Why You Should Consider Studying Tourism And Travel

The travel and tourism industry has been witnessing a series of trends for past few decades. Before exploring career opportunities in this field, it would be wise to take a look at the current standing of this industry.

People wish to travel more frequently. Apart from long-stay vacations, they also look forward to weekend getaways.
They are more interested in creative tourism. People are looking for authentic experience.
Cruise trips are more popular than ever.
People now expect high service levels, no matter where and for how long they travel. They have zero tolerance for poor services.
Even seniors wish to travel frequently, favoring long stays at quiet and relaxed places.
Travel to exotic destinations and heritage tourism are becoming more popular.
Travel enthusiasts have a number of options available to them. Tour operators who are knowledgeable, convincing and are able to offer them genuine deals can quickly build great business.
Tour and travel professionals with adequate knowledge of destinations, excellent communication and interpersonal skills can build rewarding careers in the industry.
A majority of travellers still rely on holiday packages and planned tours.

Needless to say, tourism and travel industry is booming in all areas, including luxury travel, leisure travel, heritage tourism, creative tourism, weekend getaways and adventure tourism. This has resulted in a significant increase in the number of new career opportunities for young adults who are active, knowledgeable, well-trained and can offer expert advice along with making quick travel arrangements.

Therefore, aspiring tour and travel professionals must be well versed in world geography for tourism, routine travel agency operations and customer service standards. With this, they must be well trained in booking airline, cruise and ground transportation tickets, helping clients with visa and passport requirements, online ticket booking (transportation, events, shows, etc.), making accommodation arrangements and selling and marketing holiday packages.

A tourism and travel program can help interested candidates in developing the knowledge and skills necessary to enter the world of work and build rewarding careers in this field. There are a number of tourism and travel courses available in Canada at different degree levels. However, those who wish to quickly enter the world of work can opt for one-year post-secondary program in travel and tourism. It helps them get a quickie credential to start working in tourism industry. In addition, it also helps them in exploring various career options and more advanced study programs in travel and tourism.

A number of colleges provide post-secondary travel and tourism programs in Canada. However, not all are accredited. They may also not provide practical exposure to students, which is a necessary condition to seek employment in this field. Centennial College’s one-year post-secondary program is accredited by UNWTO TedQuel. It also trains students on Apollo and Sabre computerized airline reservation systems. Volunteer opportunities for Centennial students also exist at various events in Toronto, such as Walk of Fame, Rendezvous Canada and various trade shows.

Interested candidates need to submit their applications with the college along with application fee, a secondary school diploma certificate or equivalent and scores in English Grade 12 C or University or equivalent. The program graduates can either pursue their careers or enroll themselves in a travel and tourism degree program at the university.

Posted in Travel | Comments Off

Luxury Travel: True Choice For Travelers

Luxurious travelers have sufficient time to search to get travel ideas, and the time and funds to cluster journeys by any means they want. Service gets more individual since the price goes upward. Travel groups find smaller, right down to one person or even one couple using their own direct with their convenience.
From sleeping on an ice palace to getting into a fully equipped Paris flat for some weeks, luxury travel Croatia is really whatever a person’s heart’s wish.
Luxury travel Croatia providers may select off-the-beaten-path lodging if it provides a distinctive feeling. The luxury tourist gets entry to museums after ending hours, or the opportunity to walk in distant places. A few of the choices are:
Extensive Cruises: The Grand World custom travel Croatia takes travelers all-around the world, touching on coast-lines regarding six continents through 12 to 18 months of luxury custom travel Croatia. These comfortable deals are significantly growing into less traveled locations and more unique places to ensure that spoiled, on-board people can feel they’re seeing what others haven’t.
Spas: Located in stunning and remote surroundings like a private isle and gives spiritual rejuvenation too.
You can hope several bedrooms within the villa. It’s ideal for the family regarding twelve to 15 people. You can get all lavish as well as modern facilities within the villa. There is a big pool and garden in the villa. There is accessibility to the beach from the villa. You can invest some good time together with your family in this beautiful apartment.
Luxurious apartment of Marbella
You can also choose luxury apartment as Marbella. You can get basic panoramic view out of this villa. You can get five large bedrooms within the villa. You can get five large bathrooms within the villa. It’s ideal for small family vacation requirements. It’s ideal for the family regarding five to seven people.
It is well set up with the modern facilities. You may count on gardens as well as pool area for the pleasure. You may also expect a mountain viewpoint from the villa.
Online reserving facility
You can choose online bookings of many of the luxury villas in Croatia. You may also get good reductions on prior booking of the accommodations. You also get the option of selecting a luxury villa depending on your family’s choice.

