Tuesday, November 14, 2017

5 Condo Hacks To Living in Luxury

People mistaken luxury for expensive tastes. However, luxury is all about comfort and quality combined with pleasing architecture or design. An example of luxury is the expanse of Bonifacio Global City. Almost everything you need for a great urban lifestyle is within a distance of condominiums and communities.

If your condo is in the area of BGC, it's only ideal to pattern its design to the aura of the city. Here are some ways to hack your condo and enjoy the feel of the modern lifestyle.


1. Fill an empty space.

art, wall, space, home, interior design

To be more specific, fill an empty wall. Start by painting a fresh coat of white on plain walls. White walls are easier to work with in terms of design. They are friendly to various colors and prints. A clear wall is also similar to a blank canvas. It allows you to install shelves, cupboards, artwork and other kinds of wall hangings.

You can make a gallery wall in the living room by using different sizes of frames for family photos and mementos. You can hang sculptures, mirrors and other pieces of art to create a salon-like arrangement for promising hallways and bare center.


2. Make use of surfaces. 


A luxurious condo caters to refined tastes and simplicity. It makes use of the less-is-more approach and avoid clutter and over accessorizing the areas of the home. To achieve a simple look, keep the items with the highest value. These items and pieces of furniture may have sentimental value or string of positive memories attached to them.


You can place small items on coffee tables, desks, and countertops. If you don’t have a lot of items to display, you make the surface of the table the center of attention. A pastel marble coffee table, a glass top dining table or a sleek matted wooden desk are enough to serve as centerpieces.


3. Prioritize the sitting area.



After the kitchen, the busiest area in the house is the living room. The TV is usually in the living room. Other than that, people come in the foyer to socialize or relax. If you plan on spending a sum of money on decorating, you better spend it on the couch.

Most of the activities in the area will involve sitting on the sofa. Hence, it pays to make it a comfortable experience. Moreover, the couch is the most prominent piece of furniture in the room. It’s best to choose a sofa made of materials that last such as linen, wool, and velvet.


4. Identify the colors you want to include in your home.


The ultimate cheat to making a luxurious casa is in the colors of the elements of design. Tasteful and well-decorated homes are color coordinated. It follows a palette or a set of colors that run throughout the indoors of the house. 

Light colors are perfect for smaller spaces such as condos and lofts. Pastel hues and soft, muted tones allow light to enter the area. It also helps it appear larger than it is. Integrating a contrasting color or a slightly darker shade enables you to create an exciting palette you can use in the different area of your home.


5. Install additional light fixtures.


Natural light can be limited because of a tree, building or structure next door. It can also be due to wrong window placement. These factors can your home appear darker due to the lack of light. Enhancing the shadows and dark areas shrinks the appearance of your home.

Fortunately, these details can be fixed. Having proper ambient and task light fixtures provides instant design while increasing the brightness of the area. Each room can have a combination of both - several lamps and an intense hanging light. 

These hacks are simple and easy to integrate. They also won't cost you a lot. Though living in a business district like BGC can be expensive, the ways to make a luxurious condo is cheap and modest.

Monday, November 6, 2017

The Living Nightmare: Working in Sales and Retail

Halloween is over, but for some people, the horror of dealing with the unexplainable and unknown happens every day. Most people look forward to catching up on the spooky and thrilling movies on Netflix, but people dabbling in sales or retail would instead take a shot of tequila or vodka to forget the day’s horrors.

There are lots of unforgettable stories when you work with people. Some stories bring chills and raise the hairs on the back of the neck while others just have the shock factor. They make you forget to form the right words because of the extreme emotions it produces. A haunted office space for rent in Quezon City sure has more appeal than dealing with inconsiderate or rude customers daily.

Of all the industries in the world, there’s nothing crazier and more chaotic than Sales and Retail.

Customers


Some people are just insensitive and mean.

On a clothing retail store, some customers tend to try on a lot of stuff and ask about everything. Later on, they come up to say they want nothing from the pile. These customers don’t understand how difficult it was to pull out a pair of jeans under the mass of clothes. You had to twist and extend your body to reach the box of size 9 shoes only to find out they dropped the order.

On top of that, some people leave their trash in dressing rooms. All the gross stuff that shouldn’t be there all over the floor. Soiled diapers, napkins and fast food wrappers are examples of things that shouldn’t be in changing cubicles. 

