Disadvantages of Managing Your Properties by Yourself

Investing in rental properties can be rewarding but stressful, especially with the number of tasks involved that need to be looked after daily. Most financial experts will advise the landlords to hire a property management firm who will send a condo manager to look after the daily tasks and responsibilities that you cannot fulfill all by yourself.

Here are some of the points to consider when deciding to manage your properties by yourself or if you would rather hire a managing agent:

Placing Advertisements
Do you know how to advertise your rental properties in Singapore? Do you even know how to come up with a concept that will attract tenants? Becoming an effective landlord does not just mean that you set up a rental property to make income and expect that people will readily come to you.

First, you must build systems that will make your business look well-thought out and organized, then you have to come up with policies that will make your rental properties attractive to prospective tenants. Does that seem like a lot of work to you?

Estate maintenance is a lot of work, that is why you don’t have to carry all the burden by yourself especially if you have several properties for rent. A managing agent can help you come up with strategies to advertise your property and attract more tenants so that you will never have a vacancy.

Screening Applicants
Screening prospective tenants is not as simple as setting up an interview. You would not want to end up renting one of your units to a problematic tenant who has a history of late rental payments or even a tenant with civil liabilities. But not all landlords have all the time in the world to screen every applicant, answer every phone call, schedule visits to the property, and set interviews. How can you screen applicants effectively without setting aside other important matters in your schedule? Moreover, how can you keep up with all the paperwork necessary that can be done by www.estateinfo.sg in Singapore so you can rent the unit to an applicant who has passed the screening?

All these can be managed easily when you hire a property management company for help. You don’t have to be present during interviews and property tours, plus they can handle all the necessary paperwork for you. The condo manager can answer phone calls and other inquiries on your behalf without asking for your approval or permission, because they can come up with a system for you.

Hiring New Staff
Not only do you have to deal with paperwork for taxes, permits, and licenses, but you also have to look for a reliable staff to help keep your rental properties in good condition. You might ask, why hire a managing agent when you can have your own in-house staff?

The problem with looking for qualified condo managers is that not all landlords are able to discern which applicants are qualified for the job or not, because property management is different from sales and accounting, maintenance and repairs, advertising, and legal work. Estate maintenance involves all these areas, that is why you need someone who is an expert in all the mentioned fields. You can hire staff to divide the tasks effectively, but someone needs to supervise all the activities.

Renovations, Repairs, and Maintenance
If you own several rental properties, would you be able to set time to inspect all the units to determine which ones need renovations and maintenance? Will you also be able to keep up with the complaints from tenants about utilities that don’t work? Finally, can you look for reliable contractors who can perform the repairs, renovations, and additions in your rental properties?

A managing agent can take over these tasks for you. Estate maintenance after all involves keeping all your properties in good condition so that your tenants can be happy with the service you’re providing. Preventive maintenance will keep your properties in good condition because small problems are resolved right away. You will be able to save more money for major repairs and renovations that way by delegating the task to someone who specializes in estate maintenance.

The way you will run your business will affect your image among your tenants, and in turn, their opinion will influence your reputation among prospective tenants and other businesses near your rental properties. Quality products attract quality tenants after all.

Collecting Payments and Imposing Penalties
Setting up a policy for payments and penalties will make the collection easier, but even if we all want such transactions to go smoothly, that is not always the case. Some tenants can be elusive when it’s the deadline, while some might experience financial difficulties so that the payment is delayed. Why deal with all that yourself when you can ask your condo manager to collect the payments?

By delegating the task to the managing agent, you will be safe from the stresses and headaches of collecting rent. Keeping a distance will also enable you to keep your image as a landlord who will not meddle with the affairs, sometimes the embarrassing financial state, of his tenants. Lastly, you don’t have to kick out problematic tenants yourself, because the condo manager can act on your behalf.

Resolving Issues
Having problematic tenants can be a hassle, especially if they are the cause of disputes with other tenants. With a managing agent, you don’t have to resolve such issues by yourself because someone already has the authority to interfere. He/she can call for legal enforcement to resolve issues with problematic tenants or call for help during medical emergencies.

Complaints also don’t have to reach you directly because they can be resolved by your condo manager. Only the most important issues that need your decision-making or approval will be addressed to you.


