Morning Motivation – Week of February 18, 2019

Hello, friends!

I love to start each week with words of wisdom, and this week’s are:

There’s a reason it’s hard to see the “next big thing.” Most of us can only ever perceive the world as it is right now. Remember, Henry Ford famously said that if he asked people what they wanted, they’d have said faster horses.

Do you remember life before phones were stuck in our hands almost 24/7? Remember life before scrolling and swiping endlessly? Remember life before Google? You probably do, but could you have PREDICTED any of this? No. Neither can most people (me least of all).

But when it happens — when something huge happens — when you start hearing people you trust shouting about a massive shift — it’s time to dig in and learn a bit.

One of those shifts is happening right now. I will tell you all about it in my message next week.

Carlos

Recap: Valentine’s Day

“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.”

– Charles M. Schulz

Did you all have a good Valentine’s Day? We hope that you were able to show your love to those that you are closest to last week. We also want to take this opportunity to remind you that it’s not too late to show your loved ones that you care by purchasing more than just chocolates and flowers. We’re talking about the gift of insurance! Policies like these are a great way to protect your loved ones:

  • Home Insurance, Renter’s Insurance, and Condo Insurance to protect the place that you call home, as well as your belongings and valuables.
  • Auto Insurance will help you verify that your car is financially covered after an accident, and that anyone who is hurt in an accident can get proper medical care.
  • Health and Life Insurance will help to care for your loved ones when they are ill, and make sure that they have the financial means to continue on if you pass away unexpectedly.

When you’re ready to learn more about how to protect your loved ones with the right Massachusetts insurance policies, call Vargas and Vargas Insurance Agency at 617-298-0655. We will help you review your current policies to make sure that the coverage is right for you and can give you free quotes on new policies for no charge and with no obligation. Don’t wait until next Valentine’s Day – call now!

A Massachusetts Smart Home Guide

Have you noticed that everything nowadays is connected to the internet? Once ‘smartphones’ caught on (to the point that it seems like everyone has one) it seems like everything need to be ‘smart.’ Have you adopted any smart devices in your home, or are you thinking of adding any to your repertoire? Whether you’re deep into the Internet of Things lifestyle or you’re thinking of dipping your toe in the waters of smart home devices, this guide is for you!

Thermostats

One of the first innovations in the smart home space was the smart thermostat. As with the majority of smart devices (as you will see as we go through each of the following categories) this product allows you to connect a household object to the internet and therefore control it from the comfort of your phone.

This means adjusting the temperature of your home without leaving the couch, or even being able to do it while you’re away from home! Imagine being able to go on a vacation in the summer and turning your air conditioning off to save money. This used to mean coming home to a stifling house! Now, however, you can use your phone and smart thermostat to turn on the air a few hours prior to arriving home – allowing you to benefit from the savings of turning off your thermostat without the hassle of waiting for the house to cool down when you arrive home.

Light Bulbs

How often do you wake up before dawn and have to avoid tripping over things to turn on the light? Or get ready to watch a movie only to have to get up to dim the lights? These annoyances are no more when you install smart lights in your home. Not only can you turn the bulbs on and off from your Wi-Fi enabled devices, most bulbs are able to dim, and some are even able to broadcast colored lights!

Security Cameras

Home security cameras used to be a passive possession. You would turn the camera on and forget about it unless something happened – then you could pull the tapes and hope that there was something useful recorded.

Now, having a security camera is much more useful. When positioned correctly, you can use a security camera to watch people enter and exit your property in real time, including delivery workers and even your children getting home from school in the afternoons. Some of these devices are connected to smart doorbells, which will send you a notification if they are rung, and sometimes even allow you to communicate with your visitors from afar.

Indoor security cameras can monitor older children that are home alone, as well as any elderly residents of the home and mischievous pets that should be checked on occasionally throughout the day. This monitoring for the indoor and outdoor cameras can be done via the internet from anywhere that you have a device with access to your camera system.

Switches and Outlets

Have another object that you wish could be powered on and off with your phone? Just plug it in through a smart outlet or hook it up to a smart switch. This works on many things, including fans, holiday lights and trees, coffee makers, and much more.

Speakers

Another great innovation in the smart home space is the smart speaker. Most smart speakers have the ability to connect to and control many of your other smart devices through voice commands. So most of the devices above that you can control with a phone can also be controlled with your voice and a smart speaker. This means that futuristic commands like “turn on the lights,” “turn down the temperature,” and “turn on the ceiling fan” are now possible to execute!

Smart speakers are also able to access a vast wealth of knowledge from the internet. Have a question? Try asking your virtual assistant! You won’t need to pull out your device – the speaker will often answer basic questions in seconds.

