What Makes Wellington Boots Such a Very British Item of Footwear?

Looking back through history, it all seems to have started in the eighteenth century when a boot called the Hessian boot, initially used by the military, became widely worn by everybody else. Hessian boots had a low heel, quite a pointed toe (useful for mounted troops for ease of using the stirrups) and were knee high.

This style of boot became popular amongst the British aristocracy in the nineteenth century and it was the first Duke of Wellington that popularised it. The Duke had his own version of the Hessian boot made. There were many alterations and the resulting style is nothing like the wellington boots we know today, but his new boot was dubbed “The Wellington” and the name lives on today.

“The Wellington” was still made of leather and remained very fashionable in Britain until the mid nineteenth century. Then in 1853 a man called Hiram Hutchinson started making them out of rubber and established his company Aigle who are of course still going today in France. The new waterproof rubber wellington was very popular among agricultural workers in France.

Then it was the two World Wars that dramatically inflated a need for waterproof knee high boots, and lots of them! Soldiers were in need of suitable footwear for the flooded trenches and it was the North British Rubber Company (now Hunter Boot Limited) that came to the rescue. When the wars were over, the Wellington had become very popular among men, women and children as the best footwear for wet weather.

What makes them so British is of course the influence of the weather, they really were and still are essential footwear for outdoor life on a rainy island.

Aside from the two World Wars and the weather, the other big influence was by a member of the aristocracy again. It was the Duke of Wellington in the eighteenth century and the Princess of Wales in the twentieth. When the Princess was photographed wearing Hunter wellies, a brand new welly craze began all over again.

So they really are a very British type of footwear. Waterproof footwear that is expected to be inexpensive, durable (lasting at least twenty years!), comfortable and easy.

British people nowadays buy little canvas houses for their beloved wellies and children positively think they are alive. Every child has at least five books in their collection that feature wellies. Children also love them because they can put them on themselves from a young age and can splash in puddles without being told off for getting their shoes or clothes wet.

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.

The Strategic Use of Information Technology

TEACHER: Hello, Student. What do you know about Information Technology (IT)?

STUDENT: Well, I know that most software is full of “bugs”! By the way, why are these errors in programs called “bugs”?

TEACHER: Computer “bugs” have been around since malfunctions in a 1945 Mark II were blamed (facetiously) on a moth trapped in a relay. Nowadays the term refers to programming flaws -commands that don’t accomplish the desired result. But I am sure you must know more about IT than the fact that programs have bugs!

STUDENT: Recently I read an interesting article written by John Diebold years ago. Allow me to quote from it:

“Information technology . . . is becoming increasingly the key to national economic well being, affecting virtually every industry and service. One would be hard-pressed to name a business that does not depend on the effective use of information: to design products and services, to track and respond to market demands, or to make well-informed decisions. Information technology will change the world more permanently and more profoundly than any technology so far seen in the history and will bring about a transformation of civilization to match.”

TEACHER: Interesting. There is no doubt that information technology is currently a major force with the potential to affect a range of organizations in fundamental ways.

The impact of information technology on business operations has been enormous and will increase substantially.

There is no doubt that a shift from an industrial economy to an information oriented service economy is under way; and no one knows when the process will slow down.

In essence, scale and the conventional dimensions of time, space, and mass will no longer be constraints on the products of the information age. Unlike the standardized product created for the mass market of the industrial age, the electronic delivery of banking services, for example, is scale-independent and intangible, provides instantaneous service, and is not bound by the physical location of the bank.

STUDENT: AmbaiU’s online courses are a good example! Students from all over the world can instantly access the courseware. The dramatic growth of the Internet’s WWW service has Uncategorizedly been an important factor in the growth of IT in general.

TEACHER: True indeed. Environmental trends like globalization and heightened international competition are speeding the movement toward increased IT use by corporations. The exigencies of worldwide coordination of operations and the need to react rapidly to global competitive threats have emphasized the importance of IT in the current business context. Dramatic technological developments in hardware, software, databases, and telecommunications have simultaneously pushed the utilization of IT further along.

STUDENT: So, is the sky the limit for IT?