Adventure/luxury: Not all luxurious adventure is fussed over and smooth, luxury travel Croatia can be very exciting, like wild boar hunting on the mountains of the islands, or deep-sea angling on the private yacht.
The Safari: Many tour companies are providing lavish Travel Croatia. Money can purchase admittance to a range of wild animals, fabulous food, and sophisticated lodging beautifully fitted in the center of nowhere.
Luxury Trains: The original Navigate Express influenced tales of romance and also whispers of drama. Regarded as the epitome associated with luxury, today the Navigate Express cars are utilized in Russian as well as Silk Road outings. Sometime tour companies can offer a private train car decked.
Cultural Travel: Social occasions, historical structures, galleries and museums get long drawn the well-to-do, many of who are serious about arts. Travel Croatia experts can focus on after-hours admittance to private stuff as well as exclusive auctions.
Family Travel: An increasing number of families are taking their kids out to observe the world. As Chris Ronneseth through Trek Holidays clarifies, these well-off parents would like to get their infants far from the soda pop lifestyle.
The luxury tourist uses travel as a way to identify themselves, and decide upon a visit based on a few of these requirements: quality, worth, enrichment, effectiveness.

Posted in Travel | Comments Off

Advantages Of Working With A Travel Agency

If you are interested in booking a vacation, you have two main choices. You can do the work yourself, or you can choose to work with a travel agent. Although many people think they will save time and money by doing the work themselves, it is the opposite that is usually true. The next time you plan a vacation, you should consider the following benefits to working with a travel agent.

Travel agents know the best days to travel.

When working with a travel agent, you are dealing with someone who not only books dozens (or even hundreds) of vacations every year, but also someone who probably travels often him or herself. Travel agents understand the best days to travel from a budget perspective, as well as from a time perspective. If your dates are flexible, a travel agent can help you find the cheapest, most hassle-free options.

Save money on flights, hotels, and other types of reservations.

Almost all travel companies offer group rates. The problem is, when you travel with your family, you likely will not have enough people to get that group discount, even if you travel with a big family. With a travel agent, you will get the discount because they buy tickets in bulk. You may also get a discount simply because travel professionals get special discounts through professional affiliations.

It takes virtually no work when you let a travel agent plan your vacation for you.

Although you should still do a little research in order to know what questions to ask your travel agent and to make wise decisions on your travel options, you should have to spend little or no time dealing with the details of final booking and other preparations. You will save hours and hours of time!

Travel agents can answer travel document questions.

Laws regarding visas and passports are constantly changing. Although you typically still have to go through the application process yourself, your travel agent can make sure that you understand important deadlines and answer your logistical questions.

You might get insider perks with travel agents.

Some vacation options and travel perks might only be available for people who book with a travel agent. In short, travel agents know the right questions to ask. For example, if you are a newlywed and book through a travel agent, they might be able to get you a honeymoon suite for the same price as a regular room. Travel agents know how to reap the most benefits when booking vacations.

Travel agents can answer questions about your destination.

Chances are that your travel agent (or someone in his or her office) has been to most of the common travel destinations. That means that they should be able to answer your questions about the vacation. From the best restaurants to what to expect when traveling around town on public transportation, travel agents know how to answer your vacation questions.

Travel agents can recommend travel options that are more affordable.

One of the most common reasons for people not traveling more often is that travel is expensive. You might want to travel to a foreign tropical island paradise, for example, on a shoestring budget. Your travel agent can suggest a domestic sunny location, which gives you longer vacation options on your budget.

