Beautiful American Style Family Home

Real Estate Marketing Trends Realtors Must Look Out For in 2019

The real-estate industry is undergoing a drastic change in terms of approaching and targeting potential customer. Digitalization has become a part of almost all kinds of industries and real estate industry is no exception. Real Estate Marketing has started following new and modern marketing techniques since the past few years. However, these techniques become predominant since 2018, and mostly all the realtors started using digital pathways to reach their customers.

Real estate industry has become very competitive, and to succeed and win customers over competitors, it is essential to use the latest and trending marketing strategies. To name a few, local blogs, 3-D content, optimized use of social media platforms are some of the latest marketing strategies which are used by almost all the realtors.

To build a successful marketing strategy in the year 2019, a real estate agent needs to have a clear understanding of the ongoing and upcoming marketing trends. Creation of an innovative marketing campaign would be as crucial as its distribution across all the digital channels and platforms.

Upcoming marketing trends for the real estate industry in the year 2019.

Automation Marketing

Automation marketing is a new and emerging marketing trend which is gaining popularity day by day among realtors. This kind of marketing strategies not only help realtors in bringing down the operational costs but also saves time. This allows the real estate agents to run their business 24/7 and be available for their client irrespective of time and day.

Automation marketing includes services:

  • Responding a lead
  • Sending e-mail marketing campaigns based on customer requirements and preferences
  • Chatbots
  • Property presentation
  • Resolving customer queries

While designing a marketing technique, it is necessary to make it mobile friendly. This would increase the reach of the campaign. Testing the automation process by using A/B testing is very crucial. Last and most important, the automation process would save your time and money but always remember your customers are humans. Thus showing them that you care about them is very important. Talk to them whenever needed.

Organic Social Media Marketing

In 2019, organic social media marketing won’t be as successful as it used to be. Gone are the days when posting a few hashtags or an open house on a social media account, used to attract lots of traffic.

Today, social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook want realtors to spend money to post add on them. Hence, to make optimum use of these platforms, realtors need to keep a separate budget to boost their campaign.

One common mistake made by many realtors while using these social media platforms is that they focus only on the content related to their business. Well, this can be done through the company’s website. The point is, realtors should use these channels in order to build a relationship with their existing and potential clients.

Show them that you care!

Facebook 3D Photos

Another marketing trend to look for in the year 2019 is posting 3D Photos on Facebook. Well, till today this feature is available only on iPhone X. These 3D photos can easily be viewed on laptops, mobiles, tablets, and computers.  3D images are very attractive. It gives viewers a fair idea about the area covered by various rooms.

Facebook 3D photos give viewers a feeling of the virtual walkthrough.  This marketing trend could be a refreshing and welcome change in real estate marketing. It would give viewers a chance to have a feel of the house and check the looks and room space before making an actual visit to the site.

Video

Video advertising is not a new concept. However, making videos and using them in all possible ways on various digital mediums are going to be very popular in 2019.

Nowadays, live videos are becoming very popular. Live videos give realtors a platform where they can connect directly with their potential clients. Realtors use these videos to answer property related queries and promotion of their property.

Various upcoming video related marketing trends in 2019:

  • Home tour video of the entire property.
  • Posting home tour videos on Instagram Stories.
  • Posting videos of home tours on Facebook.

It is advisable to make a video under 1:30 minutes and covering essential details related to property and its locality.

Trust-Based Promotions

Building trust with customers is going to be very important for realtors to attain success in 2019.

Tips for building trust with your clients:

  • Be honest in your campaign.
  • Always give accurate information.
  • Post professional photographs of all the properties and use them to promote your business.
  • Keep clients updated about the ongoing work or renovations in the property.

In case of an open house, Instagram Stories can be used to inform the clients about the same. Use this social platform to give all the necessary information related to Open House to the clients. This would make the customer feel that you care about them and would create a bond of trust.

Promote your brand and position yourself as a professional. Post content and information that shows that you are an expert of this field and you have all the necessary information related to the property. You may also share various issues related to buying or selling a property. Sharing information on various topics of real estate would increase your credibility, which would further help in establishing trust.

Become an Influencer

To be a successful realtor, estate agents should try to position themselves as an influencer. They need to be an expert on whom people look up to find answers to all property related queries.

Tips that would help you in becoming an influencer:

  • Online reviews: Make your clients post reviews about you and your work.
  • Local blogs, press, and websites: Write articles on real estate related topics for local press or local blogs.
  • Design and run marketing campaigns based on real estate. Show your clients how good you are in this field.

The year 2019 is going to be very challenging for realtors. Create innovative, catchy, and informational digital campaigns to attract clients. Use social platforms to build a trust-based relationship with your clients.

Cleaning Materials

6 Tips to Completely Remove Stubborn Stains from Furniture

Ever sat down on your well-worn couch to check the news and accidentally spilled your coffee over its nice white leather? Or writing with a pen was easy but it’s now spilling? Maybe sometimes your slice of pizza fell on your favorite couch.

What are you going to do?

Stains, just like any emergencies, occur all of a sudden when you least expect it.

No need to worry about it, we’ve done the work of finding out how to get rid of those stubborn stains. With just everyday products that are found in your home, you can be your own professional when it comes to removing pesky stains.

Food Stains

The best way to get rid of that cheese stain? It’s simpler than you think, and it does the trick every time. Not to mention that this trick can take care of most stains.

