The Home Improvement Nightmare-Who’s To Blame and How To Avoid It

Unless you live in a remote part of the country with no television, newspaper or other people to talk to, there is a good chance you have heard or read about a home improvement scam or project gone wrong. It seems to be a fact in this country that when you go about doing a home improvement project you will usually encounter countless problems, delays and shoddy work.

The home improvement experience leaves most people stressed and vowing never to do another project again! So it is not surprising to hear that home improvement complaints rank at the top of consumer complaints nationwide year after year. Where does the blame fall for this epidemic of home improvement problems?

I am proud to say I was a home improvement contractor for almost 30 years and I was fortunate enough to win some of the industry’s highest awards. However, it has never ceased to amaze me the poor home improvement decisions that I have seen so many homeowners make. One of the more notable mistakes I would see done over and over again was when a homeowner would blindly hire someone to do a project because the person was a friend or a friend of a friend. To me this reasoning makes no sense.

Friendship and craftsmanship are not related, but for some reason a lot of people believe other wise. Another great example of homeowner apathy is hiring someone to do a project without ever putting anything in writing. Who in their right mind would ever agree to such a disastrous situation? Another very similar blunder would be for a homeowner to blindly accept an estimate on the back of a business card. Usually the only information that has room on the back of a business card is the PRICE.

A major mistake made by many people doing a home improvement project is letting price dictate the decision on who to hire. More problems occur because homeowners pick the lowest price they can find. Why? It is very simple. You can only produce a high quality project at a certain cost. High quality materials, expert labor, appropriate insurances and a reasonable profit to stay in business, cost a certain amount of money.

If someone can do that same project under that amount, what do you think is going to happen when the job is being done? That’s right, the person or company is going to do anything they can to try and make a profit. All of the possibilities that could result from the person you hired, as the low bidder, trying to make a profit, are simply all BAD for the homeowner. In home improvements you get exactly what you pay for.

Let’s not forget to put some of the blame on people looking to work on your home. Over the years I have seen some of my competitors commit heinous business practices. (Surprise!!) I have seen contractors switch materials to lesser quality without customer approval, use unqualified labor, overcharge homeowners for “unforeseen problems”, try to up sell the customer once the project starts, etc.,etc.,etc…….it makes you wonder if you can trust anyone?

So where does the blame fall for all the home improvement complaints year after year? I guess it would be easy to blame the homeowner for not educating themselves on what to do when attempting a project. However the next question would be where does a homeowner get “educated”? Maybe a better question would be when does a homeowner find the time to get “educated”? Education is a great tool if you have the time to do the research. Most people don’t have the time or want to take the time to do hours and hours of research on how to go about getting a home improvement done correctly.

Oops I almost forgot Uncle Sam. A lot of people, including myself, think the government makes it too easy for someone, who has no ethics or skills, to do home improvement work. Why are there still some states that do not have licensing for people doing home improvements? And in the states that do have licensing, why are some of these states issuing licenses without the applicant needing to demonstrate any type of competence in home improvement work? This is like giving out a driver’s license without taking a road test. Doesn’t make much sense to me.

One last situation to blame, one that I would never forgive myself for not mentioning. Home improvement television shows have become the latest fad in television. You can hardly change television channels without a home improvement program popping up. The influx of home improvement shows on television has been phenomenal. However, most of these shows tend to unrealistically glorify the home improvement project as being easy to do with nothing ever going wrong. The last time I looked, nothing ever goes perfect, including home improvement projects. Little, if any information is mentioned on these shows, about how not to be “taken to the cleaners” when doing a project.

One would have to conclude that there is plenty of blame to go around when it comes to the problems homeowners face when attempting a home improvement project. Unfortunately, most of these problems have been around for many years and if you are expecting a “quick fix”, I think you might be waiting a very long time.

Since I retired from the home improvement industry two (2) years ago I decided it was time to stop worrying about who or what to blame about the constant wave of home improvement complaints (it really seems to be a waste of energy since nothing seems to change) and to put together a way for homeowners to fight back and get the home improvement results that they deserve.

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CoolTool Has Launched AI-Powered Webcam Eye Tracking

CoolTool is a unique automated neuromarketing platform expanding the opportunities of neuromarketing research to a previously unimaginable extent. Recently the company has developed and launched the beta version of unique webcam-based eye tracking running on Artificial Intelligence technology. It ensures a high precision of results and opens new opportunities for marketing research.

