College Grants – A Boost to Your Educational Plan

The US government promotes higher education and offers one of the world’s best possible educational options to prospective students and has allotted a staggering $160 billion for the current financial year. With college education becoming expensive, it might be a bit difficult for the students especially on a tight budget to carry on higher education. But the US government offers various kinds of college grants to enable them to get college education.

College grants are actually excellent source of educational funding and the government has also launched various interesting funding schemes to encourage more and more students for higher education. The College Cost Reduction and Access Act, the National SMART Grant are some of the ways to help the students fund their studies. These education grants are meant for the academically bright students who want to pursue higher education.

The US Education Department’s different federal students’ aid program is the largest source of higher education grants in the US, not to mention the college grants. College grants are of different types to serve different purposes- the student grants to the students comes from low income families; subject specific grant to encourage more enrollment in under represented subjects; higher education grants to enable students go for doctoral studies, etc. The education department has an annual budget of more than $100 billion for scholarships, aids, grants and higher research. There are many subject specific grants available in the community colleges and the universities.

There are other types of education grants available like the Undergraduate Scholarship Program which encourages students to continue career in biomedical research. The other popular types of education grants are the PLUS loans and the Stafford loans that should be repaid but have very low interest rates. There are special college grants for women who would like to pursue higher studies. There are different types of grants that are provided to women like the Undergraduate Education Grants for Women.

Ideas For A Home Based Business – The Fear Factor – Part 3 of 4

In part 2 of this series we examined 3 different ideas for a home based business and stressed the importance of doing research on the ideas that interest you. In this article we look at how to do the research and managing the fear or concerns that can crop up.

How much research should you do? This is a very good question and deserves to be elaborated on. Assuming you are doing the searching online, you will want to read as many articles and posts, or view videos that you can until you get a consistent understanding of the business. For example, if you search on “avon MLM” in Google, you will see a long list of titles returned. Read or view as many of these as possible until you find your not learning anything new. Most of the posts, videos and articles are short, so it won’t take long to get through them.

In many cases you will find posts or articles that say in effect “To find out more about… click here”. These are links to an individuals Landing Page where they ask you to enter your name and email on a form and click submit to receive additional information of some kind. You might be thinking “no way” because I’ll get a ton of junk or spam email, or some freak calling me if I enter my phone number. These are totally normal concerns, but they are wrong. Regrettably, these fears are often a show stopper for people researching ideas for a home based business.

First, I would agree that you probably don’t want to enter your real phone number unless you really do want to receive a phone call. Even if you did get a call, it would simply be from the individual or a representative of the company and they will simply want to answer your questions. For now, just put in a fake phone number. Second, create a new email address specifically for your research and use it when filling out any landing pages. Also, use a fake first name that includes a hint of the business you’re researching, and no last name in the “Name” field of the landing page. For example: JaneAvon or JohnMoneyMkr. Do not provide any personally sensitive information such as social security numbers or financial information. If they are asking for that, it’s likely a scam. When researching ideas for a home based business, using the fake name can help identify which company is sending you the emails.

After filling out this form you will usually be taken to another web page that provides the report or video promised which will contain additional information about the company. You will also receive an email once a day, or less, offering additional information, options to join webinars where you can ask questions to members, and other promotional material. Take a look at the material you’re getting and join the webinars if they offer them. Again, there is no risk here since you are not paying for anything and are remaining anonymous. They are not going to spam your email with junk because they want you to join them, not get angry with them. Also, each email you receive should have an option for you to un-subscribe from their mailing list if you wish. Use these techniques to gather as much information as you can regarding ideas for a home based business you are interested in. You should also email the sponsor or representative to make sure they reply and answer your questions.

Why a Home Based Business Can Be Right For You

It always sounds so good when you hear or read about it. Be your own boss! Work from home and set your own hours! Pull in handfuls of money every day!!! It’s easy to get swayed by the hype and the headlines and get sucked in by the momentum of jumping into a home based business. But before you make the leap, take a look at some factors that just might make or break your home business.Who Are You?What sort of a worker are you? Are you someone who likes to go to work at nine and be home at 5 and never think about work again until the next morning? Are you self-motivated? Can you assign yourself tasks and complete them? Running a business really takes someone with an entrepreneurial spirit. You have to be willing to take on the responsibility of the business – and its ultimate success or failure. What are your strengths? What are your skills? What do you know about the company you’re starting? How knowledgeable are you about this business already and how much do you have to learn? How comfortable are you with the variety of tasks that might be necessary to run this business, such as marketing and payroll? If you feel that you are a self-starter with the knowledge and desire to start your own business and see it through, running a business from your home might be a great option.Where Are You?Where is your home? How comfortable is it for you to work there? What are the needs of your business? If you have a business that sells a service, are people going to be coming to your home to meet with you? Will you need a home office? Can your home accommodate a home office? Are there zoning laws in your area that might prohibit you from opening the type of home business you’re looking at? If all you need for your business is a computer and a desk, then this might be an easy choice. If your business is more elaborate and involves meetings and products and a formal home office, you will need to assess whether you’re able to meet those needs in your present home.Who Else is There With You?Home based businesses are very popular these days for the flexibility they afford as well as the autonomy. Many parents are interested in a starting a business from their home when they are involved with juggling the needs of their children with the needs of making a living. Take some time to carefully assess your living situation and try to determine whether this type of business is right for you. You may be trying to parent an infant and a toddler as well as trying to run a business, which can be tricky, especially when it comes to phone calls and meetings.A business you operate from your home can afford you flexibility, autonomy and a great deal of satisfaction. If you have the right personality, the right location, and the right business, a home based business can be just the right thing for you.