This list of devices may seem long, but it barely scratches the surface of what’s available to homeowners, and new smart devices are coming out all the time!

Does all of this talk about technology and smart homes have you considering upgrading your home with these devices? If you do decide to make a change, remember to call Vargas and Vargas Insurance Agency and talk to your Boston home insurance agent. Let them know what changes you have made to see if it affects your insurance rates. You may need extra coverage to protect your new device, or your insurance rates could lower because of added security features in your home!

There is only one way to know for sure what the impact on your Massachusetts home insurance policy will be – call 617-298-0655 and talk to your agent now!

Morning Motivation – Week of February 11, 2019

Happy Monday once again, friends! And Happy Valentine’s Day!

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

In last week’s message, I started talking about how you should use storytelling in your business to set yourself apart from your competition and to brand you and your business. I started laying out a few steps that will help you use the power of storytelling in your business. I only got to #1 last week, but here is the entire list:

  1. Show, Don’t Tell – Don’t talk about yourself. Instead, use stories that convey your expertise and values, maybe even showing the “superman” side of you.
  2. Use Stories as a Problem Solver – Humans use stories to make sense of the world around us. As your prospects struggle with the problems they are facing in their lives, you can use stories to answer important questions. How can you help? Why should they buy from you?  Well-crafted stores can show people the benefit of choosing your product or service.
  3. Be Relatable by Sharing Other’s Stories – Set yourself apart from your competition by talking about your customers, not yourself. Use clients’ stories to help undecided shoppers relate to your clients. When satisfied clients talk about you and praise you, it is more credible than anything you could say.

People love stories. Use stories to get and keep the attention of your prospects and referral sources and create an emotional connection with them. We make decisions emotionally, so when you take advantage of stories, you will be able to influence others thoughts, behaviors and maybe even buying decisions.

Although the human brain is able to process emotional and observational information, research has shown that emotional responses are stronger than rational responses and therefore decision making isn’t logical, it is emotional. Research has also shown that emotional response to an advertisement has far greater influence on a person’s intent to buy a product that the ad’s content does.

This means that when you use storytelling in your marketing, your audience is more likely to have an emotional response and remember your message!

That is it for this week!

Carlos

Recap: Family Dinner Tips

“The most essential part of my day is a proper dinner.”

– Rachael Ray

How often does your family enjoy eating dinner together around the table? If your resolution this year involved eating better or having more quality time with your loved ones, dinner is the perfect place to start? What more could you be doing to make the evening meal fun and nutritious? Here are some tips from last week’s full blog post – pick one (or try them all!) at your next meal.

  • Focus on serving healthy meals. Healthy meals don’t have to be complicated or hard to prepare. They don’t always need specialty kitchen tools. They can be enjoyed by people with simple and refined palates.
  • Plan dinner so that your family can eat together and connect. Ask everyone about their day, encouraging communication. Alternatively, you can occasionally use dinner time to learn something new by reading an article or listening to a podcast.
  • The important part about family dinner is establishing a routine. It may not be possible to have every member of the family sit down to a healthy dinner every day of the week, but find a schedule that works for you and stick to is as best you can.

Want to continue to make sure that your family is healthy and protected? Talk to your Vargas and Vargas Insurance agent about your insurance portfolio. Review your family’s health insurance and ask if your life insurance policy has enough coverage for your loved ones in case of unfortunate circumstances. A complete insurance review is free, and it’s only a call away, so pick up your phone and dial Vargas and Vargas Insurance at 617-298-0655 now to start the process.

Happy Valentine’s Day from Our Agency

It’s February, and that means that wherever you look, love is in the air! How are you going to show your loved ones how much you care about them? Traditional gifts include jewelry, sweets, flowers, and stuffed animals, but have you considered adding an insurance check up to your gift this year?

A sweet or cute or shiny present on Valentine’s Day is a great place to start – but why not make sure to also give your sweetheart something that will be a long-term gift? As Massachusetts insurance experts, we will be the first to agree that an insurance policy isn’t a glamorous gift, but there is nothing quite like it to say, “I love you and I want to make sure that you are always protected.”

When you’re reviewing your insurance this Valentine’s Day, make sure to go over the following policies:

Home Insurance

Do you share a place that you call ‘home’ with people that you love? You need to make sure that it is protected with the proper insurance policy. Vargas and Vargas Insurance Agency offers home insurance for homeowners, renters’ insurance for those in apartments or rented homes, and even condo insurance for condo owners with their own unique needs.

You never expect to need to make a claim on your home’s insurance policy, but having the protection makes sure that any issues that you have can be resolved quickly and without massive financial loss.

