Welcome To The Place Web Site

PLACE (Projects Linking Art, Community & Environment) is a national nonprofit organized as a 501(c)3, publicly-supported charity. PLACE’s  mission is to empower communities to participate in a development process that leads to the creation of inspiring new places.

The PLACE organization works with city governments and community leaders to create sustainable, mixed-use, mixed-income neighborhoods for artists and creative businesses. PLACE’s team is actively engaged in the development of state-of-the-art, green communities across the country.

Headquartered in Minneapolis, PLACE also has local offices in Ventura, California. A national board of directors who are recognized leaders in their fields governs the organization.

5 tips for a successful landscaping business

When starting a landscaping business, your level of success is dependent upon many variables. Whether you are looking to start a lawn-care company or expand your current business, there are definitely tips that can help you achieve success.

Choose The Right Business Management Software

Choosing the right business management software is crucial to the success and growth of your landscaping business.  When you are looking, you want something that is feature rich and won’t break the bank. I have heard great things about ScaperSoft.  It has all the key internal and project management functions your business needs to organize your business and increase profitability.  We also really love that it is actually developed by lawn care professionals.

Research your market and define your business

In order to keep any business going, you need customers to convert into long term clients.  Whether you are trying to move to a full time lawn care business or just expand your company, you need to clearly identify who your customer is.  Some businesses scope out their competition to come up with pricing or any other relevant info.  Another idea is to reach out to professional trade organizations to help you out in forecasting revenue based on your area’s demographic information.

Match equipment to your services and customers

Buying the right equipment to fit your customer’s needs is key to your overall growth and success. You have determined what services are needed in your area and what you need your revenue goals to be.  Now you need to match up those goals to the right equipment, personnel etc. This is a crucial part of your business plan.  Having the wrong equipment can be a business killer.  Having the right equipment can cost a bit more but it will help your business become more profitable and efficient.

Employ good workers and hold onto them

The green industry is always growing and with that it becomes more and more difficult to find and keep good workers.  Getting referral from current employees is one of the best way to get new workers.  They tend to have the a low turnover rate when it comes to new hires.  If an employee does bring in a good new hire, reward them in some fashion.

Once you have a team in place, make sure to share the goals and philosophy you have for your business.  Encourage your team to share any things that they think you could be doing better.  This will help them feel important to the company and works towards the company’s mission.

Your advertising must target the right customers

If you plan on advertising, make certain you are using the best method to reach your target customers.  If you are doing well in one area of town, you may want to expand your advertising their by putting leaflets or hangers on doors. If you have a larger team that is more spread out, radio advertising may make sense for you.  Test the waters and see what works best.  It’s also a good idea to ask current customers what type of media they use most.

 

 

 

 

5 key marketing tips to boost real estate sales

When it comes to marketing real estate, it is essential to be professional and consistent with every listing you are given. By doing so, you will no doubt garner new listings and properly promote and sell those you already have. Whether you are marketing a $300k home or a $3million dollar home, every property should get the same professional attention.

Read on for the top five key marketing strategies that will help you attract more buyers and increase real estate revenue.

1. Use real estate email flyers 

Real estate email flyers are growing with popularity, and with good reason.  They allow you to immediately announce new listings, price reductions and open houses to a targeted group of recipients.  This immediacy ensures that the information does not go stale as in the time it would take to print up and share a flyer.

2. Make sure you are asking for testimonials

A happy client is always willing to lend a helping hand I find. Be sure to encourage your satisfied clients to go online to sites like Yelp and Google+ and write a testimonial about their experience.  You should also include a page on your website that has links to your profiles on review sites.  Aside from asking, you can also send out an email with a link to where you want them to leave a review and include your profile links in all of your messaging.  The idea is to make it as simple as possible, and they will be more likely to leave a review.

3. Professional photography is imperative.

Professional photography is a must for every listing, regardless of the price.  The quality of the photography can either attract people or turn them away.  There are a ton of places to get use out of these photos.  You can use them everywhere from your personal website to social media, brochures, flyers, blogs and more.  We all know by now how competitive real estate can be, for that reason, top notch advertising is essential to your brand and marketing strategy.

