Thursday, December 23, 2010

Top 10 2010 Christmas Board Game Gifts

Top 10 2010 Christmas Board Game Gifts

For the Top 10 2010 Christmas Board Game Gifts; we have focused our list on games that have already been released this year and are readily available at Starlit Citadel or at your local games retailer. All of these are great board games with a range of prices that will suit any budget.

1) Battles of Westeros
We start the list with a tactical war game based on George R. Martin's popular Game of Thrones series of novels. In the Battles of Westeros, players take command of the armies of Westeros, writing the history of the continent in blood and steel. Using the time-tested Command & Colors gaming system with the addition of generals as units to the game and high quality components and graphics; Battles of Westeros is the definite war game gift of 2010.

2) Castle Ravenloft: A Dungeons & Dragons Board Game
Castle Ravenloft: A Dungeons & Dragons Board Game is a major hit this year, with sales out-stripping most of our other games. A fun, easy to learn light adventure game; Castle Ravenloft has players take on the roles of one of five adventurers attempting to solve a quest together. Random tiles and monster generation and multiple skills allows the game a huge replay value, while the high quality miniatures and great graphics makes it a joy to look and play with. A great game for those looking for a fast, easy to learn and teach adventuring game.

3) Betrayal at the House on the Hill
Betrayal at the House on the Hill is a reprint of the classic board game. A (mostly) pure co-operative game, Betrayal has randomised tiles; multiple characters, a ton of scenarios and new, updated rules that clarifies many of the previous questions. This game is a classic of its genre and will satisfy any horror lover.

4) Carcassonne Big Box 3
Carcassonne Big Box 3 is the latest compilation of the many Carcassonne expansions and base game. The Big Box 3 removes the Tower expansion but adds in the more recent and popular Cult, Siege & Creativity expansion. A tile-laying game for the family, Carcassonne has continued to be a classic gateway game with its easy to learn rules but deep strategy.

5) Forbidden Island
Forbidden Island is a family friendly co-operative board game that has players on a sinking island in search of five treasures. You'll have to work together, attempting to stop the flooding of terrain tiles and find the treasures before time runs out; all the while as the tiles continue to sink deeper and deeper into the ocean. Forbidden Island is a light co-operative board game that is cheap, fun and has immense replay value created by the award-winning designer of Pandemic.

6) Summoner Wars: Phoenix Elves vs Tundra Orcs / Summoner Wars: Guild Dwarves vs Cave Goblins
Summoner Wars is a 2 player tactical card game where players maneuver their forces on a board in an attempt to defeat their opponent's army. Using one of the races provided in the base game; players square off against each other and must attempt to not only position their characters on the board but consider which pieces to bring in. A cross between Chess and Battleships; Summoner Wars is a fun 2 player card game for all.

7) Ascension: Chronicles of the Godslayer
Ascension: Chronicles of the Godslayer rides the wave of deck-building games and comes out with something new and interesting. Stripped down of the many complexities involved in deck building games like Dominion or Thunderstone, Ascension is easy to learn and fun to play; with an ever-evolving mix of cards appearing in its central row. Players have to stay on their toes throughout the game, changing tactics as available cards alter and the rounds rush past. A definite must have for those into deck builders or looking for a quick deck-builder.

8) Power Grid: Factory Manager
A personal favourite; Power Grid Factory Manager has players attempting to improve their factory and supply as much power as possible whilst attempting to keep costs down. That means managing their workers, purchasing new generators and additional storage for the current they produce while keeping an eye on the ever-increasing price of electricity. A pure auction game; Power Grid Factory Manager plays within an hour with experienced players while offering a good challenge for all levels.

9) Fresko
Last year's Spiel des Jahres winner (the prestigious German board game award); Fresko has players attempting to be the first to build and complete a fresco for their patrons. However, you'll need to not only buy your paints and manage your apprentices but attempt to appease your patrons when they come by whilst actually getting some work done. Worker placement and management has never been so fun than with Fresko.

10) Gold Mine
For those looking for a family game; Gold Mine is it. Featuring entirely too cute miniature miners and a modular board; players attempt to find gold nuggets in the mine and escape with their loot before it's lost or stolen. Cute, good-natured fun that can involve the whole family with dice rolls and groans as miners face horrible perils like puddles and secret passages.

Honourable Mentions

Dominant Species
Designed by popular game designer Chad Jensen; Dominant Species recreates the battle for dominance by six major animal classes - mammal, reptile, bird, amphibian, arachnid or insect - just before the last Ice Age. To win, players will need to evolve, propagate and dominate the earth just before the Ice Age appears. The only reason it's not higher on the list is the higher than normal price for a Eurogame.

Sid Meier's Civilization the Board Game
Civilization the Board Game is not on the list is because it's yet to be released and might just miss this Christmas. We're hoping not, but this is probably the most interesting Civilisation building board game to come out in years. Delivered by the award-winning design team at Fantasy Flight; Civilization is bound to be a hit when it does release.

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Friday, October 29, 2010

How to Develop a Powerful Marketing Strategy

How to Develop a Powerful Marketing Strategy

As you launch your new real estate business or wish to elevate it to the next level of success, it will be critical to have an efficient and cost effective marketing strategy. Having a great product, deal, or service will not bear any fruits of your labor if you are not reaching the proper audience. The following information will highlight many concepts and recommendations you may want to consider as part of your marketing plan. Because of the general nature of this material, all information may not apply to your specific business model.

Marketing and Advertising Concepts

Recommendations Go a Long Way
Perhaps one of the most powerful tools you can ever have in your marketing arsenal that you can't buy for any price is to have people who have done business with you, or are familiar with your business ethics and professionalism to provide positive recommendations. You need to capitalize on all of the hard work and service you have provided in the past to instill confidence among your new relationships that you will continue to provide the same premier performance. We have all been exposed to testimonials and recommendations throughout many aspects of our life. Clearly, most people don't need any further convincing beyond a sincere recommendation from someone not benefiting from the referral.

