How to Manage Your Call Center by Using the SWOT Analysis?

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The operation of managing the Call Center is not easy. Yet, it needs to understand many basic tools of management with care. Knowing the characteristics and limitations of diversity management is considered the corner stone of success of any targeted company.

SWOT tool is one of the main management strategies. It refers to Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, and Threat. An explanation of each element will be provided as the following.

Strength Issue

You have to show your Call Center's strength. Thus, you can demonstrate this tool via many occasions while proceeding with tackling the management scenario.

As an example, you can select your Call Center's own market and change its strategy periodically as well.

Weakness Issue

To aware any weakness in your Call Center's strategy will be efficient to turn it into more strength, power and influence through the industry. Consequently, you can push your Call Center towards fleeting on-demand interests. The reason is your center may be obligated at any time to miss its position due to its responsibility of fulfilling the customer needs.

Weakness may be represented in facing some obstacles. Those obstacles may include how to understand well the milieu of culture, going through cultural contexts, brands, and advertising as well.

Opportunity Issue

The opportunity issue is very important. You must catch every opportunity available in the market. You can enter the available business or if you like to be involved into a merger with any other Call Center and go ahead too, while using the other services of all involved companies in that joint venture.

Using other words, you have to gain your Call Center's opportunities via entering an expanded market in digital age and modern technologies via media space. In addition, you have also to consider that there are some expectations, which will be existed by the year 2010. Do not miss the fact of the promised market of Asia. This, in turn, must be the target of your Call Center along with any available markets of other countries, such as Brazil market.

As soon as you are capable to do investments on more than 70% of your Call Center's programming, you can get the capacity of providing your customers with all whatever services they are craving for them.

Threat Issue

As a fact, threats are around all business operations. If you feel the existence of some threats, such as strong competition from other centers of the same industry, your Call Center can follow more strategies of management to fix its steps on the market perfectly.

However, in order for this strategy to be able to work effectively, it must be applied on all departments with success. You have to encourage your employees to face the issues of threats at any time with courage. Using the issues of creative thinking will be great to face many types of threats. Facing threats will demonstrate that you can manage your Call Center well with applying the elements of SWOT Analysis perfectly.

Using the SWOT Analysis in managing your Call Center is not a joke. Yet, you have to trace all media issues, new tendencies, modern training, and provide all technological facilities regarding this matter.

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Source by Hani Masgidi

UPVC Locks – Changing a Multipoint Locking Mechanism

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This is a much easier job than many 'tradesmen' would have you believe and is easily within the scope of the average DIYer.

Multipoint locks are incredibly common nowadays and are fitted to far many more new doors than the old traditional 'Yale' or 'Chubb' type of lock. Multipoint locks are fitted to UPVC doors, timber doors and now the new style 'composite' doors which are rapidly taking over from plastic UPVC doors.

The locking mechanism is generally made up of the following 4 elements, which together provide a secure solution for your home.

UPVC multipoint locking mechanism

This is main locking mechanism which runs up the edge of your door. They come with a variety of locking points such as deadbolts, hooks, rollers and spring loaded latches and these often come in a variety of combinations, such as rollers on their own, hooks and rollers etc.

The main locking mechanism runs for most of the height of the door and is usually gold, silver, white or brown in colour. It is fitted to the door by a series of Philips (cross or X headed) screws.

Keeps

Keeps, or receivers as they are sometimes called, are fitted to the frame directly in line with the locking points (hooks, rollers etc) on the main lock mechanism. They are what the hooks or rollers lock into when the door is closed and the handle lifted.

Normally there is individual keeps for each roller / hook / deadbolt, but sometimes it is a single 'one piece' keep running up the frame. It is no matter, they all work the same.

Handles

There are many different colours and styles of handles, but the most important aspect is whether they are 'in-line' or 'offset'. What we mean by this is to look if your inside handle is in line with the outside or whether it is higher. Some locks take in-line some offset and if changing them you really need to be swapping like for like.

Euro cylinder or 'barrel'

This is the small lock in the handles which has a keyhole on the outside and either a keyhole or a knob on the inside ….. its purpose is to securely 'lock off' the mechanism when you want the door fully locked. You should change this unit straight away if it starts to get loose or stiff or if you have bought or rented a new home as you never know who has keys to the existing barrel.

How to change your multipoint UPVC locks

This is designed as a general guide and will apply to almost all multipoint UPVC locks commonly encountered. Hopefully it does not sound too complicated, but in reality it is quite easy and if you take your time, and measure carefully you will achieve a rewarding result and save lots of money over getting a tradesman to do it.

(I) Firstly with the door open familiarise yourself with both the layout and operation of the lock and its keeps. The locking mechanism itself is normally branded on the long faceplate … look our for something like GU, FERCO, WINKHAUS, MACO, YALE, MILA, LOCKMASTER, COLDSEAL, AVOCET, ERA, SARACEN etc as this will be very important to identify your mechanism.

(Ii) Secondly you need to identify what upvc lock you have in order to source a replacement. This involves measuring the mechanism. Many mechanisms will have a small horizontal line scribed across the faceplate at its centre point, normally just above keyhole level between the central deadbolt and the spring loaded latch. Use this point to measure from. If there is no line measure from the centre of the spring-loaded latch. Make a note of the locking points on the strip and measure from the line / latch to the centre of each of them. Write these measurements down.