Kid-friendly travel is much easier with using a travel agent.

There are many challenges to traveling with children, especially young children. Travel agents can help you to deal with these problems. Remember, they book trips for families all of the time. Along the same lines, they can also help solve problems traveling with pets, senior citizens, or disabled individuals.

When your travel plans change, a travel agent can help you deal with these problems.

Things do not always go as planned. When this happens and you have reserved the various portions of your trip by yourself, you have dozens of calls to make, changing dates and trying to save as much money as possible. When working with a travel agent, you only have one call to make. Better yet, the travel agent might be able to get your dates of travel changed or get you a partial refund whereas alone, you might have simply lost the money.

You have a single bill to pay with a travel agent.

Instead of making a ton of small purchases with multiple receipts, confirmation and reservation numbers, you will have one big bill to pay. Better yet, most travel agents have payment plans, in which you pay a certain amount each month until your date of travel. They might even have financing plans to make things easier. With a travel agent, vacations can be stress-free from a financial perspective, on top of all of the planning perks.

Using a travel agent, online or in-person, to plan and reserve your next vacation has many advantages over doing it yourself. You do not have to go it alone to save time and money. In fact, not using a travel agent can cost you more dollars and headache than you would have had you chosen the services of an experienced travel agent.

Posted in Travel | Comments Off

The Major Worldwide Travel Tips

Discount Travel has revalorized the way in which we Travel now. With the tremendous nursing shortage in the United States there would seem to be a lot of money to be made in travel nurse staffing. Discount Travel is the word of the Travel Industry and it has made many Persons who cannot travel otherwise also to travel to distant places. The introduction of discount Travel has made travel easy for many travelers. These travel insurance packages are usually pre-bundled by the insurance companies and they provide travel coverage such as: cancellation of trips, interruption of flights, delays of travel, lost of baggage and personal effects, delay of baggage, emergency evacuation, assistance for travelers and medical expenses. Firstly, I have to point out that sometimes the travel agents themselves really do have some fantastic deals, especially last minute trips that they want to fill because of cancellations or unsold slots etc.

According to the results of an email survey conducted by the Incentive Travel Fact Book, 58% say travel is more effective than cash or merchandise. Whether you decide to go by plane, train or automobile, finding cost effective travel is the first step to planning a great trip. If you plan to travel by car, then the first step should be a visit to Map Quest for directions.

When in France, you will typically only be dealing with relatively short travel times. Paris to Lyon is two hours, Amsterdam to Cologne three hours, Geneva to Paris three-and-a-half hours and so on. And these will be pleasurable experiences because the trains are fast, comfortable (especially in first class) and wonderfully quiet.

It is definitely a good plan to generate a travel budget if you want to go traveling on the lower cost route while traveling. If you are traveling with young children, take a small bag packed with travel games, activity pads, tiny stuffed animals, crayons, and a coloring book to keep them busy. Earlier travelers went after the Travel Agencies to book their Air Tickets, Hotel, Car rental etc, but now the internet has changed a lot of these things.

Another great tip is to be prepared with things to do while you wait in lines, long travel times, and down time. If you want a decidedly patrician vibe during your Caribbean travel vacation, then the Landing, a seven-room inn on Harbour Island is exactly for you.

Online Travel, which was considered the domain of the Internet geeks a decade back, is the new mantra for the Internet savvy generation of today. One of the most common things most of us do when start planning vacations is call a travel agent. And the age is probably the most important factor when choosing a travel agent.

Cozumel is a place that many people have ignored over the years and that is good news for those that travel there. Business travel news also includes your awareness of the geographical situation and latest weather report of your destination. From the travel and tourism industry’s point of view, it is an opportunity to bring increased tourism and travel to the UK.

Whether you travel often during the course of your business or you only travel for family vacations, good travel clocks will have a huge impact on the way you wake in the mornings and your overall enjoyment of your trip. There seems to be little or no slowdown in leisure travel, despite an up-and-down economy and high fuel prices; one can only imagine the growth when conditions improve. Thomas Cook has strategic mergers and associations with leading leisure travel agencies to offer the foreign traveler a wide choice of luxurious holidays.

