Episode 435: New Construction Marketing for Agents

Episode Timeline

On the 435th episode of Mail-Right Show, Robert Newman and Jonathan Denwood invited Eric Preston to discuss new construction marketing, where agents can sell new construction homes and learn the dos and don’ts in marketing. Eric Preston is the founder and CEO of Agent Launch, a real estate marketing agency that focuses on new construction. Robert Newman is the founder of InboundREM, a storytelling-based content marketing platform. Meanwhile, Jonathan Denwood is the joint founder of Mail-Right, which builds beautiful websites on WordPress and provides CRM, landing pages, email, text outreach, and more in one great value package.

About Agent Launch

Agent Launch has changed a lot over the years. At first, it focused on info products and selling courses on Google Ads and became well-known for that. The company started by running Google Ads for agents but expanded to solve more problems. It helped with CRM systems, sales systems, YouTube coaching, and video editing. About one and a half to two years ago, Agent Launch began creating landing pages for new construction, which some clients wanted to focus on.

Today, Agent Launch helps agents build lead generation and conversion systems for new construction. It also works with some builders and is trying to grow that part of the business.

The Number One Concern That Agents Have When Discussing A Lead-Generation System

Eric Preston of AgentLaunch believes the main challenge he faces is mistrust. Over the years, AgentLaunch has done a good job posting social proof online and creating helpful videos. Many people trust them, but some still have doubts.

Most marketing agencies in real estate, and probably in other fields too, often follow the same programs. These programs teach them to create big offers with guarantees because they lack social proof and a track record. They rely on these offers without understanding the basic principles of the business. This confuses many agents, which is understandable because many illegitimate people are out there, making agents cautious. This challenge needs to be overcome naturally.

Cheap programs give cheap results; many are available if that is the goal. Agencies look for clients who want to grow and invest in their business. No agency wants to work with new real estate agents because many have been disappointed by agents who cannot commit and are unreliable. This is frustrating for both agencies and good agents who get affected by this.

Another frustration is the IDX. Agencies need clients to have a specific website provider for their work. Clients often do not understand why a website change is necessary, and explaining that the new website is optimized for Google Ads is challenging. AgentLaunch no longer needs its old system due to its shift to new construction, which was also made for internal reasons. However, Eric Preston believes people still need IDXs (Internet Data Exchanges) to nurture leads because even new construction leads may be interested in resale properties. Many new construction leads buy resale homes and have properties to sell.

Eric Preston shared a LinkedIn message from someone who focused on new construction and saw increased resale transactions and sellers. This method means they no longer rely on systems like Real Geeks or Sierra Interactive to meet client needs.

AgentLaunch also had a client who said he wanted to set up Lofty before signing the contract and paying. Eric Preston thought it was a great idea; however, three or four weeks later, the client said he still had problems with Lofty. This was out of Eric’s control, as AgentLaunch relies on third-party software providers, and some are better than others. For example, Real Geeks has always been good, while Sierra takes months to set up. Lofty’s support is very poor, which makes it hard for Eric to build his business. He has been doing this for a long time but has lost money and missed helping people because the excitement from the first call is gone after three weeks. Eric thinks removing Lofty from his business was the right decision.

AgentLaunch has also worked with agent locator services. Most people using these services are in Canada, and it can be frustrating for agents because they must deal with two companies. To fix this, AgentLaunch builds landing pages and does everything in-house. This way, getting a client takes less time and has fewer problems. Eric sees that agents and agencies can get frustrated with each other, so it is crucial to find a middle ground.
Agents should also refrain from believing big agency promises. Instead, they should read the social proof and reviews.

Primary Needs Agentlaunch Helps Agents With.

AgentLaunch has coaching within its program, where it coaches agents about the sales process. Its top clients make hundreds of sales each year. AgentLaunch comes in to help with the sales process, including what to say and how to say it. Their team helps build clients’ CRM systems, generate leads, and set up sales funnels. Agent Launch’s goal is to deliver steady leads and ensure clients are ready to handle and convert them.

The Most Common Mistakes Agents Make Regarding Online Marketing And Lead Generation.

Most agents know a little about many things but only a little about one thing. Agents need to remember that many people try to sell them something. Being everywhere is not always good, as people compare their best work to your early work.

If you see people like Eric Preston, who has over 30,000 YouTube subscribers, or others who are ahead in creating content, they started using other platforms after reaching this level. Most people become known for one platform. So, choose a social platform you like, understand, and can use well.

This advice also applies to finding new clients. There is no need to find clients from many different places. Eric Preston believes having some diversity is good, but focusing on one or two channels is more powerful. If Eric were a new agent going home, he would run ads on Google and focus on new construction. He would also create a YouTube channel and put all his energy into it, ensuring a neat online presence.

People would also often overlook the essential principles of online leads. One is that these leads are early in their process, or they wouldn’t be talking to an agent. Many people want sellers ready to sell immediately, but that’s not how it works. About 67% of online leads work with the first agent they talk to, as long as the agent does not make mistakes.

Furthermore, with online leads, people are being contacted by multiple agents. They are usually on various websites, so agents have to win them over. This is what the business is like most of the time. People searching for properties online are getting captured as leads in many places and are probably being contacted by several agents.

You need to make sure your online presence looks good. This means having an excellent website and a clean Google profile. It’s not about spending lots of money or two years making a fancy website. It’s about looking professional. Also, just being on Instagram isn’t enough. If people see you’re not active or interesting, it won’t help. It’s better to be good at one thing online. If people see you’re active and engaged on one platform, that’s good. They’re not looking for the most social media-focused person. It’s about getting in front of people who want to use your services, like those looking at Zillow or realtor.com. Use ads to bring them to your website so you can get their information and try to work with them.