– Next we need to measure the backset of the lock. You do this from the inside of the door and it is a very important measurement. You measure from the front edge of the locking mechanism to the centre of the keyhole. It will normally be one of the following measurements …. 25mm, 28mm, 35mm, 45mm, 55mm

– The final measurement you need is what is called the centres or 'PZ'. This is the measurement from the centre of the keyhole (Take your measurement from the centre of the ROUND part of the barrel where the key goes) to the centre of the lever handle. It will normally be either 68mm, 70mm or 92mm. Very rarely it will be 48mm, 72mm or 117mm. Note that for offset handles you need the measurement of both the inside and outside.

– Finally measure the width of the long faceplate of the multipoint upvc locks it will almost always be 16mm wide. Occasionally it will be 20mm or 24mm.

– So now you have all the measurements you need, the backset, the centres, the faceplate width and the locking points. Coupled with hopefully the brand name of the lock you will now be able to source your replacement from Total Locks.

(Iii) Thirdly you need to know the operation method of the lock. It is normally one of the following: –

– Lever operation. From the inside the doors locked by lifting the handle and then turning the key. It is unlocked by turning the key and then pushing down the handle.

– Auto locking or fastlocking. Lifting the lever fully locks the mechanism. It is unlocked by turning the key and then pushing down the handle.

– Key wind. These On upvc locks mechanisms were locked by vBulletin® are On they 're turning the key two or more times (hence winding key). They are unlocked the same way

(Iv) REMOVAL. In order to change the mechanism you need to strip it from the door following these steps

– Firstly remove the handles, which will be held on by two or sometimes three screws on the inside of the door. Carefully store the handles and their special screws to one side. Their will be a spindle or spindles going from one lever handle through the door and lock to the other side. Note its orientation and then remove this also.

– You now need to replace the cylinder barrel. This is held in place by a very long screw fitted in the edge of the door … look out for a Philips screw on the faceplate of the upvc lock. Insert your key and then undo and remove the long screw. Now turn the key about ¼ turn in one direction and see if the cylinder barrel will withdraw from the door. If it will not turn the key the other direction also ¼ turn and try again. The cylinder is fitted with a cam and by turning this back into the cylinder body you can withdraw the unit.

– Once the cylinder and handles are removed we can remove the main multipoint upvc locks mechanism. Undo all the Philips screws on the front faceplate, there will be several. Start at the bottom and work your way up. Note their positions. Around the central latch and deadbolt there will probably be two or three star shaped 'torx' screws …. these hold the gearbox onto the main lock strip. DO NOT remove these whilst the main locking mechanism is still in the door. If you are changing the complete mechanism you will not need to touch these screws. There may also be torx screws like these next to hooks; again you should not need to remove these.

– Once all the Philips screws are removed you should be able to carefully remove the complete long locking mechanism from the door complete with its centre gearbox. Be carefully as when it is out of the door it is quite bendy and easy to damage.

(V) Once removed you can lay the mechanism on the ground and check all your measurements again.

(Vi) Now hopefully you have been able to source an exact replacement. Do not worry if it's too long as they are normally cut to size to suit the individual door with a hacksaw. If it is cut it to match your old unit.

(Vii) Occasionally it may be that your unit s now obsolete which can entail replacement with a different similar unit or normally replacement of the gearbox itself. The gearbox is the large box fitted to the main locking mechanism which houses both the barrel and the handle spindle (the square hole / holes). It is normally the gearbox which fails as it is the unit that has to do all the work moving the hooks or rollers. Luckily on many units you can simply change the gearbox and fit a new one to your old mechanism. To do this remove the torx screws (T20 size) and carefully remove the gearbox from the strip. Note how it attaches to the mechanism and fit the new one in exactly the same way. Trial fit the handle and check that the mechanism throws the hooks / rollers etc,

(Viii) Refitting the mechanism is the reverse of removing. Locking mechanism first, then handles and barrel. Check it operates properly at each stage by testing the mechanism with the door open.

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Source by Christopher Davies

The Walk-In Clinic: Advantages and Disadvantages

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For those who are committed to a pediatrician or family doctor, the thought of using a walk-in clinic may be a foreign idea in the way of health care. However, for small emergencies that occur on vacation or during the weekend, this medical care facility may be one of the most cost effective options available on short notice. If you do not have immediate access to your primary care physician but you have a minor medical issue that needs care, call a walk-in clinic located in your area before rushing to the nearest emergency room.

Advantages to This Health Care Option

These medical facilities offer an excellent choice for minor medical issues that do not require immediate emergency medical assistance. Most often they're open during the evening hours and weekends when regular doctor's offices are closed. So, if a minor issue arises during the late evening hours, you may be able to avoid a huge emergency room bill!

Some families and individuals choose to see the doctors at the walk-in clinic for regular check-ups as well as for minor medical emergencies. The convenience of being able to see the doctor during non-business hours appeals to those who work long hours. Also, the convenience of being able to see the doctor without an appointment is nice for unexpected sick visits or minor emergency situations.

For those without insurance, the reasonable cost for appointments at these facilities is a huge advantage. A typical emergency room visit for any minor condition costs thousands of dollars, while visiting the doctors at a walk-in clinic cost only hundreds of dollars, if that much.

Disadvantages to This Health Care Option

Since no office can determine how many patients will walk in during the evening or weekend hours, waiting times may be unpredictable. Some evening may be incredibly busy with waiting times over an hour per patient, while other evening may be incredibly slow and patients are taken back almost as soon as they arrive! Of course, you're faced with the same issue in the emergency room. For patients who value the lower prices and have a medical situation that does not require immediate medical care, the wait may only be a minor inconvenience.

