Morning Motivation – Week of May 20

The new week brings new prospects! Are you ready?

Here are your words of wisdom for the week:

“It pays to cultivate popularity. It doubles success possibilities, develops manhood, and builds up character.” – Orison Swett Marden

Last week, we talked about the importance of bringing traffic to your business website, and I promised to share some sources of “free traffic.” If ever there was a siren song of the digital age, “free traffic” is it!

  • Can you get free traffic to your site?
  • Can you build a business based on this traffic?

The answer is YES and YES. However, you must learn how to do it and you must be consistent with your activities.

Are you ready to get on that “super highway”? (See what I did there?)

Here are the main sources of free traffic:

Search Engines

Get your site listed in the venerated “top ten” search results; this is “organic” content. The most effective way to achieve organic search results is to provide quality content – lots and lots of content.

When your website proves to be a useful resource for visitors, you will do well. If you try and outsmart the search engines to get the traffic, you will be “spinning your wheels” (Oops, I did it again!), and it simply won’t work.

Create a content rich site and the search engines reward you by displaying that site when people search with the keywords within the content you provide. The content must be high quality. It must be original. Check out our Vargas and Vargas blog to see our own humble example.

Free Ads

Free ads are a mixed blessing. Free sounds good, right? They usually don’t work. That’s bad!

If you can get a free ad in a place where ads are usually sold, like the free ad you get for subscribing to classified ad sites that are visited by people, it might be worth the time. Be careful of how much time you invest.

However, the ad blasters and automated submitters do not work in my experience and should probably be avoided.

Articles

Without a doubt, marketing with articles/blogs is the #1 free traffic method. You don’t need to be a professional writer to do this. All you have to do is write a short article 300 to 500 words in length, that describes a problem people face and that provides a few solutions you know people are searching for.

Once your article is written, post to your site and to your social media channels. Submit to article directories, ezines and groups on social media. Some website owners are generous and will share your blog to get the widest possible distribution. However I personally have never had success doing this.

Write and submit an article a week and very soon your website will get interested visitors who are proven to purchase. Or, you may wish to write and post more often. Remember, “lots and lots” of content!

Next week, I will share with you the final two sources of “free traffic.” Stay tuned!

The Two Most Effective Steps When You File A Claim

Your Insurance is in place to protect you from risks that may affect your wealth and your health.  When an incident occurs, you’ll want to file your claim in order to receive payment for your loss as quickly and efficiently as possible. 

Luckily, there are two easy steps to ensure a smooth claim process.  Best news of all, you can manage these two easy suggestions in a short time, maybe even while you’re binge watching whatever is the latest and greatest on Netflix. 

#1: Paperwork

Gather your insurance policies to an easy-to-find (and easy to remember) location.  You might want to consider scanning your policies to PDFs and saving those on your Smartphone, home computer, or Cloud Storage. 

If you’re saving paper or scanning to PDF, be mindful with how you label each document.  Using the Insurance Carrier’s name along with the purpose of the policy is helpful.  For example, “ABC INSURANCE Homeowners Policy.” 

Use different color post-it notes strategically placed on each paper document to easily flip through multiple policies. If you’re storing PDFs on a computer or Cloud drive, create different folders for each policy and be sure to “rename” each PDF for easy search.  In a pinch you’ll want to quickly locate “XYZ MUTUAL INSURANCE 2017 PONTIAC.”

#2: Photos

Smartphones make it easy to snap photos of your belongings around your home or to grab a quick photo of damage to your vehicle after an incident. Be sure to have the date stamp feature enabled.

In your home, while running your vacuum around or changing the bed linens, snap photos in each room where you have valuable belongings.  Take a photo of the entire room, too, with different angles. Capture clear, up close photos of individual valuables. 

Upload your photos and save to your home computer or Cloud Storage. Or both.

We’d be honored to spend a few minutes with you to discuss how to organize your files, review to see if your valuables are insured properly or to prepare the step-by-step of the “what to do” and “what not to do” after a claim.

