How to Easily Shop For Shoes

It has been said that shopping is a woman’s best exercise. This may be true in a certain degree as it has been noted that women in general really enjoy roaming around the mall just to find the perfect item they want to buy. But as much as women love to shop, it is still best that the time for shopping is lessened as much as possible. Doing this will give you more time to do other things of importance.

Shoes, for example, are products that give women a hard shopping time, making them lurk around the mall for longer hours. So when it comes to shopping for them, how can you use your time in order to get the perfect fit?

First and foremost, know what kind of shoes you are looking for. Are you looking for running shoes for working out? Or perhaps you are looking for shoes that you will wear at the office? Or maybe you want to buy a pair of fashionable boots that you can wear for a party? Make sure that this is clear before you go wandering around the mall in order to prevent you from being sidetracked into buying other shoes that you don’t need. Also, know your allotted budget for you to essentially narrow down your choices of shoes.

When shopping for shoes, it is better that you go to a specialty store than going to a department store. This is because the people at the specialty store are much, much more knowledgeable about the products and that is one thing that you should really have, someone you can trust to give you good advice. Doing this will help you to find what you are really looking for–functional, nice, and durable pair of shoes.

Make it also a habit to shop later in the day. Our feet have the characteristic to be swollen after being used for sufficient hours in a day. Shopping while in this condition would assure you that the shoes that you will purchase will still suit perfectly to the shape of your feet even after your feet have already expanded. This is a good move to prevent the intense pain that you could experience when you’ve used the shoes for longer hours.

Also, bear in mind the age of the one who will wear the shoes as those in the younger ages are most likely still in the growing process. It is wise that you put some allowances to give an appropriate space for the feet’s growth. Doing this will also save your money and time as you will not need to buy new pairs of shoes constantly.

Take time to examine the shoes before trying them on. This will save you time and effort as you will only allot your time trying the ones that potentially suit you. When trying them, make sure that you walk around the shop to make sure that they indeed are perfect for your feet.

The Advantages To Becoming A Travel Nurse

To all the nurses out there who love nursing and traveling: did you know that you can combine both of your loves in a career as a traveling nurse? The field of travel nursing has several benefits over other areas of nursing. Let’s look at some of the outstanding benefits you’ll enjoy in a career as a traveling nurse.

One of these benefits includes travel around the country working at jobs that can last anywhere from just a few weeks to as long as a year. Although many would not necessarily consider it a benefit because it is a part of the job, to many others it is a major benefit. A job as a traveling nurse allows you to work in many new areas. Often times these are areas that you might not normally consider for a vacation, but they are often in some of the most beautiful parts of the country. You can see many places across the United States as you work and you’ll have plenty of time to take in all the sites.

Most travel nurse agencies offer a wide variety of benefits to nurses. Traveling nurses are some of the best-paid nurses in the country. Usually, the pay ranges from $21 to $48 an hour. This will vary based on your level of experience in your field as well as the location of the assignment. Some areas of the country will pay much better than others. Some agencies offer a number of bonuses, including sign on and completion bonuses. Some even offer bonuses when you renew your contract for at least 13 weeks. Loyalty bonuses sometimes offered include monetary rewards, upgrades in housing and paid vacations. Most agencies will also provide referral bonuses for any nurse completing a full assignment that you have referred.

Another major benefit often included when you sign on to travel with an agency is wonderful health benefits. Most agencies furnish fully paid medical insurance for you with the option to add your family at a reasonable expense. Also, often included with your benefits package, are vision and dental insurance, life insurance, long- and short-term disability and accident coverage. Exact benefits will vary from agency to agency, so it is important to investigate what is offered by each company that you speak with.

Many companies will furnish retirement plans, such as a 401K plan usually available after just one month of service. Roadside assistance packages, such as AAA, are frequently provided. Continuing education is often provided at no cost to you and some agencies will reimburse continuing education.

Travel nursing is not the perfect opportunity for everyone, so you must consider the pros and cons carefully. It is also important to investigate any agency that you are considering signing up with. Ask the agency you are considering to speak with some of the traveling nurses who are already a part of their company. A thorough search of the internet to see what others say about the agency can also turn up some interesting information.

There is such a high demand for nurses who are able, and willing, to travel for their jobs today. The benefits, rewards and bonuses available to those who decide to become a traveling nurse seem endless. Travel nursing could be just the shot in the arm your career needs if you are becoming tired of the same thing day after day, year after year. It could just be the change you are looking for.

Planning and Design of Behavioral Healthcare Facilities

Behavioral Healthcare Facilities: The Current State of Design

In keeping with most districts of healthcare, the marketplace has seen a boom in the construction of Behavioral Healthcare facilities. Contributing to this increase is the paradigm shift in the way society views mental illness. Society is placing a heavier value on the need to treat people with serious addictions such as alcohol, prescription and elicit drugs. A large percentage of people suffering from behavioral disorders are afflicted with both mental and addictive behaviors, and most will re-enter communities and either become contributors or violators.

