Simple Formula for Working With Commercial Property Investment Clients

Getting to know your investment client is a key part of the commercial real estate business. Given that they require performance from the property, the focus is always on these three issues:The net income
The tenant mix or profile
Capital gain from the propertyFrom these three things, so many other matters evolve and you as the professional real estate agent can be the catalyst to help the client get the results that they need. Services offered by real estate agents are typically:Property Purchase
Property Sale
Property Leasing
Property ManagementEvery one of these services offered in commercial real estate is specialised. The more knowledge and skill you can bring to the client whilst improving items 1to 3 above the better.Importantly the property investor is a repeat buyer as long as they are successful in each step of the property ladder. Establishing trust with the property investor is essential for future business. Here are some key questions to put to your client as you help them with their property investment needs:
What are their targets for the property or their property portfolio and in what time frame?
What is the best way to contact the client when you have information for them about existing or new property matters?
Do they like to hold property for the long term or are they focused on short term gain and sale at a profit?
Who are the decision makers in the property ownership and what information would they like to be getting from you as part of a market update process?
When will they need to acquire more property and what type do they prefer?
What are the typical terms of purchase that they like to operate under?
What are the typical terms of leasing as a landlord do they like to operate under?
Do they have a preference between retail property, office property, and or industrial property, and if so what is it?
What ongoing market information can you help them with that will assist ongoing property decisions?
What other property do they hold currently, and would they like to diversify their current property portfolio now?
What are their preferred methods of sale when they buy or sell?
Who are the accountants and solicitors that the client likes to refer matters to when handling property sales or leasing? Should you introduce yourself to those people to help with the future communication that may be required in ongoing property assistance?When you know these things you can correctly assist the client to understand the market and the opportunity that exists at any time. Every property investment client is unique and different. Understanding that fact allows you to serve the client with up to date property listing and performance information; this is the beginning of trust. When you think and talk property strategy to the client you elevate yourself above the common once off salesperson that is in it for the single sale. Be better than the rest. Be the best.

Inside Tips for Hosting an At-Home Children’s Birthday Party (From Viewpoint of a Child Entertainer)