When you’re organized in advance, your claim can be processed efficiently. This gets you paid faster in order to begin the repairs.

You can call us now for a free educational moment or to review your existing insurance policies to be sure you’re covered for every eventuality. Call now at 617-298-0655 or text us at 617-409-0329. Click here to Visit our Contact Us page.

Morning Motivation – Week of May 13

As you know, I like to start each week with a few words of wisdom.
This week’s quote is:

“The Internet is becoming the town square for the global village of tomorrow.” ~ Bill Gates

Last week, we chatted about working on wealth. This week, let’s switch gears a bit and talk about “traffic”.

When it comes to making money, whether it’s online and/or offline, there are three elements you must include in order to succeed:

  1. A product or service to sell
  2. A compelling website that moves a buyer to buy
  3. People visiting your site

That third step stumps most business owners.

When folks visit your website, that’s known as“traffic”. Driving traffic to websites is the topic written about, discussed, pontificated about, stressed about more than any other. Don’t stress about it! I’ve got you covered! I like to keep things simple and easy to understand. Here are some simple thoughts on how to push traffic to your website.

There are two types of traffic: free (or organic) traffic and paid traffic. Organic traffic simply means folks are visiting you with no “artificial” encouragement. And, yes, that “artificial” encouragement happens when you pay to drive the traffic to your site. Either way, organically or paid, you’ve managed to get your website’s image, profile, address in front of someone’s “eyeballs.” And those eyeballs lead to clicks; clicks lead to your website.

Let’s be realistic, everybody pays. It could be your time; it could be with advertising dollars. Sometimes, it’s both. Paying with your time means you’re creating engaging content that tracks on search engines. Paying with your time can also mean you’re personally engaging with folks online, and they’re interested to find you. Paying with your money, well, that’s Google ad-clicks, Facebook advertising, and other well-placed marketing activities.

In a nutshell you get traffic to your site when it’s paid or organic traffic. Nothing more. Nothing less.

In my next message, we will take a look at each type of traffic-engine and see how they work.

I will explain and demonstrate examples of ‘free traffic.’

Carlos

Life insurance when starting out in life

Most people think of life insurance as something you get when you’re older. However, as Vargas & Vargas Insurance, serving Dorchester, MA explains, you should really purchase a policy when you are in your 20s, just starting out in life.

The fact that you are young and not as likely to die as an older person is to your advantage since that means your premiums will be far less expensive. You should carry life insurance just in case an unexpected fatal illness or an accident should take you away from your loved ones.

A life insurance policy is generally used to replace lost income for a spouse and children who have grown to depend on it. Even if you are currently single, carrying life insurance is still a good idea. You may start a family later and can then add a spouse and children as beneficiaries as your circumstances change.

The other purpose of life insurance is to pay your outstanding debts. These might include funeral expenses and health care costs if you were taken by a lengthy illness, such as cancer.

A young person is also likely to have a substantial college loan balance. While federal loans are as a rule canceled and discharged upon the insured’s death, the same cannot be said for any private loans you may have taken out, perhaps with your parents as cosigners. Lenders expect the cosigners to pay off the debt even if the person carrying it has died. A life insurance policy will allow your parents to pay off the private loan at your passing.

For questions on life insurance, feel free to contact Vargas & Vargas Insurance, serving Dorchester, MA.

4 Things Your Homeowner Policy Should Include

Shopping for Homeowners Insurance is often rushed and daunting.  And exhausting.  In the flurry of activity leading up to a Home purchase closing, the harried home buyer may speed through the insurance process with the goal of quick and cheap. Let’s slow down ever so slightly! 

Take your time and ask your insurance agent if the quoted policy includes the following 4 vital coverage parts. Your standard Homeowners Insurance Policy covers you in the event of damage from fire, lightning, hail, and explosions.   However, these 4 items are not automatically included.