Use Referrals And Recommendations As A Marketing Tool
As you establish your history of past success stories, you should compile this information and share it with people you are trying to influence with regards to your ability to perform. An example of this could be a presentation folder that could include a summary of past projects as well as copies of any written letters of recommendations. In addition, you should have readily available a list of past clients that have given you permission to give out their contact information as a reference. You will have far more credibility if you provide this information in advance as part of your presentation material instead of your new potential client having to request this information; proactively providing this information will demonstrate your confidence in your services.

Know Where Your Leads Are Coming From
To have an effective marketing program, it will be critical for you to know what strategies are making the phone ring. When you fully understand what approaches are producing results, you can shift marketing efforts and capital away from the methods that are not producing the desired results and apply them to the methods that are successful. During your day to day activities when making inquiries on services and products you need, I'm sure you have been asked "Where did you see our ad" or "How did you hear about us". This is their attempt to do their own marketing research on what is working for them.

There are a number of techniques you may want to consider that will help you to understand where your leads are coming from. Of course you can just come out and ask them. Alternatively, you could use the following methods:

- The use of different color stock on forms can help you establish what "color area" is responding.
- Have each different ad have a unique "offer number" and ask for his number during your conversations.
- Have a different response phone number for each ad or location.

Keeping Your Marketing Plan Going
There is one mistake that is common to new smaller businesses, once they get busy with the business that is coming from their marketing efforts, they become distracted and lose focus on keeping the marketing plan going. An example of this is getting wrapped up in a flip you are directly involved with that is taking away from your time to send out direct mail letters. Remember, with most of the common business models, once you're done with the current deal, you need to get another one in the pipeline; otherwise, the flow of income may stop or be reduced. As another example, have you ever tried to get an estimate for a repair on your house? It seems they are all too busy on the job they are currently on to stop and work on new business.

Delegate Or Outsource Your Marketing Activities
As you are developing or expanding your business, the day to day challenges of running your business along with everything else going on in your life can stand in the way of you working your marketing plan. If you feel this is occurring and is affecting your potential business success, it may be to your advantage to either delegate or outsource some or all of your marketing activities. Using this technique will allow you to free up some time that could be used to work on items that will help you grow the company. Some examples of the marketing tasks that could be delegated or outsourced are highlighted below:

- Preparing and mailing marketing materials and direct mail letters
- Distribution of flyers
- E-mail support
- Covering phone calls

Keep in mind that before you let other people get involved with your marketing and speaking with potential clients and customers, make sure they have been adequately trained and the process has been documented in your company procedures (see "How to Write Your Business Plan" for information on the development of standard work modules).

Dealing with Rejection
As you develop your marketing strategy and "hitting the streets", you should be prepared to face some level of rejection. The level of rejection you will experience will be determined based upon your approach, persistence, and what is the current situation and state of mind of the person you are dealing with. If for example your marketing model is focusing on homeowners in foreclosure, there will be a very high rate of rejection. In some cases they may be in denial regarding their current situation and also because they have been overwhelmed with the interest in their property from all of the investors who saw the Lis Pendens filed. You must recognize that this type of marketing is a numbers game and the more people you have an opportunity to make contact with, the higher the probability to secure business.

Even Rejection Can Make You Money
As you work through your targeted marketing area and encounter rejection, remember that each door closed in your face or phone call hang-up will get you closer to a completed transaction. If for example it takes 100 calls to close a deal worth $5,000 than each rejection is worth $50.00! Although difficult at first to imagine that rejection makes you money, it could help motivate you to move on to the next door slamming or phone-hang-up opportunity.

Your Marketing Should Have A Look
As part of your marketing efforts to "brand" your company, you may want to consider the use of logo's, slogans, and trademarks in all of your ads and promotional merchandise. In addition, the use of "company colors" that is used exclusively in all of your marketing will also help to create a unique look that will help to set you apart from your competition.

Marketing and Advertising Techniques
The following section will provide you with some specific recommendations on marketing techniques you may want to consider. Since this information is generic in nature, all recommendations may not apply to your particular business model.
Due to the significant impact on operating budgets to fund marketing and advertising activities, you should be very critical on what methods become part of your Business Plan.

Buy A Ton Of Business Cards
One of the most inexpensive and effective ways for you to market yourself and your business is through the distribution of your business cards. During networking and casual meeting opportunities, the exchange of business cards will be a critical tool for you to assemble your contact list. Even if you are just starting out and don't even have a company or services to offer, the small investment in business cards will allow others to have your contact information. At a minimum, the card should contain the following information:

- Your name
- Title or company name
- Fax number
- Phones number(s)
- E-mail address
- Websites

In addition, you can add information with regards to the specific business models you are involved with, for example:

- Foreclosures
- Short Sales
- Property Management
- Rehabs

Business Cards Design Suggestions

- Make your business cards stand out with bright colors or interesting artwork or graphics.
- Avoid the glossy type of paper because it is difficult to write on (in the event the person you are giving them to would like to make some comments on meeting you or your services).
- Use the back of the card as well to provide additional information on your business; why waste valuable marketing space?
- Have a powerful hook on the cards to include statements like:
- "We will close in 7 days"
- "We buy all houses in any condition"
- "We buy with all cash"
- "Get a $250 referral Fee"

Bandit Signs
Bandit signs are a great way to attract attention from people on foot or in vehicles. These signs are usually 2' X 3' or smaller and are designed to either stick in the ground or mounted to a pole. This method of advertising is very economical and when using the plastic version will allow for repeated use. It is suggested that you get them printed on both sides if you plan or placing them in areas where people will be coming from both directions.

