What Everybody Ought to Know About Jewelry Appraisals

For most of you, the thought of getting a Valuation or Appraisal on your Jewelry is NOT at the top of your list.

But it should be.

To often, clients assume that their Jewelry is either…

  • # Not Valuable enough to bother
  • # Covered by their Household insurance
  • # Safe on their Finger, so it won’t get lost

All of these assumptions are WRONG and we cover some suggestions in our Insurance article (address given below) and the security pages under the Learning Section of the Online Appraisal Center.

If you are concerned about these matters and haven’t had the chance to read them yet, we suggest you take a little side trip and cover the bases, soon as possible…

…Before the ring falls off the finger or the chain gets lost while swimming or the Diamond (was it a Diamond?)…

Get the Picture..?

That’s exactly What a Jewelry Appraisal Valuation Certificate is for.

Types of Jewelry Appraisal Valuations

The main type of Valuation or Appraisal we come across is the Valuation for Insurance. This is the one you would normally receive from your local Jeweler or Gemologist.

It is basically designed to cover you (through your insurance policy) against any loss or damage you may encounter.

It is designed to provide you, wherever possible, as near a REPLACEMENT OF A SIMILAR ARTICLE as possible.

It will include any taxes or duty plus the Jewelry Trade mark up.

What Are The Other Types of Valuations?

Other forms of Valuations are…

  • # Valuation for ‚Private‘ Sale
  • # Valuation for an ‚Auction‘ reserve
  • # Valuation for Probate
  • # Valuation for Division of an Estate (under conditions of a Will, for example)

 Each of these types are simply a percentage of the ‚Master Valuation‘ figure or Replacement for Insurance mentioned here.

The Master Valuation Appraisal

While these are covered briefly regarding their structure and use, you should remember that ALL of these valuations are just by-products of the Valuation Appraisals for Insurance, both in principle and procedures.

Therefore, with a little common sense and a child’s school calculator, we can arrive at a final figure for any of the above situations.

After all – they need the SAME information to begin with.

If you had an Online Form which helped complete a Jewelry Appraisal for yourself, there would be no easier or quicker way to help in the majority of these cases, and you wouldn’t even need a child’s school calculator to complete it, because it would all be built into the Computer System.

Nice thought – but is it a reality?

Thankfully – Yes it is.

Jewelry Valuations For The Rest Of Us

While our advice is – and always has been – to get your Jewelry valued or appraised by your local, professional gemologist Valuer, it remains our belief that in the ‚majority of cases‘ and taking into account the costs involved (your professional Valuer charges a reasonable fee for their skill and the work carried out) there is an alternative.

Any Self Appraisal Valuation can be equal to the task for a fraction of the specialized service, in a shorter timeframe, and costs much less – Lots Less…

So don’t ask ‚Why‘ – Ask yourself – ‚Why Not..?

Here are some interesting Facts

  • # People thought you had to be a lawyer to write your own Will
    -Do-it-Yourself Will Kits are now Commonplace
  • # People thought you had to be an Accountant to do your Tax
    -An Online Tax Pack has been set up by the Government
  • # People thought you had to be a Real Estate Agent to sell your Home
    -FSBO (For Sale By Owner) has changed all the rules
  • # People thought you needed a Solicitor to handle a Conveyance
    -This is now no longer the case

The entire game has shifted.

# You Don’t Need to be a Gemologist Valuer to write your own Appraisals. It’s as Simple as filling in a Form. Anyone can do it.

Plus It Is Convenient…

You do this in your own time, at the pace you wish to go, without any pressure. You will have ample time to start your self evaluation, change your mind about something, go away for a couple of hours or days even, and when you return, start again from where you left off, finally arriving at the bottom line to print your Appraisal Certificate from Home or Work.

So What You Really Ought to Know About Jewelry Valuation Appraisals, is that it’s possible and anyone can do it.

There is an Online Jewelry Appraisal do-it-yourself Valuation Kit which has been designed to be as simple as possible while remaining accurate, within the guidelines of the Jewelry Trade and Valuers Profession.

It’s a Smart School Calculator.

WE ARE NOT SUGGESTING IT CAN TURN YOU INTO A QUALIFIED VALUER nor are we trying to replace your local Jeweler. That would be wrong of us to even try.

But you ought to understand the possibilities.

Our Goal here is to simply steer you in the right direction to answer a series of questions, which will lead you to the MOST PROBABLE result for any Jewelry under assessment. You have choices…

These days, it’s just too easy.

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Marketing Management In Walmart


Walmart is the largest retail store in the US. It has over 3, 700  stores countrywide and many others internationally. Despite these positive results, there is a need for injection of new ideas in order to ensure that the retail giant sustains its position as a market leader. The essay seeks to examine its marketing strategies in the present and possible strategies to ensure future growth. (MSNBC, 2007b)

Walmart Strategic business goals and objectives

Walmart has always aimed at increasing sales through its friendly prices. This image has stuck with the company for a very long time. Not only is the company associated with low prices, but it has a variety of items under one roof. These qualities favor the rural clientele.

The company is driven by a commitment to business excellence. This is seen by the quality of care accorded to customers once they report to their retail stores. This is ensured by the participation of employees in this business goal. The company has cultivated a culture of perfection in that they always want to be on top. The Walmart marketing manager has said that Walmart’s major business objective is to ensure that their sales are always increasing. It is one thing to get to the top but remaining there is different. The company ensures their growth rate does not stagnate. Other companies usually work on increasing their performance and once they have reached those targets, they choose to relax. However, this does not apply to Walmart; the company ensures that they always look for ways of sustaining their competitive advantage.

