Hallmark Abstract Service New York, Title Insurance New York

The Hallmark Abstract Sentinel has moved!

Hallmark Abstract Service blog

The Hallmark Abstract Sentinel has moved to a new location!

Click to find out where we are and hit the Follow in the lower right-hnd corner so you don’t miss anything!

The Hallmark Abstract Sentinel has been incorporated into the Hallmark Abstract Service website together with the same great content and information our readers find both enjoyable and useful!

If you would like to renew your email subscription or begin receiving notification every time a new article is available from Hallmark Abstract Service, please visit us using the link below and click on the Follow tab in the lower right-hand corner of the page once you get there!

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Business, Title Insurance New York

Business Links of Interest for Christmas Week 2014!

business santa clause

With Christmas a mere two days away and 2014 coming up fast, one or more of these articles will hopefully prove helpful as we plan our business strategies for the New Year!

Attract more real estate clients by eliminating tolerations, practicing extreme self-care – Read more about toleration avoidance or those little distractions that sometimes distract us from the greater task at hand!

Get it Done: 35 Habits of the Most Productive People (Infographic) – Because who amongst us doesn’t want to be more productive?

Nation’s Law Schools See Lowest Enrollment Since 1975 – Less than 40,000 for the first time in over 40 years!

Which charity? – If your business is considering becoming involved with a specific charitable cause in 2014, these are some insights that may help.

For questions about title insurance or to compare the title bill for your New York residential or commercial real estate purchase or refinance please visit Hallmark Abstract Service at http://www.hallmarkabstractllc.com or send us an email at orders@hallmarkabstractllc.com.

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Business, Title Insurance New York

Business Links of Interest for Monday, December 16, 2013!

2014

With this the final full week before Christmas and New Years it’s a good time to look ahead to 2014 and new strategies that we might be thinking about implementing or stories that may have an impact in one way or another on our business!

These links are to articles that may be of interest.

Starting the Year Right: Business Development Goals for Every Lawyer – While attorney’s are the target audience of this article, the advice can actually be applied to just about any business!

Listing appointment a prime opportunity to dispel pricing myths, learn true motivation for selling – Once again, while this article focuses on establishing rational pricing expectations for the sellers of real estate, in any business that’s not commodity in nature this process is critical, particularly for new prospects!

55+ Housing Market Confidence Is Breaking Records – As Baby Boomers continue the aging process (the alternative is not a particularly good one) it’s a positive sign for those of us approaching the milestone of age 55 that our options for housing will likely be expanding. At the same time for any number of businesses this growing market segment will provide an outstanding opportunity!

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Business, foreclosure crisis, Title Insurance New York

Marketing, Foreclosures and Public Speaking!

Hallmark Abstract Service New York Title Insurance

What do these three topics have in common? Not that much really but if you are in business and/or involved in the real estate market they all can have an impact on you in one way or another!

Attorney’s and Website Marketing

The first article is focused on law firms and the fact that while many have websites, many more still do not.

When searching for an attorney or anything else on the internet, what is the first thing that many of us do?

If you’re like me it’s to look for a website in order to learn more about an attorney or a business who may have been recommended.

Without a website many consumers may pass you by and, for those who do have a website is it effectively presenting your firm in the most complimentary and productive way?

‘Pump Up Your Law Firm Website’

‘Your law firm website is the core of your marketing efforts. Yet it’s easy to take it for granted. We know how it goes — you spend time and trouble getting it to work like you want, and then you move on to more urgent things. But, really, constant attention is needed to keep your website working for you…’

Read the entire article at Attorney at Work here.

What’s your biggest fear? Is it public speaking?

For many it is even coming in on the list as more frightening than death!

Here are a couple of tips to help get over that fear.

‘Speaking in public: two errors that lead to fear’

‘1. You believe that you are being actively judged

2. You believe that the subject of the talk is you

When you stand up to give a speech, there’s a temptation to believe that the audience is actually interested in you.

