Company tattoos, closing gifts, and new Benjamins this fall
The ultimate agent mark of loyalty—their company logo tattoo. Almost 40 agents from Rapid Realty in New York city have been tattooed with the company logo. The incentive? Their commissions are increased 15% when they get the company tattoos. I wonder what happens when they decide to change companies…?
Looking for a neat house-warming gift idea for your clients? Stamen allows you to enter a location and generate a watercolor map painting that you could then print out and frame (be sure to read the Creative Commons copyright information at the bottom of the page first).
Are your clients having trouble picking colors for rooms in their new home? Pinfographics offers a handy Psychology of Color guide for understanding the difference between a tone, hue, tint, and shade, and helps shed light on the emotion-forming power of color.
CareerCast.com has come out with its annual list of job rankings. Actuaries top the list, newspaper reporter comes in last. 20o jobs were ranked based on 5 criteria: physical demands, work environment, income, stress, and hiring outlook. Real estate agent comes in at #152, just above janitor (yikes!). Librarians rank #88, just behind sewage plant operator (double yikes!).
Dinner party etiquette tip #652: Stop talking about TV shows. Have you memorized all the snarky remarks from the Dowager Countess from Downton Abbey? Have you spent more than 5 minutes discussing the implications of Francis Underwood breaking the “fourth wall” in House of Cards? The Wall Street Journal says you run the risk of killing a conversation:
When Brendan Francis Newnam goes to dinner with friends in New York, he grows wary when the talk locks on television, a subject that can become “a kudzu vine that strangles out other conversations.” He’s no snob—he devours shows like “Mad Men” and “Enlightened,” and with Rico Gagliano hosts a public-radio show called “The Dinner Party Download,” an omnivorous guide to arts and culture that broadcasts nationally. But Mr. Newnam recalls several gatherings that bogged down when fans of a show he doesn’t watch, “Breaking Bad,” waxed on about Walter White, Jesse Pinkman and other complex characters. “It’s like they were talking about friends from high school, but I went to a different high school,” he says.”
Keeping that connection with your mate strong is important, but often overlooked especially when kids are in the picture. Remember to make time for yourselves. TLC’s Parentables gives 20 date ideas for you and your spouse.
Flipping returns, eMagazines, and timeshares for $1
Waypoint Real Estate Group is buying five to seven houses a day, 1200 since 2008, and is fixing them up and reselling them to investors at a big discount. The company plans to buy 10,000 to 15,000 more homes by the end of 2013.
With home prices down more than a third from their peak and the market swamped with foreclosures, large investors are salivating at the opportunity to buy perhaps thousands of homes at deep discounts and fill them with tenants. Nobody has ever tried this on such a large scale, and critics worry these new investors could face big challenges managing large portfolios of dispersed rental houses. Typically, landlords tend to be individuals or small firms that own just a handful of homes. But the new investors believe the rental income can deliver returns well above those offered by Treasury securities or stock dividends. At the same time, economists say, they could help areas hardest hit by the housing crash reach a bottom of the market.
Warren Buffett famously said that he would buy up “a couple hundred thousand” single family homes if it were practical to do so. Looks like Waypoint has beat him to the punch.
Travel & Leisure comes out with another top list: America’s 20 greenest cities. Portland (surprise!) is #1, followed by Savannah, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Denver, & Chicago.
Perhaps you think land ownership in your city or town is a challenge, but trying living on the border of North and South Carolina. The two states are currently reassessing the state line, likely leaving some 30 property owners paying property taxes in two states, dividing utilities payments, and obtaining a new driver’s license.
One in five American adults read an electronic book in the last year, as gift-giving sped the shift away from the printed page, a Pew Research Center survey showed on Wednesday. And why limit it to ebooks? Just as Hulu was launched by several major broadcasters, some of the country’s biggest magazine groups have banded together to create Next Issue, an e-magazine reader and app.
Foodies in Detroit are helping revitalize the city by opening restaurants, food stores and gardens on cheap or abandoned property. Outside developers are beginning to show interest in the Motor City. And Whole Foods Market has plans to open a store next year in the Midtown neighbourhood, which is the centrepiece for Detroit’s revival. The food and real estate pioneers are optimistic, hoping that Detroit will be able to rise to a million residents from the current 715,00 to support sustained growth of this new trend.
Got a sweet tooth? Many of us were surprised at the initial results from a five year study conducted at the University of California at Davis’ recent study that shows a link between sugar consumption and cholesterol, shown on 60 Minutes last week.
Looking for a timeshare to purchase? No one else is either. Unable to sell his timeshare, John Chase and his wife gave away their Orlando timeshare for $1.00. Like many owners, the couple is dealing with rising timeshare maintenance fees on top of other bills. Alternatives to this drastic move include renting out timeshares to vacationers and seeing if the owners would buy back the time share. Owners also counsel patience and leaving the timeshare on the market.
Here’s a good reason to do some low-cost redecorating: The choices you make can result in enhanced mood, less stress, and better sleep. To turn your space into a healing haven, follow these easy 10 decorating tips for a stress-free home.
From all of us at Information Central, we wish you a Happy Easter and a Happy Passover!