Business management, Business Management and Productivity, Title Insurance New York

Productivity tips from throughout history!

business

Businesspeople, whether sole practitioners or manager of hundreds, face the daily hurdle of maintaining the productivity level of themselves and of others!

There’s no question that on some days it can certainly be a challenge to maintain the desired intensity level but,  as we have witnessed throughout history, others have faced this problem and have persevered.

Here is a list of 25 of these people and the methodology that they used to maintain their productivity level.

1. Like many of us, Beethoven started his day by making coffee. He insisted on using 60 beans per cup.

2. Benjamin Franklin was “early to bed, early to rise,” and in his later years, early to take it all off. Franklin’s morning “air baths” consisted of reading and writing completely starkers for about an hour. Then he put his clothes on and got back to work.

3. Many famous writers and artists made sure to eat breakfast. Victor Hugo preferred his eggs raw.

4. Before Freud went into the office, he got a daily house call/beard trimming from his barber.

5. Agatha Christie never owned a desk. She wrote her 80 novels, 19 plays, and numerous other works wherever she could sit down.

6. Ernest Hemingway wrote standing up.

7. Thomas Wolfe also wrote standing up, using the top of a refrigerator as his desktop. (He was 6’6″.)

8. Some people actually get work done at Starbucks. Rainbow Rowell, author of the critically acclaimed YA novel Eleanor and Park, has written all of her books at the coffee chain.

9. Richard Wright did all of his writing, rain or shine, on a bench in Brooklyn’s Fort Greene Park.

10. Maya Angelou is incapable of writing in pretty surroundings. She prefers working in nondescript hotel and motel rooms.

11. It wasn’t that Frank Lloyd Wright necessarily worked well under pressure. He just wouldn’t sketch anything until he’d worked out an entire design in his head.

12. Truman Capote told The Paris Review, “I can’t think unless I’m lying down.” Neither could Proust.

13. When composer Igor Stravinsky felt blocked, he’d stand on his head to clear his mind.

14. Woody Allen gets in the shower — sometimes multiple times per day — when he needs a mental boost. (Here’s why his habit just might work.)

15. Classical pianist Glenn Gould fasted on days he recorded music. He thought it made his mind sharper.

16. German poet Friedrich Schiller insisted that the smell of apples rotting in his desk drawer stimulated his creativity.

17. Sometimes focusing is the issue. While writing The Corrections, Jonathan Franzen worked at his computer wearing earplugs, earmuffs and a blindfold.

18. Stephen King writes every day of the year and aims for a goal of 2,000 words each day. (It usually takes about five hours.)

19. Starting in 1950, Vladimir Nabokov wrote first drafts on index cards. This way, he could rearrange paragraphs and chapters with a quick shuffle. Once the author knew what order he wanted, his wife, Vera, typed them into one manuscript.

20. When Anthony Trollope finished writing one book, he immediately started another. Henry James did the same thing.

21. Theologian Jonathan Edwards, most famous for the sermon “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God,” didn’t have the luxury of Post-it notes or a portable pen. When he had ideas while horseback riding, he’d associate a single thought with a section of his clothing and then pin a piece of paper to that area. When Edwards returned to his desk, he’d unpin the papers and write down the thoughts.

22. After dinner, Mark Twain read the day’s writing aloud to his family to get their feedback.

23. While writing Interview with the Vampire, Anne Rice appropriately slept all day and worked all night. She likes to follow this schedule to avoid distractions.

24. Writer Jerzy Kosinski got eight hours of sleep each day, but he didn’t get it all at once. He woke at 8 a.m. and then slept four hours in the afternoon. Then he woke again, continued working until the wee hours, and slept four more hours before starting the next day.

25. Night owl Willem de Kooning often wore a hat and coat while he painted — his studio turned off the building’s heat after 5 p.m.

List courtesy of The Week

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Title Insurance New York

Title Insurance: A General Tutorial!

Hallmark Abstract Service Jericho, New York

Why Title Insurance Is Vital For A Homebuyer!

Today more than ever, consumers are reminded that in order to have peace of mind, they should purchase an owner’s title insurance policy whenever they buy a home.

This is especially true when buying a property that has been foreclosed. Anyone who purchased an owner’s title insurance policy when they acquired a foreclosed property will be protected if ownership issues arise due to a lender’s foreclosure documentation practices. An owner’s policy provides assurance that your title company will stand behind you if a covered title problem arises after you buy your home.

The bottom line is that your title company will be there to pay valid claims and cover the costs of defending an attack on your title. Title insurance compensates and provides legal representation to real estate owners and lenders against any financial loss that might arise because of undiscovered liens, encumbrances or defects in the title to the property.  These defects can result in total losses, where a defective foreclosure or forgery means legal title is not actually conveyed, or they can result in partial losses where a neighbor’s garage or fence encroaches on the insured property.