The Company is driven by the pursuance of technological improvements. This is achieved through the use of new technologies in service delivery. Creativity and innovation is another business objective for the company. Through the efforts of their employees, the company aims at maintaining their market positions by brainstorming and looking for new ways of attracting potential clients. (MSNBC, 2007b)

The Company also values being considered as a strategic community partner. The company’s mission is ‘saving money to live better‘. This is an image that the company has worked on very well. Many people consider Walmart as a consumer friendly retailer. The company has cultivating this image through a number of ways. First of all, through their consumer friendly prices, through their satisfactory customer service, and also through their convenience as a one stop shopping centre.

Walmart uses the aspect of availability as another business objective. The Company has opened up a series of locations in different parts of the country. This means that customers are not inconvenienced when trying to locate them. Additionally, it becomes very difficult to ignore the store when one can see it in virtually all parts of the country. This aspect of availability is one of the reasons why the company has done very well in the past. (MSNBC, 2007b)

Analyzing Walmart’s situation

Walmart is dealing with attacks from a range of stakeholders in the retail industry. For instance Trade unions, human rights organizations and former employees. these groups have all accused the retailer of abusing its employee’s rights. They assert that Walmart discourages its employees from participating in trade unions. Employee rights groups argue that the company’s enumeration package does not reflect the rich profit margins that the company enjoys currently. In the year 2006, Maryland legislature passed a law that would force Walmart to spend a specified amount on health insurance. However, this law was reversed by a federal court. Additionally, some groups have been formed to specifically give anti-Walmart remarks. For instance WakeupWalmart protesters assert that Walmart’s advertisements on their corporate responsibility efforts indicate that Walmart wants to fool the eyes of the American public. Such an image could damage the company’s public relations and this could drive away certain precious clients.

The company has expanded rapidly over the past years. With its three thousand seven thousand retail chains located in the US, the retailer has saturated the market. It is difficult to get to a certain town without locating a Walmart store. This means that the company might face severe obstacles in its expansion procedures. It would therefore be wise for the country to consider other parts of the world such as China and India. However, efforts to replicate this success in other countries have not bore fruit as the country has not done very well in South Korea after recording low profits for a while, the company was forced to close its subsidiary in Germany. The company had to sell this subsidiary at a throw away price in order to stay ahead. Therefore, expansion strategies need to be done systematically (MSNBC, 2006)

The corporation is also faced with the challenge of continuously attracting clients into its stores. Clients have already decided on what they want to buy in Walmart and it is difficult to convince others to join in. This is the reason why the company’s client traffic has been reducing in 2007. The company has reached saturated levels in the US market and it is difficult to convince other individuals to continue with the company. (MSNBC, 2006)

Walmart is faced with the challenge of making its stores more convenient. The company’s representatives asserted that they may consider reducing the sizes of their stores in the future because it is difficult to navigate the stores for just one particular item. There is a need for the company to change its image from its large rural base into smaller, urban and more convenient stores. The company’s major competitors have already embraced this concept as Tesco of the UK has small stores specializing in specific products. (MSNBC, 2006)

Strategic goals for Walmart’s future growth

Walmart needs to target external markets. However, the company should change its market entry techniques. It should focus on customizing its business objectives within each country.

The retail giant needs to make product quality as part its major business strategy. Quality in this regard refers to both the customer service and the nature of the products in its stores.

The company needs to reinforce an image of a community based organization. This means that its employee practices should be enhanced and it should also maintain its low price offering. (MSNBC, 2007a)

Strategic marketing program marketing objectives, targeting and positioning

The Company needs to change its marketing objectives in such a way that they can attract a different market segment. In the past, the company has been associated with the middle class or low-income earners. Affluent clients tend to shy away from the retail giant due to the misconception that Walmart’s products are of lower quality. Most of them use the store for pharmaceutical and grocery shopping and pay no attention to the stores when it comes to other options. The Company has tried to establish this concept in the past. In the year 2006, the company opened up stores with this objective in mind. They stocked a wide range of sophisticated products such as jewelry, electronics, a sushi bar and a variety of electronics. The affluent market is crucial in the company’s efforts to secure new markets because they have saturated current ones. Almost all middle class shoppers prefer Walmart. Therefore, in order to sustain its position, the company needs to assess what competitors are doing to boost sales. Target – Walmart’s rival – has managed to attract affluent consumers. Consequently, Walmart must try and give these shoppers a reason for shopping at the company. Affluent shoppers appreciate quality and need to be assured that they can find it at Walmart. The reason why the company failed in its 2006 efforts to target these clients is because it went about implementing this goal in the wrong way. First of all, the company needs to improve the appearance of their stores through creative store displays. This is particularly important for stores allocated in affluent neighborhoods.