4. Stage in the virtual age

There are so many new ways to make your listing stand out.  The hottest one at the moment that agents are using is virtual staging.  It’s an awesome tool that allows you to digitally stage a home.  You can choose everything from furniture and décor, even a new wall color.  This really makes a great first impression and from what I have read, these homes stay on the market for a lot less time.

5. Boost Your Facebook Posts

Ever since we have seen the reduction in the organic reach you can achieve with your Facebook posts, we have all been a little saddened.  The upside of this is that even though you have to pay to play now, you do not have to spend much to get guaranteed exposure. Take some time to go through your posts each month and see which ones you want to make certain your followers are seeing.  As an example, if you write a newsletter or keep a blog, you might want to boost one of these posts.  All you do is click the boost post button and decide the parameters.  Boom, you’ve just exponentially expanded your reach..for little money.

In conclusion, marketing your properties in both new and innovative ways is key to getting that sale.  It is definitely something you do not want to skimp on, even if you feel the property sells itself.  The agent that really goes the extra mile by using all the key marketing tools available, will certainly reap the benefits.

 

 

Great Ways To Find Investment Properties in Today’s Market

Today’s market is hot and there are many opportunities out there for acquiring investment properties.  The key is to start looking where everyone else is not.  There are definitely a few resources out there that I bet you are not currently utilizing.  Below I outline some of these fresh ideas.

1. Start using your gift of gab. Let people around you know that you are in the market for an investment property and you will be surprised how the properties make their way to you. Plenty of owners want to sell, but haven’t yet listed their property.  Get to them before the broker. Everyone within your circle, both personal or business, should know what business you’re in. Tell them to think of you first when they find a motivated seller.

2. Take advantage of the Internet. There are tons of websites that post properties for sale or rent by owner.  Craigslist is very popular but also look for some of the less popular websites for finding deals.

3. Take to the road and search for “For Sale by Owner” signs. Many times, owners will put out a sign before listing to test the market. Call the number on every sign you see and find out the name of the owner and send mailers out to them.  When it comes time to execute, check out FllyerUs.com.  You can create and email flyers to both agents and real estate professionals in your area.

4. Look for abandoned properties. Clearly the owner is not interested in dealing with the property so they might sell cheap.  Once again, locate the owner’s name on the county tax website and send out a mailer.

5. Check into Tax Lien Auctions. If a homeowner fails to pay their tax bill, a lien may be placed on the property.  By taking ownership of the tax lien you are able to collect interest from the government and maybe take over ownership of the property.  There are specific rules and regulations based on the specific town and state it is located in, so you will want to do your homework beforehand.

7. Offer someone a finder’s fee. There are always people you know that seem to hear about the good deals. Offer a pay per lead arrangement and see what happens.

8. Check out eviction notices.  Take a field trip to your town hall to get info on local eviction notices.  It will not only have the name of both parties but also the property address.  A landlord who just went through the process of evicting tenants is more than likely motivated to sell.

9. Chat With Local Builders  Local builders can prove to be excellent resources for unfinished properties where the owner or investor did not have the financial resources to complete the job. These provide great opportunities for investors to complete the job and turn a profit.

 

Love Fashion, Art, Cooking? Start a Lifestyle Blog

If you are looking for a creative outlet, lifestyle blogging can be a very rewarding and fun way to express yourself.  Starting a blog can be a cool new hobby or if you have a business, a great way to market your brand online.  It is super easy to get started and not too costly.  Even without too much computer knowledge, you can certain get one going.  This article will give you some basic guidance on how to start your own blog quickly and with ease.

First Steps To Getting Your Blog Up and Running

Come up with a Theme and Name For Your Blog

Creating a “lifestyle” blog does not mean you are recording every move you make.  Most of the time, lifestyle bloggers will focus on a particular theme or topic for their posts.  Doing this helps followers understand the flow of your blog.  It will also give you a hand in creating content that remains focused.

