EECA Offers Funding Grant for Home Insulation Among Low-Income Kiwis

Low-income households in New Zealand that need home insulation services should consider applying for the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority’s (EECA) funding grant for homes that are built before 2000. EECA plans More »

How to Avoid Stress During House Construction

So, you’re currently in the process of building your new home. You’ve worked out the floor plan, agreed on an interior design and the landscaping, and found a plumber, electrician and an air More »

Multifamily Sales in Salt Lake City Amounted to More Than 1$B in 2017

The Salt Lake Board of Realtors reported that sales of multifamily units in 2017 amounted to more than $1 billion, due to an increase in median sales prices. Despite the increase, there More »

3 Mortgage Mistakes When Buying a Condo

Despite the large number of desirable Corpus Christi, Rockport, and Key Allegro homes, many people prefer to buy condominium units. After all, as Rockport Properties, Inc. explains, condos usually provide a better view, help More »

Three Changes to Do in the Workplace this 2018

There's no better time to roll out changes in the workplace than as when the new year sets in. This is in line with people starting over a new leaf. If you've More »

 

3 Ways to Increase Garage Safety for Children

A kid playingEvery year, over 3.4 million children across the U.S. suffer from accidental household injuries. Sadly, about 2,300 of them, who are under the age of 15 years old, die because of it. When you have kids, especially young ones, it’s important to go through your home and ensure that safety protocols are followed. This includes your garden, backyard, and garage.

Here are some ways on how you can make your garage a safer place for young children:

Fix broken or faulty garage doors.

Did you know that every year, there are about 10,580 injuries recorded related to garage doors? The most common incident is when you back into it with your car while it’s still closed. This could be dangerous, especially if you have children in the backseat. Sometimes, garage doors can close on their own because of a mechanism malfunction.

If you have problems with your garage door, either replace it immediately or call for commercial garage door repair in Salt Lake City.

Keep chemicals and other cleaning materials away from children.

Every year, there are about 41.3 poison exposures per 1000 population among children aged six and below. That’s about 800,000 kids that are being treated for accidental poisoning every year. More often than not, the chemicals can be found in your own home. If you keep chemicals and other cleaning agents at home, make sure they’re not just closed but also out of reach. Stash them in locked cabinets. Remember that young, idle hands love to explore.

Keep sharp gardening tools away from children.

If your garage function as your tool shed, make sure that your gardening tools — even those that are not sharp or point — are kept far away from young children. Simple gardening tools like shovels can be deadly in the hands of toddlers.

Use these tips to make your garage a safer place to be. For added protection, make your garage off-limits to children. Just because it’s off-limits doesn’t mean they won’t go there, though, so make sure it’s also childproof.

Video Marketing: What Is It and How Can It Help Your Business?

woman being filmed for video marketingAs a small business owner, you might feel limited with your options when it comes to marketing your brand because of budget constraints. If for now you only have enough budget for one marketing campaign, you should carefully choose the right strategy that will work best for your brand.

Video marketing is a great option and has a good ROI. Plus, it can accomplish what traditional marketing can and so much more. Promotional videos might not come cheap, but you can talk to different video production companies in Denver and ask them what works best for your given budget.

Here are more great reasons video marketing is the kind of marketing strategy you are looking for.

1. Videos can increase brand awareness

You have to face the reality that most people shy away from lengthy posts or articles because reading takes too much time.

So, how can you introduce who you are and what you offer as a business if no one wants to read about you? A well-made video can entice them to watch it a little bit longer.

2. Videos help your site rank better on search engines

The more people watch your videos, the more they will stay on your site. This helps reduce your bounce rate. This will help convince search engines such as Google that you offer valuable information on your site. Hence, you get a better ranking, which will improve your online presence.

3. Videos boost your social media engagement

Videos are compatible with most marketing platforms — TV, your website, and social media platforms. Did you know that videos are the most shared content social media? The more interesting the video, the better.

4. Videos can help you save time

Instead of giving instructions or explaining something over and over again to someone, why not just create a video containing all the information you need to share with others. This way, you get to save time, and you can focus on making your business grow.

Don’t just hire any video production company. You should carefully select one that can capture the essence of your business and give your videos heart. You don’t want people to just watch your videos; you should also be able to touch their hearts.

3 Ways to Boost Your Travel Agency Business with Social Media

a couple at a travel agencyDo you that in Europe, travel, tours, and related activities accumulate up to US$40 billion in revenue? In fact, in 2015 alone, the tourism sector garnered an income of 37,000 million euros in Europe alone. The key takeaway is that every year, billions of people travel all over the world. If you have a travel agency business, you should learn how to take advantage of this key statistics.