Walmart needs to work on the quality of its items. Some of the affluent consumers believe that Walmart has failed in this regard. In instances where the perceptions about the company are totally wrong, then the company can improve this image by marketing its products in a different way. They could talk about the quality of their items with particular emphasis on merchandise that affluent workers prefer. However, the company should be very careful about the type of products they choose to sell. In the year 2006, the company wanted to follow their rival- Target’s product portfolio. However, this did not work very well because they tried including designer labels in their apparel section. This is a very tricky item to sell and may not necessarily give positive responses. Designer items fluctuate from season to season and it may be difficult for the company to keep up with the trends. It would have been wiser if the company stuck with electronic items as these are less susceptible to change. Additionally, the company needs to make this transition slowly. All successful entrepreneurs agree that there is no need to change a winning team. Therefore, even if Walmart plans on targeting those affluent consumers. They must ensure that these changes do not scare away current clients. Walmart should do a thorough market analysis to find out the most appropriate manner of attracting these clients. Other retail stores that have made a name for themselves among these affluent shoppers have been working on this image for centuries. Consequently, Walmart should not imagine that they could do this overnight. (MSNBC, 2007b)

Additionally, the company should venture into other countries. Despite the fact that the company has done very poorly internationally: it closes one in every three stores overseas, there is need to expand operations. Since the company has reached saturated levels locally, then there is a need to tap some of the internationally resources. First of all, the company should exercise a lot of selectivity before choosing a particular country. Part of the reason why the South Korean outlet had to be closed was that the company still used the same marketing strategies applicable in the US. Different countries have different preferences, the company’s strategy of saving money to live better may not be feasible everywhere. The company should not enter international markets directly. It could collaborate with local leaders in those respective countries in order to work with a winning formula. Alternatively, the company should test an international market by beginning with fewer and smaller stores. If the response is good then it could proceed to expand. Countries chosen for expansion should be economically secure. Therefore, increasing the number of stores in China and India is probably a good idea. However, this should be done slowly and after thorough research. (Pallavi, 2007)

Marketing program


The company should not abandon its idea of attracting the affluent client. However, this should be done sequentially; the Company had introduced Metro 7 stalls in 1,500 stores. These stores offered jewelry, expensive wine and other expensive commodities. The reason why this did not work very well was that the change was introduced rather drastically. The company should introduce expensive products only in stores located in affluent neighborhoods. (Pallavi, 2007)

Additionally, the company needs to exercise selectivity in the types of products chosen. The company should stay away from designer clothes or organic foods because these did not yield good results in the past. The focus should be on electronics.

The company needs to inject more creativity in its product offerings. It indicated this through its partnership agreement with Canopy furnishings. During the month of March this year, the company introduced a range of furniture items from Canopy and it is very optimistic that this would do well. The company should follow such an approach. For instance, the company should partner with other brands for household items and electronic companies. By securing well-known suppliers, the corporation can offer better quality products thus attracting the eye of the affluent clients who are particularly interested in these items.


Since the Company has already saturated the local market, then the focus should be on international markets. However, entry into those international markets should be done tactfully. Walmart should choose economically secure countries. The stores found in these areas need to be located strategically. (Pallavi, 2007)


The pricing aspect of Walmart’s marketing mix is part of the reason why the company has done so well so far; this is its winning formula. The company should maintain their low pricing strategies but they should merge this with product choices. They need to improve on the quality of service and their items in order to make themselves more appropriate in this scenario.


One of the most notable promotional strategies in Walmart is the use of public relations. The company takes part in charitable events and has marketed itself as a community based institution. However, there have been a number of accusations in the media that Walmart exploits its employees. The company has had to grapple with lawsuits centering on this poor image. The company has already embarked on this program by marketing the company as a fair employer; it provides its employees with a good health insurance pan. The following issues have been highlighted in an advertisement posted in support of Walmart’s corporate responsibility

  • The retailer is the nation’s largest employer
  • Its offers affordable health plans starting from $ 23
  • The company contributes close to 245 million dollars in charitable events annually(MSNBC, 2007a)

Instead of using advertisements such as the one shown above, Walmart should place more effort in improving their staff management policies. The problem with such advertisements is that they take so long to change consumer opinion. As a matter of fact, they may engrain negative perceptions because clients will see that the company wants to improve a tarnished image. Instead of spending millions on such advertisements, the company could direct those funds to improve their reward systems. A good employer does not need to advertise their employment practices as they will speak for themselves. The company should boost its health insurance plans because other companies offer better health programs yet they earn less than Walmart. This will go a long way in improving company image. (MSNBC, 2007a)

In line with this argument, the Company need not convince the public that its employees are actually happy to work for the company. These employee opinions should not be communicated to the public. Walmart asserted that, it has been found that a whooping eighty one percent of the company’s staff would recommend one of their friends to become Walmart employees. This kind of approach will not work for the company because the company is adopting a defensive strategy. The accusations made against the company could be embraced and turned against the counter accusers by improving organizational policies.

Lastly, the company should embrace the idea of hospital partnerships for its retail clinics. The company already announced that it plans on expanding the number of in-store clinics from fifty five to a whooping four hundred by the year 2010. While it may be a good idea in itself (given the fact that Walmart will be enhancing its corporate image as a company that cares for the community), there is still room for improvement. Walmart has been in the news for a number of wrong reasons. One of the accusations labeled against the retail giant is the fact that their employee health insurance plans do not fit their status as market leaders. Consequently, the company needs to look for ways of improving this image through a number of avenues. First of all, they could offer their employees access to the in-house clinics. This will go long way in enhancing their employment practices. (Pamela Lewis Dolan, 2008)


