Boost Your Cold Calling Results in Commercial Real Estate

To make your prospecting system work for you in commercial real estate, you really do need to systemise it and set some priorities. Systems help build the future; random undirected action does little for you as a commercial real estate agent.

When you set the priorities you will not be wasting your time on things that don’t matter or perhaps have little results and conversions for you. It’s tough enough finding the time to prospect every day, let alone spending time on things that are not good converters of business opportunity for you.

So what can you do here? You can set a plan up that keeps you focused on the highly converting prospecting processes. You need new business to make your career work for you and prospecting is the key to pulling it all together.

Here is a priority model used by salespeople that I have helped in shaping their market share.

  1. Practice your call pitch for 30 minutes at 8:00am every day. This single one fact will help you convert more people faster to opportunities.
  2. Start the day with cold calls to new people. This should happen for a period of 2 hours. Start your calls at 8:30am.
  3. It will take you 30 minutes to build momentum as part of the call contact process. After 30 minutes you will be comfortable with what you are doing and the conversations will flow. The calls will get easier.
  4. Remove any meetings from the start of a business day. That includes team meetings. Focus on prospecting before anything else. Don’t let other people waste your prospecting time.
  5. Any follow up calls to established contacts should happen later in the day outside of your prospecting time. Create a habit of prospecting for new business. Don’t let existing customers or contacts derail your prospecting system.
  6. Towards the end of the day you should enter the results of the calls into your database. Perhaps you can do that as you are making the calls; the data does however have to be entered and you must take responsibility for that.
  7. End the day with research related to new prospects that you are to call tomorrow. Who are they and why are you calling them. You will need to know those facts as part of the process.

So these are some very rigid rules. When you stick to them you will find that opportunities develop. In any market and at any time the business is out there; it is just a matter of opening up the relationships with the right people.

Raincoats For the Women of Today

Raincoats for women come in many shapes and styles and have been around for a very long time.

Often referred to as a mackintosh, the ‘mack’ has been in existence since the early 1820’s, and was invented by Charles Macintosh.

The mackintosh was a waterproof garment made from rubberized material, similar to the waxed jacket we often see worn by the men and women today.

Originally a practical garment to keep the wearer dry, this outerwear is now much more of a fashion statement. All top designers will include such an item in their collection.

The traditional design has been transformed to suit the needs of the modern woman, which has led to a variety of lengths. You’ll just as easily find a short anorak style rain jacket, as a full length raincoat.

Old heavy style fabrics have been replaced by breathable lightweight materials, which allow them to be packed up neatly into a small bag. Some models also have a hood which may be detachable.

The garment not only come in the single breasted, but also the double breasted, and zipped fastening design. This makes them more suitable to a wider range of customers as body shape, age, and taste, are all catered for.

For the winter you can choose a garment with a faux fur lining, which not only keep you dry but keep you very warm and snug too.

From the ever practical black or beige version to the fluorescent pink worn with matching wellington boots, raincoats for women are available to suit everyone.

Home Buyers and Sellers Real Estate Glossary

Every business has it’s jargon and residential real estate is no exception. Mark Nash author of 1001 Tips for Buying and Selling a Home shares commonly used terms with home buyers and sellers.

1031 exchange or Starker exchange: The delayed exchange of properties that qualifies for tax purposes as a tax-deferred exchange.

1099: The statement of income reported to the IRS for an independent contractor.

A/I: A contract that is pending with attorney and inspection contingencies.

Accompanied showings: Those showings where the listing agent must accompany an agent and his or her clients when viewing a listing.

Addendum: An addition to; a document.

Adjustable rate mortgage (ARM): A type of mortgage loan whose interest rate is tied to an economic index, which fluctuates with the market. Typical ARM periods are one, three, five, and seven years.

Agent: The licensed real estate salesperson or broker who represents buyers or sellers.

Annual percentage rate (APR): The total costs (interest rate, closing costs, fees, and so on) that are part of a borrower’s loan, expressed as a percentage rate of interest. The total costs are amortized over the term of the loan.

Application fees: Fees that mortgage companies charge buyers at the time of written application for a loan; for example, fees for running credit reports of borrowers, property appraisal fees, and lender-specific fees.

Appointments: Those times or time periods an agent shows properties to clients.

Appraisal: A document of opinion of property value at a specific point in time.

Appraised price (AP): The price the third-party relocation company offers (under most contracts) the seller for his or her property. Generally, the average of two or more independent appraisals.

“As-is”: A contract or offer clause stating that the seller will not repair or correct any problems with the property. Also used in listings and marketing materials.

Assumable mortgage: One in which the buyer agrees to fulfill the obligations of the existing loan agreement that the seller made with the lender. When assuming a mortgage, a buyer becomes personally liable for the payment of principal and interest. The original mortgagor should receive a written release from the liability when the buyer assumes the original mortgage.