Meanwhile, this happens in any store. Snoopers probe a lot of questions about the product condescendingly and tell you they are just “looking.” Then, there are “frequent shoppers.” They boss around and act like they own the place because of their loyalty to the brand or store. If they love it so much, why don’t they work there? Also, if they are loyal shoppers, they should know the company’s policy of asking for i.d. A lot of people still complain about this.

Of course, who would forget the live-fast-die-young people? These people will shop like there’s no tomorrow only to return the items by Monday. Unfortunately, some of these shoppers replace or exchange the stuff in a less-than-stellar state, which makes the job ten times harder. 

Don’t forget the teenagers. The young crowd is excellent for attracting crowds. Their high energy and unrefined tastes are great for marketing the basics - food and clothing. Sometimes, their energy gets out of hand that they are starting to bother other shoppers. Moreover, they TOUCH everything and wreak havoc in the store.

Children are cute, but once they start to open their mouth, annoying cries and loud screams come out. Toddlers who are beginning to walk or like to run around the shop are also prone to breaking stuff and cover everything with saliva.


The Crouton Lady

If you think you’re done dealing with children, there are those who act like children. Children are not into responsibilities so those the kind of shoppers who enter the store before closing time. These people don’t think that store employees and shopkeepers are human too. What’s worse, they specifically ask you for help after you’ve clocked out. The same goes when people give the exact money after you’ve entered the amount they gave you on the register.

One thing that would add to a great day is when clients and customers ask for the manager, and they won’t talk to you because you are too YOUNG to be a general manager.

Management

There are days you doubt there’s someone out there who plays tricks on you especially when you have to work on your day off. It’s only been a year since you’ve been in this job and you like you’ve gained years because of stress and exhaustion.


If you’re the middleman, you’ll eventually get tired of customers complaining about management and the quality of service they got. If they want to change something about the company or service, they should go ahead and complain to the manager. They should go ahead and do it because no one can hold their pee that long.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Careers in Real Estate: Working on Commission

Being in real estate is one of the most challenging professions concerning buying and selling. Unlike other commodities and retail items, a house is a big deal. It’s much costly and calls for a long-term engagement. Hence, sellers and buyers want the best. A house and lot in Vermosa is an example of a prime property. But if the house doesn’t match the buyers’ conditions and the seller's’ provision, then the realtor has to work twice as hard to close off a deal.

A career in real estate is challenging, dynamic and people-oriented. Realtors, agents, and brokers know this and experience the hurdles each day (or each weekend). Read on to find the very real feels and thoughts they go through when working with clients.

1. To close off a deal, they have to establish rapport with the buyers. Moreover, they have to ensure the sellers they are representing are set on selling the property. 



It doesn’t help when the owners keep changing their mind each time the economy drops a few points in three months.


2. Clients, in particular couples, will disagree on a LOT of things. 



Husbands and wives will find fault on a countertop, the front door, the ceiling, the windows… the list goes on. It’s such a relief to have them agree on a property after months of looking at showrooms and model units.

3. When they do settle on a property, it’s the one you visited a while back. It can also be the house you visited MONTHS AGO which they insisted on never getting. 



Can’t they decide on their dream home sooner?

4. When they finally settle on a home, they get super excited that it becomes your job to keep them in line and act normal in front of the listing agent. Because you know, they may reject your clients.




5. Next, comes the waiting game. 



The lending company won’t call you or the company back. Do they even know how long it took these buyers to make up their minds?

Then you have to wait for the listing agent for the disclosure. It may take weeks. Months even.

6. If you ask anyone the most fulfilling part of being in this job, it's getting the offer accepted.




IT’S THE BEST FEELING EVER
You own the world. You feel like Jack on Titanic minus the part where you die because you still have a list of stuff for worth catching up.

Finding a listing client, for example. I mean, do you know how difficult it is to convince a seller? Clients can be hard to budge. They often don't know what they're doing. More reason to seek your service so you can offer them guidance. 


7. Still, you need patience. 



You have to tell them how listing prices are determined. They don’t understand how they can be ripped off by, say, online listing companies who didn’t even see the place in person.

8. You quote, "A responsible professional like me will visit your home even on WEEKENDS. That's how much I love my job. Endless inquiries on Friday, open house on Saturday and catching up on readings on Sunday. I LIVE FOR MY JOB," end quote.