Walmart has done a lot in the past in order to secure its position as a retail market leader. These include offering low prices, offering good customer service and constant innovation. However, lately the company has grappled with low customer traffic. Market saturation in the middle income market segment, poor international performance and bad public relations as a result of their employee practices. The company should adopt the following strategies in order to ensure future growth; adopt penetrative strategies international markets, introduce good product packages for products favored by affluent clients and improve health insurance plans within the company. These will go a long way in sustaining the company’s positions as the US’s retail leader. (Pallavi, 2007)


MSNBC (2006): Wal-Mart turns attention to upscale shoppers, The Associated Press

MSNBC (2007a):Wal-Mart to air ads countering attack, The Associated Press

Pallavi Gogoi (2007): Wal-Mart goes abroad for growth; The McGraw-Hill Companies

MSNBC (2007b): Wal-Mart considers not-so-Super centers, The Associated Press

Pamela Lewis Dolan(2008): Wal-Mart partners with hospitals to rapidly expand in-store clinics, retrieved from

http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2008/02/25/bil10225.htm accessed on 9th July

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How to Write a Home Sale Ad

Many people are choosing to sell their homes without a Realtor these days, a plan that can save you some serious money. Of course, your house has to actually sell before you can consider that strategy effective. Below are some tips and tricks for writing an ad that generates interesting in your house and, hopefully, leads to a sale.

o    Consider your ad options. Not very long ago, a real estate ad had only one purpose: to appear in your local newspaper. And while newspapers are still a great option, modern technology calls for a more far-reaching marketing strategy. The best place to start is by asking yourself where you would look if you were in the market to buy a home. The answer, for most people, is the Internet. It’s ideal becase you don’t need to leave your house to browse the selection, and it’s ready whenever homebuyers are. These are the same reasons you want your ad to be online, and there are plenty of for sale by owner (FSBO) websites that will be happy to run your ad. Newspapers, of course, are a tried-and-true option that shouldn’t be discounted, even with the Internet’s prominence. If you’re outside a major metropolitan area, make sure that your ad appears in your local paper, as well as a large daily in nearby cities; you never know when someone will want to move out of the city and into a more rural location.

o    Set the scene. It only takes a few words for homebuyers to grab the nearest phone and beg to see your home-or for those same homebuyers to turn the page without giving your house a second thought. Include basics such as the style (ranch, two story, etc.) and the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, but you also want to include descriptive phrases that help people imagine themselves living there. Make it easy on readers by spoon-feeding them gems like, „Spacious kitchen that opens into a great room-perfect for entertaining“ or „Remodeled master bathroom that recreates your favorite spa.“

o    Put a positive spin on things. It’s not okay to lie, but it is okay to make your house sound as charming as possible. If it’s not move-in ready, say something like, „Ready to be fixed up into the home of your dreams.“ And if you live in a neighborhood that has a less-than-desirable reputation-maybe it’s known for older houses without much space-be sure to convey how your house is different. Describe how your house sits on a big lot or the fact that you have an oversized garage that can be used as a workshop. Give homebuyers a reason to change their minds about the neighborhood.  

o    Create a winning headline. It’s the first thing people will read, so it has to grab them. Pick out the absolute best feature or characteristic of your house and make that the headline: „Upscale family living at a great price“ or „Sprawling country retreat with orchards,“ for example.

o    Include a photo (or two). While fabulous copy can create an attractive mental picture, there’s no substitute for an actual photo. When you have plenty of space-website ads and flyers, for example-include multiple photos of the inside and outside of your home. When you only have room for one photo, it should be the outside of the home, preferably taken on a sunny day. No matter what angle or space you’re photographing, the number one rule is „clean and tidy.“ Clear out all clutter before snapping a picture, and be sure the area is spic and span.

o    It’s all about the price. It’s astounding how many home sellers omit the asking price in their ad. Whether by accident or intent, it’s a mistake. It doesn’t matter how much someone loves your house, if it’s $100,000 over their budget, you’ve wasted your time and theirs because there’s no way they’ll be making an offer. Letting people know up front how much the house costs is both efficient and courteous. You don’t have time to field 20 calls a day from people inquiring about the cost, only to have them slam the phone down upon hearing it. You want to take phone calls from people who know the price, are comfortable with the ballpark, and want to set up an appointment to see it.

o    Keep it short and sweet. The paragraphs, that is. The best way to lose someone’s attention is to cram a lot of info into rambling paragraphs. Bullets are a great way to separate facts into easily digestible bites. 

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Practice the Rule of Five

Practice the Rule of 5.

Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out. – Robert Collier – Best selling author and publisher of the Secret of the Ages.    

The author of Chicken Soup for the Soul namely Mark Victor Hansen and Jack Canfield in the process of publishing their book sought the advice of Ron Scolastico who told them „If you would go every day to a very large tree and take five swings at it with a very sharp axe, eventually, no matter how large the tree, it would have to come down.“ It is a very simple and true formula.

From there these two authors evolved and developed a principle which they called the RULE OF FIVE. This literally means that every day, if one does five specific things these activities will move once goal towards logical completion. 

The author has elaborated by saying what might you accomplish if you were to do a little bit-five things-every day for the next 40 years toward the accomplishment of your goal. If you wrote 5 pages a day that would be 73,000 pages of text-the equivalent of 243 books of 300 pages each. If you save $5 a day, that would be $73,000, enough for four round-the-world trips! If you invested $5 a day, with compound interest at only 6% a year, at the end of 40 years, you’d have amassed a small fortune of around $3, 05,000. 

How powerful the Rule of five is. One needs to practice the principle in order to understand how powerful and effective it is. The Human Resource Specialist in their quest to get positive results for their organization need to practice this principle consciously or unconsciously while discharging their functions. 