These very specialized facilities do not typically yield the attention from today’s top healthcare designers and their quantity accounts for a small fraction of healthcare construction. However, Behavioral Healthcare projects are increasing in number and are being designed by some very prominent architectural firms such as Cannon Design and Architecture Plus. Many are creating state-of-the-art, award-winning contemporary facilities that defy what most of us believe Behavioral Healthcare design to be.

Changing the Way We Design Behavioral Healthcare Facilities

As with all good planners and designers, A+D (along with facility experts) are reviewing the direct needs of patient and staff while reflecting on how new medicine and modern design can foster patient healing rates, reduce environmental stress, and increase safety. This is changing the face of treatment and outcome by giving the practitioner more time to treat because they require less time and resources to “manage” disruptive patient populations.

The face of Behavioral Healthcare is quickly changing. No longer are these facilities designed to warehouse patients indefinitely. And society’s expectations have changed. Patients are often treated with the belief that they can return to their community and be a contributor to society. According to the National Association of Psychiatric Health Systems (NAPHS), depending on the severity of illness, the average length of stay in a Behavioral Healthcare facility is only 9.6 days.

What has changed?

Jaques Laurence Black, AIA, president and principal of New York City-based daSILVA Architects, states that there are two primary reasons for the shortened admission period:

1. Introduction of modern psychotropic drugs that greatly speed recovery

2. Pressures from insurance companies to get patients out of expensive modes of care

To meet these challenges, healthcare professionals are finding it very difficult to effectively treat patients within the walls of antiquated, rapidly deteriorating mental facilities. A great percentage of these facilities were built between 1908 and 1928 and were designed for psychiatric needs that were principled in the belief to “store” not to “rehabilitate.”

Also impacting the need for Behavioral Healthcare construction is the reluctance of acute-care facilities to provide mental health level services for psychiatric or addiction patients. They recognize that patient groups suffering from behavioral disorders have unique health needs, all of which need to be handled and treated only by very experienced healthcare professionals. This patient population also requires a heightened level of security. Self-harm and injuring staff and other patients are major concerns.

The Report of the Surgeon General: “Epidemiology of Mental Illness” also reports that within a given year about 20% of Americans suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder and 5.4% suffer from a serious mental illness (SMI ) – defined as bipolar, panic, obsessive-compulsive, personality, and depression disorders and schizophrenia. It is also believed 6% of Americans suffer from addiction disorders, a statistic that is separate from individuals who suffer from both mental and addiction disorders. Within a given year it is believed that over one-quarter of America’s population warrants levels of mental clinical care. Even if these statistics were cut in half, it cannot be denied as a serious societal issue.

With a growing population, effectively designing in accordance with such measures is at the heart of public health.

Understanding the Complexity of Behavioral Healthcare Design

Therefore, like Corrections, leading planners and designers specializing in Behavioral Healthcare are delving deeper to better understand the complexity of issues and to be the activist to design facilities that promote treatment and healing – and a safer community.

The following is a list of key design variables that are being studied and implemented:

1. Right Sizing

2. Humanizing Materials and Color

3. Staff-Focused Amneties and Happiness

4. Security and Safety

5. Therapeutic Design Tenants

Right-sizing

Today’s Behavioral Healthcare facilities are often one-story single buildings within a campus size. Often debated by Clients due to costs, this design preference is driven by the demand for Uncategorized light, window views to nature for all patient areas, and outdoor open-air gardens “wrapped” within. All of this provides soothing qualities to the patient, reduces their anxieties, counteracts disruptive conduct and helps to reduce staff stress.

“When you look at the program mix in these buildings, there’s a high demand for perimeter because there are a lot of rooms that need Uncategorized light. Offices, classrooms, dining areas, community rooms, and patient rooms all demand Uncategorized light, so you end up with a tremendous amount of exterior wall, and it forces the building to have a very large footprint.” – James Kent Muirhead, AIA, associate principal at Cannon Design in Baltimore

These design principles are also believed to improve staff work conditions. Unlike a multi-story complex, at any moment staff can walk outdoors and access nature, free from visual barriers, and within a building that more accurately reflects building types that both patients and staff would encounter in their communities.