Find a Home Based Business For Sale That Fits Your Style

When you decide that you want to work from home it can be quite exhausting doing research on what exactly it is that you want to do. You want to find a home based business for sale that is best fit for you, otherwise you may easily tire of your new found career. Each and every person will want something different from their home business. What exactly is it that you want?Compensation
Lets be honest, when you are trying to find a home based business, you aren’t doing it purely for the joy. You want to find the right business that will allow you to make the money you desire, and often times you are looking for something that can top the salary you already make at your regular job. For instance, if you are interested in sales, you will want a company that offers high commissions on high demand products.Training
Home business, especially internet based, is foreign territory for many people. It can be right out scary. There is so much to learn and master. So how do you know you are looking at the right opportunity? When they offer full training, and even more importantly, continued support and mentoring. A program that shows you how to do something once, then throws you out into the big world of business all on your own is probably not your best bet. What would happen if you got confused or misunderstood something? Will there be someone there ready to help you?Convenience
When it comes down to it, you need to have a business that runs as smoothly as possible. You need to be able to access all of your resources as soon as you need them. You should never have to wait to get information, get answers to questions, and especially not have to wait to make money. In my opinion, this is where I would cross out all options that are not internet based. The world wide web is open for business 24/7/365. You can run your business while you sleep if you set it up correctly.Automation
With technology advancing at its current rate, there is absolutely no reason that you can’t have a near fully automated home business. New tools and software are brought to attention every day. These can make it possible for you to make money all day, every day, with minimal effort.A proven system
Some people are fortunate and bring something new to the table and their idea/product blows up and they become instant success stories. However, in the real world of business it does not work like that for most people. You will need to dedicate time and effort to succeed. The only other thing you must have is a proven system that is and has been working already. If you are going to find a home based business for sale, it needs to be something that you can see working.

Home Based Business – Top Ten Tips For Success Online in the New Year

Home based business makes a come back as recession threatens some of the major corporate employers. Fear of downsizing and layoffs as companies struggle to keep their companies solvent. Workers preparing for the possibility of cutbacks or layoffs are considering options and many are choosing to start a home based business.The worst thing anyone can do in a recession is to do nothing. Denying there is a problem does not help. In fact, it can rob you of valuable time that you could be using to prepare for your future. There are many strategies you can put into place to make your financial picture more secure. Decreasing debt and being more aware of how you are spending your money can make a big difference if this recession goes into depression.Not everyone will want to work at home. Being an entrepreneur requires dedication and a strong will to be successful. When you are your own boss there is no one to be accountable to except yourself. If you do not do the work that should be done the only consequence is not meeting your own goals. It is unlikely you will fire yourself.Recessions often creates entrepreneurs. When job loss is eminent and competition for jobs is fierce, home based business may be the best option. The Internet has created an open field of potential that can be tapped into without having a lot of capital. Starting a traditional brick and mortar business requires a huge monetary commitment both for start up costs and for maintenance and business costs for up to 5 years after opening the doors. Most people just don’t have the capital to even think about traditional business.10 Tips to consider when starting an online home based business:
Forget about “get rich quick” opportunities they will make you poor
Develop a business plan and then work your plan
Love your product – if you don’t no one else will either
Take care of your customers – your income will take care of itself
Find a mentor or work find a team to help you learn the ropes
Spend 10-40 hours a week building your business
Learn how to promote your business online
Learn and implement SEO techniques
Learn and implement advertising strategies
Be the leader you would like to follow
Starting an online home based business is so easy you can literally start your business as soon as you have made the decision. A Google search for home based business or business opportunity will give you many business choices. Affiliate programs offer the quickest way to get a business started. Most affiliate companies will give you everything you need to be in business.Not all affiliate programs offer the same benefits to you, as a business builder. Essentially with an affiliate opportunity you will be selling the company product and you will be paid a commission on product sold. One of the biggest drawbacks is most affiliate programs require you to find other business builders to maximize your earning potential. Very little emphasis is placed on finding customers interested only in the product.Every business needs customers to make a profit. The more customers there are, the higher the profit. Business builders are also company customers and your customers if you recruited them. The main problem is business builders expect to make money. They may purchase the product for a time but if they don’t make money, chances are they will leave that business behind and move onto another.Working with a customer based company as opposed to a distributor based company makes a lot of sense. Customers have no expectation of earning income from their purchases. They purchase the products because they want them and like them. If you have a good product that does what it promises you will be more likely to develop loyal customers. A strong customer base will move your home based business towards financial success for you.

