I just finished reading an article on Inc.com about 25 ways to jump-start your business. There are five that really seem to apply to real estate agents and brokers.

1. To focus on truly urgent matters, first, clear your schedule

As an agent or broker, you don’t work 9 to 5, Monday though Friday. Sometimes you need to put down your cell phone and, as Inman News Publisher Brad Inman says, "Look up!" Feeling overwhelmed? Clear your schedule in order to really refocus on what needs your attention. It may be time to say no to some things, and even to some clients. See point No. 2 below.

2. Shed your problem clients

I have witnessed agents who are so desperate for a paycheck that they hang onto the wrong type of client until they are completely drained and end up compromising way too much. The sign of a successful agent is the ability to walk away, if necessary. Ask the tough questions about your clients: "Are they worth it? Are they being realistic? Are they keeping me away from other opportunities?"

3. Turn freebies into a search-engine-optimization play

Search-engine optimization can bring more traffic to your site and, hopefully, more leads! The most effective way to optimize your site is to encourage other sites to link to yours. How? Offer something free! What is your specialty? What are you really good at as an agent? Marketing? Staging? Negotiating? Whatever you are really good at, write a "white paper" on that topic and give it away free. People love free and it will help optimize your site. …CONTINUED

4.  Turn Tweets into cash

According to the Inc article, "Rose Associates, an 80-year-old real estate agency in New York City, searches key terms such as ‘moving to New York’ on search.twitter.com. Whenever another Twitter user types one of these top phrases, a member of Rose’s marketing staff sends (the user) a message offering real estate listings or related service. The result? A hundred qualified leads a month." Why couldn’t you do something like that for your local area?

5. Find some amazing interns

More often than not, agents don’t need a full-time assistant. They need help when they have specific listings — help with marketing or an extra body to be at their listing to meet the photographer or inspector. Maybe they need help for two months to get their "digital life" organized — their database, their computer, their files. Why not search for an intern?

Check with your local colleges and use your social networks, Craigslist or LinkedIn. An internship is a great way for someone to get real estate experience (and, in some cases, even college credit!)

Do you have some great tips to share that helped jump-start your business? I’d love to hear about them! Please let me feedback or comments below.

Click here to view the original blog post.

Katie Lance is the marketing manager for Inman News. Future of Real Estate Marketing is a part of Inman News.

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