Qualities of a Good HVAC Service Provider

For most people, inviting an aircon servicing contractor into your home is a test of trust – trust that your decision results in good workmanship at a reasonable price. With a lot of options available in the market, however, it’s often difficult to tell whether or not you’ve hired the right service provider, especially if you’re not familiar with the processes, the equipment, and the industry in general. The key here though is to identify the right people even before your A/C unit breaks down.

Here, we’ve listed down some of the signs and qualities that will serve as assurance that you’ve hired the right technician for your repair needs.

1. Bonded, Insured and Licensed

When you’re in a hurry to get your air conditioning unit repaired, it’s quite easy to forget that you need to hire a reputable aircon repair technician to work on your HVAC needs. Still, it’s crucial that you hire someone who is licensed, insured and bonded. This will give you an assurance that any liability will be covered in case something goes wrong during the repair process of your A/C unit. Hiring a licensed technician also ensures that the person you hired is qualified to perform any repair or maintenance work on your air conditioning system. After all, it’s your property they’re working on and it’s just right that you make sure you’re not at risk of getting scammed.

2. Broad Technical Expertise

The friendliest of HVAC servicing company in Singapore won’t be of much use to you if they don’t have technical expertise necessary to fix your air conditioning unit. Your prospective technician should be able to pinpoint what caused the problem, and should also know how to fix it so you could immediately return to your normal routine. It would also be a good idea to inquire about the types of training he has undergone, as well as what he does to keep his license in good standing. Remember that a good A/C technician continually undergoes training sessions to become an industry leader and to stay on top of their field.

3. Confident Professionalism

Even if you’ve hired an experienced HVAC technician, an air conditioning system could show unusual issues that might take some time to resolve. This situation can be particularly stressful for customers, especially if the A/C unit malfunctions during the summer when the temperature can get very high. On such situations, when you find local aircon master in Singapore, your prospective aircon servicing contractor should be able to remain calm, composed and focused on the work that needs to be done. He should work diligently to solve the issue, while reassuring and keeping you informed about the progress of the repair job.

4. Excellent Communication Skills

It’s definitely a good idea to hire a highly skilled contractor to diagnose and repair your air conditioning system, but it’s even better if the person knows how to communicate well with his customers. The best aircon maintenance and repair contractors always take the time to explain the entire process to their clients, while keeping them informed as the repair job progresses. They also take the time exploring and explaining possible options on equipment purchases and warranty plans, which allows you to be fully informed and be confident with the decisions you made and its possible outcomes.

5. Great Customer Service Skills

Welcoming an aircon servicing contractor in your home shouldn’t make you feel uncomfortable. A good technician is expected to act professionally, be friendly and informative. He should be courteous, well-groomed and be able to explain all the procedures – both in repairs and diagnostics – in a clear and concise way that you could understand. Your prospective contractor will also willingly answer all your queries about the repairs and maintenance work that you’re A/C unit needs. Lastly, a good technician will respect your home and treat it as if it’s their own.

6. Impeccable Work Habits

It’s imperative for HVAC technicians in Singapore to follow proper safety procedures as they often work with electricity, gas, water and other moving parts of both commercial and residential establishments. This means they are expected to conduct evaluations, tests and repairs in a thorough manner and without any shortcuts. Doing this ensures not just the safety of the technician, but your family and home’s safety as well. A professional A/C contractor will bring with him clean and well-maintained tools to use at work, and will secure the work area from children or pets before starting the repair job.

7. Use High-Quality Equipment

If there’s one important thing you should check on your prospective aircon servicing company, it’s whether or not they use good quality and durable equipment to provide maintenance and repair services for their clients. Since you’re investing in your A/C unit, you surely wouldn’t want your contractor to use inferior equipment to fix the issues of your air conditioning system. While opting for cheap equipment brands may seem like a good deal as of the moment, it’ll actually cost you more in the long run. So make sure that you check the equipment brands that your prospective technician use – and if possible, research about it to see if they are the best brands in the industry.

The best way to ensure that you have a good HVAC service provider is to hire someone from a reputable company in Singapore. Make sure that you hire a technician who’s knowledgeable, patient, and has undergone proper training to cater to your air conditioning service needs.


European Lifestyle May Reduce Depression Risk

We have already heard from fitness experts and sources that Mediterranean diet (a.k.a veggies, fruits, whole-wheat pasta, chicken, fish diet) is known to bring great health benefits. But a study conducted in Spain takes its known advantages up a notch. The findings suggest that correspondents with the highest adherence to a Mediterranean diet and lifestyle, specifically obeying the way of living of people from countries like Italy, France, Greece and Spain lowered their risk of getting depression to 50% compared to those with lowest adherence. In short, Mediterranean lifestyle may also bring psychological benefits.