When it comes to thinking about ideas for content, make sure you keep it to things you find interesting and exciting. Some fun topics could be beauty, fashion, family life, or cooking.  Now you do not have to create a theme for your blog, but it will certainly help drive traffic to your site.

So now comes the fun part!  Coming up with the name.  This is a tough one for people.  A few things to keep in mind are that your blog name should be simple for people to both remember and spell.  It should also have some sort of tie in to either you or the topics you are covering.  Once you’ve got a great idea for a name, be sure that you Google it. Do a check to ensure there aren’t any existing blogs or businesses with the same name.

Now you need to give that domain name a check! This is the last major thing to do before being done with this step. You can quickly head over to any domain registrar and check if it’s available. If it is not, try coming up with different combinations, shortening the name, or there is always the option of using alternate domains like .co.

Choose a blogging platform and Register Your Domain Name

There are of bunch of blogging platforms to choose from.  Blogger is free and pretty simple to use.  Wordpress is probably the most recognizable one and it provides you with access to a ton of features and plugins.  There is a free online version, or the .org version that you host yourself.

It can be confusing but the main thing you need to know is that the free version is limited in what it can do for you and it also does not let you advertise or utilize custom themes.  I personally like WordPress because your blog is secure on your own server.

Now back to your domain name.

Of course, like with any other business service, there are lots of sites where you can purchase your domain. One thing to keep in mind is you will need hosting as well. The nice thing is that when you register you also purchase your hosting.  They go together.

A few good domain registrars that are known to be reputable are HostGator, GoDaddy and Namecheap. I can also say that I have know these to have good customer support as well.

Social Media Management Tools

So I definitely want to stress the importance of incorporating social media into the marketing of your blog.  It is a necessity if you want to have a successful blog.  Sites like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter are key to getting your blog in front of a big audience.

Once you get started posting regularly, you definitely want to incorporate scheduling out your posts. Scheduling your social media posts guarantees that you never miss an important deadline or post because of loss of internet access or any other unforeseen event.  Doing this will save you a boatload of time and will allow you to focus on your writing and further branding of your blog.

In closing,  blogging can be a very rewarding creative outlet and if done right, can be monetized as well. In turn, you do need to dedicate time into constantly learning more and keeping up with changes on the internet and social media. Doing so will help you maintain it, grow it and certainly turn it into something that’s more than a once-in-awhile hobby.  I hope these tips have been helpful and I wish you much blogging success!

Get To Know The Toyota 2rz Engine.

toyota engineThe Toyota family has always been conscious about engine performance. They have always striven to make powerful engines that also are economical in terms of fuel consumption. We all know the engine determines the performance of a car, a good engine will lead to a good performance car and on the flip side a poor engine will lead to a poor performance car. All the same, it all begins with the type of engine running your car, that will decide if your car is capable of running great distances and on a tough terrain or it is just a city car that can take you to work and back. To give its customers a good performance car engine, Toyota came up with the 2rz engine.

The Toyota RZ engine family as well as the Trailgear parts are built in Japan and is a group of engines series that have a straight-4 piston. This family of RZ engine series is made up of a cast iron engine block combined with aluminum SOHC or DOHC cylinder heads to give it the needed physique. The engine series utilizes EFI fuel injection in combination with 2 or 4 valves per cylinder and forged steel connecting rods to give it a powerful working ability. This engine family is made through high-tech engineering where computers are used to ensure efficiency in design. One of the best engines in this family is the Toyota 2rz engine.

The Toyota 2rz engine is a 2.4 L (2,438 cc) version with a bore of 95 mm and a stroke of 86 mm. This engine has a wide range of combination of heads and fuel delivery systems available in the market for consumer preference. The SOHC engine option is made up of two valves per cylinder. The valve adjustment technology used is by shim over bucket giving the engine an average output of around 120 PS (88 kW) at 5,200 rpm. The first engine design originally had a carburetor induction system which was then upgraded to Electronic Fuel Injection that led to an E suffix added to the engine designation to match up with the new improvements. Toyota recommended the use of specified unleaded fuel with a rating of at least 91 RON to fuel this engine.

