Category Archives: Living

4 Reasons Direct Mail Isn’t Dead

In a digital world, it may seem like direct mail is a thing of the past. Many marketers have focused their efforts on email and social media marketing. However, the data shows that direct mail is still effective. In fact, consumer response to direct mail is increasing. Here are 4 reasons direct mail deserves to be part of your marketing strategy.

1. It’s Tangible

Social media ads and emails are quickly scrolled past or deleted. Direct mail can stick around a customer’s home for days or even months. Placing a special offer on your piece will encourage people to save it in a location where they won’t forget about it.

2. It Commands Attention

No one wants to accidentally throw away an important piece of mail. This means that most recipients of your piece will at least scan it before throwing it away. As many as 80% of customers read each piece of real estate direct mail. Your marketing campaigns through email are unlikely to receive the same amount of undivided attention.

3. It’s Trackable

Social media marketing gathers a wealth of analytics. Many marketers rely on this information to gauge success or to adjust their campaigns when they aren’t meeting targets. Direct mail doesn’t have the same depth of data but still allows you to track response rates and return on investment. Use a unique phone number and website URL to track the response rates of each campaign.

4. It Reaches all Ages

Approximately 40% of seniors are smartphone owners. This means that a significant portion of your potential target market is unreachable through digital strategies. Mail reaches everyone, expanding your reach beyond social platforms, and email marketing.

Direct mail may be less common than before the internet, but its impact is still going strong today. If you haven’t considered a direct mail campaign before, hopefully, these 4 reasons have convinced you that it may be worth the effort.

Types of Real Estate Contracts Every Investor Should Know

To be a successful real estate investor, you should become a master of real estate contracts. These legal documents can seem confusing and overwhelming at first. It helps to understand the primary goal of any real estate contract is to protect your investment and limit your liability. Let’s increase your confidence with contracts by breaking down the most common types you’ll encounter.

Purchase Agreement

When learning how to invest in real estate, this will likely be the first type of contract you encounter. This contract is the sales agreement for real estate transactions. It will lay out the terms of sale between the buyer and seller. Purchase agreements change slightly based on the state of purchase or if a real estate agent is involved in the sale. However, a good purchase agreement will cover all the details of the property and the transaction, including any contingencies and which party is responsible for the various costs associated with selling the property.

Lease Agreement

Many real estate investors are looking to earn income through rental properties. If this is part of your investing strategy, you will need to become familiar with lease agreements. As the property owner or landlord, you will outline the terms of rental occupancy in a lease agreement. It should cover rent, security deposit, utilities, and any other expectations for the tenant.

Real Estate Assignment Contract

Slightly more complex than previously discussed contracts, a real estate assignment contract is used when wholesaling properties. This strategy is used when you find a distressed property that you plan to sell to a third party. It provides extra flexibility in your investment while allowing you to secure properties quickly.

You can simplify real estate contracts from their overwhelming state. Now that you have familiarized yourself with the most common types you’ll encounter, you are one step closer to investing mastery.

4 Ways To Add Unusual Decorations to Your Home

If you are one of those individuals that love to decorate your home with unusual and eclectic items, but you are not sure what to look for next, here are some fun ideas. You can easily improve the look of any room in your home with one or two modern and innovative pieces of decor. From lights to fill the darkness to curious wall hangings, these distinct items will keep your home’s visitors talking for days.

1. Glass Art

Check out sand art sculpture disks that are one-of-a-kind works of art if you want to mesmerize your guests. You can choose from ocean views, mountain vistas, or forest seclusions. You can also find glass cinema lightboxes that allow you to change messages anytime the mood strikes you.  Glass globes, flowers, and hearts are also creative ways to decorate your windows to let light scatter in fractals inside your home.

2. Mill Objects

For a mesmerizing and breathtaking work of art, look for an etched panel that uses chemical milling. The large surface areas can be scribed to make unique kitchen back-splashes, focus walls, or numerous other architectural and distinct applications. Smaller designs can be framed or set on desks to catch guest’s eyes and start them asking questions.

3. Wood Features

Wood shelves and tall corner ladders have become popular features over the past decade, but you can take it up a notch and find hand-carved headboards and tree-trunk wall units. Petrified wooden slices and rustic hewn chairs can also add to your home’s individualistic style. Do not forget to add an intricately carved soft-wood object or a barn-hung door to add personality to any room.

4. Light Pieces

From rope candles to tea troughs to prism lights, there is an endless variety of illumination pieces available from specialty stores and artistic shops. You can choose nightlights, main lamps, or decorative lights in a multitude of colors and hues that can brighten your home’s darkest corners. There are also candles that cleanse moods, spirit-focused multi-color diffusers, and salt or gem soul lamps.