It’s a simple combination of water and some soap. You would want to get a sponge or a clean cloth together with your water and soap. Don’t use the rougher part of the sponge.

Warm water helps, but if the stains are from dairy products like cheese, it’s best to use cool water to avoid the protein from curdling.

At times, when the reliable mixture trick doesn’t seem to work, try using a liquid detergent that has enzymes in it. Soak the stain for 30 minutes before blotting it with the cloth or sponge.

Larger stains are often a chore. Don’t start in the stain; it’s best to work from the outside first.

Stained Upholstered Chairs

Greasy Stains

Baking soda is your friend when it comes to removing greasy stains. You can either put straight up baking soda on it, or you can create a solution of baking soda and water and create a mixture and apply it on the stained area.

You want to get the oil out of the stain because that’s what’s making it stick to the material. With the baking soda solution, you should then let it sit for 10 minutes or longer. Once you’ve waited it out, vacuum or sweep the excess baking soda.

For extra credit, you can try using vodka and blot away any remaining stains on it. Another alternative to vodka would be some drops of dish detergent, elbow-grease to scrub away using a toothbrush, then blotting with a clean cloth or towel.

Alcohol & Coffee Stains

Your favorite beverage spills, and the best way to get rid of it is simple.

Get that ice cube from the bucket and rub the stain with it. Mix a small amount of liquid detergent with warm water. Finally, use this to blot the stain with a paper towel.

A tip to save you when you need it: Use a cup of vinegar and another with water. Put them in a spray bottle for convenience. Spray it on the problem area before blotting with a wet towel.

Next, dilute ammonia with water, around a tablespoon for a cup of water, and blot it on the stain. Once you do that, you blot with a new but wet cloth and then dry off with a dry towel.

Glass of Red Wine Spilt on Carpet

Fruit Stains

These stains are pretty colorful and stand out, especially when not in contrast to the color of your upholstery.

First things first, see if you can use water to clean out your furniture. Next step is you need to make a solution by mixing cold water, 1 tbsp of vinegar, and just a little bit of dish detergent. You can also use shampoo. Using the solution you just made, rub it on the stain. After that, wash away with water, dry it with a new cloth.

If that doesn’t work, cleaning services New York, MaidSailors recommends using Rubbing Alcohol. Just spray a little bit of alcohol and rub away with any cloth.

It is also advisable to clean starting from the outside of the stain and then working your way to the inside. This helps with preventing the stain from spreading out.

With some upholstery, you have options to use chlorine or stronger cleaning solutions if the material can take on harsher chemicals. Let dry, and you should be good to go.

Ink Stains

Ink stains are a common occurrence, and a well-known remedy to it is hairspray. Start off by placing a paper towel underneath the stained material to absorb the wet ink. Dab it with a cotton ball dipped in hairspray (you may also use an alcohol wipe). Let it soak for several seconds before blotting it with another clean cloth. Repeat this process until it’s gone.

Pet Pee

If you’ve ever owned a cat or a dog, you have encountered this and may have found your own way of getting rid of that stain. One suggestion would be to use a cleaning solution that’s composed half of the water, and the other half would be vinegar.

Spray it with the solution then blot a cloth onto it until you remove the moisture. The smell is the toughest part of the pee to tackle, but with a little baking soda, you can do it quite easily. After you’ve sprinkled baking soda on it, wipe away the excess or vacuum it and you’re done!

Removing stains is always a chore, but it’s a good thing to know how to get rid of it without breaking the bank. After the cleaning and the baking soda, your furniture would be looking good as new, and it’s the same old couch you know and love.

Professional Person Stood Next to SUV

How to Buy a Company Car Like a Pro

Buying a new business car is a big deal, as the car you choose is likely to stay with your company for at least a few years. So, you want to pick a car that can suit your business-related needs, regardless of whether you’d be using it every day or only once a month. So, to help you make the right choice, here are a few questions you should have an answer to before making the final decision.

How big of a car do you need?

Even though aesthetics matter, when it comes to choosing a business car, you should think about function first. For example, if you’d be using your car for deliveries of any kind of items, you should probably opt for one with more storage space. On the other hand, if it would be used mostly for carpooling and personal traveling, a smaller car would work just fine. So, consider how your business car will be used on a daily basis, and choose the size in regard to the main function.

Front Grille of Classic Alfa Romeo

Do you need any extras?

When choosing the best car for your business, think about which optional extras you might need, if any. For instance, if you’d be traveling a lot with the car, a good GPS could come in handy. On the other hand, if you’d be using it only in your city – where you can easily find your way around – then the GPS would only be an energy-draining and room-taking tool. Also, if your car would be used for carpooling or simply driving around clients, passenger airbags should be a must. Moreover, there are some aesthetic extras that can be useful as well. For example, a nice metallic paint job or alloy wheels could make your brand look more sophisticated and, thus, trustworthy to potential clients.

What’s your budget?

Buying a car is not where your financial obligations end. You still have to maintain it, refill the gas tank, clean it, change the tires occasionally, etc. With all that in mind, the car you want may not be the car you can afford, and getting yourself into debt is the last thing any business needs, especially if this is your first business car and you’re still growing. Therefore, be realistic about your needs and financial abilities, and you’re less likely to notice a significant dent in your business wallet.

Front Grilles of Mercedes Benz Cars

What kind of car insurance do you need?

