Car Insurance Costs Driven Down By Technology

Surprising for many is the fact that sometimes car insurance rates can actually go down. In fact, there are lots of exciting things happening that pose to save drivers lots of money. New technology that is already in the marketplace is saving money and lives already. Below are 3 new technologies that will keep more people safe on the road and reduce the cost of car insurance.

1. Electronic stability control (ESC). ESC systems use computer-controlled braking systems that help the driver maintain control of a vehicle that is beginning to lose control. In 2007, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration began requiring all manufacturers to install ESC in all passenger cars, SUVs, vans, and pickup trucks. According to a study done by NHTSA, more than 2,200 lives were saved from 2008-2010 due to the installation of ESC. When more people are safe on the road, car insurance premiums tend to decrease.

2. Driver-less car technology. Google is leading the charge in developing cars that drive themselves. In fact, the Nevada DMV issued the first license for a self-driven vehicle in May 2012. While many do not want their car to drive them to work, the technology being developed will do amazing things to keep accidents to a minimum. Basically the car will know before you do that you are about to hit something and will react for you. Less accidents means less of a car insurance premium.

3. Attention control system. Driver fatigue causes thousands of crashes every year. Volkswagen has a new technology to combat this. A camera in the car monitors your blinking and if it detects a shortage of blinks, it assumes the driver is asleep. An alarm will sound that will alert the driver that is time to either pull over or switch drivers. Again, more safety means less accidents, which results in car insurance that is more affordable.

I would love to see a technology that would not allow a drunk driver to even start the car. That would also save thousands of lives. I’m sure this technology would be easy to develop if it hasn’t been developed already. Technology is improving every aspect of our lives. It’s even saving the lives of thousands. As better safety technology is developed, less accidents will occur on the road.

The safer everyone is on the road, the less we will have to shell out for car insurance. Car insurance companies will no longer have to spend millions of dollars on claims and we’ll all benefit!

The Kinds Of Car Keys To Choose From

The automotive industry has come a long way and today car keys are no longer the old style mechanical cut versions. Of course there are several brands that still use this form of keys, but there are numerous other versions out there as well. In mechanical keys, they are machine cut as the name suggests and are more popular with brands such as Ford, GM or even Chevrolet. There are quite a few truck models too that works with these forms of keys. Despite the numerous models of cars on the road, the machine cut continues to be a favourite.

The next version you have is the laser cut automotive keys. These are the advanced versions of the machine cut keys and are also called the sidewinder or the internal cut keys. They have a square edge which have matching cuts on either side. These can fit into a car’s ignition any way you like. Their advantages are that they are not easy to pick and will need specialized help. There is a unique software used in its production and those manning the machines will need specialized training as well. These are found in luxury brand cars like that of Mercedes as well as Audi.

There are several other popular styles of car keys available. You have the transponder keys that have a minute computer chip inserted in the key handle. This is for additional ignition security and to prevent the key from being forged. There is the remote or the switchblade form of transponder keys.

Then you have the smart keys which have a laser cut key that is built in. These kinds of keys gives the driver the flexibility of entering the car and starting it without actually taking the key out of his pocket. Then you have what is known as the VATS keys. This has a unique chip on the blade which though not electronic in nature, has got the name.

And then you have what are known as valet keys. These are given along with a regular transponder key. There is however a slight modification to it, where you can open doors and ignition, but not a locked boot or trunk. These can be made out of plastic or metal.

There are several varieties of keys and the kind you get will depend on the kind of vehicle you pick up. This is essential to the safety of your car and you.

Mobile Auto Detailing Noise Reduction Strategy – Shop Vacuum Enclosure

The other day, I was in a high-end neighborhood in California and I noted that it was quite noisy. There were landscapers with air blowers, landscapers using weed wackers, and even a mobile detailer across the street using one of those 5 horsepower shop vacuum. “Why all the noise,” I thought, this is a nice neighborhood. You see, I was surprised that the customers would put up with that noise and nonsense. Apparently they had no choice, but I would submit to you that they actually do. Further, there’s opportunity here and I’d like to explain why.

