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I Have Been Managing a Building

This is really something that I fell into, because the landlord at my apartment complex needed someone to do this job. Obviously the great thing is that you wake up and walk out your door and you are at work, this is the bad part too. If something goes bad in the middle of the night the tenant is going to want me to get up and fix it. I have been taking some online classes at this place called the National Apartment Association Education Institute, but I really do not think that I want to stay in the business of managing apartments per se. Instead I am thinking about the same thing with homes. I knew this guy who was friends with my older brother, and he made a lot of money doing the sort of real estate dealing you see on TV. In fact he and his father in law bought houses pretty much the same way that you or I would buy a piece of gum. Continue reading

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An Apartment with the Best of Both Worlds

My sister and I decided to look at two bedroom apartments in North Las Vegas to see if we could find one that we are happy with. We knew that it would be cheaper to live together, but we also knew that the apartment complex would have to be just about perfect to please both of us. We are so different in nearly every way, but we still love each other and get along pretty well, despite all of our differences. We knew that the apartment that we would share would have to have great features inside for me as well as awesome community amenities for her.

I have always been the shy bookworm type while she has been the social butterfly ever since we were kids. Whatever apartment that we would get would have to be nice for me, because I just don’t get into a lot of group activity things. Continue reading

Finding What We Wanted at Cherry Creek Real Estate Was Easy with a Realtor

I was used to living along the coast in the upper Northeast part of the country, so it was not that big of a deal to be moving to the Denver area. My wife’s relatives are there, and she wanted to move back home. I had no problem with that as I do not have any family close to where we were living anyway, and prebooked flights are cheap. My wife was looking at Cherry Creek real estate options through a Denver Realtor. We were looking for a luxury home that had all the things we wanted. I like a nice big fireplace. A real one, not one of those ones that burn natural gas fire over ceramic logs. Sometimes those are hard to find in luxury homes as the ashes of wood burning are associated with inconvenience. Continue reading

Be Responsive and Be Respected

Maybe it’s just me, but it seems that people have become more and more unresponsive in business situations. Emails not responded to. Phone calls not returned. Hiding behind voice mail messages.

I love this message, “Your call is important to me. Please leave your name and number and I’ll return your call promptly.” Whenever I hear this message or something similar I know there’s less than a 5% chance I’ll ever receive a return call, regardless of how many polite messages I leave.

The most common excuse I hear regarding responsiveness goes something like this – “Do you realize how many phone calls and emails I have to deal with everyday? I can’t possibility get to all of them.” I’m betting these same people take the time to regularly check their Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn accounts. I’m also betting they get upset when others don’t respond to their calls and emails.

The business people I talk with regularly consider unresponsiveness a sign of weakness. The consensus is that people who don’t respond quickly and consistently are either very disorganized, or overwhelmed because they’re not good at their jobs, or overwhelmed because of unrealistic expectations which they’re afraid to address with their bosses, or they think they’re more important than they really are.

One group of calls and emails that these people don’t respond to are from sources selling products and services. The theory is, “If I ignore them they’ll go away.” Some will. Some won’t.The persistent ones will never go away.

The most successful companies I’ve worked with have a policy of always evaluating products and services that might improve some aspect of their businesses whenever they are presented. They have pre-established criteria that determine which opportunities are immediately eliminated and which are worthy of further consideration. The appropriate decision makers respond to every call and email. Those products and services that don’t meet the criteria are informed and politely asked to not make further contact. Those that do meet the criteria are scheduled for the next step, which could be days, weeks, or months down the road.

Companies that don’t take the time to establish criteria and ignore calls and emails are missing great opportunities that would contribute to their growth and success. Sadly they will never know because of their unresponsiveness.

Another group of calls and emails not responded to come from co-workers, customers and vendors asking for information of some sort. The most mentioned reasons for not responding in these situations are. “I haven’t got the information they want.” or “I don’t have an answer yet.” The old saying “no news is good news” is completely wrong in these situations. When people don’t get an expected response they create their own reasons why and those reasons are never positive.

If you don’t have the information or you don’t have an answer yet, respond with that message and your best guess as to when you’ll have what they request. Then, work hard to make sure your guess becomes reality. Those making the requests may be disappointed, but at least they’ll know their requests are being addressed.