And remember, since most people start their travel search online, you should have a strong digital marketing strategy for your travel agency. Here are some ways on how to use social media to your advantage.

Create travel ambassadors

Hire some online influencers to be your travel ambassadors. This way, you take advantage not only of their strong online presence and huge following but also their curated content. There are many online influencers you can hire for this. To go even further, you can hire online influencers based on your niche. For instance, if your travel agency is focused on value-of-money or that of luxury, you can look for online influencers that have the same focus as yours.

Partner with top hotels for the best rates.

Some people do not want the hassle of researching the nitty-gritty details. For instance, they want a one-stop-shop when it comes to travel. So make sure you partner with not only the top hotels but also with the top tours so you can offer the best promotional packages. This way, you offer more value-for-money without the headache.

Work the “social” in social media.

More and more people are finding the perks of traveling alone. It is such an awesome experience that people should try at least once. And with more solo travelers, you can put the “social” in social media by connecting fellow solo travelers and looking fun group activities that they can engage in.

Being Social

When it comes to using social media, it’s all about being social. So make sure you create posts that are not only informative but also engaging. Use these tips so you can improve your travel agency business.

Restoration and Recovery Priorities in the Aftermath of a House Fire

House fireSome house fires are accidental. They arise from faulty wiring, light fittings, and the misuse of household appliances. Regardless of the cause, their effects are heartbreaking. This tragic event leads to irrecoverable losses and forces you to face what seems to be an overwhelming challenge, which is dealing with its aftermath.

Hiring the services of professional fire damage restoration experts in Ogden, however, is a good move to start anew. Dealing with the emotional trauma of losing your home could overwhelm your thoughts and cloud judgment after all. Important decisions need to be made, so you can move on and resume with your daily routine. Having professionals supporting and guiding you through the recovery process is advantageous in many ways.

Who should perform the inspection?

Your insurer should pay for the inspection and send a reliable inspector to the scene. A structural engineer, for example, is one of the qualified professionals who should be trusted to inspect your property. An experienced contractor is qualified, as well.

An industrial hygienist might be helpful in assessing the air quality if there’s significant smoke damage. Their job also involves a thorough inspection and assessment of obvious and hidden aspects of the devastation. The roof, foundation, structural steel, siding, plumbing system, and all other areas of the property should undergo some serious examination.

Important aspects of the cleanup

A property brought to ruins by flames has an additional destruction — the water introduced to it during the firefighting efforts. The water will cause flooding in the area, devastating structures all over the house. Restoration professionals noted that cleanup can only start once the area is declared safe. Afterward, the priority is to remove anything salvageable from the area and remove its water and moisture. Only then can cleanup of debris will start.

A fire in your home causes devastation that may be beyond your capacity to endure. Do not lose hope, and allow capable professionals to help you through the process of recovery.

Why You Should Have a Japanese Tetsubin Teapot in Your Kitchen

Tea in a glass cupTea brewers and drinkers will attest not only to the beauty of the presentation but the unique tea experience brought by the Japanese cast iron teapot known as tetsubin. Yet how does this simple teapot made of cast iron make a difference and make better tea than the rest?

The Right Materials

Tea is known for being a no-fuss beverage, but getting the best experience not only comes with your favourite tea; the process of getting that delightful taste also needs the right teapot. There are several factors to make the right tea, including the quality and temperature of the water, steeping time, the quality of leaves, and the teapot. Combined with the right brewing method, you’ll have yourself a pure and flavourful tea.

The Secret

So, what are the secrets? One of the best characteristics of a Japanese cast iron teapot is that it can absorb heat evenly, which makes the water warmer for a longer period of time. This allows the flavour and the healthy nutrients of the tea to blend evenly with the water.

Plus, tetsubin is highly recommended for people who suffer from iron deficiency due to its natural characteristic. A study shows that a good amount of iron, minerals and nutrients is infused into the boiling water when using a cast iron teapot. Blend with high-quality leaf tea and the continual use of the same cast iron teapot, avid tea brewers are certain to get that delicious and richly flavoured tea.

Durability

It should not take a rocket scientist to say that tetsubin is more durable than ceramic and clay teapots. Being made of cast iron, your teapot will surely last a lifetime. In fact, most tetsubin teapots retain their shape for generations, so long you take care of them.

