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18 Sep 2015

What Makes A Financial Website Successful?

At one time, the internet appeared to offer all organisations a simple proposition: email connectivity and a clickable presence in the form of a website. Today, web presence has rapidly evolved with interactive content and the ability to deliver transactional experiences – or e-commerce. Migrating services online helps business reduce costs, while customers benefit from the convenience and autonomy of self-service.

Financial services are faced with the challenge of delivering their customers with an online experience that goes far beyond just a website.

Financial services sites are absolutely competitive. They are really trying to drive people online. The self-service model is being taken seriously so they want to make sure their sites are available, responsive and allow users to do as many things as possible.

Though, many have shown an overall poor performance. The top reasons for failure were as follows: company websites make browsing too difficult; content missing, repeated and

poorly worded; and site search doesn’t work for typical tasks.

Here are three factors for a successful online financial service site which keeps users engaged and displays great use of technology while still delivers company’s messages clearly and effectively:

  • Customer experience, which includes the impression the homepage and overall design style give the customers, their satisfaction when they interact with the site and perform tasks.
  • Best practices, such as ease of use, quality, availability and security – site managers must be compliant with data laws requiring them to protect customer information and the integrity of customer accounts.
  • Service-level, which looks at responsiveness and reliability of websites – scores them on how quickly they respond to user commands and such factors as average downtime.

Financial services must tie these three factors together – customer experience, best practices and reliability/responsiveness – to have an effective web presence. They can’t go hard into one particular area and ignore the others. They have to understand what’s available versus their competitors, what consumers think of their sites versus competitors’ and how their sites are performing.

18 Sep 2015

5 Ways to Not Lose Your Panties in Real Estate

Lots of women want to get involved in real estate, but there’s one big thing holding them back – fear! They’re terrified of losing their panties if they invest.

If you’re one of those women who is resisting jumping into the real estate game because of fear of losing money, don’t worry. We’re here to share with you 5 ways NOT to lose your panties in real estate.

 

  1. Be Clear about your Desires

This is a big one. It’s really important that you understand what desires you want to gain from real estate. This will help steer you in the perfect direction for an investment that’s right for you.

Some things to think about:

-Do you desire to invest for cash flow so you can have passive income right now?

-Do you desire to increase your money available for retirement (you don’t need to access the money for many years)?

-Do you desire to invest to lower your tax burdens?

-Do you desire to leave a legacy for your children?

There are many reasons why you may want to invest, so why do you desire to invest?

Why is it important to know your DESIRES before you invest?

Let’s say you desire to invest in something that gives you cash flow right away and will give you back all of your initial investment within 2-3 years. If you tie up your money in a real estate development that doesn’t cash flow and won’t make money for 5 to 10 years, that’s a bad investment for you. If you pull your money out earlier than the investment requires, you’ll lose money.

The more clear you can get about why you want to invest and what benefits you desire, the less likely you’ll be to invest in a property that’s a mismatch and where you’ll lose your panties.

  1. Be Resourceful

The main resources you need to invest in real estate are time, money, and experience.

You need time to find and manage your investment property.

You need money to purchase it, renovate it (as needed), and maintain it.

Lastly you need experience to find the right property and manage it effectively.

Get very clear on how much of each you personally have.

 

You can ask yourself questions like:

-How much time can I put into finding and managing a property?

-How much property management do I personally want to do?

-How much renovation am I willing to take on?

-How much money do I have to invest and how much debt are I comfortable with?

-How much experience do you I in finding, financing, renovating, and/or managing a property?

 

All these questions will help you figure out what kind of investment will work for you.

Many people lose money in real estate because they don’t dedicate enough money, time, or requisite experience for the investment property they have chosen.

The good news is if you’re lacking in any of these areas, you can partner with other people that have the time, money, and/or experience you are seeking.

A real estate investor goddess knows she doesn’t need to personally have all the resources at hand, she just needs to be resourceful enough to partner with others who do.

 

  1. Have a great team.

Successful real estate investors know that this is a team sport. You want the greatest team members as possible around you.

Who are some of the team members you need? Brokers, property managers, lenders, accountants, and more.

Your team will be big part of the resources that you rely upon. You can leverage their time, experience, and in some cases their money (e.g., lenders or investment partners), to get you successfully invested in a property.