It goes without saying that your car should be insured, you just need to choose the best insurance. There are usually three types of business car insurances: business-related use by only you, business-related use that includes all drivers, and commercial traveling policies. So, make sure to do your research on each of them, and choose the one that fits your needs the most. Moreover, you also want to choose an insurance company that actually cares about its clients and doesn’t treat them like just another name in a book. This way, you’re much less likely to have any insurance problems in the future.

What kind of car does your competition have?

If you work in a business field where the car is actually a part of your business, you might want to look at the cars of your competitors. True, you don’t want to overspend on a luxurious limo that would cost more to maintain than it does to buy. However, you also don’t want to look inferior when compared to other companies offering similar services. So, do your homework before choosing your new business car.

Orange BMW Car

What do you want it to look like?

Speaking of aesthetics, it can be said that functionality matters more – but aesthetics do, still, matter. After all, your car will represent your company, and it will be seen while you’re driving it around the city. This is why it can be said that it serves as a mobile advertisement, so you should treat it as such. In other words, you want your car to be noticed, whether due to its pleasing colors, shape, or some other detail. Even if you choose a car that is a tiny bit “unusual”, you’re bound to stand out from the crowd.

Just like choosing your personal car is a big decision that depends on everything from your budget to your needs, picking the right business car does depend on a few factors. So, take your time, answer all the listed questions, and you’ll be one step closer to buying a car that you will enjoy using for years to come.

Checkmate Chess

How Punchout Catalogs Give Your Business a Competitive Edge

Regardless of what industry you’re in, today’s modern marketplace is a competitive one. Competition is fierce, meaning you need to do everything you can to set your business apart. Even slight changes to your business can lead to massive gains when it comes to customers, sales, and brand recognition.

If you’re looking for a way to make a major impact on both your customers and your market, a streamlined punchout catalog may be the way to go.

A punchout catalog allows a buyer, usually a business customer, to purchase from your business using their own internal e-procurement systems. Rather than shopping directly from your site, you’ll have the opportunity to create a custom catalog of products that are available in your client’s internal shopping system.

Win Larger Customers

First and foremost, a punchout catalog is going to attract large corporate customers. Businesses that require regular purchases from vendors prefer vendors that use punchout catalog technology. The simple integration and customized catalog of options makes it much easier than managing a list of external accounts for your purchasing site.

If your business doesn’t use a punchout catalog system, you may be missing out on large corporate customers. Punchout catalogs make is easier for businesses to acquire materials and inventory, creating a consistent stream of income for your business through a punchout system.

Integrate Your Catalog With Client Systems

One of the primary benefits of a punchout catalog is the ability to integrate the punchout system into your clients’ internal purchasing software. Most punchout catalog systems can be integrated into most major e-commerce platforms, meaning a high-quality catalog provides a versatile approach to integration.

This seamless integration makes purchasing inventory and supplies extremely simple, allowing businesses to manage spend and track all purchases internally without needing additional systems and purchase entries. With so many business e-procurement systems available today, it’s important to choose a punchout catalog that is designed to adapt to a wide range of e-procurement platforms.

Streamline the Buying Experience

Punchout catalogs are all about streamlining the purchasing process. When businesses can keep the purchasing process within the internal software that’s already available, it creates an easier shopping experience for everyone involved. By allowing businesses to shop directly from you through a punchout catalog system, you’re going to create long-lasting customer loyalty.

When a customer begins the purchasing process, they will access their own internal e-procurement site. The site connects to your own site and offers a customized catalog (which we will review later in the article). After selecting the products needed, the checkout process allows the buyer to either purchase directly from the e-procurement site or send the purchase through a hierarchical approval before the purchase is finalized.

This streamlined purchasing process not only makes it easier for your customers to make purchases, but it also makes it easier for your business to get paid. Punchout catalogs allow businesses to closely control and monitor spending without long delays in the approval process. When products and prices are pre-approved and uploaded into the catalog, the approval process goes much quicker.

Increase Sales Volume

When you implement a punchout catalog into your business and begin securing large corporate clients, you’re going to notice a drastic increase in sales volume. Rather than relying on your brick and mortar store, sales representatives, or external online store, a dedicated punchout catalog with tailored products and prices for your business clients creates that long-lasting loyalty that we mentioned earlier.

A client that uses your punchout catalog in their e-procurement system is choosing you as one of their trusted suppliers. That means that whenever the business needs to make a purchase, whether that’s inventory, materials, or supplies, they’re going to purchase from you because you’re already integrated with their internal purchasing site. Just by offering a punchout catalog as an option, you can start growing your business.

Customised Catalogs

What makes a punchout catalog even better when trying to stand out among the competition is the fact that you can create a customized product list for each of your clients. Rather than having a generic product and pricing list that everyone has to abide by, you can adjust your product offerings as well as the pricing for your products. The ability to customize your catalog list gives you leverage when trying to secure new clients.

If a potential customer isn’t happy with the prices on your website, you can quickly reassure them that you can adjust your pricing based on their needs, the volume of the orders they are going to place, and how often they plan on buying from you. As your products and pricing change, you can update each punchout catalog real-time.

Scalability

Finally, punchout catalogs offer unmatched scalability when supplying inventory, materials, and supplies to local and international businesses. The entire punchout catalog system is designed to adapt as your business grows and brings on new customers. Even if you’re working with small businesses in the area, as soon as you secure your first large business customer, the punchout catalog system will be ready to adapt and integrate large-scale volume, product uploads, and sales.