Caring for a Teapot

To ensure that your tetsubin teapot will last for a long time, you need to make an effort to keep in good shape, which is not really a hard thing to do. For one, while it is still warm, wipe it gently with a clean dry cloth and then let it cool off by itself. Remember not to use any chemical cleaning materials like detergents, but most of all, do not scratch it with scouring pads or other hard materials that can cause a scratch.

Japanese teapots are as steeped in culture and tradition as much as tea is. These teapots have an important place in the Japanese household, and most definitely deserve a spot in your home, as well.

What a Bed and Breakfast Will Always Have That A Hotel Won’t

Woman working in a hotel roomIf you’re booking a trip or planning a short break, finding a place to stay can be hard. It usually comes down to two places: a hotel or a bed and breakfast (also known as a B&B).

Hotels come in many sizes and forms while B&Bs are almost always relatively smaller. Choosing depends on your preferences, but if you’re booking for yourself or with a partner only and you’re looking for your money’s worth in service, memorability, and cost-effectiveness, here’s why a B&B will certainly be your choice:

Better Service

Even the best B&Bs can’t offer you a champagne bubble bath like other high-end hotels, but they can provide an intimate setting without you worrying about the extra costs piling up. Large hotel chains have protocols for nearly everything, but B&B staff are much more personal with their guests.

More Memorable

If you’ve been in a hotel room, it’s quite certain that that room is no different from the one next to it. Your room is part of the experience of the area, whether it’s shopping in London or having a short break in Bath for the weekend, and B&Bs have that character hotels have failed to reproduce.

Cost-Efficient

You wouldn’t touch those hotel fridges stocked with drinks that are double the price or watch films at an extra cost. Amenities like WiFi, parking, drinks, and breakfast itself are just some of the examples of amenities that may cost a lot in hotels but are usually free in B&Bs.

Choosing a hotel or B&B will depend on your preferences, but if you want a place to stay that will get you your money’s worth, choosing a B&B will make your next trip a memorable vacation.

Why Businesses Should Entrust Customs Procedures to Brokers

business cargo passing through customsMany business operations involve importing goods from another country. As a universal rule, businesses need to secure a customs clearance for their products to enter a country legally. Failure to do so may result in the confiscation of items due to a possible smuggling case.

Businesses that do not have the human resources to see to the process of getting this clearance will have an easier time if they hire a customs broker. In the Philippines and in other countries, the customs department imposes strict regulations on imported goods, so it would be better to hire someone with knowledge and expertise in customs requirements and processes.

Brokers help in securing a customs clearance and assist businesses in other related procedures for clearing its requirements. They also know how to communicate with customs officials and other related agencies properly.

Let’s take a closer look at what brokers can do for your business:

Provide assistance with documentation

Brokers help in handling the documentation required by customs. They offer convenience as they manage the necessary paperwork. They make sure to obtain clearance that adheres to the regulatory requirements of the country of the recipient or consignee of the products.

Assist in the proper declaration of products

Brokers are knowledgeable in the proper procedure for the declaration of products. There are cases wherein incorrect declarations happen because businesses want to pay less. This can become a serious legal issue that will put any business at risk.

Brokers make sure products are declared correctly to avoid sanctions and penalties. Every item is categorized with an assigned classification number. These are placed into primary and minor groups for easier classification.

Apply expertise in regulatory requirements

The regulatory requirements of different countries can be complicated and confusing. Brokers help businesses understand these provisions and requirements in an easier and clearer way. Businesses can either ask for assistance in certain steps or entrust the entire process of securing a customs clearance to their chosen broker.

Ensure added costs are avoided

Customs regulations in different countries continuously change. As brokers are familiar with these changes, they can supply new information for their clients regarding the adjustments they need to do. Because businesses are notified, they avoid possible additional costs such as fines sanctioned by the customs department.

Brokers help businesses avoid added costs by notifying businesses of the necessary updates. It is better to follow the regulatory requirements — even if these may seem like a lot of work — than to skip these steps and end up facing a hefty penalty.

Important Considerations when Looking for a Janitorial Company

Janitor at workThe cleanliness and sanitation of your office play a major role in the success of your business. To do the job, it’s either you employ a full-time janitor or hire a professional cleaning service. Here are some tips to consider when choosing a commercial janitorial company in San Diego:

Services

The best janitorial company offers customized and flexible services. It should provide general cleaning and deep cleaning of specific areas weekly, monthly, or quarterly services based on the client’s needs.

