Facebook vs Google Ads for Real Estate Developers, Which is Best?

October 28, 2021

In order for your real estate development to sell out fast, you need powerful exposure online. The majority of those looking for new commercial and residential property conduct their searches online and digital advertising is the key to any new developments marketing strategy in 2021. 

However, there are many different approaches you can take for your developments’ marketing strategy. Google ads, Facebook ads, Instagram reels and stories, the options are tantalizing - and yet, as a developer, you want to know which one is going to work best for your lots. 

Luckily, the team at ElementIQ can take the guesswork out of the equation. We’ve run the campaigns, gathered the numbers and plotted the data points in order to solve the frequently asked question, Facebook vs Google Ads?

facebook ads vs google ads

The Goal 

For all of the previous real estate developers we’ve worked with, whether commercial or residential, there has always been one unifying goal in mind: “Sell out the lots, fast.” The faster those lots are sold and construction starts, the better. So which marketing approach attracts interested buyers and converts them into valuable sales most effectively? 

In digital marketing, the two most frequently used platforms for developers are Google ads and Facebook ads. But what exactly do these do? 

Both platforms are based on the same basic principles. They both use audience segmentation, keyword knowledge and elements of AI to place your ad in front of an interested buyer in the right place, at the right time online. Facebook ads run on the social platforms, Facebook and Instagram, whereas Google ads run on the Google search engine, as well as Google Partner platforms, apps and Youtube. 

Let’s dive in and learn a bit more about each platform in order to make a more informed decision about their effectiveness when it comes to real estate developers. 

facebook ads vs google ads

What are Google Ads? 

Google ads, as noted above, are digital advertisements that show on the world's most popular search engine, Google. Google boasts a massive audience of daily users, as well as a host of partner platforms and apps where your ads can appear. 

You may be wondering, ‘with all of these users on Google, how do my ads reach my ideal client base?’ The answer is simple - marketers use a host of different factors to create highly targeted, customized ads that are best suited to your target audience. 

They bid on relevant keywords which indicate a user's intent. Each of these terms cost a different amount depending on their popularity and search volume. However clients only pay when a buyer clicks on their advertisement, hence the popular term for Google ads - Pay Per Click Ads. 

With Google, you only pay when someone is interested in your product or service. 

How Google Ads Works 

In a very basic sense, Google ads works by showing your ads to your target audience when they search specific or related keywords. For example, if you are paying to show for “New developments in Victoria” and a user within your target market searches for that term, your development will show and they will be taken to your website to learn more. 

Google Ads serve ads to highly targeted audiences and they are largely driven by AI, which means they work for you, even when your marketing team is off the clock. 

If you are interested in learning more about Google ads and want to set them up for your development, there is an incredibly in-depth article written by industry leader, Neil Patel to help you get started. 


Key Benefits for Real Estate 

This might sound like exactly what you need, and it’s true, Google Ads are often used by realtors and real estate marketers in order to attract interested buyers to their listings and websites. However, when it comes to real estate developments, there are some pros and cons to using Google Ads. 

While there are a variety of Google Ads to choose from (Search, Display, Video, Dynamic etc) it may be worth testing multiple options out to see what works best for your development. With such a visual product, often display ads are the most effective for developers, as display ads let you advertise an image rather than simply text-based ads.

facebook vs google ads

What are Facebook Ads? 

Much like Google ads, Facebook ads are a means of advertising specifically to users within the Facebook and Facebook owned platforms such as Instagram. There are a variety of different types of Facebook ads, as there are with Google ads. Facebook ads can help developers get more visibility within a highly targeted demographic. 

How They Work 

Facebook ads work in much the same way Google ads do, however there are some key differences. You can leverage Facebook ads for multiple goals and your ad type will depend on your needs. 

For example if you are looking to grow your following on social media, you can run ads specifically targeted to getting more followers on Facebook. However you can also direct users to your website or landing page. Just like with Google, on Facebook, you only pay when users click your ads. 

In the past, Facebook ads were largely visual display ads, rather than text-based search ads. Although Facebook has a variety of ad types to choose from, the platform is still highly focused on creating a more visual, immersive experience for the viewer. For developers with a highly visual product such as a home or apartment, Facebook ads do particularly well. 

If you are interested in learning more about Facebook ads and how to set them up, marketer Neil Patel has an excellent. In-depth document on the process. 

Key Benefits for realtors 

The key benefit to using Facebook and Instagram ads for real estate developers is the visual nature of the platform. Facebook allows marketers to promote images along with ad text in order to serve a more visually appealing experience. 

Developments and real estate in general are both highly visual fields of work and there is a significant amount of value to the visual aspect of advertising on these social platforms. 

facebook vs google ads

Facebook vs Google Ads in Action: Case Studies 

Terrace Beach Resort 

Our team was able to sell out a development of 24 units in just 3 short months with the help of Facebook and Instagram ads. Read the full case study to find out the tactics we used for this client. 


Our team used a combined approach of both Google and Facebook/Instagram ads to sell out 31 pre-sale townhome units in Maple Ridge, BC in under 6 months. The ads on social media performed outstandingly well, read the full case study to learn more about our approach for this project. 

Nanaimo Development 

We used a combination of display ads, and paid social advertising to generate cost-effective leads for our client. Learn more about the success we were able to generate for our clients campaigns and ultimately their bottom line in the case study.

Which marketing approach is better for real estate developers? 

Facebook Advertising was the most effective platform for real estate developers in our experience. After working on several real estate development projects our team noticed time and time again, the overwhelming data which pointed to Facebook ads being the most effective due to their more visual nature and strategic levels of targeting. 

However, a blend of both advertising channels is always an excellent option for those who are looking to maximize all possible development marketing opportunities. If you are in doubt, it’s a good idea to test both marketing channels and monitor the data for both in order to make a more informed decision of which platform works best for your development. 

Facebook vs Google Ads, are you ready to give them a try? Contact the team at ElementIQ and start selling out your development!


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