Without a system designed to scale your business sales, you’ll have a much harder time managing large business clients, creating loyalty based on your products and pricing, and at the end of the day, scaling your business to the next level.

Getting Started with Punchout Catalogs

As you can see, there’s quite a lot that a punchout catalog can do for your business, and partnered with your high-quality products, competitive prices, and stellar customer service, a punchout catalog can truly help transform your business.

Whether you’re looking to bring in new high-value clients or create lasting relationships with your existing business customers, a punchout catalog is an ideal solution.

Before you start using a punchout catalog make sure your team understand what that means for them and for the business. The best feedback you can get will always be from your team.

Author Bio

Samantha Wallace is a veteran tech writer and editor who has worked in several eCommerce companies. She has been covering technology online for over five years. She is the Content Advocate for Greenwingtechnology.com.

Writing Blog Post on MacBook

Complete Beginners Guide: 12 Steps to Starting a New Blog

Blogging is just not a way of information or idea sharing; it has also become a way of earning big bucks. So, everybody wants to try everybody’s luck in the blogging field.

However, it is not that much easy as it seems like; a lot of research, planning, and passion are required for it. Usually, successful blogs go through a gradual process; it means that no blogger can get breakthrough success overnight.

Therefore, you need to follow a few principles that would open a way to your successful blogging. Some of the principles are described below:

1. Know Your Audience

Blog posts are written for the audience.

If there is no audience to read, publishing posts on the blog is entirely useless.

So, know your audience and, what they want from you

It will give you a great idea about writing topics.

You can read views, comments and tweets on blogs.

It will help you understand what people like the most to read about.

2. Share Your Knowledge

Blogging doesn’t mean that writes everything and be professional.

Blogs are meant for sharing your knowledge and ideas with the people.

Select a specific topic that you like the most, and you have attractive ideas about it.

Instead of imitating others; be yourself and do not hold back your excellent stuff, share it to grow more.

3. Focus on Quality Content

Quality content sharing is a must for successful blogging.

Quality content includes informative posts that should be published for viewers, not for Search engines.

Moreover, content should be unique, valuable, and users engaging.

Quality content should not have tricks to uplift search engine rankings, it is just for information purpose with image, statistics, or any report a writer can edit in content that would give broad idea to readers.

4. Stay Secured

With the rapid rise of cybercrimes, Google announced that HTTPs is a must for every website or blog to rank better on the search engine.

On the other side; viewers also consider their information security on top priority and, give more importance to secured blogs.

So, install an SSL Certificate on your blog to secure your blog from cyber threats and, to enhance your audience’s trust on your blog.

Many authorities like AlphaSSL, RapidSSL, Comodo, which provide SSL certificates, among them Rapid SSL Certificate will be a better choice for your blogging website.

5. Promote Your Blog

Do not forget to promote your blogs on popular social media website such as; Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter or Instagram.

It will boost your blog traffic and, your blog will rank well on the search engine as well.

6. Be Consistent

Irregular blogging disappoints the regular viewers who wait eagerly for the new posts.

As a result; they can stop reading your content.

Therefore, be consistent with staying connected with your audience.

The topic should be unique and not to copy from other reference websites.

Different topics can attract regular visitors of your blog.

If you do not post regular, readers may lose interest in your blog and move away.

7. Make an Email List from The First Day

Whether you planned or not, you should make an email list from the first day of blogging.

Just don’t rely on blog communities; an email list is your community and, it is your audiences who wait for new publish.

It will also help you to promote your new stuff with your audience and, also builds trust for your blog.

8. Write Catchy Headlines

Headline puts a significant impact on the viewer’s mind.

Usually, readers read the headline, and then they move to the further mentioned stuff.

If headlines are monotonous, nobody will read also referred to information.

So, the headlines of your post should be fascinating that force your viewers to read the post.

9. Do Be a Monotonous Writer

Some writers believe that content around 1000-word length is suitable for ranking on the search engine.

But it is a wrong idea.

Readers feel bored in reading full content; so, write a short content and keep it in the 1–2 minutes read-time length.

Always post informative and valuable content for readers so that they are interested in reading it.

10. Stay Active for Making Replies

This is the most important thing to consider while creating a blog. Allow a comment section on each post.

Moreover, most importantly reply on readers’ comments.

In this way, readers feel you are concerned with their feelings and respect them. It helps to build trust in your blog.

11. Focus on Call-To-Action

As the internet is overloaded with the information, hundreds of websites show the same content.

So, there is cut-throat competition over the internet.

Nobody has much time to remember your blog; they just read the content and leave the site.

Therefore, Use Call-To-Action buttons that ask the audience to sign up and for their emails so that you can notify them whenever a new post will be published.

12. Give Stuff Away

As the giveaway gifts are distributed by the vendors to get some potential customers, you should provide giveaway content for your readers too.

It will make them your loyal fans, and they always will try to stay connected to your blog.

Conclusion

Creating a blog does not mean that you put the content and attractive images to publish, a lot of work hard, patience and dedication will be necessary for a money-making blog.

Thus, you can follow the guidelines mentioned above that can make it possible to reach quite near to your goal.

Young Female Freelancer Working on Laptop

How Freelancers Benefit from Using a Virtual Office

Freelancing is big business in the world today. Forbes reports that an increasing number of freelancers are making six-figure earnings every year. Many young professionals fail to see the need for being chained to a desk during regular working hours and have opted instead for a more leisurely pace of doing things. However, with this newfound freedom comes several attached problems. Luckily, freelancers can count on the virtual office to offer them several advantages over their competition.

