It seems that Twitter is starting to get on the wrong side of the NFL. Commissioner Roger Goodell is considering new policies that regulate players tweets. There are a number of reasons why the NFL would want to do this. Perhaps they prefer players to state there opinions on NFL sponsored networks. Or maybe the NFL is nervous at what players can say outside the locker room. The NFL has dark secrets like any other organization that they would rather be kept from public scrutiny. The NFLs’decisions sets a disturbing precedent. If they impose these new policies, other corporations outside the NFL will propose similar policies to its employees. Will this threaten freedom of speech? It’s certainly a good start. The government is already monitoring social networks and users who log into government sites. The NFL doesn’t want to begin acting like the thought policy controlling what NFL players say and do. What they do on the field is one thing. What they do on there own time is there business, not the NFLs’. But the NFL’s attempt at controlling its’ players tweets is another example of how powerful social networking really is. This should be more of an incentive to implement social networking into your business. Instead of stifling tweets, the NFL should embrace it and use it to promote America’s most popular sport. You listening Roger Goodell!!Big Stan download
Archives for August 2009
Well, it’s official. On Tuesday, August 18, the merger between Pulte Homes and Centex was completed. This officially makes Pulte Homes the largest home builder in the United States, knocking D. R. Horton out of the top spot.
Looking in from the outside, the merger was a perfect fit. Both companies produced above average energy efficient homes in similar configurations and communities and have won numerous awards for quality. Pulte Homes had been on the brink of being the largest builder of new homes when it acquired adult community builder Del Webb a few years ago. With the acquisition of Centex, Pulte Homes is poised to dominate the new home market in the coming years.
Centex is now another “brand” that Pulte Homes has to offer home buyers. The company’s headquarters will remain in Bloomington Hills, Michigan.
Investing in Australia will be more attractive with three government reforms designed to streamline the review process. Investors will benefit from less red tape and decreased compliance costs. The reforms will also ensure the government does not become “unnecessarily involved in uncontroversial business transactions,” Australia Treasurer Wayne Swan says.
Swan also reflects that foreign investment is key to Australia’s growth and prosperity creating jobs, promoting innovation and skills, and fostering healthy competition in industries.
To learn more, I invite you to enjoy weekly market updates from the Real Estate Institute of Australia .
Screencasting is all the rage these days and with good reason. Using screencasting you can now communicate with your potential future clients in a way that is both personal and educational for them. In this 101 we’ll take a look at what screencasting is and what benefits it holds for you.
What is Screencasting?
Screencasting is essentially broadcasting your computer screen and what you’re doing on it in video form thus explaining why it’s called screencasting. There are a number of reasons why you might want to screencast including the ability to create video how-to guides on how to use things like your site’s real estate search, and suggestions on where a user should start when they use your site (example: Find town information under “Area Info”. It’s separated by region…)
Why Should I Start Screencasting?
Screencasting is pretty simple to do and it gives you another, more personal method of communicating with your prospective clients who visit your website than boring, plain text will. Imagine how many more leads you could generate with your IDX system if web users had an audio and visual guide to maximizing your site’s real estate search functionality.
How Do I Start Screencasting?
First thing’s first, you’ll need a microphone or headset with microphone to record audio if you’re going to give a verbal walkthrough while demonstrating during your screen recording. You will also need screencasting software to record and export your screencasting video. For Windows users TechSmith’s Camtasia is a popular choice while Mac users will feel right at home using Screenflow.
Any Other Tips?
Don’t worry about your first screencast coming out crappy. It’ll take a few runs to get an idea of what kind of message you’re trying to convey and how you want to show it. During my first screencast attempt I think I recorded it over 30 times before I got one I was happy with. That’s not to say it’ll take 30 times for each one but you will pick up new techniques each time through trial and error. What’s most important is that you’re giving it a shot in the first place.
Image Credit: andyrob
Have you ever wanted your own TV show? We’ll with the advances in mobile and Internet technology now you can. With websites such as Ustream. You can broadcast to an audience anywhere in the world with little or no cost. All you need is a laptop or desktop and a web cam. Most computers have built in web cams already. And with a good connection, you can broadcast in almost any part of the world. Web casting allows you to do two things. One is that it makes you an authority on a particular subject. It’s important that each webcast you have focuses on a specific topic. It’s similar to blogging in which each blog you have pertains to a certain theme. The main benefit however is the exposure you gain from web casting. Photos and videos get people’s attention. More so then written text. With one webcast you can reach out to hundreds or even thousands of people. That’s some powerful marketing! How frequently you do the web cast is up to you. I would start off doing it once or twice a week to get your feet wet. Once you’re comfortable sitting in front of a camera, you can do it more often. Ustream is a great site to broadcast from. There are other sites also available. The key with any business is trying things that are different that set you apart from the rest. A very small percentage of business people use the benefit of web casting. With blogging alone only 7% of Realtors even write a blog. If you want an opportunity to create your own niche. Now is your chance.