Must Read for Future Property Owners-Managers of Apartment Buildings

Owning/managing the property.Now you have the property. Next step is to decide if you want to manage the property your self, or hire a property management company. If you want to manage the property your self, you should get training from your local apartment association. They have classes to help you. Also, you should read on property management. Don’t just jump in and start being a land lord and not know what you are getting your self into, and what demands/requirements are needed.If you decide the you would like to get a property management they will take 5-10% leasing commission of annual rents. I suggest that you go to and find a property management company in your area. Once you have selected a group to call, ask them the following questions (or you can go to their web site and find answers to the questions below):o How long have you been in business?o What professional designations do you hold?o What continuing education programs do you offer your employees?o Can you call existing clients of theirs?o What software do you use for managing property and why?o Can you get a sample management agreement to review?o What costs are included in the agreement and what is extra?o How many employees?o Who will be the main contact? How long have they been with the company?o What cost saving techniques do you use?Once you find a property management company, sign them for a 120 day contract to see how they perform. Assign maintenance issue on one of three levels of importance:1. things that have to be done2. things that should be done3. those things that would be nice to have doneOnce you find a property management, have the both of you brainstorm and ask figure out, “If some one were to buy your property today, what changes do we think they would make in the first 60 days”?As soon as you control the property try to get a Cost Segregation Study.Cost SegregationThe IRS has a ruling that allows commercial-property-owners to increase the amount of accelerated depreciation allowed in a tax year. These savings extend back to property acquired after 1986, and they apply to new or future construction. They also extend to existing buildings under renovation, expansion and leasehold improvements, as well as to property about to be acquired. It can also be used for financial accounting, insurance and property tax purposes. The primary goal of a cost segregation study is to identify all construction-related costs that qualify for accelerated income tax depreciation. Cost segregation is not a tax shelter and it is not tax evasion.To get the benefits, you must get a “study”A cost-segregation study analyzes taxes and costs incurred to acquire, build or renovate commercial real estate. Experts/CPA’s conduct these services. They break down the cost for the accelerated income-tax schedules. To qualify for a cost-segregation study, property-owners must be taxpayers or must intend to pay taxes. They must also operate as a for-profit entity.
Study costs can range from $10,000 to $100,000, depending on the property’s size and complexity. In many cases, however, the benefits outweigh the fees.These benefits of a Cost Segregation Study, can free up money used for other investments, paying down debt or making capital improvements. If you are interested in this study contact me and I will put in you touch with a credible company that can analyze your situation.Advantages:o Considerable return on investments property that do not need to be insured.o Increased tax deductions for depreciation and reduces taxable income.o Opportunity to correct misclassified assets and claim “catch-up” tax deductions.o Ability to achieve faster building and acquisition cost write offs.o Reduction in insurance costs by identifying the components of the property that do not need to be insured.o Determine personal property versus real property for write off versus capitalization prior to construction. This allows you to write off these items opposed to capitalizing the assets. This can provide you with huge tax benefits.o Defers taxes on capital gain amounts until the property is sold.o Reduces real estate property taxes.o Reduces federal income tax and increases depreciation.Running the showOwning and operating an apartment, is no easy task. There are a lot of procedures on analyzing the property’s functionality. When investing in apartments your priority may be one of the three: cash flow, appreciation or tax benefits. The great thing about apartments is that you can have “forced appreciation” by making changes to the property. Having an apartment is owning a business. So with any business, a way to increase revenue is to decrease expenses and to find more ways to earn more income. I have included some tips to benefit you as you attempt to maximize your investment on the building.Expenses you can expect while owning an apartment:o Legal serviceso Tax preparationo Office equipment and supplieso Property managemento Maintenanceo Credit checkso Advertisingo City business taxo Property taxo Insuranceo Capital improvements (big expenses)o Eviction serviceso UtilitiesHaving proper management in place is key to running a successful apartment property. Depending on your level of time, experience and energy having a property management company oversee the operations may be ideal. Especially if the complex is big. Smaller apartments tend to be managed by the owner (along with an on site manager). Regardless who does the actual work on the property, I have included here a variety of tips to get the maximum return out of your investment.Fair Housing Rules prohibits discrimination on a variety of things from race, gender, age, disabilities (including mental and physical) marital status, sexual orientation etc. Anybody who deals with potential tenants must follow fair housing laws. This includes owners and property managers.
Be consistent when dealing with potential tenants. Set the same standards across the board. Such as, giving someone a pass, by lowering their security payment, or what you charge for late rent compared to other tenants.Your rental/lease agreement sets the tone with your tenants. It is best to obtain a contract that a lawyer has written out because it is legal document. The rental/lease agreement should have the names of all adult tenants and they should all sign the rental/lease agreement. This makes each tenant legally responsible for all the terms and conditions. Should someone bail out with out paying rent, or someone violates a term, you can cancel their agreement and have them move.
