Changes to Facebook Ads

There have been recent changes to Facebook Ads for Real Estate or Housing ads, Employment, or Credit businesses (i.e. mortages, credit cards, etc).  If you are based in or intend to target audiences in the US for these businesses then the targeting options changed for Facebook or Instagram Ads.

You may be wondering if Facebook ads are a good idea for these industries after this change.  In this article, I’ll show you what has changed, how to approach your strategy, and how to make sure your ads are still working for you.

What are the Special Ad Categories on Facebook?

When you create a Facebook ad you may notice that you are asked to check a Special Ad Category box.  If you don’t and your ad does fall in that category, your ad may not run or your Facebook ad account may be shut down due to a policy violation.

The Facebook Special Ad Categories are:

  • Credit Opportunity: Ads that promote or directly link to a credit opportunity, including but not limited to credit card offers, auto loans, personal or business loan services, mortgage loans and long-term financing. This also includes brand ads for credit cards that include a specific credit offer.
  • Employment Opportunity: Ads that promote or directly link to an employment opportunity, including but not limited to part- or full-time jobs, internships or professional certification programs. Related ads that fall within this category include promotions for job boards or fairs, aggregation services or ads detailing perks a company may provide, regardless of a specific job offer.
  • Housing Opportunity or Related Service: Ads that promote or directly link to a housing opportunity or related service, including but not limited to listings for the sale or rental of a home or apartment, homeowners insurance, mortgage insurance, mortgage loans and home equity or appraisal services. You can include the Equal Opportunity Housing logo and slogan to help differentiate your ads as non-discriminatory.

A lot of the targeting is restricted but what you can do is let the ad itself appeal to your audience and use Retargeting and Custom Audiences.

Here’s the information on what is restricted:
For ads in certain special categories, the following audience options are different or unavailable:

Locations: You can target your ads to people by geographic location (such as country, region, state, province, city or congressional district), but not by ZIP code. Specific locations you select will include a 15-mile radius around that targeted city, address or pin-drop. For example, if you want to reach people in the city of Seattle, your audience will also include people within a 15-mile radius of Seattle’s city center.
Age: You can’t edit this option. Audiences must include ages 18 through 65+.
Gender: You can’t edit this option. Audiences must include all genders.
Detailed Targeting: Some demographic, behavior and interest options are unavailable. Excluding any detailed targeting selections is also unavailable.


The targeting keywords you do have access to are very generic and you can Browse to see what is available.  You can also see you can’t narrow the area down smaller than a 15 mile radius.

Facebook Ad Targeting - General


How to Approach Your Facebook Ad Strategy for Real Estate, Credit or Employment

Is it still worth it after these changes to Facebook ads?  I personally think so but I with a caveat that you MUST adjust your strategy and make sure you are measuring your results.

I outline how to approach your Facebook Ads strategy for any business and that still applies in general.  You need a goal, a way to track your goal, and you need to test different things.

With local markets, you aren’t going to necessarily vary the targeting that much – especially because your range and your keywords are severely limited.

But now, your Facebook Ad creative is going to be more important than ever.  You are going to have to appeal to the type of person that you want to attract with the text and your images.  Make sure you aren’t calling out personal attributes in your Facebook ads because those ads will not be approved.

If you are selling a luxury house then make sure you are appealing to that market.

Facebook ad for Realtor

If you are focusing on a certain set of job skills then your ad will naturally appeal to the people who are interested in that job.

Employment ad Facebook


The thing that you can do that can be beneficial is to focus on building a good Retargeting audience on Facebook where you are only advertising to your warm audience.

You can retarget your:

  • Website visitors
  • Engaged Facebook Fans
  • People who have watched your videos
  • Email subscribers

When you use retargeting then you can spend less on your Facebook ads because it’s a smaller audience.

How to Determine Your Facebook Ads Are Working

With any strategy you should make sure you measure your key performance indicators.  You may be more interested in brand awareness then conversions for example.

But if you do want to measure through to an end goal, make sure you have the Facebook Pixel in place to watch the right key performance indicator.

In this ad, the 2nd most expensive ad for Landing Page Views (at $1.50) lead to the Registration which is our true goal.  Now there isn’t much data here yet so these ads need to run longer but you get the picture.

Facebook Ad reports


I know it’s hard to keep up with all the changes to Facebook ads and sometimes it feels overwhelming to keep adjusting your strategy.

I still know that Facebook is one of the most effective places to advertise online and you can get GREAT results with the right plan in place.

How do you continue to stay on top of Facebook Ad Changes?  Join my Course – Opening SOON!

Facebook Advertising CourseFacebook changes are coming at a more rapid pace as they innovate and try to stay ahead of the pack.  Plus Instagram Ads are becoming a MUST and also created on the Facebook Ads platform!

As a marketer, you need to get notified of new changes and get real-world information on what’s working and what’s not.

My Facebook Advertising Secrets course can help and will be opening soon!  Get on the list to be notified.

This deep-dive training and year-long mentorship program will give you the confidence and expertise you need to run successful Facebook advertising campaigns for you or your clients.