Beautiful Hair Starts Here

Everyone wants the look of thick, shiny, beautiful hair, and this includes both men and women. We admire the celebrities who have this and dismiss those who don’t, or worry about our own dull and frizzy mane. While it’s true that genetics play a very large role in the head of hair we’re blessed or cursed with, we can also do much to take care of our own and improve the look and texture. And this means without expense salon treatments! Most ingredients you need to take care of yourself can be found in your kitchen cupboards or pantry.

To understand how to get healthy looking hair you need to have a basic understanding of its structure and what makes it healthy or not. It’s important to realize that your hair is nourished at the scalp and the scalp alone. The shaft or strand gets vitamins and oils from the scalp and then needs to push it along to the tip. This is why people are more likely to get split ends and those ends typically look less healthy; they are far from the source of nourishment and so are more vulnerable to being dry and therefore splitting. Also, when we use styling tools on our hair it’s usually at the end, to curl them up or under or push them back. This combination of a lack of nourishment and added stress is a recipe for disaster!

Realizing that the hair shaft or strand gets no nourishment when it’s away from the scalp is why things such as hot oil treatments and conditioners are necessary. You’re adding moisture to this area that isn’t getting much. This moisture is one big reason why some hair is shiny versus some that is dull-looking. Of course you need to rinse any oils or conditioners out thoroughly so that it doesn’t build up; think of adding lotion to your hands. You want it to be absorbed, not caked on. The same for hot oil treatments or conditioners – let it soak and get absorbed, but rinse the residue away thoroughly.

Vitamins are also important, as they help to add shine and body to your hair as well. Eggs and beer are great sources for the natural nourishment your scalp needs. Eggs are rich in Vitamin A and beer has natural grains that are also helpful. Lemon juice is a natural highlighter for your hair, as it gently bleaches some of the pigment in areas without damaging it the way peroxide does. Adding a little bit of lemon juice to your shampoo can give you the look of costly highlights for so much less money! Vinegar is also a very healthy shampoo that cleanses your scalp and removes the residue of styling products that dull your hair. Mix a fourth of a cup of vinegar or apple cider vinegar to a gallon of water and rinse your hair with this before your regular shampoo.

The real key to healthy hair is to take care of it consistently. Trying a treatment once per month won’t be enough; develop a good routine every day and you’re sure to have a beautiful mane that everyone will love!

Be advised that if you decided to take Vitamins A internally that vitamin A is stored in the liver and fat cells of the human body and can reach toxic levels. DO NOT take more than the recommended dosage of Vitamin A.

Stuck In A Rut – Enjoy These Home Improvement Ideas

Well, you’ve decided to improve your home. Good for you! However, there is so much information that you may not have a clue where to begin. Don’t worry, home improvement tips are here! Listed below are some tips that will help you get started and organized so that you can become a home improvement expert.

New wallpaper can transform a room. Before you add wallpaper, you need to find out what type of wall is under the existing wallpaper. Usually walls are either drywall or plaster smoothed over lath. You can figure out what kind of wall you are dealing with by feeling the wall, plaster is harder, smoother, and colder than drywall. You can also try tapping the wall, drywall sounds hollow while plaster does not.

If you are looking for home improvement, don’t forget the outside areas of your home too. If you love fish, you may want to consider putting in a Koi pond. They look beautiful, and they can be customized to match the look of your backyard or be made the focal point.

If you have a small bathroom and not enough space to store your items, you can easily create some space yourself. Buy some wooden shelves and install them on your bathroom wall. Display your lotions, perfumes and other beauty items on the shelves as well as your smaller towels or toilet paper rolls. This will not only give your bathroom a decorative boost, it will also organize it.

Before beginning a home improvement project, make a list of the actions you think will need to be taken from start to finish. Obtain a second opinion from a trusted source to see if there are any steps you missed or anything you didn’t take into account. Plan to set aside plenty of time for your project, as it might take longer than expected.