Posted in Travel | Comments Off

What A Travel Agency Provides For The Vacationer

Just as you have many different options when selecting where to travel and what to do when you get there, you also have a variety of choices when selecting the travel agency that will help you to design your perfect vacation. When you are looking for the perfect travel agency to help you with all of your travel needs, it is first important that you understand the basic types of travel agencies from which to choose and significant differences in terms of the services they provide to a vacationer.

Before looking at different niches of travel agencies, one large distinction exists. Do you want to work with an online-based travel agency, or a locally-based travel agency? Depending on how either type of travel agency is run, you can have a vastly different experience. With an online-based travel agency, you can often receive service 24/7 and book your travel at any time that is most convenient to you. You will be able to retrieve information from many online-based travel agencies “on demand,” or exactly when you request it.

With a locally-based travel agency, you can often form relationships with particular travel agents who will also be your main point of contact for any future travel that you plan. In addition, the agents in your locally-based agency will be able to maintain information specific to your desires to help them to provide suggestions for future vacations. These are only a few of the distinctions between online and local travel agencies.

One recent innovation great for the customer is the emergence of travel agencies who provide both of the above – the personal service of a local, walk-in office with the 24/7 and technological convenience of online access to all your itineraries, account information and options for self-service booking when you want it. Look for a national brand with a history of providing reliable service and customer satisfaction; these companies are most likely to provide you with the best of both worlds in travel agency services.

Once you have determined whether you will use an online or a local travel agency, there are additional options from which to choose. The first option to consider is the level of service an agency will provide. Travel agencies can run the gamut from full service to self service. Especially with online travel agencies, information may simply be provided to aid in your travel decisions while leaving much of the leg work to you. If you prefer a travel planning experience that allows you to seek out all of your own information and make all of your decisions and reservations independently, a self service travel agency will be your best bet.

Full service travel agencies, whether online-based or locally-based, offer the exact opposite scenario. They pair an agent with you to provide all of the information you need, when you need it, and to be on hand to help you with all of the travel decisions that you make. In addition, they will handle all of your bookings and payments and logistics, sparing you the need to do so on your own. In between self service and full service agencies are other options that offer a combination of do-it-yourself plans and planning that involves the step-by-step guidance of a travel professional.

The second option is the type of travel an agency may designate as their specialty. Some travel agencies work only with domestic travel planning. They can assist you with any need you may have related to travel within the United States and its possessions. Other travel agencies work specifically to aid travelers in planning overseas travel. A further narrowing of this niche can occur when a travel agency focuses only on one particular area of the world for the travel services they provide, such as Europe or the Caribbean. You can also choose travel agencies that focus only on one particular type of travel, such as cruises or multi-segmented trips. It can be very important for you to decide whether you would like to partner with a niche travel agency, or a travel agency that is more broad-based.

The third option is the type of traveler an agency may specialize in assisting. Some travel agencies only work with a specific demographic of travel. For instance, you may choose a travel agency that caters to single travelers. This type of agency may work to put together travel packages and tours specifically geared towards singles instead of couples or families. Other travel agencies may work with just that – couples or families. Whether they focus on providing romantic destination options for two, or kid-friendly destinations for the whole family, this can be a popular niche for travel agencies. Finally, a travel agency may choose to focus exclusively on business travelers instead of leisure travelers. They may have options available to offer that are particularly suited to travelers who need different amenities and more flexibility in scheduling.

In conclusion there are many services a travel agency provides to make your life easier when planning a vacation or business travel. Most importantly, the agent offers years of expertise and knowledge of other travelers’ experiences from which you can benefit.

Posted in Travel | Comments Off

How A Travel Agent Can Save You Money On Your Next Trip

These days, many families have their put their vacation plans toward the bottom of their list of priorities. During tougher times, a vacation can seem to simply cost too much money. However, if you are thinking about going on a vacation, you might want to look into working with a travel agent to save money on vacation expenses. Working with a travel agent to plan your vacation means you might be able to afford the trip you thought you would have to put off until next year. For this reason alone it is definitely worth exploring the possibility. So how can working with a travel agent save you money?

