DIY Real Estate Marketing

Google ads for real estate vs Facebook advertising: which one offers more value for money?

When you want to generate real estate leads within a short period, PPC ads on social media or search are your best bet. You don’t have to door knock homes the whole street, wait for articles to rank high, or for people to open up your email.

Leveraging the fact that more and more people are spending time online, you can run targeted ads to people in your farm area and drive quick traction for your listings. 

However, since you probably don’t have the budget of a luxury or boutique real estate agency, you want to choose one proven PPC ad platform. You’ll either want to go for google ads or Facebook ads.

In this article, we will compare both of these PPC ad platforms based on the following criteria as they apply to real estate ads:


  1. Click through rate
  2. Cost
  3. Analytics
  4. Audience size
  5. Targeting capabilities



  Does Google Adwords work for real estate?


Since Google adwords can be an expensive marketing tool, a lot of realtors feel trepid about using it. Does it offer enough ROI? What kinds of leads do you get?

Yes, Google ads can be expensive since you’ll be bidding on keywords. Companies that pay the most get the most from their PPC campaigns. Yet, when you’re targeting local clients or doing any form of hyperlocal marketing, Google adwords is one of the best tools in your arsenal. 

Fairly recently, Google started allowing local businesses to run local service ads. Google’s LSAs help place your business at the top of local search queries. And you only pay if a customer messages or calls you directly via your Google listing.

Overall, Google ads work because you target people who are intentionally searching for your keywords. This sets it apart from Facebook ads where you target people based on interests and demographics. 

And while Facebook places restrictions on targeting capabilities for real estate, Google allows you to show ads in specific zip codes.

So for a Google Adwords campaign strategy, the effectiveness of your ad will depend on:

  • The keywords you choose
  • Your budget
  • How relevant your ad and ad copy are to your target market


How do real estate ads work on Facebook?


It’s no longer a question of whether Facebook ads work or not for real estate advertising. A lot of realtors use Facebook ads for the bulk of their lead generation.

While the advantage of Facebook ads over Google ads used to be that Facebook ads were cheaper, Facebook advertising is now becoming more expensive as more marketers adopt it.

Facebook ads work because even though you’re not targeting based on intent, Facebook has advanced targeting capabilities.

You can use the look-alike audience feature in Facebook ads, targeting people who fit your ideal buyer persona. Also, there are over 2.5 billion active users currently and the average user spends 35 minutes per day on Facebook.

Unlike Google ads where viewers have to click over to a landing page to see photos and videos of a listing or ad, Facebook advertising is visual. This is great in an industry like real estate where visual marketing wins.

While Facebook frowns on targeting by Zip code or family income, you can use the Special ad categories feature to target clients by location.

However, to run a Facebook ad, you’ll need to have a Facebook business page. 


Google ads vs Facebook ads comparison for real estate


  1. Click through rate


On both Facebook and Google, click through rate defines the number of times your ad is shown vs the number of times someone clicks on it.

That is, if your ad impressions are 1000 (your ad is shown 1000 times), and only 10 people clicked on your ad, your click through rate is 1%.

This means that if you have a high click through rate, a high percentage of people who click on your ad get pulled in to know more about you, your brand or product. This is great when you’re creating awareness.

And the more your click through rate, the higher your potential conversions


Based on data from digital auditing platform, localIQ on the Google adwords platform in 2021:

  • Average click through rate for rentals is 7.45%. 
  • Home for sale ads by realtors had a click through rate of 6.42%


Based on data from digital auditing platform, localIQ on Facebook and Instagram:

  • Average CTR for real estate ads in 2021 was 3.44%
  • Average CTR for home listing ads was 3.02%


This shows that the click through rate on Google ads is almost twice that of Facebook and other social media ad platforms.

If you’re retargeting on either Google or Facebook, your CTR could shoot 120% higher.


  1. Cost


One of your goals when running PPC campaigns is to maximize Return on Ads spend (ROAS). In this case, you’ll have to consider cost per click. For example, if you’re spending $300 to acquire one lead on Google while you can spend the same amount on Facebook to 3x your lead gen results, then spending money on Facebook ads would be a better use of your money. 


Note that, there are ways to reduce cost per click on Google AdWords. For example, you could have a mix of competitive and non-competitive keywords that skew towards the latter. On Facebook and Google paid per click ad platforms, your CPC could vary based on industry and seasonality. During the Covid-19 pandemic, many real estate investors reported that the cost of running Facebook and Google ads decreased. A better metric than CPC would be cost per acquisition or average cost per lead (how much did it cost you to acquire a lead?).


Based on LocalIQ data, average cost per lead for apartment and rental Google ads is $35.52. For home listing ads, average cost per lead is $96.54. The average cost per click on Google adwords for both apartment rentals and home listing ads are $1.43 and $1.39 respectively. On Facebook and IG, the average cost per lead for apartments and rentals is $46.53 while it’s $58.56 for home listing ads. Cost per click for both types of ads are $0.53 and $0.69 respectively. What this shows is that Facebook ads are marginally cheaper than Google ads.


  1. Analytics


As you develop your ad campaign, it is wise to assess historical data to know what worked in the past. Checking up on ad performance helps you see your ROI in real time. Which ad copy, image, ad type etc. is getting you the most clicks? Recently though, Facebook discontinued its analytics platform. This was part of a larger move towards centralizing its suite of tools for businesses. Users can still use Facebook business suite to see an overview of their Facebook marketing metrics. On the other hand, Google has one of the most powerful analytics tools. Google analytics shows you everything you need to know about your website and its traffic sources.


  1. Audience size


Both Facebook and Google reach an overwhelmingly vast number of people. Facebook has about 2.8 billion users currently, and Instagram has about 1.3 billion. Youtube alone has over 2 billion monthly active users while Google’s search engine sees about 5 billion searches per day. If you have the budget to advertise on both platforms, it’s a no brainer.  


  1. Targeting capabilities


Both Google ads and Facebook ads have advanced targeting and retargeting capabilities. And they constantly improve on the ability to target prospects based on either intent or interest. One edge Facebook has is the ability to create lookalike audiences and target prospects who fit your buyer profile directly.


Which is better? Google ads or Facebook ads?


Based on the above comparison, there doesn’t seem to be a winner or loser. Most experts recommend using both platforms together since Facebook is a great tool for creating brand awareness or reaching top of the funnel leads while Google can help you reach prospects at any stage of the buyer’s journey. That is, Facebook would help you capture awareness leads i.e those leads would need more nurturing time to convert into sales compared to Google ads. 


According to Ali Parmelee, PPC expert at Impactplus, “neither platform alone is better at reach and targeting than when they combine forces”. If you have a limited budget, then you might want to opt for Facebook ads. If you’re looking to capture more leads, then Google ads would be your best bet.



Agnes A Gaddis is a specialist writer for real estate SAAS companies. She is a contributing writer for, CXL, Getresponse and Inman news. She’s a big fan of caramel coffee and mystery novels. Get in touch with her on Twitter @Alanagaddis or visit her website,


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