Few Travel Tips on a Good Night Sleep

Having a good, refreshing night sleep is very important for those that travel a lot. It may not seem like a big thing, but business persons that are always travelling are often complaining about not being able to sleep enough because of their neighbors or because of the hotel staff. Here are some tips on how to make sure you will have the chance to get a good sleep overnight in order to be completely fresh for that morning meeting!The first important travel tip is choosing the right hotel room. Make sure your room is not placed near an elevator or near the ice machine. It may not seem to be a big deal, but feeling the elevator’s vibration all night long will not help you sleep after a long tiring day of travel. Neither will help you sleep the sound of the hotels’ ice machine used by all the other persons on your floor. And, most important, always ask at the hotel’s reception if your room is placed near the disco club. Make sure you put at least 3 floors between your sleep and the hotel’s disco!Another travel tip is to check if your hotel room has a Do Not Disturb sign. If it doesn’t, ask the reception to give you one, or even make one yourself. Otherwise, the hotels’ cleaning staff will wake you up for the usual changing the towels operation. And this is extremely annoying, especially when you are about to start another long day of travel.In case there is a party carried out next door, don’t bother to complain to the hotels’ receptions staff. All they can do is to send the hotel security to ask the party animals to keep it down. Therefore you should ask the front desk staff to give you another room. Insist if they claim there are no more rooms. Do the same thing if there is a couple next door training for the world sex Olympics. And, early in the morning, before leaving the hotel, you can have your own little revenge by calling the loud room. They will be most likely sleeping!And, a final piece of travel advice: always pack a pair of earplugs whenever sleep over night in hotels. They will stop you from hearing all the disturbing noises any hotels may be dealing with.Enjoy a good night sleep on your travels!

Why Use a Property Manager?

I have talked with many investors who have sold all of their properties and moved their money into other asset classes such as stocks or bonds because they think rental properties are way too big of a headache. The scenario is always the same. They made the decision to invest their money, they heard rental properties were good money makers, they purchase a few properties, and then try to manage them on their own.Pretty soon they are burned out from dealing with tenants. After a few bad experiences and a lot of phone calls from renters, they decide that rental property is way too big of a headache and they sell out. I have heard this at least a handful of times and every time I hear this I always ask “Why didn’t you let a property management company handle your properties?”.Most of the time I get a response of “well they charge way too much”. In truth, most property management companies charge between 8-10% of gross rent collected for residential properties and 3-5% for commercial. This is a small fee to pay for what you get.There is a difference between a property manager and a property management company. When you hire a property manager you are hiring an employee. You will have to pay them a salary and pay payroll taxes on them. When you hire a property management company you are simply outsourcing the management to a company. They are not an “employee” of yours.In most cases I lean towards hiring a company instead of taking on an employee. If you only own a few properties you will definitely only hire a company because you won’t have enough income to support an employee’s salary. At some point, if you get big enough, it may be in your best interest to hire a person whether full-time or part-time.Here’s the benefits of hiring a property management company when you first start purchasing rentals.
A professional property management company knows the law for landlords and will make sure you are doing everything legal
A professional property management company will know how to most effectively market your properties to achieve a low vacancy rate
They will also know how to get the most rent out of a property since they know the market
They will have a network of contractors to get the best rates for repairs and maintenance on your properties
You can learn from their wealth of knowledge and experience from dealing with rentalsYou may decide to manage the properties yourself. Many people do. If that’s what you like and you have the time, there’s certainly nothing wrong with that. But don’t forget you can learn a lot from working with a professional company.You will want to get references before picking which company to go with. Also, make sure they have their real estate license. You also want a company who specializes in your type of property. For example, you won’t pick the same company for a commercial property as you would a single family home.The bottom line is if you want to be an investor or do you want to be a landlord. Personally, I don’t want to be a landlord so I use property managers.Happy investing!

Student Savings: Save Paper, Save Money

Did you know that North American academics are among the highest paper wasters in the world? If academics in China used as much paper as we do in North America, the world’s rainforest supply would be depleted within a year. You can choose to save paper, which is not only good for the environment, it’s also good for your wallet.

1. Double side everything.

Whether you are printing the prof’s powerpoint notes to take to lecture, or printing off an essay to proofread, always double side your paper. Keeping a tray of rough paper that you can print on the back of will definitely save you money.

And, as an added tip for printing off powerpoint presentation slides, try printing more than one slide per page. Often 8 slides per pages is a good size, but try to find the size that works for you.

2. Be creative.

It’s amazing how many handouts you get in class that you don’t even need. Perhaps the department requires that every single class hand out the plagiarism policy. Now you have five copies of the plagiarism policy, and nothing to do with them. Instead of simply throwing them out, you can also use this paper to print on!

Every department in a college has boards filled with paper. Often these are concert notices, upcoming conferences, or visiting lecturers. You can make it your job to help keep the departmental notice boards clean by taking down the notices that have passed their dates. You can then keep and print on this paper. Sometimes you get the best colours to print on this way!