Displaying Ads and Signs
Proper utilization of the various types of ads and signs will help support your efforts in establishing high visibility and presence in your targeted marketing area. The number of ways to display your company name, logo, and services you provide is limited only by your imagination. The following section will highlight the most common locations and methods you may want to consider for posting your ads:

- On billboards (very popular in rural and city areas)
- Sponsor or adopt a community bench, garden, or road clean-up.
- On buses
- On railroad cars and stations
- Local community and church newsletters
- Placemats in diners and restaurants (I always read these things while I'm waiting for my food)
- Place signs on your property while you are working on it and marketing it.
- Advertising lettering or magnetic signs for your vehicles.

When using lettering or magnetic signs for your vehicle make sure to check local ordinances; by placing a sign on your vehicle could make it be considered a commercial vehicle. Also when using magnetic signs, make sure they are secured properly. I have heard instances of these signs flying off during high speed travel and when exposed to rain. If you can also have a sign on your trunk, it will make it easy for people to read it as they follow behind you or at stop signs and traffic lights. Make sure to use large text size on your contact number.

Marketing Flyers
When designing flyers, it will be important for you to use bright colors to attract the eye. When placing them in stores, your flyer may be among dozens of other items that are posted so it must have some punch. To help minimize the chances of someone just taking the entire flyer, design it to have tear-off tabs at the bottom that contains minimal information on your services and a contact number.

Check Local Ordinances
When using signs and flyers as part of your marketing program, make sure you check with your local town regulations to ensure you are not in violation. Most towns have laws on the books that prohibit the display of signs and may come with substantial fines.

People Love Giveaways
Another marketing tool that will help you with your company exposure is to give out small gifts that promote your business and services. The possibilities are endless on the type of give-a-ways you can come up with and is limited only by your imagination and budget. The following list will provide some recommendations that are typically used for this purpose:

- Shirts and jackets
- Calendars
- Recipe cards
- Hats
- Letter openers
- Golf balls, tees, or towels
- Refrigerator magnets
- Stationary items (pens, pads, binders, etc.)
- Cups
- Totes and bags

When selecting the product give-a ways, you want to pick items that are designed to encourage use (nobody will wear an ugly tee shirt; it will be probably used as a rag). Avoid one time use products like candy, cookies, etc. Many companies offer these types of products at various price point budgets. Do a web search on "marketing merchandise" and you will get some great ideas. To reiterate, you may want to keep a consistent look to all of your marketing gifts.

Be An Exhibitor Or Sponsor
Another outstanding marketing method you may want to consider is to participate as an exhibitor or sponsor at conventions and investment organization meetings. These events can be very effective in reaching people that may benefit from your services. Sponsorship and exhibitor costs can range from a few hundred dollars to thousands depending on the venue and size of the organizations. With many organizations, you may have an opportunity to set up a display table as well as a speaking slot to highlight your services. One comment with regards to this marketing option is that people typically feel more comfortable doing business with you when they see you as a "regular" sponsor and not a one shot deal because it adds more credibility that you will be around. This type of marketing could be a significant drain on your allocated budget and it will be critical for you to determine if the appropriate level of business is being derived from this approach to justify the expense. By doing a web search for Investment Clubs and organizations you can select particular groups you would like to focus on.

Advertise In Hard Papers
Running ads in hard papers such as newspapers and trade magazines can be a great way for you to keep your company's products and services in the eyes of the readers. Although this method of advertising can consume a majority or your marketing budget, it can represent a tremendous opportunity to reach a large mass of people. When considering using this advertising method, you may want to implement some of the following recommendations:

- Have a "hook" to your ad like "We will close with cash in 72 hours".
- Advertise constantly
I'm sure you have observed ads that always seem to be displayed. This constant exposure although costly, will help to develop your company's long term credibility.
- If your ad is listed in column form, consider adding a blank space above and below the text, this will make the ad stand out.
- If possible, use a contrasting or reverse color or text from the standard format.

Out of State Newspapers
Based upon the particular business model you are involved with, it may be necessary to either advertise or receive copies of out of state newspapers.

Using Public Records
Depending on your particular marketing areas or contact group, you may have good success accessing the public records that are available on-line. The information available will vary from state to state and also based on local township on-line capabilities.

The Use of Purchased Lists
An effective method to locate a particular group of people or businesses is to purchase a list from companies that specialize in generating and selling information about specific groups of people. An example of these types of lists includes the following:

- Recent graduates
- Recently relocated
- Recently sold their home
- Recently turned a milestone age (example:18,21,50,62,65)
- Recent Lis Pendens filings

The lists of possibilities are endless. Companies that generate and/or sell these lists are marketed by "List Brokers". Try a Google search on this and you will see how big this information industry really is.

Be Prepared to Get Responses to Your Marketing Champaign
There is one area that many people fear when launching their marketing strategy and you need to get properly prepared for this and that is getting responses to your marketing efforts. The last thing you want to exhibit to people who are reaching out to you is your lack of confidence in being able to help them. In addition to having a strong foundation of knowledge in the particular business model you are marketing, you will need to develop a standard process on what you will do when they start calling you or responding to your calls. It is suggested that you put together a scripted dialog or bullet list that you will use when speaking with potential clients. The dialog or bullet list should be used as a guide as you are speaking with them to ensure you are gathering the appropriate data from them and presenting all of the critical highlights of why they should consider working with you.

Practice Makes Perfect
It will be absolutely critical to make sure you are projecting confidence when speaking to potential clients. I have spoken to many people who have left the leads hanging because of their fear in making contact with them; one way to mitigate this fear is by practicing and learning from your good and bad experiences. It is suggested that you conduct role playing to practice your approach. Another strategy that works well is to record your conversations and listen back to them. It will be critical to extract lessons learned from the calls and to apply these lessons to future calls. Keep in mind that the more you do this, the more effective and successful your "close rate" will be.

