Articles For Sale

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Pavement appeal preparing your Spanish property for sale

Firstly, it will help you to get into the mindset. You are not “doing up” your home. It is not your home any more. It is a commodity you have placed onto the market.

First impressions count whether you like it or not. Psychologists say that when we first meet a person, we make up our minds about them within 15 seconds.

The same is true when someone comes to view your house. They will make up their minds about whether they will buy it before they even enter your property.

With a buyer viewing your property you have one brief shot to get it right first time. So, the front of your property exterior needs careful consideration and if need be attention this is called pavement appeal. What can be seen from the pavement. Look at your home with a critical eye as if you were a new buyer.

If you have a garden, make sure it’s looking its best. Give it a general face-lift, mow the lawn, weed and jet-wash or use a hose attachment and wash away stains on pavements and walls.

Make sure your front gate looks good. If necessary, give it a coat of paint or replace it.

Less is more. Get rid of any clutter. Cut and trim bushes and trees especially your palm trees.

Don’t park your car on the driveway. It will only detract from the view. The buyer’s imagination will work better if they don’t have to factor out your car or other objects that belong to you.

Remove the children’s toys from the front garden. Put away your collection of garden gnomes in fact, probably best to hide them in general it is 2018 come on!

If you can, re-coat your front door or pay someone to do it properly. Clean your windows inside and out. You may want to paint the entire front of the house?

Think about installing some welcoming exterior lighting. Many people do a quick drive-by at night before arranging a formal viewing. Carefully positioned spotlights can have a good impact and you can buy solar powered lights now for under a tenner no wiring needed they have a photocell that turns them on at night or when they sense some movement.

All of this might seem daunting. But don’t underestimate how worthwhile it can be to bother making the effort. It can make a big difference to your asking price. And more importantly it can ensure you close a sale.  Word Count 425. Offers…

 

How to avoid time-wasters

It’s a sad fact that there are a lot of time-waster, carpet-traders and voyeurs out there who want to come and look around people’s houses when they have no intention of buying.

To sort the buyers from the spiers pre-qualify them by asking a few questions before arranging a viewing.

Explain politely that there is a lot of interest in the property and that you need to make sure that anyone who comes to view is serious. You’ve had some people who were complete time wasters. Go over the details of your property like how many bathrooms, bedrooms etc.

Listen for buying signals people who ask a lot of questions, people visualising themselves in the room. Asking about the property’s utility bills and taxes, community fees, rubbish collection bills and requesting a second viewing.

Voyeurs look at photos and ask you questions about you, your family, being over friendly. They are only interested in you.

Over-complimenting the decor could mean a guilty conscience and subsequently, no offer.

Are you selling too? What stage are you at? Who is selling it? This information can then be checked. Are you in a chain? Is this going to be a holiday home or are you moving here.

First time buyers: do you have a mortgage arranged i.e. a mortgage in principle. Can you really afford my property? Generally, how quickly can you move?

“It doesn’t have enough bedrooms”. Means they never looked at the property description and they are just spiers.

Depending on their answers you can assess their level of seriousness and whether you want them in your house at all. If you’re not sure say you’ll have to refer to your partner and will call them back.

Try to get some background about why they’re interested in your property. Working in the area or having family nearby reinforces their reasoning for buying locally.

Serious buyers tend to ask a lot of questions themselves before coming to view.

The biggest way to avoid time wasters is to get someone else who has years of experience to do it all for you.  You could take away all this hassle by employing a professional estate agent to take care of the selling process for you; pre-qualifying potential buyers before they even step across the threshold. Word Count 385. Offers….

 

 Protect your investment

Home security is about the onion effect where burglars must peel away at layers to get past the security measures.

There is an old saying: ‘you don’t have to out run the bear just the other person’. This means if your home has more security measure in place than your neighbours the will be targeted.

In recent times the advent of the more ruthless creeper burglar has increased due to technological advances in vehicle designs.

Most vehicles are becoming harder to break into the average thief using crude or sophisticated methods are failing and so are motivated to search for the owners unlocking device thus the need to break into the house.

Creeper burglars are not only after your vehicle some are there for your valuables too. Some people make it too easy to enter their homes which it entices the opportunist thief too.

High walls and fences may stop the neighbours from gorking at you around the pool, but they are a haven for burglars they only have to get over the wall to be out of site.

This is so obvious, but people still do it. Lock your doors and windows.

Deter thieves from targeting your house by ensuring a clear line of sight from the street. Cut back trees and bushes that obscure your front door.

A solid core door with a deadlock, for example, is harder to force. Grilles and shutters prevent burglars from breaking in through windows.

Garages and garden sheds are often targeted buy burglars who can then use your tools or ladders to gain access to the house.  Lights with motion sensor should be fitted.