Competitive Freelancing is about First Impressions

Freelancing is something that consultants of almost any field can do. All it takes is demonstrable skills in performing a service for an individual to profit from freelancing. The most significant benefit of freelancing is also its biggest downfall. It can be more about making the right first impression and letting appearances speak for themselves.

For many freelancers that have an established practice, this isn’t too much of a problem. However, for new freelancers, it can be a fight to get respectability to a point where clients don’t try to take advantage of them. A virtual office is a good start in building a brand and a reputation.

A Physical Address tied to a Brand

As many professionals who work as consultants can attest, having a physical address linked with a portfolio can go a long way towards landing lucrative clients. Businesses, in particular, prefer to deal with a brand identity rather than an individual.

Having a branded virtual office space that can handle incoming calls and serves as a place for mail to come to adds a bit to the reputation of the professional. Your mail can be safely kept until you pick it up or forwarded to you depending on your preference and location.

In addition the business address of your virtual office can be used on your business cards, websites and any other form of marketing material to further support your professional business.

The Psychological Benefits of Office Work

Lifehacker notes that while all people have a problem managing time, freelancers are in the unenviable position of losing earnings if they can’t manage time properly. Despite the drive for many professionals to leave the office behind, the fact remains that people are more productive in an office environment.

Virtual offices in most cases offer distraction-free spaces that can help get work done by keeping one’s focus on a single task. An article published in the journal Personnel Psychology mentions that workers in a virtual office environment experienced better flexibility, productivity, and work/life balance. Those benefits alone are enough to make a freelancer consider having a virtual office space available.

The Neutral Meeting Ground

While some professionals are comfortable meeting clients in their home office, others prefer a more centralized area. The virtual office provides such a space for a freelancer who needs to have face-to-face meetings with clients but doesn’t have a home office or doesn’t feel comfortable bringing clients home because of their separation of work and home life.

Furthermore, the virtual office serves as a backdrop for video meetings. In some teams, telecommuting workers need to attend at least one session per week via voice and video conferencing. The virtual office provides a work environment that is conducive to a video meeting and limits the number of interruptions and background noise that would be out of the control of someone operating out of a home office.

Cost Management for a Freelancer’s Budget

Some freelancers consider hiring out an entire office space for their business, but in most cases, this isn’t necessary. A virtual office serves as the physical address and mailing address of a professional’s company with having the added benefit of costing far less than renting an entire office space.

Additionally, virtual offices sometimes include costs like a phone number along with an answering and call forwarding service, something that would require a freelancer to invest in their own secretary if using traditional office space.Having your business phone calls answered live in your company name by highly trained receptionists associated with your virtual office will allow you to never miss a call again.

The Difference Between Co-Working Spaces & Virtual Offices

According to Life Wire, co-working describes when two or more people are working within the same area, but for different employers or even in entirely different fields. Co-working spaces have developed to cater to this type of clientele, and they vary in ambiance from offices that feel like an upscale coffee house to those that feel like a corporate lounge. They tend to focus more on working in a relaxed environment and offer some of the same services as a virtual office.

However, they don’t usually provide private office spots and are just as bad as a coffee shop for telecommuting. While there is the potential for networking, there is a far more prevalent opportunity to get distracted from what one is doing, ending up inadvertently wasting time. It may be useful for some people, but serious professionals tend to avoid office spaces like these.

Who Benefits from a Virtual Office the Most?

New business owners and solo entrepreneurs will tend to be the best fit for a virtual office. People that fall within this category include freelancers just setting out on the path to claiming back their time as their own. In many cases, professionals who need to meet their clients in a face-to-face setting that is convenient can benefit from having a virtual office in an urban center.

Primarily, freelancers who haven’t quite gotten the hang of home offices or who need a change of environment of scenery to be productive stand to benefit the most from a virtual office arrangement.

The New Face of Freelancing?

One of the things that stands out to new independent professionals is how unique each worker is. Some thrive in messy, loud environments while others require complete silence to focus on what they’re doing. While the virtual office provides a handy utility for freelancers, on the whole, some may not see the need for spending money on it.

Freelancing will continue to grow as a profession as more and more people realize the earning potential and the better quality of work/life balance that it offers. As more people move to telecommuting and working from remote locations, the virtual office provides a critical link with clients that need to have a physical space linked with the professional’s services.

Author Bio

Vanessa Madison is a Success Manager at YourCityOffice and in her spare time writes about traveling, real estate and everything about small to medium sized businesses.

Asian Girl on Couch with Laptop

5G: Should You Really Be Excited About It?

Many people have 5G internet connections in their home, and phones are built to prefer 5G networks over 4G options. Why? 5G is a huge deal, and the technology industry is proud of its latest accomplishment.

But it comes into question whether this excitement is just a one-time hype that will slowly die out or if it’s worth all the buzz. Decide for yourself.

A Giant Leap Forward

Immediately you might have noticed that 5G networks are incredibly fast. These networks are outperforming 4G options by approximately ten times over. A 5G network can achieve record download speeds of 4gb per second.

Not only do they far outpace 4G networks by approximately ten times over, but in some areas, it outperforms recent internet options by 100 times over in speed.

Currently, 4G and home networks typically have download speeds ranging between 4 and 12 mbps. Testing your speed regularly can help you identify where your fitting into this range.

Download a full movie in less than a minute, watch videos online with zero buffering and play games without loading. It’s all possible because of 5G, and the leap is so significant it seems impossible.