 

Today, Translation Services Are Essential on a Global Scale

If your company has an international clientele, you will understand the need for excellent translation services. One area where a specialist company will be required is for legal translation.

Legal documents and court proceedings can be extremely difficult if conducted abroad where you do not understand the local language. In addition, you will need a specialist who understands legal and business terms that are very different to conversational language.

Translators and interpreters are gifted linguists who specialise in communicating on behalf of their clients. This communication could be written or spoken. Most translators are multi-lingual, with a high level of competence in more than two languages, in addition to their own mother-tongue.

These types of services are needed for businesses that are negotiated trade deals with international suppliers or customers. But the service is not just for international business deals. Customers can come from a wide variety of industries and sectors. For example, tourism businesses abroad, the medical profession, the armed forces, security and police services, schools, and private individuals are increasingly discovering an urgent need for translators and interpreters in today’s multi-cultural society.

For gifted multi-lingual people, it is an excellent opportunity to build a fruitful career providing a specialist service. For customers, there are excellent specialists and professionals available who have worked hard to build a reputation as the best. If you are are looking for a translation agency, consider asking around for recommendations and also, it is worth looking online to identify some companies that may be in your area.

Most agencies will use a combination of multi-lingual speakers and native speakers. For example, if a business requires its documentation to be translated into French the agency may ask one of its native French writers to undertake the project. Likewise, for translations from German into English, a bi-lingual native English speaker would be best. This is how agencies can ensure their translations are accurate and of the highest quality.

To get on in life and business today, communication is essential, and there are many instances when we have the need for communicating in another language. While we all may wish we spoke fluent Spanish, French, and Italian, or Japanese, it’s not always possible to learn all the languages we may need. Translators are an essential part of communicating today. They are highly gifted individuals who are able to understand and translate specialist documents and conversations. Even legal documents, medical records, and scientific reports can be accurately translated using the best quality service.

If you need to communicate in another language, you should consider hiring a reputable translation agency that can assist you. They will have a team of translators and gifted linguists who will be able to translate the communications you need to understand, or send. Even specialists in unusual or less common languages can sourced if you go through a reputable agency. They will have on their books a number of highly qualified and experienced individuals who will be able to help customers with all sorts of differing language needs.

Communication Woes in a Family

We can classify family communication or conversation as: preferred communication, guarded communication, unlimited communication, cosmetic conversation and dangerous communication.

Preferred Communication

We prefer to talk with friends and relations, who are either rich and influential, or who knows intimately an influential person for obvious reasons. The postulate is applicable universally, within a family or society.

We divide humanity in two groups: our group and other group. We associate ourselves with our family, our language, our culture, our state, our country and our religion.

Even within the family, we have God made relations (parents, children and siblings) and manmade relation (spouse, and in-laws). Most of us prefer to communicate/converse with God made relations over manmade relations. We are more comfortable when we chat with our siblings, parents and children, as we have grown together. We are formal during conversation with in-laws including daughter-in-law, sister-in-law and brother-in-law; the only exception is the spouse. During honeymoon period or for a few years later, we are at ease with the spouse, when warmth and intimacy is still visible for all to see. It cools down later. Familiarity brings in casualness, indifference or even contempt.

There is one way communication in families among some relations. Sisters are eager to talk with brothers or vice-versa; but with sisters-in-law it is one way communication from sister to sister-in-law. Brothers are keen to talk with each other; but with brothers-in-law it is one way communication from brother to brother-in-law.

Communication within extended family and within immediate family differ qualitatively and quantitatively. Grandparents are part of extended family to grandchildren and do not belong to the immediate family. During childhood, grandchildren interact with their grandparents and love them, but when in teens, the love gets diluted. It hurts grandparents. Childhood friendship /intimacy is like drawing a line on water, it has very short life.

Guarded Communication

Parents talk with their children without any inhibition, but it is not same with daughter-in-law or son-in-law. Spouses talk with Parents-in-Law carefully. Mother and daughter talk for hours, carefree and spontaneously. Conversation between mother-in-law and daughter-in-law is formal and guarded, for a slip of tongue can play havoc for years to come. Verbal encounters leave lasting impact and warmth between relations is never same. We tend to forget and forgive our God made relations but never our manmade relations. Why is it so? We communicate with God made relations from our childhood. We get used to it. There are sweet and sour memories of growing together till teens. Thus there is natural, and spontaneous conversation with siblings and parents.