Ask friends to collect your mail and to stop junk mail from building up in your letterbox while you’re away from home. A neighbour parking in your driveway can also help signal the house is not unoccupied. Other measures could include internal lights or a radio set on timers and organise someone to mow your lawn.

Installing a small safe in your home is a relatively low-cost way to protect jewellery and cash.

Break up packaging for expensive new gear before tucking it into the bin: they are watching.

Add another layer of defence by fitting an alarm system and CCTV cameras with remote viewing, chose wired over wireless. A barking dog can also provide effective security. Even installing a “Beware of the dog” sign can make thieves pause before targeting your home.  Word Count 408.  Offers

 

Safety around your Spanish home

Home is the place where most people take their safety for granted. Often it is the scene of serious accidents, some of which prove fatal. Statistics tell us that more than half of these fatalities are the result of falls, of which the majority affect those over sixty-five. But other causes include fire, poisoning (from gases and vapours, as well as from drugs and household chemicals), suffocation choking, drowning and electrocution: a horrifying catalogue of disaster. At a less serious level, millions of people each year require medical assistance – even hospitalisation – for injuries suffered in the home. But fatal or not, many of these accidents could certainly have been prevented.

Making your home a safe place is your responsibility. Prevention means planning at the beginning: choosing home furnishings and equipment for their ‘safety qualities’ – the flame-retardant paint or upholstery fabric, for example, the gas valve date checked is the gas bottle housed outside or ventilated. Properly tested electrics, including appliances. Non-slip floor finishes and so on.

Some imports may not have the appropriate safety components built in, therefore they should be checked.

You shouldn’t have to sacrifice good design for safety; truly good design incorporates the safety dimensions.

Safety outside

Well-maintained roofs including tiles, chimney stacks, television aerials, gutter systems, loose masonry, crumbling concrete or brickwork, these are the things that can become airborne in heavy winds and become projectiles potentially lethal or can cause an immense amount of damage.

Well-planned access in good condition; none slip, level pathways at the correct dimensions riser heights and steps built with solid material. Adequate, well-sited outdoor lighting, you can buy solar-powered light kits easy to install for under ten euros and they last a long time.

Glazed doors with toughened or laminated glass, avoiding injury if broke. Glass should have some sort of decorative treatments (such as opaque or patterned glass) even if just a band across at eye level and lower level for pets and children some people use decals (stickers).

Storage should be adequate for flammable fuels ventilated and accounting for local regulations. Lockable outside storage for tools, paints varnishes, weed killers, etc.

Those with upper stories windows up to 900mm from floor to ceiling should have safety catches or fixed vertical bars if they don’t have security grills (rejas) ideally, they should be removable in case of an emergency.

Electricity sockets should be heavy duty weather proof exterior grade.

Balconies should be checked made from concrete with steel reinforcing bars especially on the cost if the metal isn’t covered sufficiently by concrete or some waterproof barrier applied water and carbon dioxide will attack the metal causing it to rust and expands up to eight times it is size balconies can and do collapse.

Proper chimney maintenance

Clean chimneys don’t catch fire. Make sure a Certified Chimney Sweep inspects your solid fuel venting system annually and sweeps and repairs it whenever needed. Your sweep may have other maintenance recommendations depending on how you use your fireplace or stove.

Safety Indoors

Planning and maintenance are preventative measures. Heating systems and electrical supply need extra focus.

Ventilation is important and needs to be free from obstructions anything that omits carbon dioxide and sulphur dioxide always need their own closed systems. Senses for monoxide and fire detectors should be installed in proximity.

Gas bottles that leak in a none ventilated space can ignite from something as simple as turning on a light switch causing an explosion. The regulators have a date stamped on them and need to be changed.

Electricity supply should be installed by professionals. Appliances certificated and maintained by competent installers. Ample sockets should be fitted in rooms to avoid trailing cords.

Floors should be none-slip and easy to clean. Dirty floors can attract unwanted insects which carry hundreds of different pathogens, including Salmonella, Staphylococcus, E. coli.

Buying online is so easy now days just be mindful of the safety certification authenticity: Fire-resistant for furniture fabrics and even wall coverings.

Any narcotics (legal) should be out of reach and locked away. Cleaning products detergents lighters and matches all should be unreachable or locked away from young children and never use a bottle or container that originally had contents meant for consumption for storing harmful liquids.

Food storage should be adequate to keep out insects like pantry moths and be cleaned regularly. Packets, once opened, should be re sealed they will find away in and lay their eggs.

Why do you see in, some Spanish villages, bottles of water on door steps and CDs hanging in rows in front of windows and open doors?

Plastic bottles on the door step are placed there to stop dogs marking their territory and then other dogs doing the same and CDs are hung by string diffracting sunlight to deter flies and birds that carry flees become disoriented.