TEACHER: Not exactly. At the same time, several factors are militating against the rapid deployment of IT. Among these are the still-slow development of appropriate software, long-standing difficulties in quantifying IT benefits (for justifying IT investment), issues of database integration, and the lack of standards (for the purposes of inter-organizational connectivity).

STUDENT: I also think that there was “over-investment” in IT in the last decade of the 20th. century and even at the beginning of the 21st. And what about IT and Strategic Management?

TEACHER. True, we are primarily concerned with the likely impact of information technologies on the practice of strategic management. The reason for adopting such a perspective reflects a fundamental belief that information technologies can potentially influence the core of a firms activities: Choices pertaining to products, markets, and technologies (the corporate strategy level), as well as competitive methods within each of the product-market segments (the business strategy level).

STUDENT: I assume this is why the role of information technology is becoming broader than that of the traditional Information Systems (IS) function, and is becoming a general management concern and challenge.

TEACHER: Good observation. We will consider three linkages that interconnect three important concepts -strategic management (SM), information technology (IT), and the management information systems (IS) function.

* Link 1: Management Information Systems with Information Technology

According to the traditional view, IS is a service function (just as accounting, human resources, or industrial relations) which is charged with the task of efficient data processing and administration of the management reporting and control systems. According to such views, systems are designed to cater to the informational requirements of different managerial roles and are identified using standard informational requirements assessment methodologies. In consequence, systems are evaluated using criteria such as timeliness, format quality, and reliability, reflecting the technical capability of the system. The implication is that the role of IT was conceived largely as the technical core of the MIS function.

Consequently, the important characteristics of this linkage were hardware and software support for the information architecture, and flexibility of design to support minor modifications in the information requirements or to respond to the fast-changing technical core of the system’s hardware.

The strategic planning level, by virtue of its unstructured nature of decision making, received minimal support from the traditional conceptualizations and role definitions of IS.

Link 2: Strategic Management with Information Systems

The description of Link 1 reflects a view that the charter of the IS function was derived directly from the informational resource assessment and had no explicit linkages with strategic choices at the corporate and business levels. This view was representative of the actual situation until the late 1960s and early 1970s, when the need to tailor the design of MIS to the requirements of the organizational strategic context gained currency. In 1968, McKinsey & Co. published a report titled Unlocking the Computer’s Profit Potential that called for a formal link between the design and implementation of MIS and the firms strategies and objectives. This publication urged managers to visualize the role of computers in business organizations as something beyond a data processing resource at the operational level of the organization and more as a mechanism that supports their strategy.

STUDENT: Even before that McKinsey report, William King proposed that the “IS-strategy set (composed of IS objectives, IS constraints, and IS design strategies) should be derived from the “organization’s strategy set” (composed of organizational mission, objectives, and strategies).

TEACHER: You are a well read student, indeed!

STUDENT: You might remember that I come from an “IT family.” And I keep hearing a complaint from my IT relatives: while there is concern within the MIS discipline to ensure that MIS is designed in accordance with the strategic contexts of the firm, the link in the other direction, from the corporate strategic context to MIS, is still largely ignored.

TEACHER: True, but this is changing rapidly. Also, several authors have called attention to the possibility of exploiting information and information systems for strategic advantages. As William King noted in an editorial comment in the Management Information Systems Quarterly,— Information (and IS) has the potential to be a primary source of (competitive) advantage in the marketplace rather than merely as a resource to be efficiently managed or a service that is periodically turned on and off as needed.

STUDENT: Can we then assume that many see the link between strategic management and IS today as a bi-directional, mutually interconnected link, implying a strategic role for the IS function?

TEACHER: Certainly, and it was about time. In a transition towar
d a strategic role, the goals and tasks of the management information systems function undergo an important transformation. The systems are no longer viewed in terms of informational support for operational decisions, but rather in terms of the realization of the organization’s strategic objectives, especially the achievement of competitive superiority in the marketplace.