There are two basic types of title insurance policies. A lender’s policy, usually based on the dollar amount of the loan, protects only the lender’s interests in the property should a problem with the title arise. Similarly, an owner’s policy, usually based on the home’s total purchase price, protects only the homebuyer’s interests in the property should a problem with the title arise. An owner’s policy will provide protection against ownership challenges, errors or omissions in deeds, mistakes in examining records, missed liens, forgery and undisclosed heirs, among other things.

Unlike most other types of insurance, you pay a one-time premium at the time of your home purchase for coverage that continues as long as you or your heirs own the property. Depending on where you live, the cost of an owner’s policy is marginal when a lender’s policy is also being issued.  This “simultaneous issue” discount means you do not pay full premium for owner’s and lender’s policies.

In all transactions, a search of public land records affecting the property is conducted to make sure a homeowner has clear title to their property.  The title agent will scrutinize prior deeds or mortgages, divorce decrees, court judgments, delinquent taxes and child and spousal support payments, vesting, covenants, conditions and restrictions, general encumbrances, and utility or other kinds of easements. A history of ownership of the property is created, called an abstract, and steps may be taken to cure title issues that are discovered.  This may include correcting recording and indexing errors in the public record, correcting misspelled names or incorrect legal descriptions. According to the American Land Title Association, the title insurance industry cures defects in public records in more than 35 percent of all transactions.

Some examples of documents that can present unexpected title issues include:

  • Deeds, wills and trusts that contain improper wording or incorrect names;
  • Outstanding mortgages and judgments, or a lien against the property because the seller has not paid his taxes;
  • Easements that allow construction of a road or utility line;
  • Pending legal action against the property that could affect a purchaser; or
  • Incorrect notary acknowledgements.

Some examples of issues which can present title claims under your policy include:

  • A forged signature on the deed, which would mean no transfer of ownership to you;
  • An unknown heir of a previous owner who is claiming ownership of the property;
  • Instruments executed under an expired or a fabricated power of attorney; or
  • Mistakes in the public records.

The majority of the one-time title insurance premium covers the cost to discover, identify and repair issues caused by events that occurred in the past. Because of these preventive measures, title insurance is fundamentally different from all other forms of insurance, which charge annual premiums to provide insurance protection for future events. The curative work performed by title agents minimizes the fear, disruption and distress that title claims have on homeowners.

One way to compare title insurance to other lines of insurance is to imagine if a homeowner’s insurance agent came into a home and inspected all of the wiring at no additional cost to the owner. The agent then repaired any and all faulty or frayed wiring at no cost and guaranteed that none of the wiring that was repaired or any wiring that the agent could not see, would cause a fire. Finally, the agent charged a one-time fee for the inspection, repairs and guarantee that would be in effect as long as you or your heirs owned the property. The title industry finds the faulty wiring, fixes the faulty wiring and charges a one-time premium to guarantee its work, based on the value of the property.

When property changes hands in the United States, it is through a private contract that is recorded in the public record. No matter the type of purchase, but especially a foreclosure, it is important that all documentation is in order. Commitment to accuracy and quality assurance is the foundation of title insurance. This commitment ensures fewer problems for homeowners and provides assurance that they won’t lose their investment.

Consumers have a choice when shopping for a provider of their title insurance related services. When selecting a title insurance provider, consumers should always consider the company’s local expertise, service standards, market conduct and commitment to the local community. Consumers should also consider and compare all of the associated costs. Some rates may or may not include other services provided by the title company such as conducting the closing, preparing and notarizing documents and other services. When comparing one rate to another, be sure to get detailed information on what is included in that rate, so you are comparing equally. Asking questions can help the next time you buy or refinance a home. When refinancing with your existing lender, ask for a copy of your original lender’s title insurance policy. When purchasing a home, ask your real estate agent or the home seller for a copy of any existing owner’s title insurance policy written on the property. When placing a title order, provide your settlement agent or lawyer with a complete, legible copy of any prior title policies. Finally, ask your settlement agent or lawyer if any discounted title insurance rates are available based on your situation.

Title insurance and related services are regulated at the state level, so keep in mind that the process can vary from state to state and even from county to county. Be sure to ask how it’s done in your area so you know what to expect.

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Title Insurance New York

Why insist on a national title insurance underwriter for your real estate transaction?

Why should a buyer of commercial or residential real estate, or an owner refinancing an existing mortgage, insist that the title insurance underwriter that’s used for their transaction be national in scope?

Let me answer that question by referencing the first job that I had out of business school as a municipal bond analyst for a large Wall Street investment bank.

There were many different types of issuers and many different types of bonds. General obligation, hospital bonds, water and sewer, turnpike and many many more.

Each had different characteristics and sources of revenue but, as an analyst, my focus was on credit quality and that issuers ability to pay principal and interest when due now and through maturity.

Similarly a homeowner should have one basic concern when choosing a title insurance underwriter and that is the ability to pay a claim if and when that situation unfortunately arises no matter what!

That is why the financial strength of the underwriter is so critical, a fact which became even more apparent during the financial crisis that began in 2007 when some regional underwriters did indeed fail.