Word count  – 810 edits included.   offers

 

 

 

How to Podcast

Podcasting is audio broadcasting on the internet and a way of creating an episodic series through digital media, often through portable media players like an iPod. The word podcast is a combination of two words, iPod and broadcasting. MP3 is the most popular audio format for a podcast.

Podcasts can be listened to on a computer using any media playing software. Subscribing to a podcast is the same as subscribing to a blog and some blogs are used to distribute podcasts, so they can be down loaded or a link is given to the audio file. These files can then be transferred from a computer to a portable device.

Anyone with anything to say, with a strong desire to voice their opinions, or simply entertain can create a radio style podcast with little cost and time. All it takes is a microphone, computer and an internet connection. Subject matter for podcasting is restriction and regulation free, but the success of a podcaster will always be reliant on the quality of material and level of professionalism by the broadcaster.

Podcasts Replacing Radio Chat Shows

Talk back radio style podcasts are popular content and have no worries with copyright law as long as there is no music played without first obtaining permission or purchasing the right. Therefore, podcasts are rising in popularity, and home based broadcasters are becoming as famous as radio show hosts. Shows are recorded at home and distributed globally via the internet to thousands of listeners, and these numbers can soon be in the millions.

Podcasts through the internet can reach a broader audience than any local or national radio. Businesses are starting to take note of the figures in terms of audience that can be reached through podcasting and the potential for blogs and podcasting as a content distribution tool in the future.

Podcast Creation

Planning is a key factor when podcasting and essential for delivering quality material, keeping listeners coming back for more, and building a strong regular listener base. A higher level of technological savvy is needed to record, upload, host and distribute podcasts. There are companies making these processes easer for future podcasters and expectations are positive and high for this form of broadcasting.

Podcasts allow individuals to distribute their ideas and show their talent on a global platform. Podcasts range from travel journals, short film makers, daily recipes and cooking tips, shows introducing the latest bands, comic book conventions, product reviews, and news media.

Planning a podcast starts first with the ideas, progressing to notes and then a script can be created. Even if the script is only used loosely it would act as a guide and keep a natural flow to the program and its sections in sequence, including musical slots, and introducing previously made interview material. If a podcaster plans to create a regular show or series then several shows should be planned up front before the initial launch.

There are a lot of ways to advertise an up and coming podcast and podcast series, and all channels need to be used to maximize success in the initial stages. Blogging is a popular way, forums, other popular podcast and all social media: Facebook and Twitter are strong advertising potentials and it would be worth signing up for other social networks around the world.

REFERENCES: http://www.podcast411.com/page5.html http://theaudacitytopodcast.com/ http://thepodcastersstudio.com/

 

Global Rubbish Bin

Yet another dead whale washed up on the shore full of discarded waste plastic.

12.8 million tonnes of plastic enter the world’s oceans every year and rising. Plastic bags floating like medusas, bottles, cartons…. microplastics creating an eerie-mist all threaten the inhabitance of the world’s waters.

It doesn’t stop there, microplastics that have entered the food-chain are poisoning our bodies via sea salt intake in foods. Sea salt around the globe is being contaminated and the most common plastic found is polyethylene terephthalate; the material which is used to make plastic bottles.

Particles have been found in the US, China, Spain, France the UK and as far as the Antarctic tested and confirmed by Greenpeace. Microplastics are now pervasive in the environment and society around the world. Plastic has been found in multiple foods that we consume every day, not just pure salt.

The effects on the human body are unknown because live tests have not been carried out in a controlled environment. A million plastic bottles are purchased every minute which is expected to quadruple by 2050, some are saying that it is rivalling climate change, scientist tested 21 types of table salt and found plastic in all of them.

The majority of the plastic, around 90%, flowing into the oceans are carried there by eight rivers in Asia and two in Africa. Countries known to have other environmental problems.

Millions of people dwell in close proximity or in some cases on the rivers. These areas often lack adequate waste collection or recycling infrastructure so most waste products are discarded into the river and washed away out of sight – someone else’s problem now.

In the latest study Scientist estimated the total amount of plastic produced throughout the world to be 8.3 billion metric tons of new plastic. 6.3 billion metric tons become plastic waste — and only 9 percent was recycled,

Recognising the main polluters is the first step towards tackling a difficult problem especially given the areas. Of course, it’s easy to point the finger but just look at the UK and it’s canals plenty of bins line the walkways, but people still discard their rubbish in the water. Changing the way we design plastics regarding how long they last is also a step forward.

Word Count: 379 News Item €25

 

Sales Targets and Objectives

A sale is a commercial act exchanging goods and services for money or other agreed compensation. In sales, individuals set expected or desired target sales based on previous personal performances or sales targets set by others in a sales team. In our personal lives, we set ourselves goals that we wish to achieve: new car, new home and other desired assets. Some want to improve their health, while others may have long-term goals regarding their retirement.