Recently the company has introduced the Emotion Measurement neuromarketing online tool. Respondents may complete surveys not in neuro-laboratories but in the more comfortable places where they usually come across advertising. Clients can collect data by just sending the link via different digital channels that is much more easier.

Surprises webcam-based eye tracking brings

First of all, the considerably high accuracy of results, followed by the unprecedented speed of the tool adjustment and usage, as well as wider possibilities now available for everyone.

Gaze movement tracking tool is perfectly suitable for testing of communication materials – videos, static advertising, product visibility on a shelf, and website mockups. From now on it will be accessible not only for digital and professional research agencies, but for mass usage by marketers, advertisers, designers, as well as all other actors who need consumer insights fast and affordable in terms of time and resources.

Ultimate advantages of webcam-based eye tracking

● The possibility to cover a wide audience immediately (you, as well as the respondents, don’t need any hardware as it’s an online solution).

● There is no need to equip a lab and invite people into one room to participate in the test as it always used to be.

● Respondents can take these tests regardless of their location – from the computer, laptop or from a smartphone.

● Respondents don’t have to install any kind of software.

● With the turned on webcam, you can conduct eye tracking and emotion measurement tests simultaneously, which is very important for the comprehensive testing of video advertising.

● You can use any webcam (inbuilt or external, though the better the resolution of the webcam, the more accurate the results).

● In case you don’t have respondents, you can use the CoolTool service to gain direct access to respondents from all over the world (online panels).

The CoolTool team continues to work on the improvement of its technology and strives to launch the most high-precision eye-tracking technology in the world in the nearest possible future. The company would appreciate hearing any feedback from users and calls to test their automated neuromarketing platform with a free account.

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Secrets to the Structure of a Commercial Property Management Proposal

In commercial real estate agency, it is common to be preparing a property management proposal to submit to the property owner following a sale or a lease. This is the most opportune time to seek a new management appointment.The structure of a commercial property management proposal will be designed for the property, the landlord, and the general precinct location. Importantly the proposal should tap into the strategies and ideas that help the property owner to achieve better property performance through sensible strategies of lease performance, income, and expenditure control.Here are some key ideas to help structure your proposal for the management of the property. You can add your specific agency recommendations around the model.An executive summary should always be placed at the front of the document. This allows the client to quickly grasp of the main strategies and outcomes that you can see as part of the management strategy.
Summarise the property physically together with locational elements that impact tenancy mix or occupancy. This provides clarity as to how you see the property and how it can be managed.
The lease and tenant mix management processes should be detailed within a section of the proposal. Care must also be taken in reviewing the tenancy schedule first to ensure that the leases are totally understood and accurately reflected in your recommendations. You should also be looking for occupancy matters that need to be immediately addressed after management handover; such as rent reviews, options, lease expiries, make good processes, and arrears.
The daily maintenance and function of the property will require a specific management processes. The tenants, customers, and landlord each have a different relationship to the performance of the property physically; they all have needs in the management of the property. It is wise to review the special maintenance demands of the property and to make specific recommendations regards maintenance controls, plant and machinery management, and risk management that applies to property function. As part of this it may be necessary to talk to the contractors that supply specialised maintenance services to the plant and equipment.
The property manager reporting processes to the landlord will be part of the property management service. Detail the relevant reporting systems that you can adopt and implement. The landlord may have other particular special reporting requirements to incorporate into the program.
The financial reports to be provided to the landlord can be split into examples at the back of the document; this allows the landlord to see the comprehensive nature of your reports and controls. Normally the reports will include income analysis, expenditure analysis, budget status report, arrears report, tenancy mix strategy, tenancy schedule, and lease management report.
The management of maintenance contractors associated with the essential services and major plant and equipment should be itemised. The major plant and equipment provides functionality to the property and tenant occupancy comfort. Any concerns that you may have here should be identified in the proposal.
If the subject property is complex and contains a number of tenancies, it is likely that a business plan including a tenant mix strategy should be compiled. This helps the landlord to see just how you will implement controls across the tenant mix.
Summarise the relevant personnel to be applied to the management of the property. In a large office or retail property the list is lengthy; it can include property manager, lease manager, engineer or maintenance manager, tenant services manager, and onsite management staff.
The fees to be charged to manage the property should be itemised. In some cases they will be split into base management fee, on site management office costs, and the on-site management staff.Within each of these main categories of your proposal, you will have recommendations and ideas regard particular things that should be immediately implemented in the property.The property management proposal is prepared on the basis of relevance to the property and the needs of the landlord; not on the relevance of your agency to manage it (you will prove that anyway if your proposal is of high quality).

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