In the past, internet users went from dial-up to high speed, to DSL, to fiber optics, to 4G and each increment was only a bit faster than the prior technology. 5G’s performance difference compared to 4G, is somewhere in the realm of comparing fiber optics to dial-up.

While the tech community was building hype about the 5G speed difference before it was released, it seemed like something too good to be true. Now we know that’s not the case.

Quality of Service and Speed

There are two major industries impacted by 5G. The content and communications industries. While Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile all offer 5G service now they’re simply the bridge or the access point.

Once you get past the communications companies, you get to the content. Webpages load faster, videos stream faster and more seamlessly, because of 5G. The use of 5G networks can help resolve issues with both bandwidth and handling high a high volume of requests from numerous devices. Now, 5G does have limitations. It has data speed restrictions, and it has to perform within the confines of hardware and adjacent technology such as bandwidth.

How can users tell the difference even when using old hardware or systems? 5G essentially makes the data being transferred more efficient and compact. The infrastructure of the data is different, and thus, it transfers differently.

Content companies such as YouTube, Netflix, and even small blogs can run more content on their sites knowing that 5G users won’t have a problem with speed.

5G is paving the way to improved service, higher quality video formats, and fewer interruptions in service or content.

Cellular Tower

Advertising Improved and Seamless

Until recently, advertisers would only put small amounts of their marketing budget into advertising online. Because Facebook, YouTube, and Google make it fairly inexpensive to advertise most companies have a “take what you get” approach to mobile ad-based marketing.

5G is changing that as advertisers are now able to run seamless ads that tie directly with their operators. Mobile formatted ads make ads less aggravating on users, more responsive to mobile design, and faster interaction response in the mobile environment.

As marketers are starting to care about their mobile ads and building environments specifically for mobile ads, you’ll see better campaigns. Get ready to say goodbye to pop-up ads and opt-in requests every time you jump onto a site. With 5G marketers can implement new experiences for mobile shoppers.

Marketers can take advantage of higher network speeds to enhance video play and personalize the ad experience. Advertisers will be able to see higher conversion rates when they adopt any campaign for an exclusively mobile experience.

Efficiency & Utilisation

The ultimate goal of 5G services is to decrease business expenses and drive revenue through the presence of a greater resource. Is this possible? For users, you might see the tradeoff of seamless advertising for speed as a fair deal. For business owners, 5G is a step into the future.

Technology with 5G access is more efficient in data handling and in energy consumption. 5G is also more reliable meaning fewer interruptions or data barriers, and it promotes low latency communications. Working with 5G technology is vital for any business that operates online in any way.

Even if you’re only working with a cloud for storage or allowing employees to telecommute 5G can change the strain on your other resources. Similar to past advancements in network speeds, 5G is faster and more efficient because of using multiple frequencies to impact bandwidth.

When it comes to utilization of 5G, it comes down to infrastructure. Overhauling the communications system, 5G offers advanced communication technologies specifically with machine to machine communications.

For companies that are exploring the opportunities of driverless vehicles, mobile app hosting, edge computing, or even data center based business models, 5G provides a vital function.

The ability to provide advanced functionality of machine-to-machine communications will continue to promote the Internet of Things. Wireless communication from one machine to another would not have been possible on the prior communications system. It’s made possible now through clear compartmentalizing, which is how 5G is so efficient — allowing these communications to take place without impeding on the other uses such as streaming, remote access or even web browsing.

5G is the first network that caters towards communications goals and businesses rather than consumers. While end-users clearly benefit from the speed, the advancements from this technology make it something that is very different from anything we’ve seen in the past.

Author Bio

Emily Jacobs is Happiness Ambassador for SpeedCheck.org. She loves to write latest technology trends and love to share her knowledge through her articles.

Map of Europe

Fifteen Places in Europe that Are Often Overlooked

Are you getting tired of hearing about all the same old holiday destinations in Europe? Paris, Rome and London are all great in many ways, but there is only so much to see and do in each of them and if you have been before it is time to try out some other places.

If you have visited the timeless classic cities and are looking for new city break options then here are fifteen ideas to get you started planning your next trip. Some you may have heard of, others you may not, but all of the following are either too little known or unfairly overlooked in favour of more famous cities in their respective countries – which one will you decide to visit next?

Porto, Portugal

Porto is an ancient city with its roots in Roman times and a rich cultural history still reflected in the city’s oldest districts, such as the Ribeira. It is known for being the home of Port wine, though it should also be well known for its contemporary arts and music scene. Often people will go to Lisbon instead, though cheap flight options are making more people consider Porto as an alternative option

Gothenburg, Sweden

This is both cheaper and more on trend than Stockholm. Hip cafés and art venues dot the city’s charming and elegant streets and hipsters throng the artisan shops. There are a variety of museums and historic attractions for that cultural fix, and islands nearby to satisfy the explorer in you. This is a great place for artists and eccentrics to come to soak up the creative atmosphere.

Freiburg, Germany

Freiburg is the sunniest town in Germany and one of the smartest. This is not just a University town, this is also one of the most eco towns in Europe. Bicycles and solar panels are everywhere and the city’s historic core and surrounding woodland make this the perfect place for a holiday on foot. So leave the car behind and travel by public transport to this greenest of German cities.

