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1.13.2012

BMO cuts 5-year mortgage rate to all-time low

The Bank of Montreal has temporarily cut its five-year fixed mortgage to 2.99 per cent — the lowest posted rate from a major bank in Canadian history.

BMO announced Thursday it was slashing the rate by a half a percentage point, in a move expected to boost competition among the big banks vying for real estate customers.
Some conditions are attached to the offer, which ends Jan. 25, including that lump sum payments are limited to 10 per cent of the principal each year. The mortgage is also based on a 25-year amortization period.
Other banks are expected to follow suit. On Wednesday, Toronto-Dominion Bank moved its posted six-year rate 132 basis points lower to 3.79 per cent and the posted seven-year fixed rate 91 basis points lower to 3.99 per cent.

The five-year rate is the mortage industry's benchmark, as it is by far the most common term for a first-time homebuyer. Borrowers can often negotiate a better rate from a bank based on their credit history, but the posted rates at banks are seen as a benchmark for their mortgage offerings.
The promotion comes amid forecasts that the Canadian housing market might cool off in 2012.
In its quarterly forecast, Royal LePage said Thursday it expects the average home price in Canada to increase by 2.8 per cent — less than the inflation rate — in 2012.

1.06.2012

Facebook Strategy For Your Small Business

Do you have it backwards when it comes to Facebook?

Here’s what no one in the social media space seems to want to say: Facebook is a difficult place to reach new eyeballs organically if you do not already have good brand awareness.

There I said it. If you are trying to use Facebook to reach a new audience, organically (i.e. without paying for Ads), from scratch – you are facing an uphill battle.

Yes, the stats on how many Facebook users exist are mind-boggling. In reality most of those people will never actually encounter your brand on Facebook, unless you pay good money for them to. How many small business pages do you know that actually have millions of ‘fans’?

The fact is that Facebook is in the business of earning revenue – mostly through the ads they get page owners to buy. So for that reason they deliberately make it challenging to grow a page organically. So unless you have a strong personal Facebook network of friends that you are willing to leverage on behalf of your business page, you are looking at an uphill battle in actually reaching brand new eyeballs.

So Where Does Facebook Fit Into Your Strategy?

Surveys show that people generally fan pages they are already customers of, and usually for discounts. The same research shows that few people are interested in joining a page to become part of a community.

1. I suggest that you use Facebook to connect with your existing customers AFTER they’ve already bought from you – rather than trying to use Facebook to mine for leads. This is the path of least resistance. Since they already know you, they are more likely to interact with your page – crucial for organic growth on Facebook.

2. Use other methods (SEO, PPC, blogging, offline methods etc) to bring in prospects, generate leads and make sales.

3. The time you might spend slugging away on Facebook could be better spent growing your following and brand visibility elsewhere – preferably on platforms you own, such as your blog, and developing other marketing channels (even tweeting gives you better access to a new audience). Your Facebook page can be a resource to direct people to for promotions and additional interaction after they discover you elsewhere.

4. Examine your online sales process and work with your offline sales staff to integrate a way to ask the prospect or customer what social networks they are on. Build fields for this data into your online contact forms and if you have an offline sales staff you will have to work with them to collect that info when talking with prospect and clients.

5. Make someone on your staff responsible for finding these people on Facebook, connecting with them and inviting them to your Page. This will actually require the use of a personal profile since you cannot message anyone directly through a Page.

6. Find a place in the sales/follow-up process to let your customer know that your company has a Facebook page and give them reasons why they should become a fan.  As per the research above -the incentive should probably emphasize exclusive discounts and promotions.

7. Consider Facebook as a tool in your ‘referral engine’ – if your Fans are happy customers, Facebook makes it easy for them to recommend you to friends and to provide your business with ‘social proof’ i.e. people saying nice things about you. This is where you have the opportunity to organically grow your audience, powered by happy customers.

8. Make sure you feed your Page with the right content for your audience. You probably know the needs of your customers pretty well, but check in with your Facebook Insights to make sure you are catering to the correct demographic audience, and to the type of content that elicits interaction, especially as your audience grows beyond your familiar customer base.
How has your small business successfully used Facebook for marketing?

http://www.smbceo.com/2010/05/25/facebook-strategy/

11.27.2011

The Cash Free Way to Increase Your Cash Flow

Have you always wanted to start your own business, or earn more income, but you just never seem to know where to start?  Were you always afraid of investing your own money into something that just may never profit?  Have you been searching Amazon.com for those magical how to get rich books such as the Wealthy Barber or Boom, Bust & Echo?

I will show you how to not only create your own business, but more importantly without having to invest any money.  That’s right – no money.  You’ll be shown how to make online services such as Google, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, Amazon, PayPal, Twitter and BOX.net work for you.  Don’t worry about the technical details for each of these services because you will be provided with a step-by-step demo that brings all of these pieces together into one complete final solution.  You will then be able to apply your new knowledge and abilities toward your own product and starting earning more money today.

“The Cash Free Way to Increase Your Cash Flow” is a time proven and successful method for generating revenue without having to incur any out of pocket expenses.  I have been following the model, which I will describe in full detail, for over the past five years and it has provided me with additional cash flow each and every month. 

The actual amount of increased cash flow is going to largely depend upon the subject, price point of your product, and your efforts to market your item. 


By the end of this book you will be able to summarize the strategy by using the following diagram.



If the diagram looks really simple to understand then you have just understood the main point – the process is simple! 

If you’re tired of letting opportunities pass you by then why don’t you get started by reading the first chapter “The 5W’s”.