Have you ventured into the world of hosting your child’s birthday party in your home yet? There are those brave moms that would not have it any other way. Then, there are those moms that dread hearing these words come out of their child’s mouth, “I want my party at home this year.” Whether you are a seasoned at-home party giver or contemplating the idea for the first time, here are a few tidbits to help make this brave journey into at-home birthday party hosting a little easier.First, having planned activities literally every minute is a must. Hiring a child entertainer will be a big help in this task and will allow you to relax for a bit. However, you will still have the time to kill while the children/parents are arriving, and the time at the end of the party while you are waiting for things to wrap up.As a seasoned child entertainer, I have seen many different avenues of keeping the children busy and entertained in the lag times. While allowing the children to just play in your child’s room or playroom is the easiest, it is also the avenue that will create the most mess and possible fighting and tears. Depending on the age of the children, at the start of the party, I suggest a coloring activity or some sort of easy arts-n-crafts (stickers are always a great and easy arts-n-crafts). There are also easy games like Simon Says or Pin the Tail to keep them entertained (this will need to be someone other than you leading the games, though, as you will be meeting and greeting your guests).Once all of your guests have arrived, my suggestion is to proceed with your child entertainer. Please keep in mind that most child entertainers will give you a set start time and will not have extra time to wait for your guests. With that being said, if you have friends/family that perpetually run 30 minutes late, it may be a good idea to 1) let them know that the entertainment will start at such-n-such time, and 2) set your entertainers start time approximately 20-30 minutes after your official start time that you sent out on your invitations.To keep your party running smoothly, you will need to be on the watch out for a few things (please excuse some of my bluntness).1) Keep any “wild-children” calm. This could mean asking one or both of the parents to sit with their children (especially if they are younger). You can also remind the children that the party is about the birthday child today and that you are requesting everyone to use their manners today to help make it a super special day. Your entertainer may or may not help out with the “discipline” part of your party, so do not be afraid to step in and help.
In addition, alerting your child entertainer to any “issues” ahead of time will help.2) During your entertainers “show”, helping keep the adults’ voices down so that the children can hear the entertainer will help things running smoothly for your entertainer.3) Keep tabs on the temperature in your room. Many people will create lots of heat. Ceiling fans and/or setting a cooler temperature than normal is a big help in keeping everyone comfortable.Finally, organization is a key point in the success of an at-home party. Your entertainment area should be separate from your cake/eating area (especially if you do not want food/drink in other parts of your home). It is best to have your party table set up with decorations, plates, napkins, etc… ahead of time. Also, have your area where the entertainer will be “entertaining” all cleared and ready to go. Your entertainer will need their own time to get their stuff ready, so it will help if they can come in and get started without having to help move furniture and such.Once the children are done with the entertainment part of the party, you will need to move them on to the table to prepare for the eating part of your party. As a reminder, children eat much faster than adults do and you will need to keep the eating time short and sweet. As a fellow mom, you may also wish to have handy wipes or sanitizer available for hands, as well, for both before and after eating. In addition, do not be afraid to ask your guests to keep all food and drink at the table. You are being a brave soul in hosting the party in your home, it is okay to have some house rules and set expectations.Now, to open gifts or not? In all of my experience over the years, it is almost a perfect 50/50 split between opening gifts at the party and waiting to open them later. IF you do plan on opening the gifts at the party, it is best to open the presents at the entertainment area and to have the following ready: 1) pen/paper and a person to help you with writing the gift receiving list, and 2) a special area for the birthday child to sit while the other children sit a bit away from the birthday child. And it is okay to re-remind your guests to keep food and drink in the kitchen area.If you are not going to have your child open presents at the party, then having one or two more games and/or activities for the children while your party is winding down is highly suggested. When you do not open presents at a party, it is hard for your guests to know that the party is over, therefore, you may want to say something like this, “And now, for the last event of the party, we will have one last game”. Remember, you are the host and your guests are looking to you for “direction”.Finally, the ending to your party… you will have both the kids that need to leave early and the kids that will stay after the designated time as you wait for parents to pick up their children (if it was a drop off party). Therefore, it is best to have the goody bags already packed up and in a designated area close to the exit. If you are able to put your guests’ names on their goody bags, that will help alleviate any confusion. In the case of my clients, their goody bag is the take-home bag that I supply with their new stuffed animal friend that they made at the party. I personally place (as part of my service that I provide) all of the children’s names on the outside of their bags and have them all packed up and waiting near the exit. You can also discuss ahead of time with your child how to thank everyone for coming and how you plan to say your goodbyes (at the door or back in the entertainment area; handing guests their take home bags or having them grab their own; etc…)In the end, remember to relax and enjoy the party. Your child will cherish their time with their friends and family. The more planning and preparation you can do ahead of time, the better the party will flow.

Best Stock Fund and Bond Fund Investment Strategy for 2013

The best investment strategy for 2013 will differ from conventional investment strategy for both stock funds and bond funds. Many investors have fallen in love with their bond fund because it has been their best investment, in terms of performance, for years. It’s time to look beyond 2013 in putting together your best investment portfolio to balance risk vs. return to limit the possibility of significant losses going forward.Hindsight is of no value in the investment world, and even the best stock fund or bond fund will lose money if the investment environment goes against one or the other asset class. As an investor you need balance, and for the average investor this means you need both kinds of mutual funds in your investment portfolio. Now, you also need to re-think your investment strategy in both cases, because interest rates have been falling for 30 years and have recently hit EXTREME all-time lows.What this means is that even though bond funds have performed well vs. safe investments and even stock funds – the best investment strategy now is to start limiting your exposure to risk in this asset class. The reason: these funds perform well when rates are falling, and lose money when rates rise. Even the highest quality or best bond funds are subject to this phenomenon called “interest rate risk”. The signature of long term bond funds is interest rate risk.So, what’s your best investment strategy to get both income and growth in 2013 and beyond and what are the best funds to own? Look for intermediate-term bond funds with investment portfolios where the average maturity is 5 to 7 years vs. 10 to 20 years or longer, to increase you safety factor. You will sacrifice some dividend income, but will greatly reduce interest rate risk. Then, look for the best stock fund investment that will both lower your risk of owning a stock fund while making up for the dividend income you have given up.What you need to understand is that your bond fund has likely been your best investment in recent times not because it has paid such high dividends – but because it has been going up in value due to falling interest rates in the economy. There are stock funds out there right now that pay higher dividends, and do not have interest rate risk. Your best investment strategy would be to emphasize these funds, since some of the best stock funds pay higher dividends than the average bond fund.The best investment strategy for 2013 will be to lower your allocation to bonds and funds that invest in them, while also lowering your risk in stocks (growth funds) that pay little if anything in dividends. At the same time, it is always wise to lower your cost of investing in mutual funds of both varieties in order to increase your net return. Now, let’s get more specific in terms of the best bond funds and best stock funds to invest in so we can put our investment strategy in action.The best investment strategy for bond funds: go with intermediate-term INDEX FUNDS with NO sales charges and low yearly expenses. This can save you 3% or more upfront and about 1% a year for expenses. This is significant when you consider that you can’t earn 1% a year on most safe investments, and most bond funds won’t be paying dividends of even 3% in 2013. Plus, longer term funds have significant downside risk called interest rate risk.The best investment strategy for stock funds: Go with stock INDEX funds that invest in large companies that pay higher than average dividends. Consider real estate equity funds as well for even higher dividend yields. If you include both in your investment portfolio, and go with no-load funds to avoid sales charges and lower your yearly expenses, you could net an average of 3% or more in dividends. Plus, these funds have less downside risk than growth funds that don’t pay significant dividends.The best investment strategy for 2013 will provide you with a relatively attractive dividend income – while lowering your risk in both your stock fund and bond fund investments.