A home, renters, or condo insurance policy also protects your belongings, including your valuables – this means that if you bought or received a piece of fine jewelry for the holiday, you should make sure to let your insurance agent know. They can help you make sure that the value of your new ‘bling’ is covered in case of loss or damage. Talk to your insurance agent about your valuables, whether it’s fine jewelry, art, collectibles, or something else – they will ensure that your home coverage provides the proper protection for the items.

Auto Insurance

Your car gets you and your loved ones from place to place. This can mean work and errands, but it can also mean fun activities. No matter where you’re driving, you need to make sure that your car is protected so that you can always have a safe and reliable car – that’s where your auto insurance comes in!

If your car is ever involved in an accident, you want it to be fixed without having to empty your bank account. Having the right auto insurance will help in this endeavor! Your Massachusetts car insurance can also help pay medical bills of anyone hurt in an accident that is your fault, as well as provide liability protection if you are involved in a lawsuit due to a car accident.

Health Insurance

A big part of saying “I love you” is meaning that you care about someone’s well-being. Is there a better way to care for someone than making sure that they have a great Boston health insurance policy? Make sure that your sweetheart can get the care that he or she needs when they’re under the weather with a health insurance policy from Vargas and Vargas Insurance Agency.

Nowadays, medical care can be very expensive. No one wants to have to make the hard choice of forgoing care or seeing a doctor and ending up in debt. Talking to a medical insurance professional can ensure that you and your family have coverage that you can afford and that will provide you with the best possible care for your premium.

Life Insurance

One of the best gifts that you can give to the person that you love is peace of mind. Tell them that you want to make sure that they are financially protected in case anything ever happens to you and get a life insurance policy. Often, these policies are very affordable, and they provide a lot of coverage in a ‘worst case’ scenario. The funds received can be used to cover funeral expenses, care for dependents, and much more. Ask your insurance agent whether you should consider term life insurance, whole life insurance, or universal life insurance based on your unique needs.

When you’re ready to talk to a Boston insurance agent about providing protections for your loved ones this Valentine’s Day, simply call Vargas and Vargas Insurance Agency at 617-298-0655. Our agents can provide a free review for all of your insurance policies to ensure that you are carrying the right amount of protection for you and your family.

We would also like to take this opportunity to extend a big ‘thank you’ to all of our clients. We are humbled that you have chosen our agency to provide you with your insurance policies, and we always strive to provide you with the best possible service. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Morning Motivation – Week of February 4, 2019

Happy Monday friends!

I hope that you had a great weekend and are ready for a great week. You know that I like to start each week with some positive woods, and this weeks are:

We hear a lot these days about the power of “storytelling”—and why it’s so critical for businesses and brands as we continue to operate in the digital age.

But, like so much of what we talk about in the sales, marketing and branding space, storytelling has always been important. It has been the essence of the greatest and most successful communicators since the beginning of man. If you’re interested, check out the 7 best storytellers of all time by clicking here.

Consumers have more choices today than they ever had before. Traditional marketing just isn’t as effective as it once was. Most businesses aren’t using storytelling today.

My mentor and best friend #TheMan once said to me, “Many times the missing ingredient in a successful sales message or presentation is an interesting story.”

Not only is telling a story a tried-and-true method for getting attention, but an engaging story will also keep your audience’s attention.

I want to share with you a few steps that will help you use the power of storytelling in your business:

  1. Show, Don’t Tell – Don’t talk about yourself. Instead, use stories that convey your expertise and values, maybe even showing the “superman” side of you.

For more steps regarding harnessing the power of storytelling in your business, make sure to read my message next week!

Carlos

Recap: Buying a New Car

“There’s a lot of stress… but once you get in the car, all that goes out the window.”

– Dan Brown

Have you been thinking about buying a new car? If you’re like most Boston residents, you spend several hours a week driving from place to place and deserve to have a nice car. If that is the case, don’t miss our latest blog all about the process of car buying! In the blog, we covered questions like:

  • When is the right time to look for a new vehicle?
  • What new vehicle is right for my family?
  • What features should I be looking for when I choose a new ride?
  • How can I ensure that I get a great deal on a car?
  • What should I make sure to do after I buy a new car?

In addition to answering these popular questions, we gave lots of advice and information about the car-buying process. Whether this will be your first time buying a car or you’re a pro at negotiation, check out our tips – a little refresher can never hurt when you’re making such an important decision.

And remember, if you need a top-notch Massachusetts car insurance policy for your new ride, call Vargas and Vargas Insurance Agency at 617-298-0655. We can compare policies from several insurance providers in Massachusetts to find the best policy for your unique needs.

