Should You Hire a Property Manager Or Not?

Using a property manager has both pros and cons. There are no hard and fast rules regarding whether you should hire one or not. You have to evaluate the answer based on your own situation. The following are some considerations to take into account before you jump to a conclusion.Time CommitmentA lot of real estate investors have a full time job so they do not have enough time or energy to manage properties. Especially if the house is situated remotely, many investors might feel they cannot manage on their own or do not want to travel. If fact, you can manage on your own.Cost BenefitIf you have several properties or an apartment complex in one area, using a property manager to manage all the property may be economic. The manager will be able to combine expenses and costs. For example, they can purchase maintenance materials in bulk for all the rental units. If you don’t have several rental units in one area, but together with your friends’ or families’ rental units you do. Then you can afford to hire a professional dedicated property manager.The Nature of the Rental Market Where your Property is LocatedIf your rental property is located in an area where renters mostly check out the rentals through the local property management companies, then you have no other choice but to hire the company. This may happen in small towns where there is only a handful of management companies.Tenant’s CharacteristicsSome tenants are not easy to deal with. You may find some tenants that are constantly paying late, asking for a lot of unnecessary repairs, complaining about everything, or having difficulty keeping up the premises. A property manager may handle the situation better than you as you might be emotionally attached to your property and less likely to handle many issues impartially. What’s more, the tenant might try to take advantage of you. They may take it more seriously if they are dealing with a professional property management company instead of an individual.Does your Property Need Frequent Repairs or Maintenance?If your property needs frequent repairs due to its age or other reasons, having a property manager may help you if repairs are a burden. Usually the property management company either has its own in-house repair service or contracts with outside vendors. In any case, you should ask about it before hiring them and understand how much they charge.What Kind of Service do you need from a Property Manager?Do you need a full service property management, which includes placing tenants and ongoing management service? If the condition of your property is good or new and not much repair is anticipated, you may save your money on the ongoing management service part. If you already have a tenant but you are moving out of that area you can use a local property manager to collect the rent and do the maintenance work.Lack of Interest in ManagingSome rental property owners just do not want to get involved in managing the property at all. They rather have someone look after their rental properties so they can enjoy their life doing other things. That is absolutely ok. Enjoying life is also very important.The purpose of hiring a property manager is to free up your time and make your rental investment successful. Nevertheless, hiring a poor one is worse than hiring no one. You can end up spending more time and money to rescue your property.If you hire one, keep in mind it does not mean you have to be a completely hand-offs owner. You should keep in regular communication with your property manager so he understands you do not treat your real estate business lightly. How to hire a good property manager belongs to another blog we will write about.

Ways to Grow Your Business With Videos

Videos have become a must for businesses of all sizes. As the cost of video production decreases and the popularity of this form of advertising increases, even the smallest companies are using videos to reach out to current customers and target potential customers, both online and in-store. A well-made video by one of the growing number of corporate video production companies will more than pay for itself in new business. Let’s take a look at some of the ways that videos can be used to grow your company.

Marketing Videos

A 2011 Nielsen study found that videos are fifty times more likely to appear on the first page of search engine results than other types of content. Many potential customers would prefer to watch a short video to learn about a business’s products and services than read through pages of text on a website or in a brochure. A video is a good way to introduce yourself and your employees as well as allow people to see the faces behind the business.

You can show numerous examples of your work in a short, entertaining format that is more viewer-friendly rather than asking a customer to scroll through numerous pictures. Remember that online videos should be short – no more than two or three minutes. Most people will not watch much longer than that. It is better to have several short, engaging videos than one long one. Leave them wanting more – not less.

Instructional Videos

Online videos are an excellent way to demonstrate how to use your products. Step-by-step written instructions can be overwhelming, and many people find it easier to follow visual instructions. If someone feels confident that they can assemble and/or use a product easily, they are more likely to purchase it and then to keep it and recommend it to others. Even if you do not sell something that requires instructions, you can demonstrate the variety of ways to use your product and get the most out of it. Good video editing is key to keeping the piece at an optimum length and easy to follow. A video production company with experience in this type of piece can help you make a how-to video that will inspire customers to purchase and use a product.

In-store/Lobby Videos

Never miss an opportunity to market to current customers – even if they are already in your place of business. While they are waiting, give them something to look at besides their iPhone. As people’s attention spans grow ever shorter, more businesses are finding ways to entertain and inform customers, whether they are in a check-out line at the grocery store, or pumping gas at a gas station. You can use an in-store piece to promote special offers and new products that your customers may not know about or to tell them about something that your business is doing to help the community.