In sales, it is necessary to set such goals, both short-term and long, if success is to be achieved. Sales goals need to be turned into reality, thought out, and be realistically reachable while still making a difference. Often people fail because they set the wrong goals or they are set too high, this is setting yourself up for failure before even starting.

Sales Target Setting is Important for Success

Sales goals should be well-defined and detailed, saying that a number will be hit or that you want to beat the top salesperson is not enough. The incremental steps to what will be done to achieve those goals should be written down, and they are the individual’s goals not those of others. Working out how many sales it will take to pay bills, such as, home loan, car payments, living expenses are not goals, they are needs. A salesperson should recognize the difference between goals and needs.

Goals should surpass needs. Using needs as goals often means that they are just reached or can also fall short. Goals should be set higher than basic needs so when they are achieved, those needs are taken care of and more, and if sales fall short those needs are still taken care of.

Sales targets work on conversions, for example, if it takes 20 presentations or calls to achieve five sales, this is the base. If a goal/target is set at 15 sales to be reached in a month, then it stands to reason that it will take 60 calls or presentations. Therefore, the goal for that month must be to make 70 calls or presentations, setting the goal higher than the basis to help achieve, or preferably to surpass.

When making several goals they should share common elements, goals need to be put in writing, and they must be clear and specific, with defined dates for deadlines. Goals should also be set beyond reach but also be realistically reachable. Sales goals should be evaluated every day and have incremental steps and milestones.

Online Sales

Sales and marketing plans may include online sales. Maximizing sales online involves a certain amount of testing. Sell one product on your website using social media advertising or search engine advertising as these methods can closely target your niche audience. This form of advertisement provides clear conversions with respect to how many sales are achieved versus clicks per ad. SEO (search engine optimization) is important in making sales online; good content is needed, rich in keywords that are relevant to the products and services being sold, and that is being used to search the Internet by potential clients.

Word count 520 €25

 

Set up your own wireless router

Routers can be connected to a PC or Laptop via a wireless connection or a LAN cable (ethernet cable). Wireless routers are straightforward to set up when the laptop or PC has a wireless network adapter installed and an Internet connection, preferably high-speed. Routers can be set up using the software provided with the router-specific to that make and model, or by going online to the manufactures support website.

There has never been a better time to buy a wireless router, with prices being so low from all the major manufacturers. You can make even bigger savings if you shop online, as coupon deals are giving savings of over 50%, or more, and are offering free shipping.

Router set up using software

1. First, the router must be disconnected from the computer and power source.

2. Insert the disc that came with the router, or download the router-specific software from the manufactures support page.

3. The software will take you through step by step instructions on how to install. A wireless network name and password is created, and part of the instructions may ask you to connect the router to the computer using an ethernet cable at first. This cable is usually included with the router.

Router set up manually

1. Connect the wireless router to the modem or landline connection using a LAN (ethernet) cable.

2. Connect the wireless router to the power outlet and wait a few moments for it to set.

3. Using an ethernet cable connect the router to the computer.

4. Open a browser and log into the router’s Web interface and add the IP address to the address bar. The IP address can be found with the literature provided with the router or on the back of the router itself.

5. On the back of the router, or within the documentation will be the default password and user-name, now enter these.

6. Via the web interface, set up a password and network name.

7. You should now be ready to disconnect the LAN (ethernet) cable and connect by the wireless connection.

Wireless router set up for windows 7

1. Connect the wireless router to the modem, or landline connection using a LAN (ethernet) cable.

2. Connect the wireless router to the power outlet and wait a few moments for it to set.

3. At the bottom of your computer on the notification bar, there is an icon that looks like a stairway or a collection of bars racking upwards, click on this.

4. The window will show a selection of visible networks, choose your network and click on it and connect, this will ask for the network name and password, which is the default and came with the documentation, or is written on the back of the router.

Wireless routers send and receive signals to and from a computer making them vulnerable and easily tracked. Using encrypted signals, or noise, can stop 3rd party hackers from receiving your personal data, and stopping unauthorized use of your network. It is important to stop anyone from hacking into the network through your IP, and causing damage by accessing sites that could create a legal issue or embarrassment.

There are a lot of different brands of routers and they use different methods of encryption. WPA2 is one of the most advanced and secure. WPA (WiFi Protected Access) is next followed by WEP (Wireless Encryption Protocol) which is the oldest.

If you are worried about the neighbour’s kid breaking the code and stealing bandwidth or personal data, then it would be prudent to change the password on a regular basis and include combinations of alpha-numeric characters.

Once the wireless router is set up care should be taken when positioning the unit. Signals can suffer from interference from household appliances. Routers should be centralized and kept away from large metal objects. Performance can also be affected if too many computers share the same wireless unit.

Word Count 664 €30

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