Real Estate Social Media Rules & Recommendations


When it comes to overall digital campaigns, including social media marketing for real estate, agencies have to stay up to date with or even ahead of the latest rules and regulations. After all, these guidelines inform agency recommendations and strategic adjustments, as well as best practices for real estate social media strategy, content and spending.

In March 2019, real estate advertisers were surprised when the National Fair Housing Alliance slapped Facebook with a federal discrimination lawsuit, claiming that the platform was in violation of the 1968 Fair Housing Act.

Prior to this date, Facebook had allowed advertisers to use the platform to target and even exclude individuals based on protected demographics such as race, religion, national origin, gender, age and sexual orientation, as well as niche interests. As of July 1, 2019, Facebook rolled out a new set of limitations on social media marketing for “special” ad categories, which extended to real estate, employment and credit companies.

Limitations of Social Media Marketing for Real Estate

According to studies from the National Association of REALTORS, nearly 47% of real estate businesses observed that social media resulted in the highest quality leads, and 99% of millennials and 90% of baby boomers began their home search online.

Instagram and Facebook are two of the best-performing platforms for real estate social media, presenting stylish content that promotes buildings and residences as well as a lifestyle.

However, a key restriction for real estate social media marketers to keep in mind is a development’s location and filing permissions. If an agency is managing paid social campaigns for a client that’s only filed in Florida, they are not permitted to “solicit” prospective buyers outside the state via any advertising or marketing efforts.

That includes social media.

Facebook’s updated policies placed the following restrictions on real estate social media campaigns:

  • Removed specific ZIP code targeting
  • Set age range to 18-65+ and gender to all
  • Eliminated demographic and behavior targeting options
  • Erased “saved audiences”
  • No longer allowed demographic data to be used to build “look-alike audiences”


New Opportunities for Social Media Advertising

The new platform restrictions may seem daunting or difficult, but all it means is that an agency’s approach to social media campaigns need to evolve and become more inclusive.

Advertisers should plot out campaigns and strategy based on messaging highlights and variances to affinity, in-market and retargeting audiences, and roll out changes across each campaign.

  • Real estate social media content ideas – To ensure highest engagement and click-through rates, real estate content should feature authentic, high quality imagery and direct users to a fast, mobile-optimized website. Additionally, lifestyle visuals that include people should showcase a diverse array of ages, genders, races and so forth.
  • Radius targeting – Although ZIP code targeting is no longer available, Facebook advertisers can still target a set 15-mile radius around desired cities, addresses or pin drops.
  • Special ad audiences – Look-alike audiences are no more, but Facebook has developed “special ad audiences” instead. The platform essentially analyzes your current visitors’ interests and online behaviors and identifies other individuals with similar interests and behaviors.
  • Broker and Real Estate Agent targeting – shift to target real estate brokers and agents within the market instead! Use content and messaging that is of interest and will inspire them to make an appointment, such as new sales incentives, construction timelines and milestones, and product and lifestyle details and imagery.


Leading the Way in Real Estate Social Media

United Landmark Associates has 35 years of experience managing every facet of luxury real estate and lifestyle campaigns. Our expert digital team provides clients with a full suite of services, including paid and organic social media strategy, paid campaign creation and management, and organic content development and management. Contact us at 813-870-9519 or fill out our contact form to learn how ULA can maximize your present or future campaigns.