If you own a mobile detailing business you should consider noise reduction strategies. Perhaps you should buy a portable generator such as the Honda which is very quiet, and use an electric pressure washer, an electric buffer, and find a way to reduce the noise of that shop vacuum. Now then, before I retired I franchised mobile auto detailing units around the country. We set up these mobile rigs on trailers, in vans, and on pickup trucks using skid units. In many locations we would clean vehicles right in office parking lots where office windows were adjacent to the cars we were cleaning.

Our customers were on the phone and having meetings so it was unacceptable to make noise. Nevertheless, those shop vacuum cleaners have a terrible squeal to them. What we did was we took a plastic trashcan cut a hole in the side for the vacuum hose and a small opening in the top with some air-conditioning vent mesh. Then we used insulation around the inside of the trashcan, the kind that is silver on one side with sticky tape on the other. This did the trick. You can hardly hear the sound, unless you stood right next to the trashcan, which was upside down covering the vacuum.

This should work just about anywhere, and we never made any noise. Best of all, we got more referrals, and folks used to tell us that they likes us better than the people they had before because we didn’t make any noise. They would tell their friends, and we got more business. It was that easy. Using best management practices for mobile auto detailing and noise reduction makes sense, and it makes dollars.

Interestingly enough, you can’t buy anything like this in the store, no one sells them, you have to make your own. But since I’ve explained how, I hope you will do this as soon as possible, and help keep the peace and quiet.

Age Appropriate and Attractive Ideas For Aging Gracefully

Maturity is a badge of honor to be respected with good taste. There simply comes a time when all the extra bling and fabulousness of fashion, hair and makeup is best toned down. When you were a younger Alluring, Innovative or Dramatic woman, those items of “look at me, I’m au currant” stood for something. Status, hipness, a woman in the moment who’s up on the trend. But wisdom carries with it a confidence and sophistication that allows you to do less and achieve more. A maturing face and figure carries a patina of wisdom. A statement in and of itself, it doesn’t require bright lips, over the top earrings or a crazy hip belt to bring it forward. It stands there, gently making its own beautiful statement. Less is simply more as we age. To accentuate your second act best:

o    Avoid drawing attention to your mouth with bright or dark lips.
o    Avoid drawing attention to aging eyelids with frosted shadow.
o    Avoid drawing attention to aging hands with bright nail polish and/or a multitude of attention-grabbing rings.
o    Draw the eye to your face with neckline interest and earrings.
o    When in doubt leave it out.

The Importance of Being Current 

Keeping current is undoubtedly a constant and not inexpensive challenge. With all the technology with which we are bombarded, however, we still have the old standby; the monthly magazine. Magazine subscriptions are one of the most effective ways of getting information you can absorb on your downtime. The whole experience of sitting down with and perusing a magazine that inspires is a ritual that endures. Magazines are the great equalizer. No matter where you live in the country you have the same access to fashion, fitness and beauty that the most upscale, in-the-know New York socialite has, because she gets her “W” magazine the same time you do. When “O” comes out, you’re right there with all of Oprah’s associates on the hottest, latest and most suitable fashion, food, fun and inspiration you need that month. You just go to your mailbox, Oprah is waiting for you, and it’s your turn to dream. 

What Were We Thinking?

We’ve all done it. Looked back at those embarrassing fashion photos and wondered, “What was I thinking?” I look back at my pinstriped jeans, permed hair and parachute pants and think “Hmmmm.” The more extreme trend, the more risk of later embarrassment. We may forgive the young. But it’s not so easy to forgive a second actor in a leather mini.

A woman in Act Two need never wear:

1.     A micro mini
2.     Combat boots with formal wear
3.     White hose
4.     Frosted eye shadow
5.     Chunky platforms
6.     Dark brown lipstick
7.     Butterfly barrettes
8.     Extreme low-rise jeans
9.     Visible underwear
10.   A spiral perm

What’s Age Appropriate Now?