Back on market (BOM): When a property or listing is placed back on the market after being removed from the market recently.

Back-up agent: A licensed agent who works with clients when their agent is unavailable.

Balloon mortgage: A type of mortgage that is generally paid over a short period of time, but is amortized over a longer period of time. The borrower typically pays a combination of principal and interest. At the end of the loan term, the entire unpaid balance must be repaid.

Back-up offer: When an offer is accepted contingent on the fall through or voiding of an accepted first offer on a property.

Bill of sale: Transfers title to personal property in a transaction.

Board of REALTORS® (local): An association of REALTORS® in a specific geographic area.

Broker: A state licensed individual who acts as the agent for the seller or buyer.

Broker of record: The person registered with his or her state licensing authority as the managing broker of a specific real estate sales office.

Broker’s market analysis (BMA): The real estate broker’s opinion of the expected final net sale price, determined after acquisition of the property by the third-party company.

Broker’s tour: A preset time and day when real estate sales agents can view listings by multiple brokerages in the market.

Buyer: The purchaser of a property.

Buyer agency: A real estate broker retained by the buyer who has a fiduciary duty to the buyer.

Buyer agent: The agent who shows the buyer’s property, negotiates the contract or offer for the buyer, and works with the buyer to close the transaction.

Carrying costs: Cost incurred to maintain a property (taxes, interest, insurance, utilities, and so on).

Closing: The end of a transaction process where the deed is delivered, documents are signed, and funds are dispersed.

CLUE (Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange): The insurance industry’s national database that assigns individuals a risk score. CLUE also has an electronic file of a properties insurance history. These files are accessible by insurance companies nationally. These files could impact the ability to sell property as they might contain information that a prospective buyer might find objectionable, and in some cases not even insurable.

Commission: The compensation paid to the listing brokerage by the seller for selling the property. A buyer may also be required to pay a commission to his or her agent.

Commission split: The percentage split of commission compen-sation between the real estate sales brokerage and the real estate sales agent or broker.

Competitive Market Analysis (CMA): The analysis used to provide market information to the seller and assist the real estate broker in securing the listing.

Condominium association: An association of all owners in a condominium.

Condominium budget: A financial forecast and report of a condominium association’s expenses and savings.

Condominium by-laws: Rules passed by the condominium association used in administration of the condominium property.

Condominium declarations: A document that legally establishes a condominium.

Condominium right of first refusal: A person or an association that has the first opportunity to purchase condominium real estate when it becomes available or the right to meet any other offer.

Condominium rules and regulation: Rules of a condominium association by which owners agree to abide.

Contingency: A provision in a contract requiring certain acts to be completed before the contract is binding.

Continue to show: When a property is under contract with contingencies, but the seller requests that the property continue to be shown to prospective buyers until contingencies are released.

Contract for deed: A sales contract in which the buyer takes possession of the property but the seller holds title until the loan is paid. Also known as an installment sale contract.

Conventional mortgage: A type of mortgage that has certain limitations placed on it to meet secondary market guidelines. Mortgage companies, banks, and savings and loans underwrite conventional mortgages.

Cooperating commission: A commission offered to the buyer’s agent brokerage for bringing a buyer to the selling brokerage’s listing.

Cooperative (Co-op): Where the shareholders of the corporation are the inhabitants of the building. Each shareholder has the right to lease a specific unit. The difference between a co-op and a condo is in a co-op, one owns shares in a corporation; in a condo one owns the unit fee simple.

Counteroffer: The response to an offer or a bid by the seller or buyer after the original offer or bid.

Credit report: Includes all of the history for a borrower’s credit accounts, outstanding debts, and payment timelines on past or current debts.

Credit score: A score assigned to a borrower’s credit report based on information contained therein.

Curb appeal: The visual impact a property projects from the street.

Days on market: The number of days a property has been on the market.

Decree: A judgment of the court that sets out the agreements and rights of the parties.

Disclosures: Federal, state, county, and local requirements of disclosure that the seller provides and the buyer acknowledges.

Divorce: The legal separation of a husband and wife effected by a court decree that totally dissolves the marriage relationship.

DOM: Days on market.

Down payment: The amount of cash put toward a purchase by the borrower.

Drive-by: When a buyer or seller agent or broker drives by a property listing or potential li
sting.

Dual agent: A state-licensed individual who represents the seller and the buyer in a single transaction.

Earnest money deposit: The money given to the seller at the time the offer is made as a sign of the buyer’s good faith.

Escrow account for real estate taxes and insurance: An account into which borrowers pay monthly prorations for real estate taxes and property insurance.

Exclusions: Fixtures or personal property that are excluded from the contract or offer to purchase.

Expired (listing): A property listing that has expired per the terms of the listing agreement.

Fax rider: A document that treats facsimile transmission as the same legal effect as the original document.

Feedback: The real estate sales agent and/or his or her client’s reaction to a listing or property. Requested by the listing agent.