Tips for Having a Fun and Healthy Family Dinner

When you have a family, every day is an adventure. Sometimes just getting dinner on the table can seem like an insurmountable task. It’s never going to be easy all of the time, but we have some tips for how you can foster a fun and healthy dinner for your family from the agents here at Vargas and Vargas Insurance Agency.

Choosing a Healthy Meal

Many families struggle to consistently put a healthy meal on the table. It’s important to remember if you’re having trouble that ‘healthy’ meals can still be both easy and delicious, even if you have picky eaters at your table (whether they’re 2 or 92 years old!)

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, families should be following the MyPlate guidelines when planning meals. This means that dinners should consist of five food groups in specific proportions – those food groups are fruits, vegetables, grains, protein, and dairy.

Thankfully, there are plenty of resources for finding healthy recipes that you can use for your family. Start with an online search focused on meals with the MyPlate guidelines in mind. If you have children that are old enough, have them help with the meal planning and even the cooking, if possible. This will help to set them up for nutritional success later in life. Having trouble finding the time to put together a meal? Meal prep is a great option to plan out and store a week’s worth of meals (or more) and cut down significantly on daily prep work.

Here in the Dorchester area, there are plenty of resources for you if you need help creating a great meal. The library offers access to a cooking section where you can find plenty of great meal ideas, there are food pantries for those struggling to afford meals, and don’t forget about the wonderful produce offered at farmer’s markets in the area throughout the year.

Encourage Communication and Learning

Family meals are about so much more than just the food. In addition to serving something nutritious, you should make sure that you inspire everyone at the table to bond and engage with the group. Some children can be reluctant to share. To circumvent this issue, you will need to ask more specific questions about their activities and the happenings in their lives. Also make sure to talk about things that they are interested in – let them tell you about their social life or their favorite video game!

Want to mix up your dinner routine a little bit? Designate certain days as ‘learning dinners.’ Instead of focusing on conversation, learn something as a group. Find an interesting and educational podcast that you can all listen to or have someone choose and read an article from the news to bolster discussions about world affairs with older kids. Younger kids will enjoy playing games, so choose something age appropriate and start playing! If you need ideas for appropriate games, check out the ideas from The Family Dinner Project.

Another fun thing to do together while you eat is to plan other family activities. Ask kids where they would like to go – anything from day trips to vacations – and plan out a trip! Making plans together is a great way to bond while also learning about each other.

No matter whether you choose to talk, play, or learn while you’re at the table, remember that it is important that this time is about being together as a family. For most, this means putting away phones and tablets and turning off the tv during meals so that you can focus on each other.

Commit to a Routine

Times can get hectic, so you don’t necessarily have to do a healthy family dinner seven nights a week. Plan out what days you can and try to stick to your schedule as much as you can. Often, this routine will need to be evaluated and reevaluated as school and work schedules change, or when kids start or finish extracurricular activities – and that’s ok!

If it is hard for you to plan family dinners, try another meal – family breakfasts and lunches work just as well. What’s important is that you provide your loved ones with nutritious meals and that you spend time together to bond and communicate. And the more the merrier! Have non-immediate family members join you or invite your kids’ friends or your own friends to vary the routine and bring in new dynamics to your discussions. Just make sure that everyone follows the #1 rule – no electronics allowed at the table!

Want to do more to make sure that your family is healthy? Talk to a Vargas and Vargas Insurance agent about your health insurance policy. Call 617-298-0655 to get a free analysis of your current policy or a quote for new coverage. Having great insurance allows you to focus on healing without a major financial burden, so don’t underestimate the value of a great policy. Until then bon appetit and enjoy dinners with your family!

Morning Motivation – Week of January 28, 2019

It’s Monday once again, friends!

Are you ready for this week’s motivational quote? I know you’ve been eagerly awaiting its arrival!

The new year is well underway, and I don’t mean just on the calendar. The sun is coming up on an age where people will measure your ability to serve them based on three specific categories you’re definitely not tracking today:

  • Velocity – How fast can you deliver what you sell?
  • Friction – How easy is it to do business with you?
  • Connectedness – How easy is it for your customers to communicate with you?

How you answer these three questions – as well as how you build and align your efforts and interests to serve this – will determine your success or failure in 2019.

The nuts and bolts of your answers, the answers to the HOW questions (which are far more important than WHY questions any day of the week) are what you need to be shopping for right now.

Go out and find your HOW. Read up on it. Research it. Ask around. Buy it. Invest in it. Because how you get your shelves stocked and shiny and screaming out to the people who need you to thrive? Well, that’s the big deal.

Need help finding your HOW? Let me know – I have resources that I can share to help you with your business in 2019 and beyond!

Carlos