The principle by itself will not give results but it is how you understand, interpret, analyze and put it into action believing it will work. This principle will give definite results if small effort by the department of HR is practiced and sustained day in and day out over the years. For example: Every one of us understands that the human resource is an asset and with experienced people around every organization is bound to make profit. But it is not often true. Many organizations with professional competence and expertise face difficulties in handling people. It is always the people problem which gets the organization into difficulties more than the other problems in the form of financial crunch, operational inefficiency, under utilization of resources etc.   

The people in the organization have to be taken care of. I fully endorse and agree that monetary and non monetary incentives play a very important role in motivating the employees to contribute to productivity. I also agree that the environment, the practices, processes, the methods and the strategies play a definite role in bringing the organization to the top. With those practices the department / personnel’s of HR can inculcate / build the Rule of 5. It will definitely do a great of good for the HR and the organization as a whole. 

We take care of all the things which belong to the company like car, air conditioner, and computer etc and if they don’t function we get it repaired, rectified and bring it back to its normal working condition. Why not bring back the people who have been struggling to give the best results by applying the PRINCIPLE OF 5?

The author is Iyer Subramanian. I am attached to Bombay Chamber of Commerce and Industry. E Mail: iyerpdkgnm@yahoo.com

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Loan Modification Vs Loss Mitigation Vs Short Sell Vs Refinance Vs Bankruptcy

I’ll start by explaining the difference between loan modification vs loss mitigation leads. Loan mod is when you renegotiate the terms of your mortgage by modifying the payments owed to the lender. The new terms are based on your ability or inability we should say, to pay your monthly mortgage payments. This can be done by just attaching any past due balances to the loan itself, reducing the interest rate of the mortgage or extending the term of the loan.

What’s the Difference Between Short Sell and Mortgage Modification?

Mortgage mitigation also will result in an entire new contract between the homeowner and the lender however, the favor can be shifted more toward the homeowner. The reason for this is that most times the payments are made more affordable by actually lowering the amount owed or lowering the balance as most would call it, on the property itself. In my position at The Lead Tree, I actually see many loss mitigation leads turn into deals that have shaved ten of thousands off the balance of the loan or in some cases where the homeowner doesn’t wish to keep the property, a short sell can then be made where the bank will take the property for a fraction of the balance owed and some times a short refinance is used to keep the family in the house.

In my opinion, legal mitigation is a wiser option for homeowner than loan modification because it was the homeowners who were tricked into borrowing more from the bank quite simply because the banks were accepting falsified and inflated appraisals just to try to increase profits. As a seasoned mortgage professional I watched it happening everyday. In turn it contributed to the housing crisis which then contributed to the recession. Loss Mitigation puts the blame on the bank and is a way to get the lenders to recognize their wrongdoing in the mortgage meltdown.

Loan Modification vs Bankruptcy

Loan mod vs bankruptcy shouldn’t have to be an option. It’s almost always going to be better off if you can get the lender to take some of the heat off first and use bankruptcy as a last resort.

Please visit The Lead Tree online for Mortgage Lead Generation with 100% qualified and exclusive leads, live transfers as well as appointment setting.

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Simple Home Design Tips

Having a home with the design that we truly want is something that would really make us feel good. Although most houses built these days have general designs, it would be better if we could come up with our own design to give our homes a more personalized touch. We all certainly would want everything in our house to be perfect as much as possible. Designing our own houses is very practical, fun to do, and is not really hard to do. We do not really need to hire an interior decorator or any home design experts if we want to save money since we can also do it on our own. We just need to be creative and have fun while we do it.

Take your time and think what kind of design that you really want to incorporate in your house. If you want more references, you can just search the internet for a wide variety of design options. It is important that you make a final decision since it may cost you more instead of saving money if the design is already completed and you change your mind and have it redone. After you make the final decision, you can start searching all the materials that you would need. You also do not need to rush this part since you would want to compare different rates from different stores first. It would be also a great idea to ask for recommendations from your family, friends, and other people you know who could help you.

After thorough considerations and preparations, you may start designing either the interior or the exterior part of the house whichever you are comfortable with. Choosing the right colors could help you set the ambiance.

You may also want to consider Feng Shui for good luck but only if you believe in that practice. Aside from using common furniture such as sofas, chairs, and tables, you may also want to add other components inside your house. Consider putting paintings, wall mounted fountains, and other extra fixtures to add more life to the interior design. For outdoors, putting sectional patio furniture may just do the trick to liven up the atmosphere outside of your house. Wooden, metal, or plastic chairs are also ideal outdoors. Whatever design you want for your own house, it is best to start at larger places down to the smaller ones which require more detail.

Depending on your preferences, you may want to have a minimal or simple design. Not only that you can save money but you can also save space. When you are designing in your house, keep in mind that this is a place where you would spend much of your time so you should consider putting emphasis to comfort and functionality. Designing a house also does not need to be complicated. As long as you are creative, you are resourceful, and you know what you want, it should just be a breeze. Just do not rush things so you will not have regrets in the future.

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Source by Patti Smith

6 Cheap Places To Live Or Retire In The U.S. And Overseas

They say home is where the heart is, but John Milton, the 17th-century English poet, argued „Our country is wherever we are well off.“

The trouble is, the average individual coping with a bad economy, mortgage concerns and job insecurity is anything but well-off-or even financially stable, for that matter. And their hearts and minds are not at home but rather wandering with worry about an uncertain future.