#1: Higher Liability Coverage.  The dollar value of an insurance payout in the event of a claim is often the number one most overlooked and undervalued part of a quickly-quoted insurance policy.  We like to explain liability coverage to our customers like this: imagine if someone fell on the pathway leading up to your front door.  Imagine that person suffered a serious injury, such as broken bones.  Now imagine that person, whether friend, family, or otherwise, hires an aggressive Personal Injury Attorney to receive compensation for pain, suffering, and medical bills.   Do you think that $300,000 liability coverage is sufficient payout in such a dire event to protect your other cash assets (your bank accounts, your retirement accounts, your children’s college fund)?   Whether it is or is not sufficient, do you want to gamble your wealth away with insufficient liability coverage?   Consider increasing your Liability Coverage to at least $1,000,000.

#2: Storm Damage.  Severe weather over the past dozen years or so has cost Homeowners considerable sums of money.  These Homeowners lived in contentment with their homeowners insurance policies thinking they were covered for all kinds of occurrences.  When the severe weather hit—storm surges from oceans, rivers, and creeks; high-wind conditions; flooding inside basements from ground water saturation due to heavier than normal rains—too many Homeowners discovered to their dismay the lack of coverage for damage sustained due to severe weather.   Discuss flood insurance with your insurance agent.

#3: Power Outages.  Should your home lose power for a sustained period of time you could experience loss of foodstuffs due to your refrigerator not functioning.  Adding this extra coverage to your policy protects your money…and your food.

#4: Additional Coverage for “earth-movement”.  Have an in-ground pool in your backyard? If you live in an area prone to earthquakes, landslides, or sinkholes, you’ll want to add additional coverage to your standard policy to protect your assets and your home against these risks.

We’re happy to spend the time necessary to educate you on the best comprehensive insurance for your Home.  Call us today!

Call now at 617-298-0655 or text us at 617-409-0329. Click here to Visit our Contact Us page.

Morning Motivation – Week of May 6

Are you ready for another great week? My words of wisdom for this week are:

“The real measure of your wealth is how much you’d be worth if you lost all your money.” ~ Unknown

Do you recall last week’s message about being wealthy? I promised to share my favorite tips on how to work on your wealth.

I cannot tell you how many likes on Twitter I get or what’s currently trending on TV.  I know I’m not great at writing email messages (without a copy editor) but I have ideas; I jot them down and forward to the editors.

I know what people are up to because they share with me how they are doing. From the classes I facilitate at real estate offices and from my coaching clients, I continue to acquire wealth in knowledge and relationships.

Learning and connecting is how we navigate each day.

We would love to assist with your friends and family as they try to navigate the learning and knowledge necessary to make your insurance work for you when you need it.

There is no obligation for us to provide a comparative quote to help gain knowledge and maybe even a new relationship with our agency.

Next week’s message will discuss directing traffic to your business.

3 Things Your Homeowners Insurance Doesn’t Cover. Number 3 is a DOOZY!

We encourage people to conduct an annual review of their insurance policies.  Too often, when consumers purchase insurance, they approach the transaction with an eye towards prompt resolution and a focus on price.  This formula of speed+money is a formula for failure in the event of a future claim.

The reason is simple.  A carelessly prepared insurance policy, one prepared in the heat of the customer’s desire for a quick resolution and demand for lowest price could result in a “skeleton” policy that may not properly cover the consumer for a catastrophic eventuality. 

The quality insurance agent, interested in protecting the consumer with the best possible risk coverages, and in protecting their own professional reputation, will take the time to educate the consumer and provide a comprehensive insurance policy.

You may be surprised to discover that there are 3 items, indicated below, that may not be covered by your current Homeowners Insurance Policy.  Spoiler alert, #3 may surprise you!  We’re happy to assist you with a comprehensive, careful, review of all of your insurance needs.  And, education is a key element to how we’ll proceed with assisting you to fully understand risks you can protect for with the right insurance.