This just isn’t true. (Or if it is, it doesn’t benefit you to think that it is).

You are not being judged, the value of what you are bringing to the audience is being judged. The topic of the talk isn’t you, the topic of the talk is the audience, and specifically, how they can use your experience and knowledge to achieve their objectives…’ Read the rest of the article at Seth’s Blog here.

Foreclosures to take even more time……….?

If you live, work or practice real estate law in New York State you wouldn’t believe that this could be possible with the current time to foreclose measured in years and not days!

But it may be!

‘QM Rule Could Extend Foreclosure Timelines’

‘Investors and servicers should expect longer liquidation timelines on qualified mortgages that go into default, according to Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services…’ Read the rest of the article at National Mortgage News here.

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blogging, marketing, Title Insurance New York

Should your business blog? (Infographic)

In other words is the extra work and small expense that’s involved creating and updating a blog going to provide your business with a return on investment (ROI) that will make the endeavor worthwhile?

The fact of the matter is that simply by you being here reading this article it has in effect made The Hallmark Abstract Sentinel worth the effort for HAS!

The benefit is not from our expectation that the people coming here to read this article are suddenly going to decide to order title insurance from us.

The need for our product is specific to real estate and more than that to a real estate transaction whether a purchase or refinance. And while it’s true that individuals can choose their own title insurance provider, when the time comes it is often left to an attorney to take care of.

Our goal is to provide information on a wide variety of topics that may prove to be useful to business managers and business owners while at the same time expanding the exposure and name recognition of Hallmark Abstract Service in the marketplace!

And that should be your goal as well.

So again, should your business have a blog?

Some statistics and infographic (Source):

19% of blog visitors refine their choices based on what they’ve read
19% of visitors use blogs for support and answers to questions
17% of visitors say they discover new products and services in blog articles
14% say they get assurance to buy after reading about the product on a blog
13% of visitors are inspired by blogs
7% of visitors actually buy directly from the blogs they read

business blogging

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Family Businesses, Title Insurance New York

Guest Post: Factors Influencing Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Family Business

Hallmark Abstract Service wants to remind its readers that they do have the right to choose their title insurance provider for their commercial or residential real estate transaction.

While the cost of the actual title policy will not vary from firm to firm, the other fees most certainly will. Hallmark Abstract Service takes pride in charging clients our cost for those fees!

family

Factors Influencing Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Family Business by Rick Raymond of The Family Business Leader

Entrepreneurship and its integral component, innovation, are of vital importance for family enterprises in adapting to today’s dynamic market environment. Increasing competitiveness, globalization and growing marketplace demands make developing an entrepreneurial culture an essential ingredient for success in the economy. No family firm can afford an attitude of passivity if it seeks to survive through multiple generations.

Although family firms are widely recognized as a major source of innovation, over time some become conservative and are unable to see the benefits or are unwilling to take the risks associated with entrepreneurial activities. Others develop the capacity to regenerate, allowing them to renew their operations, grow new markets, develop new skills, and adopt new strategies. A wide range of factors including family dynamics influence a company’s attitude to entrepreneurship, innovation and their inherent challenges.

Founder’s Length of Tenure

While the importance of the founder in shaping a firm’s culture is indisputable, studies show significant negative correlation between the length of the founder’s tenure of control and the company’s involvement in entrepreneurship, innovation and the pursuit of new ventures. This is especially true with the founder as CEO. The dual function serves to concentrate power in the founder’s hands and leads to intensification of conservatism, resistance to change, stifling of entrepreneurial activities and aversion to risk.

Notably, systems and processes development is one area where a long-tenured CEO’s resistance to change can seriously impact innovation. In the first generation these systems were designed to meet the founder’s needs, but they may not be properly integrated with current business operations. This causes inertia to take hold in the organization. As the business and marketplace mature and the next generation proposes changes, a crisis situation can arise. Frustrated by the constraints of working with outdated and inefficient systems, competent managers–whether non-family employees or new generation family members–seek employment opportunities elsewhere where they can use their talents. With them goes their day-to-day input, variety of skills, background, knowledge and connections. The loss of these resources results in strategic simplicity that reduces the possibility of agile responsiveness to changes in the environment.

