Friday, March 3, 2017

How To Avoid Real Estate Scam in Nigeria

 As the world becomes a global village, many consumers first turn to the internet as a way to either purchase or rent a property.

 While this in itself is good, a  wise choice has to be made in order to avoid being a scapegoat to an online scam.

 One example of such scam is the masquerading of a fake company as a legit government-affiliated housing agency in order to swindle unsuspecting homeowner of thousands of dollars as money needed to modify the mortgage.

 As a result, I decided to provide the information you can use to avoid being a victim.

7 Ways To Avoid Real Estate Scam

1. Search for Duplicate Listing 

Whenever you see a property listing you are interested in, take your time to copy the description and input into Google search.

 If the search result shows the same listing with different prices -it’s a yellow flag and extra care should be taken in order to avoid falling prey to scammers.

 This, however, doesn’t suggest there is no legitimate duplicate listing since agents sometimes post the listing on multiple sites in order to reach a wider audience.

You should, however, ensure that the listing prices for both properties are the same. If you see this discrepancy, call the attention of the website owner as well as law enforcement agent in order to avoid others becoming prey.

 2. Avoid Too Good To Be True Listing.

 If you spot any listing with a very low price, I advise you disregard such listing.

While some good estate deal may come so cheap, it is a rare occurrence. Some scammers may break into a locked property, advertise the property at a ridiculous price, welcome the prospective tenant, collect the money and disappear into thin air.

 3. Avoid Upfront Payment 

As people get desperate to lay their hands on choice houses; so also have scammers become daring. For example, the con men can post a duplicate listing online, and act as the agent of the said listing. These conmen will then ask you to give them money up front as security deposit.

 4. Avoid Paying Fees as Credit Check.

 Another way you can be scammed is by paying money just for credit checks. Though this can be legitimate, the price range should be between 30$ to $50. Anything more than this should be considered fraud.

 You are also free to ask the agent or landlord to provide you with the name of the agency that is to perform the background check.

You can also walk into the agency pay for the report and send it to the prospective landlord. Another means you can be scammed is through foreclosure counseling. Avoid paying money for foreclosure counseling as it is usually free.

5. Deal With Only Legitimate Government Sites. 

Don’t click on most hyperlinks especially when payments are involved.

Either type the website name directly into the browser or Type the site name into Google. Don’t feel so certain because sophisticated scammers now use .gov domains.

6. Be Damn Careful of Workshop Seminars.

 A self-acclaimed real estate Guru will host a real estate seminar where little or no money is required. During the seminar, you’re then pitched a paid course where you sign up in order to gain access to tips on how to buy real estate property for dirt cheap amount.

You attend the paid course, where you are further induced to go for an advanced course. During the course, the type of properties to invest in will be shown to you. These properties are either fake or aren’t what their bogus value.

 7. Verify The Identity of the Agent.

Before doing business take your time to check if you’re dealing with a legitimate agent.

For example, you can do a simple online search to check for: - The Property Address: If the address has been listed online by another company –this should indicate that it could be a scam. - The Phone Number: Does your number match that found on the property listing-? If no –you could be dealing with a scammer. - The E-mail Address: You can type the E-mail Address + scam into Google search to see if the e-mail has been used by scammers previously. -

 8. Work With Reputable Real Estate Agencies.

You can work with popular real estate agents with a good track record.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

3 Business Lessons Four Lepers Taught Me

3 Simple lessons That Can Transform Your Life

My perception of lepers has taken a u-turn.

INDIA047/ A mother, a leper.

Perhaps you are asking how? Perhaps you are thinking; “Where on earth was he opportune to meet the men who changed his orientation?.”

If you have  this thought, then its time do away with it, because In the Book of 2 Kings 7:3-10 the Bible spoke of four lepers who were outside the gate of Samaria.

These lepers as the passage goes-were at the brink of death-and as was the custom of Israel at the time-they weren’t permitted to get into the gates of the city to look for food as they were regarded as outcast.

Monday, February 6, 2017

The Irresistible Power of Story Telling in Businesses

Storytelling has fashioned civilization, destroyed cultures and built up nations.
Through stories people have been persuaded, inspired and nudged to act out a vision.