The shingles on your roof will at some point need to be replaced. As asphalt shingles get older, they start to lose the bound granules and curl up on the corners of the sheets. If you are experiencing leaks that have gone through the ceiling, then it is definitely time to lay down a new roof. Otherwise, if your roof has lost several shingles, this is a less drastic but firm indication that it’s time to replace the roof.

When you are getting ready to deep clean your deck, make sure you have all of your materials ready before hand. Some of the things you will need to get together are a pressure washer, a nice sturdy scrub brush, commercial deck cleaner, a hose, and a hefty broom you can use outdoors.

Before beginning home improvements apply for the appropriate building permits. Any home improvement that involves plumbing, electricity, or structural changes can require a permit. Check your local laws. If you proceed without a permit then you can be fined or it could make the house harder to sell in the future.

When it comes to home improvement, be sure that you are not causing your home to awkwardly stand out from the rest of the neighborhood. This will ensure you will be able to resell it and also, that you will not receive scorn from your neighbors. Be creative, but try to lean toward conservative with colors. With additions, keep your the total size of your home somewhat near that of your neighbors.

If you live in an older home with a wooden floor that is beyond sanding and staining, add a few coats of oil-based paint over the planks. Choose a paint that is intended for outdoor use on decks or porches; this ensures that it will be able to withstand the occasional wet spill and light traffic. It can also hold you over until you have the resources to replace the floor altogether.

If you want to make your house shine then look to the curb appeal. First impressions are important with people, and they are just as important to your home. Consider repainting if your color is fading or is dated, and choose colors and other details that fit into the era of your house.

You should feel better after reading those tips when it comes to home improvement. That was a lot to think and read through, but at least you should have an idea of what to do and where to begin with improving your home safer and smarter. In addition, you can always come back to this list.

Free Real Estate Marketing Can Work – When You Have the Right Plan

When many real estate professionals think of marketing they think of items like getting an ad in a magazine or newspaper.  Some even consider taking out a small billboard or bus bench as a form of marketing.

While these may be considered marketing items for many professionals there are some substantial challenges with them.  Popular traditional forms of advertising like magazines, bus benches, or worse yet telephone booths can have the following challenges:

  • Expensive to start with
  • Expensive to test with until you get a winning ad
  • Difficult to track it’s success (how many eyeballs looked at your ad? or called?)

Sometimes you can get these forms of marketing/advertising to work, unfortunately by the time you get them to work you might have already spent an entire commission!  There are free methods that you can put into place for marketing for your real estate business that DON’T involve traditional practices like door knocking or cold calling.

Consider the following two items that you can put into place immediately with no out of pocket expenses.

  • Social Networking
  • Craigslist
  • Blogging

Social networking can help you to establish a powerful referral network (or grow your existing one stronger) while Craigslist will allow you to reach eager buyers who are often searching daily to find the right home.  Before you start with either Craigslist or Social Networking, I invite you to consider the following to achieve success.

Have a Plan

Too often because something is “free” there is little thought into the approach that one should take.  Your time is extremely valuable!  Create a basic plan that outlines how much time you can invest, what your goals are, and even what tasks you need to accomplish to make your marketing work (meaning it needs to generate leads). This plan doesn’t need to be fancy, it can be as simple as 1 page, just write it down and put it in front of you so you know what you are tackling.

Give Your Plan Time To Work

Trying Craigslist for a couple of days or Social networking for a few days isn’t going to give you a chance to succeed.  Give yourself a week or two to really put your plan into action.  If that is posting ads to Craigslist consider setting a goal of the number of ads you will post (like 50 or 60) before you make a change.  Setting a specific timeline will help you to get your real estate marketing done efficiently as you reach towards your goal.

Document Your Results

Too many people launch new marketing and when it doesn’t generate sales, they simply state “it takes time”.  While some marketing does take time, it is important to hold any marketing you do to a standard.   When an ad, website, or your time on Social Networking isn’t generating any calls or prospects it may be time to cut that activity.  Count the number of emails and phone calls you get from your efforts.