The engine was widely used to power many motor vehicle designs from like the 1989–2004 Toyota Hiace. A new engine model for the Toyota 2rz engine that combined the RZH1xx engine series together with the 2RZ-E engine variant was built in 1998 to power this model of cars. This new engine was more powerful and also more economical on fuel consumption. It gave the new Toyota Hiace a whole new touch from its predecessors.

Another model of the Toyota 2rz engine is the 2.4 L and 2,438 cc version, 2RZ-FE and 4RB1 or 4RB2 ( Chinese model). This engine has a bore of 95 mm and a stroke of 86 mm with a compression ratio of 9.5 to 1 and a total output of 142 hp (106 kW) at 5000 rmp.

The engine also has 160 lb•ft (217 N•m) of torque at 4000 rmp. This engine is engineered to get rid of balance shafts and combines four valves per cylinder. It is a DOHC engine that features valve adjustment technology by shim over bucket. Due to the great power and stability wielded by this engine, it was used to make the 1995–2004 Toyota Tacoma 4×2 and the 1998–2004 Toyota Hilux.

Is It Time To Subscribe To An Identity Protection Service?

identity stolenIdentity theft is one of the many malpractices that businesses may find themselves exposed to without actually getting to know how this kind of situation has been created. This kind of instance do happens when a business’ personal information like login details have been stolen and then subjected to misuse. The people having this information will in most instances try as much as they can so as to exploit any opportunity they can get as long as the business in which the personal data has been stolen is not aware of this kind of breach. For instance, if a person’s social security number has been stolen, such information can be used to commit frauds like tax fraud and many other ill-intended actions such as defamations.

Identity theft can be attributed to many causes however in most cases personal negligence can be regarded as one of the major leading factors. For this reason, it is always highly encouraged that we should be careful with where we keep our personal information and also as to whom we should confidently share our personal data with. Unethical computer practices like hacking can also lead to massive identity theft cases as the hackers will always use their advantage over the targeted network and make away with or modify some of the personal information which may prove to be of high value.

If a business becomes a victim to identity theft then it that case many things will be put at stake. For example, data on tax returns and any other possible payment can be modified at the mercy of those in possession with this kind of information such that in the end a business ends up on the losing side. If all the necessary data checks have been done and it is found that some identity theft has taken place, the first step that must always be taken is to ensure that the affected account is safeguarded from further data breaches. This can be done by contacting the management team of the network which the business or an individual may have stored the given personal information.

The digital environment should at all times be safe for any kind of data storage and sharing and any threat to this kind of freedom must be dealt with accordingly. If you happen to be a victim of identity theft, then you should heavily consider signing up for one of those ID protection services. Keeping silence is what encourages many criminals out there to continue with this kind of damaging practice. Remember, under the United States federal and state laws identity theft is a criminal theft that can be executed by a court of law. By contacting a lawyer an identity theft will be better placed in receiving any kind of compensation awarded following a successful petition.

Do People Really Need Pet Insurance?

vet visitThe main reason why pet owners buy pet insurance is to be able to hire a vet if their pets get injured or sick. Most of them consider their pets as part of their family, and they would do anything to find the money needed for their pet’s medical bill. For this reason, they end up considering pet insurance as the solution.

Why might pet insurance be necessary?

Vet’s bills are increasing with time, and new expensive treatment methods are becoming available, which make the medical bill the primary reason people consider buying the insurance. The current amount of pet insurance claim is approximately £650, but the cost can run into thousands for pets with on-going conditions.

Other pet owners consider this insurance to cover the expenses of replacing a particular high-value pet like a pedigree show dog, in case it dies or stolen.