This Mediterranean lifestyle is composed of three (3) parts: Exposure to the well-known diet, physical activity and time spent with friends/family (socialization). Researchers ran and followed up the study for more than eight (8) years by the help of almost 12,000 university graduates. It turned out those participants who combined the three essential components had lower depression risks.

Although previous researches have shown the relationship of healthy diet and risk depressions, this recent study is the first to delve deeper on the association of overall, specifically Mediterranean lifestyle and depression itself. Researchers did not draw conclusion on the exact reasons why a balanced combination of physical activity, socializing and eating healthy diet is related to lower depression risk but according to Almudena Sanchez-Villegas, the lead study author and professor at the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain, certain ingredients in the Mediterranean diet such as fruit, olive oil and legumes have anti-inflammatory components which may be of use in inflammation prevention—which has been linked to depression in the past.

Exercising or physical activities have been previously linked by experts to help reduce anxiety and depression because during workout, our bodies release feel-good brain chemicals like endorphins, serotonin and dopamine. Lastly, social interactions according to the study researchers comes with better psychological health—suggested mechanisms such as having social support during hard times may backup this correlation.

For Asians, a Mediterranean diet may not be widely practiced but for beginners, a Mediterranean-Asian meal plan would be a good starting point. According to an article contributed by Brittany, a healthy living blogger on skinnyfitalicious.com, Mediterranean and Asian foods are rich in taste and normally provide nutrients the body needs. Ingredients from both cultures can be infused to one healthy and tasty recipe for example, combination of fish and rice, olive oil and veggies etc.

Recipe books featuring Mediterranean pyramid and 100 recipes from 25 European countries are available online like the ones found in Kinokuniya Singapore. Either diet can be unhealthy (for example, fusion of tempura fish or vodka) but what matters is the principle of these diets that drive the real benefits, one of which is to take a minute to savor and enjoy the tasteful flavors because the value it bring is not only within the confines of nutrition but also for the mind as well.


10 Swear Words You Probably Never Heard of

Humans have many talents but one that stayed all throughout the ages is the art of insult. It can’t be denied that swearing has been existent in the human civilization and developed by inventions of the human tongue. It has become complicated, upfront and funny that some retorts can only be relatable to a specific group. In a post from mothership.sg, when plain English words can’t express frustrations, Singlish expressions can be of use so as not to resort to vulgarity. Back to this millennial age, insults now a days are quite crude, limited and don’t give off a poetic vibe with a brush of subtleness as they once did in the good old days.

These medieval swearing, appearing with a charming sound may be an interesting thing to know in this modern age but probably would not work that well in a modern era:

1. Zounderkite
This is a Victorian era word that means “idiot.” An appropriate example spoken with some annoyance while arguing: “That zounderkite just ruined our report!”

2. Fopdoodle
A fopdoodle simply means someone of little importance or a simpleton. So if someone is making opinions to let you down, remember they are just a fopdoodle. Move on.

3. Gnashnab
This is a Northern English term used in the 18th century that’s meant to describe someone who complains all the time. It just goes to show that before and now, nobody wants a gnashnab.

4. Gobermouch
Gobermouch is an Irish term that describes someone who is fond of meddling with other people’s business or whereabouts. Some people just want to be low-key and that’s not something a gobermouch understands.

5. Snoutband
This means someone who never fails to interrupt a discussion or conversation aimed at contradicting the person talking. We all know a snoutband who believes they know everything and they probably don’t know the meaning of this word until now though.

6. Stampcrab
Stampcrab is used to describe someone’s clumsiness and heaviness of foot.

7. Fustilarian
This is one of Shakespear’s word inventions in Henry IV. Fustilarian means someone who is a time-waster or wastes valuable time on insignificant things. So, if you’re running a deadline, make sure you don’t act like a fustilarian!

8. Gillie-wet-foot
A Gillie-wet-foot is meant to describe a swindler or a person who is indebted and flees away. Be careful not to lend money to a gillie-wet-foot!

9. Klazomaniac
Klazomaniac is for someone who can only speak through shouting. I don’t think anyone wants to have a klazomaniac around.