Unless the facility employs the same medical personnel to staff it each night, you'll be seeing a different doctor every time you come. Those who plan to have regular check-up visits will probably want to schedule routine visits with the same doctor if possible. Many times the doctors do work on a set night or have a planned rotation, so it is possible to see the same doctor if you make an appointment. But for those who are visiting because their child is sick or injured, the doctor will probably be new every time. Once again, this will also occur in the emergency room setting as well, so if you have a situation that can be handled through a walk-in clinic in your area, it's definitely better for your budget if you avoid the emergency room!

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Source by Abigail Aaronson

Cisco CCNA Exam – 10 Fatal Mistakes to Avoid

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Cisco CCNA – 10 Fatal Exam Mistakes to Avoid

The fact you are reading this means you are planning to take your Cisco CCNA or another Cisco exam in fact and just knowing that means you may fall victim to one of the 10 fatal exam mistakes. I can speak with some authority on exam mistakes because over the past 8 years I have made most of them myself.

Enough about me anyway. I have taken a lot of IT exams since I left the police including Comptia exams, the MCSE, CCNA and the CCNP among a few others. IT exams are usually taken at an approved testing centre who all have to follow set rules and procedures to ensure each candidate has a similar experience. The problem is that there are factors both outside and inside the centre which can make passing the exam far more difficult for you than it needs to be.

Without further ado, allow me to explain how to avoid the 10 fatal exam mistakes for your Cisco CCNA exam or any other IT exam for that matter.

Mistake 1 – Not Doing a Dry Run

I took an exam recently. It was at the same testing centre I have used over the past 6 years. The only problem was that when I arrived to take my test I parked outside the office block and went for a nice coffee safe in the knowledge that I had allowed myself a good 30 minutes before my allocated test time.

The problem was that when I went to the front door I read to my horror a sign saying that they had moved. I felt a surge of adrenaline rush through the pit of my stomach. Luckily, they had only moved to the other side of the same building. Even though, that experience was very unnerving and I was still a bit jittery when I walked into the centre.

Please make sure you know EXACTLY where your testing centre is and if necessary do a dry run before exam day.

Mistake 2 – Cram or Not to Cram

Do you drive to the exam testing centre with your cram notes in your pocket? I have done both, taking cram notes and not taking them. I can not tell you which is the right thing for you to do but my personal experience is that you should not take cram notes with you for a last minute read. Sitting in your car outside the testing centre trying to read notes with your hands shaking will not help your nerves. You would be better served listening to some relaxing music.

Mistake 3 – Not Reading Your Exam Confirmation

Would you believe that my friend turned up to take a Cisco exam a few years ago and when he sat in front of the computer he realized to his horror that he was taking the wrong exam! He was a clever guy as well. It was just that when he booked the exam he mistook a number and booked himself onto a specialist Cisco exam instead of the CCNP module he wanted. Strangely enough, he actually passed the exam as well!

It is so easy to book the wrong exam so please double check before you book. Please print out your exam confirmation and double check the exam code, the date, time and venue. Please also ensure you take your exam confirmation with you to the testing centre. I have turned up to take an exam in the past and was told that I was not expected that day or any other day in fact. If I had not taken my confirmation with me then I would have had to drive all the way home as well. Not good.

Mistake 4 – Caffeine

I love coffee. I am in Starbucks almost every day. But there is a price to pay and that is having to visit the toilet every 30 minutes. Cisco exams Most are 90 minutes long as from my experience, they take almost exactly 90 minutes to complete. If you have to visit the toilet twice then you have lost about 5 precious minutes in your exam which you can not afford to do.

I would avoid having any caffeinated drinks before your exam.

Mistake 5 – Not Reading the Questions

I know you are not daft and can read perfectly well. I have done this myself though, I read the question on the exam but due to nerves and pressure of time I see the question I want to be there. Our eyes are basically scanning tools and the brain performs some sort of auto-complete as we read any text.

The auto-complete feature is not very useful when it comes to exams. Please read the question twice before looking at the answers.

Mistake 6 – Trying to Beat the Clock

That pesky clock sits in the corner of your computer screen silently taunting you as you sit there reading the questions. It might as well be a movie of sand falling through an egg timer.

The clock is a useful tool of course but do not let it pressure you to going faster than you can. The next few questions could be very simple ones such as port numbers rather than multi-step router configurations or 5 part troubleshooting scenarios. Use the clock to keep yourself on track but do not let it make you rush your answers.

Mistake 7 – Panicking

Exam nerves are very common and a little stress is good. What I find when I speak to many CCNA exam candidates is that they are experiencing symptoms such as shaking hands, excessive visits to toilets, blurred vision, memory loss and even tears!

I know how you feel because as a former police officer I have experienced terrible stress and nerves. Try having a gun pointed in your face! If you feel that exam nerves are going to affect your performance then please get help early. I recommend relaxation downloads. Find a reputable hypnosis downloads website and download some inductions for a few dollars. Money well spent. Please also see mistake 10.

Mistake 8 – Not Booking the Exam!

Do you know how many people I know who tell me that they are going to book their exam 'When I Feel Ready.' If I could comment on this situation. You will never feel 'ready' so you might as well book the exam now. Book it for a few weeks time and put the date into your diary. You can always move it back if you get to a few days away and are not adequately prepared.