In our Second Act it becomes difficult to find the balance between matronly and modern. Looking current and youthful should not translate into “mutton dressed as lamb.” I met a woman recently whose long, blonde, permed hair was pulled up on one side and suspended with a comb. For height she created gravity defying bangs with a curling iron and “Spritz Forte.” She wore a fitted navy knit tank, tight tapered pale denim jeans and a crocheted sparkly baby blue shawl tied around her hips. She was 48. 

I liked her and enjoyed hearing her tales of woe in raising teenagers. But as I listened I was continually distracted by her image. It just wasn’t working in her favor. The reason it didn’t work was because it was expressing only a part of this woman. I obviously knew who she had been, but as she talked, the more interesting experienced and attractive parts were hidden behind a fa├žade of fear of aging. Yes, she was attractive and sexy but she was also a 48-year-old single mother of teenagers who had quite a bit of sun damage, an advancing derriere, tan lines across her back and thinning hair. The look did not make her look younger; it made her look vulnerable and insecure. Our image must reflect who we’ve become, not who we were. That is age appropriate. 

Things I Have Learnt About Prospecting and Cold Calling in Commercial Real Estate

In any real estate market and economy, the prospecting process remains fundamentally important to the success of the real estate agent and individual salesperson. Prospecting on a daily basis is the key to progress and success with both territory control and domination.

Here are some key facts that I have learned from prospecting and cold calling over the years:

  1. Most people working in the industry rank very poorly when it comes to prospecting on a regular basis. This is a significant opportunity for those that get their prospecting model under control.
  2. Face to face contact remains the ultimate conversion factor when it comes to prospecting. Everything you do should point towards a successful introductory meeting with the qualified parties.
  3. The telephone is a very powerful tool for creating meetings and contact with the right people. The cold calling process you use must be consistent and professional. Gone are the days of sleazy sales pitches.
  4. One of the more successful traditional methods of marketing that has been around for years is the signboard. The more signboards you get into your territory, the more momentum and ease you will have with building listing and sales opportunity. The signboard infers that you have market presence and domination. That is what the local community and property investors think, providing you have a good number of signboards placed on quality property throughout the area.
  5. E-mail marketing and database use is now critical to both the individual salesperson and the real estate agency office. It remains a tool of constant contact of relevant property information to qualified prospects. These are people that already know you and expect information and property updates from time to time. Growing and shaping the database each day from personal contact across the sales team is fundamental to progress and market share.
  6. Some less experienced salespeople tend to rely on E mail as the first and final point of contact. The process of Email is convenient and easy to use, however it has little benefit in prospecting and will not replace the benefit of one to one contact. If the prospect does not respond to the Email, a typical salesperson will usually discard and forget the prospect. The reality of the prospecting emails that you send is that most of them are deleted and discarded.

Prospecting for commercial real estate listing opportunity should be based around unique and personal contact. The more that local people know you personally as a professional and knowledgeable real estate expert, the more listings you will achieve. This image and mantle takes time to develop but it will occur through diligent personal contact.

India Imports and Exports – Part II

India-America Trade relations

For the starters, United States is India’s largest trading partner.

India’s major exports to US – include Information Technology Services, textiles, machinery, ITeS, gems and diamonds, chemicals, iron and steel products, coffee, tea, and other edible food products.

India’s major imports from US – aircraft, fertilizers, computer hardware, scrap metal and medical equipments.

Additionally, America is also India’s largest investment partner. Americans have made significant investments in India’s power generation, telecommunications, ports, roads, petroleum exploration/processing, and mining industries.

India and US have signed a new Trade Policy Forum. The sub-divisions include: Agricultural Trade Group and Tariff and Non-Tariff Barriers group.

Agricultural Trade Group- The group specially focuses on three objectives: approving on terms that will facilitate India to export mangoes to the United States, thereby sanctioning Agricultural and Process Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) to vouch Indian products to the standards of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and implementing procedures for approving edible wax on fruit.

Tariff and Non-Tariff Barriers group – Insecticides manufactured by United States could be sold across the length and breadth of the country. Also, India has also agreed to cut regulations on buy/sell of carbonated drinks. Many medicinal drugs and lowering regulations on products those are not agricultural produce.