Maastricht, Netherlands

This pretty university city is youthful yet sophisticated. There are are number of fascinating historical sites here including a Cathedral and a range of tunnels below the ground. Maastricht also has a range of fine restaurants and plenty of bars. As you would expect of a University city, Maastricht has a respectable nightlife and enough going on to entertain even the most avant guard and urbane of visitors.

Ghent, Belgium

Ghent is very much a modern city but the bustle of modern life has a very historical backdrop. Here you can see the Gravensteen Castle, the Belfry and St. Peter’s Abbey and walk along the canal to see some very charming architecture in the city centre. This cosy little city is one with which it is easy for visitors to fall in love.

Granada, Andalucia, Spain

The Andalucian city of Granada is most famous for the Alhambra, an ancient Moorish palace and citadel. Outside this tourist hotspot, the rest of Granada is a youthful city with a complex multicultural history and a vibrant mix of people, all of which makes this a very interesting, cosmopolitan city – a melting pot of cultures and people in which it is enthralling to spend some time.

Bucharest, Romania

Bucharest was once called ‘Little Paris’ and with its wide boulevards and elegant facades it is easy to see why that was the case. This is, today, a big, bustling city with some of the country’s best museums, plenty of nice green spaces and a buzzing nightlife.

Genoa, Italy

This port is a little rough around the edges and that unpolished aspect is a big part of its appeal. Genoa is a hilly maritime city with colourful buildings from a variety of time periods, narrow cobbled streets and palm trees. While some parts of the city are thoroughly modern, other parts will transport you back to the Middle Ages.

Chisinau, Moldova

Few people known anything about Moldova, let alone its capital city. Moldova is, unjustly, the least visited country in Europe with fewer than 20,000 people visiting, on average, each year, and often far fewer than that. Chisinau’s buildings are mostly soviet era and unpreposessing but the city has plenty of green spaces and parks and is a good base from which to explore this pretty, largely rural, wine producing country.

Bratislava, Slovakia

The delightful historic city centre of Bratislava features a castle and an unspoiled 18thCentury old town with a number of quaint, cosy cafés, bars and restaurants. The River Danube flows picturesquely through the city.

Odense, Denmark

This quirky little city is the capital of Funen, the third largest island in Denmark. This story book town is famous as the birthplace of Hans Christian Anderson, which just makes this place even more quaint. Visit the open-air Funen museum here, or the zoo, or simply wander the picturesque streets

Glasgow, Scotland

Glasgow is often overlooked by visitors from abroad. Perhaps they have only heard of the capital city of Edinburgh, though Glasgow is in fact the largest city in the country. Glasgow today is a vibrant cultural powerhouse of a city with a huge number of museums, entertainments and other attractions.

Ljubljana, Slovenia

Lovely Ljubljana is a quirky and pretty city that melds several cultures together, including elements of the Germanic, Slovenian and Mediterranean cultures. See the quaint and picture perfect streets all nestled beneath an imposing mediaeval castle.

Torun, Poland

This Gothic walled city, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a fantastic escape from the crowds of Warsaw and Krakov and has plenty to see and do in its own right. This city was founded by Teutonic knights and was the birthplace of Copernicus.

Brno, Czech Republic

If you feel a bit overwhelmed by the stag-do crowds of Prague then come here to enjoy the Czech culture and the historic sites in a rather more serene environment. Cultural activity and entertainments abound.

The specialists from moneypug suggest visiting early to mid Spring to avoid peak holiday makers

Baby Fun Bath Time

How Can Parents Make Bath Time More Fun for Children?

Bathing time can seem difficult for moms and dads when they try to give their children to clean up.

But you can make the process much easier by adding a few things to the bathing experience which will make it more fun.

A lot of children are afraid of water, and hence they do not like the bathing experience, but with additional props and toys, you can help them in getting over this irrational fear.

There are several ways by which you can finally achieve this.

In this article, you will be learning about the different ways by which you can make your children’s bathing experience much more fun.

Bathing Toys

Bathing toys would be quite useful in making your bath time exciting.

You can use goats, boats, rubber toys like ducks, hoops and so on and add them inside the bathtub and your children will have a gala time playing with them.

This will go on to make the bathing time a much fun-filled activity time which children will look forward to.

Bath Crayons

You can use bath crayons, which are washable crayons that can be used by children to draw on the bathtub while having a bath.

This can encourage them to be more creative.

Kids will have fun expressing their inner creativity by using these crayons.

You can also use stubborn toddlers who can help with all these crayons.

These are all nontoxic and will also wash off easily.

Fun with Soap

You will be able to get different types of soaps like bubble baths and lathering baths, which can make the bathing time more adventurous and exciting for children.

You can consider using soaps which come in their favorite superhero bottles.

You may use soaps which come in various scents, colors, foams, non-foam based, and so on.

This will help in making the washing up experience more fun.

Bath Songs

In order to make the bathing time more interactive, you can incorporate a lot of bath songs.

Stubborn toddlers will also like to get involved when they hear bathing songs.

You can either consider making a song up yourself or finding them online and play them while cleaning the child.

A lot of kids do not feel like taking baths as they feel it would be boring, and thus, they do not want to partake in it.

So to gather their interest and encourage them to take their baths, you can make the bathing time a fun time by incorporating some fun activities.

If you want to learn an exciting new Bath song for your child, then you should visit the internet and download new playlists for your children.

Conclusion

You can easily help your children feel a lot of fun during bath time by incorporating some such innovative ways for making the bathing experience so much fun. Just think about things that your child enjoys and you are all set. Hopefully, the information mentioned in this article will have helped you.