Are designations an item of the past or a tool to build credibility? I recently sat down to read the Wisconsin Real Estate Magazine & thought I would report on article that caught my attention. One of the opening sentences spoke of the best way to stay ahead of the competition was to earn a real estate designation through the Wisconsin Realtors Association. According to WRA (Wisconsin Realtors Association) successful agents must keep current on changing legalities and other central components of the business. NAR like the WRA has a designation for practically every specialty in the real estate industry.
Beyond buildings skills & knowledge, do designations enhance your professional image? Yes they can, but its not the silver bullet to success. The WRA stated that Realtors with professional designations earned more than double their incomes against Realtors without designations. Here are a few statistics to quote exactly.
Realtors without designations earned $33,200
Realtors with designations earned $67,900
The difference of $34,700.
Are designations a clear cut way to boost your income or are designations a way for Realtor Associations alike to boost their income?Sidewalks of New York ipod
The real estate bubble has caught up with the commercial section, especially in industrial sales. According to Grubb & Ellis, a paltry $2.2 billion worth of industrial properties valued over $5 million sold in the first five months of 2009. Compared to historic figures, sales were down 81% from the same period in 2008. Distressed industrial properties also increased more rapidly than other segments in the first quarter accoring to Marcus & Millichap.
Cap rates are also going up. According to Grubb & Ellis’ calculation, the average cap rate is 8.1%, compared to 7.4% in 2008 and 6.9% in 2007.
Even though industrial properties only make up a small percentage of the total value of distressed US assets, the rate of increase has been dramatic (over 1% increase in the last year). As with the residential market, the increase in inventory has depressed prices. But even with the significant drop in prices, these properties aren’t selling. The decline isn’t that surprising, given the rates of unemployment across the US and the decline of sales overall in the retail sector.
While some experts blame the lack of financing, others feel that the state of the economy is to blame, thinking that investors are waiting until they feel the economy is really on the path to a recovery before committing their resources. Whatever the reason, it seems the commercial real estate market is in for a long haul.
Sources: Grubb & Ellis, GlobestCloak & Dagger the movie
Big brother is watching you. In fact, he is watching all of us. And now with the help of technology, it is now easier for government to monitor our every move. President Obama is now proposing scaling back a ban how government monitors users who visit federal Internet sites. The White house states that these tracking services, “can make government more transparent and increase public involvement.” But should the government begin to track Internet users for the sake of government transparency? Since when is the government ever transparent? Critics such as the ACLU argue that this is an unprecedented shift in government policy which raises privacy concerns for Internet users. If this doesn’t raise some eye brows, two bills were introduced to the President which will allow him to shut off the entire Internet network of the United States in case of a cyber attack. A “Cyber Security Czar” will appointed to oversee such a government endeavor. The president can shut down Internet access for any reason related to “national security.” This is a disturbing trend which Americans should be extremely concerned about. We use the Internet for many aspect of our lives, especially for business. It’s setting a dangerous precedent which endangers the freedoms many of us enjoy. To have so much power to a select few should not be tolerated by the American people. It’s time that we the people start watching the government.Lost Stallions: The Journey Home dvdripMary Poppins rip
The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) has suspended Taylor, Bean and Whitaker Mortgage Corporation (TBW) of Ocala, Florida after
TBW failed to submit a required annual financial report and misrepresented that there were no unresolved issues with its independent auditor. The auditor has uncovered irregular transactions that raised the flag of fraud and had ceased their investigation.
HUD Secretary Shaun Donvan had this to say in a HUD press release:
“Today, we suspend one company but there is a very clear message that should be heard throughout the FHA lending world – operate within our standards or we won’t do business with you,”
The Government National Mortgage Association (Ginnie Mae) is also defaulting and assuming control of TBW’s nearly $25 billion Ginnie Mae portfolio. Ginnie Mae has assured TBW’s customers that a new servicer will be found and the transition will be seamless. You can read the rest of the release here.
TBW may appeal the suspension by submitting a written request for a hearing in front of a Administrative Law Judge within 30 days.