Your agreement should clearly specify that the rental unit is the residence of only the tenants who have signed the lease and their minor children. This will probably not stop people from moving in with out your screening process, but what it will do, is keep people aware and cautious. They will know if you found out folks where living there with out your screening, they could be asked to move. Every rental document should state whether it is a rental agreement (month to month) or a fixed-term lease (usually it is yearly).Your lease or rental agreement should specify the amount of rent, when it is due, where to send it and how it’s to be paid (check, cashier check etc). For late fees, have when it is considered late and the amount of the fee. Also, have a fee for bounced checks.The return of security deposits can generate problems. To avoid mistakes your agreement should have the dollar amount of the security deposit. In California, the maximum deposit allowed on an unfurnished property is not more than the amount of two months rent. The maximum deposit allowed on a furnished property is not more than the amount of three months rent. You may use the deposit for possible repairs. The contract with the tenant should state that they may not use it to apply for there last months rent. When they do move, you have to return their deposit in 21 days after they move (in California). If decide to take money out of their deposit when they leave, you will need a report showing the deductions on why.Clearly set out you and the tenant’s responsibilities for repair and maintenance in the lease or rental agreement:o Their responsibility to keep the rental clean and to pay for any damage caused by his/her abuse or neglect.o They should alert you of defective or dangerous conditions in the rental property.o You provide tenants with your work procedure for handling complaints/repair/requests.o Have restrictions on tenant alterations on their apartment with out your permission, such as adding appliances, painting, etc.You should include a clause prohibiting disruptive behavior, such as excessive noise, and illegal activity, such as drug dealing.If you do allow pets, you should identify any special restrictions, such as a limit on the size or number of pets or a requirement that the tenant will keep the yard free of all pet manure. Important rules and regulations covering parking and use of common areas should be mentioned too.Stay on top of maintenance/repair needs. To avoid problems with tenants, you should make repairs to rental units as soon as you can. Major problems, such as a plumbing or heating problem, should be handled within 24 hours. Always keep tenants informed as to when and how the repairs will be made, and the reasons for any delays. If the property is not kept in good repair, tenants may gain the right to with hold rent, deduct the cost from the rent, sue for injuries caused by defective conditions, and/or move out without needing to give notice. Some situations tenants can sue for the discomfort/distress caused by the poor conditions.Your local building or housing authority, and health or fire department, can provide information on local housing codes (and penalties for violations).The following are things you can do to limit crime and reduce the risk that you would be found responsible if a criminal assault or robbery does occur:o Meet/exceed all state and local security laws that apply to the property, such as requirements for deadbolt locks on doors, good lighting, and window locks.o Provide a security system that provides reasonable protection for the tenants. To get advice speak with the police, your insurance company, and private security professionals.o Educate tenants about crime prevention/safety.o Conduct regular inspections to spot and fix any security problems, such as broken locks, swimming pool precautions or parking lights.o Handle tenant complaints about dangerous situations, suspicious activities, or broken security items immediately.o If additional security requires a rent hike, discuss the situation with your tenants. Many tenants will pay more for a safer place to live.While some of these tactics may be expensive, the money you spend today on effective crime-prevention/safety will be much less if something bad did occur on your property.Drug-dealing tenants can cause problems. If other tenants feel threatened, the authorities may give you heavy fines and may seek criminal penalties for knowingly letting the situation proceed.
To avoid trouble caused by criminal tenants and to limit your liability in any lawsuits that are filed: do a good job screening your tenants, don’t accept cash rental payments, in the rental/lease agreement have it clear that you will evict tenants who deal drugs, get advice from the police on what to look out for.If you were negligent in taking care of your property and that negligence caused an injury, you could be liable for damages. After all it was your responsibility to maintain the section of the property that caused the accident and if you failed to take steps to prevent the accident, your chances of getting a law suit are increased.A tenant can file a personal injury lawsuit against your insurance company for medical bills, lost earnings, pain, permanent physical disability, and emotional distress. A tenant can also sue for damage to personal property, which results from faulty maintenance or unsafe conditions (ex their car is damaged).You can avoid many problems by maintaining the property in excellent condition. By using/having:o A written checklist to inspect the areas and fix any
roblems before new tenants move in.o Encourage tenants to immediately report safety or security problems (not just their unit, but through out the property).o Keep a record of all tenant complaints and repair requests with details as to how and when problems were fixed.o Twice a year, give tenants a checklist on which to report potential safety hazards or maintenance problems that might have been overlooked. Use the same checklist to personally inspect all rental units once a year.Here are some tips on choosing insurance:o Purchase enough coverage to protect the value of the property and assets.o Be sure the policy covers not only physical injury but also discrimination cases, unlawful eviction, and invasion of privacy suffered by tenants and guests.o Carry liability insurance on all vehicles used for business purposes, including the manager’s car or truck if it’s used on the job.If disputes arise between you and your tenants, try to resolve them without lawyers and lawsuits. You can try to put in your lease/rental agreement that all issues will be brought to a mediator/arbitrator. This can save you money. For information on local mediation programs, call your mayor’s or city manager’s office, and ask for the staff member who handles “landlord-tenant mediation matters” or “housing disputes.” That person should refer you to the public office, business, or community group that handles landlord-tenant mediations.But if that is not possible and you have a conflict with a tenant over rent, repairs, noise, or some other issue that doesn’t immediately bring an eviction, meet with the tenant to see if the problem can be resolved informally. If your dispute involves money, and all attempts to reach agreement fail, try small claims court, where you can represent yourself. This will save significant money.
