Become An Online Expert

If you’re an expert in something…and most of us are an expert in something or other…you can offer your advice online and turn it into profit. Small business owners are particularly well placed to cash in on this opportunity because they tend to know their field very well. Michele Gorham, owner of Cookie Central Bakery, is one small business owner who has turned her expertise into online profits

She has created hundreds of blog entries about how to build a business, run a bakery, and other helpful topics, and she answers customers’ direct questions through various social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter and Yelp.    Because of Gorham’s content contributions, her listings on various sites are highly trafficked and are regularly found by search engines — generating more sales for her business.

Is this a strategy you could emulate in your own field?  Give it some thought. You may have a great deal more to offer than you at first realise.

Streetwise Property Alert 5th September 2013

Some overseas property news and views for you today…

US Property Market News

‘Rising but slowing’ is a phrase that the Daily Express has had trouble with over the years. According to the paper, property prices are either rising (‘boom’) or falling (‘bust’). In the US right now, we have rising prices but the rate of growth is slowing, i.e. prices are still rising but not as fast as they have been doing.   

The Standard & Poor’s/Case Shiller index – measuring single family home prices across 20 cities-  shows that prices were up 12.1 per cent year on year to end of June; that compares to 12.2 per cent year on year to end of May.

David Blitzer, the chairman of the index committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices, summarises, ‘Overall the report shows that housing prices are rising but the pace may be slowing. With interest rates rising to almost 4.6 per cent, home buyers may be discouraged and sharp increases may be dampened.’ More to come.

Europe – Investors Are Still Ultra-Cautious

A new survey by Union Investment Real Estate suggests that European real estate investors are falling into what is called the ‘core property trap’, in essence, they are so cautious that they are missing out on better and more diverse opportunities.

‘Safety-oriented property investors in particular need to consider alternative investment strategies in the wake of the financial crisis. Avoiding risk by focusing exclusively on the best properties in the best locations can involve falling into a trap. And core properties in sought-after European markets are expensive. Very high entry prices are the high-risk flipside of an inflexible risk-avoidance strategy.’ We have a risk-reward article coming shortly.

Upmarket London Update

According to new figures from Knight Frank, prime central prices are up 7.0 per cent on this time last year and, all in all, are 60 per cent up on Q1 2009 – even so some pundits are saying that, with Greater London seeing an 8.1 per cent annual rise, prime central is slipping behind.

Is it? It depends on how you look at the market. Liam Bailey, global head of residential research at Knight Frank, offers some pointers, ‘Price rises in prime central London are primarily being driven by homes in the sub-£1 million and £1m to £2.5 million price bracket, where prices are up by 8.7 per cent and 7 per cent respectively year-to-date. Comparatively, homes in the £5 million to £10 million and £10 million-plus price brackets have increased by just 2.6 per cent and 1.6 per cent so far in 2013.”

And for rents? Prime central rents have slipped 0.2 per cent this past month. Rents have fallen 1 per cent so far this year. ‘The prime rental market in London remains closely tied to conditions in the business and financial services employment market and the ongoing weakness in the Eurozone economy have contributed to falling rents. However, confidence in London as a business centre remains high, with expansion in the technology, media and telecoms sectors in particular driving demand for corporate lettings.’ All in all, Liam summarises, ‘PCL prices are expected to increase by a further 26 per cent in sterling terms between 2013 and 2018 but at a much slower rate for international buyers

Deciding On The Right Business To Start

So you’ve decided you want to start a business but don’t know which business. Here’s a formula for coming up with some ideas which are right for you. It comes from a guy called Scott Quitter (not sure if that’s his real name!) who gave up work to start his own business and blogging site. It’s called The 10/10/10 Plan.

  1. Make a list of 10 areas of interest or things you are passionate about.
  2. Select your top item from the list and make a list of 10 ways to produce, promote, package, sell, or provide this as a business.
  3. Select your top method from the list, and then make a list of 10 action steps you can take to move forward with your plan.

It’s a pretty simple plan, but I can see how it might bear profitable fruit. Give it a try and let me know what you come up with.

Streetwise Property Alert 2nd September 2013

Here’s an amazing opportunity for you to purchase a BRAND NEW large luxury villa in Florida at an affordable price in a location second to none. Invest from just £35,000.

As Orlando is the most popular tourist destination in the US, rental demand is high. This is a purchase where you can not only reap financial rewards but also have the added security of an assured exit at 150 per cent of the price paid. It also allows you to enjoy fantastic holidays for years to come in luxury accommodation with friends and family.

These large 6 bedroom 6 bathroom villas are luxuriously appointed with private swimming pool, outdoor jacuzzi, BBQ and many other bespoke features. Situated only 15 minutes from the airport and 10 minutes from the attractions of Disneyland, the location of this development is unrivalled, set in a peaceful location surrounded by 500 acres of nature reserve which allows for many outdoor activities including mountain biking and canoeing. World class shopping malls, golf courses and a plethora of restaurants are on the doorstep.

The onsite owners clubhouse will feature many facilities including a restaurant, bar, communal pool, outdoor fitness, gymnasium, soccer pitch and mountain bike hire.

There are two payment options. First, pay the full amount and receive a 5 per cent cash back for the 12 month build period OR take the 50 per cent interest-free payment option. Ownership offers a minimum of 4 weeks personal use. By giving any number of their 4 weeks back, owners can earn a 50/50 split on the rental of the villa. Similar villas are renting out between £2,500 and £3,000 a week in the local area so the yields are predicted to be high (9.4 per cent predicted for 4 weeks rental). If 2 weeks are given back for rental in any year then maintenance fees do not need to be paid, making this a very cost effective holiday home/investment. We are offering a 50 per cent interest-free payment option, meaning that a 50 per cent deposit is paid and the balance can be paid in 12 monthly instalments over the build period.

Email for full details!