Fee simple: A form of property ownership where the owner has the right to use and dispose of property at will.

FHA (Federal Housing Administration) Loan Guarantee: A guarantee by the FHA that a percentage of a loan will be underwritten by a mortgage company or banker.

Fixture: Personal property that has become part of the property through permanent attachment.

Flat fee: A predetermined amount of compensation received or paid for a specific service in a real estate transaction.

For sale by owner (FSBO): A property that is for sale by the owner of the property.

Gift letter: A letter to a lender stating that a gift of cash has been made to the buyer(s) and that the person gifting the cash to the buyer is not expecting the gift to be repaid. The exact wording of the gift letter should be requested of the lender.

Good faith estimate: Under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, within three days of an application submission, lenders are required to provide in writing to potential borrowers a good faith estimate of closing costs.

Gross sale price: The sale price before any concessions.

Hazard insurance: Insurance that covers losses to real estate from damages that might affect its value.

Homeowner’s insurance: Coverage that includes personal liability and theft insurance in addition to hazard insurance.

HUD/RESPA (Housing and Urban Development/Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act): A document and statement that details all of the monies paid out and received at a real estate property closing.

Hybrid adjustable rate: Offers a fixed rate the first 5 years and then adjusts annually for the next 25 years.

IDX (Internet Data Exchange): Allows real estate brokers to advertise each other’s listings posted to listing databases such as the multiple listing service.

Inclusions: Fixtures or personal property that are included in a contract or offer to purchase.

Independent contractor: A real estate sales agent who conducts real estate business through a broker. This agent does not receive salary or benefits from the broker.

Inspection rider: Rider to purchase agreement between third party relocation company and buyer of transferee’s property stating that property is being sold “as is.” All inspection reports conducted by the third party company are disclosed to the buyer and it is the buyer’s duty to do his/her own inspections and tests.

Installment land contract: A contract in which the buyer takes possession of the property while the seller retains the title to the property until the loan is paid.

Interest rate float: The borrower decides to delay locking their interest rate on their loan. They can float their rate in expectation of the rate moving down. At the end of the float period they must lock a rate.

Interest rate lock: When the borrower and lender agree to lock a rate on loan. Can have terms and conditions attached to the lock.

List date: Actual date the property was listed with the current broker.

List price: The price of a property through a listing agreement.

Listing: Brokers written agreement to represent a seller and their property. Agents refer to their inventory of agreements with sellers as listings.

Listing agent: The real estate sales agent that is representing the sellers and their property, through a listing agreement.

Listing agreement: A document that establishes the real estate agent’s agreement with the sellers to represent their property in the market.

Listing appointment: The time when a real estate sales agent meets with potential clients selling a property to secure a listing agreement.

Listing exclusion: A clause included in the listing agreement when the seller (transferee) lists his or her property with a broker.

Loan: An amount of money that is lent to a borrower who agrees to repay the amount plus interest.

Loan application: A document that buyers who are requesting a loan fill out and submit to their lender.

Loan closing costs: The costs a lender charges to close a borrower’s loan. These costs vary from lender to lender and from market to market.

Loan commitment: A written document telling the borrowers that the mortgage company has agreed to lend them a specific amount of money at a specific interest rate for a specific period of time. The loan commitment may also contain conditions upon which the loan commitment is based.

Loan package: The group of mortgage documents that the borrower’s lender sends to the closing or escrow.

Loan processor: An administrative individual who is assigned to check, verify, and assemble all of the documents and the buyer’s funds and the borrower’s loan for closing.

Loan underwriter: One who underwrites a loan for another. Some lenders have investors underwrite a buyer’s loan.

Lockbox: A tool that allows secure storage of property keys on the premises for agent use. A combo uses a rotating dial to gain access with a combination; a Supra® (electronic lockbox or ELB) features a keypad.

Managing broker: A person licensed by the state as a broker who is also the broker of record for a real estate sales office. This person manages the daily operations of a real estate sales office.

Marketing period: The period of time in which the transferee may market his or her property (typically 45, 60, or 90 days), as directed by the third-party company’s contract with the employer.

Mortgage banker: One who lends the bank’s funds to borrowers and brings lenders and borrowers together.

Mortgage broker: A business that or an individual who unites lenders and borrowers and processes mortgage applications.

Mortgage loan servicing company: A company that collects monthly mortgage payments from borrowers.

Multiple listing service (MLS): A service that compiles available properties for sale by member brokers.

Multiple offers: More than one buyers broker present an offer on one property where the offers are negotiated at the same time.

National Association of REALTORS® (NAR): A national association comprised of real estate sales agents.

Net sales price: Gross sales price less concessions to the buyers.

Off market: A property listing that has been removed from the sale inventory in a market. A property can be temporarily or permanently off market.

Offer to purchase: When a buyer proposes certain terms and presents these terms to the seller.