In addition to right-sizing for the overall building footprint, is right-sizing for internal patient and staff support area. Similar to the move we have seen in Corrections to de-centralize support spaces, Behavioral Healthcare is moving to decentralized nursing/patient units called “neighborhoods.” With mental health facilities there is a large concern with distances and space adjacencies in relation to the patient room and patient support areas such as treatment and social spaces. Frank Pitts, AIA, FACHA, OAA president of Architecture Plus, Troy, NY, advocates neighborhoods that average 24-30 beds arranged in sub-clusters, called “houses”, of 8-10 beds. Thus, each neighborhood consists of three houses. Often these layouts will include a common area where patients congregate and socialize, with a separate quiet room so patients can elect to avoid active, crowded areas. In addition Pitts states, “There’s a move away from central dining facilities. So, while facilities will still have a central kitchen, it’s a whole lot easier moving food than it is patients.” However, it is important for the facility to mimic normal outside daily life routines, so patients are encouraged to frequently leave their neighborhoods to attend treatment sessions, and outdoor courtyards.

Humanizing Materials & Color

In all facilities that play a role in rehabilitation, design strives to create spaces that humanize, calm, and relax. Behavioral Healthcare patients need to feel that they are in familiar surroundings; therefore, the architectural vocabulary should feel comfortable and normal. Since these facilities are about rehabilitation (when possible) and encouraging patients to merge back into society, the facility should feel like an extension of the community. Their spaces should reflect the nature and architecture of the surrounding region and thus so, no two facilities should look too much alike.

“Our a
pproach to designing these facilities is to view the facility as an extension of the community where patients will end up when they’re released. Interior finishes also depend on geography because you want to replicate the environment patients are used to. You want to de-stigmatize the facility as much as possible.” – Tim Rommel, AIA, ACHA, OAA, principal with Cannon Design in Buffalo, NY.

Therefore, materials and colors within these spaces want to feel familiar to one’s region and everyday life. To soothe the psyche and rehabilitate, they want to feel soft and comfortable, yet visually stimulating. An interior that is overly neutral or hard in appearance is not appropriate. Materials should reduce noise, and colors should lift the spirit. This can help to create an environment in which the patient can learn, socialize, and be productive while easing anxieties, delivering dignity, and modifying behavior. As stated previously, behavioral studies advise the use of softer interior materials-like carpeting, wood doors and tile. Doing so translates directly to both patient and staff well-being, particularly staff safety, and makes for a nicer place to work. In addition, staff have more resources to “treat” instead of manage heated situations. When staff experiences are eased and satisfied, morale is boosted and life-saving rules and policies are more likely to be enforced.

Staff-Focused Amenities & Happiness

While reducing staff stress and fatigue through a healing supportive environment seems like an obvious goal, there are relatively few studies that have dealt with this issue in any detail. More attention has been given to patient outcomes. However, many leading hospitals that have adopted therapeutic tenants into their newly built environments have seen vast improvement through their “business matrixes” and financial reporting.

In one example, the Mayo Clinic, a national leader in implementing healing design in its facilities, has reported a reduction of nursing turnover from a national annual average of 20% to an annual 3%-4%. In another example, when Bronson Methodist Hospital incorporated evidence-based design into its new 343-bed hospital, they cited their 19%-20% nurse turnover rate dramatically dropped to 5%.

Now, both the Mayo Clinic and Bronson Methodist Hospital have had to initiate a waiting list for nursing staff seeking positions. This converts to better-trained and qualified staff, and a reduced error rate. Therefore, more health facilities are investing in staff support areas such as lounges, changing rooms, and temporary sleep rooms. Within these staff spaces and in the hospital throughout, facilities are also recognizing the need for upgrade materials, better day lighting, and an interesting use of color: One soon realizes that the need of patients and staff are interwoven, each impacting positively or negatively the other.

Security & Safety

Without debate, self harm and harm to staff is one of the biggest concerns mental health facilities manage. Often the biggest safety and security concern is the damage patients can do to themselves. “There are three rules I had drummed in me,” says Mark Hanchar; Director of Preconstruction Services for Gilbane Building Company, Providence, R.I. “First, there can’t be any way for people to hang themselves. Second, there can be no way for them to create weapons. Third, you must eliminate things that can be thrown.” Hanchar says that the typical facility is, “a hospital with medium-security prison construction.” This means shatter proof glass, solid surface countertops (laminate can be peeled apart), stainless steel toilets and sinks (porcelain can shatter), push pull door latches and furniture that cannot be pulled apart and used as a weapon. These are just to name a few.

Additionally, removing barriers between patients and nursing staff is a safety consideration. Frank Pitts, AIA, FACHA, OAA president of Architecture Plus, says what may be counter-intuitive for safety precautions, “Glass walls around nursing stations just aggravate the patients.” Removing glass or lowering it at nursing stations so patients can feel a more human connection to nurses often calms patients. There is also discussion of removing nursing stations altogether; decentralizing and placing these care needs directly into the clinical neighborhoods and community spaces. Pitt says, “The view is that [nursing staff] need to be out there treating their patients.”

