Factor Investing

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Airline Travel Tips – Tips for Family Flying

Flying can be an exciting and enjoyable experience, especially if you are heading out on a family vacation. Here are some airline travel tips to make your trip as smooth as possible.Getting a good seat is important, especially if you are going to be traveling on a long flight. When booking your ticket, you can often get a copy of the seating plan for your particular aircraft. Take a look at it before deciding on your seats. You’ll need to make your decision on whether you’d like an aisle seat, a window seat, or perhaps you’d like to sit on the exit row which has more leg room but may have non-reclining seats on some planes. Keep in mind that children will not be allowed to sit on the exit rows, so don’t select these seats if you have young children flying with you. If you don’t get lucky on the seating when you book your flight, you can ask for better seats when you check in. This doesn’t always work but it’s worth a try. As a last resort, if the flight is not full, the flight attendants will often allow you to switch seats if you ask them once you board the flight.How can you avoid flight delays? Well, most of the time there is nothing much you can do about this as you are at the whim of the weather, traffic, and other uncontrollable reasons for delay. However, booking a non-stop flight can lessen the likelihood that you will be delayed since there will be no airports to stop at in between which is the usual cause of going off schedule.Watch for thieves in the airports. Happy-go-lucky vacation-going people are easy prey for thieves in the airport because they often, in the excitement of a trip. don’t pay attention as well as they should. Keep a careful eye on your purse or carry-on.Check to see how early you need to arrive and make sure you allow time for traffic in order to get there on time. Due to all the security, lines can be very long so better to arrive early and have extra time than be rushing to the gate.Make sure you have all the paperwork you will need such as boarding ticket, passport if you need one, birth certificate if that may be needed, and photo ID.Get a list of what can and cannot be brought on board in your carry-ons. These rules change periodically so get an up-to-date list from your airline.Since airlines routinely overbook, assuming some people will not show up, you will want to reduce the possibility of getting bumped by either checking in online before you leave home, or arriving early to check in. This ensures the best chance of keeping your seat. The good news is if do happen to be bumped off your flight, the airline is required to pay you compensation. This could be tickets, seat upgrades, or frequent flyer miles, and other bonuses.Use these airline travel tips on your next flight, and you will reduce the possibility of having anything go wrong on your vacation.

Cashing in on the Chinese Cash Cow and How Realtors Can Win Business ‘Made in China’

Growing Chinese interest in investing overseas was a top global business trend in 2014. According to Jones Lang LaSalle, the U.S. real estate market attracted $3.1 billion of capital from Chinese investors last year – an increase of more than 900% from just $264 million invested the year before.

The headline figure could exceed the $10 billion mark this year, although the reported numbers by themselves are a small fraction of the true number.

This phenomenal growth has been driven by two key drivers: First, the Chinese government is now actively encouraging outbound investment thanks to a new ‘go global’ policy introduced by them last year. Second, diminishing yields on domestic real estate investments are making international ones seem more attractive.

Chinese investment hotspots at this time include New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Houston, Las Vegas, Atlanta, Memphis, San Diego, and Detroit – where investors have been busy snapping up vast swathes of distressed industrial real estate.

But it’s not just Chinese institutions that are investing: as all those cherished only children reach maturity, their parents want them to have the best education that money can buy. Since the United States remains home to the best Universities in the world, so it therefore comes as no surprise that Chinese parents are looking to acquire property in which their offspring can live whilst studying.

So, the opportunities are clear. But how can you start reaching out to this colossal growing market? Given the significant cultural and linguistical differences, this is no easy task. But, hey, we all now know that there’s no such thing as easy money anymore, right?

Well, due to the global architecture of the internet, creating a Chinese language section of your website is probably a good place to start. For this, it is best to engage in the services of a native since automation tools like Google translate usually do more harm than good.

Next, you should ensure that any inbound inquiries are dealt with in the prospect’s native language. Whilst hiring a Mandarin or Cantonese speaker ‘in house’ is an option, it also poses a risk: once trained, your intern might just one day decide to acquire their own realtor’s licence and compete against you.

To mitigate this risk, it can be more effective, as well as cost effective, to engage in the services of a ‘virtual assistant’ located in China itself. He or she can then take inbound calls on your behalf, make outbound ones, receive and send emails, source data, and other administrative tasks. Two birds, one stone: Not only will your new assistant will act as your gateway to China, they can also help in a back-office capacity – leaving you free to get out there and grow your business.

Irrespective of whether you elect to go down the insourcing route or the outsourcing one, make sure that Chinese prospects and customers can reach you by calling a regular Chinese telephone number. Making an international call still remains a psychological block for many people, not only in China, but also in the USA and elsewhere too.

Once you have your Chinese contact infrastructure in place, you can begin the herculean process of reaching out to this massive market.

One way to do this might be to task your Chinese assistant with reaching out to realtors in China who might have clients interested in overseas property. Your listings could then appear on theirs. As with anywhere, identifying the good ones will take time.

Another strategy might be to start reaching out to potential customers directly. Like us, the Chinese are voracious consumers of social media. However, ramping-up your existing campaigns in an attempt to win more business from China is an exercise in futility since Facebook and Twitter have not gotten any traction there.

The good news is that agencies exist that will grab your existing social media content and check that it is compliant with Government guidelines, and then publish it across popular Chinese social media networks such as Sina Weibo, Tencent Weibo, RenRen and WeChat. This is a neat way of hopping over the almost mythical great Chinese firewall and being on the inside.

Of these, WeChat, has become defacto a standard way of communicating in China. An English version is available for free, and should be downloaded to your smartphone as part of your new armory of tools to help you win more business from China.

Whilst the Chinese might share our love affair with social media, a face-to-face meeting in Chinese culture holds perhaps even more significance than it does in ours. Any hard selling will be counterproductive. Whilst relationship building is important in any culture, it is of utmost importance in this one.

Bear in mind also that the Chinese are avid researchers and might end up knowing more about the property than you do. Be patient, and treat them with respect.

When it comes to setting pricing, bear in mind that the Chinese are a superstitious people. Try and avoid the number 4 if possible. Instead, be liberal with the number 8.

Prior to viewings, you should consider engaging in the services of a Feng Shui consultant who can advise of the best way to present property using the Chinese philosophical system of harmonizing human existence with the environment.

This will be a slow burn. Do not expect results overnight. It’s all about relationship building. It will take time. China’s a tough nut to crack. But if you do crack it, he rewards can be truly enormous both financially and, given the esoteric propensity of the Chinese mind-set, possibly spiritually too.

It would seem that now is indeed the perfect time to start looking eastwards and reaching out to this enormous market.