10. Loiter-sack
This is a term coined in 17th century for an idle, lazy, slack person. Clearly, someone who spends all day in bed is a loiter-sack!


5 Things Men Should Quit Doing by 30

There’s quite a lot of immature stuff society will give you a pass on when you’re on your 20s, but most of these things get depressing and downright stupid as you march towards your 30s. We expect people to improve themselves as they get older, especially men since the possibility of having kids and a family comes to picture.

With that in mind, here’s a list of five habits every man needs to break once they reach 30.

1. Getting Into Online Arguments

By the time you’re 30, you should have better things to do with your time than get into fights in the comments section of a forum or a Facebook post. If you have that much time to waste in the internet, you must be unemployed.

2. Keeping All Your Money in One Place

Ideally, by the time you’re 30, you should be making more money than ever and you must not be keeping all your savings in a regular savings account. During this time you should know how to make your money work for you, such as by putting it in a retirement plan as well as broadening our investment portfolio.

3. Constantly Playing Video Games

Video and mobile games are spending so much and making every effort to branch out to different consumers. Although no one is going to look down on you for playing some game on your iPhone while sitting on a bus, slouching in front of your computer for 48 hours because you have to reach a specific EXP point to level up, something is wrong.

4. Binge Drinking

We don’t mean to stop drinking any and all kinds of liquor. It’s actually healthy to drink in moderation, and in fact, you may need to when you’re out with your bosses and colleagues. You’re a grown man now, there’s no need to show off how macho you are with booze. If you want to drink, just drink—no need to get drunk.

5. Living Paycheck to Paycheck

Rich men are rich because they are considerate enough to invest or save their money. Wealth is something we need to work hard at, even if it means living in poverty today for a better and brighter tomorrow. If being wealthy isn’t motivating you, just consider the emergencies that might need you to have some extra cash on hand. What if you get into an accident? Do you have enough cash to send yourself to the hospital or have your car repaired?

Being in your 30s does not mean you’re over the hill; in fact, your life has just begun. However, it’s expected from us to be more responsible with our actions and make better decisions in life.


Surprising Health and Beauty Benefits of Eating Kimchi

For years, Koreans clung to the belief that kimchi – a spicy, fermented cabbage – has mystical properties that aid in warding off diseases. But what was once considered as an old wives’ tale now became a subject of serious research for scientists not only in Singapore but all over the world. To help you get an idea about the “mystical properties” they’re talking about, we listed down some of the surprising beauty and health benefits that eating kimchi can bring.

1. Promotes Good Digestion

Since it’s fermented, kimchi is loaded with healthy bacteria known as lactobacilli, which helps in promoting good digestion. Another amazing result of the cabbage’s fermentation process is the development of probiotics, also helps in fighting off infections in your body.

2. Lowers Cholesterol Levels

If you’re suffering from high cholesterol or high blood pressure, then the more reason to eat this touted Korean side dish. The garlic found in kimchi contains selenium and allicin – both of which helps in reducing the cholesterol reverses of the body. These substances also help in preventing plaque build-up in the artery walls, thus lowering your chances of experiencing cardiovascular diseases.

3. Prevents Peptic Ulcer Recurrence

Peptic ulcer is often caused by Helicobacter pylori, a bacteria commonly found in the stomach – and there’s no better way to keep this illness from recurring than eating a good amount of kimchi. The fermented cabbage contains leuconostoc mensenteroides that produces dextrin, a substance that halts the growth of H. pylori in your body.

4. Improves Overall Appearance

Not only does it improve your health, eating kimchi also helps in enhancing your overall appearance. The selenium found in the fermented cabbage is what keeps your hair and skin healthy, and prevents wrinkles from showing early on. Aside from that, selenium is also considered as a relevant part of glutathione – a booster that reconstitutes and preserves vitamin C, a crucial element for boosting the body’s immune system.

5. Slows Down the Aging Process

Ever wondered why most Koreans look younger than their age? Well, the secret to that is eating kimchi. After being fermented for two weeks, kimchi becomes loaded with antioxidants that help decrease the rate of skin aging. It also prevents cell oxidation, making you appear more relaxed even if you’re going through a lot of stress.

Aside from being an excellent side dish to your favourite Korean barbecue, these benefits are another reason for you to try and enjoy this famous Korean household dish. So head out to your favourite Korean restaurants and specialty stores now, and get yourself some good kimchi.


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