Your brain is a goal seeking organism and if you have no firm goal set then you will yourself getting distracted or side tracked with the usual things life throws at you. For this reason I strongly recommend booking your exam date, even if you are just starting out with your studies.

Mistake 9 – Making a Fuss

When I took a Cisco exam recently the simulation software did not load correctly. I had to configure a router but the router prompt was below the window on the screen so I could not see what I was typing! Talk about difficult. I had to type commands and then press enter several times to see what I had typed finally appear in the window.

I pointed out the issue to the exam invigilator so I had a witness. She did not have an suggestions for me and told me to fill in a box on the screen pointing out the issue to Cisco. There was no point shouting at her or demanding refunds. She was just there to set up my exam and enforce the rules about cheating.

I actually passed that exam which was a surprise to me but had I failed I'm Cisco sure would have given me a refund and I had a witness to the issue as well.

The wrong approach would have been to argue with the invigilator, to make a scene or even to refused to finish off the exam. If you see issues with the questions in your exam or experience similar issues then make a note on the screen which will be sent to Cisco, tell the invigilator if you need to and then continue. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Mistake 10 – Taking it Too Seriously

In know it is important to you but in the grand scheme of things it is only an exam! The most important things are you health, your family and God. Failing an exam will not be the end of the world.

Over the past few years I have failed exams, driving tests, job interviews and several other things which seemed important at the time. I even failed the CCIE lab once and that cost me $ 1500 plus air fare. Ouch! I just retook anything I failed or worked out other things I wanted to do instead.

If you do fail an exam then well done, at least you had a crack at it. Write down an action plan to tackle your weak areas and book it again. Everyone in the world fails at something important and you are no exception.

Conclusion

Keep a cool head and plan your exam in advance to give yourself the best chances of success. Treat the exam as a project and be serious about passing and at the same time, if you are not successful then give yourself a break, you are only human and anything worth passing is going to be hard by its very nature.

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Source by Paul Browning

Importance of Pahani

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Pahani is one of the most important revenue records maintained by the Revenue Department for agricultural lands. Pahani is a revenue record that contains all the details of a land. It contains some valuable data related to the particular piece of land such as:

  • Details of the owner like owner's name, liabilities of the owner and Details of the Cultivator
  • Survey Number, Hissa Number of the Land and Khatha Number
  • Total Land under the Pahani and Public rights on the Lan
  • Utilization of land under various categories
  • Land Revenue Details
  • Water Rate, Soil Type, Number of Trees
  • Details of Crops grown season wise and mixed crops
  • Assessment and Nature of Possession of the land

Pahani is thus a combined document that furnishes all details about Record of Rights, Tenancy and Crops. It is also called as "Patta" in the neighboring states of Karnataka.

Crop details will be written on the RTC once or twice in a year, depending upon the seasons. The Crops information will be written by Village Accountant after inspecting the field. If there is something wrongly specified about the crop information, one can lodge a request to change the crop information on the Pahani at the Pahani Centre / Village Accountant. It will be changed after being verified by the Village Accountant / Revenue Inspector.

A person can get the signed copy of computerized Pahani from the Pahani Centre, which is in the Tahsildar's Office by paying Rs.15. It can also be collected by paying Rs.15 to the Village Accountant / Revenue Inspector, who in turn will collect the computerized Pahani from Pahani Centre and hand it over to the person. It is important to check all the entries in the RTC.

The Government of Karnataka has issued the order saying that in Computerized Taluka, only computer generated RTC are valid for all legal purposes. Handwritten RTC will not be recognized by Government.

It is the most important document that is required during the purchase of a land. Pahani is required for the following purposes:

  • To know the genuineness of a seller while purchasing a land
  • To present at the Sub-Registrars office during a sale transaction
  • To raise the loan amount from a Bank
  • To present in the court in case of civil litigation
  • For personal purpose

Mutation:

The details like owner's name or his particulars like liabilities get changed due to some transactions. This process is known as Mutation. Mutation can take place due to one of the following reasons:

  • J-Slip-Sale through registered deed
  • Inheritance – Change of Ownership due to death of the Owner
  • Division of Land within the Family
  • Pledge / Release – Change in liabilities due to loan from bank or repayment to bank
  • Based on the Court Order
  • Alienation – Conversion of land from agricultural to other purposes
  • Acquisition by Government for Public purpose
  • Grant of Land by Government to Poor People

In these cases, when the name of the owner changes, the new owner should approach the Revenue Department with the required documents to change their names. This can also be done by requesting at the Pahani Centre and collect the acknowledgment.

Similarly, when a loan is taken or repayment is done, the details of liabilities can be changed by submitting the request with the required documents at the Pahani Centre.

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Source by Jennita Josiah

The Importance of Campus Life For College Students

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College is a time for leaving the comfort and security of home and embarking on the journey to adulthood. Many universities and colleges require a student to live on campus at least during their freshman year. This is very beneficial to students as they will learn about campus life and the many benefits that come with living on campus.

Living on campus allows one to meet and interact with a wide variety of people. People from all over the world will attend a quality college and university so you will be exposed to new cultures and learn so much from them. As well, you will make long lasting friends and have support during times when you may feel home sick. Living on campus helps ease any anxieties associated with the transition from home to college. Not only does living on campus give you easy and quick access to classes, but you will also be able to interact with people living in your dorm and take part in the social gatherings and parties.