Our first serious relationship outside our family, develops during our teens, when we have a boy/girl friend. There is a cosy but formal, exciting but guarded conversation with the boy/girl friend. It is not spontaneous. It is invariably a synthetic and structured conversation. The spouses converse and communicate with similar constraints.

Unlimited Communications

The era of short conversations, lasting couple of minutes is long over. Cheaper call rates encourage the users to indulge in long conversations. We get addicted. There is over-indulgence in this unproductive activity. People keep chatting even if there is nothing to talk to. This is time-pass activity and it does no good to society.

Cosmetic Communication

The paradox of modern era is that friends, relations and spouses don’t share warmth and enthusiasm of life. Their communication is cosmetic and lacks warmth. There is concern for each other in conversation; but it lacks depth. The couple may continue to share a common goal: welfare of family; but there are individual career goals too, which take over-riding priority. The spouses want to pursue their careers to enhance own status in the society and for the extra money which is always needed, for a successful life.

The time spent together dwindles and spouses adjust their life style. It is not a healthy trend in married life. To make up for time, all desirable entertaining/leisure activities are mechanically executed.There is avoidable hurry even when we intend to: see a movie, visit resorts, buy gifts, hug each other or indulge in romance. Life is no longer warm, it is cold and cordial.

The maxim ‘old is gold’ is true, but spouses can take each other for granted. It results in casualness, lack of warmth and enthusiasm in life. The mantra for a successful relationship is to sustain the honeymoon euphoria as a permanent life style and avoid cosmetic conversations which are cordial but mechanical.

Dangerous Communications

People walk and talk with mobile all the time. They even drive and talk with mobile cleverly hidden. In Oriental countries people drive two-wheelers with one hand and hold mobile in second. People cross railway tracks, listening FM channels with ear-phones in the ears and fail to hear the approaching train. These are dangerous trends in society. We have to learn to live with technological advances.

Communication a Boon or Bane!

Communication and conversation are unique characteristics of humanity; other species have it, but to a very limited level. Is it a boon or bane? It depends upon us, the users. We can learn and inculcate the art of conversation; if we realise its importance. It will enhance peace and harmony in family, society and world at large

What Is ‘Effective Communication’?

Effective communication is a somewhat esoteric concept that is frequently applied to business management. It can, however, easily apply to our personal lives as well.

Put simply, effective communication aims at improving our understanding of the emotional content (*taps head and does a bad Bruce Lee impersonation) behind any given information. Theoretically, this understanding makes us more empathic and thus better able to relate to our spouses, co-workers, employers and friends.

Effective communication, then, aims at fostering a deeper understanding between communicators, by creating a stronger emotional resonance.

Experts in the subject maintain that the first step towards becoming a more effective communicator (should you wish to, of course) is to become a better listener. You can do this by fully focusing on the speaker (as opposed to being distracted, or deliberately distracting yourself), not interrupting them and openly demonstrating an interest in what the speaker has to say.

The next step, maintains that the use of open body language (e.g. not crossing your arms) and emphasizing a point via your body (such as tapping your head to indicate thinking ahead) is also very important to effective communication.

Step three is to focus on and thus better manage, your stress. A stressed person, even if their outward demeanour seems pleasant enough, gives off a lot of anxiety, from body language to posture, so it is best to deal with your anxieties privately before dealing with others (where possible).

Of course, effective communication is largely emotion-centric as a concept and so the final point brought up by the article is to improve your own emotional awareness. Essentially, this is the understanding of yourself and what makes you tick. It sounds obvious, even easy, but the truth is that most of us don’t have a clue. If you find yourself entrenched in petty squabbles or constant bickering with your friends, spouse, family or colleagues, then there is a good chance that there is something deeper that is bothering you. With a greater emotional understanding of yourself, not only will you be able to avoid potentially stress-inducing situations, but you should also be able to recognize patterns in others that you have seen in yourself, allowing you to become more empathic and, ultimately, a better communicator.

Essentially, effective communication is all about communicating effectively. It is about improving your understanding of yourself and others around you, in order to live and work with other in a more harmonious way.