#1: Sewer Backup.  Whether your home is connected to a public sewer or you have a septic system, a backup due to a blockage, storm-surge, or other calamity, can damage electrical systems, furniture, floors, and precious possessions. Standard homeowners insurance policies may not cover you at all for such damage or may only provide very limited coverage.  You can upgrade to more comprehensive insurance to include special coverage for sewer backup.

#2: Precious Collectibles.  Basic insurance policies may not cover your stellar baseball card or antique cookie jar collections.  If the policy does cover your collection, the limit of coverage may be far below the actual value of your collection.  When you review your insurance, be sure to mention your collection and an assessment of its value.  To be sure, consider obtaining an independent appraisal of your collection to include that with your upgraded, comprehensive Homeowners Insurance policy. 

#3: Termite infestation and damage.  Not covered by a standard, basic policy. Period.  Depending on where you live, especially in the Northeast of the United States, termites and the damage they cause are a real and impending menace.  Homeowners often realize there’s an infestation long after the termite colony has ensconced itself within the wooden borders and interior of your home.  The cost of treating and removing the infestation, along with the costs of repairing the damage, can easily escalate.  Be sure to address these concerns in your annual review.  Consider also contracting with a local exterminating company to inspect your home annually for these nasty pests.

Insurance involves assessing a future, unknown risk.  That risk could affect your health and/or your wealth.  A carefully prepared insurance policy protects you for a comprehensive array of possible risks.  But in the rush to purchase the insurance, the consumer shops without the appropriate due diligence.  And, in the interest of making the sale, an insurance agent may simply provide the basics of a policy to appease the consumer’s request for speed and low price. 

Call us today for your free annual insurance review.  We’re thrilled to spend the time with you to find you the best policy that comprehensively protects your health and your wealth at an affordable price!

Call now at 617-298-0655 or text us at 617-409-0329. Click here to Visit our Contact Us page.

Morning Motivation – Week of April 29, 2019

I’ve got a mug of Ethiopian Limu from my local favorite coffee roaster Flat Black Coffee. I made it for myself in my Bialetti coffee maker. How about you? What are you drinking? Comment below, I’d love to hear from you!

As you know, I like to start each week with some words of wisdom, this week’s words, with my awesome coffee in hand, are:

“Wealth is the ability to fully experience life.” – Henry David Thoreau

The future is coming quicker than you think! In fact, the future is here and it’s NOW!

You need to learn about data and new concepts like the Internet of Things. You need to understand how technological changes like artificial intelligence (AI) will affect businesses. I’m not saying to imagine that you need all of this, because you do. I’m saying the future is coming. So now, imagine how you will feel when the future arrives on your front doorstep. Will you feel overwhelmed?

The way to avoid feeling overwhelmed isn’t just learning about the latest trend. You can’t possibly learn fast enough to “keep up.” Keeping up is overwhelming. Calm yourself down by knowing your spot.

If the marketplace is shifting, where do you want to go? How do you fit? How can you contribute? This is your spot, and you must know it.

If you sell real estate: make a smart website and make it easy for anyone and everyone to find you.

If you are in the mortgage business: answer all the questions that people have when buying a home so you are considered a resource and you become the first call they make for all things, MORTGAGES.

If you were hired into a new role, where do you go to figure out new stuff required for the new position?

The prerequisite is: Learn something.

Connect with others and listen to their perspective and their resources. Then learn more from them and from your own efforts. That’s how you’ll get through all these changes. That’s how you’ll figure out where you fit, what matters, etc.

Think of how these changes will hit from all angles. For instance, if you run a vacuum store and Roomba vacuums are the future, how are you going to position yourself in front of potential customers so you’re top of mind to solve their problem? How do you compete?

Connect with people. Listen to their perspective. Learn what’s trending.

Next week, I want to share some tips with you on how you can work on your wealth. Don’t forget to comment about the morning beverage—coffee, tea or other—you’re drinking to commence your awesome day!