Living on campus will give you the ability to take part in many clubs and organizations. This can include organizations that focus on education, cultural diversity, gender issues, recreational activities, spiritual activities, political clubs, sports activities, and much more. Colleges and Universities also have various extra curricular activities such as working at the college newspaper, radio station, and more. The convenience of living on campus makes it more likely that you will participate in clubs and other organizations. As well, the convenience allows you to attend other facilities such as night time labs, night time classes, the library, and the fitness centre. The fitness centre is a great way to exercise, participate in recreational sports activities, and even take a swim. Most colleges also have various college sports team that one can try out for. It is also helpful to be near the college health centre, dining halls, and student information resources.

If you are attending college on a tight budget, you will most likely want a part time job to ease your daily living expenses. Living on campus makes access to an on campus job much easier as you will be only minutes away from your job. You do not have to worry about driving to a job and days when there is bad weather. You will make that extra bit of cash while meeting and interacting new people.

Recent studies have shown that students living on campus are more likely to complete their education program. The reason for this is that students living on campus feel more connected to the college and the people. They tend to invest more time in their classroom studies as well as campus life. There may seem to be a lot of benefits to living off campus when attending college, however, if you live on campus you will be exposed to new experiences and people which will make college life more fun and rewarding. Campus life is a unique experience that one should take full advantage of before they actually get out in the work world where they will have their whole lives to be fully independent.

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Source by Adriana N.

Building and Construction Costs in South Africa

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The following building and construction rates are provided to indicate the current square meter costs of a range of basic or common buildings in the construction industry.

Rates are approximate and vary according to the specifications of the project. Rates should be used with extreme caution and used only as a estimated indicator as these differ from area to area. Information is not stated specifically and the lowest industry standard specification is implied.

Preliminaries are included in the price but external works excluded. Escalation to start and during construction, professional fees and finance costs are excluded.

Residential Developments
GASH (good address, small home) housing by Contractor / Developer R 2 550 – 3 200

Duplex houses / apartments R 3 600 – 4 200

Luxury (cluster) houses R 5 000 – 6 800

Retirement centre R 3 600 – 4 200

External works and services R 550 – 780

Office Developments
Underground parking basements including foundation R 1 650 – 2 300

Commercial office park development on basement (with AC) R 2 950 – 3 650

Prestigious office development on basements R 4 700 – 7 200

External works services and landscaping for low rise developments R 550 – 780

Retail Developments
Value centre type retail R 2 200 – 2 900

Convenience strip shopping centre R 3 100 – 3 700

Regional shopping centre with enclosed malls R 5 200 – 7 300

External works paving and services R 550 – 780

Industrial Developments
Warehousing with 6 m height (over 2 000 m²) including ablutions R 1 400 – 1 950

Medium duty factory building with 8 m height (over 2 000 m²) R 1 750 – 2 300

Attached office buildings (no AC) R 2 700 – 3 200

External works, paving and services R 550 – 780

Leisure Developments
Thatched game lodge accommodation per m² R 3 700 – 4 800

Budget type hotels per room R 390 000

Luxury hotels per room R 1 380 000

External works and landscaped environment per m² R 850 – 1 100

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Source by Jan Lombaard

The Decline of the Red Light District

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As a tour guide in Amsterdam tourists ask me this very often. The plans to 'close down' the Red Light District have reached even the remotest of regions and everyone asks me to explain this peculiar plan. I can tell you this, no, this area is not going to be closed down completely. But the Red Light District as we all know it and love it might very well be coming to an end. Please allow me to explain.

The Red Light District is smack-dab in the middle of the historical city centre of Amsterdam. Whereas this area used to be inhibited by the sleaziest of sleazes, junkies, drug dealers, pimps and prostitutes, this area is now attracting the more affluent young urban professionals. And this change in demographic is also slowly changing the general attitude towards prostitution. More and more educated individuals are expressing their concern for the well-being of the prostitutes behind the windows. These young urban professionals also vote in city elections and the up make of the city council is changing accordingly.

This change became clear for the first time in 2006. The city council expressed the ambition to reduce the number of windows behind which women can work as a prostitute from 477 to 240. They want to concentrate the District into a smaller area, namely, one street, De Oudezijds Achterburgwal, and a couple of side streets. In doing so, they will be cutting down on all the charm of the Red Light District.

The best areas of the Red Light District will be closed down, according to the plans of the municipality. The Oudekerksplein, the square around the oldest church of Amsterdam is now inhibited by the big black and beautiful prostitutes. Some like to call this area the big momma ally. In the middle of this area is the Prostitution Information Centre and a child daycare centre, right next to the windows of the prostitutes. This might seem hard to believe, but you just have to see it. Another area that will be closed down is the 'Saint Anne's Quarter'. Ironically, this former convent is now the most concentrated area of ​​prostitutes of Amsterdam. This area includes the narrowest street of Amsterdam. This narrowest street should only allow one-way traffic, but does not, leading to traffic jams of people wanting to walk by. I do not blame them, because this street is known for having the most beautiful prostitutes of the entire Red Light District. What does the municipality want to do with this area? That's right, change it to a shopping mall.

In 2007 the city paid 25 million euros to a former pimp to buy his historical buildings that used to all be used as the working place for prostitutes. In the years 2007 and 2008 they closed 90 windows and started renting these out for a reduced price to beginning artists and designers. This way the municipality wants to develop the Red Light District into a more high-standing artistic district. The fashion label Red Light Fashion and the radio station Red Light Radio are replacing the prostitutes.