Your travel agent will help you get the most out of your budget

Whether your travel budget is $500 or $5,000, working with a travel agent is probably the best way to make the most of your money. Especially if you’re traveling on a tight budget, the skills, knowledge, and experience of a travel agent can be invaluable.

Just make sure when you’re discussing travel plans with your agent, you are absolutely clear about how much money you have to spend. If you want to travel as cheaply as possible, make sure your travel agent understands this so that they have a good idea of the types of travel and accommodation they should be finding for you.

Your travel agent can quickly access a number of providers

Travel agents typically have access to a large network of travel, accommodation, and activity providers. With computer systems that provide access to travel agents all over the world, they can quickly locate details of discount travel providers in many countries. This is one of the main reasons why working with a travel agent is a good idea when you’re on a strict budget. They have access to a large number of different resources, software, and industry contacts, all of which they can use when hunting down the best bargains.

Your travel agent knows the cheapest times to travel

Some days are less expensive to travel on than other days. Red-eye flights and stand-by flights can be less expensive, but direct flights can cost more than taking a circuitous route that involves several different connections. Your travel agent should be very knowledgeable on the process of all this and knows that flights booked on Friday, Sunday, and Monday are generally more expensive. You stand a better chance of saving money on flights if you’re flexible about your travel dates.

In addition, your travel agent can quickly tell you if your vacation plans fall within a peak season during which flights to your destination are significantly more expensive. This means that you can modify your travel plans if you wish. Changing plans may include a cheaper destination or traveling during the offseason to save money on your flight.

Advanced booking is another factor that your travel agent can use to help you get cheaper flights. You should be booking at least six months ahead to get the most affordable tickets. Your agent should tell you that the holiday season is always a relatively expensive time to travel, no matter how far in advance you book.

Your travel agent has access to bulk discounts and consolidated tickets

If you’re willing to travel as part of an organized tour, your travel agent can help you access travel and accommodation. There are also specials for activities that are significantly cheaper than what you would spend if you did the same activities alone. This is because as part of a tour you can take advantage of bulk discounts. You can even organize your own tour through your travel agent, and the organizer might get to travel for free!

Consolidated tickets provide you with the chance to save on your air travel costs. A consolidated ticket is simply a ticket which was purchased by the agent as part of a large group of tickets sold by the same airline. The agent gets a bulk discount on the tickets and can pass that discount on to their clients.

Your travel agent has industry contacts and experience

This translates into money being put back into your pocket. Your travel agent may be in regular contact with many industry professionals, and might be able to get you a great deal on a tour being planned by another agent. If you’re flexible with travel times, your agent may advise you to adjust your trip dates to travel during a cheaper part of the week, potentially saving you hundreds of dollars in travel costs. An experienced agent should have expert knowledge of your travel destination and can provide advice on budget accommodation and activities. The agent may often be able to provide discount coupons, free passes, and other incentives.

Best of all, none of these advantages come at a price! You can take full advantage of the wealth of knowledge and experience that your travel agent provides, and can potentially save a great deal of money in the process.

Posted in Travel | Comments Off

Benefits Of Choosing A Travel Agency For Your Next Vacation

Choosing a travel agency to handle your next vacation as opposed to dealing directly with an airline presents numerous benefits. Here are a few of the benefits you enjoy:

Wealth of information

Because of their experience and wide connections with people in the hospitality industry, travel agencies are in the best position to provide sound advice when it comes to the following points: off peak and peak travel times, budget travel, hotel and meal deals, excursions, shopping bargains, and other tourism-related topics. Much will depend on your preferences. For instance, are you interested in a golf holiday, a fishing trip, a museum jaunt or a spa type of vacation?

Discounted fares

Travel agencies and online travel agencies are great for bargain hunting and usually get the best deals from their network of contacts. They also purchase air tickets on volume, consolidated tickets, enabling them to buy air tickets at considerably higher discounts.

