There are signs that the US housing market, buoyant for several years with prices soaring, is slowing down as even properties in popular ‘hot spots’ such as Seattle, parts of Texas and Silicon Valley are taking longer to sell and sometimes not making their asking prices.
Economists predict the overall gain for property prices across the US will only be five percent for 2018 and will be down to three percent in 2019. The rise of home improvements – well over $300 billion is being spent on various house remodeling projects per year – show Americans are staying put and improving their present home rather than moving.
Versatile, top quality home improvements and ‘add-ons’ such as attic and garage conversions, and easy-to-install storage such as weatherproof prefabricated sheds that can add more space in a matter of hours, are giving people the chance to increase space in and around their properties for a fraction of the costs of moving home.
Pricing and interest rate rises
What has slowed the market?
Accelerating house prices – they’ve finally outstripped house buyers’ ability to afford them; rises have mostly been fueled by hitherto low housing stock in hot markets such as California and the Miami area.
Interest rate rises – recent interest rate rises make it not only more difficult for buyers to afford the repayments on what is likely to be a high mortgage, but have caused confidence to dip as people wonder if more are on the way.
Not a full blown slump
Many analysts, including Nobel Prize winning economist Robert Shiller – who predicted the ‘dot com bubble’ bursting back at the turn of the millennium – don’t predict a big downturn like that experienced during the financial crisis of 2008.
They’re saying it’s more a sign of demand naturally tailing off for a while as the market corrects itself and housing stock increases. It certainly has done in property hot spots such as Seattle where supply rose by well over 20% compared to late 2017.
Confidence has waned somewhat in the property market; even though the US economy is doing well only some 65% of Americans consider it a good time to buy – the lowest percentage since the world wide slump of 2008 when the property market was severely affected.
Certain areas such as Alabama are actually seeing property sales rise as these are areas that are still relatively affordable compared to the likes of California, where prices still make it hard for people to buy.
House builder stocks falling
An indication that all is not well in the housing market is the significant fall in homebuilding company stock values: overall stocks are down 21% this year, so very much in 2008 recession territory and worthy of caution.
Good for investors but less good for buyers
The lowering of prices and the rise of housing stock makes it good news for investors as properties offering decent yields may become reality again.
Ironically, a strong economy allied to low unemployment – the lowest since the late 1960s – increases the risk of interest rates continuing to rise as the Federal Reserve tries to keep inflation under control. That has the consequence that confidence is lower for potential house buyers, as is their ability to buy.
How To Manage A Team Working Remotely
Once upon a time, practically all businesses were run on a local scale, meaning that they were within a short distance of their core consumer group. Even the largest, most expansive firms in the country have broken their territory up into smaller regions, cities, and zones. Through the use of eCommerce solutions, remote working, and outsourcing, modern firms are no longer constrained by their physical locations. This has allowed the wheels of industry to continue rolling.
In point of fact, the time has come when a proprietor of a company may now conduct their entire operation from the comfort of their own home and the benefits of a distributed workforce
are now more commonly known.
Let us get started with our discussion of how to manage remote workers.
Improve the efficiency of communication
You may probably guess that clear and concise communication is one of the most important aspects of managing a workforce that is geographically dispersed. The very last thing you want is for anything significant to be lost in the shuffle as a result of a mistake that was made with the logistics.
As a result of this, it is of the utmost importance that you establish a clear chain of command and make every effort to simplify and expedite your communication process. You do not want your workers to be uncertain about who they should report to or where they should deliver paperwork, do you?
Establish early on how you intend to conduct business, and then modify your approach only when it makes logical sense to do so. Your team will not benefit from continual upheaval in any way.
Place emphasis on the big picture.
How do you plan to make sure that everyone is on the same page? Paying attention to the whole context is one of the most effective responses to that query. Not just the deadlines and information that they “need to know,” but also the end goal of their job should be communicated to the members of your team.
The likelihood of your employees becoming interested in the various projects they are working on increases in proportion to the amount of involvement they have in the firm as a whole.
Use modern tech
It ought to go without saying, but it is important to emphasize that managers should make use of the most cutting-edge technology available in order to link the members of their teams. Skype, Zoom, and other video chat platforms to assist in maintaining continuity despite the large distances that separate them.
The use of voice over internet protocol (VoIP) phone systems in establishments such as hospitals, legal firms, and private schools will make it possible for members of the team to share vital information instantly.
Keep in mind that managers have a responsibility to encourage their staff to investigate all of the possibilities and benefits that current technology offers. It is a waste of resources to invest a significant amount of money on a communication or software programme that is not utilized to the maximum possible degree. Remember to keep this in mind prior to making any more investments.
Face to face meetings
When it comes to bringing your team together for regular meetings, video chat is an upgrade over phone calls; but, neither of these options is as beneficial as having everyone in the room together in person. Create recurring activities in which all of your employees may interact with one another and spend time together. When people like one another, or at the very least have a healthy mutual regard for one another, they are able to collaborate more effectively.
A frequent “catch up” session with the team might involve either work or play. The culture of the team is an essential component in the process of constructing a company in which all employees, irrespective of their location, respond to clients in the same manner, utilizing the same templates, and communicate in the same manner.
The culture of your company, which includes how your employees interact with one another and with customers, is shaped from the very top, by the person who owns the firm. Maintaining a positive reputation for your company depends on providing consistently high-quality customer service. Now that the majority of business is conducted online and is less dependent on foot traffic, the way in which we collaborate has altered, which has produced issues for the management of the team.