Office tour/caravan: A walking or driving tour by a real estate sales office of listings represented by agents in the office. Usually held on a set day and time.

Parcel identification number (PIN): A taxing authority’s tracking number for a property.

Pending: A real estate contract that has been accepted on a property but the transaction has not closed.

Personal assistant: A real estate sales agent administrative assistant.

Planned unit development (PUD): Mixed-use development that sets aside areas for residential use, commercial use, and public areas such as schools, parks, and so on.

Preapproval: A higher level of buyer/borrower prequalification required by a mortgage lender. Some preapprovals have conditions the borrowe
r must meet.

Prepaid interest: Funds paid by the borrower at closing based on the number of days left in the month of closing.

Prepayment penalty: A fine imposed on the borrower by the lender when the loan is paid off before it comes due.

Prequalification: The mortgage company tells a buyer in advance of the formal mortgage application, how much money the borrower can afford to borrow. Some prequalifications have conditions that the borrower must meet.

Preview appointment: When a buyer’s agent views a property alone to see if it meets his or her buyer’s needs.

Pricing: When the potential seller’s agent goes to the potential listing property to view it for marketing and pricing purposes.

Principal: The amount of money a buyer borrows.

Principal, interest, taxes, and insurance (PITI): The four parts that make up a borrower’s monthly mortgage payment. Private mortgage insurance (PMI): A special insurance paid by a borrower in monthly installments, typically of loans of more than 80 percent of the value of the property.

Professional designation: Additional nonlicensed real estate education completed by a real estate professional.

Professional regulation: A state licensing authority that oversees and disciplines licensees.

Promissory note: A promise-to-pay document used with a contract or an offer to purchase.

R & I: Estimated and actual repair and improvement costs.

Real estate agent: An individual who is licensed by the state and who acts on behalf of his or her client, the buyer or seller. The real estate agent who does not have a broker’s license must work for a licensed broker.

Real estate contract: A binding agreement between buyer and seller. It consists of an offer and an acceptance as well as consideration (i.e., money).

REALTOR®: A registered trademark of the National Association of REALTORS® that can be used only by its members.

Release deed: A written document stating that a seller or buyer has satisfied his or her obligation on a debt. This document is usually recorded.

Relist: Property that was listed with another broker but relisted with a current broker.

Rider: A separate document that is attached to a document in some way. This is done so that an entire document does not need to be rewritten.

Salaried agent: A real estate sales agent or broker who receives all or part of his or her compensation in real estate sales in the form of a salary.

Sale price: The price paid for a listing or property.

Seller (owner): The owner of a property who has signed a listing agreement or a potential listing agreement.

Showing: When a listing is shown to prospective buyers or the buyer’s agent (preview).

Special assessment: A special and additional charge to a unit in a condominium or cooperative. Also a special real estate tax for improvements that benefit a property.

State Association of REALTORS®: An association of REALTORS® in a specific state.

Supra®: An electronic lockbox (ELB) that holds keys to a property. The user must have a Supra keypad to use the lockbox.

Temporarily off market (TOM): A listed property that is taken off the market due to illness, travel, needed repairs, and so on.

Temporary housing: Housing a transferee occupies until permanent housing is selected or becomes available.

Transaction: The real estate process from offer to closing or escrow.

Transaction management fee (TMF): A fee charged by listing brokers to the seller as part of the listing agreement.

Transaction sides: The two sides of a transaction, sellers and buyers. The term used to record the number of transactions in which a real estate sales agent or broker was involved during a specific period.

24-hour notice: Allowed by law, tenants must be informed of showing 24 hours before you arrive.

Under contract: A property that has an accepted real estate contract between seller and buyer.

VA (Veterans Administration) Loan Guarantee: A guarantee on a mortgage amount backed by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Virtual tour: An Internet web/cd-rom-based video presentation of a property.

VOW’s (Virtual Office web sites): An Internet based real estate brokerage business model that works with real estate consumers in same way as a brick and mortar real estate brokerage.

W-2: The Internal Revenue form issued by employer to employee to reflect compensation and deductions to compensation.

W-9: The Internal Revenue form requesting taxpayer identification number and certification.

Walk-through: A showing before closing or escrow that permits the buyers one final tour of the property they are purchasing.

Will: A document by which a person disposes of his or her property after death.

Online Smoke Shop – Electronic Cigarettes

Electronic Cigarettes have been starting to be more and more accepted over the months primarily present in Online Smoke Shop’s and certainly I would say the smoking crowd. The ban on cigarettes in many venues has done nothing but make it possible to thrust this unique advancement. Electronics cigarets also named smokeless cigarette, or e-cigarette. Are purchasable in more or less every Online Smoke Shop! Not like with an original cigarette individuals are now capable to smoke in Stores, Dining locations, and even Planes!
Anybody is now able to smoke in the open with out suffering from worries about inflicting harm on folks due to second hand smoke.