Information systems with a charter to achieve competitive superiority are called “strategic information systems” and differentiated from the more operationally focused MIS. Indeed, MIS has been traditionally concerned with the operational control systems for relatively structured decisions based on readily available, internal data. In contrast, strategic information systems are designed to support relatively unstructured decisions, especially those that are intricately tied to the activities of the market-place.

STUDENT: I hear that usually such decisions require a combination of internal and external data that: are neither well structured nor completely specified.

TEACHER: Exactly. Although a perfect demarcation between management information systems and strategic information systems cannot always be made, the conceptual distinction is important enough to be recognized just as the conceptual distinction between strategic and operational decisions.

Let me mention some examples of strategic information systems operating at real companies:

American Airlines : SABRE reservation System -installed in most travel agents for booking airline, hotel, and rental car reservations.

American Hospital Supply Co.: ASAP-order entry system-installed in over 4500 medical establishments to order supplies on-line. The system is internally interconnected to several supporting systems

Citicorp Extensive use of automated teller machines and global transaction network. Several systems that support their strategies for electronic banking services.

McKesson Corp. Economost -order entry system that supports customers with inventory control and analysis of sales.

United Airlines APOLLO-Travel agency reservation system with several augmented services installed in about 7700 agencies.

Student, can you think of specific strategic objectives any of these companies have achieved through IS?

STUDENT: Well, I am sure that SABRE provides American Airlines with critical operating data that can be used for strategic decisions; travel agents hooked on to SABRE are likely to book on American more than other airlines.

TEACHER: Yes, some much so that the US government has stepped in and put some limit’s on SABRE’s propensity to favor AA!

Strategic information systems achieve their objectives through several mechanisms, but two deserve special attention. These are: (1) the reconfiguration of the information flows within an organization to provide competitive advantages relative to competition, and/or (2) development of inter-organizational systems that extend beyond the traditional boundaries of a single focal organization.

STUDENT: Are these modes are mutually exclusive?

TEACHER: No, but we will discuss them independently.

Reconfiguration of Information Flows

Let us consider the case of an airline that uses timely data to increase its load factor -perhaps the single most critical factor for achieving success in the airline industry. By developing a strategic information system designed not only to continually collect data on flight bookings, but also to compare current sales against historical patterns, the airline can instruct its own ticketing agents (as well as travel agents) to modify the number of discount seats available on a particular flight depending on the current level of advance bookings.

STUDENT: By the same token, I guess that similar benefits can accrue to a hotel, where a key determinant of competitive performance is the occupancy ratio.

TEACHER: Correct. And the basic notion of timeliness of information can be extended from the context of the service sector to the manufacturing sector. Consider the case of an oil company which is able to communicate with its dealers directly and instantaneously as oil prices change to ensure minimum delay between the setting of prices in the headquarters and its realization at retail outlets.

STUDENT: But in these illustrations IT does not influence the fundamental strategic business choices.

TEACHER. Correct. However, the implementation of such decisions through organizational hierarchy and channels is facilitated through the use of IT, leading to improved strategic results.

Inter-organizational Systems Inter-organizational IT applications highlight the potential to achieve competitive success that extends beyond intra-organizational informational flows to the deploying and exploiting of information-based links with diverse actors in the marketplace.

STUDENT: Your are using rather complicated phrases today! In simple terms, what you mean is that an inter-organizational strategic information system is a system that extends beyond the boundaries of a single focal organization to link multiple organizations.

TEACHER: Glad to see that you understood! The potential todevelop such links (and the consequent benefits to achieve competitive advantage) is perhaps the single most important reason for the, increased attention to informational systems from a strategic management point of view.

The railroad industry, which has one of the highest levels of “penetration” of electronic data interchange (EDI) among all industries, displays several levels of inter-organizational systems use. And relatively new industries such as couriers (FedEx, UPS, etc.) are good examples too.

Let me also mention the McKesson Drug Company. The case of McKesson is frequently quoted as one of the most successful examples of business transformation using information technology capabilities. McKesson is a US national pharmaceutical distributor that receives close to 100 percent of its orders electronically from drugstores through its Economost systems. A customer orders by making a single pass through the store with a hand-held order entry device, keying in a product identifier or using a bar code scanner. Reorder quantities are indicated on shelf tags. When the complete order has been entered, it is transmitted to the data processing service.