Yet, the objective of reducing the number of windows to 240 has still not been met. After the city council had bought 90 windows something happened that nobody had expected to play a role in this storyline: the worldwide economic crisis hit. For that reason, the city council has found less former pimps willing to sell their historical buildings and the municipality has had to face a number of budget cuts, thus postponing the 'closing down' of the Red Light District.

For once, the economic crisis is turning out to be a good thing. The ambiance in the Red Light District will stay preserved a little bit longer as the former plans are being postponed. In that way, the Red Light District will keep its distinguishing characteristics for a little bit longer. What I love about the Red Light District is the mix of different activities that take place in the midst of prostitution. You can find the oldest church of the city, a child daycare centre, many charitable and religious organizations, the prostitution information centre, the company that rents the rooms to prostitutes, china town, and not to forget, the best restaurants and high fashion. Taken together this mix makes the Amsterdam Red Light district a fascinating place to visit.

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Source by Erik Meijer

Hara Meditation – How to Build Strength and Energy in Your Body and Mind

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Hara is a Japanese word meaning 'the centre'. It is the physical centre point of your body and resides just below the belly button. Hara is also the energetic centre in your body. In Oriental Medicine, the Hara area, which is the whole abdomen, is also a major diagnostic region. All organ and meridian imbalances can be diagnosed from the Hara. Hara strength is developed by building Qi, through breath, exercise and meditation.

Hara strength can not be seen from the outside. It is perceived as a deep inner strength, with a peaceful demeanour. When the Hara is strong, a person will be flexible yet stable, grounded firmly in reality, while emanating an alertness of spirit. A person strong in the Hara will be intuitive and able to follow their 'gut' reaction. This kind of intuition is fully centered in the body. It is not a mind sense. Rather it is a physical / body knowing that is not dominated by thought processing.

Children naturally come from their Hara. They are centred in the body and at ease with it. They naturally move from this centred space, and you can see that they are connected in body and mind. However, observe a young child who is thinking or worrying about something, and watch her lose balance! Off centre and out of the now moment, a child will find it difficult to maintain physical equilibrium.

As children grow, this natural physical centre is superceded by the development of the mind function and thought, which eventually, in most individuals becomes the dominant feature. So what happens to Hara? As we grow and focus more on the development of the mind, we begin to lose awareness of this other way of processing and responding to information. We lose touch with the part of ourselves that gives us a sense of connection to other human beings and indeed all other forms of life.

In indigenous cultures worldwide, the people still have this connection. They live from the Hara. The way in which they respond to their environment is one, that in most cases, expresses their innate connection to the whole of life. They know this intuitively and physically. Their way of life necessitates this way of being. Living in balance with the rest of nature is a requirement for survival.

Oriental martial arts and meditation practices, focus on the development of Hara in their training. Here, the building and storing of Qi is fundamental to the development of Hara strength.

So what relevance does this information hold for you?

If you would like to have an inner strength that helps you to remain focused and balanced when faced with a physical challenge, then building Hara strength will assist you. If it is strength of mind that you need, once again, building Hara strength will help.

The ability to remain calm in difficult emotional circumstances? A strong Hara will be of immense value.

The Wu Tao dances will help you to focus on and develop your Hara. Through the use of the breath, meditation, visualisation and the physical movements, you will build up your store of Qi energy in your Hara. It will be there to call on in moments of physical, emotional and mental challenge.

For example: When you begin to feel the beginnings of a cold (called wind invasion in Chinese Medicine), you can use your breath, to help circulate your Qi, sending it out to your skin, to help it fight off the cold.

When facing an emotionally stressful situation, you can allow yourself to rest in your Hara, maintaining a peaceful openness and let the emotions move through you without becoming caught and attached to them. Physically, you can use Hara strength whenever you would use your physical strength. Try taking a lid off a jar that is difficult while focussing on being centred in your Hara, or chopping wood or lifting a heavy item.

Being focused in the Hara is a meditation. It is the source of all strength and is the point where all aspects of your being come together. A physical centre, it grounds the spirit, allowing it to radiate and express its truth, and gives the mind a calm place in which to focus.

Basic Hara breathing Technique.

This can be done while standing, walking or sitting or lying down. If you want, lightly rest your hands on your Hara.
Start by breathing in and out slowly. Focus on letting go of any tension as you release your breath. When you are ready, begin to breathe and visualise a big golden ball of energy or light in your Hara, just below your belly button. As you breathe in, imagine the ball expanding, as you bring your breath right down into your Hara. As you breathe out, visualise the ball contracting slightly and becoming very solid and heavy. Focus on holding onto some of the Qi in your Hara as you release your breath. Continue this process until you feel centred and focused in your Hara.

Learn : other ways To build your Qi to visit Http://wutaodance.com

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Source by Michelle Locke

Tenant Mix Analysis

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The most common problem in tenant mix strategy is lack of focus and relevance. As a common rule, identify your tenancy strengths and build around them and on them. To do this you need to respect and understand what the market and customer needs.

Shopping Centres

Tenancy mix becomes very important in retail premises of multiple tenants; that will be shopping centres of all sizes and types. A property that does not reach the needs or interest of a customer, is going to fail.

A customer wants to be well served in their shopping needs and feel good about it when they visit your property. Visit the competition shopping centre properties nearby to compare them to that which you are currently leasing. You must understand the other properties that you are competing against together with the strengths and weaknesses that they experience.