Don't Touch That Mailbox
Keep in mind that you are prohibited from placing anything in a mailbox that does not have the appropriate postage. If you practice this technique, there is a very good chance you will be contacted by a representative from the postal service.

Creating Your Buyers and Clients List
Whether your real estate business model is wholesaling, rehabbing, selling notes, or any other model that requires you to rely on someone "taking your deal" will require you to understand the investment goals of your potential clients. To achieve the highest degree of project turn-over efficiency and to minimize your risk exposure, you will need to have investors and clients in a stand-by mode waiting for you to hand them your next investment opportunity they will consider. It will be very important that as you begin to launch your marketing and networking activities, you have a method to compile the investment criteria of your buyers or clients. It would be very efficient to have this information as part of a spreadsheet database. To help gather this information, you could create a form that can be filled out that will highlight the investment goals of your buyers or clients.

Having a comprehensive buyers list that includes the specific criteria of your buyer will help you to align available investment opportunities to the appropriate investors. In addition, understanding these criteria in advance will allow you to go out and seek new investments that you know will fit into the investment strategy of your buyers and clients that will be willing to pull the trigger if you bring them a good deal. The following list will provide examples of common criteria you would want from your investors (let's assume for this example we are involved in the flipping business model)

- Specific locations
- Price point
- Age of property
- Class of property (A,B, C, D)
- Type of property (single-family, multi-family, commercial)
- Financial expectations
- Cash flow
- Cash on Cash returns
- Minimum percent of equity position
- Capitalization Rate
- Condition of property
- Creative Financing

Also keep in mind the relationship you develop from your Buyer's List may also be a source for deals they bring to you. Perhaps a deal is too big or too small for a particular investor or they are too busy to get involved in another project at this time. The fact that you have presented them with investment opportunities in the past can set the stage for them to feed you a deal.

Qualify Your Buyer's List
It will be critical for you to establish if the contacts on your Buyer's List are able and willing to take deals that meet their investment criteria. The last thing you need when you are trying to wholesale a deal is to find out your buyer's are just tire-kickers. One way to help avoid this situation is to get to know your buyer's and become familiar with their past success. Through your networking and relationship building with these buyers's, you should be able to feel them out with regards to their ability to pull the trigger.

I'm sure you've heard before, "If I find a great deal, I know the buyers will follow." Although there is some logic to this statement, if you have buyer's queued up in advance knowing their investment criteria, it will help to minimize your risk of not being able to close the deal; this can be a real concern when you are in a stale or decreasing market.

Your Extended Marketing Team
In addition to your planned direct marketing efforts, there could be past clients, family, friends or business associates that may provide additional sources of leads and business for you. This circle of contacts if properly utilized could be another informal arm of your comprehensive marketing plan. Although most people would normally pass along any services or products you provide to someone they know in need with no compensation; one sure way to motivate them to help bring in additional business is for you to offer a referral program. Depending upon the business model you are involved with, you could compensate them on a per deal basis. It is suggested that you provide these contacts with some of your marketing material.

Using Bird-Dogs To Augment Your Marketing
To bring the concept of an extended informal marketing team to the next level, you may want to enlist the help from people whose specialty is to locate deals for clients and present them for consideration. These people are called Bird-Dogs and they do this work as part of their business model. When using Bird-Dogs, it will be critical that they understand your criteria so they will not waste your time or theirs. Usually Bird-Dogs will only get compensated if a deal closes. A Bird-Dog fee is usually paid at closing.

Using Technology To Market More Efficiently

Have Your Own Website
Having a website can be a powerful tool to provide current and potential clients information on the products and services your company offers. The use of websites is so common that omitting it from your marketing campaign could certainly lead towards lost business. Remember, there is a very good chance that your competitors will have a website.

The subscription or development cost of your website can have a very large range depending upon the features. You should expect to pay $30-50 per month for a web design service provider that uses pre-designed templates you can edit. On the other extreme, you can pay thousands for a custom designed site.

When selecting a domain name, it is suggested that you use a name that reflects your business and is also easy to remember

Although having a website can be instrumental to the success of your business model, it will be useless unless you can attract visitors to your site to see what you offer. There are many strategies you can consider to help direct visitors to your site, some of techniques are listed below:

- Have a reference to your website on all of your printed material and e-mails you generate as well as marketing giveaways you hand out like coffee mugs or pens.
- Write on-line articles for websites like where you contribute articles for free in exchange for an opportunity to discuss your expertise as well as what you have to offer. In addition, you will be able to provide a link to your website.
- Have your website listed on other websites as a link, you can have an agreement with the website owner to mutually display links to each other.
- Pay to advertise on other sites that have the type of traffic you are trying to attract. Usually, there is a monthly fee for this service or in some cases will be a "Pay Per Click" where you will be charged a predetermined fee when anyone clicks on the link to your website.
- There are many options to consider when developing your website from do it yourself templates where you just fill in the blanks to a full blown custom site. It is suggested that you speak with an experienced website designer to see what option is best suited for your needs and budget.

A very popular marketing method is to utilize teleconferences to highlight the services and products that you offer to a large audience by speaking with them via a phone line. This marketing technique will allow your company to provide another vehicle for your potential clients to get to know who you are. The process of setting up a teleconference is very easy; there are many third party providers that offer teleconference services for either a flat monthly rate or on an as-needed basis. Once set up, you just need to provide the attendees with a dial in number and access code (given to you by the service provider) and they will call in at the appropriate time.