9. Even though you’ve spent all your Saturdays working your butt off, your clients still think you're upping the price for you (partly because you worked for it) but it’s more of placing the right value on the property. 



Moreover, your expertise and hard work can get them to sell the house much faster. *wink*


10. After all the hard work, the client decides to cut your commissions, so you go in for the kill. The offer you usually reject? IT'S GOING TO BE THE ONE.


Once again, you’ve closed another deal.


These are just a few of the inner working of the people in the real estate industry. There’s so much more than that. Each person has their manner and perspective on how they handle things so they may not necessarily be in this state of mind while on their job.

Monday, August 14, 2017

The Big Sell: Experts Share Pitching Advice

table, meeting, office, planning, presentation, sales, sales pitch


Another day at UP Ayala Technohub, slaving for 8 hours. You have an idea brewing in your head. You also have a plan to improve your group’s communication system and project management style. But these powerful ideas or well-kept backup plans are just in your head, and won’t matter unless you share it with the group; most importantly, to your superior. Until then, it will just be a plan or idea that won’t be making the changes you envision for the company.
The aim is to have their approval. To hear that sweet sounding yes is a melody to the ears, which makes you fly high in the sky even if it means being buried in paperwork. Before that, you have to face your boss, the management or who ever it is you have to talk with to settle the proposal. Sometimes, it only takes one chance for the person or committees to decide your faith, so it’s better to ace it on the first try.
Few experts had a say on how to successfully present a pitch to a challenging audience. To show off your ideas without a hinge, read on to find what the experts had to say to amp your presentation.

John Rood of Next Step Test Preparation


John Rood suggests to lay out how managements should judge the project’s success quickly. What are the indicators that the project will be a success? Having a specific goal will help you set measures of success or key performance indicators (KPIs) early on. Step-wise goals or buildable goals are easier to digest than having a long-term goal. It also suggests that fewer risks are involved. Thus management is more accepting of the idea.

To reduce the risk of rejection, form alliances with those in the upper levels of the company who will approve the pitch. Test out the waters, talk with them to see what clicks and what doesn’t.  It will also help you improve and expand your idea. There will be instances when they will see the details you may have overlooked. The more feedbacks you get for your pitch, the better you can prepare for the actual and formal meeting.

Phil Chen of Systems Watch


It’s not enough to just have the proposal ready; it’s also important to prove you can handle it. They want to see a work ethic that can sustain the onset of the project throughout its growth. You have to show redeeming qualities - agility, thoughtfulness, and efficiency.
Remember that you still have current task and projects. Phil Chen advises preparing an outline that illustrates the order of your priorities. It will show you still have the time and resources to lead a new project. The outline is especially useful if you haven’t proven your leadership potential.


Brian Honigman of BrianHonigman.com


Brian Honigman shares a piece of advice that isn’t often followed. Composing a polished plan shows the time a thought invested in it. It also shows you’ve reviewed potential problems along the way. It suggests you can take charge and lead the project which will help convince the management of the proposal.

Kenny Nguyen of Big Fish Presentations


As much enthusiasm you show when presenting the project, prepare to defend your idea when objections arise. Being able to justify your proposal is particularly useful when negotiating with investors. You should not be swayed with counter-arguments no matter how logical they may seem. Withstand the onslaught of questions and prepare a counter-attack. 
Thus, when answering the management or investors’ queries, pay attention to the current inquiry only. Give a simple and straightforward answer. Avoid getting thrown off your train of thought by overthinking the panel’s questions.

Jyot Singh of RTS Labs


The benefits of the pitch should be clear - how will it add value to the company. Jyot Singh says the presentation should be directed to those benefits and the ways how it will be utilized by the audience of your presentation.
A presentation that states the advantages of the projects creates a positive mindset over the project proposal. With that, keep your winning statement simple.

Adam Stillman of SparkReel


Of course, create visual aids. Adam Stillman knows the importance of visual aids. Visuals are powerful; they help make the plan seem real and relatable. Visual aids also hold power regarding communication as the information comes much faster and lingers in the form of memory. 
When creating visuals, concentrate on the essentials. If it allows you to explain the project, return on investment and growth strategy for five minutes, then you’re good to go.