Risk taking

Because the functioning of family businesses is set for a longer time horizon, greater importance is all too often attached to maintaining the founder’s imprint and lesser importance is attached to innovation. In a highly conservative family enterprise, transition from founders to other leaders entails serious risks, the most significant of which is continuing a culture that overlooks the need for entrepreneurial activities. Early succession planning can help minimize this risk by grooming successors and nurturing their ability to innovate while sharpening their skills in creating an organizational culture that encourages risk taking.

The skills inherent in entrepreneurship and innovation are essential in successor leadership because the complexity of entrepreneurial risk taking presents a key challenge to family enterprises. Management of a constellation of variables; innovation, new ventures, and outside alliances can sharpen a family firm’s skills and enhance its ability to adapt to and profit from changes in the economic environment. However the effect of a family firm’s culture on its systems and decision-making processes can be profound.

Family ownership and involvement promote entrepreneurship

In a family business multiple members of the same family are involved as owners and managers either contemporaneously or over time. The long-term nature of family firms’ ownership allows them to dedicate the resources required for innovation thereby fostering entrepreneurship.

Research has shown that the more generations of the same owner family are active in the company, the higher the firm’s focus on innovation. Since innovation usually requires diverse knowledge bases, it has been suggested that the involvement of different and multiple generations promotes innovation by bringing fresh insights and experiences and therefore new knowledge into the family firm. Capitalizing on the talents, skills, and connections of different family members can spur innovation and facilitate venturing into new market arenas. Also members of the owner family share an incentive toward encouraging a focus on innovation because the success of their company increases their wealth.

Corporate structure and building a culture of innovation

Research findings argue that firms with a more flexible structure have higher rates of innovation. Flexibility in processes and procedures, open channels of communication, decentralization, and informal decision making, along with loosely coupled decision linkages and loosely defined job descriptions are associated with innovative activity. Family firms have the advantage in this respect in that they typically have flexible structures and decision-making processes.

Clearly defined vision and mission

The importance of a defined vision to develop its business and a business-oriented philosophy of change is key to building a culture of innovation. Other factors include consistency in decision-making on innovative projects and identification of needs in terms of opportunities to develop entirely new businesses. In this regard emphasis should be placed on training and consultancy in the areas of activity, vision, mission, competitive advantage, methods and tools for strategy implementation and control.

Strategic Planning

The foundation of innovation: a strategic plan improves the condition of the company and secures its sustainability. Research into family business shows a positive correlation between a company’s level of innovation and its commitment to solid strategic planning that includes risk-taking and innovative activities as essential elements.

Commitment and clear involvement of top executives is essential

Successful innovation is a top-level management process. The generation and implementation of new ideas requires focus and clear guidelines. To produce innovations that result in performance advantages to the company, these processes must be properly managed within the organization. Management must plan and oversee the strategic development and deployment of resources within the organization including the setting up of multidisciplinary project teams and internal communications thus maximizing idea generation and adding critical strategic complexity.

In order to gain and sustain a competitive position in the marketplace family enterprises must be positioned to actively develop and take advantage of entrepreneurial opportunities inherent in their business model. Strong family bonds, a diverse set of skills, experience, knowledge, management experience, long-term internal and external connections available within the family group are resources unique to family businesses. Committed involvement of family members where the success of the organization serves both self and family interests are factors that strongly support a culture of entrepreneurship and innovation.

Rick Raymond is principal of The Family Business Leader™ and co-founder of The Growth Team.  They help second-, third-, and fourth- generation family businesses with succession planning, family dynamics, and family business management best practices as well as closely-held businesses in transition and growth. Rick is also adjunct faculty,  Zicklin School of Business, Baruch College, City University of New York, and the School of Continuing and Professional Studies, New York University.

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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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