Therapeutic Design Tenants

As medicine is increasingly moving towards “evidence-based” medicine, where clinical choices are informed by research, healthcare design is increasingly guided by research linking the physical environment directly to patient and staff outcomes. Research teams from Texas A&M and Georgia Tech sifted through thousands of scientific articles and identified more than 600 – most from top peer-reviewed journals – to quantify how hospital design can play a direct role in clinical outcomes.

The research teams uncovered a large body of evidence that demonstrates design features such as increased day-lighting, access to nature, reduced noise and increased patient control helped reduce stress, improve sleep, and increase staff effectiveness – all of which promote healing rates and save facilities cost. Therefore, improving physical settings can be a critical tool in making hospitals more safe, more healing, and better places to work.

Today’s therapeutic spaces have been defined to excel in 3 categories:

1. Provide clinical excellence in the treatment of the body

2. Meet the psycho-social needs of patients, families, and staff

3. Produce measurable positive patient outcomes and staff effectiveness

Considering the cost of treating mental illness, which is exceedingly high, and wanting facilities to have effective outcomes, a further practice of incorporating therapeutic design is increasing. The National Institute of Mental Health (NIM H) approximated in 2008 that serious mental illnesses (SMI ), costs the nation $193 billion annually in lost wages. The indirect costs are impossible to estimate.

The estimated direct cost to clinically treat is approximately $70 billion annually and another $12 billion spent towards substance abuse disorders. In addition to the increased need of care and the boom in Behavioral Healthcare construction, it becomes an obligation to make certain that we as facility managers, architects, designers and manufacturers therapeutically plan and design these facilities.

Notably, in 2004, “The Role of the Physical Environment in the Hospital for the 21st Century: A Once-in-a-Lifetime Opportunity,” published by Roger Ulrich P.H.D., of Texas A&M University, was released. In a culmination of evidence-based research, research teams found five design principles that contributed significantly to achieving therapeutic design goals.

The report indicates five key factors that are essential for the psychological well-being of patients, families and staff, including:

1. Access to Nature

2. Provide Positive Distractions

3. Provide Social Support Spaces

4. Give a Sense of Control

5. Reduce or eliminate environmental stress

Access to Nature

Studies indicate that nature might have the most powerful impact to help patient outcomes and staff effectiveness. Nature can be literal or figurative – Uncategorized light, water walls, views to nature, large prints of botanicals and geography, materials that indicate nature and most importantly, stimulating color that evokes nature. Several studies strongly support that access to nature such as day-lighting and appropriate colorations can improve health outcomes such as depression, agitation, sleep, circadian rest-activity rhythms, as well as length of stay in demented patients and persons with seasonal affective disorders (SAD).

These and related studies continue to affirm the powerful impact of Uncategorized elements on patient recovery and stress reduction. Thus, it is clea
r that interior designs which integrate Uncategorized elements can create a more relaxing, therapeutic environment that benefits both patients and staff.

Positive Distractions

These are a small set of environmental features that provide the patient and family a positive diversion from “the difficult” and, in doing so, also negate an institutional feel. These can be views to nature, water walls, artwork, super imposed graphics, sculpture, music – and ideally all of these want to be focused on nature and, when applicable, an interesting use of color. Therapeutic environments that provide such patient-centered features can empower patients and families, but also increase their confidence in the facility and staff. This helps with open lines of communication between patient and caregiver.

Social Support Spaces

These are spaces designed partially for the patient but mainly for the comfort and socialization of family members and friends of the patient; therefore, family lounges, resource libraries, chapels, sleep rooms and consult rooms all play a role. When family and friends play a key role in a patient’s healing, these spaces encourage families to play an active role in the rehabilitation process.

Sense of Control

In times when patients and family feel out of control, it is very healing for the facility design and staff to provide it back when appropriate. Although, this cannot always be done suitably in mental healthcare facilities. However, when applicable, these design features include optional lighting choices, architectural way-finding, resource libraries, enhanced food menus, private patient rooms and

optional areas to reside in. A few well-appointed studies in psychiatric wards and nursing homes have found that optional choices of moveable seating in dining areas enhanced social interaction and improved eating disorders. When patients feel partially in control of their healing program and that the building features are focused to them, an increased confidence of the quality of care enters and tensions lower.

As with all therapeutic design, this allows the caregiver to use their resources healing in lieu of “managing” patient populations.

Reduce or Eliminate Environmental Stress

Noise level measurements show that hospital wards can be excessively noisy places resulting in negative effects on patient outcomes. The continuous background noise produced by medical equipment and staff voices often exceeds the level of a busy restaurant. Peak noise periods (shift changes, equipment alarms, paging systems, telephones, bedrails, trolleys, and certain medical equipment like portable xray machines are comparable to walking next to a busy highway when a motorcycle or large truck passes.

Several studies have focused on infants in NIC Us, finding that higher noise levels, for example, decrease oxygen saturation (increasing need for oxygen support therapy), elevate blood pressure, increase heart and respiration rate, and worsen sleep. Research on adults and children show that noise is a major cause of awakening and sleep loss.

