Category Archives: Main

Engaging an audience in the digital age

We live in a very interesting age known as the digital age. The digital age means that we get to take advantage of various media, in other words everything that takes place on the Internet. Companies such as https://www.mppglobal.com know about it and this is why they help other companies reach their target audience through social media as well as through other channels.

Reaching new customers can be quite costly. This is why keeping your existing customers interested in your services pays off in the long run. Companies need to do a little bit of both: keep the existing ones as well as attract the new ones. Before this happens this is what an average company has to do:

1. Identify the target demographic. Before you even know how to reach somebody, you need to know who they are. You need to know what traits they have and why they would be interested in you. This is probably the most important step in the whole journey. Are you looking to attract younger people, or are people above the age of 50 somebody you would be interested in?

2.Identify the psychographic. In other words, try to get in the minds of your possible clients. Why is it that they want to cooperate with you? What are their likes and dislikes? Once you identify their likes, try to figure out how to cater to them.

3.Grow your success. Once you find something that works for you try to stick to it and anticipate your success. Don’t get discouraged if something goes wrong, but rather try to adjust your strategy and see how the new one works for you.

4.Identify communication platforms to reach new and existing customers. In the digital age, social media are without any doubt your best friends. Try to figure out what kind of channels work for your advantage and what kind of channels it is best to avoid. Once you identify them use them to attract the new as well as existing customers.

Securing a house sale

Securing a house sale can be a tricky business. In the UK it currently takes an average of five to six months to find a buyer and complete a property sale, and around one in three house sales fall through before completion.

If you’re looking for a quick house move, there are a few things you can do to help you on your way.

Get your property properly prepped: You would probably be surprised how many people don’t get their property looking its best before putting it on the market. A fresh lick of paint, a thorough spring clean and some decluttering can have a big impact on how a potential buyer feels about your property.

Choose the right agent: Choosing the right agent can make or break a property sale. Although it can be tempting to base your decision solely on cost, it is important to select an estate agent that has significant experience selling similar homes in the local property market.

Price it right: Price your property too high and you risk not attracting any potential buyers, price it too low and you leave yourself no room to negotiate. You can get a good idea of the true value of your property by looking at recent sold prices of similar properties nearby. Websites such as Rightmove and Zoopla have this information easily available. You can then ask three local estate agents for a detailed valuation.

Be ready to negotiate: Remember, the best buyer is not necessarily the one that makes the highest offer. With around thirty per cent of property sales falling through before completion, if you are looking for a quick house sale, how proceedable your potential buyer is can be a more important factor than how much they are able to pay for the property.

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Students in London

Studying in London is unforgettable experience, and it’s well worth the effort of finding a higher education institution in the city that can offer you the course you need. There are a huge variety of colleges and universities covering every conceivable subject so if you’re determined to study in London you’ll be able to find somewhere to aspire to!

Whether you grew up in the city, or are living here for the first time, London has plenty of unique experiences to offer students, from nights out on the town to discounts to help stretch your student loan further.

Let’s take a look at some of the most exciting things London has to offer students.

Discounts

Every business is keen to capture some of your student loan. And while you need to make sure you don’t get carried away and spend a term’s worth of money in a week, there’s plenty you can benefit from.

Transport is one of your biggest costs, and TFL is happy to help out students! As long as you have student ID from a qualifying organisation, a passport photo and £20, you’re able to apply for a Student Oyster Card, which can save you around a third off most journeys, which should make your budgeting a little easier.

Students attract lots of discounts in other areas too, from pizzas to gym membership. Even storage for students can come with some money off, and this is something it’s well worth pursuing. If you have to move out of your accommodation over the holidays, whether it’s halls of residence or a shared house, you’ll need somewhere safe to keep your possessions, or you’ll be forced to take them all the way home with you. A reliable storage company can solve that problem!

Film, Theatre and Festivals

Students also get unique access to the cultural life of the city. The National Theatre offers young people cheap tickets, and special events and workshops, so you can not just see plays but get a real insight into how Britain’s Theatre works.

If that doesn’t interest you, every college and university comes with an array of societies and sports teams that are all uniquely placed to use the resources of the capital city to pursue their goals. If you’re into sports you’ll be playing in high quality facilities with tournaments organised the year round with local student teams you can meet by crossing town, not the country.

How a Reverse Mortgage Lends You a Little Peace of Mind

Are you one of the millions of seniors who are worried about the future? Let’s face it, financial security isn’t what it used to be. Safe pensions, Social Security and access to affordable health care are things that will affect us all, but many of today’s older Americans are living with uncertainty every day. That’s why American Advisors Group offers a way for you to tap into something that is secure: your home equity.

How Can a Home Equity Loan Provide Me With Financial Security.