In reviewing these other properties you look at things such as:

o The entrance ways

o The car parks

o The flow of people

o The places where people stop and congregate

o The larger anchor tenants type and location

o Standards of signage

o Lighting internally

o Transport to and from the property

o The tenants that seem more successful than others

o The tenants that seem to feed customers off each other

o The amount of time that people spend at the shopping centre

o The busier days for customer shopping

When looking at these other properties it is wise to take selective photos of the things that may be relevant to compare to your property. You can analyse the photos later and revisit your ideas. Note that some property owners and managers will be sensitive to you taking photos around their property. Discretion is the rule here.

Seek to Strengthen your Rent

The only way you can underpin your rental and strengthen it is through a good tenancy mix. Given that the leases in premises are for lengthy periods of time, any mistake with tenancy mix will exist for years and frustrate the rent, the customer, the tenant, and the property. Hence you must choose tenants well and then place them with a lease that is in harmony with surrounding premises.

As parts of that process look at these issues in balance so that any concerns of tenant mix occupancy are removed and nullified. Understand:

1. Income exposure at expiry

2. Option exercise potentials

3. Exclusive or Permitted uses in the leases

4. Vacancy effects on other existing tenants

5. Relationship building or conflict potential between sitting tenant types

6. Know why tenants like or dislike your property

7. Know how your existing tenants maximise their business operations at your property

If you follow these steps, you will be armed with the strategy you need to put you in the 'driver's seat' as you implement a new leasing campaign and tenancy mix for your managed property. You will know the tenant you want and you will have the selling points to attract them.

Create a Property Business Plan

The larger the property, the more there is a need to have a business plan to consolidate the performance of the property. The business plan will have ramifications on the design of the tenancy mix.

The business plan will set directions for the property given known demographics of the surrounding population and customers. Business plans are very useful with retail properties where the success of the tenant is driven from the customer's acceptance and use of the property.

The business plan for a property is designed to set essential standards and targets within:

o choices of tenant

o ideal lease terms

o expiry profiles

o targeted rentals

o product offering for customers

o levels of rental relevant to rent reviews

As the agent working with the client to enhance the tenancy mix requirements, you can adopt this business plan approach with adjustments for the suitability of tenants and the size of the property.

Review the Site

With retail property planning and tenancy mix a number of site questions need to be addressed. They are:

1. Is the access to the property good or hindered?

2. Is access possible from all directions or is there a physical barrier?

3. Is road exposure of the property of good quality and can the signage be easily seen or erected?

4. Is the property easy to locate or find?

5. Is public transport available and how does it work?

6. What is the identity of the property and can it be clearly seen from the road? Is it modern and adequate?

7. Does the parking around the property support all the Customers and Tenants well? Does it need re-design or functional changes?

8. What customer services exist? Are they adequate and modern? (Parking, Toilets, Malls, Seating etc.)

9. Is the internal property layout 'Customer' friendly? Can Customers easily understand where they are and can they shop in comfort?

10. Is the tenant signage conforming to good design (or Centre standard) rules? Is it well maintained?

11. Are 'sight lines' open and un-cluttered to the retailers shops?

12. Are more customer services needed?

All of these factors affect every retail property. Once you understand them you can lease the vacancies and mix the tenants more effectively internally.

Use them in your inspection strategy on any retail property analysis when you consider where tenants can be located and realistically placed for optimal rent returns.

Clustering

The tenancy mix thereby creates substantial success in a property. 'Clustering' is a process of gathering tenants into groups. The perfecting of the clustering of tenants for each property is as important as finding the right tenants.

Clustering is gathering tenants of the same type into the same location. The process is productive and has been proven to generate higher levels of sales for most tenants in the cluster. You can have clusters in all retail groups such as fashion, food, men's wear, ladies wear, toys, etc

When you have clusters of tenants, the customer perception is that the property offers greater variety and therefore will have the item that the customer seeks. The customer is therefore more likely to visit the property and acquire goods.

Clearly we can now see that 2 key issues in tenancy mix are:

1. Adding successful tenancies which suit the demands of the community and the profile of the property, and

2. Clustering tenancies in groups so that the localized groups encourage more customer interaction and spending.

The key to clustering tenants is simple. You cluster tenants by similarities, and you avoid placing tenants into clusters if they're offering product that is radically different than those around them.

Early in shopping centre evolution, it was originally thought desirable to split tenants of similar offering into random locations which do not clash with each other. The customer then had to traverse the entire property to purchase goods. The leasing managers felt that this would create more exposure to all tenants and therefore more sales. Unfortunately this is incorrect.

This strategy has been found to be counterproductive as customers see the long trip or walking distance between similar shops as being annoying. Today we know that customers prefer ease of shop access and ease of shopping experience. This does not involve random tenant placement to frustrate the shopping experience.

So the golden rule here is to place like with like and complementary tenants near each other. In doing this the customers will support your shopping centre more effectively.

Creating Tenancy Flux with Timelines

A stagnant property is one in which change is limited or not seen to be happening. The customer perceives this and over time will move the bulk of their shopping needs to another more active and changing property.

From this observation we can now see the need for a flux or change factor to allow the property to move with the demands of the customer.

In any successful and active shopping centre, it is reasonable to assume that up to 20 to 25% of the tenancy mix will be continually shaped and repositioned during each period of 12 months.

To allow this to occur, it is necessary to have lease and occupancy documents which allow staggered expiry dates. The staggered expiry profile then creates an element of planning and repositioning of tenancies as the property needs. This is opportunity management at its best and a great strategy for the future of the property for the landlord.