Extended network of suppliers and providers

Given that travel agents deal every day with hotel managers, restaurant owners and managers, bed and breakfast supervisors, tour operators, limousine companies, and other people who offer a specialized service, they know who and what are offering better prices and when. So travel agents have a wealth of information on just about anything related to travel, and because they network with other travel agents, they get to exchange valuable tips. Consider yourself fortunate if you happen to be dealing with a travel agent who seems to know �just about everyone� in the travel industry and who can offer you the discounts that she reserves for preferred clients.

Group discounts

If you tell your travel agent that you and your friends want to travel together or that you’re taking your family of four on a Kenyan safari, he or she might be able to slash off more dollars from your air tickets because you will be travelling in a group. Sometimes, when you buy three adult tickets, travel agents will let your four-year-old travel for free or at a much lower price. Travel agents can, at their discretion, extend courtesy discounts to groups. The more seats are bought and the more rooms are booked, the higher the discounts they receive.

Perks

Travel agents also have access to suppliers and service providers who hand out �bonuses� or perks. These are the nice extra incentives that say, hotel managers would give to agents so that the next time the travel agency has a large group of travelers, they choose the same hotel. Meal vouchers are another example that travel agencies have a constant supply of to give to loyal customers. For example, if you and your friends like to visit Las Vegas a lot, your travel agency may give you slot chips worth $50.00 to use on machines, or free passes to a stage show or concert. So you see, it does pay to develop good relationships with travel agencies especially if you’re a frequent traveler.

Specialization

Some travel agencies specialize in certain types of travel and cater to a certain age group or specific professional groups. Some travel agencies have more strengths and capabilities than other travel agencies. One travel agency may know the ins and outs of Eastern Europe or may know what the best budget restaurants in Tokyo are. Other travel agencies may cater specifically to retirees, students or government officials.

When a travel agency handles a large account like a mid-size company whose executives travel weekly, you can be sure that travel agency is in a position to offer significant savings on plane tickets or hotel reservations. If you have a friend who works for a large company and his company uses one travel agency, you could ask him to request the travel agency for special deals. Because travel agents are grateful for the continuing patronage of their company clients, they will most likely share tips on how to travel on a shoestring budget for the executives’ children.

Don’t let one unfortunate experience with a travel agency discourage you. Find another. If you deal with the airlines directly, you’re just another caller to them, whereas if a travel agent calls the airline on your behalf, the airline will recognize the travel agency as a regular customer and hence would be more inclined to extend courtesies.

Posted in Travel | Comments Off

Find The Best Hotel Deals For Your Next Vacation

The cost of your accommodation is often your single biggest expense when you want to take a vacation or a business trip. A great way to cut your costs is to find a deal on your hotel. Here are some tips to help you reduce your costs when you are planning your next vacation.

Travel During Off Season

When you are deciding your travel dates try not to go for the high season. There are many travellers who have the limitations of travelling during school vacations or holidays but if you can be a little flexible about your dates you can safe a lot of money. Sometimes a small change of dates from a weekend to during the week can make a substantial difference in the costs.

Use Membership Advantage

Many big chains of hotels offer free membership programs just like airlines offer frequent flyer programs which allow you to earn points which can be exchanged for free nights. Hotels also sometime give lower rates to the seniors, military people, students or members of programs like Triple A. So make sure you mention all your affiliations while booking to get the lowest rates possible.

Internet Specials

There are hotels which have special promotions only for online bookings. So search on the internet for deals that are saving you money. If you also want to make flight reservation sometimes a complete package cost less then individual booking.

Hidden Fees

When you are comparing your hotel cost be positive that the prices you are getting include everything. Some hotels charge small things separately make sure whatever you need is included in your price.

More Ways To Save

When travelling with family first confirm if the children are free to stay or eat. If you are travelling with a bunch of people ask for a group discount. If you are coming from the airport inquire if the hotel has a free shuttle service. Ask if there is a free breakfast that the hotel offers. Booking a room with a small kitchen can also help you save money as you don’t have to eat out every time.