An AAG reverse mortgage isn’t quite a loan, not in the traditional sense. It’s a way of making a passive asset work for you. The fact is, seniors have a combined $6.5 trillion in home equity available to them. Making that asset a part of your retirement planning allows you to tap into your equity in a way that gives you all of the advantages without the pitfalls.

What You Need is Options

Reverse mortgages aren’t the same as home equity loans, where you use the value of your home as security for a fixed amount of money and pay it back with interest. Reverse mortgages provide you with a cash payout every month to fill gaps in retirement income or to cover unexpected expenses. The most common type of reverse mortgage, an FHA Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM), is government insured. The problem is, it also has a cap on the amount you can draw on; currently, that amount is $625,000 regardless of the assessed value.

With that type of mortgage, there are no monthly payments as long as you remain in your home. There’s also no danger of losing your home due to missed payments. The amount acquired is settled when the home is sold or the mortgage holders dies. Now, there’s an option to get a reverse mortgage for up to $6 million, depending on the home’s value. This option is not federally insured, however.

How Do You Get Paid With From a Reverse Mortgage?

There are currently six payout options for reverse mortgage holders. This allows home owners to choose a solution that fits their circumstances.

Line of Credit Option: This allows draws on an as-needed basis over a pre-determined time frame, as long as those draws don’t exceed to limit of $625,000, with interest. The interest rate is not fixed, so it can fluctuate with the market.

Lump Sum Payment: This allows the borrower to receive the entire amount in one lump sum, with any interest added to the remaining loan balance, if any. Otherwise, the debt is discharged at the end of the term.

Term Loan: Provides a monthly payout over a limited time period.

Tenure Loan: This one provides a monthly payout that extends for the life of the loan.

HECM Annual Cap Option: Allows the borrower to take any of the other loan options, but with a lifetime cap on the interest rate at 5 percent.

HECM Purchase Option: This option allows you to buy a second property, for instance, a vacation home, and make the payments using the reverse mortgage on the first.

Your home one of your most solid asset. There’s no reason why you shouldn’t benefit from home ownership in a way that’s safe for you. If you’re considering a reverse mortgage, make sure to work with a reputable lender that has been in business for a number of years and specializes in reverse mortgages.

The Benefits of Executive Search Firms

Recruitment processes can be some of the most challenging and stressful processes for a company to undertake. Never more so is this the case than when the recruitment process is for an executive role such as CEO, CIO, CFO or a CTO position. Therefore, it is not uncommon for a company to decide to instead allow trusted recruitment companies to take up the process instead.

A benefit of a company choosing to use a recruitment company is the freedom to choose how much interaction the company wants with the recruitment process. At the minimal level the most a company needs to do, is be 100% truthful and clear about what they do and don’t want from a candidate, and any other necessary information about the company that is relevant to the recruitment process. Of course, more interaction than this can take place with the recruitment agency, and in some situations is encouraged. What wants to be avoided is that your company is involved in all stages of recruitment, because if this takes place then the recruitment company’s role is largely irrelevant and will only be costing your company money.

If you are looking for executive search firms, London has a plethora of options to choose from. When deciding which recruitment company to go for, it is important to make sure the company chosen specializes in some form of executive search and this wouldn’t be the first case of them doing so. Of course, it should go without saying that you do not necessarily have to hire those suggested by the recruitment company. This would not make the hiring of a recruitment company pointless, as sometimes the candidates they propose, even if unsuitable, can help you realise more clearly as a company what you do and don’t want from a person in that role. As well as this, it can also highlight the positives and negatives of potential candidates within the firm that could be fit for an executive role.

Overall, executive search firms can be a great asset to firms that do not have the time to run a thorough recruitment process themselves, and widens the net for the amount of potential suitable candidates for a given role, making the chance of there being a perfect fit higher than if the process was carried out in-house.

Should Jobseekers Bother with Using Recruitment Agencies?

The highly competitive nature of the current job market has resulted in a dramatic proliferation of recruitment agencies, all competing to fill a small number of vacancies from a vast applicant pool. Whilst recruitment agencies have historically played an integral role in linking employers to potential employees, the increase in qualified applicants, coupled with the rise of social media, has lead many observers to question whether it is worthwhile for graduates to use them at all. Despite this however, whether you’re looking for a banking, hospitality or social care job, recruitment agencies are still a worthwhile route to go down for jobseekers, providing they know how and when is best to use them.

How to Best Use Recruitment Agencies

The most important bit of advice we can give you is to not rely on recruitment agencies alone. Whilst it can be effective part of your jobhunting strategy, the fact is most employers don’t use recruitment agencies to fill vacancies and so relying solely on this greatly narrows your scope. Recruitment agencies are used mainly by large employers who wish to cast their net as widely as possible when recruiting graduates or specialists, and by small companies who don’t have the capacity to carry out their own recruitment. Agencies will put forward candidates who meet the skills and experience required for the job and so your opportunities may be restricted if you have limited work experience. If you believe you could benefit from using recruitment agencies, it is now time to consider how best to go about it.