Two Way Radios Enhance Church Safety

Security is topic for churches, synagogues, and other houses of worship as more violence takes place within their walls. Balancing the need for security without upsetting the peaceful environment is challenging but necessary. Security experts have recommended everything from armed security personnel to metal detectors. I submit that two way radios are an essential piece for any security plan. Two way radios provide additional benefits for the facility as well.

There are three key uses for two way radios in an emergency. They include safety, crowd management, and prevention. There isn’t a tool available for purchase which prevent random acts of violence. Responding to the incident is critical to prevent additional violence and to providing assistance.

Two way radios are the only tool which allows for instant communication during an emergency. Two way radios are the most effective tool at managing people and expectations during emergency response and two way radios are an effective tool at de-escalating the situation by providing the ability to give some advance warning of the situation and preventing additional violence.

Two way radios will also be used by the facility to improve guest experiences and to improve productivity amongst the staff. During events, two way radios will be used to coordinate seating, adjust sound and lighting, and for effective crowd control. During the week, two way radios can be used by staff to better coordinate activities around campus. From Maintenance to the Pastoral Staff, it is common for folks to be spread throughout the campus. Two way radios make it easy to locate staff members across campus.

Don’t overspend on two way radios. You can find two way radios or walkie talkies as inexpensive as $30 a pair at discount stores. You can also find two way radios that run $500 per radio. Two way radios should be selected based on the size of the building first. Consumer radios aren’t recommended at all as you’ll be competing for space with kids and truck drivers making private communication almost impossible. 1-2 watt business two way radios will work in a facility the size of a Super Walmart. 4-5 Watt two way radios are best for large facilities covering a city block.

Hopefully you’ve learned a little bit more about how two way radios will work in your environment. Two way radios are an excellent safety tool and will provide years of trouble free service. Two way radios are easy to implement and easier to use.

The Benefits of Outsourcing Your Business Calls

If you want to make your business more profitable as well as cutting back on expenses, then you should consider outsourcing your calls to a reputable company. There are many benefits to outsourcing your calls, and you can be sure to reap the benefits in no time. Companies that provide a call outsourcing service often have access to multilingual employees. This is a great way to boost your company image, because your customers can always talk to someone in their native language. This can also help to boost your sales, because customers will feel more comfortable when speaking to your outsourced staff members.

Cutting Back On Cost

When you outsource your calls, you don’t need to worry about your office space. You don’t need to provide your employees with work space, phones, computers and desks and you certainly don’t need to pay them when they are on holiday. This will save you a lot of money in the long run, as well as helping you to save money when it comes to the rental aspects of your work space. Outsourced call employees usually have years of experience operating in a business industry, so they have what it takes to get the job done as well as effectively communicating with your customers.

Contacting your Outsourcing Provider

If you want to convert your company’s communication systems to an outsourced alternative then you should contact your outsourcing provider. They will work with you to try and find a solution which meets your every need, as well as working with you to try and find the most experienced employees for the job. You won’t be limited in terms of employee experience, and you certainly won’t need to hire people from your local area. You can hire people across the world, from talented professionals to experienced businessman and communications experts, the possibilities are endless. Contact your outsourcing provider today to find out more.

Filling The Gaps Your Old Phone Left Behind

Imagine yourself standing in your kitchen. Or your garage. Or your home’s front hallway.

Now imagine calling someone on your cellphone and trying to talk from that location – for an entire year. Aside from the practical limitations on your end, how would the technology hold up for such an experience? Would your cellular connection function so reliably that, in the entire year, you would not lose service for more than five minutes and 15 seconds?

If so, then congratulations. Assuming you are correct, your domestic cell service has achieved “five nines” – that is, it operates as expected 99.999 percent of the time.

Does that sound like a ridiculously high standard? Maybe. But it is the standard that old-fashioned landline telephone systems have been expected to achieve for decades.

Now ask yourself the same question about your household Internet connection. Do you experience five-nines reliability there? I don’t. I doubt many of my American friends and neighbors do, either.

That leaves us, at least temporarily, in the heart of a tricky technological issue that will probably come to a head sooner rather than later. Our old-fashioned landlines are going to go away. Plain Old Telephone Service, or POTS as it’s called within the telecommunications industry, works like a charm for its intended purpose, but it does not do many of the things we want our modern communications systems to do, such as carry high-definition streaming video efficiently to every screen in our newly digital households. It is also expensive to maintain all that ultra-reliable but outdated equipment, not to mention countless thousands of miles of outdoor cable and indoor wiring, nearly all of it made from copper.