Both countries expressed interest in promoting small business initiatives in both countries by enabling trade between them..

The percentage of traded items from India to US

1. Diamonds & precious stones (25%)

2. Textiles (29.01%)

3. Iron & Steel (5.81%)

4. Organic chemicals (4.3%)

5. Machinery (4.6%)

6. Electrical Machinery (4.28%)

The percentage of traded items from US to India

1. Engineering goods & machinery (including electrical) (31.2%)

2. Precious stones & metals (8.01%)

3. Organic chemicals (4.98%)

4. Optical instruments & equipment (7.33%)

5. Aviation & aircraft ( 16.8%)

Export of Indian Agro Exports to US

The export of Indian Agro products to US forms a significant component of Indian exports to US. The Indian government apparently plays an important role in the expansion and diversification of the agricultural products and food processing industrial sector of the country. It is reportedly one of the largest in terms of production, consumption, export and growth.

The main items of Indian Agro Exports to US are:

o Rice and rice products

o Fresh vegetables

o Fresh fruits like mangoes, mango pulp, and grapes

Mobile Auto Detailing and Car Washing At or Around a Sports Stadium – Market Potential

Well, I started out in the aircraft cleaning and detailing business, and later I had franchised mobile auto detailing and car washing units around the country. Today in retirement, I am often contacted by people in the industry, or new start-ups in the sector, and they have some rather intriguing questions. I doubt there’s much I don’t know about in the industry, or have not encountered, and despite all the new technology that is now being used, the actual operations of the business haven’t changed all that much yet.

Indeed, I say that because I believe someday there will be autonomous mobile detailing units which will send out a robot to detail a car. But that’s not today, these robotic systems will be detailing the personal flying craft of the future in 30 years I suppose, maybe 20 or 25. In any case, I was talking to a fellow entrepreneur about all this the other day, and he indicated to me that he would like a mobile robotic unit to help him clean cars at sports stadiums. He lives not too far from a sports stadium, and he said that over 25,000 cars show up, and they’re only there for three or four hours, and there is no way no matter how large his crew is, or how many units they have that they could ever possibly even clean a small percentage of all those vehicles.

Whereas that might be true, he ought to get busy and clean as many as he can. The best way to get this type of business is to go make friends with those that run the Stadium, and the sports teams that practice and play there. If it is a baseball stadium, make friends with the coaches and players to detail their cars, once on the property you can make friends with the facility maintenance people, and try to get a contract giving you the exclusive for specific areas of the parking lot. When people come in you collect their money, give them a ticket, clean their car, and when they come out it is completed. It’s not as difficult as you might think.

Further, often car dealerships will have events where they sell their used cars in these giant parking lots, and there are always other events going on. Once you are in, and they have a copy of your insurance, you should be able to clean cars for anyone who shows up at any event in the future. You just need a crack team that can go balls to the wall for 3 to 4 hours and complete as many cars as possible in that time period. Indeed I wish you luck if this is a sector of the mobile detailing industry or mobile car washing industry you care to expand into. Please consider all this and think on it.

Basic Horse Riding Tips for Beginners

Horse riding is good fun, and a very healthy sport for all ages to take part in, but it should always be kept in mind that riding can be a dangerous activity. So with this in mind I have written these few tips on safety and horsemanship to help you enjoy your sport.

If you are new to riding then you should definitely take some lessons from a good qualified instructor first. Your instructor will teach you all the basics about horse riding and will advise you on all the relevant safety measures that you should take when around horses.

Although this is very basic information you should still follow these rules at all times. Never ever walk around behind a horse. When a horse can hear something behind it and can only barely see some movement, out of fear many horses will kick out, it should be remembered that a kick from a horse can cause serious injury and may even prove fatal!!

Next, wear a suitable riding hat or helmet, there is no fun in landing on your head when you have been thrown or fallen from a horse. Also you should wear appropriate foot ware, riding boots if possible these will help you to keep your feet in their stirrups.