Customer Testimonial Videos

What better way to present customer testimonials about your business than on film? When a potential customer sees a person extolling the virtues of your business, the impact is more powerful than if they read a written testimonial. They are the next best thing to a face-to-face recommendation from a friend or family member. A few short customer testimonials from different types of people that cover a variety of products or services and how they met the customers’ needs can be an effective marketing tool.

Optimizing Video Viewership

Keywords: If your video is online, it is critical to capture people’s attention with a catchy title that also lets people know what your business does. Keywords are crucial in helping anyone searching the Internet for a service or product to find your business. Place keywords in the title and description box. Be sure to include your website at the very beginning of the description.

SEO: Search engine optimization (SEO) is an entire industry unto itself. Many corporate video production companies have professionals who know all the SEO tricks to get videos in front of the right people.

Social Media: Put your videos on all of your social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+) in addition to your website. Use a service like TubeMogul to share them across multiple video platforms. If you have a YouTube channel, include a link to it on your website, and include it on your business cards and printed marketing materials. Don’t forget to send them to the people on your e-mail contact list as well.

Branding: Every video is an opportunity to get your brand out there. Your company name and logo should be clearly visible in every one.

Video is truly becoming a necessity for building a business. Don’t be intimidated by the idea. No one is expecting Spielberg-directed films. However, they should look professional in order to give potential customers confidence in you and your business. An experienced video production company can ensure that your business is presented in the best light, and that it gets in front of the maximum number of people interested in what you have to offer.

Post-capitalistic Free Market Society, How Can US Be Rescued (Part V) – Economy, Work and Retirement