McKesson clearly achieved operational efficiency benefits to improve its profitability. Although the company apparently did not gain share relative to its major distributor competition, it achieved significant strategic benefits in sales and market share gains relative to its larger competition. The system also achieved “increased tying of the customer to McKesson” which is a substantial strategic advantage. Moreover, McKesson offers a number of other services based on the data it obtains from the order entry system.

The company also provides other firms in the health care business with specialized strategic systems. The following announcement is a good example:

In May 2003, McKesson Corporation announced that LibertyHealth in Jersey City, N.J., signed an eight-year, $47 million agreement for products and services designed to transform the use of clinical information to support patient care in its three-hospital system. LibertyHealth contracted for McKesson’s Horizon Clinicals(TM) suite (of programs) to enhance patient safety, reduce medication errors and increase patient referrals by providing physicians and other caregivers with better access to information.

“We have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reinvent the use of IT to support patient care and enhance quality as we open our new hospital,” said Dr. Jonathan Metsch, LibertyHealth’s president and chief executive officer. “To create the best environment of care, it’s a given that we must provide the latest medical equipment. But, just as importantly, we must provide the most advanced clinical IT solutions to support our 900 doctors and nurses as they provide healthcare for this community of 600,000 people. That’s why we’ve
partnered with McKesson — we get superb, advanced clinical applications.”

Link 3: Strategic Management with Information Technology

Over the last years, several new and powerful forces in the technological and market environment compel one to recognize the link between strategic management and information technology in terms of the fundamental role played by IT in influencing the formulation of a firm’s strategy rather than merely supporting its implementation.

The potential for innovative modes of competing as well as new products and services made possible through IT provides managers with an entirely different spectrum of opportunities and threats. Given the general explosion of computing power and communications capabilities (integrated voice and data, the Internet), several new business applications can be (and have been) developed in those areas that directly enhance efficiency and effectiveness in the market-place.

Example: Merrill Lynch Merrill Lynch’s strategy demonstrates the potential offered by information technologies to develop superior substitute products (or services) as well as altering the definition and domain of business operations. The introduction of Cash Management Account (CMA) by Merrill Lynch represented a revolution in terms of redefining the concept of financial services in a marketplace that was dominated by the traditional banking institutions. The new business concept was built around integrating diverse financial instruments under one common umbrella such that the individual investor is able to enjoy the convenience of moving money across them as well as benefit from the “float” that the banks traditionally enjoyed. This account permitted the integration of four basic services to investors: (1) automatic investment of cash and dividends in a money market account, (2) credit through a standard margin account, (3) cash withdrawal by check or debit card, and (4) investment advice in managing and diversifying the account.

The strategy could not be implemented without the use of information technology, for it requires daily swaps across different accounts to post the credit card charges, checks, securities, and deposits, as well as to develop a daily updated credit limit for each account holder. This complex data processing operation is not incidental to the business concept but is fundamental to its conceptualization and operation. The importance of IT in this strategy is perhaps best emphasized by the fact that Merrill Lynch obtained a patent for the cash management account system. The annual fees generated by this product for Merrill Lynch were quite substantial.

Although several variations (circurnventing the patent protection) of this basic concept have appeared in recent years, none has so far matched the success of Merrill Lynch’s product.

Other firms which have utilized IT to break down traditional industry borders in the services sector include Sears, now an integrated financial services provider; Citicorp, now an investment and realty firm as well as a bank; and American Express, always strong in the travel business, now making a play in international banking, insurance, and securities, in addition, to becoming a financial and information supermarket. Indeed, the entire industry is being transformed due to parallel but related forces: deregulation and technology.

Bathroom Remodeling Idea Makes Bathroom Repairs Easier

Bathroom repair is easier with access panels

Soon after I had remodeled my small bathroom it developed a water leak. The first thing I knew about it was a puddle on the floor of the room below. A water pipe was leaking and it was buried in one of the bathroom walls which not only made it difficult to find out where the leak was but a lot of ceramic tiles had to be destroyed to get at it.