When you choose unusual and personal items for your home décor, you can rest assured that your neighbors and friends will probably not have anything like the items. From the beautiful light to the groundbreaking gravity-defying glasswork, you can find objects that delight, comfort, and uplift you in ways few things can. Use the list above to get started on your search for unusual home decorations today.

Remember These Simple Steps Before Trying to Get Out of Mounting Debt

Though credit abounds in many financial sectors and the economy remains vibrant for those with plenty of expendable income, these systems can also lead to financial ruin among those trying to live beyond their means. Countless individuals become mired in debt and monthly expenses without having a full understanding of the circumstances leading to the situation. Fortunately, even the most desperate times can come to a quicker end by taking a few simple steps. The guidelines listed below will set anyone on the best path to financial freedom.

Determine Who Is On Your Side

There are likely multiple paths out of a debt spiral. Depending on a person’s history, current needs, and desired results, it might make sense to look into borrowing options. This will likely include shopping around to find a business capable of providing low interest loans Bordentown NJ or a similar community anywhere else in the country. Start with a search online for those companies with a great reputation for providing reliable cash for a reasonable rate.

Determine Where to Turn for Help

After finding the best immediate response to the pressing problem, it is important to start learning from the experience. Upon making strides to pay down outstanding debt, use the opportunity to reach out for guidance and advice. Some experts in the field offer financial advice that does not require big investments or a thorough understanding of the stock market. For those who just need some practical tips and tricks for establishing a budget that works, the right professional is out there waiting to provide that assistance.

Determine How to Avoid Future Problems

Armed with the knowledge gained throughout this ordeal, people struggling with debt can make sure they avoid similar pitfalls in the future. Unfortunately, there are real and systemic issues that prevent large segments of the population from easily reaching their financial goals. Nevertheless, anyone can make smarter choices that will allow them to make the most of whatever amount is in their bank account.

Paying bills and purchasing necessities can often result in mounting expenses that make any escape seem unattainable. With a resolute spirit and some appropriate advice along the way, however, the light at the end of the tunnel might be closer than it first appeared. If you or someone you know is struggling with bills and expenses, the guidelines presented above can make all the difference in the world.

Why Chimney Cleaning and Inspections are Important

If you have a house with a chimney, it is important that you regularly get it cleaned and inspected. Although you may think that a chimney would be relatively low maintenance, these beautiful and enjoyable architectural features need to be properly cared for. Unfortunately, many homeowners do an insufficient job of taking care of their chimneys.

For example, the capital is home to many houses with fireplaces. Despite this, chimney inspection Washington DC services are only used by a fraction of those homeowners. These are the reasons why getting your chimney inspected and cleaned is so important.

Creosote is Dangerous and Toxic

Sitting by a roaring fire is a lovely experience. However, while the flames are dancing in your fireplace, they are also lining your chimney with creosote. These carbonaceous chemicals are produced by the combustion of wood and other fuels.

Creosote is toxic to humans. It is also potentially flammable, especially when it builds up significantly in the chimney. Fortunately, get your chimney inspected annually and cleaned as necessary can almost completely eliminate the risk.

Debris Can Get Stuck

It isn’t just creosote that lines your chimney. Debris such as leaves and branches can get caught and even block your chimney. The debris can potentially catch fire. While a few leaves lighting on fire is not a problem, a significant build-up can become a major hazard.

Furthermore, if the debris blocks the chimney is can cause the smoke and fumes to escape into your house rather than safety out of the top. This can become very dangerous quickly. Again, inspections and cleanings can avert this problem.

Chimneys Weren’t Built To Last Forever

Just like any other part of your house, your chimney can get worn and damaged. It is common for rainwater to cause cracks in chimneys. Of course, unlike other parts of your house, the inside of your chimney isn’t something you see often. An inspection can identify any damage early so that you can fix it promptly.

Cracks can result in noxious smoke getting into your house. They can also contribute to mildew, mold and drafts. In short, it is a good idea to get them fixed.

Don’t Forget Your Inspection

A chimney can be a lovely feature of your home. However, you need to take care of it. That means having an annual inspection and periodic cleanings and repairs. A little effort can help you enjoy your fireplace and chimney for years to come.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Hotel

Traveling for many people comes with its fair share of hassles. In between booking flights and figuring out what to pack, finding the right hotel can feel like a difficult task. However, you can stop worrying as this article tells you the most important factors to consider when choosing a hotel.

Location, Location, Location

The value of a good hotel location cannot be underestimated. You will want to find a hotel that is centrally located and close to the city so that you can get around easily. You may also benefit greatly from one that is close to all the sites and attractions you want to visit, thus saving you the risk of getting lost in a new town and losing valuable time. However, if you would rather not be in the middle of a noisy city, then looking for a hotel away from a city or town is also an option.