Here is how a technological democratic society operates. We will be looking into the application of equality of opportunity in four areas of capital, labor, state and technology. This is the heart of democracy, because, there cannot be any kind of real democracy without having economic democracy.A. CapitalTo democratize the ownership of capital, the principle of equality of opportunity prohibits unjust enrichment. It simply means that no person receives property without giving in return a comparable compensation. This is known as the principle of unjust enrichment. Its application establishes the property ownership and relationship in a democratic society with the following consequences:1. Inheritance. Inheritance is the highest cause of inequality of opportunity. It leads to class stratification. It is the first factor in creating an unjust society. Since anything received through inheritance is free and without comparable compensation, it amounts to an unjust enrichment. If it elevates the opportunity of the beneficiaries to the extent that it creates unequal opportunities, it cannot be allowed under the principle of equality of opportunity. The proceeds from inheritance go into the Public Consumption Fund, a public organization, to be spent in providing vital services to society such as education and health care. The result is that as the rich individuals die, their wealth, to the extent allowed by the principle of equality of opportunity, is transferred to this organization and used for public good. Gradually wealthy families, which enjoyed a very high opportunity under capitalism, disappear while their riches are used to enrich and enlighten the masses as a whole. In a span of a few decades, society ceases to have any super rich. The ruling capitalist elite dies and with it disappears its dominating economic and political powers.Fortunately, the U.S. Constitution embodies the concept of equality of opportunity. It only needs to be specified to apply to economic and social aspects of life. The process of transition will be peaceful. It requires Congress to propose a proper amendment to the U.S. Constitution clarifying the application of equality of opportunity to economic, political an social aspects of life. Since the amendment, if ratified, would prohibit inheritance, for the stage of transition, Congress should specify a figure for maximum inheritance such as $5 million. This will insure the ratification of the amendment since only 0.7percent of population has wealth in excess of this amount. The result will be equalization of the wealth within the limit of $5 million. Decades later when minimum national inheritance level will increase disparity will be negligible or may be readjusted then to guarantee full equality of opportunity. [1]2. Profits. As presented before, as globalization progresses, free trade market economy causes the kind of keen competition that continually cuts down the profit margin leading to its virtual elimination.[2] The profit motive remains still there but rarely materialized. At this stage, estimated to materialize in four to five decades, the society’s levers of power- the multinational corporations, the military and their politician and bureaucrat supporters and collaborators- are eliminated from power status. By the coordinated efforts of local groups all over the country, equality of opportunity prevails, the economy and social structure are reconstructed for efficiency and justice. The production in a cooperative way focuses primarily on people’s primary needs. Every able person participates whether in neighborhoods, communities or work places. People work for a few hours a day having ample time free for leisure, art, music and other creative work and enjoyment.3. Labor. Regarding labor and workforce, there is a very basic distinction between capitalism and technological democracy. Under capitalism, the capitalist controls land, capital and technology, and employs labor from the market. Under technodemocratic economy, the workers own and control the capital and all other means of production. The principle of equality of opportunity controls the process of ownership of capital and prescribes its democratization. It materializes the total private ownership of the means of production and distribution to the extent never achieved before. It prescribes that the ownership of capital be gradually and systematically transferred from the capitalist to the workers. For clarification, it must be noted that the term worker in this concept embodies any person working for the capitalist from top management and professionals down to the unskilled workers. Under this concept, while each worker receives a regular wage, he is also given a certain specified amount of shares of the firm where he works. Thus from the time he receives his first pay, he starts to become a part owner of the firm. As the years pass, the worker continues to accumulate capital and increase his share of ownership. As the big capitalists die, their share of stocks revert to the Public Consumption Fund and from there is placed in the stock market for sale. These shares are purchased by different institutions, public institutions in particular, and gradually transferred to the workers including public employees along with their monthly pay. Some is also purchased by individual. [3]After four or five decades, the capitalist class as we know today, disappears and the ownership as well as control of capital and production firms become wholly transferred to a new capitalist class the same as the working class. From there on as the retired workers die, their share of stocks go to the Public Consumption Fund and placed in stock market and finally purchased by different institutions and gradually transferred to the new generation of workers along with their pay. For the shares that each worker owns, he receives dividend which continues to increase as he continues to accumulate more and more stocks. Each worker is entitled to full benefit of ownership of his stocks except that they are not transferable to others but can be exchanged with other non-transferable stocks of other institutions on the stock market for the purpose of diversification of their ownership. This non-transferability of the stocks is prescribed by the principle of equality of opportunity and, as it will be presented later on, income from these stocks takes the place of social security and old age benefits for the owner during the retirement period since under technological democracy there are no public welfare programs such as social security, medicare or food-stamps or else. Health care and education are the only programs available free for all, funded by the Public Consumption Fund and not the government.4. Position Classification. Position classification is a technology developed for organizing, classification and equalization of similar positions. It describes the responsibilities of each position and corresponding financial compensation range. Under this technology, positions are classified vertically as well as horizontally. This system is applied nationally and universally to all available positions. Horizontal positions are those requiring similar levels of skills to carry out job requirements. However, these positions may not be similar in the kind of functions and skills they require. For example, medical doctors, lawyers, and top administrators all require a high level of professional skill, while functionally they are quite different from one another. They may be placed horizontally in one category and entitled to the same range of compensation. The same applies to clerical or other class of worker. Vertical positions are classified from the lowest to the highest.Technology of position classification was created primarily for the purpose of increasing and controlling productivity as well as providing equitable pay systems, similar pays for similar jobs. This technology is not new; it has been used in every industrialized society by its public sector and by all major, medium size and some small private institutions. However, each institution has its own independent position classification and corresponding pay system. The national government, each state government, major city governments and giant corporations each has a position classification of its own. There is no uniformity among these systems and there are injustices. Furthermore, a great variety of small businesses do not have a classification system yet these are the institutions employing the majority of the working class people who are not subject to any standard of pay and are generally exploited. Under technological democracy all these systems are brought under one umbrella with the same standards of positions and corresponding pay system. However, such a monumental classification is not done in detail by a central office. This would be an impossible task. The national government through the Position Classification and Pay Commission, a branch of the National Economic Council, establishes a general classification of positions, a system somehow similar to the present national classification. Then it requires each institution , private or public, large or small, to establish its own position classification and pay system within the framework established by the national classification and pay system. A copy of this classification by each firm is entered in Technodem website available to everyone including every employee in the institution. The Technodem will check this classification against the national system and will inform the institution about discrepancies for correction, if any. This classification is put into operation by the corresponding institution until it is objected by the Technodem or the regional classification council.