to fix it: Split test! For every renter you’re targeting, you should be split testing multiple ads to see what they respond to. Changing a headline, photo or a couple of words can mean the difference between an underperforming ad and a lease generating machine.

It’s extremely simple to replicate your existing ads. All you have to do is select one of your ads, and click “create similar ad”.

Ad Selected screenshot

This will auto-populate your ad’s settings, and allow you to go in and tweak anything you want to test. Some common elements to split test include:

  • Colors (the color of your call to action button)
  • Images (the picture you use in your ad)
  • Text (Schedule an apartment tour today vs. Call us today to schedule a tour!)
  • Calls to action (Call now vs. Book appointment)
  • Audience (targeting men vs. women)

When it comes to running Facebook ads for multifamily communities, you have to realize that not every ad will be a hit. As tempting as it is to try to stick with an ad to see if it’ll eventually start working, it’s much more efficient to run several ads at the same time so you can compare them against each other.

You’re not Retargeting

Retargeting is one of the best features of Facebook Ads. Retargeting allows you to show your ads to people that have visited your site in the past.

Why should you be retargeting?

Unfortunately, a lot of apartment marketers either don’t know about retargeting or think it’s too technical/complicated. Facebook Ads makes retargeting simple, so there’s no longer an excuse not to try it.

How to fix it: The first thing you need to do is insert a pixel on your website. A pixel is just a snippet of code used for tracking. In your Facebook Ads manager, click on the top menu, then Pixels.

Facebook Ads Manager screenshot

Then click on Create Pixel. Here’s a guide on how to add your pixel to your site.

Even if you don’t plan on running an ad today, you should add the pixel to your site as soon as possible to start gathering data.

You can use your pixel to create a custom audience based on the people that have visited your site.

Aside from the stats we listed above, here’s why you really need to use retargeting. Roughly 96% of people that visit your website aren’t ready to sign a lease. Very few will take the time to even schedule a tour to find out more about your property. Retargeting allows you to reach those people after they’ve left your site.

If you’re not retargeting, you’re losing renters.

Your Ad Copy is Too Detailed

Have you ever come across a Facebook Ad that you felt completely compelled to click? Nine times out of ten, you clicked the ad because you wanted to know more about whatever was being advertised. Unfortunately, so many social media ads for apartments tell people everything they need to know, so there’s no reason to click!

Contrary to popular belief, people don’t buy a product because of an ad. Your Facebook Ads are to pull people in, not sell. The goal is to get them to your landing page, where you have more freedom over the information you can share and how your content is displayed.

Here’s an example. Look at this first ad.

Facebook Ad Example 1

It’s full of information about pricing, location, lease terms and the unit itself.

Compare that to this ad.

Facebook Ad Example 2

There’s just enough information to get someone interested. We give a starting price instead of an exact one, which encourages people to click through to learn more about the pricing. We give an area where it’s located, but not the exact address.

Essentially, the second ad is a bit more enticing and intriguing than the first. Therefore, more potential renters will be likely to click it, which increases our CTR.

How to fix it: As we’ve alluded to, don’t reveal everything about your property. You have to give potential renters a reason to click your ad.

You Don’t Double Down

When you finally create an ad that works and is getting you new leads, what do you do? If you’re like a lot of apartment community marketers, you just let that one ad keep showing up until the well runs dry.

That approach limits your success. Once an ad has started to pick up steam and give you potential renters, that means you did something right. The worst thing you can do in this situation is just sit and wait for the ad to slow down. And trust us, it will happen.

How to fix it: Instead of waiting, double down and replicate your ad. Display it to a slightly different audience, change up the picture a little bit, or increase your daily budget to get the ad displayed more. You want to pour gasoline on the fire and maximize your results!

You’re Not Using Facebook Video Ads

Videos are currently the most engaging type of content you can publish on Facebook. They get more organic reach, more engagement and Facebook surpassed YouTube in daily video views last year.

Users also engage with videos on Facebook more than any other video sharing platform.

 Facebook video charts

Why wouldn’t you want a piece of that pie?

For a while, Facebook Video Ads were a secret weapon used by social media marketers and agencies, but other industries weren’t fully aware of them. As a result, people in charge of marketing for multifamily communities automatically resort to using images.

That gives you the perfect opportunity to differentiate your apartment’s Facebook Ads from the competition!

How to fix it: You may be struggling to come up with an idea for a video. Should you record the property manager talking about the community? A slideshow? Maybe an elaborate professional video?

You might be surprised to find out that it doesn’t take a lot! A simple video tour of one of your units can be intriguing enough to get people to take action.

Here’s an example of a simple virtual apartment tour that could be made into a Facebook Ad.


Your video doesn’t have to be as long. Shoot for 20-60 seconds. Any longer than that and you’re likely to lose viewers midway through.

 facebook video retention by video length seconds

Stop Wasting Money

Since Facebook Ads are seen as a low cost multifamily advertising tactic, it’s easy to sink in a lot of money without realizing you’re not getting a return. Avoiding these six mistakes will help you create better ads and a greater ROI.

If you’re new to Facebook Ads, consider hiring a social media advertising company. It’ll save you the time, money and headache of running failed Facebook Ads with little to nothing to show for it.

We specialize in running lead generating Facebook Ads for multifamily communities. Take the guesswork out of apartment advertising and contact us to get started.

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