To bring the benefits of a teleconference to the next level, you can consider reaching out to your audience using a webinar. A webinar is an opportunity for you to provide a presentation to your audience by accessing a web site on their computer. Two-way communication is also possible using a dial in phone number. Like the teleconferencing, a webinar can be arranged by a third party. The cost of this service will be determined by how many "seats" are required.

E-Mail Blast
An e-mail blast can be a very effective way to contact a large group of people on your mailing list. Depending upon how many people you are trying to reach, you can either send the mail through your own mail service like Outlook or if a very large list of people need to be contacted, you may need to consider the services of a third party provider. As you compile your contact list, it is recommended that you create "groups" within your mail program. By using groups when sending e-mail, you can easily fill out the "to" field by selecting the appropriate group you are trying to make contact with. It is recommended that you sort your address book into categories that make sense for your business model. Examples are as follows:

- Bankers and private money lenders
- Past clients you are trying to stay in touch with
- New prospective clients you are trying to conduct business with
- Tenants occupying your properties

Mail Merge
Mail merge will allow you to take your contact information from your Outlook (or equivalent) address book and add these contacts to envelop and form letters you generate. Although mail merge can save you a considerable amount of time in preparing mailed letters, it is not encouraged when preparing envelops for initial contact letters. Computer generated envelops look too much like junk mail and not even be opened.

Newsletters are a great way to keep your contact list up to date on what is going on in your company and to help attract new business. All of the popular word processor programs have templates that you can use to generate your own custom newsletter. When considering the use of newsletters in your marketing campaign, you may want to implement some of the following recommendations:

- Make your newsletter releases monthly or quarterly; you want to periodically remind them who you are.
- Add both business development information as well as education and public interest sections. Don't make every issue overflowing with sales hype. You will turn off your audience.
- Give each newsletter a release number or volume
- Format the pages so they can be added to a three ring binder
- Publish articles that continue in a future newsletter
- Add photos and charts to help illustrate text
- Have featured segments that are part of each newsletter release. The following are some examples:
- Rehab trick of the month
- Bloopers sent in from audience
- Deal of the month
- Success story of the month

Using An Internet Video Site
A very popular tool that can be added to your marketing plan is to utilize internet sites that allow you to download videos. On these sites, you can download your video that will be part of the site database of searchable videos. It is suggested that you add in your title a "hook" that specifically identifies the scope of the video so when someone searches the site for your topic, you may get a "hit". An example of this would be "Learn Short Sales from John Doe."

Sales Lead Software
As your marketing and networking strategies start to generate leads, it will become an increasing challenge to manage the large volume of leads effectively. Without managing leads appropriately, you run the risk of losing the ability to "convert" them to a deal or sale. Although there are many manual methods that you could use to manage your leads, you may want to consider purchasing lead generation and management software. There are a number of companies that provide this product. Perform an internet search for available products.

Carl Schiovone has been actively involved in real estate investing for nearly 30 years. As the co-founder of Cypress Investment Properties, he specializes in the acquisition, rehabilitation, and property management of residential properties. Carl has lectured on various investment topics to numerous investment organizations and is currently working on publishing a series of real estate investment textbooks. Carl is also the founder and President of Carl Schiovone and Associates Real Estate Coaching, Inc. This organization provides both group and one-on-one educational programs for all levels of investing experience. Please visit our website to learn about our outstanding complimentary coaching offer where we can discuss any real estate topic you like! 

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Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Difference in 3rd and 4th Dimensional Thought

The Difference in 3rd and 4th Dimensional Thought

Higher, finer vibrations are always stronger than lower, rougher vibrations, even though it might seem to be the opposite. At first glance, something vibrating at a low, rough speed might seem more powerful, but the wear and tear on the instrument holding this type of motor breaks it down. Fourth dimensional thought patterns, being in harmony with the energy waves, will not dissipate and will not cause wear and tear on the body. Therefore, a person using them will appear to retain youthful capabilities much longer than one who is not.

Fourth dimensional thought will not consist of negativity. The minute you think a negative thought, it is so slow and rough a vibration that you will immediately drop back to third dimensional thought. Negativity cannot exist in the fourth dimension. The higher, finer vibratory rate cannot hold a negative thought. It is incapable of it.

The difference between third and fourth dimensional thought could be compared to the difference in vibratory rate between octaves on a piano. For instance, if normal third dimensional thought brain waves vibrate in you at the rate of middle C, then fourth dimensional thought would vibrate at the rate of the C above middle C. This would be a higher, faster vibration that allows for direct translation of higher thought blocks. There would then be no need of going into an altered state to access and interpret them; the interpretation is present at the time of receiving them. It is a function of an integrated right and left brain that allows the highest brain levels to be reached.

The third dimension of planet Earth seems to be heavy, cloudy, saturated with moisture, bogged down in mud and always on an uphill climb. The fourth dimension, in comparison, seems to be clear, sunny, bright, light, airy and on ground with a slight downhill slope. The fourth dimension is a feeling that is upheld throughout your existence. By feeling, I mean not only an emotional feeling, but also a physical feeling and a mental feeling. It involves all three; body, mind and spirit.

Difference in Physical Feelings
The difference in physical feelings would be as follows: As far as the fourth dimension, in your physical body there will be a feeling of lightness, of just plain feeling good. At its height it will feel like a thrill in the body similar to that of cellular orgasm.

In comparison, third dimensional physical feeling could be described as a feeling of fear in the pit of your stomach, or of being out of sorts; feeling sick in the stomach and tired with aching joints. Sleepiness is also another aspect of third dimensional physical feeling.

Another example of third dimensional thinking would be someone who focuses on the pain of, perhaps, a swollen joint or an upset stomach or any other physical ailment. By focusing all their attention on it, it grows and becomes worse. The joint will actually swell and become even bigger because of the attention. You see, the cells in the joint are quite aware of the focus on them and they respond to the thought that there is something wrong.