Price

Money and budgeting are important factors to consider when traveling. You should look at different hotels within your budget and compare their prices to find establishments that provide the best value for money. If it is possible to have flexible travel dates, then choose the off-peak season as hotels are relatively cheaper and more accommodating during low seasons.

Facilities

The facilities the hotel offers should help you figure out whether it is a good fit for you. For instance, do they offer an in-house gym or pool, and are there additional charges for the same? Is the hotel family-friendly, do they provide a wide array of room options to serve both you and your loved ones’ needs? Do they offer complimentary breakfast, or does it come with a fee?  What kind of hotel mattresses are available, and do they offer special accommodation if needed? These questions will help you find a hotel that works for you.

Reviews

Thanks to the internet, you can get a feel of any hotel before you visit it by checking the reviews from others who have previously stayed there. This is a great place to see if the hotel mattresses are really as cozy as they claim to be on the hotel website. It is also a really good avenue to pick up on any other factors that other travelers found important that you maybe hadn’t thought of. In addition to reviews, star ratings are also something to think about as they help you find a reputable hotel that delivers on its promises.

Finding a hotel is all about balancing value for money and convenience. Make sure you select a hotel that fits your budget without compromising too much on quality and delivery of services. Keep in mind, however, that you may not find everything you’re looking for in one hotel.

Make Your Retail Business Handicap Accessible

With more people living longer due to advances in medical technology and healthier lifestyles, your business may see an increase in elderly customers, some of whom will likely have mobility issues. In addition, a significant percentage of the general population is classified as disabled, so you should expect customers with various levels of mobility issues in your store. Depending on the target customer base for your business this can be a primary concern. Making sure your setup will accommodate all customers who want to patronize your business is a great way to support your local community and build goodwill.

Set Up Retail Shelving for Easy Access

In a retail store, how the shelving is organized can have a major impact on how easy it is for a customer with mobility issues to get around. Parallel aisles with wide end spaces are a great way to layout your store. Not only will this make it easier for customers in wheelchairs or mobility scooters to shop up and down the aisles, but it also helps customers quickly find what they are looking for. Be sure to also have prominent displays offering assistance from your staff to retrieve items from high shelves for customers who need assistance with this.

Check Your Entry Door Width

For customers to shop in your store, they first need to enter your store. That means they will need to get through your entry doorway regardless of whether they’re walking on 2 legs, with a cane or walker, in a wheelchair or in a mobility scooter. If you ensure your doorway is wide enough for a common mobility scooter, such as the Invacare Leo 4-Wheel Scooter, it should be wide enough for virtually any customer’s needs.

Ensure Restrooms Are Handicap Friendly

For most businesses, complying with the Americans With Disabilities Act can be very important for avoiding fines levied against your business, and restroom access can be a big part of it. Ensuring your restrooms are appropriately sized and contain elements such has handicap railings will help to ensure compliance with the ADA.

Comply With Handicap Parking Regulations

Check with your local business licensing body for regulations on handicap parking stall requirements for your business to make sure you are in compliance. Providing handicap parking access as close as possible to your business entrance will be appreciated by any customers with mobility issues.

Ensuring your retail business is friendly to handicapped customers is a great way to provide customer service and generate happy customers.

Getting Around NYC on a Tight Schedule

If you are looking for a quick weekend getaway, hopping on a train or taking a quick drive over to the Big Apple won’t be a disappointment. While there is enough to do to keep the lifelong residents busy, you can still take in a lot of the city in 48 hours. Just be prepared to pack light and pick up the pace.

Secure Your Transportation

You could drive around the city, but it will be so much easier to travel by commuter rail, the busses, and your own two feet. You can find just about everything you need in booking a train, finding a bus line, or calling an Uber from Grand Central Station. You will want to go to the station simply for the tourist destination, but you can also secure your transportation there.

Select Your Lodgings

Westgate New York City

When looking for the best experience, check out the Westgate, a jewel of a hotel found close to Grand Central and in the heart of the city. Browse the room types available at https://www.westgateresorts.com/hotels/new-york/midtown-manhattan/westgate-new-york-grand-central/, and depending on your choice, you can have excellent views of the city before you head out on your own.

Stop for Breakfast, Brunch, or Just Because

Don’t tackle the sights of the city without something warm and filling. If you want the best donut in the city, you should start your day at Daily Provision. For lunch, you can’t say you visited New York City without stopping for a pastrami on rye at Katz’s Delicatessen, one of the oldest Jewish delis in the area.

Sightsee to Your Heart’s Content

You need to prioritize your interests in order to get everything in. While the Statue of Liberty is impressive, the security and scheduling to make the trip to the island can ruin your timetable. You can start out at the Top of the Rock and Rockefeller Center where you will find the famed Atlas statue and the directions to St. Patrick’s Cathedral. From there, you can meander towards the Brooklyn Bridge and grab yourself a ride on the East River Ferry. You can walk or ride the train just about everywhere you need, based on your interests.