Riding solo is not to be recommended, if you fell and were injured you could be in serious trouble before you were found. Even if you are an experienced rider on a calm intelligent animal and were going into the forest to ride alone you should still tell someone what route you are taking and when you expect to return.

How you handle the reins is crucial to controlling your horse and keeping good balance. Keep your hands low just above the front of the saddle this will help to keep your centre of gravity low and help you to be stable in the saddle.

Now if you have a healthy well adjusted animal to ride, within reason there are few boundaries on what you and your horse can do. Whether you wish to walk, trot, canter or gallop the only barrier is the skill of the rider.

The most important safety skill of riding is being able to stop your horse where and whenever you want. If you have maintained the correct hand position and grip on the reins while riding it should be relatively easy to stop your horse, just pulling your hands back firmly will pull the horse’s head down and bring him to a halt.

Directing a horse is also easy if they are given the proper signals. If you wish to turn to the right just pull back on the right reins and apply pressure to the horses belly with your right boot, and for turning left do exactly the same with the left reins and boot.

Commercial Real Estate Marketing Plan – Key Points to Win the Client

In giving a client a marketing proposal and strategy to sell or lease a commercial property, a number of things need to be well detailed in the proposal itself. Here are some of the main ones that should never be overlooked in your property proposal.

  • Why Should I Use Your Agency? It is an important question and hopefully you have a very clear idea of the advantages you bring to the sale or leasing process. Generic statements like ‘we know the market’, ‘we are the best agent in town’, ‘we have been here for 50 years’, and ‘we will serve you well’, just do not cut it in competitive markets. Consider why your real estate agency can stand clear and separate to other competitive agencies in promoting the property. Make sure that the client knows without any doubt why they should choose you as the agent of choice. Do not base your marketing point of difference on low commissions or agency paid advertising; that just does not work in this market and will put you out of business fast. Your agency must have something that is special and not copied from other agencies; it should also be so unique that you are the first choice as the real estate agent to take on the listing. If you do not have this clear mindset, then welcome to the world of the ordinary real estate agent that has to fight for every listing. Be separate than everyone else, create your point of difference and then market it well.
  • Happy Existing Clients & Recent Sales: Evidence of market activity and positive results will always come in handy as you attempt to advise the client on the right strategy to adopt for their property. In this property market with an abundance of available property stock, you should never take on overpriced listings. On average it is better to walk away from them and work with listings that are closer to the market price or rent. Your time is a valuable resource and must be protected from unrealistic vendors. A realistic property owner that works within the property market is far better than a property owner that is trying to set their own property market.
  • Prospective Buyer Activity on a Property: Telling the seller or landlord of your current and prospective sources of enquiry is a worthwhile part of your marketing plan. This lets the owner of the property know that you are really on the right ‘wavelength’ when it comes to locating tenants and or buyers. Some agents also adopt the strategy of getting a series of inspections done quickly with potential buyers from their database even at the early listing stage. It is surprising how many listings are sold or rented even before they reach the market officially.
  • What is Value? What is a Property really worth? Whilst exact prices and rents are hard to pinpoint, you should have a reasonable idea to within 5% as to what price or rent you could achieve with any given property. If you have no idea of the rent or the price then it is better to put the property to the market on the basis of ‘expressions of interest’. In that way the market will tell you what they think. With some very unique properties this is necessary given the limited pool of buyers that can participate in the purchase.
  • Methods of Sale and Timing: The main possibilities when selling a property are usually sale by auction, sale by tender, sale at a price, sale by negotiation, expressions of interest, trade or exchange. Knowing the best one to choose is the key to success. Putting the property on the market at a price is the less successful way of property marketing. The reason for this is the market will judge the property and try to reduce the price; if the property is too highly priced it will ‘kill’ any genuine enquiry before you even hear about it. One other fact needs to be remembered and respected here; a property will become ‘stale’ on the market after about 90 days. If it does not sell by then, it is better to remove it from the listing books for some reasonable time, to freshen the property for the next stage of marketing that you need to go to.
  • GANTT Model: For those of you that may not be aware, this is a way of graphically displaying activity. It is a common graphing process. It just so happens that it is a very powerful tool when you put it in a commercial property proposal for sale or lease. The display shows the client exactly what you are going to do for them and when.
  • Question and Answer: As part of your property marketing proposal, it is wise to have one or two pages that handle the concerns and questions of the client. From the preliminary meeting with the client you will have ascertained what matters concern them; you can merge these concerns and your answers into a Q&A format within your proposal.
  • Executive Summary: Always use an Executive Summary at the front of your document. It should be no longer than 2 pages, and bring all the main points to the front of the proposal. Adults generally do not want to read a lengthy document, so all your great work may largely go unread unless you can get the key points to a place that interests the client to read further.
  • An Exclusive Selling Agency Agreement: Why should you do one? The obvious answer is that you can best serve the listing and the client; you can also control the competition agents that may be chasing the same property. Open listings are not desirable and are essentially a waste of time unless you specifically have a purchaser that is a strong contender to take the property immediately. Occasionally I come across an agency that has a business approach of listing everything they can regardless of agency type; whilst this method can work, it does require you to have a very large number of listings and plenty of signs on properties. In only that way will you get the enquiry and conversion numbers that you need for KPI’s on commissions.
  • What are the advantages to a Vendor in having only one Agent when selling a Property? Tell the client why one agent is the best way to go. Multiple agencies working on the one property do not allow focused communication of offers and marketing coordination. Tell the client how you will connect with them on marketing, negotiation, due diligence, and property settlement.
  • Advertising: Yes advertising is expensive and it is still necessary, although you can be selective. You need to get the property message out to the market in the most efficient and direct way. How you do that is really property specific, although the conventional processes of newspaper marketing (expensive) are becoming less necessary. The internet is taking over as the main advertising channel in commercial real estate sales and leasing, and offers your client far better and cheaper ways of putting the property to the market. A key strategy for property marketing is to create 3 different levels of marketing for the client to consider (gold, silver, and bronze), as it gives them the feeling of control when it comes to spending on vendor paid advertising.