Be Flexible

Last but not the least is being flexible. You should not only be flexible with the dates but also with your requirements. Things that you can do without should not be on your list like the facilities hotels have to offer if you can stay without don’t go for them. Booking a small room instead of a suite. Choosing a hotel in a less expensive area are all ways to cut down your costs.

Posted in Travel | Comments Off

Top 6 Real Estate Secrets When Selling Your Home

Top 6 Real Estate Secrets

#1: Open Houses Don’t Work.

Open houses are a thing of the past. Years ago, when you wanted to sell your home, the only way that buyers could see the inside of your home was to be invited to view your home via an open house or making an appointment with the agent listing your home. Now, if a buyer wants to see your home, they can just go online, to any of a dozen sites, and see the inside of your home without ever having to leave their living room.

The truth is open houses don’t work! Real Estate agents host open houses not to sell your home, but to obtain additional clients who are looking to sell their homes (including your neighbors). The fact is, you are more likely to win the lottery than sell your home with an open house in most areas.

#2: Marketing is Job Number 1.

If you are selling your home, the real reason you hire a Realtor is marketing. A Realtor’s job is to get as many qualified buyers to your home as possible so that you can sell your home for the highest price. Marketing is the cornerstone of the Real Estate business and a Realtor that does not know marketing, is not worth the commission. Many Realtors avoid the topic of marketing and try to confuse homeowners with internet terms and the size of their firm, all of which means nothing to the actual sale of your home. Here are the things you should be aware of:

* When you hire someone to sell your home, first make sure they are a Realtor and ask to see their Realtor card. There is a big difference between Realtors and Real Estate agents. Real Estate agents cannot list your home in the MLS, a database of homes for sale by participating Real Estate firms.

* Make sure you select a Realtor that truly understands marketing – proactive marketing. All agents use the internet, so that is no big deal. All listings will likely be on Realtor.com and Zillow. Have your agent do a S.W.O.T analysis for you, find out if they work full-time as a Realtor, and ask them what they do that DOES NOT involve the internet to sell your home. Find out how long they have been Realtors, and ask to see any 3 homes sold in each of the last four years. In a very short time, you will be able to sort through the wheat and chaff.

* Don’t be fooled by the most common secret. An agent will mention they work for a big firm, and therefore, your home will get more views on the internet. This is not true, in almost all cases, any home being listed by a Realtor will be listed on the website of all the Real Estate firms in the area and most national websites as well. So even if you list your home with “Mom and Pop Realty,” your home will show up on even the big companies’ Real estate websites.

#3: Discount Brokers/Limited Service Brokers Can Be a Good Choice.

Regardless of what the industry tells you (including real estate agents) these firms have a place at the dinner table and serve a vital function in the industry. Let’s be honest – all people are a little frugal, and if you could find a cheaper alternative to paying a Realtor, you would. On occasion, discount brokers/limited service brokers can save you money.

Here are two specific cases where we refer our clients to limited services/discount Realtors:

Scenario 1: You have a home under $120,000 (don’t be jealous, Californians and New Yorkers).

Real Estate is a business, and agents are people who rely on that business to pay their own bills. So, if your agent works at a firm that takes a cut of the commission (in many cases 30-50%), the agent must determine if selling your home is a good business decision. Lets look at the numbers:

* Home Price = $120,000

* 3% commission (Listing Side only) = $3600

* Minus Firm Split (35%) = – $1260

* Minus Taxes (25%) = – $900

* Minus marketing = – $800

* Leaves a net commission of $640, to the agent

If the agent only nets $640 on the deal, how much time can you reasonably expect them to spend on your behalf selling your home? In this case, using a limited service broker could save you $2000+ dollars on the listing side after the cost of the limited broker fees and expenses are deducted.

Scenario 2: You are in a super hot market.