After your ads are generating leads then track the number of appointments and closings from those.  After just a couple of months you will be able to see which form of marketing to invest more time in!

The Real Estate Success Program coaches and trains real estate agents on all aspects of real estate marketing from taking FSBO listings, Expired Listings, objection handling scripts, social networking and internet marketing.

All training and coaching is designed with the busy real estate agent in mind. The real estate training systems are designed to be cost effective with a focus on lead generation that results in consistent closings every month.

We invite you to discover more on real estate marketing at the real estate success program.

Your Real Estate Marketing Solution

In real estate there are many different ways to generate business. Many start with the aspect of “branding” themselves, some start with their sphere of influence, and others start down the road of direct response marketing. There are many different ways to build a marketing foundation for your real estate business and your solution should fit your needs and your personality.

Before you spend any money on real estate marketing, it is important to consider the following:

There is no SILVER bullet

No matter what type of solution you decide to use for your real estate business there isn’t going to be a silver bullet or a magic pill that will give you as much business as you could imagine without any work or money. A good marketing solution will require that you invest your time and money into making it work for your business.

There are a few important factors to consider before starting any real estate marketing program.

  1. What type of business do you want? – Don’t just say “I will work with anyone” as that will result in marketing that has no direction and will be too expensive. The most obvious first decision to make is whether you want to work with buyers or sellers. With just a simple focus on working with buyers or sellers you will be able to determine what marketing will help you to best reach your target audience. Buyers and sellers have different needs and your marketing needs to fill those needs for you to have success.
  2. What type of marketing do you really want to do? – With online advertising growing at such rapid rates it is certainly one of the most popular and effective mediums to go with to get new customers, but is it a fit for you? There are many real estate professionals across the country that are having huge success with magazine ads, flyer inserts, and postcards so if that is something you want to do then choose a marketing solution that offers those templates as well.
  3. How are your phone skills? – Be honest with yourself on this one as this can make the difference between massive success and wondering why “the leads are bad”. With new marketing comes a new source of leads so take time to consider if you are prepared to handle leads from that new source. Whether you are getting calls from your website, magazine ads, postcards, sign calls, or another medium there are different questions you can ask prospects to qualify them and see if they are a match for your services. A complete marketing solution should also help you with scripts and objection handling techniques.

There are many different real estate marketing solutions out there and one of the best ways to see which one is right for you is to pick up the phone and call the people who have created it. When they take the time to answer your questions you can see how it would work for you and they might even give you some new ideas you hadn’t thought of yet that you can apply to your business.

Jamey Bridges is one of the coaches and founders of the Online Real Estate Success program. The Online Real Estate Success systems allow real estate professionals to discover the techniques they need to succeed with their online marketing efforts.

Real Estate Marketing For Short Sales

In all real estate markets there are short sale sellers. For a variety of reasons, homeowners can be in the situation where they need to sell their home, but there isn’t enough equity for them to be able to accomplish their goal. These home sellers have the need, but they don’t know how to get help.

The real estate professional that can put themselves in the position to solve their problem can pick up 5, 10, or even 20+ listings every month. Before getting into how to market for these listings it’s important to understand some of the challenges that you will be undertaking by taking short sale listings.

Short Sale Listing Challenges and Solutions

Although this niche allows for a tremendous source of business it does have some of the following challenges.

  • Massive amounts of paperwork
  • A large percentage of them can fail
  • They can be very time intensive

The great part about these challenges is they can be solved easily, when you have a good system to follow. The massive amounts of paperwork and the amount of time necessary to process a short sale can easily be outsourced. In fact, many of these processes can be contracted out to people who you don’t even pay until closing.

To overcome the battle of the ones that don’t succeed, it’s important to take advantage of the buyers calling on the listing. Every short sale listing you take should result in 1-3 additional buyers that end up in a closed transaction. Imagine for every listing you took, you 3 additional closings!

Marketing for Short Sale Sellers

Short sale sellers need help and they need help quickly. Most home owners in the position of needing someone to help them when they don’t have equity understand that they have a problem, they just aren’t sure how or even IF it can be solved.