Phone carriers are therefore trying to get out of the business of providing POTS as fast as they can. Companies generally can’t just pull the plug, even if they would like to; in most cases, state legislatures need to revise or eliminate mandates making landline service the “carrier of last resort,” available to nearly anyone who wants it. Companies like AT&T and Verizon are lobbying for states to make such changes, laying the groundwork to cut POTS from their service lineup.

In the meantime, most consumers have already moved away from POTS. Internet-based phone service is rapidly gaining market share from landlines, especially when companies offer it bundled with broadband and cable at a discount. Many households (especially those headed by millennials) have no house phone at all as such, relying solely on cell service. Only around 10 percent of American households have POTS-only service today. It is safe to assume that many are headed by people like my mother and my father-in-law, who are in their 80s and 90s. POTS is, quite literally, a business that will die of old age.

Our digital future is not all bright and shiny, however. In most situations, we are prepared to live with communications services that are faster, cheaper and fancier than their predecessors, even if that means our service is somewhat less reliable than the phones we saw teenagers using in “Bye Bye Birdie.”

But this is a trade we don’t want to make if someone breaks into our house, or if there is a fire, or if life-sustaining medical equipment fails in the middle of the night. The majority of alarm systems and medical devices have been designed to use communications services that have POTS-level reliability. Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service might not cut it.

Home security company ADT only warrants its conventional equipment to work on POTS or Managed Facility Voice Network (MFVN) systems. On its website, ADT advises customers switching from POTS to VoIP service to call first to make sure the service they want will work with their existing security system. Vonage users need not apply, though many cable companies’ services qualify because the companies maintain their own networks and provide professional installation. Some newer alarm and medical equipment can use cell networks, but millions of older installations would require upgrades or replacement.

A lot of factors contribute to the reliability of POTS and the relatively sketchy performance of newer technology. One important distinction is that your old-fashioned phone drew its power directly from the phone company, not the wall outlet. If your home suffered a blackout, your phone usually still worked. Most Internet-based systems go dead when the lights go off, because the phones and the cable modems to which they connect both rely on your home’s electricity. Even if you have a battery backup for your modem and router, your Wi-Fi is only as good as the cable that connects it. If your VoIP provider relies on the power company, as most of them do, you are out of business when your neighborhood goes dark, even if you’ve taken steps to be prepared.

Cell phones, however, continue to work as long as cell towers nearby are powered up, as is the case most of the time. There have been exceptions during major disasters, notably Hurricane Sandy, but those are situations in which even POTS service was liable to fail. Cell towers make it easier and faster to restore service over a wide area, too.

Of course, when those towers are fewer and farther away, they may be less helpful. Outside of metropolitan areas, cell towers grow sparser and 3G and 4G capability is limited. Internet connections fast enough to support VoIP service may also be hard to come by in the same areas, since federal regulations don’t currently guarantee Internet access in the same way they have traditionally guaranteed POTS. Rural communities may run into problems if forced to cut the cord – or the copper cable – without such regulations adapting to the state of modern technology.

POTS had its own vulnerabilities, too. A burglar needed only to cut one low-voltage wire to knock out an alarm system. Falling trees can take down phone lines just as easily as power lines. A failure of a central office switch, albeit extremely rare, could take out service for an entire town or big-city neighborhood.

While the end of POTS is inevitable, there are still a few roadblocks. There will be some bureaucratic resistance to the switch away from POTS. Expect commercial resistance too: Alarm system vendors who made their money from monthly monitoring fees don’t universally applaud the switch to VoIP, which exposes their customers to the marketing of competitors. But it is going to happen, and it will probably happen relatively soon.

When it does, I imagine we will see hybrid systems emerge to handle the gaps POTS left in our infrastructure. For example, a secure home will probably have its own source of backup power, either from a generator or a battery bank that can keep VoIP alive for up to 24 hours, plus a secondary connection to a cell network that can be used for communication if cable- or fiber-based Internet fails.

Such redundancy may get us back to five nines in practice, even if our immature new technologies are as prone to swooning as the adolescents who fawned over Conrad Birdie.