Real EstateUnderstanding technology and how it changes a person’s thinking is important, especially in succeeding with the millennial generation. That’s the opinion of Kit Yarrow, author of The New Consumer Mind, who says it’s an important concept in all businesses, including real estate. “To succeed with Millennials,” she says, “you need to understand how they use technology, how to validate their sense of individualism, and respond to their dominant emotions.”

Millennials – those born from about 1980 to 2000 – have grown up with technology and it’s a common and normal part of their lives. So, Yarrow suggests using technology in innovative ways, such as realtors scattering iPads around the house they’re showing and running short videos that showcase some aspect… Continue reading →

Year-EndWith Thanksgiving just around the corner, we’re rapidly approaching the end of the year, but there are still a number of year-end tax planning strategies your business can use to reduce your tax burden for 2015:

— Small Business Health Care Tax Credit – Small business employers with 25 or fewer full-time-equivalent employees with average annual wages of $51,600 or less in 2015, may qualify for a tax credit to help pay for employees’ health insurance. The credit is 50 percent for businesses and 35 percent for non-profit organizations.

— Business Energy Investment Tax Credit – Business energy investment tax credits are still available for eligible systems that are placed into service on or before December 31, 2016, and businesses… Continue reading →

businessWe’re rapidly approaching the end of the year, but there are still a number of end of year tax planning strategies your business can use to reduce your tax burden for 2015.

As of this writing Congress has yet to act on the fate of several business-related tax extenders such as Research & Development tax credits, bonus depreciation and Section 179 expensing that expired at the end of 2014. However, it should be noted that in 2014 Congress waited until mid-December to take action, so business owners could get a pleasant surprise just before Christmas. Either way, there are other strategies you can employ:

— Deferring Income – You can utilize the cash method of accounting and defer income into… Continue reading →

social mediaTurning social media conversations into results for your business takes time, careful planning and execution. That’s according to social media guru Melonie Dodaro, who says it’s important to pay attention to branding. In other words, “having a distinct voice.” On social media that means establishing a tone and style that is recognizable across all your platforms. “In addition,” Dodaro says, “Make sure that everything you share fits in with the persona you present. If you start posting content that feels ‘out of character’ you’ll confuse your audience and weaken their trust in you and your brand.”

Being consistent also means positioning yourself as a reliable source of valuable information and only sharing content that you genuinely think is exceptional –… Continue reading →

social mediaMost successful businesses spend at least part of their time and budget engaged in social media marketing, but perhaps you’ve been struggling to figure out what you should be doing. Or, it may be that you have been spending time on social media but aren’t satisfied with the return on investment for the time spent.

Social media guru Melonie Dodaro says turning social media conversations into results takes careful planning and execution. “It’s far too easy to invest your energies into time-consuming activities that yield negligible to no results,” she warns, “but there are several strategies you can employ to convert your social media activities into solid business benefits that boost your bottom line:”

— Your Strategy Must Match Your… Continue reading →

The concerns aboutprivacy data privacy so prevalent this past year were reignited with the July release of the Windows 10 platform from Microsoft. As part of its publication as a free download for existing users, Windows 10  automatically defaulted to sharing personal useough an option to disable the features in question was provided, some users claim Windows 10 still seemed to be sending information back to Microsoft even after the option to disable was employed.

“Personal information is collected and used for a variety of reasons, but it is usually something benign like advertising or personalizing an application, says Jason Fossen, a fellow at the SANS Institute.

Fossen’s comments, in a recent Tech Republic article on privacy and Windows… Continue reading →

DataThe recent release of Windows 10 has reignited the conversation about privacy concerns that have been a hot topic of discussion this year in the computer world.

When the latest version of Microsoft’s operating system was released in July as a free download for existing users, it automatically defaulted to sharing personal user information with the company. According to a recent article in Tech Republic, while an option to disable the features in question was provided, even if those features were disabled Windows 10 “still seemed to be sending information back to Microsoft.”

“Privacy continues to be a hot topic for consumers and it frustrates them to no end when they hear that companies use and expose private information… Continue reading →

Video Videomarketing and virtual tours are one of the hottest marketing trends today in business, offering potential customers and clients more of a personal look at a product or service. According to marketing experts judging the impact of video:

— 50-percent of all online interactivity is video based

— YouTube is the 2nd most popular search engine for media

— Google ranks video content higher since consumers like video

— Once a video is on the 1st page of Google, consumers are 41-percent more likely to click a video thumbnail rather than a picture or link

Ultimately, video is just one more tool to bring people to your website, keep them there longer and give you a better chance… Continue reading →

VideoMore and more of us now check our Smartphones or Tablets when we need to learn more about a product or service. It’s a marketing shift made easier by having the Internet on demand at our fingertips. Often times, such online research involves watching short videos that give you more information about or connect you to a product or service. As the saying goes, you can find just about anything on YouTube.

Because of this instant access to information, video marketing and virtual tours are one of the hottest trends in marketing today, especially in real estate. In fact, many experts says the trend has moved from the “novelty” category just a few years ago to “must-have” in today’s marketplace.… Continue reading →

If  you – as a cashbusiness owner or individual – give non-cash gifts to charity rather than a cash gift, there are different rules you need to pay attention to in order to remain out of trouble with the IRS. It gets even more complicated because the records you need to have depend upon the size of your donation. Refer to the IRS website (IRS.gov) for specific details.

Generally speaking, if you make any noncash contribution, you must get and keep a receipt from the charitable organization showing:

— The name of the charitable organization

— The date and location of the charitable contribution

— A reasonably detailed description of the property

— A letter or other written… Continue reading →

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