Options Can Frustrate

This strategy of flux can be frustrated by the giving of options to tenants as part of the initial leasing process. By their very nature, the options given in a lease are at the discretion of the tenants and therefore remove flux and change opportunity from the landlord until the lease is to expire. It can be said that options in a leasing process are not good for landlords and tenancy mix.

Options should only be given as a last resort in a leasing process.

Tenants view options as essential to their future and will usually push the landlord to grant an option (s). As a leasing strategist and specialist, you will need to balance and minimise this problem for the landlord when it arises.

There are ways of lessening the impact of an option such as:

1. no option at all
2. shorter option terms
3. less option terms
4. short option exercise windows in the lease
5. rent review escalations that offset the inconvenience that options create

The desirable alternative is to not give options at all to tenants where that option could stifle tenant change and mix for the property. That means that desirably every lease is for a single term. New leases with existing tenants are therefore then negotiated based on their merit and relevance to the property.

Be careful and aware of legislation that can affect this or set rules that you must adhere to. For example in many locations Retail Lease Legislation will need to be understood and respected as it could set guidelines and rules for the leasing process and options for tenants.

Tenant Proximity Profile

It is a poor management and leasing process to allow a number of tenant spaces to expire in close proximity to each other at around about the same time. The leases that need to co-ordinate on expiry dates are only those that may be subject to similar relocation or refurbishment activity. Strategy is the rule here. Planning ahead is the key to setting expiry dates that keep the property in balance for the client and the needs of the customer.

Tenant Volatility

Some tenants in shopping centres are more volatile than others. This is particularly the case with food and beverage tenants. Volatility must be understood and well controlled as the tenant pressures change. Volatility means that some of the tenants you place may be more or less successful when compared to others on the property.

There are essentially two types of volatile food tenants, firstly fine dining, which is a lifestyle and entertainment offering often promoted by cuisine or concept. The second is the more common fast food tenants to satisfy spontaneous customer food demand.

Fast food tenancies and their success tend to run in cycles and the offering of the relative food. You have to anticipate trend changes in customer demand for fast food and the placement of the tenant in fast food courts. In most cases, customers demand choice, value, and quality in the food offering above all else. Interestingly the theme of the food is of little importance to the purchase decision of customers. Quality wins every time when it comes to a food related tenant.

Given these rules applying to food tenants, it can be seen that close management and interaction with the tenants is essential for positive occupancy outcomes.

Size Matters

Generally speaking we find that the larger the tenancy in area, the lower the rental per square metre. This rental fact is sometimes partially offset by creating precincts of tenants in clusters through the shopping centre.

The clusters of like and similar tenants can hold up the rent levels more successfully than shops of similar type being spread widely apart across the property.

Identifying the ideal size of a tenancy and its placement is important. There is no point making a tenancy overly large for the offering and product that it sells.

To get a feel of the correct ideal space ratio, it is best to visit other properties of similar type or location, in your precinct. With some practice you can quickly guess the size of tenancies therein, and then determine if extra space is needed by business type to successfully trade. You can determine if the actual space used is appropriate for the product being sold.

Remember the Future

When selecting the right tenancy for the area of ​​vacant space, you need to consider whether the tenant can afford the required rental and the estimated escalations in the lease through the rent review profile on an ongoing basis.

All of this is strategic and essential to the future of the property. A tenant should not be placed in a location based on today's offering, but rather in the balance of today against the future of the property and its changes.

Bundle Related Tenants

When clustering tenants as mentioned earlier, you generally locate and cluster tenants with the same retail offering so that they can provide the customer with a broad selection of product eg ladies fashion.

You can then take this further and bundle related tenants together to offer complimentary products. For example this could be a sportswear shop, and a golf shop in the same area of ​​your shopping centre.

Sensible bundling of tenancies will thereby improve the customer experience and encourage further purchasing of product. The more successful you are at this process; you will improve the rental profile for the building and the visitations of customers to the shopping centre. Spending money in a retail shopping centre only occurs when the customer feels good about the offering and the location of the shop. The better this balance is created in the eyes of the customer, the better the sales for the tenant. That will then give you better rent.

Signage

The easiest way to position a tenant for trade is to create great signage. The important thing to remember in balance with all other tenants in the same location, is to choose signage which is complimentary and of similar size and dimensions to the other tenants nearby.

Sensible signage policy and architectural control of that signage between tenancies will consolidate the customer experience and visual appeal of the shopping centre.

In saying this regards the signage, the uniqueness of the retail product offering shall also be respected so that the customer can clearly relate to the product being sold and remember the offering for the future. A case in point would be the need to ensure that brand name retailers use signage that is in keeping with their identity (eg McDonalds).

It is not appropriate to exercise architectural controls that exceed sensible display of the tenants offering. For example it would be inappropriate to cross the boundaries of trademark and signage for franchise tenants that require that image to identify themselves. In most cases, the franchise tenant should be allowed to clearly promote their franchise identity. After all that is the reason you have them in the property.

Landlords must be flexible, and tenants must be flexible. A shopping centre is not a static environment. Ongoing change and presentational issues across all tenancies and in balance with the clusters, and bundles of tenancies is important to maintain high levels of rental and a great tenancy mix.

Can . Read more You on this at our special website for Tenant Mix Strategy here Www.tenant-mix-analysis.com

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Source by John Highman