Your marketing messages should be crafted around solving their immediate problem, alleviating their fear, and providing a solution at the same time. For example take the following marketing message:

Don’t Lose Your Home To Foreclosure, I Can Sell Your Home in 59 Days…Guaranteed

Many home owners don’t understand the term “short sale” but they are aware that they could end up in foreclosure. You can use your marketing message on direct mail, pay per click ads, postcards, and your website. Let homeowners know that you are there to determine how you can help them and you will book fresh appointments weekly.

We invite you to discover more about marketing for short sales and closing more sales with our free real estate marketing book.

As part of the Real Estate Success Program, James Bridges, coaches real estate agents across the country on effective real estate marketing techniques.

The Real Estate Success Program coaches and trains real estate agents on all aspects of real estate marketing from taking FSBO listings, Expired Listings, objection handling scripts, social networking and internet marketing. All training and coaching is designed with the busy real estate agent in mind. The real estate training systems are designed to be cost effective with a focus on lead generation that results in consistent closings every month. We invite you to discover more on real estate marketing at the real estate success program.

Investing in the US Real Estate Market – Is Now the Time?

This is an interesting question, and one which requires a reasonably detailed answer for certain. The short answer is – it depends. Several factors must be considered before we decide to place our money into any investment, and real estate is no different. I will start by suggesting that you put into place a system. The system should be geared around the following questions and considerations:

1. Why do you want to move your money into the U.S. real estate market? Consider this carefully. Is it because your friends are doing it, business associates, or a family member? If so, talk to them. Ask them what there experience has been and where they have invested. Have they realized a return or has there investment depreciated?

2. While we’re on depreciation – In most cases, a real estate investment should be viewed in terms of your long term investment strategy. Real estate investments were never meant to be short-term. Yes you can flip properties, and many people do, however, there is additional risk associated with these types of short-term real estate investment practices. Having said that, you may continue to see some depreciation in your investment over the next few years, but the length of time, amount of depreciation, and relative appreciation over time is dependent upon the market you choose to invest in. You should not let this be of an overwhelming concern if you are in this for the long-term.

3. One way by which you can decrease you level of deprecation is through market research. What do you want to buy? Are you considering commercial, multi-family, resort, single family, or condo? Where do you want to buy? Some markets are less expensive, but they have much more volatility. You must consider the inventory for the area you are looking to purchase, as well as the price. Markets with fewer inventories may be a bit more expensive, but their recovery time will be less and appreciation could be realized sooner.

4. EB-5 investments may also be something to consider. There are regional centers, such as ours here in Sarasota, which can provide real estate investment options that will enable you to benefit from this great program, while making a modest profit.

I strongly suggest that my clients invest in declining inventory, coastal communities like Sarasota or Manatee County, Florida. The reason for this is simple – these areas are desirable vacation and relocation destinations. Sarasota was rated as the Number One place to buy real estate recently on MSNBC. Check out the video HERE. People want to live here and there is no other predominant industry in that the area is dependent on, other than tourism

Let’s look at some statistics for Sarasota’s residential real estate market in February 2010:

Overall property sales in the Sarasota market were up nearly 49 percent over February 2009. The median sale price for a single family home was $150,000, up 5.6 percent over last February’s figure of $142,000.

The months of inventory for single family homes was 10.6 months far lower than the 24.1 months in February 2009. For condos, the months of inventory level was 15.4 months, far lower than the 28.4 months only a year ago. Once the market reaches the 6 month level it is considered to be in equilibrium between buyers and sellers.

Statistically, this area is showing an annual improvement in both median sales prices for single family homes, and a significant drop in inventory level. All of these conditions point to a quickly rebounding market that may be a great opportunity to invest in.

In summary, there are many considerations for the prospect of investing into a foreign real estate market, such as the U.S. However, through proper due diligence, experienced guidance and counsel, and an investment team with you – you can accomplish your goals with minimal risk and high rewards.