Business, Title Insurance New York

Business Links of Interest for Monday, December 9, 2013!

so little time

For many of us the phrase ‘So much to do and so little time’ rings very true!

And, as a result, we don’t always get to read or learn about topics that may not be specific to our business today and yet are important just the same!

The links below are to articles that may be of interest.

What is Bitcoin? (3-minute video)

Who is this marketing for?

Tips for becoming a market leader

7 Ways to Get Bloggers Buzzing About Your Brand

The 4 Silent Killers of Your Business

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

Productivity tips from throughout history!


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


Business, Title Insurance New York

Real Estate and Other Links of Interest!

New York real estate and title insurance

Hallmark Abstract Service periodically provides links to stories around the internet we feel might be of particular interest to our readers and clients!

Today the articles include a look at interest rates and the impact on the refinance market, preventing cyber attacks from hitting your business, the impending hurricane season and the preparedness of New York real estate, home selling killers, motivating your employees, handling stress and more!

An analysis of the mortgage refinance market vis a vis the jump in interest ratesGlobal Economic Analysis

Critical importance for managing the threat of cyber attacks in your company regardless of size or industryNACD

With the start of the hurricane season, the New York real estate industry needs to be better preparedReal Estate Weekly

Almost 1 million homes have poked their heads above water and into positive equity in Q1 2013Housing Wire

What not to do if you want to sell your homeYahoo Finance

Is now the right time to be selling your home?USA Today

How do you keep your employees motivated and productive?Forbes

Managing business and stress are not mutually exclusiveCorporate Tips


The Hallmark Abstract Service Pledge!

At Hallmark Abstract Service our pledge to clients is to make each and every interaction and transaction with our firm as seamless, painless and productive as it can be.

We accomplish this through the level of service we provide, the attention directed to every detail of a transaction, our quick turnaround times and finally through our extremely conservative pricing on non-policy related fees. These are just some of the things that our clients have come to expect from us!

And that’s why we continue to earn their business, time and time again!

Call or email us today to set-up an appointment and we will come to your office, learn about the nuances of your practice and explain to you the way that we approach ours!

Hallmark Abstract Service LLC

Michael Haltman, President

131 Jericho Turnpike, Suite 205

Jericho, New York 11753

516.741.4723 (O)

516.741.6838 (F)


Website:   Hallmark Abstract Service

Blog:         The Hallmark Abstract Sentinel

LinkedIn:  Visit my Profile here

At Hallmark Abstract Service, we work harder to make your closings easier!

Hallmark Abstract Service is an agent for Chicago Title Insurance Company

business continuity, business interruption, disaster preparedness

Business continuity and disaster preparedness! (Reprint)

Hallmark Abstract Service New York Title Insurance

For those of us in the northeast who have been battered by Hurricane Sandy the topic of disaster preparedness and business continuity strikes very close to home!

First I’d like to send my sincerest hope that all who have endured this disaster are as unscathed as possible and that family and friends are safe and well.

While for some, myself included the power and heat have been slow to return, in the scheme of the unimaginable suffering being faced by some in the northeast this is certainly a small inconvenience to bear.

Back in August, 2012 I had attended a presentation on the topic of how businesses should prepare for a crisis that is outside of its control and one that could potentially shut their business down.

It could be a building that is inaccessible due to flooding or data that is unretrievable due to a power outage or, as with Hurricane Sandy, potentially both

In light of this most recent natural disaster I wanted to reprint the article and offer the power point presentation to anyone who would like to receive it. If you are interested you can simply email me at

“How prepared is your business for an event that has the potential to shut you down, force a dislocation of key employees and/or potentially compromise your stored data?”

Recently I had the good fortune to attend a presentation given by a gentleman whose expertise fell in this area that most of us are aware needs to be addressed but that typically isn’t. It’s kind of the business equivalent of estate planning for individuals.

He spoke about crisis management, business continuity planning and information protection that is in essence contingency planning for some exogenous event that is beyond the control of a business, unforeseeable and that could be devastating to the ability to conduct operations.

It would be a plan that once implemented “will mitigate those risks and protect critical business functions, assets and information with fast, comprehensive emergency response a key component to recovery.”

This type of plan will of course vary from business to business and from industry to industry but the basic premise is the same. Maintaining some semblance of business as usual that will keep a going concern going!