When I asked my bathroom contractors why they didn’t make it easier to get at the new pipe work they said that it would have made my quotation too expensive so they just buried the pipes and hoped that they don’t give any trouble. It was just my luck then that my bathroom was the one where they made lousy joints. The bathroom repair turned out to be far more costly than it would have been to make all the pipes accessible in the first place and I wish now that I’d had the foresight to put that in the specifications.

Where to put access panels

The obvious solution to the bathroom repair problem is to provide access panels for all of the pipe work joints and as much of the pipe length as possible. When you specify what you want in your bathroom remodel make sure that you will be able to get at every joint easily.

Where the water pipes are installed in a separating wall it’s often convenient to provide access on the other side of the wall rather than inside the bathroom where the ceramic tiles are. You may even be able to turn the access into a small cupboard, which would give you an added benefit. Opening the cupboard doors would provide simple access to the water pipes.

Pipe work under bathtub and under floor can be made accessible by removable panels. Make sure that the floor covering allows for this and a suitable sealer is used to fill any gaps when the access is closed.

If the access panel has to go on the bathroom side of the wall then special attention to waterproofing will be required.

How to make access panels in ceramic tiles

To accommodate a radiator in my bathroom remodel the contractors built a false wall to hide the pipe work. This wall was then set with ceramic tiles and the radiator mounted in front of the tiles. This pipe work has not leaked but I do wonder what I would do if it ever did.

Tiling a small part of the false wall separately on a removable section could have provided an access panel. This would then be screwed firmly to the main part of the wall and the edges sealed with a silicon-sealing compound. The screws would pass through the tiles so silicon sealer would be used to seal the screw heads and holes in the tiles. When the need arose the sealer could be stripped away and the panel unscrewed. Resealing when the problem was fixed would be just as easy.

For more bathroom remodeling tips take a look at this article on setting bathroom tiles:
Setting Ceramic Tile Made Easy

Compare e Cigarettes – Manual and Automatic

E cigarettes are catching on real fast as healthier alternatives to smoking conventional cigarettes due to their many advantages over ordinary rolled tobacco cigarettes. Let us compare e this – both manual and automatic and see what each one of them has to offer to the smoker, their advantages and disadvantages.

When you compare this to conventional cigarettes, these are the clear winners due to the many advantages they have over conventional rolled cigarettes. To begin with, those claims that e cigaretes are healthier – they are true. E cigaretes do not work by burning tobacco like ordinary cigarettes do, they use a cartridge and a heater, a cartridge is basically a little container that contains a little substrate that is soaked in e cigarette fluid. A heater heats up the cartridge and the fluid gets vaporized and you have to inhale these vapors. When you compare e cigaretes to conventional cigarettes, the sensation is real and there is no difference between actual cigarettes and e-cigaretes.

But let us compare e-cigaretes of two types, manual and automatic. The first e-cigarettes that made their appearance were in fact manual. A few of these are still available, although they are becoming increasingly getting rare. Today’s e-cigarettes are practically indistinguishable from real cigarettes in terms of looks at least. They are made to resemble and feel like real cigarettes as closely as possible. When you compare e cigarettes of today to the e-cigarettes that were there a few years ago, you will see a huge difference indeed. Today’s e-cigarettes are much better than yesteryears’.

When e-cigarettes first made their appearance, they were awkward devices. They were heavy and didn’t really feel right. The technology was still in its infancy. Now when you compare e cigarettes to actual cigarettes, the mechanism of working is different and the e-cigarette uses a heater. This heater is an electrical device. And like all electrical devices, it needs to be activated somehow. And the way to activate the heater is by pressing a button. The button activates the heater and this is what makes the e-cigarette work.

The next improvement in e-cigaretes was when the e-cigaretes went automatic. Now there was no need to press a button, you just had to drag on it like you would with a conventionally cigarette. That is all you had to do to make the cigarette work. Now if you compare e cigaretes of the automatic and manual type, one thing becomes clear. The automatic type feels closer to home. You don’t press a button when you smoke a real cigarette do you? Some people are under the wrong impression that there is a lag in the drag operated automatic e cigaretes, but this is not an issue at all.