If in fourth dimensional thought, you would simply note, for a brief second, that a certain joint needs to be activated and used more. You would then put it out of your mind after programming your subconscious mind to exercise the joint. It would not be thought of again.

In the case of third dimensional thought, all sorts of garbage is dug up as to why it hurts and what you did to deserve this. You wonder why it didn't happen to someone else, someone who is really a bad person and deserves something like this more than you do.

Difference in Emotional Feelings
The difference in emotional feelings would be as follows: Third dimensional emotions are those of the lower nature such as low self worth, jealousy, one upmanship, hate, fear, negativity of all sorts, hopelessness and depression. It is a feeling of constantly sitting on top of a volcano that the slightest jar to the ego will cause to erupt. It is a quick stab in the pit of your stomach when anger strikes you over the misbehavior, whether real or imagined, by someone close to you. In fact, much of third dimensional emotionalism is imagined. It is a play-out in your mind of things you believe other people would like to see happen to you. These play-outs take place because of guilt in your mind over something you did to these other people in the past. It could also be thoughts of what you would like to see happen to them in the future.

On the other hand, fourth dimensional emotionalism is that of compassion and wanting to help other people who are going through emotional upsets. When you are truly in fourth dimensional thought processes you will have no anger or animosity against anyone. You will no longer "want to get even" with another for imagined wrongs, or even actual wrongdoing, that this other one perpetrated against you in the past. All this will no longer be important. What will be important in the thought processes is how to stay constantly connected to your inner beingness.

By this, I mean to know exactly what it is you want to achieve to further your own spiritual growth. At the same time, there is a desire to apply what you have learned on your spiritual journey to helping others. You want to pull them up to a higher level of viewing not only their own life, but also the lives of everyone else.

Most wars are being fought by third dimensional countries and some of these are at the lowest level of third dimensional thinking. Countries that have progressed to the point where approximately one third of its citizens are in fourth dimensional thinking, such as our country, need to give these other countries what help they can. More important than this, we need to help raise the consciousness level of the other two-thirds of our own country. If the other two-thirds were raised to fourth dimensional consciousness, the whole country would be in agreement as to helping lower-evolved countries.

Difference in Mental Feelings
The difference in mental feelings would be as follows: Mental processes of those in the third dimension are slow and belabored when trying to follow a theme through to a logical conclusion. For instance, thought processes that apply to personal problems are very narrow and limited in the third dimension. It is similar to sitting in the branches of a tree and not being able to see its trunk or the top of the tree. All you can see are the immediate branches closest to hand and maybe a small patch of sunlight coming in between the leaves higher up in the tree.

When you are in fourth dimensional thought processes there is a clear and almost instantaneous path from conception of an idea to a logical conclusion. This applies to all intellectual study. Referring to our analogy of the tree, when in the fourth dimension you see not only the tree in its entirety, but the field the tree is in and all the sky above it.

Mental thought in the fourth dimension will focus on better ways to do things. This is where inventions come from. Fourth dimensional thought always sees a bigger picture while third dimensional thought sees a small, narrow view with everything focused on the self. When in the fourth dimension you know your mind will take care of you and you will be free to focus on matters outside your own world. Your thoughts are unlimited and therefore your world is unlimited. It is filled with possibility at all times.
Quite often, when in the fourth dimension, you will achieve third dimensional goals in your mind and no longer need to physically achieve these goals. This allows you to progress faster and higher on the levels of fourth dimensional thought.

Location of Fourth Dimension
There is an area of confusion as to the fourth dimension being on Earth. In reality it is both on Earth and also has a mirrored reflection in the realms around the Earth. It is on Earth now in our minds/thoughts. Some people picture an actual physical location for the fourth dimension. This is not so. The fourth dimension is of ethereal matter and cannot manifest in physical matter. The only way it can be experienced on Earth is in your thoughts. You cannot tell the difference by looking or hearing or smelling as to whether someone is in third or fourth dimensional fields, although perhaps they, themselves, could tell by their overall feelings.

The unmanifested fourth dimension is intermingled at times with the manifested fourth dimension in our minds. Sometimes it is up above slightly, but at any particular given time, the part of the Earth's surface that is in the full moon stage is nearer the fourth dimension, which is the unmanifested Earth's surface, the Earth's ethereal body. Planets have ethereal bodies as do humans and just as physical healing has to take place first on a human's ethereal body, so also does a planet's healing have to take place on the planet's ethereal body first.

Those on Earth experience the fourth dimension in their minds, those on the astral planes experience it as reality for them. It is the same vibratory rate and they can be in contact with each other if wanted. Perhaps those on the astral planes see something from their overview that would benefit those on Earth. If this is the case, they can communicate it at night when the person on the Earth sleeps. When the person sleeps he goes to what is called the inner planes, which are part of the astral planes. The inner planes can also refer to the higher planets and even the astral planes around them. There are strictly divided divisions on the inner planes just as there are between the big planets, but those on Earth can reach them all depending on their mind dimension.

When space ships leave the Earth's atmosphere they dematerialize. This is because they are from the other dimensions, perhaps the fourth, fifth or even higher. It is a matter of higher vibrations. It is not the same as seeing ghosts or apparitions because they are third dimensional. It is the next step up in evolution and very few are ready to enter it.

The fourth dimension is a thought-form, an ethereal, unmanifested dimension of Earth. At the same time, the fourth dimension is a matter of a level of thinking and a way of behaving that comes from those in the fourth dimensional mind measurement. You might call the fourth dimension the "research and development" department of planet Earth. Theories are tested there first before being allowed to drop down and cast their shadow on the third dimension. For example, our new technology is seen and thought of and planned all in our minds for quite a while before it is brought into manifestation on the Earth plane. All future developments come from the higher planes and are dropped down. At each stage they are translated into meaning for that particular plane.