In addition to worsening sleep, there is strong evidence that noise increases stress in adult patients, for example, heightening blood pressure and heart rate. Environmental surfaces in hospitals are usually hard and sound-reflecting, not sound-absorbing causing noise to travel down corridors and into patient rooms. Sounds tend to echo, overlap and linger longer.

Interventions that reduce noise have been found to improve sleep and reduce patient stress. Of these, the environmental or design interventions such as changing to sound-absorbing ceiling tiles, are more successful than organizational interventions like establishing “quiet hours.”

Conclusion and Additional Information

The information contained in this excerpted report is intended as a guide for architects, specifiers, designers, facility planners, medical directors, procurers, psychologists and social workers which have a stake in providing improved facilities for behavioral healthcare patients. It is a portion of a report entitled “The Contributions of Color” authored by Tara Hill, of Little Fish Think Tank. Ms. Hill was commissioned by Norix Group Inc., in 2010 to research the role color plays in the safe operation of correctional facilities and behavioral health centers. More in-depth information specifically about the psychological influence of color and behavioral healthcare facility design can be found by reading the full report.

Star Wars Halloween Costumes – Top 3 Picks For This Season

The Star Wars Movie is a worldwide phenomenon, and has spawned a huge magnitude of Star Wars fans and followers from people of all ages. George Lucas’ first Star Wars movie begun in the 1970s, and is one of epic proportions. Sequels and then prequels followed up after it first appeared on the big screen. The movie was such a big hit that it resulted in a popular trend for fashion, toys and other merchandise. It also became fashionable to dress up in Star Wars Halloween costumes.

Here are the best and all-time favorite picks.

Anakin Skywalker

Anakin Skywalker is the character before the villainous Darth Vader was born. He is the main and popular character in the prequels to the Star Wars trilogy. Young Anakin assumed the good person and as the trilogy unfolded, his transformation was gradually revealed. He had a tragic fall to the dark side. He became the all-evil alter ego Darth Vader.

Anakin Skywalker is one of the most popular choices when it comes to Halloween Costumes because of its receptivity among kids, teens and adults. Wearing an Anakin Skywalker costume this Halloween will get you noticed wherever you go. Whether it be attending an office Halloween party or getting a nice get-up for your kid, buying Anakin Skywalker costumes make for a really great idea.

Most kids, teens and young children would be happy if their parents bought them Anakin Skywalker costumes. Not only will it be a head turner, it will be a knockout if you are wearing this costume. Anakin is a character every child has come to know and love. A basic Anakin Skywalker costume comprises of a brown shirt, a pair of brown pants, and boots. It can either have a real or printed belt. To add to the realism of the Anakin costume, you may purchase Anakin Skywalker’s light saber, which is essentially a sword typically offered as a separate accessory. Kids would really want to be Anakin and the light saber is the perfect accessory that will go along with this great Halloween costume.

Darth Vader

Visit any costume party and it is almost certain that you will see others wearing the Darth Vader costume. With Halloween just around the corner, a Darth Vader Halloween costume makes the perfect disguise for your upcoming party. Regardless of your age, you can find suitable-sized Star Wars Darth Vader costumes that will fit you and your buddies or family members. These outfits reproduce the true look of your notorious character, and gets everyone noticing you. Kids would really appreciate if they can wear a Darth Vader child costume to go for a night out of trick or treat. Apart from children, adults too can enjoy Halloween, sporting high-end costumes like the Darth Vader Supreme Edition Costume that look so real that you appear to be the actual character from the Star Wars series.

A typical Star Wars Darth Vader costume comes with a suit, boot tops and an attached cape. Shin protectors, a belt and the chest plate also come with the package. A molded mask is included with some Darth Vader costumes package. Complete the Darth Vader look by carrying a lightsaber sword.

Clone Trooper

Joining the popularity ranks is the clone trooper Star Wars character. The clone trooper costume makes an excellent option when wearing it at your Halloween parties or any other special Halloween event your workplace organizes. The adult clone trooper costumes are designed with such great care and detail that they are enjoyable to wear. As I know it, the basic costume includes a printed jumpsuit with Velcro straps, a clone trooper mask and shoe covers. As with all Star Wars costumes, there is a full range of costume sizes available so that you can select the one with the best possible fit.

There you have it, my top choices in the collection of Star War Halloween costumes for your Star Wars character. I hope you will have a great time this Halloween.

What Makes Wellington Boots Such a Very British Item of Footwear?

Looking back through history, it all seems to have started in the eighteenth century when a boot called the Hessian boot, initially used by the military, became widely worn by everybody else. Hessian boots had a low heel, quite a pointed toe (useful for mounted troops for ease of using the stirrups) and were knee high.