3. Use a computer.

The more work that you can do onscreen, the less paper you will have to print. You will definitely have to print out your papers to do a final hard-copy proofread before you hand them in, but you don’t need to print out endless drafts of the same paper. Often, you can also email certain documents to your friends and classmates instead of printing them out. Instead of printing 30 handouts for your seminar presentation, email the handout to the class a few days before you present. This will save you the printing and photocopying costs. Be sure to email the handouts out at least two days before you present, however. You want to give your classmates enough time to read and print your material.

4. Work with your prof.

Some professors accept “green” submissions. (Here you can think of green as in saving the environment, and green as in saving you the cash in your wallet). This means that they will accept work that is printed off doublesided, or on the backs of different work. You should always ask before you submit your essay, however. Whatever the prof wants is paramount. Also, if you are giving the prof work with stuff on the back, make sure that it is something you don’t mind your professor seeing! Some professors also permit electronic submissions, which will also save you paper and ink.

5. Shop around.

Sometimes you come across something that you absolutely must photocopy or print. Check out the area around the university for the cheapest printing and photocopying. It probably won’t be on campus, and it probably won’t be a big chain like Kinko’s. You’ll want to find a small photocopying place, and often you can get your copies for as cheap as 3 or 4 cents. Sometimes convenience stores even have well-priced photocopiers.

6. Think of subsidies.

Particularly if you are a graduate student, you might be able to print your work at school in the department for a greatly reduced rate, or even for free sometimes. Sometimes services on campus allow members cheap printing–places such as the Women’s Center or the International Student’s Committee. If you are considering joining, or if you are already a member, take advantage of what you can. The best way to find out about deals like this is to attend information fairs and to ask people who have been on campus for a few years.

7. Remember the costs.

Sometimes printing at home is cheaper. Sometimes printing at school is cheaper. And generally photocopying is cheaper than printing. Often you will have a choice of what way to get your material printed, so choose the best one. And remember: you don’t have to always print on white paper. Plain lined paper (even the cheap stuff) prints fine on a computer as well.

You can save yourself money, and feel good about saving the environment by saving paper. It’s just one way to minimize the costs of your already expensive education.

Careers in Photography

From exotic locales to magazine covers to newspapers, a career in photography will allow you to unleash your creativity and to choose exactly how you want to pursue it.What Can Photography Schools Do For You?These schools essentially help you to develop creative and artistic skills, along with the technical abilities that are necessary for you to become a professional photographer. Students can pursue lucrative and satisfying careers by blending photography and art to fit their specific interests. The courses provided are wide-ranging and technical, and provide training in the use and care of cameras, and in handling the intricacies of film development.The training includes instructions on conventional cameras and other equipment, digital photos, types of lenses, length of exposures and the various techniques used for developing prints. Several universities and colleges award degrees in photography such as Associate of Arts (AA), Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) and Master of Fine Arts (MFA). In addition, some schools provide graduate level courses for certificates in photography with advanced techniques. Students can select photography as either a major or a minor subject, or they can choose special photography classes simply to pursue their interests.These schools encourage and develop originality, creativity, resourcefulness, personal expression and individual style through their training programs. The curriculum consists of digital and film techniques, lighting, camera basics, portraiture, fine arts, digital imaging software, and composition and darkroom printing techniques.Many schools also offer courses in illustration, documentary film making techniques, designing, commercial advertising, presentation skills, business skills, photojournalism, and how to set up a studio for aspiring photographers. Photography school graduates can specialize in sports, marketing, news, portraiture and several other professions within the vast field of photography. Bachelor and Associate Degrees provide entry-level positions as artists, technicians, and assistants in commercial photography.Careers in Photography If you acquire a comprehensive basic education from any school or college, then here are a few of the fields you can specialize in:o Digital Photographyo Fashion Photographyo Editorial Photographyo Advertising Photographyo Wedding Photographyo Documentary Style Photographyo Photo TechnicianFor gifted people who are naturally talented, photography as a career can be very lucrative and bring fame. Indeed, many professional photographers have reached the top of this field, and are highly sought after for their services. Here are a few careers in photography that students can pursue:o Newspaper and Magazine Photographer – Although freelance photography is more lucrative, photographers who are just getting started can make a name for themselves through newspapers and magazines.o Advertising Agencies – In advertising agencies, photographers make ads for various campaigns. You can grow in this field and even become an art director or a supervisor for operations.o Fashion Shooting – Working in fashion shoots involves hard work, but is a stimulating experience. Photographers conceptualize and direct the shoots. Many fashion houses employ photographers.o Event Photographer – Events like weddings and concerts or debuts require photographers to document the function.o Freelance Photographer – Freelance photography is a challenging but satisfying and exciting career. There are a number of international organizations like the UNICEF that hire professional photographers to make various documentaries in remote areas.Photography careers are as artistically rewarding as they are profitable. For all those with a creative bent of mind and an artistic eye, a career in photography can open a wide vista of opportunities.

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