Retargeting on Facebook: How to build custom audience ads

Real Estate Technology with®

Email marketing is terrific, but it’s getting easier and easier to ignore emails that come into our inbox. What once felt urgent and personal is now at risk of feeling just as outdated as a bus bench ad.

So, what’s a savvy agent to do? Well, running Facebook ads is a terrific way to engage your next set of buyers and sellers — and thanks to this pro tip from® social media manager Marci James, now you can run Facebook ads that ONLY target a specific audience of contacts that you upload directly to Facebook.

Who should you retarget?

The next time you run a Just Listed or Just Sold ad, consider uploading a custom list that targets:

  • The LinkedIn contacts you learned to export here
  • The potential sellers who have not yet hired you to sell their home
  • Warm buyer leads who haven’t yet signed on with you
  • Anyone you wish you could get to open an email or save a direct mail postcard

Here’s how to create and upload your custom list.

1) Export your contacts

Start in your CRM, creating a list or segment of contacts you’d like to target on Facebook. Export the list to a .csv file and be sure to include email addresses and phone numbers as fields — those are the two primary fields that Facebook uses to match users to your contact list.  

If you use Top Producer® CRM, you can select your contacts and within the Export Options, you can save the .csv file so it exactly matches the records that Facebook prefers for contact matching:

2) Go to Audiences on Facebook

To upload your Custom Audience to Facebook, go to the Audiences page in your Ads Manager. If you’re currently logged in and have Ads Manager set up, this link should take you directly there.

Select the top option, Create a Custom Audience:

3) Select preferences for file upload

From the next set of options, select Customer File, then select Choose a file or copy and paste data.

4) Upload your contact file

Upload your file, agree to the terms of service and give your audience a name.

5) Help Facebook match your contact fields

In the next screen, you’ll get a preview of how well your data is mapping to Facebook’s internal fields. You may have to help guide them on things like Birthday format (DD//MM//YY vs. MM/DD//YY).


Once you’re satisfied with the fields, hit Upload and Create to finalize the process. Facebook will go about matching your data with the contacts information they have. The final product is a custom audience that you can target with specific seller-related campaigns, brand-building campaigns and more!

How else do you target certain audiences online?

Have a secret trick when it comes to segmenting audiences and running highly successful, highly targeted online campaigns? Tell us how you retarget top top prospects in the comments.

Comments (3)

Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale® - A division of Move, Inc. - something that I want to experiment. Thanks a lot for all the steps in detail. Appreciate it.

Jul 01, 2017 10:57 PM® - A division of Move, Inc.

The steps make it look a little more complicated than it really is, so we are glad you found them easy to follow. Best of luck setting up your ad -- let us know how it goes!

Jul 21, 2017 12:36 PM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

I'm told that Facebook ads are very effective! Not sure that's a good or a bad thing, we'll figure it out.

Jul 14, 2017 09:51 PM® - A division of Move, Inc.

They are definitely able to target people very closely, and not everyone likes that "Big Brother" effect. I know that when the right products or services are advertised to me -- like an upcoming concert in my town, or a new restaurant down the road -- I'm super happy to be in the know. 

Realtors and real estate pros like you can steer clear of the "creep" factor by making sure that you are always offering a service that your targets are eager to see. In your case, feng shui to potential sellers or buyers could be just what they are looking for. Good luck getting them set up! :)

Jul 21, 2017 12:35 PM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

This is not easy to appreciate and I'm not surprise it's coming from you because you are such a respectful honest person, Praful Thakkar

Jul 14, 2017 09:52 PM