Recommended Reading: The Cost of Pet Insurance

Risk factors

Pet owners need to consider the venerability of their pet breed to disease before making a decision on whether they will buy pet insurance or not. Labradors, for an example, can cost the owner thousands of pounds as it often suffers from torn cranial cruciate ligaments that need surgical treatments. Another example is the high likelihood of some pure breed dogs to have digestive issues, or bladder issues, or fragile bones.

So, the owner should do some research to find out the common problem that their pets might have, which will not only help them to prevent those disease from ever happening but also let them estimate the types of costs they may incur throughout their animal’s lifetime. Furthermore, they may ask their vet whether the pet could be susceptible to any recurring or chronic conditions.

The need for personal liability cover

Some animals especially dogs can potentially injure people or other animals, or cause damage. As a result, the pet owner could likely pay for thousands of pounds to the other party if the other party decides to sue him or her.

Pet insurance could cover such a situation if the owner obtained a pet insurance that either just includes the third party situation or a comprehensive insurance policy that cover this situation. It is worthy for the pet owner to check whether his or her home contents insurance covers him or her for third-party if his or her dog harms an animal or a person.

Self-insurance

This is an alternative to pet insurance where pet owners decide to keep saving a certain amount of money to pay for potential medical bills for their pets. They need to decide critically on the amount they can realistically put aside as well as being disciplined to achieve this goal. Self-insurance is more efficient when a pet owner has several pets, rather than buying a policy for each of them.

However, the owner may have to pay the vet before he/she accumulate enough money to cover his/her pets. Besides, it may be very difficult to find an affordable insurance if one of his/her pet develops a chronic condition that needs thousands of pound for treatments.

Should the pet owners get pet insurance?

Before pet owners go for this insurance, they should answer the following questions:

  • Can one cover the average pet’s medical bills from this or her additional income without straining other essentials? If so, a decision not insurer one’s pet can potentially save him/her money.
  • Would one struggle to find the money if his or her pet need a surgery or is severely injured? If so, one should probably consider getting this insurance.

Resources:

Can Pheromones Really Increase Attraction?

Pheromone sprays have been around for a while, but are just starting to pick up more popularity. If you don’t know what pheromones are, they are basically chemicals that the body puts off through our various bodily fluids, which are said to attract the opposite sex. Pheromones are one of the most basic and fundamental parts of attraction, which we do not seem to pick up on mentally, but our bodies and are sense, are attracted to these pheromones subconsciously.

Scientists have found out that when spraying these pheromones on our bodies, we are more apt to attract a member of the opposite sex, who is said to pick up on these chemicals. When you stop to think about the concept, it truly does make sense and it has proven to be successful in a bunch of different test studies.

This has led to the creation of a handful of pheromone based products such as Nexus Pheromones, which you can spray on your body in an attempt to gain an advantage in the attraction department. It has been said that the opposite sex is a lot more attracted to an individual that is wearing this type of spray, although there have been some controversies over whether the attraction is really something that is occurring due to the pheromone spray, or if it is the increased confidence that is being put off, due to the mental advantage of knowing that the subject has used pheromone spray.

There is definitely a mental aspect that may play a role, as a lot of people may feel a placebo effect, which in turn affects their overall confidence level, ultimately raising it and giving them an inherent advantage. While the reality is that both of these things probably play into the equation, there is no question that results have pointed that pheromone sprays do in fact do what they say they do. That is, they have been proven to provide individuals an advantage in attracting members of the opposite sex, over those that did not use the pheromone spray.

If you want to get your hands on one of these products, doing a simple internet search should turn up some various sprays that are on the market today. It is a great idea to do some research and find a reputable company, so you know you are getting a product that other consumers have rated highly.

How To Increase Natural Pheromones In Body

pheromonesPheromones are chemicals that are produced naturally by humans which create a scent that attracts the opposite sex. When someone refers to a chemical attraction between two people, they are actually referring to pheromones. Since pheromones attract members of the opposite sex, increasing them may lead to more attention from the opposite sex. These tips can help both males and females to increase natural pheromones.