Tools and equipment

General cleaning and deep cleaning require different sets of tools. The best janitorial company uses the right tools and equipment for every cleaning routine. Also, it should use cleaning products in accordance with health and safety standards. The use of toxic products that can cause serious illness should be discarded.

Workforce

A legitimate janitorial company should provide professional training and awareness on potential hazards. Its workforce should be trained on the different cleaning procedures and concerns, and the proper use of cleaning agents and equipment. They should be briefed on work ethics, privacy and confidentiality since they will be dealing with business firms.

References

Ask for references. A reputable company can provide you with a roster of satisfied clients. Get in touch with these references and ask how pleased and satisfied they are with the company’s services. More importantly, make sure that the company is duly accredited. Check its ratings regarding high-quality standards.

Contract

Read the contract before signing. Specify the services that you want (mopping, vacuuming, sanitizing, etc.), the amount of time required to do the job, and of course the service fee for the job done. You may ask for a trial period of a month or two before signing for a yearly contract.

Choosing the best janitorial company requires a lot of knowledge, patience, and even intuition. Ask pertinent questions about the company’s reputation and services offered. Ideally, testimonials can help you make a choice.

Apartment complex

Multifamily Sales in Salt Lake City Amounted to More Than 1$B in 2017

Apartment complexThe Salt Lake Board of Realtors reported that sales of multifamily units in 2017 amounted to more than $1 billion, due to an increase in median sales prices.

Despite the increase, there were 4,500 units that exchanged possession in the previous year. This indicated that demand from buyers remained stable amid higher sales prices, up 11% to $225,000, according to the report.

Property Development Activity

Fitch Ratings expects home prices nationwide to increase 4.6% in 2018. It listed Utah’s housing markets among the top five states that will perform well this year. In Salt Lake City, home prices would increase by 3.2% from the current average prices of $360,000.

A reason for the projected increase involves the influx of several companies, which continue to set up business in the state.

For instance, many enterprises have flocked to the Provo/Orem region because of its high-tech industry. Workers from out of the state also moved to the region because of job prospects and higher salaries. While rising home prices normally elicit concerns of a bubble, experts say there should no reason to worry over a potential crash for now.

Housing Bubble?

Jim Wood of the University of Utah’s Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute said that the most number of sales occurred in Salt Lake City, West Jordan, and Sandy. He attributed the increase to a larger demand for affordable housing options. Wood believes that the likelihood of a real estate bubble remains low, as mortgage lending standards have become stricter in recent years.

For this reason, cash-strapped developers that remain undecided should consider launching new projects this year. Good thing, as bmfcap.com mentioned, The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) multifamily loans will help you finance your next development.

An opportunity to make a profit awaits property developers since demand for multifamily units in Utah will likely continue to increase in the near future.

 

Condo units for sale

3 Mortgage Mistakes When Buying a Condo

Condo units for saleDespite the large number of desirable Corpus Christi, Rockport, and Key Allegro homes, many people prefer to buy condominium units. After all, as Rockport Properties, Inc. explains, condos usually provide a better view, help eliminate property maintenance nightmare, and are located in the heart of the city.

However, you might be surprised that it’s trickier to secure the right financing and get the unit you love. Here are some of the most common condo mortgage mistakes first-time buyers make:

Snagging the Lowest Rate

Compared with traditional mortgages for freestanding properties, condo loans tend to come with higher interest. Lenders consider condos to be riskier since units could lose value easily when other residents default on their loans. In turn, lenders would most likely have stricter conditions or restrictions in place. Unless you put down about one-fourth of the unit’s cost, your interest rate could be 0.25 higher than what you’d pay on a single-family house.

Being Unprepared for a Large Down Payment

Considering that condos are risky assets to lenders, you might be asked to pay for 25% of the property’s price upfront to secure financing. Condos may cost less than freestanding houses, but being able to borrow less money to buy the property can put a damper on homeownership.

Then again, most lenders look at the entire package when granting loan requests. Even if you want to buy a risky asset, you might be asked to put down as little as 5% if you have an excellent credit score.

Forgetting About the Building’s Occupancy Rate

Most condo mortgage providers would require a certain number of units to be sold first before offering to finance. If you wouldn’t have enough neighbors when you move in yet, your loan application may be denied.

Buying a condo has its unique challenges, but the risks are worth taking when it makes perfect sense for your situation. Exercise your due diligence to choose the right unit — not just based on its location, but also on the building’s management. Make sure you’re on good financial footing before you buy to ensure you could keep up with the payments associated with condo living.