How To Scale Your Business In 10 Steps
It’s no secret that businesses today face more challenges than ever before. In order to stay afloat and thrive in today’s economy, businesses need to be able to scale their operations effectively.
The good news is that there are a few key things you can do to make sure your business is able to scale successfully. In this article, we’ll go over ten essential tips for scaling your business effectively.
1. Define Your Target Market
The first step to scaling your business effectively is to define your target market. Without a clear target market, it will be very difficult to focus your efforts and resources in a way that will allow you to scale effectively.
2. Know Your Costs
Another important factor to consider when scaling your business is your costs. It’s important to have a clear understanding of all the costs associated with running your business, such as overhead costs, production costs, and marketing costs.
3. Streamline Your Processes
Another important tip for scaling your business is to streamline your processes. When you’re first starting out, it’s common to have a lot of different processes and procedures in place that may not be entirely necessary.
4. Invest in automation
Investing in automation is another great way to scale your business effectively. Automation can help you save time and money by taking care of tasks that would otherwise need to be done manually.
5. Focus on Your Core Competencies
When you’re scaling your business, it’s important to focus on your core competencies. These are the areas of your business that you’re most skilled at and that provide the most value to your customers.
6. Delegate and Outsource
As your business grows, it’s important to delegate tasks and outsource work to other people. This will allow you to focus on your core competencies and leave the less important tasks to others. For example, you may need to involve Het Vertaalbureau to assist with translation of your website and documentation.
7. Get Feedback from Your Customers
Another great way to scale your business effectively is to get feedback from your customers. This feedback can help you improve your products or services and make sure you’re meeting the needs of your target market.
8. Focus on Your Marketing
Marketing is another important aspect of scaling your business effectively. When you’re first starting out, it’s easy to focus all of your attention on the product or service you’re offering.
9. Expand Your Team
As your business grows, you’ll need to expand your team. This means hiring new employees or contractors to help you with the additional work.
10. Keep Your Costs Low
One of the most important tips for scaling your business is to keep your costs low. This means finding ways to save money on overhead, inventory, and other expenses. There are a number of different ways to save money, so it’s important to find the ones that work best for your business. You can negotiate with suppliers, use cheaper materials, or find other ways to reduce your costs.
By following these ten steps, you can effectively scale your business while still maintaining a high level of quality. Automation, delegation, and feedback are key to success. Keep your costs low, focus on your marketing, and keep moving forward. With these steps, you’ll be well on your way to scaling your business effectively.
How To Make SEO Work for Your Business
When businesses want to get noticed on the internet, they usually turn to something like search engine optimization (SEO) so that their business appears higher on Google searches. SEO can be a wonderful way to help your business grow on the internet. It’s been tried and tested by plenty of businesses, and there’s no denying the power that it has.
But with that said, trying to make SEO work for your business can be tricky. It takes a lot of time and effort in order to make it work, and you need to pour a considerable amount of effort into making content that appeals to Google’s search bots. So before you start investing precious time into your website’s content, here are some considerations to keep in mind on how to make SEO work for your business.
Focus on creating content instead of designing your website
One of the biggest mistakes that people make when designing their website is focusing too much time on the look of their website. Sure, making your website look fancy with loads of unique transitions and animations can attract some people, but those are the wrong things to focus on if you want to get noticed by Google’s search bots.
Instead of focusing on the design and look of your website, focus on the content you have. After all, Google’s algorithm will take content into consideration when deciding on your search rankings–they really don’t care about how your website looks. This is where it helps to focus on content marketing so that you know exactly what kind of keywords to focus on and the types of content you should be making to appeal to a wider audience.
Be consistent with creating content
And if you do focus on content marketing as a priority, you’ll want to try and be consistent with your content releases. Google values websites that regularly update their pages with new content. It’s more stuff to rank, there’s more space for keywords, and it ultimately provides more value to your customers as long as the content is useful somehow. It could be guides and how to use your products, or it could be an FAQ on using your services. As long as you’re creating content on a fairly consistent basis, you’ll have a much easier time getting noticed.
To make this easier, you may want to consider hiring a writer. It doesn’t need to be a full-time employee and can just be a freelancer or even an outsourced service. This will save you a lot of time when writing content for your website.
Consider working with an SEO agency
All of this sounds great and can greatly improve your SEO efforts, but you could just as easily leave all the decisions to a reputable service such as Sofia Marketing. This will take a lot of the responsibility off your hands and you’ll find it much easier to create content that consistently helps your website rank higher. They’ll also help you with technical SEO aspects such as designing your website to work on mobile devices in addition to desktops.
Simply put, SEO agencies can make things a lot easier in the long run. Whether it’s finding the right writers to make valuable content or helping you choose the right keywords to target, their expertise and guidance will be invaluable when you want to get the most out of your SEO efforts.
Choose topics and keywords to focus on
If you haven’t already, it’s a good idea to pick some keywords and topics to focus on for your SEO efforts. For example, your business might want to specialize in appealing to a certain kind of demographic, so you’d research various topics and keywords that the group is more likely to search for. Keyword research can take a lot of time, but it’s something that can be made a lot easier with help from a marketing service. There are also plenty of keyword tools that you can use to help identify strong keywords to focus on.
Identify what your website will be used for
And lastly, figure out what your website will be used for in the long run. This can help drastically improve the user experience and will help you give a purpose to your content because you know who you’re trying to appeal to. If you know exactly what your website is going to be used for, then it cuts out a lot of the decision-making and helps you laser focus your efforts to optimize your time.
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