Raise Testosterone Levels

Although testosterone is thought of as a male hormone, some levels of the hormone are present in both males and females. Exercising to increase the hormone can lead to increased pheromone production in both males and females. You can try exercises like weight lifting and other exercises that work the body’s large muscle groups to stimulate testosterone and thus pheromone production. Many females fear that strength training exercises will cause them to look too bulk, but females do not have to worry about gaining too much muscle mass. Testosterone production in females is naturally more limited than a male’s, so they will not look overly bulky.

Consume Zinc

Consuming zinc can also raise testosterone and pheromone levels. Foods that are high in zinc include red meat, lean pork, chicken, peanuts, eggs, yogurt, milk and cheese. These foods are also low in fat and high in protein. Small amounts of zinc supplements can also be used to boost pheromone levels.  The best pheromones for men usually contain Zinc in their products.

Take DHEA

Dehydroepiandrosterone, or DHEA, is produced naturally in the body, and helps both females and males stimulate sexual hormones. Taking 10 milligrams of synthetic DHEA per day can increase the production of pheromones for both males and females.

Take a Hot Bath

Washing with some soaps can actually remove most of the body’s natural pheromones. Try bathing in hot water with no soap and using sandalwood essential oils to naturally kill bacteria that causes body odor. This will help you stay clean and odor free without removing your body’s natural pheromones.

Sleep Well

Make sure to get a good night’s sleep. Maintaining a good sleep routine and getting the proper amount of sleep each night ensures that your body produces optimal levels of hormones and pheromones. Losing sleep can also cause your libido to decrease.

Following these simple guidelines can help your body produce more natural pheromones, and maintain the level of pheromones your body is already producing. Increasing your body’s natural pheromones can help you attract members of the opposite sex.

Gold Backed IRAs – The Benefits and Risks

goldWe’re always told to save money for our retirement years, and an excellent way to do that is to place your money in an IRA, which allows you to invest your money into a portfolio of stocks and bonds. But if you prefer to invest in metals, there is an IRA for you.

What is a gold-backed IRA?

Gold-backed IRAs are one form of precious metals IRAs, which allow you to fund your IRA with certain precious metals that have been approved by the government. Gold is the most well-known of these metals, though silver and platinum can also be used. In order to have a gold-backed IRA, you must actually hold physical gold in the form of either 24-karat bars of bullion that can weigh up to 400 ounces, or pure gold coins. In recent years it has become legal to use coins from other countries as well as those made domestically.

What are the advantages to a gold-backed IRA?

Gold is one of the best hedges that you can make against a falling stock market or a falling dollar. If the stock market goes down, the value of a standard IRA will also fall, while high inflation can mean your IRA is worth less. With gold, your IRA’s value would increase in these conditions, since people who see it as a safer investment will always want it over more volatile stocks. They’re also simpler than other IRAs in many ways, since they’re self-directed and don’t require as much monitoring as an IRA based on stocks and mutual funds.

What are the disadvantages?

To own gold you need to hire an investment firm to properly store it, and these firms can charge annual fees as high as $200. Another potential problem is that if the economy booms during the time you hold the IRA, the value of gold will drop, sometimes dramatically. This makes the growth potential for gold-backed IRAs much lower, and much more uncertain, than an IRA backed with stocks. In addition, gold IRA rollovers don’t allow the advantages of diversified holdings that other IRAs offer, and as we all know, it’s risky to put all of your eggs in one basket, especially if you have golden eggs. One of the biggest advantages is also a disadvantage. Since they’re self-directed, you have no experts with you that know what to do in bad times, and this can be problematic.

So in conclusion…

These IRAs, like any investment, have plenty of risks and just as many opportunities. You should weight this as a potential option when you consider how you’ll save money for your retirement. You can also just place some gold in your IRA, and use CDs, stocks, and bonds for the rest. This way you’ll have excellent chances of seeing plenty of money, no matter what storms the economy may face.