Save a Seat at a Show

Book a ticket to a Broadway show well in advance of when you plan to take a trip. Shows sell out months in advance, so if you fancy the theatre, save yourself a seat as earlier as possible.

Don’t let a short weekend get in the way of enjoying all NYC has to offer. Get up early, pack your walking shoes, and get ready for an adventure.

Reasons To Consider an Artificial Christmas Tree This Year

With the holidays quickly approaching, Christmas trees may already be on your mind. It can be daunting to think of all that is required when it comes to purchasing a real tree for the holidays. Not only do you have to find the right place to get your tree, but then you have to think about the right time to buy one (Christmas trees are the most expensive right after Thanksgiving). Then there’s getting it to your house – you need theright vehicle for that. It can be a lot of hassle for something that’s going to be in your house for a short time. Here are some reasons why you might consider an artificial tree this year instead.

Cost-Efficiency

One of the most obvious benefits of having an artificial tree is that it will save you money over time. Whether you buy your tree at your favorite local shopping center or have it shipped from a place like Treetopia, that tree will pay for itself many times over its lifetime. According to The Southern Christmas Tree Association, the average lifespan of an artificial tree is six years. Over that six-year period, you can save quite a bit of money by opting to purchase an artificial tree.

With an artificial tree, there is no haggling over the price at the local tree lot. You also won’t have the hassle of tying it down to your vehicle and securing it with ropes or bungees. Buying an artificial tree is a really good way to save on time and money around the holiday season – something we always seem to need more of around that time of year anyway.

Less Mess

Unlike real trees that need to be watered daily and can shed profusely, a faux Christmas tree does not lose its needles and is much less of a hassle to clean up. There’s no need to sweep daily to get rid of those pesky needles that wither and brown from real pine trees. Not only that, but you can purchase trees that come pre-lit, which adds even more convenience to your holiday tradition.

At the end of the Christmas season, you simply pack up your tree and put it in the storage room or garage until next year. With a real tree, you have to find a place that will dispose of the tree. Not all garbage and sanitation companies will pick up the trees from your curb.

Another factor to consider when it comes to real trees is that sometimes they bring their forest friends with them. Not only can bugs and mold be uninvited guests in your house, but you may not be able to get rid of them as easily as you might think.

Endless Options

One of the best things about artificial trees is that they can come in every size and color combination imaginable. According to Treetopia reviews around the web, this is a favorite feature for people who are opting for a faux tree this year. Hues of pink, purple, and even rainbow are all possible with artificial trees. Some people like to match the colors of their trees to their room decor. If you don’t have room for a large Christmas tree, smaller options are available too. It would take considerably more effort to find trees to match your home if you were looking for something that was only a few feet tall.

The holidays are about spending time with your friends and family. The whole process of finding a tree and bringing it home and decorating it can be simplified by choosing an artificial tree instead of a real one. Not only that, but you are sure to find a tree that is just as unique as your family and will bring you joy for years to come.

What to Expect During Your Employment Lawyer Consultation

If you already made up your mind that you need an employment lawyer, then it’s time to prepare for your first meeting with an attorney. If you’ve never had legal issues before, this can be particularly stressful. After all, you don’t know what to expect. The initial consultation can be stressful because it’s your first meeting. Hopefully, by now, you have done the research necessary to know that you want this lawyer. To help ease some of the stress, here is what to expect when you hire an employment lawyer.

Bring Along Documents

An employment lawyer is there to advise you on legal standards, whether you are an employee or employer. Before your meeting with the lawyer, you need to make sure that you have all of the relevant documents. Before your appointment, the lawyer may give you a list of documents to gather. If you know of any documents that are relevant to your case, make sure that you have them with you. It is better to be prepared.

Answer Questions

The lawyer will have questions of his or her own about your case. You need to be prepared to answer these questions. It should not be that difficult, especially if you have the right documents with you. When it comes to the specifics and technicalities of the case, you need to be able to talk openly and honestly about them.

Ask Questions of Your Own

You do not want to spend the whole time only answering the lawyer’s questions. When you choose a Toronto employment lawyer, then you want to be able to ask questions to find out if this is the right choice. You should be able to ask him or her about his or her pricing options, about his or her opinion on your case and more. Do not be afraid to ask what is on your mind. You are going to be working closely with your lawyer and so you should always feel comfortable asking questions.

If you checked the websites, online profiles and did your research, you may already have a solid idea of what lawyer you want to use. Of course, even if you set up a consultation, you don’t necessarily have to choose that attorney. You are allowed to ask questions and to decide for yourself who is best suited for your case. It should always be an experienced firm and lawyers who you trust and get along with.