This style of boot became popular amongst the British aristocracy in the nineteenth century and it was the first Duke of Wellington that popularised it. The Duke had his own version of the Hessian boot made. There were many alterations and the resulting style is nothing like the wellington boots we know today, but his new boot was dubbed “The Wellington” and the name lives on today.

“The Wellington” was still made of leather and remained very fashionable in Britain until the mid nineteenth century. Then in 1853 a man called Hiram Hutchinson started making them out of rubber and established his company Aigle who are of course still going today in France. The new waterproof rubber wellington was very popular among agricultural workers in France.

Then it was the two World Wars that dramatically inflated a need for waterproof knee high boots, and lots of them! Soldiers were in need of suitable footwear for the flooded trenches and it was the North British Rubber Company (now Hunter Boot Limited) that came to the rescue. When the wars were over, the Wellington had become very popular among men, women and children as the best footwear for wet weather.

What makes them so British is of course the influence of the weather, they really were and still are essential footwear for outdoor life on a rainy island.

Aside from the two World Wars and the weather, the other big influence was by a member of the aristocracy again. It was the Duke of Wellington in the eighteenth century and the Princess of Wales in the twentieth. When the Princess was photographed wearing Hunter wellies, a brand new welly craze began all over again.

So they really are a very British type of footwear. Waterproof footwear that is expected to be inexpensive, durable (lasting at least twenty years!), comfortable and easy.

British people nowadays buy little canvas houses for their beloved wellies and children positively think they are alive. Every child has at least five books in their collection that feature wellies. Children also love them because they can put them on themselves from a young age and can splash in puddles without being told off for getting their shoes or clothes wet.

The Commercial Real Estate Outlook for Agents and Realtors in 2012

The commercial property year has well and truly started, and in most locations formed some common trends and patterns. If you are a commercial agent it pays for you to read the patterns in the marketplace and use them for the opportunity they provide. Property change and churn factors are active in most markets. They are an opportunity in waiting.

These are some of the common trends that most agents are seeing:

  1. Sellers are now adjusting their prices to suit the real property market and the existing levels of enquiry
  2. Buyers are fewer and taking longer to make a decision. Some buyers are looking for bargains.
  3. Finance is still tougher to get and the banks remain selective and diligent in the provision of a mortgage to buyers.
  4. Tenants are out looking for better premises at more favourable rents
  5. Developers are not doing much unless they can see a significant demand for a certain property type
  6. Developers are finding in many cases that the set up and construction costs for the new developments is out of balance with the achievable sale prices

Taking these things on-board, it is the agent that works both the leasing and the selling market that catches more opportunity. You have to be versatile.

As this article is being written it is the start of the second quarter of the 2012 calendar year; it is commonly the time where more listings and deals occur leading up to the change of financial year.

Right now is the right time to push your marketing and networking to the fullest. Sellers and Landlords that need help with property this year are typically planning that process right now.

So the best ways forward if you are an agent is to build a solid prospecting and cold calling model that is relentless in its process and drive. You have 8 months of the year to make the commissions that you need. Now is the time to get moving on this as it takes about 3 months of real effort before the conversions and listings start to appear.

Should you list everything that comes your way? Probably not, given that the market and buyers or tenants are so selective currently. It is better to choose the properties to list that are realistically priced or rented. You only have a certain amount of time to apply to your listed properties, and on that basis they should be the properties that offer the most realistic chance of selling or renting.

On one final note, it is appropriate to look at your listing strategy and decide if you should be taking open listings or just exclusive listings. In the case of exclusive listings, you have control of the property for a definite period of time and you can do more in marketing. In simple terms and in most cases exclusive listings sell faster and at a better price than openly listed properties. Make the right choices here.

Scrubs for Vets

The universe of veterinary science has come a long way since simplistic exams and limited structures. These days, rescued animals and pets will be worked on and safeguarded against numerous ailments with the assistance of state-of-the-art facilities and equipment and under strict hygienic conditions. Vet hospitals and clinics now are well equipped to deal with emergency occurrences and the staff is now comprised of specialists in various aspects of veterinary science. There includes numerous facilities worldwide who now cater to the sensitive necessities that pertain to hygiene, at vet clinics and hospitals around the world. Unique vet uniforms and vet scrubs will be made to enhance the hygiene level needed as well as the decor of the hospital or clinic.

Vet uniform requirements now are custom made according to the unique necessities specified by the physicians. The vet smocks, scrubs, and total attire will be made with the knowledge that the physicians will be busy with their patients. The facilities not only custom-make the vet uniforms and vet scrubs, yet take the initiative to develop programs that cope with the practice’s demand. Vet scrubs now are a portion of the quality care offered toward the animals and compliment the quality of service offered. Vet scrubs are obtainable in clinic-defined themes and within colors that’re as unique and lively as their patients.