These experts know what they’re talking about, and you should too. When proposing an idea to top level management, remember to account for risks. The less risk involves, the higher the chance to get their approval. A clear-cut and carefully constructed plan will cover the basics. No matter how polished the proposal is, there will be details which aren’t acceptable to the audience. Hence, prepare to defend your ideas during the presentation. It means you can handle it the pressure and sustain the project.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Let's do the Sales Talk

Selling products and services are not as easy as what others think (or you thought it would be). Not all people will be easily convinced on why they should buy from you a house and lot in Quezon City, or purchase an item of furniture for their newly acquired apartment unit. Taking into account that the field of sales is challenging yet exciting, we know that all of us have certain areas for improvement. Salespeople would often argue that the person will buy if he or she is really interested. Well, it does have a point but what if that lead can be converted into sales with just a matter of proper and effective persuasion? This is where salespeople will come into the picture and use their “magic and tricks” on selling and marketing.


If you’re willing to take the challenge, continue reading and let’s do the sales talk:

Make them need and want what you’re selling. This is easier said than done but through some practice and proper customer engagement, you’d eventually make them want to buy. Just remember that not all people are easily persuaded or convinced, and there are times where you need to have the patience of a saint. Some things you need to remember at this point are:
  • Build rapport - before you go on with convincing, get to know your leads and customers first. Be aware of their background, why are they inquiring or interested and use that knowledge as a stepping stone to talk to them effectively.
  • Paint them a picture - visualize with them what would and not going to happen if they will purchase your item. Let them know what your product and service can do for them.
  • Highlight your brand’s advantages - if you know your market and competition, you should be able to pitch in that your brand is the best and they will save a lot. You know, people love “saving some money from buying.”

Be open and honest. Some of your clients might be opening up to you on why they are interested and why they are inquiring about this product or service. In return, you should also be open and honest about your deals and offers. Other salespeople tend to blanket some details and just tell the leads and customers the good things. Technically, they are not lying but try to put yourself in the customers’ shoes - does it feel good? We know that the answer is no. Besides, if you’d end up covering some truths and they found out that this is not what they are looking for, this problem will go back to you, and it will be a burden for you to take. Just be careful on which details are open for disclosure and not as some information are confidential.


Positive framing. You may know all the answers, but you should also know how to deliver it to your leads and customers. Similar to the previous point, you need to be open about the things your clients need to know. But to help you frame and deliver things well, here are some reminders: 
  • Never say “I don’t know” - remember that you are selling them and you need to convince them. How would you be able to do that if you don’t know the particulars and information of your products, services or company? Instead of saying “I don’t know,” you can tell them “I will get back to you on that” or “I will communicate with my colleagues/ manager/ supervisor as soon as possible to clarify some points regarding that.” But know that your leads and customers will also be fed up with your excuse, so you got to know what they need as quickly as possible  

  • Get that “can do” attitude - you can’t do their request? Tell them what you can offer on the other hand and say that you can do it as efficiently as what they wanted.
  • Drop the “unfortunately” - this is about positive framing, so you don’t need many negative words in your sales vocabulary. If your clients are looking for something you don’t have yet, a good alternative of “Unfortunately, we don’t have that” is “As of the moment, our company is taking that into consideration (or developing that option) and on the other hand, we have the following products and services that would fulfill your needs”.



Sunday, May 21, 2017

For Fresh Grads: Surviving the Outside World

Congratulations, fresh grad!

Hooray for the celebrations and treats after graduating in college - party in Tomas Morato, shopping in your favorite Ayala Mall, and going out of town with your closest friends. I understand you are still ecstatic with all the happenings and events, but you know that after a few weeks or months, you’ve got to wake up and go out of the bubble.

If you are someone who doesn’t need to go to work yet for some reasons like your family can sustain your living expenses, not being pressured to earn a living, then you can rest for now and chill as much as you want. But for those who need to start working ASAP and seem to be lost, nervous and scared, this is for you:

  • Calm down. Before you start retaliating and blabbering that adulting is so hard, try to calm down and observe things. You will learn so much about life outside the academe and realize how much (or less) you can do in this world. This time, your tasks and responsibilities are not for your classes, professors, and school, but for your family and yourself.


  • Enjoy the process. Job applications, interviews, endless waiting for the callback, getting employed for the first time, meeting your first-ever workmates, having some thoughts on resigning after a few weeks - enjoy all of it even if there are times you are about to break down. You’d get to know yourself better especially on how you handle pressure and changes. With all the things that are happening and going to happen, I must say you should fasten your seats and enjoy the ride.