So these key points should be well handled in your property proposal. When you get the points clearly set out, the client knows what you can do and why they should choose you as the property agent of choice.

Tips To A Cheap Bathroom Remodeling

Most homeowners think of remodeling their bedroom and bathroom at least every year but they neglect to see the importance of remodeling a bathroom. This part of the house is most likely to be neglected even if it is one of the most important room in the house. The bathroom is the only place wherein homeowners get to clean themselves not only that but the bathroom can be a solitary place wherein one can relax and get cozy after a hard day’s work or after a stressful day with the kids. So, why neglect this part of the house? If you plan to remodel your house but do not have enough budget to include the bathroom do not worry because you can still remodel your bathroom even if you are tight on budget.

Those who have smaller bathroom are lucky because it is easier to remodel smaller bathroom compared to larger bathrooms. The only problem with smaller bathrooms when remodeling is the trick in making the room look larger than it actually appears. The good news about remodeling smaller bathrooms? it cost less compared to giving a larger and luxurious bathroom a facelift. Here are simple tips on how to maximize your small amount of money so that it will go a long way in bathroom remodeling:

-Know what you want in a bathroom. Know if you want a powder room, a sauna room/bathroom, bathroom in a dressing room or a full bath. Big or small bathroom these two need almost the same thing: you need to take into consideration the type of flooring you want to have, ventilation of the room (this would include the exhaust fan as well as the windows), decide on the type of bathroom cabinetry you would want to bring in the bathroom and other bathroom furnishings. A tip for those homeowners who have smaller bathrooms is to use furniture or furnishings that are either multi-functional or that can be hang on the wall to maximize the space.

-Remodel the bathroom yourself. If you do the job yourself you can save almost 50% of the total amount from the expenses. Research through magazine and online articles on tips on how to remodel a bathroom. If you are unsure about the task you can do the easy ones like the demolition, flooring and painting and you can hire a pro to do the rest of the job.