But it takes work. Nothing in real estate is easy until you’ve been doing it for so many years that you have a brand, a database, and a steady stream of business through persistence and experience. After two decades in the field, some agents can rely on referrals and repeat customers. However, for most, especially with online lead generation, spreading too thin across multiple sources can be a mistake. Focusing on one method allows for developing a streamlined process and becoming proficient over time, whether through social media like YouTube, Instagram, or TikTok. Consistent effort in one area yields better results than mastering many things simultaneously.

Agenst should also find a good company they can trust and fully commit to their way of doing things. Many agents don’t follow the proper steps. They join something, believe they know better, think they’re great at selling, and have a big ego. Instead of listening to experienced people who help many agents regularly and have years of experience creating effective methods, they ignore advice. It’s known that most agents aren’t very clever, and good agents acknowledge this. The smartest agents are the ones who follow the process eagerly. Those who come in with an ego, thinking they’re better than they are, ignore the process and advice.

Niche Marketing

It’s better to be an expert in a small area than one of many in a larger area who aren’t more qualified. For example, as an inbound marketer, Eric Preston focuses on surprising people with valuable insights about specific neighborhoods or lifestyles. This grabs attention and encourages people to engage. That’s what inbound marketing is about.

For instance, you could focus on Van Nuys, a small urban neighborhood with many apartment buildings. You might only sell for two years, but each sale is worth millions. You focus intensely on each client’s needs, find out their questions, get the answers, and share them on your platforms like YouTube.

People need to realize how effective niche marketing can be. People notice when you become good at something particular, like knowing a lot about one narrow topic. They might invite you to podcasts or events because you’re the best in that small area. For example, a guy named Eric in Dallas did great on YouTube. Now, he teaches others how to do it, too. When Robert Newman started, people saw him as the expert in Google Ads. That’s how he began his business. Later, he found success in a unique niche in real estate, which was unusual but worked well.

Conversation with potential client

It wasn’t just about the outcomes for clients. It was about how the first talk with a potential client changes.

When someone signs up on an IDX site, they enter their details and get to see properties, and an agent often calls them. However, people want real estate, not agents. Agents are there to help with the deals. But when you sign up on these sites, agents have to break through your hesitations, like saying you’re just looking around and not ready to buy, but the agent will say they’re there to help, to set up safe searches for you. Moving this talk forward can be challenging because people put up barriers.

But buyers are liars. They say they’re twelve months out later, you get deeper, and you find out they’re ready to go in a month or two. And that’s the difference between a skilled agent who works on their scripts and works on overcoming these objections and smokescreens and an agent who doesn’t follow the process and never gets past that first step.

Agent Launch coaching helps people overcome these obstacles. For new buildings, you sign up early to get first access to units that others can’t. For example, AgentLaunch’s client gets calls from builders first because he knows them well in Babcock Ranch. This means he can offer properties that aren’t available to everyone. When Eric calls a lead who signed up on Babcock Ranch’s new construction website, he asks what they’re looking for. He can tell them about upcoming units, giving them more value because they get what they want quickly.

It’s all about the initial conversation being much smoother; therefore, the conversion rate is much higher.

Moreover, look at how people behave on websites. The key to conversion is where people look. That’s where data should be shown. Eric uses a data-driven approach and dislikes rigid systems. He builds things around people’s interests and where they go because markets change. After the pandemic, there was a unique real estate market, and the method changed because the industry changed. With the new construction system, Eric follows data, looks at results, and finds what works. He builds a system, process, and business around it and then sells it.

Agents must be careful with what they buy. It usually benefits the seller more than the buyer. Real estate marketing companies need more time to present enough data for agents to make an informed decision. It’s not about which is better, but which suits you best.

How Will AI Change Real Estate Online Lead Generation In The Next 18 Months?

AI is widely used in SEO, website writing, and similar fields. People are cautious about it because some see it as a big problem right now. However, the main issue is that AI can be easily misused. Nowadays, AI is very popular. Everyone wants AI, like their beds, homes, and more. People started using it for things they aren’t good at or don’t have time for, like the sales process. Many people also want to know how to use AI to find potential clients.
AgentLaunch has hired and trained ISAs (Inside Sales Agents) in their past work. They set up systems and trained them well, but many agents needed more time to manage another person. They would hire ISAs, and give them support and training, but the agents wouldn’t communicate well with clients. Some agents didn’t talk to their ISAs for weeks, which was surprising. Agents should communicate daily, like in sales meetings.

Agents will do anything to avoid making phone calls, and AI gives them another reason not to. This can lead to somewhat robotic interactions when agents use AI to text or email leads.

Can it work? Yes, definitely. Will it improve over time? Absolutely. But there’s a problem called the authenticity gap. This happens when someone decides not to work with you because they feel you aren’t genuine during the sales process, and you might not even realize it. They didn’t talk to you or reach out; they just wrote you off. They might have unsubscribed or stopped engaging. You never know how many potential customers you lose by sending impersonal messages from AI.

In this age of AI, people want a personalized sales experience. They want to feel like they’re dealing with a real person. It may help qualify leads or gently guide someone, but it can’t create that human connection that closes a real estate deal.

Relying too much on AI for sales can backfire. People might sign up for AI tools to see initial success but then notice a drop in conversions over time because they’re missing out on genuine connections with potential clients. While AI has its uses in copywriting and property descriptions, its role in sales is unclear. It might work for some agents with the right approach, but it’s not the answer for most.