  • Think of your future. Ever since a kid, you’ve been asked a lot of times what do you want to become when you grow up. In high school, others want to know (including yourself) what course you are going to take. For sure in college nearing graduation, you answered the question “So what’s your plan after?” couple of hundred of times. You came to the point where you just want to answer “I don’t know” because you are so tired and annoyed. But surprise! In job applications, you will be answering “How do you see yourself in the next five to ten years?” and other similar questions. But actually, you need to think about your plans and start acting on it sooner or later. It’s okay to be lost from time to time as self-discovery is a process. So don’t pressure yourself, okay?

  • Start (or continue) saving money. Just a practical reminder to each of us to save money. It’s not every day that you can rely to your parents or guardians for extra cash. Moreover, if you have plans like taking post grad and quite expensive vacations, you need to have your own money. If you think you are already financially ready and mentally prepared, you might also consider getting insurance and investment for your retirement or future use. Is it too much? Not really. You just don’t want to burden your future self or future kids on how you will be able to survive when you’re too old and weak to work.

  • Believe in yourself. This new ride for you might be a crazy and draggy one. But don’t forget to keep the faith and your hopes up. Just like how you made it in college, you’d also be fine, even if stressed, in the “outside world”. Remember that the most important person to trust you is you, yourself. There are times where you doubt your skills and abilities, but keep on working to be the best version of yourself and never stop trying, and soon the world will witness your greatness.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Are Condos Costly Or Not At All?

Some people are scared of buying a BGC condo for sale because they often think that buying and living in a condominium is a seriously expensive lifestyle. Is it, or is it all in our heads? The article will shed light on the most common misconceptions about the money involved in buying and maintain a condo. Notably, be reminded that a condo is not the building per se, but the type of ownership. When you buy a condo, you are actually paying for the unit in low-, mid- or high-rise building and the interest in common elements within the building.


Condominium presents itself as an easier way to access the housing market although, sometimes, it depends on the type of condo (luxury condos, for instance). First, DMCI condo ownership is not equal or close to home ownership. In the latter, you are free to change the interiors and its immediate exteriors. In the former, you need to consult the association or board first before making any physical changes.

Since the condo is a communal ownership, you need to pay a monthly association fee for the maintenance of common areas. The fee that unit owners or renters pay is collectively used in maintaining the building. Some of us think of the fees as an additional expense, but it is not. It is a monthly contribution for the building’s upkeep as well as the utilities and some amenities like cable and Wi-Fi. Imagine how much you have to pay if you have to pay for each monthly.

Be wary of condos that require high condo fees because these are indicative of poor financial management on the part of the association. Nonetheless, reasonable is a very subjective term; what’s reasonable for me may be absurd for you. Better ask the condo manager or association a breakdown of the fees, so you’d know what you are actually paying for.

Further, the monthly condo fee that you need to pay change yearly. This is because the board calculates the cost depending on the coming year’s projected cost. If there will be major repairs for the next year, expect higher monthly fees. Nevertheless, the additional amount must be justifiable and appropriate for what the condo building needs.

As a condo owner, you cannot and you should not escape the higher fees because of their impact in the future. If ever you decide to sell your unit, it would be difficult if the common areas are not well-maintained or if the floors and roofs are damaged all because the association has no funds to maintain these areas. This is because of unit owners who aren’t paying their monthly fees. The buyer will ask for a hefty discount which is often higher compared to the cost of the monthly fee and the cost of maintaining such areas. 

Some owners assume that condo fees cover everything. They don't. The entire building has to be maintained as well. So, condo associations schedule a regular assessment of the building to ensure and preserve its structural integrity. If in case, after the assessment, a major repair is required, the condo owners have to contribute for the repair. That is, if the association has no reserve fund for such.

Assessments are not an additional expense as well. These are conducted to ensure that the dwellers are safe and secure. You buy a condo because of convenience, security and amenities. If any of these is threatened, then the value of the building including your unit will decline. That’s how important assessments are.

Evidently, the misconceptions stem from unguided, misinformed expectations specifically about the responsibilities of the condo owners. Not to mention, several poorly managed condo associations eventually lead to more money issues. So, before jumping into buying a condo, make sure that you are 100% financially ready!