Through storytelling, the blacks of America believed the Martin Luther’s vision, keyed into the “I had a Dream speech” and set themselves free from the shackles of racism; hence, releasing them into a just society where people are not judged by the colour of their skin but by the content

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

How to Make a Customer Forgive your Little Transgression

Wondering how you can make a customer forgive you?

No worry in this article I shared a life experience that will definitely help you.

Recently, I had an ugly experience while visiting a friend who manages a cyber café. In this case a lady who bought a ticket almost engaged the lady in charge of tickets sales in a shouting match.

What was her gross?

She was angry that the internet connection was slow and as a result she couldn’t do much, hence she requested for a refund of her money, but the lady in charge of ticket sales vehemently refused to return it to her arguing that the customer has already spent the time embossed on the ticket.

The customer therefore resigned to fate that she wouldn’t be given a refund. She did this with anger etched on her face.

Knowing the damage her anger could do to my friend business I decided to intervene.

First what did I do?

How Can Event Businesses Win Clients? -The Answer

You are the head of the marketing unit of your event firm.
You’ve been given a deadline.
And you’ve been asked the dreaded question: “Why can’t we get clients from the blog?”
You feel ashamed.
You feel caged.
You wonder what step to take next.

In fact, you are mauling given up.
You feel killing the blog is the best thing since it can’t bring any revenue to the firm.
You are wondering if there’s any more avenue to explore before you pull the final plug.

If you are in this “shoe” you need to do this one thing -you need to plan a strategy.
When you are not seeing any return on time invested then -doubling your effort isn’t the best.

You need to ask yourself critical questions
You need to ask yourself: “what have I done so far?”

  •  Do I have the right plan in place to seduce my readers and turn them into clients?
  •  What strategies did I implement in the past that yielded tangible results?
  •  Were they one-off tactics I never used again?
  •  Was I focused on my core audience?

If you answer no to question 1, 4 then it’s time to plan, and time to discover your core audience. How can this be achieved?

  1.       Ask The Question: “Who is My Core Audience?”
This is one of the most important points to consider in any event firm. For example, our firm Ashford and Gray offers Marquee tent for hire and we know who our core audience is. We know that we price our service for medium and high-class earners. So when marketing our tents we know the kind of people who need our services and we target our marketing towards this class of people.
The same should go when blogging to attract clients -you should write for this class of people. This way, your post if finely written is sure to garner leads for your organization since the leads are highly targeted.
To develop an effective audience, you need to develop what is called buyer persona.
What is Buyer Persona?
According to Tony Zambito: Buyer persona’s are researched based archetypical (modelled) representations of whom buyers are, what they are trying to accomplish. What goals drive their behaviour, how they think, how they buy, and why they make buying decisions? And Tony adds where they buy as well as when buyers decide to buy.
In developing your core audience, age should not be the most important factor though this depends on the kind of service or product your firm offers.
To give you a real example let’s consider our children facility. In our children facility where we offer bouncing castles for rentals, our potential clients could include mothers and fathers. So based on this, one could be tempted to say our core audience are people who are aged between 25yrs to 75 yrs.
While this could be true, it is best to make the audience more laser-focused and that why it’s important we create Buyer personas'. Targeting this age bracket either during marketing or when blogging is more or less a “shoot and miss strategy”.
How Then Can I Develop The Buyer Persona For My Core Audience?

–         I should note what drives them
–         How they think
–         Why they buy what they buy
–         Where they buy
–         When they buy.
Finding out what drives my audience
One of the things that drives our audience is the need to be trendy -this is because they want their friends to notice them. We fulfill this drive by packaging trendy children parties.
By so doing we are able to get leads from their friends who want their children parties to be trendier. Other drive include the need to attract praise from friends and to feel popular.

Having known what drives them I needed to understand how they think.
Knowing how our audience thinks isn’t an easy task. So we did personal interviews to pull out the needed information. Another strategy we used to harvest information was the use of polls. This way we got a feel of how they think.

Note that while personal interviews can be a great strategy; it is important you do it in a proper manner to get the best results. Blow are some tips that can help you get the best out of this strategy:

–         Ask thoughtful questions -ensure your questions are open-ended or you will end up getting stereotyped answers.
–         Engage in Active Listening: avoid completing the answers of your interviewee.
–         Indicate you understand what your interviewee is saying -this should be done by ensuring your body language communicates that.