Once you have decided whether using recruitment agencies will be worthwhile for you, the next step is to research the agencies that are most relevant to you, considering factors such as location and sector, and contact several different agencies to increase your chances of success. If an agency believes you are suitable, they will contact you and ask for more information about your personal circumstances and career aspirations. If you meet all their requirements, you may then be asked to attend a screening interview where the agency will determine whether you are suitable to send to interview with their client companies.

Finally, make sure you are not charged by agencies for their services as they receive a fee from the employer whose vacancy you are applying for. It is also important to remember that the most popular and competitive sectors for graduates, such as journalism and the media, do not use agencies as they fill vacancies through speculative applications. If you are considering a career in these sectors we would advise you not to bother using recruitment agencies and instead contact employers directly.

Steps to Get a Real Estate License

There are many things that you can go to school for, but few professions offer the great opportunities that real estate offers. Unfortunately, not everyone knows how to go about being a successful real estate agent. What it really comes down to is investing time into real estate education so that you can pass the national licensing exam. Then, you need to gain access to the right resources to jump-start your career.

Take a Real Estate Educational Course

If you want to know how to get a real estate license, the first step involves taking classes about real estate. No one can get a real estate license without passing the real estate licensing exam. While this exam may seem intimidating, it’s easy to pass if you arm yourself with the right knowledge. This involves enrolling in a course from an accredited real estate licensing institution. While you can take these classes at a brick-and-mortar school, it’s just as easy to take the courses online.

Pass the Real Estate Licensing Exam

Once you finish your real estate courses, it’s time to take the licensing exam. Most real estate courses prepare you for this moment with mock and pre-licensing exams so that you know what to expect. You can schedule a licensing exam with a local real estate testing center. There are testing centers all over the country, so you can find the closest one to your residence.

Submit an Application to Your State’s Real Estate Board

Once you pass your exam and get your license, you’re almost ready to launch your career. You need to submit your license to a real estate licensing board first. Most states charge a small fee to submit applications. Also, you can submit your application as long as you’re at least 18 years of age and have a GED or higher.

Once you get your license, it’s time to launch your own real estate career. Thankfully, good real estate agents are always in high demand. With the housing market bouncing back from the economic downturn in the early 2010s, now is the perfect time to get into real estate. Start your search by enrolling in the right courses to prepare for the licensing exam.

Naming Your New Domain is More Crucial Than You Realize

Have you ever thought about what’s in a name? If you are a business owner, this is a very good convo to have with yourself. Before you open up your official business site on the web, you need to have a first class domain name. This is the name by which your customers will search for your business on the web. For this reason, it needs to be short, snappy, and very memorable.

Always Make Sure Your Domain Name is Unique and Original

When it comes to choosing a domain name, the first thing you want to do is make sure that it is completely unique and original. You don’t want to choose a name that is too close to someone else’s. This is a mistake that will lead to you losing sales because no one can distinguish your website from a completely unrelated other one.

You can use a domain name registry site to check available domain names. This is an essential move on your part if you want to be sure that you aren’t infringing on someone else’s intellectual property. The last thing you want to do is get sued for treading on a competitor’s copyright. It’s a rookie move that will not play well in the court of public opinion.

How Can a Thorough Domain Name Search Benefit Your Business

Besides making sure that your proposed domain name is not taken, there are other benefits that can come from a thorough domain name search. You can use the registry as a source of ideas for your own domain. For example, if you begin to notice that domain names for a certain type of business are following a general trend, you may be able to take some relevant inspiration for your own site.

As soon as you choose the name that is right for your new domain, you can buy it and register it as your personal property. The moment you do so, you can proceed to build your own unique website for your business. This is the prelude to establishing and expanding your brand.

Where Can You Go to Get the Best Deal on a New Domain Name?

There are a number of venues that you can turn to on the world wide web in order to get the best domain name for your new site. After you have made sure that your name is completely unique and not being used elsewhere, your next concern will be pricing. Make sure that all of the conditions relevant to the deal – including the issue of fees for specific services – are included in the contract that you sign.

New HVAC or Upgraded Windows?

Here’s our guide for making the right choice for your home.

Windows or HVAC? When you’re looking to make energy improvements for your Denver-area home, these may be two things that come to mind. But what will provide you the most bang for your buck? Here’s a comparison of potential costs, facts on energy efficiency and homeowner satisfaction to help guide your decision:

Windows

Happiness Factor

According to the 2017 Remodeling Impact Report from the National Association of REALTORS®:

  • 42% of people replace their windows to improve energy efficiency while 42% are looking for better functionality and livability.
  • 83% of homeowners want to stay home more after completing the project.
  • 77% feel a major sense of accomplishment following installation.