Limit your exposure to lawsuits. Popular reasons are mold and fair housing. Mold starts with water. It is about prevention, controlling water and moisture intrusion. You should proactively attempt to identify potential sources of water and moisture intrusion before they occur. Such as old roofs, pipes that leak or sealed properly, toilets that don’t function correctly. If a tenant claims that mold is effecting them, you should take it seriously.I once got and this email and I don’t know how accurate it is, but it does make you think.o 5% of the world’s population is in the U.S.o 70% of the world’s lawyers are in the U.S.o 94% of the world’s lawsuits are filed in the U.S.o There is a lawsuit filed every 30 seconds.One way to protect your self is to form a LLC if you don’t have one. The LLC requires payment of an annual fee. It must be run as a business, that is separate from personal finances. I have resources that can get your property into a LLC. Contact me and let me know if you would like to talk to them about your situation.Finding A Right ContractorHaving contractor’s assistance is important in running an apartment building. Picking the correct contractor will make your worries less. Have them meet you in person when they present the bid to you. Observe how their quote looks. This is a proposal, so critique the look and feel of it. Did they put time to put it together, or make it in two seconds? Also, have them physically show you a copy of their business license and ask for a copy of their insurance and bond papers. If they can’t, tell them to make like a banana and “split”Have the contractor give you referrals. With the referrals and ask them do they:o Return calls in a timely manner?o Show up for work when he says and on time?o Keep the job clean as he goes?o Give consideration to residents?o Perform inspections thoroughly?o Alert you to potential maintenance problems?Ways to increase revenue/save money while owning your apartment:o Conserve water: Water saving toilets, shower heads, low flow faucets.o Utilize new technology: System that converts salt into chlorine can cut thousands of dollars in swimming poll cleaning and maintenance costs.o Bill tenants for utilities.o Obvious…increase rents.o Collect rebates and freebies: check with city about rebates on water savings and energy saving landscaping, heat reducing items, solar power panels.o Close the swimming pool: If no one uses it, close it and fill it with dirt, or cement.o Trim payroll cost: rather than pay, for a full time manager, have an onsite resident manager who receives free or cut rate rent in exchange for picking up trash, deliver tenant notices, etc.o Manage the managers: make sure your property management company puts you the owner interest first.o Hire moonlighters: sub out work, to independent contractors who have day jobs, that can bring an added service to you. Ex, someone who works at Home Depot, works for a city housing authority, or for a large apartment company.o Automate accounting: get bookkeeping software can help identify unnecessary cost and keep track of income tax deductible expenses.o Request discounts: you can get discount just by asking your vendors.o Track vacancies: good data can reveal ways to reduce vacancies. Try doing an exit interviews, to understand reasons why people move.o Review contracts: an annual review of the cost of all products and services used by the apartment operation can reveal opportunities for savings. Get at least three bids for each service. Work with providers/vendors who specialize in apartments, you may be able to get a lower price, plus they truly understand your needs.o Cut insurance costs: To save on insurance premiums raise policy deductibles, eliminate unnecessary or duplicative coverage, shop around for cheaper rates, group buildings under an umbrella liability policy or make alterations to the building itself. Let them tell you what the issues are. After knowing that try to change the issue around modify the issue/structure and see if that would change your underwriting score.o Buy wholesale: Avoid retail when possible.o Raise rents: be sure to compare rents for apartments that are similar in location, size and amenities.o Laundry rooms. You can have a company pay you a fee to have their products on your property that they install, you sign a lease with them, they service it and you both share profits. Or buy it your self and have contractors service it.o Cable/satellite/Internet. Typically providers will sell their service to the owner at bulk at a discount, and then the owner resells the services to the apartment residents at a markup that generates a profit but is still below the retail cost residents would pay individually.o Monthly pet fee.o Vending machines.o Maid services for tenants.o Security alarms. Tenant will pay extra to have it on their apartment.o Bicycle racks.o Pay utility deposits over a 3-6 month period. Get a “between renters agreement” go to electrical company express tenants will/are paying their own electric bills and if they take off/move the electrical company can’t cut off power unless it notifies you/property management company.o Get a large garbage container and empty it less.o Have maintenance fee clause in rental agreement tenants pay $50 less each month in return for taking care of minor maintenance (this way management will not have to worry about minor things).o Pay bills with in 10 days and try to get a discount @ least 2%.o Lease garage storage.o Have several apartments available for “corporate housing” that is fully furbished and have companies rent out the units for a temporary time period.o Enforcing late fees.o Always outline which repairs the company and responsible for up to a certain $amount. Ex have the management company handle any maintenance or repair cost that run less $200.o Convert a master metered property to a sub-metered.o Billboards (rent space on your property).o Provide access to building rooftops for cellular companies.o Consolidate 2 or more property managers to achieve synergies.o Protest assessed tax valuations to have them lowered.o Each time tenant moves out check faucet and toilets for drips.You can create “forced appreciation” by rehabilitating a run down property and make it more expensive than the purchase price. You could also, convert it into condo’s. With instant appreciation, you can buy a property for less than the market value, fix it up, come up with more systems to increase revenue and sell it.Management tipso Have photo ID cards for on site staff, residents will feel safer. Especially if the person comes into the apartment to fix something. Having a standard polo shirt is good too.o Send thank you notes to residents who keep their patio clean. On the flip side, notify them when it is dirty.o Have tenants able to pay for their laundry by debit card, or have change on hand.o 1 night a week, stay open to 8 pm. Have manger work one Saturday per month.o Instead of giving away money for people that pay their rent on time, offer a coupon to a local merchant.o Send anniversary gifts of occupancy.o Extend your referral bonus to them for up to 12 months after they move out.CYA… keeping files on all tenantso Forwarding address of the tenant to which they have authorized the refundable deposit. This is key to have because if someone skips town and leaves with out paying rent. With this information, you have a person and address to find the person.o Copy of the deposits form. What deposits were held back, if any, and for what reason (could prove handy if taken to court).o Residential Lease Agreement.o Lease terms, amount of rent, how long the resident stayed, what personal property, such as appliances, are included in the property and all deposits taken in.o Credit Report received when the application was made this is good for recovering rent owed.o A list of property improvements that were made prior to advertising the rental.o Correspondence received or sent to the resident during their tenure.To get forms (applications needed for running a property, check with your local apartment association.