Opiate Addiction and Types of Treatment Provided

Suboxone has produced the least amount of acclaim for drug addiction treatment, yet it is the one drug that is widely dispensed by physicians.

If you are taking a prescription drug right now, chances are you are taking it incorrectly. Misuse is a major health problem in the United States. The U.S. Government estimates approximately 11 Million Americans are dependent on drugs, but there are more addicts than drug centers. A large percentage of addicts seeking help face long waiting lists and thus become hesitant to start a program once their name surfaces to the top of the list. Almost 70 percent of people face a waiting list for longer than thirty days.

Those dependent on prescription drugs have a mind-set that is different from what addiction-free individuals believe. Addicts are resistant to letting go of their drugs. They typically justify their drug use because for many, they have gotten the drugs legitimately, from their doctor. Some addicts do not realize they are prone to addiction, and they can become hooked on a legal drug. Equally unfortunate is the addict who finally realizes they require help, and then seek help only to be placed on a waiting list. In the end, far too many addicts go untreated. It would seem the odds are against addiction treatment, but Suboxone relieves this problem since the guidelines to prescribe the drug is more relaxed and offer greater flexibility.

What is Suboxone?

Suboxone contains two active substances, buprenorphine and naloxone, both used to treat dependence on opioid drugs. The cost of treatment depends on the dose used and the frequency of services. This cost is higher than that of methadone treatment when the two drugs are served daily; however, there is greater flexibility in prescribing Suboxone.

How Does Suboxone Work?

Suboxone binds to opioid receptors, and thus produces welcoming effects of euphoria, and a secure comforting feeling, although at much lower levels than those addicts would of total opioid agonists such as methadone. The effects of these agonists are sufficient to allow addicts to stop the misuse of opiates, without encountering withdrawal symptoms.

The Benefits of Suboxone

· Less risk of respiratory problems
· Lower risk of overdose
· The withdrawal symptoms are less profound than when using methadone to combat addiction
· Euphoric symptoms occur less

Adverse Effects of Suboxone

The side effects of Suboxone mainly occur when too much of the drug is taken. The symptoms are similar to the side effects of opiates:

· Headache
· Sick
· Constipation (delayed bowel function)
· Poor sleep
· Sleepy
· Drowsiness
· Dizzy
· Sweaty
· Breathing difficulties (always contact a doctor)
· Dry mouth (brushing your teeth regularly and extra good care of your teeth)
· Slight pain is felt with less risk of causing more inflammation or untreated injuries
· Psychological problems (hallucinations, nightmares, depression) treatment should be coordinated with psychologist
· Itchy rash (contact your physician in connection with possible allergic reaction)
· Sleep apnea (consult a physician)
· Difficult to urinate (call a physician)

Every drug has an adverse effect, yet the result of using Suboxone is positive.

Real Estate Agents Only – New Marketing Tool That Is Causing A Buzz In The Real Estate Industry

Every 10 to 20 years there will be some major advancement in technology that is a game changer. 20 years ago email was the craze with all of us flocking to our computers setting up email accounts and communicating with family, friends and business clients.

Today the same thing is happening again with Text Messaging. It’s been around and most people have heard of text messaging although they may not have actually texted.

Let me put the power of text messaging in perspective for you. We all can agree that in our life time the internet is without a doubt the greatest technological advancement any of us has seen. There are 2 billion computers worldwide…that is truly impressive. Now let me share this fact with you there are over 4 billion mobile phones worldwide that means there are more than twice as many phones as computers. Text Messaging is on the verge of becoming larger than the internet!

On these phones we send over 52,000 text messages a second and our phone has become an extension of our hand (literally). We sleep with our phone, we go to the bathroom with our phone and if we leave the house and forget our phone we’ll turn around and go get it!

Here is the power of text messaging 97% text messages are read, 83% within the first hour. For the real estate agent that mean instant communication can be attained with all your clients interested in a listing immediately.