Energy Efficiency

  • When it comes to energy efficiency, it’s important to know when your windows were manufactured. Windows manufactured before 1975 lack the energy efficiency of modern windows. The benefit of replacing for energy efficiency can be great when newer windows are installed in your home.
  • Windows represent a major source of heat loss in your home. Newer windows feature multiple panes, vinyl frames and low e-glass that help minimize heat loss, condensation, and air leakage, which means your home will be more comfortable even on super warm or super cold days.

Cost for New Windows

  • All-new vinyl windows for an average home (2,450 square feet) runs more upwards of $15,000 according to the Remodeling Impact Report. However, you can recoup almost 80% of the cost in added home value.
  • You’ll also see savings on your energy bill—up to 15% per year, according to the Efficient Windows Collaborative.

HVAC Systems

Happiness Factor

According to the 2017 Remodeling Impact Report:

  • 56% of people replace their windows to improve energy efficiency while 42% are looking for better functionality and livability.
  • 77% of homeowners want to stay home more after completing the project.
  • 55% feel a major sense of accomplishment following installation.

Energy Efficiency

  • HVAC systems can last more than 20 years. But those that have been in operation for that long are generally less energy efficient than newer models. That’s important because heating and cooling your home accounts for more than 40% of your home’s energy bills.
  • Newer furnaces allow for better energy efficiency in your home by distributing air more evenly, cycling less frequently, and operating more reliably.
  • Older furnaces may also have holes or cracks that could cause carbon monoxide gas to enter your home.
  • Replacing your HVAC system may need to be paired with other home-improvement projects, such as adding insulation and a programmable thermostat and sealing leaks in your ductwork, to maximize energy efficiency.

Cost for New HVAC System

  • A new HVAC system for an average-sized home will cost around $10,000, according to the Remodeling Impact Report. However, you can recoup almost 67% of the cost in added home value.
  • You’ll also see savings on your energy bill—as much as 20% when you increase the energy efficiency of your furnace.

Our Recommendation:

If you can afford only one home improvement project in 2018, we recommend replacing your furnace, or installing a new heating system, especially if yours is more than 10 years old. You will pay less for the up-front replacement cost, recoup more than 65% of that if you sell your home, and save as much as 20% on your monthly bills.

Be sure to consult with a HVAC installer to determine the best furnace for your home. A professional can help determine the right-size unit, comparable ductwork, and the best fuel source for your home.

When you can work anywhere: How MFT Services Allow Employees to Work Remotely and Securely

Remote offices and employees have changed the way we work and the technology we work with. While remote work and satellite offices open up a whole new talent pool, allow employees greater freedom, and boost employee morale, there are some negatives. The biggest issue we’ve seen with remote employees relates to security and the secure transfer of documents and data.

Your remote employees will require the same access to your data and software as those working in office, but this can open up a can of worms when it comes to protecting sensitive information related to your business.

This is where file server products come into play. FTP servers and Managed File Transfer (MFT) allow your employees to share documents and data freely, even when they’re not in the same location.

FTP vs. MFT

FTP servers perform two main tasks: get and put. By this, we mean that you can put files on the FTP server or get files from the FTP server. The only caveat is that you want to be sure these are not sensitive documents, since FTP servers are known to be less secure. However, if you’re simply looking for a way to upload non-confidential reports or documents or permit your clients to download documents that don’t require heavy protection, then FTP can be a quick and cheap solution for your business.

​If you are dealing with confidential information or any documentation that falls under regulatory compliance, using an FTP server won’t be enough. Credit card data, medical records, or government documentation can all fall under a range of regulatory compliance, such as HIPAA or PCI. In this case, you will want the more robust and secure Managed File Transfer.

While you will see a considerable increase in price and implementation complexity, Managed File Transfer software offers a significantly more secure method of transferring files with other added benefits.

Benefits of MFT

Managed file transfer services provide advanced business needs when you have sensitive information that needs to be protected. MFT solutions do more than simply encrypt your files, they also offer support for secure protocols and the refusal of unsecure

connections, perimeter security, hacking detection with automated shutdown, support of security policies requiring complex and expiring passwords, and support and compliance of current regulations and privacy standards.

Beyond this impressive list of security protocols, MFT also offers a variety of automation, compliance, auditing capabilities and High Availability environments. You can also find many managed file transfer services that offer even more features, such as workflow, data loss prevention and more.

What this means for your remote employees

An MFT solution will allow your employees the security to work quickly and be comfortable in the knowledge that they are protected by the same rigorous standards as those applied to your in-office team. This will prevent any data loss or damaging data breaches that could negatively affect your company and put your customers and employees at risk.