The number one reason smokers seem to be discovering a relatively easy change over to an e cigarette is without question due to the actuality of exactly how authentic it in fact feels. You gain the very exact felling as a regular cigarette with out all the unsafe effects, While always fulfilling one’s tobacco craving. When you inhale the vapor of your electronic cigarette you can actually feel your lungs fill up with what fells like tobacco smoke. The smoke given off is in fact a water vapor that replicates the smoke you would achieve from a traditional cigarette. The best part of this is the minute you exhale all that smoke quickly evaporates making sure to leave no trace of tobacco. However you will still be getting that nicotine fix you desire.

The way your electronic cigarette actually operates rests within the inhaling process. Unlike with a typical cigarette there is in no way a need for a lighter, or matches for that matter once you inhale on your electronic cigarette you initialize a flow sensor, that then generates the discharge for water vapor. The vapor includes nicotine, propylene glycol, and a scent that in fact simulates the flavor of tobacco. This particularly signifies that you are still able to achieve that nicotine fix you have always been in need of while definitely not taking in all the health consequence true cigarets give off. Including Formaldehyde and 4,000 other harmful chemicals which in fact are in each single cigarette you place to your lips. To name a few more that you would be much more familiar with.

Ammonia
Acetone
Carbon Monoxide
Arsenic

In most cases the only thing that could very well be looked down upon by using electronic cigarettes is a chemical known as Propylene Glycol. This Has become the chemical that renders it possible for the liquid nicotine to be able to transform into a water vapor making it possible to inhale.This chemical is however given approval by the Food drug administration in several other types of materials. A great deal more of investigation is in fact still in progress as to whether this is okay to be an inhalant nonetheless previous investigation indicates no negative side effects.
You can easily select distinctive levels of nicotine in an Online Smoke Shop for your electronic cigarette. Your nicotine cartridges are available in a variety of flavors as well as strengths. You can order Regular, Menthol, even Watermelon, and Cherry flavored cartridges. The nicotine strengths are available in Full, Medium, Light, and None you cannot go wrong utilizing an electronic cigarette even more so if your seeking to develop to be a lot more healthy and continuing achieve that nicotine fix you have to have day in and day out!

The Good Things About Travel Nursing

If you have been given the chance and have passed the qualifications of one full year, a career in travel nursing might be in the works for you. This career path may add a whole new exciting chapter in your life and in the life of your husband or wife or your partner in life. This will also give you the chance to go to a different place and get paid for doing your profession as a nurse. The best thing about it is that more often than not your board and lodging will be paid for and you will be provided with travel insurance. Now how do you define travel nursing?

There are countries around the world that are starting to feel the shortage of nurses. This includes some first world countries. According to a United States government study, by the year twenty-twenty, the nursing field in the nation may come up short of about one-million nurses because the rise in the demand for this career is far lower than the number of people choosing to pursue a career in nursing.

The interesting thing about this scenario is that the financial aspect is not the biggest reason for this. The main reason why nurses jump onto the bandwagon is that they are not satisfied the working environment and policies found here. Another first world country that is experiencing this major problem is Australia. But the Australians have different reasons for this shortage. These reasons are the absence of care for children and superiors that are not very appreciative.

Your options
The good thing about this new career is that the person applying as a travelling nurse is in total control where he or she wishes to work and he or she can dictate the length of his or her tenure. If your choice is to work within a big city, then it is best for you to ask for a placement in any of the big city hospitals like the ones in New York City or Los Angeles. But if you are well experienced in working in a rural setting then it might be best for you to look for a placement in a similar setting nut in a different area. At first, the lengths of contracts given to travelling nurses are on a short term basis. In the United States of America it usually lasts from one to three months. This allows you the chance to move to another place quickly as soon as your contract expires or if not, you have the option to go back to your original area of work. Another option is that you could entertain the thought of asking for an extension of your contract.

Travel nursing also allows the nurse concerned the option to bring along his or her partner or spouse to where he or she will work. There are some establishments in other countries that offer board and lodging available for couples. But if you want to set out as a travelling nurse alone, you will be offered the option to board and lodge with other fellow travelling nurses which should give you a great chance to make new friends. This will also give you the chance to learn from the other travelling nurses the places that are not suitable to go to and practice nursing.

If you are tired and burned out of working in the same hospital day in and day out, becoming a travelling nurse might be the solution to this.

Online job hunting
The notion and misconception that the only things nurses do is to follow what the doctor needs them to do and wear that crisp white uniform is absolutely a misconstrued idea. In today’s medical field, the duties and responsibilities of those practicing in the nursing field have grown differently. And because of this, nurses have achieved a different identity other than just merely taking down doctor’s orders. There are a lot of nurses achieved leadership status in the medical field are will not be satisfied by mediocre work. The travelling nurse is another important addition to the growing fields in the nursing profession. This offers more chances for nurses to grow in another field of nursing.