Face it traditional advertising is not as effective as it once was. TV is expensive and consumers TiVo their favorite shows skipping commercials. Radio is difficult to track, Newspaper readership is down and newspapers are going out of business daily. Direct mail and hard copy print have extremely low response rates something like 1 to 2% and get this 60% of Yellow Page phone books are thrown away before the plastic cover is taken off.

With a mobile media product real estate agents can have a tool that allows them to communicate instantly with their customers and prospects on the item they carry with them 24/7…their mobile phone. For real estate agents – if you are not communicating via mobile, you are not communicating effectively with today’s consumers.

I hope this information has shown the power and benefits of having a mobile media marketing campaign implemented in your advertising model. Many agents across the country have benefited from this outstanding new technology.

Benefits of Wedding Car Hire

Car rentals have gone beyond the realm of tourism and have grown to become an essential part of any big occasion. The Wedding car hire is a trend that has steadily gained popularity over the last decade. Choosing just the right wedding day car has become as important as choosing the right Decor and the right wedding dress as the kind of car one chooses indicates a lot about the individuals personality. Finding the perfect car for the newlyweds to drive away in at the end of the ceremony only enhances the picture-perfect culmination to a very special day. Choosing the wedding cars is not confined to just the car the bride and groom would use; picking the right ones is not as simple as it seems. The vehicles need to complement the overall theme of the wedding while simultaneously serving a functional purpose. One may need to hire bigger wagons to partake in the much required wedding shopping and to move things from one venue to another.

Similarly people can hire Luxury cars to take guests to the wedding venue from their respective houses or take them from one venue to another.

It is best to use wedding car hire services can provide you with a wide variety of vehicles, so that you can avail discounts when you hire numerous cars together. The necessary information can easily be found online by using any search engine.

On ones wedding day there are always things that can go wrong last minute, you don’t need to add your car rental to add to that list. To ensure that car hiring doesn’t prove to be counterproductive it is essential that the cars hired are fuel efficient, in good condition and come with a qualified chauffeur attached.

It is important to check the background of the car hire company and go through customer reviews so that you have a hassle free wedding day.

The type of car one hires for their wedding day indicates a lot about their personality and adds to the theme of the wedding significantly. Old models and luxury cars are considered the most fashionable. Vintage cars are most often used for classical weddings. They render a sense of impactful simplicity to the bridal party’s entrance. Expensive luxury vehicles infuse the theme with a touch grandeur, sophistication and lavishness. Limos dominate the list of the favorite wedding vehicles, most likely due to their size and exceptional design. They are the best choice when it comes to transporting wedding guests together as they comfortably seat up a relatively large number of guests.

Car rental companies that cater to such occasions give brides and grooms the opportunity to ride in rare and trendy car models to commemorate this joyous occasion. They do so by providing clients with deals and reasonable fees. With car rental companies around, it is now possible to have an exquisite wedding ceremony no matter how tight your budget.

Windows 7 Optimizer – Do You Really Need a Registry Optimizer For Windows 7?

A Windows 7 optimizer is not a luxury that you can avoid. Its a necessity given the vulnerability and the complexity involved in programming codes behind the operating system of this age. Why do you need a registry optimizer to clean your Windows 7? This question is propping up in minds of the rising users of the system ‘7’. There are some people who chose not to use a cleaner tool to fix their registry errors. The same is true for this version of the operating system. However, these people do realize at some later stage that their approach was not mindful

Not much time has passed since the launch of Windows 7 but people are starting to experience some errors such as reboot and restart problems, screen out issues and the windows slow speed performance while booting.

Although people do use antivirus and antispyware tools to protect their systems but they do forget one important thing which is the Windows 7 optimizer and cleaner utility. What happens is that people keep various infections away from their system but they don’t have idea that the spyware effect is left in the Windows 7 registry database. Similarly people do clean their systems from viruses and spywares but they don’t pay serious attention to clean the Windows 7 registry which results in the heavily messed up and corrupted registry entries getting accumulated in the registry database.

It is a proven fact that so much trash in the computer is the biggest cause of computer crashes and the decreased system speed. It is important, therefore, to clean registry as well. This can be done through a suitable registry optimizer and cleaner tool which can enhance computer speed function.