The new culture being formed across the world has already cast its shadow. You see, this new culture is already in place and operating smoothly in the fourth dimension; it just needs to work down from there. The patterning is done on the fourth dimension and worked and reworked to be sure it operates smoothly and then is sent down.

When you enter the fourth dimension your physical body will no longer be in control of your spirit. In third dimensional life your physical body, including your animal-based brain, is in almost total control. When entering the fourth dimension of the mind, your spirit controls your body. This is the ultimate goal for the lessons of planet Earth.

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Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Declare Independence And Build Solar Panels

Declare Independence And Build Solar Panels

Say goodbye to electric bills and hello to renewable energies. Solar power is one of the best and most reliable renewable energy sources available. The problem most novice environmental warriors find is that the cost of professionally installed solar power systems is way beyond their budget and it could take well over 10 years to see a return on their investment. Never fear, there are alternatives. The most cost-effective way to take advantage of the power of the sun is to build solar panels on your own.

Sound like too much? If you are scared it would be difficult, it is just not true. It is easy to build solar panels with the proper instructions. Easy enough for kids, teens and adults. The parts aren’t complicated either. Most of the supplies you would need to build solar panels are available at your local hardware store or you can purchase a solar panel kit, which will include all the parts you require to be generating your own energy from the sun.

It is possible to construct several small solar panels to power small appliances or small tools in your workshop. Or for the very adventurous and determined alternative energy seeker, you could build solar panels to service a much larger electric load.

There are many resources and guides available with detailed instructions on how to build solar panels. The first and most important step is to seek out quality detailed instructions.

Then it is off to your local hardware store to find or order your supplies and next thing you know, or the next time you have some free time, you will be able to assemble and install the system yourself. Watch out though, the neighbors may start asking you to build solar panels for them too.

Not only is it going to save you money to build solar panels yourself, but you can feel proud that you are doing your part for the environment as well. Declaring your independence from fossil fuels and making a much-needed impact on the world and in your neighborhood.

Professional solar power systems can cost thousands to be installed and in today’s economy most of us don’t have money to spare. Make the choice to go solar today and learn to build your own home solar power system. It will be savings you can be proud of.

By: Al Figueroa

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Monday, June 28, 2010

FIFA World Cup - Interesting Facts

FIFA World Cup - Interesting Facts
By Alejandro Guevara Onofre


Did you know- Uruguayan squad, the host country's team,claimed the first-ever Men's World Cup title over Argentina, 4-2.


Did you know- At the II World Cup, Italy, host country, became the first European squad to win a global tournament. The subsequent tournaments were held as follows: 1938 in Paris (France, Europe), 1950 in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil, Latin America), 1958 in Stockholm (Sweden, Europe), 1962 in Santiago (Chile, Latin America), 1966 in London (England, Europe), 1970 in Mexico City (Mexico, Latin America), 1974 in Munich (West Germany, Europe), 1978 in Buenos Aires (Argentina, South America), 1982 in Barcelona (Spain, Europe), 1986 in Mexico City (Mexico, North America), 1990 in Rome (Italy, Europe), 1994 in Los Angeles (USA, North America), 1998 in Paris (France, Europe), 2002 in Seoul and Tokyo (South Korea & Japan, Asia), 2006 in Munich (Germany, Europe).


Did you know- Bolivia competed in 1950 but not again until 1994 in the United States of America.


Did you know- For the first time, West Germany hosted the global tournament in July 1974. Historically Germany had been competitive in soccer. Under the leadership Franz ("Kaiser") Beckenbauer, the host country-which never finished below sixth place since 1954-- won the X FIFA World Tournament. Outside of the Berlin Olympics (1936) and the Munich Games (1972), this event was the largest ever held in Germany.


Did you know- Tunisia (Africa) placed ninth at the 1978 FIFA World Championship in Buenos Aires, Argentina.


Did you know- At the 1982 FIFA World Tournament in Madrid (Spain), New Zealand, a rugby-loving nation, had the worst result for its region -Oceania- in World Cup's history. Unfortunately NZ placed 23rd. For the country, it was its first appearance in the universal event.


Did you know- At the 1990 FIFA World Championship in Europe,Cameroon's football player Roger Milla, one of sub-Saharan Africa's most respected footballers in the 20th century, helped his team towards eighth position, the best result ever for an African country in soccer history.

2002- 2010

Did you know- Brazil -one of the world's biggest democracies-- has historically been competitive in football since the 1950s.The soccer players from Brazil have conquered five out of eighteen tournaments: Sweden'58, Chile'62, Mexico'70, USA'94 and South Korea & Japan'02. In 1950 and 1998, Brazil was runner-up. By 2010, the Latin American nation is attempting to become the first country to win six World Cup titles in football history.


Did you know- The 19th global tournament will be held in South Africa, one of the youngest members of the FIFA. It'll be the largest event ever held in Africa. There's only event that rivals the FIFA World Cup: the Summer Olympics.

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Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Sweetest Baby Girl Bedding

The Sweetest Baby Girl Bedding

When people think of little baby girls they immediately envision pink, ruffles, bows, and cozy cuddly baby girl bedding in which to snuggle up with.

Today, you will find that many other colors have been added to baby girl bedding to enhance the beauty and the designs of the bedding for your precious baby girl.

When you shop online, you will be able to choose from many of the top designers and not pay those specialty shop prices.

Not only will you save money by shopping online for you baby girl bedding but you will also have more variety and more designers at your fingertips than you would if you went down the street to the baby store.