With a still-grim economic outlook, a high cost of living and a stock market that has caused 401(k)s and individual retirement accounts to lose considerable value, many Americans are delaying or reconsidering their retirement plans. Even with real estate prices still falling in parts of Florida, Arizona and other traditional retirement havens, a retirement home and comfortable lifestyle are still out of reach for many.

Those who are not yet near retirement are also having a rough time making ends meet. Some have lost their jobs and homes; others have fallen behind on mortgage payments and monthly bills.

But then you hear stories of people like the semi-retired widow who thought retirement was out of reach, then sold her $175,000 two-bedroom ranch and snapped up a one-bedroom condo in a comfortable retirement community for only $105,000, allowing her to put $70,000 in cash in the bank. And the young couple who traded in their $256,000 condo for a 2,100-square-foot three-bedroom house on an acre lot overlooking the ocean for just $149,000, putting an end to their money problems.

They are but two of the many, who, despite the current recession, continue to live well. Their secret? They traded down to live it up. In other words, they left their worries behind by moving to low-cost locales where less is more. There are plenty of places where you can scale back your cost of living without sacraficing your quality of life. Moving to a place with a lower cost of housing than where you are now will help stretch your dollars.

Whether you choose an undiscovered bargain somewhere in the United States or a cheap expatriate haven beyond our borders, there are places where you can leave your financial troubles behind.

Here are a few destinations to consider:

U.S. Surprises
Old Florida: Away from packed tourist traps and retiree enclaves is the Florida of old. In one little-known place on the western side of the state, the weather is just as perfect, the coastal scenery equally stunning and the beaches as powdery, however, the real estate prices are far cheaper. Here, a comfortable home near the Gulf of Mexico can be had for under $200,000.

The Sunbelt: While many places across this warm, southern stretch have become full-fledged retirement havens with prices that have soared due to their growing popularity, there remain some hidden gems. In one quiet region everything is cheap, including houses, which start at $100,000.

The Northeast: If you don’t mind a four-season climate, there are many towns in the northern part of the country that offering easy living and low prices. In one small town close enough to New York City to enjoy its social and cultural offerings, but far enough away to leave the bustle behind, the average house sells for $150,000.

Foreign Escapes
Mexico: Our neighbor just south of the border has more part-time American residents than any other country outside the U.S., thanks to its close proximity, alluring climate and relatively low cost-of-living. The idea of finding a seaside Mexican villa for pennies on the dollar may have long faded into history, but coastal real estate is still a fraction the cost of Florida and California oceanfront, and prices inland are even more attractive. There are still attractive and safe places in Mexico where you can still pick up a nice three-bedroom house for as little as $50,000. Annual property taxes on such a property: less than $40.

Nicaragua: With wars and unrest well behind it, this Central American country has emerged as an expatriate hideaway that rivals Costa Rica, but with much gentler prices. In many towns, comfortable single-family homes in move-in condition are selling for between $50,000 and $100,000. Groceries here cost less than half of what you pay back home.

Europe: In one emerging getaway in Eastern Europe you can find properties as charming as anything in rural Italy or France for a tenth of the price. Waterfront condos and villas can be picked up for prices that long vanished across the rest of the continent. One apartment with views of the sea is currently selling for under $40,000.

Happy hunting!

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Makler Heidelberg

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

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Source by Shannon Roxborough

Which Real Estate Prospecting System is Right For You?

While many real estate agents will go through contortions to avoid prospecting, some sort of prospecting must be done before a sale can be made. Top real estate agents know that prospecting is their ticket to prosperity and happiness, and they embrace it. Many other agents will „dabble“ at prospecting, without working the system hard. They’ll often keep looking for a ‚magic‘ system of prospecting.

I have seen all the systems on the market today that are sold as ‚magic formulas;‘ that claim to make prospecting easy, automatic, and virtually instant. The truth is most of those formulas are good systems for prospecting. But they’re not magic, and one is not intrinsically better than another… and none are „instant.“ All will take effort and consistency.

What’s the best prospecting system? It’s the one you want to work hard to implement. A good prospecting method is one that you are comfortable doing, that fits your personality so you are more inclined to be successful.

Active Real Estate Prospecting Methods

The best forms of prospecting for fast results are active. The following is a list of the most common active prospecting methods.