Veterinary scrubs will be made to compliment the special set of circumstances which each vet will face and are committed to match the practice which possesses several facets. The vet scrubs and uniforms will be marketed to assure employees will be identifiable and comfortable all the time. The option of scrubs, as well as the available range in the dedicated marketplace, make it probable for management to pay close attention to their staff being befitting and presentable in the attempt to develop an environment that’s welcoming and inviting to clients as well as one which puts all anxious pet owners’ minds at ease. Manufacturers of veterinary scrubs now commit to a partnership with practices.

Vet clothing will be solutions to the necessity of maintaining a safe environment for each pet entering the hospital or clinic. The clothes are obtainable for staff which monitor animals from the front entrance, to the ones within surgical rooms. Marketers and manufacturers of these types of clothing provide several choices to custom make the designs in order to enhance a practice. The field is sensitive to the instance that it’s important for a practice to showcase cleanliness and therefore, it’s marketing multiple special products for this industry, at affordable rates. All clothing components are made with the intent of making the professional explore the services and take advantage of their expertise.

Kids Waterproof Splashsuits – The Essential Travel Garment For Your Young Child

Most adults would simply prefer to stay indoors when it is raining. Nobody wants to get soaking wet. However, kids really enjoy playing in the rain and splashing in puddles. They are thrilled when it is necessary to go out in the rain. Of course their parents do not really enjoy dealing with the results. The kids will get soaking wet and dirty from all the water. Choosing the right waterproof clothing for your child can really help prevent your child from getting too wet and catching a chill.

There are a number of different types of kits waterproof clothing available, so you can choose the one that is most suitable for your child. One option that many people don’t think about which is particularly good for very young children is the splashsuit. When it comes to kids waterproof clothing, the splashsuit is the most likely to keep your child dry. This is because it is a one piece outfit that has a hood and straps to go under your child’s feet. Add a pair of rain boots and your child will be covered from head to foot. Young children have difficulty holding an umbrella, and will want to splash in puddles so this is a great solution for them.

Kids waterproof clothing for slightly older kids can be chosen to suit their interests and their behavior. Those who still refuse to stay out of the puddles can wear splashsuits, while those who are better behaved can choose a combination of a raincoat or poncho with a matching umbrella and rain boots. This will keep them mostly dry and let them have a few more options when it comes to the design of their rain gear. Another option is to get separate dungarees and jackets so that they will still be fully covered when they are out in the rain.

Raincoats are available with designs including dinosaurs, bugs, firemen, pirates, sail boats, alligators, ladybugs, bees, frogs, butterflies, flowers, ducks, watermelons, strawberries, fairies, and more. Many of these coats have hoods, so an umbrella is not necessary, although kids tend to like to carry them once they reach a certain age. These are great for preschoolers and those who are just starting school. They will be more likely to actually want to wear their waterproof clothing if it is in a design that they really love.

For those older kids that view kids waterproof clothing with designs as being a bit childish, there is rain gear available in solid colors, or combinations of solid colors, such as red and gray or blue and gray, that look a bit more adult and might appeal to older kids a bit more.

Some of the options that are currently available for kids waterproof clothing are made so that they are easily packable for when you want to go on a trip, or just to have available in your bag should it start to rain unexpectedly. Some brands now manufacture very lightweight packable splashsuits and jackets which are ideal for taking on holiday as they take up so little room in the suitcase.

Four Major Functions Provided by a Real Estate Agent That You Can Do Yourself

Selling a home entails four major functions that are usually performed by a real estate agent. If we take the mystery out of those functions, they start looking as if we can do them without an agent. And you can!

1. Pricing your property

The first thing that an agent will do for you is help price your property. You don’t want to offer your home for sale at double its market value because it just won’t sell. Likewise, you don’t want to offer your home for sale at half its market value because you would just be cheating yourself of that price difference. If the market is such that your house in your neighborhood in your city is worth about $200,000 then you want to sell it for that. If you have made additions to the house that might make it worth more, then you want to add those items to it. The real estate agent has a lot of that data at their fingertips through their subscriptions and through their knowledge of the marketplace.

You can do this pricing yourself as long as you don’t let your ego get the better of common sense. You can find out what homes are selling for by cruising your neighborhood and checking out homes for sale to see what they are priced at. You can check to see what they sold for by visiting your tax authorities. Most municipalities and counties require that all deed transfers be recorded as a matter of public record. You can access that data through the internet if your municipality offers it, or you can go look it up in person where the internet is not used. Just make sure you are pricing your 3 bedroom 2 bath house with other 3 bedroom 2 bath houses rather than a 2 bedroom or 5 bedroom house.