Examples of the awesome baby girl bedding you can find online include Sweet Shop by Baby Martex. This is one adorable set that puts your little girl in the center of a candy and ice cream scene, which is more unique than any bedding around today.

The set comes complete with quilt, bumper pad, sheet, and dust ruffle all with ice cream cones, cherries and cutie pies adorning the fabric.

The fabric is created with textured fabrics including tweed, corduroy, chenille, and a shiny Sherpa in combination with a striking multicolor stripe, plaid and polka dot.

However, you do not have to stop with the crib set. For your baby girl bedding they have several other accessories to enhance the sweet shop design that will give the nursery an even more adorable feel.

Other accessories include a diaper stacker, decorative pillows, an ice cream cone shaped pillow, appliquéd baby blanket, musical mobile with 4 sweet ice cream cones hanging down, vintage spindle lamp base, lamp shade, 3 filled wall hangings, and wall border.

Your little girl will know that she is the sweetest of the sweets with this unique baby girl bedding for her room.

Another great baby girl bedding if you prefer something more hip then you may love the Spirograph baby girl bedding by Trend Lab.

This set is a stunning Spirograph print on pink cotton twill, which is accented with a brown ultra-suede frame. The crib set comes complete with 4 pieces, which includes coverlet, bumper pad, sheet and skirt. The adorable coverlet measures 35 inches by 45 inches, the bumper pad comes with 4 piece slip cover with removable stuffer, the pleat sheet measures 15 inches, and of course, the pretty skirt enhances the entire ensemble.

There are other additions to this Spirograph scene, which include a jersey sheet, diaper stacker, fleece receiving blanket, toy bag, three different sized storage bins, and a window valance.

As you can see shopping online for baby girl bedding will be easy and will give you more options than shopping at the nearest retailer for bargains or the exclusive baby Shoppe's for expensive prices.

Giving your little baby girl the prettiest and most in style baby girl bedding on the market today will be as easy as turning on your computer.

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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Having the Perfect Lighting For Your Reading Time

Having the Perfect Lighting For Your Reading Time
By Maximo Liam

The interior design of modern offices and their interior environment has been changed by the today's design architect.

The best lamps for reading greatly change the psychological and mental stress of the employers.

They possess high magnifying and intensifying lights which is well suited for those who are visually impaired and also they serve for sore eyes.

It has a large collection of table, floor and desk lamps, which makes reading and writing easier as well as pleasurable.

The conditions prevailing inside and outside the office greatly governs the user's behavior, mannerism and attitude.

The key variables that influences the interior designs are thermal comfort, day lightning, acoustics, space layouts and so on.

Most of them do night study in such case small reading lamps are invaluable in a dark room.

The light from these lamps are confined to a specific region, so disturbance can be prevented for the spouse or roommates who is staying with us. The output of the LED lights makes personal reading ideal and incredible.

The light bulbs made of halogen can be turned on or off automatically and it can be combined with dimmer bulbs.

The performance of this light is very efficient when compared to that of fluorescent lamps. Reading and crafting when done under low lightning condition will strain the eyes and at times might cause headache.

When these tasks are performed under good lightning eyes will not get strained and the work is completed comfortably and satisfactorily.

Some reading lamps are provided with adjustments to different positions in order to eliminate shadow and glare. When reading lamps are installed under fixture adjustment cannot be 100% efficient.

The light generated by sun is referred to as spectrum or white light. You might have noticed that colored object change colors when viewed out-of-doors than in the interior your house.

The yellow light illuminated by the incandescent lamps is a standard and widely used in most of the houses. Blue light of brighter intensity is generated by halogen and florescent lamps.

Metal halides on the other hand provide white light whose intensity is closer to that of sunlight.

Positioning the reading lamps is the major criteria. Unless they are properly fixed and maintained properly reading cannot be done effectively.

Optimum positioning by fixing the lamp at proper angle will make the reading comfortable and a mirror replaced in the place of book will help in achieving best possible position.

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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Best Honeymoon Vacation

Best Honeymoon Vacation

Some things in life are sacred. Take marriage for example. You only do it once, if you do it right. That one special day in every man and woman's life that is theirs and theirs alone. It's not unusual to feel like you're on top of the world. Naturally you want everything to go just the way you intended. The dress, the cake, the venue, the vows; all are crucial parts of the puzzle.

And when it's all said and done, then comes the grand finale. This is known as the honeymoon. Now, just so you're warned, this could be the most amazing part of your life. Most likely it will fit in to your top ten favorite occasions ever. Of course this has a little to do with the location you choose. Take the time to research honeymoon vacations a bit, before you actually tie the knot. It only comes once in a lifetime.

It didn't take my wife and I long to pinpoint our desired honeymoon getaway. We did plenty of recon work regarding honeymoon vacations long before the wedding date ever arrived. In retrospect, this was a wise plan. In regards to our honeymoon, I couldn't have asked for more. One of the first things you'll want to consider when pondering honeymoon vacations is your budget.

This is an important aspect for obvious reasons. If you can afford to not have one, then that's all the better. However, most of us can't. Then there's the location. Are you searching for exotic honeymoon vacations beyond US borders, or would you prefer to stay in the states? Personally I think the numerous hot spots we have here in the states are under-rated. There are oodles of honeymoon spots to consider in America alone. We chose Savannah, Georgia.

This historic, yet gorgeous city offers plenty to do for a couple of newlyweds. Think incomparable restaurants, charming B&Bs, carriage rides through the city, and the waterfront to stroll by at dusk. You can't beat that kind of relaxation.

Agree on something! This is an imperative part of honeymoon vacations. Both parties must agree on what you choose. After all, this is a celebration of your love for one another. If you have to, write down the places you'd prefer, and then compare results in order to come to a compromise. Make that honeymoon one to remember.