  • Some real estate agents have the personality for knocking on cold doors for a few hours each day. They like the repetition. They enjoy walking and getting the exercise. They like having a set script and getting into a rhythm. After the first day, they quickly get over any discomfort with talking to people at the front door. They find that most people don’t mind someone working hard, knocking on the door. If you’re someone who has a strong aversion to people knocking on your door, you might want to consider that thousands of Realtors have built hugely successful businesses doing this. Just because you don’t like it doesn’t mean others feel the same way. It’s an easy and very inexpensive prospecting approach. The key to making it work is both consistency and knowing the right kinds of words to use to convert a lead into an appointment on the spot (which is true of any of these active prospecting methods).
  • Some (few) people enjoy cold calling. They like the repetition, consistency, and ease. But the public doesn’t enjoy telemarketers, so the rejection rate is high. If you’re someone who interprets a hang up as a personal attack, you probably won’t want to do this. On the other hand, it’s one of the fastest ways to grow your business and I know many successful agents who built their business to the high six figures doing cold calling. You can learn to work within the regulations of the Do Not Call List. And because telemarketing is challenging, you probably won’t have much competition and you may find people more receptive these days because they’re not inundated by calls.
  • Some people enjoy dropping by FSBO’s or calling expireds. They like the odds (since the owner has already „raised their hand“) and have steeled themselves for the challenge. These owners can vent their frustrations about something else on you, making it seem „scary“ at first to talk with them. However, there are very well-described techniques for handling this and for knowing exactly the right words to say. In some areas, there are enough FSBO/Expireds to make a full-time prospecting program. In other areas, this may be a once-a-week program.
  • Some agents like threading their way through Web 2.0 and social media marketing. They like it, but they also understand that it’s not just a hobby. They have a strategy and know how to work the strategy using websites, lead generation companies, blogging, social media, ezine articles, etc. This is a pseudo-active form of prospecting because it combines elements of advertising (drop your bait and see who bites) with networking. The challenge is to know exactly what works in the „real estate social media world“ and what doesn’t, because it is easy to lose yourself in it.
  • Other real estate agents live and breathe for the opportunity to network. They are social creatures who can find business by talking to people in the grocery checkout line. A networking system ensures they have a deliberate strategy for building the right kinds of relationships, making themselves known in a community, etc. If you’re an introvert, you may not be attracted to this method of prospecting. On the other hand, I know some introverts who do well at it because they have a purpose for making conversation and have learned the right words to say to motivate someone to want to do business with them. Many people enjoy building 100% referral-based businesses and work techniques and strategies that go well beyond what we normally think of as networking.
  • Some people enjoy farming because they like being part of a community. They enjoy the benefits of door knocking, sponsoring neighborhood events, and blogging about the ‚hood. If you don’t like your neighbors, you don’t have to farm your own neighborhood. Some agents use neighborhood websites with coupons and free classifieds for garage sales, FSBOs, etc. Farming is the one method that includes elements of all other methods, so if you like variety, this is the method for you.
  • Still others, like me, have tremendous success with running workshops — first time buyer, seller, investor, etc. Workshops are natural and fun for me, and so I enjoy prospecting…and I do believe that an agent should enjoy their real estate prospecting, otherwise they won’t do it. I’ve developed my own system filling workshops and delivering content in a way that makes people eager to work with me. This is a nice approach for many agents who are a bit shy, but still like to be on stage.
  • Open houses are still a great way to prospect, if done well. Some agents hold open houses five days a week. They have a process for working the buyers that come through, and they work the community where they’re holding the open houses, often becoming listing agents in time. If open houses are a lynchpin in your prospecting plan, then you’ll want to know the exact words to use to motivate prospects to want to work with you, and you’ll want to get good at asking for appointments, not just phone numbers. Some agents feel that open houses are a waste of time because they don’t get enough active prospects coming through in their area. If that’s true for you, then maybe you should spend your weekends on a different approach.

Passive Prospecting

Less active prospecting (or passive prospecting) includes direct response marketing, advertising, online lead generation companies, just listed/sold cards, dropping flyers, etc. Some of these techniques work very well. And some of them are a complete waste of time. Before you decide to launch a passive marketing campaign, talk to your coach and discuss the costs vs. outcomes.

The One Real Estate Prospecting System that Every Agent Needs

Every agent should follow up with their past clients religiously and automatically. Ongoing database farming is perhaps the only way for most agents to even out the ups and downs of this industry. Eventually, after building your business for several years, this past client base will be your ticket to the lifestyle you’ve always dreamed of.

Database farming is also your best chance for „easy, automatic, and virtually instant“ business. If you need business right now, then reconnect to every past client and person in your circle of influence and ask them for a referral. Using some clever referral techniques and words, chances are very good that you will unearth at least one new transaction.

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Makler Heidelberg

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

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Source by Linda Schneider

Marketing to Realtors – 6 Ways for Using Facebook

Marketing to real estate agents just got a little faster. Recently, a new marketing strategy started: social networking. During the past few years, loan officers have increasingly turned to creative tools like Facebook to impact their marketing to real estate agents. Realtors give opportunities to loan officers they have rapport with – why? Because people like doing business from people they like. This is as matter of fact as in business-to-business sales as it is in the business-to-consumer market. Facebook helps you to become mates – with loads of real estate agents in your local community.

Six Suggestions to Use Facebook For Marketing to Real Estate Agents

Listed here are 6 ways you may use Facebook to help your relationships – without trying to sell any service. This may be a new technique of marketing. Downplay the business side of your being on Facebook. Stress building rapport.

1. I know, that sounds paradoxical, but first, show you are human. Use Facebook to let your „friends“ see you as somebody like them, somebody they can find common ground with, somebody they can like. Then, when they become ok with you, they are going to want to conduct business with you as they originally came to like and trust you.

2. Share a bit about your other interests. If you feel comfy doing so describe your hobbies and interests. Join groups that interest you. And act like a friend — think about them first: send resources and links related to their interests and post testimonials for them on their Facebook.

3. Invite Realtors to become Facebook friends. Skew your Facebook activities towards business by inviting peers to become „friends.“ While you may invite family and pals outside of business, also ask customers & prospects to be pals. Additionally, you can invite people whom you need to get to know better. In addition, you can send out notices to members of your group.

4. Post business events like teleseminars, webinars, and even conventions. Send invites to them thru the Facebook Event Coordinator.