An example that he used was a steam-pipe rupturing in the heart of mid-town Manhattan that caused the evacuation of office buildings in the general vicinity. It was an evacuation that would last for an undetermined amount of time.

For companies that were unprepared for this type of event the result would have been devastating with critical information unaccessible, employees and management dislocated and business basically coming to a standstill.

Contrast that to a company that had a plan in place, systems and information duplicated and stored offsite, key personnel knowing exactly where to go and the ability to at least maintain a necessary level of operations until either the crisis passed or further plans were developed and implemented.

Once again, if you are interested in receiving the power point presentation you can simply email me at


At Hallmark Abstract Service our value proposition is to deliver on what it is that our clients expect from us each and every time that they trust us with one of their valuable real estate transactions.

Service, attention to detail, fast turnaround times, willingness to go the extra mile and reasonable pricing on non-policy related fees are just some of the things we are focused on and that our clients have come to expect from us!

And that’s why we continue to earn their business, time and time again!

Call or email us today to set-up an appointment where we will come to your office, learn about the nuances of your practice and explain to you the way that we approach ours!

Mike Haltman, Owner

516.741.4723 (O)

Hallmark Abstract Service LLC

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Business, business advice

Our business thought of the month!


Hallmark Abstract Service LLC. 516-741-4723.
We’ve never been to a closing where the title wasn’t cleared!
…because business is more than just new orders!
The Hallmark Abstract Service Management Thought of the Month!

Any sole practitioner, business owner, company president , CEO or managing partner needs to ask himself or herself an extremely important question!

A question that can sometimes get lost in the need to operate a businss day to day with limited time or opportunity to look down the road at bigger, strategic issues!

The question that we at Hallmark ask ourselves on a continual basis is what we can do as a firm to provide value-added to our clients and by extension, to their clients!

And how, in a business like title insurance, can we differentiate ourselves from competitors and both over-promise and over-deliver with every closing that we do?

Taking the time to establish and implemet initiatives and business practices that will hopefully separate you from your competitors!

Many businesses today, including in the area of law, compete in crowded arenas that create an imperative to differentiate oneself from everybody else.

For some businesses, title insurance being one of them, this differentiation needs to be very specific and targeted due to the fact that in many ways the product provided is considered a commodity that’s priced essentially the same regardless of who an attorney or buyer chooses to use.

In Hallmark’s case we pride ourselves on making sure that the closing table experience is seamless and painless without any surprises because any potential issues have been taken care well before the closing ever takes place.

We provide our clients with the greatest level of customer service possible and maintain the “other” fees required for title at levels well below those of most of our competitors.

And we always treat our clients as the valuable part of our business that they are.

The Management Moral of the Story!

So the bottom-line, particularly in an economy that is continuing to struggle, is to ask yourself if you or your firm is providing as much value-added to your clients as is possible?

Are you in some way differentiating yourself and your firm from competitors?

If not then how can you do this, and if you already are, how can you do it better?

Mike Haltman, Managing Partner

Hallmark Abstract Service, LLC

131 Jericho Turnpike, Suite 205

Jericho, NY 11753

Hallmark Abstract Service LLC. Phone: 516.741.4723

Fax: 516.741.6838

© Copyright 2011 Hallmark Abstract LLC



Does the way that employees park tell managers anything about morale?

law firm,employee morale,management

Whether you manage a law office, factory or warehouse can you learn anything from your employees parking style?

Often, particularly in this job market, an employee will not come right out and express dissatisfaction with their job or with company management.

The way a company finds out that someone is unhappy will probably be through either obvious recurring displays which is unlikely or when that employee comes in and gives notice.

But is it possible that the way an employee parks their car could tell you anything about the way that they are feeling? It can according to one reader of Freakonomics:

Hallmark Abstract Service,title insurance

Now personally I always back into a spot because it is simply easier to get out, particularly in a crowded parking lot.

But on the other hand, can you put any credence in a theory like this, or is simply too vague?

If you run a law office or work at one, what is your opinion on ways to either judge morale or ways to express low morale?

Given the subject matter it is of course fine to respond anonymously!

Mike Haltman, Partner


“We work harder to make your closings easier!”

Visit us at our website here.

For any title insurance questions in New York or if you would like to meet with Hallmark Abstract Service, please contact us using any of the following:


Phone: 516.741.4723

Mail: 131 Jericho Turnpike, Suite 205

Jericho, New York 11753

All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Hallmark Abstract Service makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, currentness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.