Business Manager Now Required for Facebook Custom Audiences

Business Manager Now Required for Facebook Custom Audiences

Facebook Ads are a popular, easy, and relatively inexpensive way for real estate agents to enhance their brand, stay in front of their past clients, and generate leads. Facebook Ads were first introduced in late 2007, but the advertising platform didn’t gain major traction in the real estate industry until about 2012. In the past few years, the number of real estate-related ads on Facebook has skyrocketed. While many real estate agents still see great success from their Facebook Ads, others have had to refine their targets and get creative with their strategy to make them effective in the current market.

When it comes to Facebook, the one thing you can always count on is change. Facebook is constantly adding and removing features, changing layouts, and revising their rules.

Just a few months ago, we saw a major change in Facebook when it removed all “Partner Data” from the targeting options in Facebook Ads, effectively removing over 50 targeting options – many of which were widely used and relied upon for real estate ads, such as income ranges and “likely to move”.

With the removal of so many targeting options, real estate agents have been focusing on using the Custom Audience feature, which allows advertisers to upload their own list of people (names, email addresses, phone numbers, etc) and target those exact people with their ads. This has been effective for real estate agents running ads to their past clients, as well as circle prospecting.

Well, just in the past week, we’ve discovered yet another change in the Facebook Ad platform: in order to use the Custom Audience feature, real estate agents must have a “Business Manager” account. You can no longer use your Personal Ad Account to target Custom Audiences.

What is a Facebook Business Manager Account?

A Facebook Business Manager Account is a way for a brand or company to manage multiple ad accounts, Facebook pages, and people. It provides a comprehensive dashboard that allows you to see all of your assets (photos, videos, custom audience lists), pages (Joe Shmoe Realtor and Joe Shmoe Realty, for example), people (assistants, advertising partners), and ads.

In my experience, most real estate agents run Facebook ads themselves; or, they give access to their Facebook account to their assistant or trusted partner to run the ads. Because of this, a Business Manager account has not been necessary for most real estate agents. With this new change, however, any agent who wants to utilize the Custom Audience feature must have a Business Manager account.

How do I get a Business Manager account?

The Facebook Business Manager account is completely free. To set it up, make sure you’re logged into your personal Facebook account, then go to

Click the blue Create Account button on the top right.Create a Business Manager account on Facebook for real estate

Enter in the name of your business (e.g., Amanda Sue Realty) and your email address.

Once the account is created, you’ll be taken to your Business Manager homepage. In the center of the page, you’ll see 3 options:

  1. Add a Page
  2. Add Ad Account
  3. Add People

At the minimum, you’ll need to have one Page and one Ad Account. Click the corresponding buttons at it will walk you through the process. The Facebook Page you add should be the one you want to run Facebook Ads from; the Ad Account should be the one you used to run previous Facebook Ads.

What else do I need to know?

The process to create a Facebook Ad is exactly the same in a Business Manager account. From the Business Manager dashboard, click on the hamburger menu in the top left (yes, I did say hamburger… that’s the technical name for those 3 horizontal bars that open up a menu. Now you know!) and navigate to Ads Manager.

How to run ads using the Facebook Business Manager

The Ads Manager page should look exactly the same as you’re used to, with all of your campaigns and results listed out for you. You can now use the green Create button to create you ads.

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