Electrician Inspecting Fuse Box

Why Homeowners Should Be Careful When Choosing an Electrician

Installing electrical fittings and outlets in a building is a task that a homeowner can choose to undertake themselves.

However, while some homeowners may have the luxury of time to do so, it’s usually better for one to choose a professional electrician to get the job done.

The Guardian noted that, within the UK, almost 75% of homeowners refused to do electrical work themselves, opting to hire professionals.

A homeowner doesn’t just want any electrician working for them, however.

Electrical wiring is a high-risk job, even in the most common of circumstances.

It may be tempting to head to the nearest internet search and check out the rates and locations of nearby electricians, but one can’t be sure those are professionals.

When it comes to building electricals, one should prefer to hire professionals since the job is not only a high-risk undertaking, but poor execution could lead to a fire hazard for the homeowner in the long term.

Is an Expert Electrician Strictly Necessary?

Someone who does electrical work might not necessarily be an electrician.

In the US, a homeowner can ask to see an electrician’s state license, but even licensed professionals come in two classes.

This Old House mentions that a master electrician and a journeyman electrician may both have licenses, but the master electrician has more experience to his or her name.

Depending on the type of work required, a homeowner might be able to get by with a journeyman electrician.

If a homeowner is looking to design a power system distribution for their home or needs to get the load balancing worked out, then a master electrician is the person to help.

A journeyman electrician can install wiring and fuses and even fix minor electrical problems with a certain amount of competence.

Depending on where in the country one resides, a journeyman electrician needs to train under a master electrician before they can qualify for a master’s license themselves.

How Should a Homeowner Choose an Electrician?

It’s a simple enough task to decide that one needs a professional to get the job done, but choosing the right professional for the mission takes a little bit more effort.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics states that there are over 650,000 electricians currently working in the country.

To choose the right individual for the job, a homeowner can go through a series of steps to ensure that one is ready to deal with an electrician at a professional level.

Step 1: Organise

The first thing any homeowner needs to do is to figure out what they want to be done.

Adding a light switch, for example, is an entirely different job to having an entire room rewired.

The adage of measuring twice and cutting once applies here, as knowing what the job entails ensures that the electrician is fully aware of what the result should be, and doesn’t need to do the same thing twice because instructions were not clear.

Step 2: Get Some Estimates

One doesn’t automatically choose the very first electrician one meets or interviews.

Calling around for a few estimates can help to get a gauge for the cost of the project and the amount of time it is likely to take.

Additionally, when asking for estimates, ensure to follow up with the company or electrician as to who is actually doing the work.

Some electricians have journeymen working under them and delegate specific tasks to their trainees.

Step 3: Ensure the Electrician is Licensed, Bonded & Insured

Once one has narrowed down the choices to a shortlist of candidates, the next step is to check that the candidates in question are adequately licensed, bonded, and insured.

Licensing and bonding give the homeowner a sense of security when it comes to the professional’s work since it’s being performed by a professional.

Insurance is a necessity in any business, and in the field of electrical installation, it covers both the worker and the homeowner in case of any accidents that result in severe damage to the house or its occupants.

When looking at the cost of a licensed, bonded, and insured electrician, many homeowners may prefer to invest their money in a journeyman that works private jobs in his or her own time.

The risk of choosing a non-professional is that if anything were to go wrong, the entire cost of replacement and repair falls on the homeowner.

In some cases, homeowners’ insurance doesn’t cover repairs by non-professionals meaning that the total cost of rehabilitation must come out-of-pocket.

Choosing an insured, licensed professional is a more financially sound choice.

Step 4: Check References & Reviews of Past Work

The best way to check whether a professional is worth the money that the homeowner spends on him or her is to check out references of their past jobs or read reviews about their prior work.

Asking the contractor for previous work they have done and contacts for those employers is a step in the right direction.

If the electrician fails to provide a set of references or is vague with their presented previous employers, then it’s a sign that the contractor may not be a trustworthy one.

With the past employers, a homeowner should seek to find out about how good the estimate was to the completed work in terms of both time and money and use that as a gauge for whether the electrician is likely to rip them off.

Step 5: Draw Up a Contract

A contract is a legal document designed to protect both the professional and the homeowner.

Having one that spells out expectations and sets time limits on completion of work as well as any penalties for failing to meet those standards can help to put a homeowner’s mind at rest.

Additionally, together with the contract should be copies of the electrician workers compensation and electricians liability insurance certificates.

If they lack coverage in those areas, then it’s best for the homeowner to choose another contractor that has it.

Step 6: Down Payment

For most jobs, electrical contractors require a down payment on the total cost.

Most professionals don’t ask for more than 20%, but some even accept as little as 10% in down payment, if the contractor asks for more then it’s a sign that the contractor might be using the money paid for this job to pay off expenses in his or her previous jobs.

It may also mean that this particular project may take longer than expected as the electrician is probably spending extra time on his or her other unfinished tasks.

The Right Electrical Contractor

An electrical contractor that a homeowner has an understanding with and is comfortable working alongside is a rare gem.

Finding one that conforms to these essential criteria is harder than just choosing a random electrician.

Having a certified, insured electrician is a far better option for a homeowner than having someone who does part-time wiring.

Author Bio

Marie Erhart is a Success Manager at FieldPulse, creators of field service software that lets you run your entire contracting business from a single app. She works with contractors to help them grow their business using best practices.