How to Hire a Property Manager

Owning a rental property is a great way to build a nest egg in today’s unstable economy. Unlike bank brokered investments, being a landlord provides a safe and secure investment with a degree of piece of mind because you can look at your house almost anytime you want and rest assured that instances of house theft are extremely rare. Its yours and will be yours until you decide otherwise. Your investment is going nowhere and as sure as inflation exists, your property will appreciate.

The problem with rental property is this; Tenants. Tenants will instinctively have a fundamental philosophical difference from yours and unless you are ready and willing to face their combative dialogue, will inevitably cause you some degree of emotional, financial, or physical grief. Stories of tenant nightmares that are significant enough to cost landlords material amounts of money and emotional stress are passed down from generation to generation and from friend to friend. Surely, you know somebody who was wronged by a rental property tenant.

So what is the answer? A property management firm. A property manager will charge much less than your neighborhood realtor and generally will have a more developed sense of personal interaction due to his or her job description of being able to relate with difficult people.

The rest of this article will address some important issues relating to choosing a property manager.

Rule #1
Be sure that your property management firm is licensed. In today’s scene, ponzi schemes, grand larceny, and corporate crime seem to abound. As a property manager who collects money and in most cases hundreds of thousands of dollars, on behalf of private clients – the potential for fraud exists to a large degree. As a licensed property manager, one has to report all rent and bank account activity to a council or professional body, which makes instances of personal greed, fraud, or mismanagement quite unlikely.

Rule #2
Be sure that your property manager has experience. Most property managers are also property owners who learned the technique of dealing with tenants and chose to exploit their skill for profit. This is a very good thing. Ask your property manager how long he or she has been in the business and what factors influenced their decision to join the field. If they have less experience than you do, I would humbly suggest that you hit the road and keep looking.

Rule #3
Tenants can be a handful and a personable landlord can make all the difference, make sure your property manager is a personable and easy to get along with person. Bad tempers and explosive demands are met with hostility from most tenants.

Rule #4
Check for references who will attest to the quality of service from your property manager. This should be from both tenants and landlords. Asking for references is generally a bad idea because the provider of the reference will hand pick those people whom he or she refers, but other options exist. The first suggestion I have is to check with your prospective property manager’s website, surely there will be a page with vacant rental listings; randomly pick one of these properties and ask your manager if you can speak with the owner of the property, at which time you can ask if the owner/client is happy with the level of communication and service provided. The other option is to ask to speak to a recent tenant and ask them the same question. The response for these references will speak volumes.

These tips should help you to get an idea as to the level of service that the property manager provides, and ultimately the level of service that you should expect to receive.

Guaranteed Good Free Ways To Advertise Any Business

Many people are looking for good, free ways to advertise their company. Advertising can be a risky and expensive proposition these days. Many companies can no longer afford to utilize paid advertising. Although advertising plays a crucial role in getting more customers to look at your offering, which also means more sales. Many small businesses don’t do it because it’s too expensive. Although advertising is an important factor in overall business marketing strategy. Small businesses are hesitant to fork over any of their profits to reinvest in advertising. So in rides the saviour… There are ways to get quality free advertising.

Why Advertising Is Important To Your Business

Advertising is what keeps customers coming in the door of your physical store and website. Getting a constant flow of new and returning customers viewing your product or service keeps the cash registers ringing and your bottom line in the black. Constant cash flow is the key here. Without advertising in many instances cash flow becomes a trickle.

Customers need constant updates of new products or services that solves problems in their lives. Advertising that new gadget for a digital camera that will give their photos the professional look will spark a buying frenzy. Even though that individual may never use this gadget, the customer will feel that they’ve gotten a good deal. If you are solving a problem you are half way home with your product or service being a success.

In the introductory stage, advertising is a tool for spreading awareness about your product or service, and to persuade people to patronize your product or service. With the right way of advertising, a business will surely be able to increase revenue effectively. However, it is a must to look for good free ways to advertise. Free advertising is a no brainer and is always better than paid advertising in terms of practicality.

What Are the Ways to Advertise for Free?

These are good free ways to advertise a certain business:

1.) Word of Mouth

There’s still no better way than the good old neighbor whispering to another neighbor,”You know, I got this great new product from so and so and I’m so happy, here take a look.” There’s just nothing like it in the marketplace and nothing is as efficient as “word of mouth” advertising. Word of mouth is the least expensive (free many times) and one of the most effective ways of advertising. Just talking about a certain product or service to a friend is a great help to your marketing efforts.

If you can get customers together to talk positively about your product or service than your going to hit the proverbial home run. This is one of the reasons that social media has proliferated. It’s so popular because people love to talk about what they do and don’t like. It’s just human nature to talk – but this can be a double edge sword. They can also talk about negative aspects of your offering. This is why you must always be follow-up with superior customer service. This separates the good from the bad. Good customer service trumps almost everything else.

Just take a look at Kohl’s for example. They do a great job of merchandising their clothes and housewares. On a constant, consistent basis Kohl’s will deeply everything in the store. Then turn right around and will take everything you bought back from you, then offer another discount. Who else does this? You bring something back and they take it back with a smile then offer you something else, almost free. Who’s the winner here? Both the consumer and retailer in this instance.

2.) Email Signature Files

Using email signature files is one of the easiest ways to promote a certain business. This is done by including a 4 to 6 lines of advertisement in every email you send. To get the maximum response to your email signature files, it would be better to offer some incentives for visiting your website.

Remember to always include a review or testimonial from a satisfied customer in every email that you send. Everyone reads reviews and testimonials before an ad. We’re all conditioned to seeing an ad in emails. So a good word put in from someone else draws attention and thusly another sale. Try this and find your sales explode.

3.) Press Releases

This is one of the best ways to receive a positive reception from potential customers. A good press release done at the correct time can give your business a leg up on your competitors.