5. Use Facebook to do background research. Facebook provides amazing tools to research your clients, prospects and vendors. Use what Realtors openly share on Facebook to better know them.

Besides their profiles, Realtors on Facebook upload footage, write comments on their walls, and post what they do now. Here your buddies will generally tell you more about their private interests than the characteristic database researching all the general public records can tell you.

6. The last tip about using Facebook for marketing to real estate agents is to incorporate a signature on any messages you send pals just like you do on notes and regular letters.

In your signature, you can offer a free article or report and include a link. If they follow that link, it takes them to an opt-in page for newsletters from you. Then your autoresponder will send out regular messages or mailings in order that you can build a more robust rapport with them.

Facebook can be another method for marketing to Realtors so you develop more referral sources and close more loans.
Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

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Wir verkaufen für Verkäufer zu 100% kostenfrei
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Source by Jeffrey Nelson

Verkaufen Sie Ihr Haus in 7 Tagen – Deal oder Betrug?

Ich bin sicher, dass Sie diese Werbung auf Bandit Schildern an der Autobahn oder im Bereich Immobilien in der Zeitung gesehen habe. Vielleicht haben Sie gefragt, ob sie realistisch sind – oder sind sie nur ein Betrug?

Die Wahrheit ist, dass die besseren echt sind. Sie werden von privaten Investoren platziert, die unmittelbaren Zugang zu Mitteln und sich leisten können, auf Ihr Eigentum schnell zu schließen. Sie deckt oft die Abschlusskosten und sicher organisieren alle Formalitäten. Klingt zu gut um wahr zu sein? Nun, ist es nicht, aber es gibt einen Haken – ich wette, dass Sie gedacht, dass!

Wenn jemand bereit ist, Ihr Haus für alle Cash kaufen und in 7 Tagen zu schließen, gehen sie nicht Einzelhandel Marktwert zu zahlen. Das ist eine Tatsache – sie nicht zu leisten. Diese Leute sind nicht Philanthropen – sie tun dies, um einen Gewinn zu machen (obwohl die seriösen auch glauben, dass sie Menschen in Not helfen möchte). Also, ist irgendwo unter dem Einzelhandel Marktwert was Sie erwarten können, um auf ihr Angebot zu sehen. Wie viel unter dem Marktwert? Es hängt vom Zustand des Grundstücks, seine Lage und eine Reihe anderer Faktoren könnte, aber es rund 70 % des Verkaufspreises.

Bevor Sie, dies denken ist nur eine schlichte Abzocke-darüber nachdenken. Wenn Sie die Immobilie über einen Vermittler verkauft, würde Sie diese mindestens 6 % bezahlen. Add-on Schließen Kosten, Inspektionen, denen Sie bezahlen können und einen kleinen Rabatt auf dem Verkaufspreis kann, und es leicht bis zu 10 %. Dann können Sie Ihre Betriebs-Kosten berücksichtigen. Wenn es 6 Monate dauert, um das Haus zu verkaufen (und das ist nicht schlecht, im heutigen Markt), müssen Sie Ihre monatlichen Kosten – Kreditzahlungen, Steuern, Versicherungen, Versorgungsunternehmen usw. -auch berücksichtigt. Ein Haus im Wert von $250.000 könnte die monatlichen Ausgaben leicht $2.500 pro Monat. Mehr als 6 Monate beträgt, die weitere 6 %.

Fügen Sie über die Kosten der Vorbereitung des Haus für den Verkauf im Einzelhandel – vielleicht eine weitere $5.000 und die Situation könnte wie folgt aussehen:

Preisvorstellung $250.000

Rabatt zu verkaufen (2 %) 5.000

Vermittlungsprovision (6 %) 14.700

closing Costs (2 %) 4.900

Netto-Verkaufswert 225.400


Holdingkosten 15.000

Verkauf Vorbereitung 5.000

Gesamtkosten $20.000

Bargeld zur Verfügung $185.400 (74 %)

also, wenn das Haus in 6 Monaten verkauft und du musst nur um 2 % Rabatt, man können zu Fuß mit etwa 75 % des geforderten Preises. Wenn der Markt weiterhin ablehnen oder Ihren Preis für einen Verkauf zu schneiden, könnte bald unter 70 % sein. Ich denke, dass macht ein Angebot von 70 %, Bargeld, sofort, attraktiv aussehen.

Natürlich können Sie versuchen, die Immobilie zu verkaufen sich, spart die Kosten für einen Agenten, aber Markt Statistiken zeigen, dass über 80 % der FSBOs (For Sale By Owner) am Ende mit einem Agenten sowieso und diejenigen, die das Haus verkaufen, erzielen einen niedrigeren Preis als der Agent getan hätten. Dies ist zum Teil, weil die Käufer wissen, dass der Verkäufer spart Agenturprovisionen und Rabatt, die von den Angebotspreis.

Wenn ein privater Investor spricht über den Kauf Ihres Hauses in 7 Tagen, ist dies nur eine der Möglichkeiten, in denen sie es tun können. Aber wie du siehst, mag auf den ersten Blick das Angebot nicht sehr großzügig zu sein, sobald Sie die Variablen berücksichtigen, die wir besprochen haben, kann es beginnen, aussehen wie ein gutes Geschäft.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Der Immoblienmakler für Heidelberg Mannheim und Karlsruhe
Wir verkaufen für Verkäufer zu 100% kostenfrei
Schnell, zuverlässig und zum Höchstpreis

Source by Chris X Lewis