If you are in a market that is so hot that all you have to do is put a sign in your front yard, then limited service is a good option. They put your home in the local MLS system and buyers just show up. AWESOME! The key to making this work is to have your home appraised before you call the limited service brokers to make sure you are selling your home for the right price. Once you get a contract from a buyer’s agent, hire another agent or lawyer to help you with the details on an hourly or fixed-rate basis. The key is making sure you only accept contracts from buyer’s agents. If you are not sure what that means, get clarification in your state. (I can’t give you all the secrets!)

#4: All Agents Are NOT Created Equal.

Just like any industry, there is a range of competence within the Real Estate world; However, many people believe that all agents are the same. I suggest that when you are interviewing agents, request that they send you the contracts ahead of time, and prepare a set of questions for them to answer. If you are in North Carolina, here are just a few questions I suggest:

* What is dual agency? And do you practice dual agency?

* What is the difference between due diligence and earnest money? And what happens if a buyer cancels the contract?

* Am I required to do repairs on my house, or is my home sold as-is?

* Show me the marketing plan for my home, not a generic presentation.

#5: Some Agents Will Try to “Buy the Listing.”

This is when an agent convinces a homeowner they can sell their home for a price significantly higher than market value. This tactic is successful when an owner uses money to select the agent. The agent’s intention is to have the owner sign the listing agreement under the auspices of an inflated sales price, and then the agent will steadily lower the price of your home until it actually sells.

#6: For Sale By Owner (FSBO) Homes Don’t Save Money and Time.

The company line for agents is that they will help you buy any home; however, most agents do not like to deal with FSBO properties. First and foremost, Real Estate is a FOR-PROFIT job. Owners selling their own home have made a decision not to pay a Realtor, but your agent does not work for free. Therefore, as a buyer, if you choose to consider FSBOs, you need to have a discussion about who is responsible for paying commissions. In many cases, you as the buyer could be responsible for paying the commissions on the deal in addition to closing costs and down payments

Posted in Home | Comments Off

Tips on How to Enjoy a Healthy Diet and Lose Fat Faster

Your first priority when losing weight should be to eat a healthy diet. Of course, exercise is important, but consistently eating the right foods daily should come first. Follow these simple and effective tips to lose fat more easily.

Healthy Fats

Healthy fats are crucial to your weight loss efforts so aim to include healthy fats in most meals. Doing this assists your body to maintain the optimum hormone levels needed for fat burning and muscle-building. Healthy fats will also help to curb your appetite.

Include the following healthy fat foods in your diet: seeds, raw nuts, avocados, egg yolks (from free range, organic eggs), coconut oil and extra virgin olive oil. Grass fed meat is also an excellent source of healthy fats.

Here is a tip to quell your appetite and provide your body with protein, healthy fats and fiber. Try eating a handful of raw nuts half an hour before each meal 3 times daily. Nuts are nutrient dense as well so this simple trick will go a long way to improving your overall diet. Good choices are almonds, walnuts, and pecans.

Quality Protein

Include a quality protein with each snack and meal. High-quality sources include grass-fed meats, raw dairy, and plants sources such as beans and nuts. Protein helps with appetite suppression, which encourages you to ultimately consume fewer calories.

Eating enough protein assists your body to build lean muscle if you are working out. The more lean muscle you have, the greater will be the rate your metabolism runs at.

Eating enough protein at each meal also helps to regulate your blood sugar and insulin levels as protein slows down the breakdown of carbohydrates.

Carbohydrates

While it is not necessary to reduce carbohydrates to extremely low levels, many people do struggle to lose weight because they eat too many refined carbohydrates and sugars.

The sugars in fruits are better because the fiber in the fruits slows your body’s blood sugar response. An exception is fruit juices that are loaded with sugar and stripped of fiber during processing.

Try minimizing your consumption of carbohydrates from processed grains such as pasta, bread, cereals, bagels and so on. If you increase carbohydrate consumption from fruit and vegetables, you will most likely find it easier to shed body fat. This simple step alone can have a noticeable effect.

Follow these tips to a healthier smarter diet that will help you to lose fat more readily and build muscle, all the while providing more energy.

I hope this article helps you on the road to a healthy and hardy body.

Posted in Health | Comments Off