2. Marketing your property

Marketing real estate is a sort of catch-all word for advertising the home as being for sale and then showing the property to prospective buyers through appointments or open-houses. The most important and probably most costly marketing activity is advertising the house. There is one real estate agent around here that states in their commercials that they spend between $1,000 and $1,500 per HOUSE while claiming that many agents only spend less than $500 per month for all of the houses that they list.

You can perform all 3 of these marketing functions. Who would be better to show a home or to have an open-house than the resident of the home — just do not let your ego get in the way and react defensively to reasonable buying questions. The advertising should be fairly simple as well. You are just as qualified to create want-ads for your local and regional papers and classified magazines as long as you model your ads after the ones that you will be competing for attention with. There are some advertising sites that require that all of their advertisers be real estate agents. You might try circumventing that restriction by offering a real estate agent a small fee to list your property on those restricted sites. The worse they can do is say “No” and a different agent might be more cooperative.

3. Contract exchange and negotiation.

Real estate agents act as intermediaries between the seller and the buyer. They take a contract proposal from the prospective buyer or their agent and present it to the seller. This goes on with price changes or with feature additions and removals until both the seller and the buyer agree on the selling price and property conditions.

There should be no question that you can do this yourself as the seller. After all, the agent would have to come to you anyway to get your approval and signature. Once again, this is where you need to put your ego and pride to the side. At this stage, all of your advertising and pricing work has come to fruition and you have a buyer negotiating with you. The worse thing you could do is to react defensively. You just participate in a give and take during the process as if it were for someone else.

4. Preparing the final paperwork and closing the sale

The real estate agent is usually the one to give all of the closing information to the title company and lawyers so that the deed to the property can be transferred from the seller to the buyer with no problems. This is when checks are transferred and mortgages paid off. It is also when the commission check is given to the real estate broker for dispersal to his agent.

You can do these things also. You are the one that has handled the paperwork up to now. You are the one that is ready for your mortgage to be paid off. You are the one ready to receive a check for the difference between what you owe on the mortgage and the selling price of the house. Most of this information is put on the HUD-1 form by the title company. In fact the major role of the agent here is to hold your hand and collect the commission check. Again, these tasks can be handled with a minimum of activity on your part. Any legal requirements can be farmed out to a lawyer for a much smaller fee than the agent’s commission.

Pricing, marketing, negotiating, and closing are all functions that are required to sell a property. They are all tasks normally handled by a real estate agent. They are also tasks that you can do yourself at a cost far less than 5% of the selling price of your house.

Commercial Real Estate Purchasing Requires Considering Many Factors

Today’s world economy is changing. More and more people are turning to the internet for their goods and services. As our ability to transport goods across international borders increases exponentially, the world is truly becoming as small as a tiny computer monitor screen. Faced with the prospect of competing with online vendors, what can today’s business do to offer a clear and attractive alternative? The key is, and always will be, the customer experience.

As the old adage goes-real estate is all about location, location, and location. That is no longer true than when you are shopping for commercial real estate. Firstly, the location must serve your basic business needs. Does the location offer you all of the space your business may need for today, and can it expand to meet tomorrow’s needs? Is the location safe for your workers, and is the area an attractive destination to potential customers?

Perhaps most importantly, your business must be accessible to these customers. The closer your business is to the customers that you seek, the more readily you can compete with online businesses. Nothing beats the experience of being able to take a short walk to a store and see, feel, and test the goods and services you might need.

A well thought out and researched piece of commercial property is more than a tract of land and a solid piece of construction. It can serve as a piece of advertising as well. The location of your commercial real estate can be in an area with a high level of traffic. With a sign on the building, you can essentially create a free, ongoing billboard advertising your business. Since your business model may depend on local business, this kind of free advertising can be invaluable as time goes by.

You may also look for commercial real estate in areas with little driving traffic but a high level of foot traffic. Areas with high foot traffic are great for retailers looking to attract new customers who may be out for a day of window shopping.

Likewise, buying property next to existing businesses with similar customers may be a great way to work with your neighbors to create a one stop shopping experience. Today’s customer who notices your sign can be the start of tomorrow’s word of mouth.

Aside from the location, the actual structure is the most important aspect of a commercial real estate purchase. Aside from space considerations, you must consider what elements are available to you within the property.

If your business is dependent on a high level of internet activity, you should seek out property with stable, high speed internet available to each of the spaces. If your business is retail oriented, you will need large floor plans, preferably with a certain level of window space available for passing shoppers. Restaurants, bars and certain service oriented businesses will need kitchens, bars, or special pluming needs.

While today’s economy is victim to many up and downs, particularly in the real estate market, those in the market for a commercial space may be able to find a bargain. This is especially true if you are able to find a ‘fixer-upper’ property that can be retrofitted for today’s business needs. As real estate prices once more rise, these commercial properties could become a source of new revenue for the future.

No matter what kind of space you may need for your business, trained and helpful real estate agents will be able to aid you in your search for a new commercial real estate property.