One of the biggest advantages that a nurse can have is the training he or she can get regarding management fundamentals and experience in surgery. There are a lot of schools, colleges and government agencies that offer degree courses in nursing. If you are one of those who want to pursue a career in nursing, you will find a lot of job opportunities that may help you advance in your career as a nurse.

An Attractive Job
Here are some reasons that make the job of a travelling nurse so attractive. A vacancy for a travelling nurse is considered to be an attractive job vacancy. This speaks well especially for women because they are the dominant gender in this field of medicine. One of the reasons why this is a very attractive job for nurses is because it offers the nurses the freedom to travel to different locales. Being a travelling nurse does not limit you from working in the United States of America. Being a travelling nurse will give all the ones applying for a job the chance to work abroad.

Another reason why the travelling nurse has become an attractive job is because of the chance to earn a really good salary package that should always include travel insurance, occupational bonuses, board and lodging and other monetary incentives.

As far as these job vacancies in the United States of America is concerned, one can find these nursing job vacancies by simply browsing through the internet. With a little help by researching through the internet, one can visit websites that offer job vacancies that include opening for travelling nurses. These listings are actually updated regularly. The one thing you can do is to simply choose the right description for you.

There are some online companies that can help you get the necessary travel papers like visas and passports and most specially your working permits.

Which Is More Cost-Effective, Cabs or Car Rentals?

Rent it or cab it?

People like the freedom of having their own vehicle to drive about in, at home or when they travel, and the tendency is to book a rental car when you are away. But freedom comes with a price and it depends where your travel destination is as to whether you’re best to rent a car or take a taxi.

Cheap ground transportation depends upon location, accessibility and extraneous expense factors, like gasoline costs and parking fees. Add to that the potential complexity of finding your way around a strange city, especially a large one, and you might change your mind about what freedom means.

A trip to, for example, New York City or Montreal, two North American cities with decent public transit systems, plenty of cabs, walkable areas in their cores, and very high parking fees, and you’ll realize that a taxi will almost inevitably surface as the cheapest mode of getting around.

But what if you want a day trip to the Laurentian Mountains or the antiques stores of Hudson? That’s the day to rent a car, or to find out if there is a luxury coach service to those destinations that returns the same day.

Car rentals are convenient, to be sure, but the costs add up quickly (don’t forget insurance and occasional peak-season added fees), unless your airline points cover all or most of the cost; even then, in large cities gasoline and parking is very costly, and that is not usually included in credit card or airline rewards perquisites.

When does a rental car make sense? If you live in North America (and can’t drive across the Atlantic Ocean!) and are vacationing in Italy, for example, landing in Rome and taking a motorcar tour of Tuscany and other regions from there, your only other viable option is the train. Like anywhere else, gasoline in Europe is expensive, but you can’t take a full driving holiday in a taxi. But don’t forget, there are guided tours and some taxi drivers will gladly spend a day with you, exploring San Gimignano; they are often the best tour guides, full of information about their homeland. And driving in other countries can be a harrowing experience, especially if it involves driving on the opposite side of the road than you are accustomed to!

Plan your itinerary, do an accurate cost comparison and decide whether a taxi or car rental, or combination of the two, is the cheapest way to get around when you reach your destination. And don’t forget to ensure that your driver’s license is current, and if you need to, get an international license before you set off for your trip. Happy motoring!

Real Estate Services – Business Immune To Internet?

Real estate services business is one of those verticals with an overwhelming number of websites. There are thousands of websites with apartments and villa listings. But does it really mean that this internet model of business generate a proportionate amount of revenue? Well, not really!

By many ways real estate services is one of those businesses that are ideally suited for a net based model. On one side you have a seller who wants to sell his property and other side you have a buyer who wants to buy a similar property. The seller lists the property for sale on a website. Prospective buyers finds it on the site and if found suitable, the buyer and seller come to an agreement for sale. No searching for agent, no commission. It all looks so simple. But it seldom happens that way.

The sale of a property incurs an agent commission of 2.5 to 6% (depending on your country, region, agreement with agent etc) of the sale price. The above described scenario means only a small listing fee to be spent by the seller. Consider the online recruitment business where a similar situation exists. It has done very well unlike real estate websites and sites like monster.com and hotjobs.com have a high brand recall. But a similar success is not found for real estate services websites. Spare a few like loopnet.com and costar.com which has found success in the commercial real estate sector. The truth of the matter is that the real estate multiple listing service (MLS) and agents tightly guard the seller data and other information. However, some other reasons also exist.

A real estate listing, unlike a job listing, needs to provide more information to look credible for the buyer. Collecting the required data, pictures of the property, (even videos some times) recent sales data, above all removing outdated data from the database, all this needs money to be spent.