 

  1. Know Your Market.

Many investors fail because they buy in the wrong market or sub market.

Successful investors buy in areas where people want or need to be – areas with strong job and population growth.

They also buy where they and/or their partners team members are very knowledgable and familiar. The difference between a successful investment and a failed investment can be as little as one city block.

To not lose your panties make sure you know your market well and/or have trusted team member(s) who do.

 

  1. Buy the Right Property

Last, but not least, you can avoid losing your panties in real estate by buying the right property.

What’s the right property? It depends upon your clear DESIRES. The right property will deliver the benefits YOU desire.

If you want to buy a property that will provide you cash flow and will appreciate in value, then you should look for a property that:

(a) cash flows from day 1. In other words, from the beginning after you pay all expenses you still have income; and

(b) has value-added potential. A good property is one that is an ugly duckling – it could use some sprucing, but isn’t in such bad shape that fixing it up will take all the profits.

A great ugly duckling could have good plumbing, electrical, foundations and roof, but have outdated apartments. If you give the apartments a new paint job, new flooring, and some new appliances tenants the tenants will pay more rent. You’ll have added to the income and therefore the value of the property.

You can also find value-add potential through a property that hasn’t been managed properly.

By putting in better management you can: find ways to bring in new income streams, find ways to decrease costs, and have happier tenants.

All this adds value to your property and increases the bottom line.

 

Those are 5 ways to get into real estate investment without losing your panties. If you follow these 5 steps you will not only get to keep your panties, you’ll have enough to get yourself a whole new wardrobe … or 10. 🙂

WANT TO KNOW MORE?

To find out more information about:

-the different benefits of real estate,

-all the team members you need on your team,

-how to pick the right market for you, and

-how to choose the right property

register for our 75 minute – How to Get Started in Real Estate Investing Like a Goddess” webinar.

Also request an invitation to our private Real Estate Investor Goddess community – where we help women pleasurably build massive wealth through investing in real estate. Click here to get started.  

09 Sep 2015

How To Choose The Best Theme For My Business?

Building a beautiful website for your business begins with choosing a theme — a design that controls page layout, widget areas, and default style. Selecting Polygon for your business website can feel overwhelming, but you can make it easier by focusing on these three questions.

What Am I Publishing on My Website?
Draft a visual map of your website to help you plan your site structure and decide what you want your homepage to look like. Will your homepage contain static information about your business like a welcome message and business hours or do you want to showcase your latest blog content?

What Features Do I Need?
Are you building a restaurant website, a landing page for your hotel, a corporate blog, or something completely different? Depending on your business, you may need website features exclusive to certain themes.

What Look and Feel Do I Want for My Website?
You can filter themes by style and color if you have a specific look in mind or need to match a brand logo. While most themes can be tweaked with custom headers and background colors, Custom Design unlocks next-level customization.

Think back to the content you expect to publish on your site. Do you need a design that showcases photos? If so, choose a portfolio site or a design that makes the most of high-resolution photos. Perhaps photography plays a small role in your website design. If so, avoid themes that only look good with a lot of photos.

09 Sep 2015

Money Mindset For Real Estate Investors

The most important factor for making, having, and growing money in real estate or otherwise has nothing to do with techniques or know-how. Your money mindset has the biggest influence on your finances. In other words, how you think about money is the biggest determinant of how you create and treat the money you have.

The money lessons that you receive as a child often dictate your money mindset (for better or for ill).

The lessons I learned from my parents around money were: Money is very stressful to deal with. If you have a good job, you’ll be fine. That’s all you need to know about money Money is for spending, and so are credit cards. I never heard mention of saving or investing.

So I worked hard and went to great schools and got a very high-paying job as a law firm lawyer. I made lots of money, but because I believed that “money was so stressful to deal with” I avoided dealing with it. I left my mail unopened and typically would not pay a bill until I received notice of a late fee. Despite my nice six-figure salary, I managed to spend every penny and then some. I was living paycheck to paycheck and carried debt. My financial life was a mess.

At one point I spent $600 on a financial planner to help me get organized. He made me a binder with lots of beautiful and colorful charts showing where my money was currently going and where it would go if I started saving and investing. He did nothing to work on my mindset. This binder collected dust in my office. With my mindset as it was, I could not stick to my budget or manage to pay my bills on time.