Professional Travel Agent – 8 Benefits of Utilizing Their Knowledge

Travel Agents have been helping travelers plan their vacations and trips for decades. The brick and mortar agencies are still going strong and many times beating the prices of online competition.Now that almost every home in America has a computer and internet access, many people are trying to do it all by themselves when planning a vacation thinking they’ll get the best deal. For an international trip, the typical person will spend many, many valuable hours online doing research and making reservations if they do it alone. Why not just go to a Travel Agent? Contacting a knowledgeable individual can save you time and money. That’s what they are for.Here are some of the many benefits of using a Professional Travel Agent.Your time is valuable. Instead of spending your precious time searching the internet, going from website to website, comparing prices, itineraries, hotels and destinations, you can make just one call and have a Travel Agent do all the planning.Service. There is something to be said for good, old-fashioned, person to person service. This is an attribute you will not experience with an online booking engine. Travel Agents are happy to help you with your travel arrangements including inception of ideas and thorough planning. Plus they are available for the duration of your trip, upon your arrival home and for all future travel. The personalized service you receive provides peace-of-mind whether you purchase an air ticket or an entire travel package. A travel agent is ready to answer any and all questions.Knowledge. Travel Agents have the most up-to-date information about specials, promotions and rates. Because they are the professionals in the industry, they are notified first of all current special rates and promotions stemming from airlines to tour companies to hotel deals. Many agencies who have weathered years of ups and downs in the travel industry have also built excellent relationships along the way. More times than not, they can provide better rates than what can be found online due to wholesale status and working with airline consolidators.Specialized. More and more Travel Agents are becoming specialized in a specific geographic region or type of travel through study and hands on travel experience. This means that if you are traveling to Australia, for example, and want assistance from someone who really knows the country by the best places to visit, climate, exchange rates, cuisine, clothing to pack and the inside scoop to the best deals, utilizing a Travel Agent is a great resource. They often have personal travel experience and the experience of all their clients who have booked their trips with them. Plus the accumulative travel knowledge of their fellow agents giving you real information about how a hotel may suit your needs or a great tour guide that would jive with your travel style. It’s specialty information only a real, live human can provide when you are booking your trip.One-Stop Shopping. With a Travel Agent you can book all your reservations and services in one place. Travel Agents can book everything from airfare to car rentals, to tours and show tickets. This also means you only have to give your personal information, like credit card details to one business.Someone to call in case of an emergency. If you should have some type of a glitch or emergency while abroad, trying to get through to an actual person at an airline or online agency can be practically impossible and completely time consuming. It can be reassuring knowing that you have someone you can call in case of an emergency.Unique Travel Itineraries. Travel Agents can help put together a trip and itinerary based on your interests. Tell a Travel Agent what you like to do during vacation, how active you want to be and your budget, and she will give you suggestions based on that information. This usually results in a more enjoyable vacation developed just for you instead of following an itinerary suggested by a friend or family. Just because your friend enjoyed a specific tour doesn’t necessarily mean that you will.First Hand Hotel Information. Most Travel Agents have up-to-date information on hotels that are under construction or being refurbished. You do not want to arrive at your hotel, only to find that the reason why you got such a great deal is because they are in the middle of construction on the pool.To book your international vacation of a lifetime, contact a Travel Agent today, or visit us on the web.