Not all those who buy and sell property are negotiators. The agent claims to be one and normally takes such a role. But on most cases, they just make both the buyer and seller feel good about the deal. Both parties feel they negotiated and got the best deal. Also, not everybody wants to publicize that their property is up for sale, especially for commercial properties. An agent is entrusted to find buyers for the property.

There can be a solution for most of these issues. A real estate website can still provide the first level of information to seller. At least it can narrow down the search to a few properties of ones choice. With a little effort one can get additional information necessary for deciding the suitability of that property against your requirements and budget. As for confidential listing of property, this can be incorporated in a website. For example, KeralaListings.com a property marketing company hides the seller data and other traceable information from a property listing if tagged ‘confidential’ by the seller. This listing appears in search results for the given parameters and the prospective buyer can email the seller of his interest in the property.

As real estate websites adopt steps, to provide information which is updated and verified, this business model will gradually pick up. Though the cost of maintaining such sites is slightly more, this should gradually increase public trust on this model. Even with all this, the cost of property transaction can reduced considerably. Not to mention about the time saved for finding a property.

High Cost of Healthcare Induced By Contradictory Goals of Providers and Payers

Healthcare has been the topic of debate for most of the last few years. From the boardroom to the water cooler, costs and quality of care are hot topics that impact everyone in this country. Young and old, Americans are feeling the squeeze and most are finding it difficult to come up with solutions. In the boardrooms of corporations both large and small, employers are struggling to cope with reality of rising premiums and declining benefits. Meanwhile employees are left with the prospect of going without health insurance. Currently it is estimated that 50 to 60 million adults in this country are walking the tightrope of living without health insurance. With such widespread reach for ripples created by this healthcare debacle, everyone is looking for answers. How can we afford coverage? Can we go without? What can be done to curb the costs and get this problem under control?

In the workplace, employers and employees often feel as if they’re on opposite sides of the fence. Employers feel as if their subordinates take no consideration of how difficult it can be to turn a profit while facing spiraling costs and a difficult economic environment. While large corporations may be able to ride out the storm, small businesses rarely have this luxury (especially at a time when credit is difficult to obtain). Most small businesses would close their doors if the balance sheet goes in the red for more than a few months or quarters. On the other hand, employees often adopt a near-sighted approach. How could they expect me to afford a premium increase? Should I just try to float without insurance for a while? These questions often lead to resentment on both sides of the coin, but are the employers or employees to take the blame and the higher cost?

Looking for answers to this growing problem is not easy. Where did the system go wrong? Why is it so expensive? Who’s to blame?

Many people blame healthcare providers for the rising costs of quality care. I can assure you this is not the case. Providers are facing a myriad of challenges and roadblocks. More so than ever, running a profitable medical practice is daunting task. Like any other business, a medical practice will close if it can not cover expenses and afford to pay salaries. Labor and leasing expenses are only the tip of the iceberg. Practitioners are forced to pay for equipment, insurance, hardware, software, licensing, and more. After establishing an office with all the appropriate resources, medical practices and hospitals must then attract patients in a very competitive marketplace.

Yet with all these costs and challenges in their way, healthcare providers are not complaining about patients or labor or costs! The largest problem facing healthcare providers is the insurance reimbursement process. Contradictory goals of payers and providers are resulting in inefficient and difficult payment systems. Insurance companies are more concerned with bottom-line profits and shareholders than they are about the care their members receive. How can we expect doctors and healthcare providers to keep their offices open if they can hardly get paid for the services they perform? Individuals believe that because they pay premiums, the insurance company will pay their doctor. Unfortunately, this is hardly the case. Health insurance claim denial rates can reach as high as 25% or more. Many providers have outstanding receivables measured in the millions of dollars. The insurance reimbursement process is so arduous that many medical practices never get paid and as a result close their doors forever.

Insurance companies use a wide variety of tactics to delay payments and deny claims. Payers employ hoards of representatives charged with the task of fielding calls and scrutinizing claims. Due to these tactics, insurance claims take anywhere from 30 days to more than 1 year to reach a completed status. In most cases claims are delayed and denied due to inconsequential, irrelevant errors. These errors result solely from the many difficult and senseless hoops that are placed in the way of the provider’s billing representatives. This extremely labor intensive process of collecting from insurance companies costs providers a great deal of time and money.

The only beneficiaries of this process are the shareholders of insurance companies. The delays in payments result in interest earned for the time period in which the claim was delayed. In many cases, providers never receive reimbursement for the services they perform. These claims must be written-off as a loss by providers while insurance companies see these cases as victories leaving more cash on their balance sheets. It appears that the primary goal of insurance companies may be to deny as many claims as possible; after all they answer to shareholders not providers or individual policy holders. This gross abuse of power by insurance companies may be the biggest problem we face in the healthcare sector.

The days when doctors sat on golf courses all day while making millions per year are over. Now they must battle insurance companies tooth and nail for every claim. If insurance companies paid doctors for the services they perform, perhaps we would see a reduction in costs related to providing care.