Find Out Why They Will Want To Buy What They Buy
One of the reasons why people buy from us is because we are reputed to know how to wow our customers. So in targeting your core audience, you need to look for the reasons why they buy what they buy. Some of the reasons include:
  • Quality
  • Competitive pricing and
  • Because of Friends  
For us it was as a result of the quality of our services and the referrals made by former clients- hence we ensured we built a good relationship with our clients.
Know Where they buy?
You need also to understand where your potential clients go to get similar products. This is where you need to look at the strategy and tactics of your competitors. If they have physical shops, you could use review sites to get the addresses of the firms.

Once you’ve gotten the name of the sites, the next step is for you visit the firm. The reason you have to visit the firm is for you to have an idea of what makes them tick.

Mind you this step should be taken seriously. In war, it’s called espionage.
Once you’ve gotten to the firm, depending on how the firm organization organogram has been arranged, you are most likely going to be directed to either the facility manager or the event manager as the case may be.
So you need to have prepared your marketing team on the steps to drive the best results. It’s best you do a rehearsal on what question you would like the team to ask your competitors.
Once you’ve gotten the answers. You and your marketing team together with other members of your organization should brainstorm on the data gotten. The feedback gotten from this exercise will enable you to know your strength and weakness.
Apart from the physical address, you should also use competitive analysis tool like Semrush to analyze the sites of your competitors which you’ve gotten either from Google search of the list of event firms in your locality or state depending on how far you want to your target market to come from.
This will help you know if you need to redesign your site and plan your content strategy.
If you’ve done your homework properly you would now have known your core audience.
  1.       Is my Post Helpful?
Most event blogs know the importance of blogging and so have dived into blogging fully but they have a challenge. The challenge is that many of these blogs are producing the wrong type of content -as it regards to generating revenue for their organization. According to Marcus Sheridan of Sales Lion- there are three types of content namely:
–         The Thought Leadership content
–         The Feel Good Content and
–         Lead Generating Content
Let’s take a look at these forms of content
  1.       The Thought Leadership Content aims to show authority:
 An example of such post is The Future Trend of The Event Industry in 2015 by the Event Manager Blog. While this post helps to show authority, they only generate few leads as they may not be structured for your exact target market.
They, however, help in gaining search engine authority and make your site easily rank high on Google; since this kind of articles are link magnets. This article as you can also see has a mix of Thought Leadership Content and a bit of Lead Generating Content.
The lead generating bits can be seen where I espoused the kind of business we are involved in.
  1.       The Feel Good Kind of Content
These are content that drives massive social share - an example is "The Most Beautiful Wedding Dresses in The World." This kind of content brings little or no leads on your site. The reason is because the article does not specifically address a direct problem for an event organization which could be organizing an event, renting a facility or offering a service.
While this content may not generate leads it can help breed loyalty in your subscribers.
iii.      Lead Generating Content

As the name implies, this kind of content is tailored towards generating leads. The content focuses on addressing your target audience real problem which includes their fears and challenges.

For example, my prospective client will ask the following questions:
  • Where Can I Get The Best Marquee Tents For Rentals in Rivers State?
  • Which Place is The Most Secure Place to Do an Event in Port Harcourt?
  • How Much Does Hiring a Marquee Tents Cost in Port Harcourt?
  • What is The Sitting Capacity of a Marquee Tent?
  • Where Can I Source For a Marquee Tent?
  • Why didn’t I know of such a facility prior to this time?
  • Is there a spacious parking space/lot?
  • How safe will my car be?
  • How accessible is the venue of the facility to different parts of town?
  • What other facilities does the tent come with?
  • What is the cooling capacity of the tent?
As you can see this kind of articles may not appear interesting, but they are definitely going to drive leads as they are highly targeted.

So in conclusion, go set yourself a strategy taking into cognizance your target market. Then write articles that address your audience problem. You can also spice your content with authority content to show people you are an expert and I bet you that the Benjamin’s will roll in.
Peter is a Writer who crafts articles that answers the question- " Does it solve a pain point?" You can reach him on @compellinadvert 0r 2348036532254

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