And this is why Hallmark Abstract Service is proud to underwrite our clients transactions through the Chicago Title Insurance Company which operates under the umbrella of the Fidelity National Title Group that in turn is a subsidiary of Fidelity National Financial.

Hallmark Abstract went through an intensive vetting process by Chicago Title before being accepted as an agent because Chicago wants to make sure that firms take the care and execute the proper due diligence on transactions so that claims will never be an issue. And for Hallmark Abstract they never have.

But, if for some extraordinary reason a claim does arise, it’s good to know that you as the property owner are well protected!

‘Fidelity National Financial, Inc. (NYSE:FNF), is a leading provider of title insurance, mortgage services and diversified services. FNF is the nation’s largest title insurance company through its title insurance underwriters – Fidelity National Title, Chicago Title, Commonwealth Land Title and Alamo Title – that collectively issue more title insurance policies than any other title company in the United States.’

If you have any questions of comments about the topic of underwriters or anything else please give us a call at 516.741.4723 or send us an email at orders@hallmarkabstractllc.com.

Mike Haltman, President

Hallmark Abstract Service LLC

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Pricing Strategy, Title Insurance New York

Guest Post: Pricing: The Never-Ending Sales Question

In business the question of pricing is always central to day to day operations in one form or another!

In the case of title insurance where premiums do not vary from one company to another there are other fees involved in the transaction that do. The business decision on how to price those fees is one way that Hallmark Abstract can differentiate ourselves from other firms.

In other industries where price can vary and perhaps bids have to be placed in order to win business this question of pricing will run central to the day-to-day decision making.

The following article was written by Adrian Miller who ‘is a Business Growth Architect, sales consultant, trainer, author, avid traveler blogger, columnist, hockey mom, amateur photographer, theater lover, movie goer and networker extraordinaire.

She launched her sales consulting business 26 years ago and since then has worked in pretty much every industry and with companies large and small.’

Pricing: The Never-Ending Sales Question

Effective pricing is a slippery slope. You fear that you are pricing too high and then the opposite, too low. Just like Little Red Riding Hood, we want it to be “just right” but it can often come out wrong.

  • Will I lose the business because of my fees?
  • What if they go with the competition because they charge less?
  • I’ve lowered my price so much I wonder if I’m going to be able to make any money at all?

These questions and others just like it cause us to wrack our brains each and every time that we write a proposal or submit a quote and have to include a price!

It shouldn’t be that difficult! Now, I’m not some pricing guru (and I am certain that there are some out there) but there are a few things that I’ve done over these 27 years that have stood me in good measure. Perhaps you will find them helpful too:

  1. I know my competition’s “rack rate” and although I don’t know how and if they discount their prices, knowing their base price is often enough to help me establish a project budget.
  2. I truly understand the scope of effort that my project will require. There is nothing worse than charging a discounted price and then discovering just how much time and work the project will entail. (Ya gotta ask QUESTIONS before giving a price!)
  3. I understand and believe in my value. (That’s a BIG one.)
  4. I’m not afraid to walk away from a project if the prospect is simply not willing to pay for it.
  5. I am open to negotiation on price but that doesn’t mean simply caving in on their demands. They give a little, I give a little and we all come to a happy agreement on what is fair.

It’s not easy, it requires stamina but you can get it right. The simple fact is that if you don’t, you run the risk of having an unprofitable company and working yourself to death for very little.

 

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real estate, Title Insurance New York

If buying real estate was a board game, here are the rules!

2013 Top 10 US housing markets

The process of buying a residential or commercial property can be daunting!

And, in the same way that we have to learn a great many things in life, wouldn’t it be helpful to have the steps we need to take when preparing to buy our dream home or income producing property right in front of us when planning our next move?

In the form of a board game, here are the steps courtesy of Pat Griesmeyer from Coldwell Banker. (If anyone would like a hardcopy of the original faxed to them simply request it at orders@hallmarkabstractllc.com)

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Title Insurance New York

Are you selling a residential or commercial property in New York?

That means you will likely be in the market to buy a new one!

Unless you are selling your residential or commercial property in order to pul-up stakes and move to a completely new location, chances are good that you will simultaneously be looking to purchase another piece of real estate.

Hallmark Abstract Service would like you to know that we can save you money on the closing costs for your purchase transaction and that you do have the right to choose the provider of your title insurance.

Give us a call or send us an email to learn how to save money while protecting your purchase with the Chicago Title Insurance Company.

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Title Insurance New York

Long Island Fight for Charity is almost here!

FFC Fighter Announcement

As readers of The Hallmark Abstract Sentinel may already be aware Hallmark Abstract President Michael Haltman is going to be fighting in the 10th Anniversary Long Island Fight for Charity!

Whether you can attend on November 25, 2013 at the Long Island Hilton in Melville, Long Island or simply make a donation, the winners will be the three great charities who benefit from the money that is being raised!

To learn more about the Long Island Fight for Charity visit the website here and to donate or purchase tickets use the order form here.

LIFFC what are punches worth?

LIFFC DEAR FRIENDS

LIFFC Benefiting Charities

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