When I got engaged to my now husband I decided that I didn’t want to bring my financial issues into our marriage. Money problems are one of the main killers of marriages and I knew my money habits were a problem.

So, I started to study and take courses in finances. I got many skills, but still could not get myself to follow through on what I now knew I “should” be doing. It was only when I got pregnant with my daughter and studied to become a money mastery coach, that I realized that I had to deal with my mindset. The work I have done has shifted things tremendously for me:

I went from being $60,000 in debt to having six figures in the bank.

I started investing – especially in real estate – and now make most of my money passively. While I sleep money comes to me.

I no longer work as an attorney (a job where I was miserable). I absolutely adore the work I now get to do investing in and rehabbing real estate and helping others to do the same.

My mindset changes and my ensuing fortunes have enabled me to spend lots more time with my family and to travel generally 8 weeks per year around the world.

It has also allowed me to contribute a lot more to charity.

I have more peace and ease around finances, and I’m much happier.

I’m not sharing this to brag (though goddesses understand the power of bragging and celebrating their good fortune and wins), I’m sharing this to show you what’s possible for you when you change your money mindset.

Now I want to share with you 5 things I learned that you can do today to create a more prosperous money mindset.

  1. Recognize and challenge your limiting beliefs about money: Take a minute and close your eyes. What phrases come to mind when you think about money. What did you learn as a child about money? Write these beliefs down in your journal. Some of the things you wrote down may have been “money is the root of all evil”, “Money doesn’t grow on trees”, “Money cannot buy happiness”, and “Time is money”. These are probably the most common. Is this how you think about money? If so, you are limiting your ability to easily receive money and to have a more positive experience with money. Know that the beliefs you wrote down are not necessarily true. Be willing to challenge and relief beliefs that do not seem to be serving you.

  2. Visualize yourself in a most abundant life: Your brain thinks in pictures; it doesn’t know the difference between imagined thoughts and what you are seeing. The same parts of your brain light up when you are imagining as when you are actually seeing/experiencing something. When it sees it, it will work to make it come true. Visualize yourself with $1 billion. What will you do with it? How would it feel? Get into the feeling place of it being done. Really put yourself in the shoes of your billionaire self. How would this person look, feel and think? What advice would your billionaire self give you? If any anxieties come up when you think about this amount of money – go back to Step 1. Those are your limiting beliefs showing up.

  3. Pay attention to your money in a pleasureable way, and make that time of interaction an honored and sacred interaction. Have a weekly money date (or more if you’re called to). Start by keeping your receipts in your wallet along with a few index cards. Once a week (or more if you are a big spender 🙂 set aside 5 minutes. Find a quiet place. Light some candles and incense. Pour a cup of your favorite tea or a decadent hot chocolate. Take some deep breaths, relax, and then list out on an index card everything you spent your money on this week. Next take your bills and pay with love, joy and gratitude. Be grateful that your creditors trust you to pay. I write as I pay or receive any money “This money is but a symbol of the inexhaustible supply of the Universe. I give thanks that 10x10x that much is now on its way to me and manifests quickly in perfect ways. Any interaction with money (receiving or spending) is an ability to grow more abundant in your mindset. Pay attention to your money in a pleasureable way, and make that time of interaction an honored and sacred space. Afford money the love and respect that it deserves, and it will love you back.

  4. Rejoice in others’ good fortune . If you think of wealthy people as THEM or you see someone have something you want and are jealous, then you are blocking money from coming to you the way you want. If you find that someone has something you want (material or otherwise), say “Hurray! This is showing up in my experience because it’s coming for me too!” This is an abundant and limitless universe, no one can take your good. Our Universe is not a pie with limited pieces. When we receive, the pie gets bigger. There is no lack of resources, just lack of resourcefulness. When someone else receives, look at the ways in which they are being resourceful to do so. You will learn from them and open yourself up to more.

  5. Recognize your prosperity/be grateful we so often focus on what we lack that we fail to take note of how much we already have. What you appreciate and focus on, appreciates. I engage in a nightly gratitude list. Focus on what you have to be grateful for monetarily (from that penny you found on the street to your job to the money in your savings account). Also, be grateful for all the things you have that money can’t buy. I for one and going to write down tonight that I’m so grateful for you and that I was able to share this information with this amazing audience of moms.