[4]The systems are reviewed each year by each institution as new technologies develop, certain positions are abandoned, new positions are created or functions of some positions are modified or changed. Position classification under one national model system has several benefits.1. It harmonizes and standardizes all available positions, private or public.2. It equalizes the pay system, similar pay for similar jobs, regardless of race, color, sex or whether a worker is a union member,3. It eliminates the union bargaining and thus eliminate unionization for economic purposes.4. It simplifies position and pay classification at the institutional level following a standardized and updated national model.5. It democratizes the work system by providing equality of opportunity in similar positions with similar pay.6. It allows regional agencies, through Technodem technology, to supervise the proper and uniform application of national standards.7. It allows discretion in each institution to proceed with its own position and pay classification.8. It gives each employee an opportunity to evaluate his position requirement and pay level in comparison with the national standards and, in the case of discrepancy, petition first his institution and then file his petition with the Technodem which will examine the complaint instantaneously and respond to it. If the institution did not resolve the issue according to the Technodem advice, he then can petition the regional classification council which will usually go along with the Technodem finding. By this way position classification in each institution is scrutinized by its employees and brought to the level prescribed by the national standards.5. Shared Opportunity and Full Employment. This is a very important principle of democratic employment opportunity. The application of the principle of equality of opportunity requires that those having a higher level of employment opportunity share it with those lacking such opportunity at the same position level. This refers in particular to unemployed workers seeking employment. Of course, at every skill level, those employed have a higher opportunity than those unemployed. The principle of shared opportunity is employed to equalize the situation. It requires that those who have employment, in order to provide for equality of opportunity, forgo a small part of their employment opportunity by giving up a small part of their work, say one hour per week, and thus provide employment opportunity for their unemployed fellows.For example, if there is a 100 million work force and each worker gives up one hour of his weekly work, nationwide 100 million work-hours amounting to 2.5 million full time positions will become available to those unemployed or new comers. [5] It needs to be noticed that unemployment in technological democracy has a different character. Everyone starts working part-time when he reaches 15 years of age and completes his professional or technical education while working. So work under technological democracy has a transitory character and is an individual right. Sharing opportunities provides for continuous employment, causing stability in the market and thus eliminates a major cause of recession by providing job security for working years. The inflationary process will also be prevented since there will be no monopoly firms, no price increase to maximize profits. Giant corporations will automatically divided into many smaller firms, and competition in the market will be tense, more realistic and free. This decentralization and dispersal will take place because once workers receive controlling shares of a giant firm they will tend to eliminate the superstructure of the corporate bureaucracy which did not produce anything and had also lost its unproductive use. Then, workers’ desire to have voice in the production process will tend toward dismantling the giant corporation into smaller entities in which the policy-makers will be directly attached to the operation of production and each worker can feel his voice and power over his institution. The same will happen to the branches or affiliated firms abroad. They would want to be independent especially when the superstructure in domestic country becomes abolished. Thus the era of giant multinational corporations will become history as a stage of transition from monopolistic international capitalism to competitive technodemocratic economy. The old motto that “small is beautiful, controllable, more democratic,” will become materialized.6. Old Age Benefits: Unlike the welfare programs instituted under the existing capitalistic and socialistic systems, there will be no retirement or general welfare programs under the technological democracy. First, each individual will start part time work at the age of fifteen. His income from the work will be sufficient to pay for his living expenditures, since he will have no education expenses because it will be free for everyone at all levels. By the age 21 he will finish his college education (exceeding in value over an M.A. degree at the present) and will be employed full time. Each individual will be required to work for at least 30 years in order to provide a sustained and sufficient income for his old age period. It is estimated that if each worker receive the company stock equal to 25% of his pay, after 30 years, when he retires at the age 52, he will accumulate enough capital from the stocks and their accumulated returns to receive an income of around $30,000 to live modestly but comfortably considering that health care and education will be free and individual taxes will be very small. Most of taxes will be collected from production firms. However, while the individual retires from the official workforce, he does not retire personally. Being only 52 years old he has many years of active life to contribute and be productive in social, political and economic fields. These could be either voluntary or income producing. This retirement after 30 years of service is mandatory in order to maintain equality of opportunity in workplace, and in no way deprives individuals from pursuing productive activities of their liking. It has also several important benefits: first, it provides vacancies to new workers entering the market, second, provides the retired workers with many years enjoyable and intellectually productive life; third, provides for participation in the political process where required qualifications for election is high and the service is temporary. At retirement, each individual would possess knowledge in humanities and social sciences far above the present Ph.D. level as a result of over thirty years of continuous graduate education, making him highly qualified to hold public or elective offices. Beside this, every person has also over Ph.D. level knowledge in his technical or professional field.[6]Thus this required retirement is technical rather than real. The individual who is highly educated and experienced at this stage of life, may get engaged in many different kinds of work such as art, music, creative writing, counseling, political or economic activities individually or in partnership with other retired persons. Since top policy making positions in regional and national government are temporary with four to six year terms, it will be an excellent opportunity for the post-retirement life. Under technological democracy the individual worker is made responsible to hold and take care of his own retirement stocks. That is why the stocks he receives monthly from his firm are non-transferable, while he can exercise all other benefits of ownership including annual returns from them during his lifetime. Particularly, that working people would be hesitant to run for political offices since this would interrupt their working process and financially have negative effect on their future promotions as well as their retirement benefits.
.References:1.Reza Rezazadeh, Technological Democracy: A Humanistic philosophy of the Future Society, 1990, pp. 192-1942. —————-, “Globalization and the End of Capitalism,” http://www.democracywhere.com also in http://www.ezinearticles.com3.—————-, Technological Democracy, opp. cited, pp.194-1984.—————-, Technodemocratic Economic Theory: From Capitalism and Socialism to Democracy, 1991, pp. 184-186. http://www.democracywhere.com5.Ibid., pp.186-188, 205, 235.6. Ibid., pp. 188-190, 219.Dr. Reza Rezazadeh1080 Eastman Street, Platteville, WI 53818Phone: (608)348-7064