Press releases are a great way to multiply your efforts quickly and easily. News outlets are always looking for a good story and are hungry to run one if it’s compelling. In Michael Chaney’s best-selling ebook, “The Competition Crusher,” he spells out in detail how press releases made him a millionaire. You can check it out at This good free way of advertising is influential long-term and you didn’t have to pay a cent for positive vibes this conveys to buying customers looking for your product or service.

Why Use These Free Advertisements?

Using a paid advertisement will definitely increase one’s revenue. However, it will also increase the expenses of the company as well. Therefore, the total increase of revenue is not yet the net increase of the company’s revenue since there will still be deductions for advertisement expenses. Remember that advertisements are very expensive nowadays. To ensure that you will be able to increase sales and revenue without spending a huge amount of cash, it will always be better to uses these good free ways to advertise your business.

The Finer Points of Internet Auctions


Penny auctions have exploded in popularity with the massive growth of the internet. However, few people know the true origins of penny auctions.Beginnings actually stretch back to the Great Depression. Those were hard times for everyone, but even harder for farmers. Farmers struggled to bring in steady income because of droughts and crops not selling as well as they had previously. As a result, the banks would foreclose on the farmers who couldn’t keep up with their mortgage payments.

The banks weren’t satisfied with just repossessing the house, they wanted to raise as much capital as possible, so they resorted to selling off the possessions of the owners of the repossessed houses. There was not much the farmers could do about it so they began bidding ridiculously low prices, pennies, on the items while threatening others who dared to bid higher than a few pennies.

The auctions of today hardly resemble their tremulous beginnings. Being part of a penny auction today is exhilarating, fun, and addictive. It combines the selling format of auctioning with a little bit of chance factored in.Auctions are a game of strategy but also a game of luck.

The premise behind penny auctions is giving people the chance to win an item at a drastically reduced price.Auctions make that possible by spreading out the cost of the product among multiple bidders. In order for a person to take part in an auction, they must pay a set price for each bid. For example, if a person wanted to bid on a fifty dollar Amazon gift card then he would spend a dollar for each time a bid placed. If he ended up winning the gift card, then he would only have spent a few dollars for a fifty dollar gift card. Usually penny auctions sell bids in packages.


The main foundation of penny auctions is the pay-per-bid format. It is the key that allows bidders to win items at the fraction of their retail value and allows the auction owners to keep their site profitable. Most y auction sites run on the same premise: people pay a set amount for each bid, whenever a person places a bid within the closing seconds of the auction time will be added, the last person left with a unique bid after the clocks runs out will win the item. There are a large variety of items that can be won, but they tend to be popular electronics or gift cards to popular stores.

There are two types of auctions: lowest unique bid auction and highest unique bid auction. Lowest unique auction sounds confusing but it is actually quite simple. A unique bid is when only one person has a bid at a certain price. Bids usually start at one penny, a bidder can then place a bid at two pennies. Until another bidder places a higher bid, the most recent bidder will be the lowest unique bid because that was the only bid at two cents and nobody bid higher. However, penny auctions generally don’t stop at one penny. It is not uncommon to find auctions that end up at a couple hundred dollars based on the popularity of the item being auctioned. However, the same principles apply for those auctions. Highest unique bid auctions follow the more traditional auction format such as eBay. The person with the highest bid at the end of the auction wins the item.

Auction site owners turn a profit by selling bids. Say twenty people are bidding on a ten dollar gift card at one dollar per bid, at the end of the auction if there were twenty bids placed in total then the site owner would have made twenty dollars with a ten dollar profit.Auctions do seem like a win-win situation:The site owner makes money while the bidder gets an item for dirt cheap. However, not everyone wins in penny auctions. The people who paid one dollar each bid but left with nothing to show for their investments will not be so happy.


Penny auction has a lot of chance mixed into it, but one can incorporate strategy that will help raise the chances of winning. Playing smart can make all the difference between gambling and auctioning.

The first crucial tip to winning penny auctions is to know how to manage your bids. Your goal should be to win as much as possible without spending a ton of money buying bids. Managing your bids means that you should already know how much you are willing to risk in order to win an item. The amount of capital you are willing to risk will determine how many bids you can use. Once you know how many bids you have to spend on an item, then you will be better able to manage how and when you place a bid. That will keep you from blowing away all of your bids in the first few seconds of the auction.

The next tip is to practice time management. When fighting in the trenches of penny auctions, you have two enemies: other bidders and time. Knowing when to bid is a must if you want to have success. Placing a bid when there is a lot of time left on the clock is never a good idea. You have to remember that the key to winning a penny auction is being the last one standing when the clock runs out and that each bid increases the amount of time left. It would be a good practice to wait until the last few minutes of the auction before you begin to bid.

The final tip for successful auctioning is to keep your emotions under control.Auctions have a lot of similarities to gambling, and just like gambling, your spending can get out of control. If you keep your emotions level, it will keep you from making rash decisions and blowing loads of cash. Keep your mind clear so that you can gage the behavior of the other bidders and outsmart them.


Penny auctions are a great addition to the web whether you want to win an item that otherwise you wouldn’t be able to afford or if you simply enjoy the thrill that comes with bidding in auctions. Unfortunately, scam sites have tarnished the reputation of the legitimate penny auction sites. However, there are ways that you can protect yourself from scamers and enjoy your auctioning without having to worry about losing your money due to dishonesty.

Checking the reputation of the auction site before you start spending your hard earned money is always a good idea. Chances are other people have tried the site before you and some of them have left reviews. The reviews are your way to gage whether a auction site is trustworthy or not. If a site is getting overwhelmingly negative reviews, then that is a clear indication that you should steer your business elsewhere.