Carlos

What Happens When the Main Condo Furnace Fails and There is Damage To Your Unit

If your Condominium unit gets its heat from a main furnace controlled and maintained by the Condominium Management, but it’s not part of your unit for which you are responsible, you may have some interesting insurance challenges should the furnace fail during the cold winter months; and you experience damage inside your unit.

When you own a Condo you are covered by two different Insurance policies.  The “Master Policy” for the Condo Building, generally covers all the common areas of the Condo.  It does not cover the inside of your Condo unit.

You insure the interior of your unit with your own insurance policy, typically called a HO-6 policy.  This insurance very much resembles renters’ insurance for apartment-dwellers. The premiums for an HO-6 policy are typically reasonably affordable.  These policies insure you for any claims you may have inside your Condominium unit.

But what happens when the main condo furnace goes out and you have damage in your unit?

We recommend the following as your logical course of action:

1.       Immediately contact the Managing Agent and inquire about filing a claim against the Master Insurance Policy for the Condo.  You should expect that you’ll run into some resistance here from the Insurance carrier for that Master Policy. They’ll attempt to direct you to your own HO-6 Insurance policy since the damage is inside your unit.

Remember, that damage was caused by the main furnace failing.  Stand your ground.

2.       Assuming you are successful in filing a claim against the Master Policy, you still may need to file a claim against your HO-6 policy for the finer points of items that would not covered at all, or not covered to the full extent of value for your precious belongings inside your Condo.

Review your current insurance policy now to be 100% sure you have all the appropriate coverages before it’s too late.

We’re happy to provide a free consultation to review your existing Master Policy and your HO-6 policy.  We want you to know the extent of your existing coverages for your protection and to help assure you of any additional coverages you may need.

The review is free of charge. Call us now at 617-298-0655 or text us at 617-409-0329. Click here to Visit our Contact Us page.

Morning Motivation – Week of April 22, 2019

It’s a new week once again, friends – are you ready?

As you know, I start each week with some positive words of wisdom, and this week’s are:

Last week, I promised to help you rid your life of some of the distractions that keep you away from being productive. Your smartphone, your inbox and the open tabs on your computer are all open invitations for distraction. You’ll give yourself extra time each day to focus when you silence your notifications, close your inbox and remove unnecessary tabs from your desktop.

If you want to focus, you can’t welcome unnecessary opportunities to intrude on your mental space.

Emails can be particularly intrusive because they often have an unnecessary sense of urgency. There are businesses and organizations that stress the importance of prompt responses to emails, but we can’t treat every situation like an emergency.

Many times, we blame electronics for distracting us from our work, but sometimes our physical body forces us into a state of serial-tasking. For example, if you’re hungry while trying to work, your attention will flip between your hunger and your work until you take care of your physical needs.

In addition, you’ll also want to be sure you’re attending to your health in a broader sense. Getting enough exercise, practicing mindfulness and incorporating regular breaks into your day will keep you from being tempted by distractions.

What works for me is looking at exercise as the gift to myself for doing my work. When 1PM comes around, an alarm sounds on my devices that it’s “me” time. I’ll then get out of the office and go to the gym or for a long walk outside.

People are more likely to login to YouTube or check social media when they need a break. Instead of trying to work and watch a mindless video at the same time, dedicate time for yourself to enjoy this distracting activity. Limit how much time you’ll spend on this break so that your guilt-free distraction time doesn’t turn into hours of wasted time.

Make technology your ally. Apps like Forest help to turn staying focused into a game. Extensions like RescueTime help to track your online habits so that you can be more aware of how you spend your time. One of my favorite browser plugins “The Great Suspender” suspends all of those open windows on your internet browser.

Multitasking is not the key to productivity. The key to productivity is focus. It’s far better to schedule time to focus on each task than it is to try to do everything at once.

Make use of the methods outlined above and prepare to be more effective and less exhausted in the process.

Carlos