Thus using an Windows 7 optimizer is complimentary to other computer protection softwares. If you have already been using the security tools it is wise to add to your list the optimizer software. This will make a very good combination of software to protect your computer from all threats including the registry errors.

This approach has helped so many users to use their computers for long term without any PC crashes and hand problems.

Four Major Functions Provided by a Real Estate Agent That You Can Do Yourself

Selling a home entails four major functions that are usually performed by a real estate agent. If we take the mystery out of those functions, they start looking as if we can do them without an agent. And you can!

1. Pricing your property

The first thing that an agent will do for you is help price your property. You don’t want to offer your home for sale at double its market value because it just won’t sell. Likewise, you don’t want to offer your home for sale at half its market value because you would just be cheating yourself of that price difference. If the market is such that your house in your neighborhood in your city is worth about $200,000 then you want to sell it for that. If you have made additions to the house that might make it worth more, then you want to add those items to it. The real estate agent has a lot of that data at their fingertips through their subscriptions and through their knowledge of the marketplace.

You can do this pricing yourself as long as you don’t let your ego get the better of common sense. You can find out what homes are selling for by cruising your neighborhood and checking out homes for sale to see what they are priced at. You can check to see what they sold for by visiting your tax authorities. Most municipalities and counties require that all deed transfers be recorded as a matter of public record. You can access that data through the internet if your municipality offers it, or you can go look it up in person where the internet is not used. Just make sure you are pricing your 3 bedroom 2 bath house with other 3 bedroom 2 bath houses rather than a 2 bedroom or 5 bedroom house.

2. Marketing your property

Marketing real estate is a sort of catch-all word for advertising the home as being for sale and then showing the property to prospective buyers through appointments or open-houses. The most important and probably most costly marketing activity is advertising the house. There is one real estate agent around here that states in their commercials that they spend between $1,000 and $1,500 per HOUSE while claiming that many agents only spend less than $500 per month for all of the houses that they list.

You can perform all 3 of these marketing functions. Who would be better to show a home or to have an open-house than the resident of the home — just do not let your ego get in the way and react defensively to reasonable buying questions. The advertising should be fairly simple as well. You are just as qualified to create want-ads for your local and regional papers and classified magazines as long as you model your ads after the ones that you will be competing for attention with. There are some advertising sites that require that all of their advertisers be real estate agents. You might try circumventing that restriction by offering a real estate agent a small fee to list your property on those restricted sites. The worse they can do is say “No” and a different agent might be more cooperative.

3. Contract exchange and negotiation.

Real estate agents act as intermediaries between the seller and the buyer. They take a contract proposal from the prospective buyer or their agent and present it to the seller. This goes on with price changes or with feature additions and removals until both the seller and the buyer agree on the selling price and property conditions.

There should be no question that you can do this yourself as the seller. After all, the agent would have to come to you anyway to get your approval and signature. Once again, this is where you need to put your ego and pride to the side. At this stage, all of your advertising and pricing work has come to fruition and you have a buyer negotiating with you. The worse thing you could do is to react defensively. You just participate in a give and take during the process as if it were for someone else.

4. Preparing the final paperwork and closing the sale

The real estate agent is usually the one to give all of the closing information to the title company and lawyers so that the deed to the property can be transferred from the seller to the buyer with no problems. This is when checks are transferred and mortgages paid off. It is also when the commission check is given to the real estate broker for dispersal to his agent.

You can do these things also. You are the one that has handled the paperwork up to now. You are the one that is ready for your mortgage to be paid off. You are the one ready to receive a check for the difference between what you owe on the mortgage and the selling price of the house. Most of this information is put on the HUD-1 form by the title company. In fact the major role of the agent here is to hold your hand and collect the commission check. Again, these tasks can be handled with a minimum of activity on your part. Any legal requirements can be farmed out to a lawyer for a much smaller fee than the agent’s commission.

Pricing, marketing, negotiating, and closing are all functions that are required to sell a property. They are all tasks normally handled by a real estate agent. They are also tasks that you can do yourself at a cost far less than 5% of the selling price of your house.