Another tool you can use to protect yourself is checking the Alexia ranks of the auction sites. Alexia rank will give a solid view of how much traffic the auction is getting. If you see a huge difference in the amount of traffic Alexia is projecting and the amount of active bidders on the site, then warning signals should be ringing in your head. Some auction sites have been known to set up robots that automatically bid on projects in order to keep the auction going and inflate the price. That is known as shill bidding. You can sniff out those sites by comparing the traffic the site should be getting to the amount of users using this site.


New legislation may come out later down the road that will officially make penny auctions gambling, but until then, it is a fun, exciting auction that allows one to win the item they’ve always wanted but couldn’t afford.Auctions are also quite lucrative for the site owners because of the pay-per-bid strategy they’ve incorporated. Penny auctions had humble beginnings with farmers who just wanted to get back at the banks who kicked them out of their house. More recently, auctions have enjoyed an explosion in popularity with the rise of the internet.

There are two main formats fora auctions, lowest and highest unique auction, however they both run on the same premise where the last unique bid wins the item. Winning a penny auction will require a certain amount of mental tactic and a bit of luck. However, you can increase your odds of winning by practicing certain techniques such as managing your bids wisely, learning how to work with the time, and keeping a level head and your emotions under control. When you combine those three strategies to your bidding plan, you will find that you win a lot more often.

It is important that you do your due diligence to protect yourself when participating in auctions. Not every auction is run by honest and trustworthy people. There are people out there who just want to take your money. You can protect yourself by ensuring that you only bid on sites that already have a very positive reputation from real users.

How to Find Great Live Auctions for Resale Items

Hi, my name is Walt. I’m an auctioneer with 25 years of experience in the auction business and licensed in the state of MA. I own Quick Auction Service, a company that specializes in building and running custom auctions, I’m also the webmaster of my own site and have been on eBay for 8 years. Besides eBay, the types of auctions I run most frequently are antiques and on-site estate auctions, although I’ve run everything from business overstock auctions to charity & special event auctions.

I enjoy sharing my knowledge and stories of the auction business. My goal for article is to help folks get the absolute most out of their auction experience.

Whether your fresh out of the package or a seasoned dealer I think I can offer something in this article to help you with your auciton adventures.

There may be as many reasons to attend auctions as there are types of auctions to attend. Maybe you want to attend an auction to buy items for re-sale on eBay, or some other market. Maybe you want to furnish your home with wonderful antiques, or you want to furnish your home as inexpensively without sacrificing quality.Some folks are just looking for a fun night out. With a little perseverance all these things are possible.

There are antiques and estate auctions, auto auctions, overstock auctions, absolute and no reserve auctions, real estate auctions, specialty auctions where only one genre of items are sold, tailgate auctions, live auctions, online auctions, sealed bid auctions, silent auctions, charity and fund raising auctions and many more.

Can you really buy for pennies on the dollar at an auction? You bet! Many times I’ve seen folks buy and re-sell at the same auction on the same night for a good profit, although be advised, this should only be done after the auction is over.

There are a lot of ways to find an auction, but here are some tips on how to find and attend the best ones.

Visit the genre of shops in the area that apply to the type of auction you want to attend. IE: If your looking for a good antique auction to attend, stop in the local antiques shops and ask for what there are for good auctions in the area. Sounds obvious right? But listen to what they don’t say as well as what they do say. Oftentimes when a dealer speaks poorly about an auction he or she attends, it may be likely that they are trying to keep a good thing secret. Think for a moment, why would a dealer keep attending a lousy auction?

Newspaper ads: I personally like to find ads in the classified ad section rather than flashy display ads. Flashy ads are usually indicative of an auction that will be high priced, may have reserves, (a set price on an item), and usually an enormous crowd. While any auction can be profitable to attend, it is usually best to steer clear of the glitzy ones, at least for the beginner.

Here’s the minimum you want to find out before you go. If there is a phone number in the ad, call and ask for the terms of the sale. What forms of payment do they accept? Is it an absolute auction? An absolute auction is one that has no minimum or reserve bids on items. These are the best auctions to attend! Is there a buyers premium? A buyers premium is like a tax that everyone who makes purchases at that auction must pay above the winning bid price. Most auctions these days do charge a buyers premium, 10% is not unreasonable but I feel much more than that is greedy, and the auctioneer that charges over 10% is counting on most bidders not doing the extra math as the bids quicken in pace.

A fair auction will have ample time to inspect the merchandise, usually at least 2 or 3 hours. Find out when inspection starts and make sure to attend! Never attend an auction if you can’t make the inspection, not unless your prepared to gamble. Most auctioneers sell at a rate of about 100 items per hour, which is why they sell “as is”. They simply don’t have the time to give a detailed description of all the items. Since almost all items at auction are sold AS IS, there are sure to be some damaged, refinished, fake and incomplete items at any given auction. Beware of any auctions that offer very little or no inspection time.

Good auctions will usually have 150 to 400 lots. A lot may be one item or a group of items. The exception to this are specialty auctions, auto auctions, real estate auctions etc.

When you attend your first sale, take note of the 1/2 dozen or so dealers that buy the most often. See if you can find out about other area auctions they attend.

When you do find an excellent auction, attend it as often as possible. By frequenting good sales, you help increase the bottom line of that business. It’s difficult for many auctioneers to keep the quality of merchandise consistent, so good attendance certainly helps. And when an auctioneer gets to know you as a buyer, he/she will go out of the way to accommodate you, to keep you coming back.