Tech reviews

Realogy’s Social Ad Engine makes social media advertising easy: Tech Review

The user experience does a good job of recognizing the critical nature of simplicity. That seems obvious, but solutions to the problem of how to help agents create a social presence vary across the industry, and this is one of the better ways to do it.

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Realogy’s Social Ad Engine is a social media content creation solution for its franchises.

Platforms: Browser; mobile responsive

Ideal for: All Realogy agents, teams and franchise offices

Top selling points:

  • Agent-focused
  • Quick onboarding
  • Goal-oriented content creation
  • Easy Facebook ad execution
  • Automated A/B response testing

Top concern:

I didn’t see any prominent features for integrating new leads into existing CRMs and in turn, long-term nurture campaigns. Lead qualification tools would be helpful too, however, that is a skill agents should learn on their own, as well.

What you should know

Social media is that one aspect of marketing everyone assumes is easy. In some ways, it is. What’s hard is being effective at it; you know, actually generating business from it.

This is the goal of Social Ad Engine, an advertising and agent marketing solution Realogy built and rolled out to its national franchises.

Any agent under the umbrella can access it, and they’ve made it pretty easy to get up and running, which isn’t simple given the sheer volume of Realogy agents out there.

Users only need to link an existing Facebook account to be up and running in maybe a minute. Again, when wanting to push software adoption, initial setup is crucial. Realogy has this part dialed in.

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(Social Ad Engine is part of Realogy’s open-ecosystem approach, meaning its one tool among many that its agents can decide to use. It isn’t required.)

The user experience does a good job of recognizing the critical nature of simplicity. That seems obvious, but solutions to the problem of how to help agents create a social presence vary across the industry, and this is one of the better ways to do it.

Upon login, users are shown Recent Campaigns, an Activity Snapshot and listings available to be advertised.

Data for properties is ported from existing MLS or backend office accounts — a good way to ensure that property information is consistent across the board. More instances of manual input equal greater risk for inaccurate listing data being broadcast to the market.

In terms of content, Realogy’s ad content can be based around specific listings or general branding.

Ad campaigns are goal-oriented, meaning users can set them up to drive leads, awareness or general web traffic.

Each category is critical, and agents should give some thought to how they all relate. Savvy agents will have an awareness campaign or two running alongside periodic listing promotions. Remember, good advertising requires strategy, not just tactics.

Those who have dabbled in Facebook’s native ad builder will certainly appreciate the campaign creation experience Realogy offers, which deploys a headline field, input window for body copy and selection image rotation. Again, pictures don’t need to be uploaded; they’re automatically inputted according to each listing.

Audience targeting is displayed using a “speedometer” graphic, and location adjustments obviously coincide with fair housing rules. Budget and date range selectors are depicted as click-and-drag sliders, and a preview of the ad updates in real time.

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A sharp bit of innovation is found in the software’s automatic A/B testing, a method for determining how one or more advertisements perform against one another. We have email marketing to thank for the rise of A/B testing in the consumer market, as it once lived in the cubicles of Madison Avenue’s ad traffic departments.

Social Ad Engine processes metrics behind the scenes to determine which ad performs best and serve that one more often. Nice.

There’s a reporting module here, too. It’s fine. It helps users understand how ads are performing, what each lead is costing you and how often people are clicking, etc.

In summary, if you’re a Realogy agent who’s been on the fence about what your parent company is offering, stop wondering, and dive in. This would be expensive software if you had to pay for it from a third party.

There are some nice touches here for sure, namely it’s very easy to get started and they’ve smartly boiled off all the superfluous adjustments and general visual detritus that burden Facebook users going at it on their own.

Have a technology product you would like to discuss? Email Craig Rowe

Craig C. Rowe started in commercial real estate at the dawn of the dot-com boom, helping an array of commercial real estate companies fortify their online presence and analyze internal software decisions. He now helps agents with technology decisions and marketing through reviewing software and tech for Inman.


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