Surely there is no easy fix to this problem. We may find the answers by addressing the goals of big insurance companies. Providing oversight and incentives for paying healthcare providers for the services they perform would be a good start. If insurance companies focus on weeding out fraud rather than just delaying and denying payments, we could see an increase in efficiency and productivity in the healthcare sector that could be the start of controlling costs while maintaining a high standard of care. For the sake of all Americans, hopefully we find an answer soon!

Peter Pan Costumes for Kids Who Never Grew Up

You can fly, you can fly, you can fly! Let your imagination fly to new heights with one of a variety of quality Peter Pan costumes this year. Whether you’d like to dress as Peter himself (and remember that Peter Pan on Broadway was always played by a woman!), Tinkerbell, Captain Hook, or Tiger Lily, it doesn’t matter if you’re looking for a costume for a man, woman, children, or baby, you’ll be able to find just the Peter Pan outfit and accessories that will make Neverland come to life for you.

A man or boy’s Peter Pan costume comes with an olive green tie-up shirt, brown pants, wide brown belt, and pointy green hat with a feather. It’s one of those costumes suitable for all ages, because, after all, Peter Pan was the boy who never grew up. As we all know, there’s still a lot of boy inside of every man, and this can be your chance to get in touch with it. Accessories that you can purchase extra in order to really capture the Peter Pan look include green felt elf shoes, pointy ear tips, and a fencing sword that will come in handy for fighting with pirates.

Another great costume for men and boys is Captain Hook. With the boys’ model you get the red jacket with sash, black pants, and a white dickey. To further accessorize the outfit, a hat with a plume, black boots, a hand hook, and a fencing sword are all options. The man-sized costume features a long red coat with gold trim, a white ruffled jabot, and a hook. Other accessories can be purchased which include a Captain Hook Wig, a hat, sailor’s pants, and high black boots. A word to the wise to anyone wearing this costume, though – watch out for crocodiles!

Women and girls have a lot of different Peter Pan costume choices. They can choose to be Peter in a feminized version of the traditional outfit or select from many different Tinkerbell costumes and accessories. A typical Tinkerbell outfit includes the traditional green petal-skirt dress and a pair of sheer wings. Optional accessories include silver Tinkerbell shoes, a glitter wand, and a faux diamond tiara. Costumes for her have never been so sparkly or so feminine. Tinkerbell outfits are also available for infants. If they’d like something a little different, they can also opt to dress as Tiger Lily, the Indian princess.

Dental Insurance And Individual Health Plans

You could rarely find and buy individual health plans that also cover dental hygiene. There is useful information that people should know particularly if they consider buying the policies separately.

It is estimated that about 45 million Americans currently don’t own any dental insurance policy. Most non-elderly citizens who own individual health plans also own dental hygiene policies. However, majority of people who buy health insurance plans by themselves do not have dental insurance. This data is based on a report released by Centers for Disease Manage and Prevention.

While individual health plans cover several added services like basic emergency care in addition to costs of prescription drugs, they logically are not necessary to include coverage for adult oral care. Nevertheless, for health insurance policies for children, dental services are needed.

In March 2010, reforms to the healthcare insurance coverage were set. However, despite the push exerted through many advocates, that bill did not include the wider dental component. Supporters and proponents of the reform argued that each health plans already cover costs for other pressing health problems like diabetes and heart diseases.

About 75% of 172 million Americans under age 65 years (who own private health insurance plans) have dental insurance plans as well. Their employers mostly supply the health insurances. Among those with separate dental protection, more than a quarter of them have comprehensive plans with dental insurance while one fourth have stand-alone plans. Some have both.

About 90 million Americans own individual health plans through Medicaid and Medicare insurance, which both do not offer dental care programs for adults. There is no figure available regarding public health insurance plans. Medicaid shoulders dental take care of people under 21 years old. The insurer currently serves up to 45 million people of the low-income group. However, such patients complain about troubles to find accredited dentists.

A separate government-sponsored program provides dental hygiene, albeit limited. It is the Children’s Health Insurance coverage Program. As for the older people, they could always choose to purchase separate dental care policies from health insurance companies.

Do you look for health insurers that also offer dental hygiene plans? Data from the Association for Health Insurance Plans reveal that we now have only a few insurers that do so. Individuals include Cigna Corp, Aetna Inc, Assurant Inc, Humana Inc, as well as UnitedHealth Group Inc. The association represents up to 80 of overall dental insurance plans in america. There are also health insurance plans that offer dental coverage included in health policies. They include several and specific programs from MetLife, Principal Financial Group Inc, and Azure Cross Blue Shield Association.

Experts advise people to purchase dental care insurance policies even if they currently own individual healthcare plans. Purchasing separate plans is more advisable especially because it might be very hard, if not impossible, to find and purchase health insurance policies that also include dental protection.