3 Tips For Better Haunted House Radio Commercials

You put your heart and soul into your haunted house attraction this year. You’ve spent day and night toying with each scene and scare, now you just need people to show up and experience your labor of love. How do you get them there? An effective haunted house radio commercial is a good place to start.

What goes into a good haunted house radio commercial though? Where do you start? Here are three tips to make your message stand out and hopefully draw larger crowds than ever before.

  1. Tell a story. Make sure that your commercial is not just a laundry list of directions and the types of scenes you’ve put together. Think movie trailer here. Truly good trailers suck you in, tell a story and make you walk away thinking “I have to see that!”. The same should be true about your haunted house radio commercial.
  2. Make an offer that they can’t refuse. Want to make your haunt the clear choice over all the other choices? Then be ready to make an offer like “buy one get one free admission”, “take $10 off speed pass admission when you use code radio”, or something of that nature. Sell some extra snacks on site or add premiums like “speed pass lines” and you will make it up in no time. Plus the sheer amount of people who choose you over the others because of your crazy good offer, will likely work wonders at increasing attendance. But make the offer good. Do not skimp. That means “Take $2 off or 15% off” will not cut it. It makes you sound cheap and will be a turn off. Go big on the offer, or don’t make any offer at all. Period.
  3. Create multiple versions of your haunted house radio commercial. Versions that run the day of the haunt that say “Tonight” or “this weekend”. People respond to urgency. If it sound like all the fun is going on “tonight” vs. the “every Friday, Saturday and Sunday” version, they will be more likely to visit your haunt that night.

Most important is getting your message created and recorded by professionals. Don’t skimp on this one. Having the local dj’s do their “spooky” voice, will pale in comparison to the sound of a professional haunted house radio commercial company will deliver.

The message your customers hear on the radio is the calling card to your haunt, if its good you can expect long lines and happy customers. If it sounds lame, you and your crew will be in for a long, slow night.

Concrete Repair & Restoration – Broken Down

Concrete repair, restoration, and general maintenance, is typically more cost effective for commercial structures in the Maryland (MD), DC, or Virginia (VA) areas than complete concrete replacement, as you are probably aware. On this page you will find some general tips and considerations in the event that you are looking for a commercial concrete repair restoration contractor.

What is Concrete Repair, Restoration?

Simply put, it’s the practice of fixing broken concrete, as well as cleaning and applying a sealant for future protection.  Depending on the level of damage, some cracks can be filled with epoxy.  If the damage is deep, the concrete might need to be removed and re-surfaced. 

Why does Concrete need Repair?

Other than the obvious visually displeasing aspect of broken concrete, cracked concrete can also be very dangerous to structures as a whole.  For instance, imagine a parking garage where cars are driving on cracked concrete.  Over time, that crack will get larger and larger, forming either an annoying pothole for your customers, or even worse, putting them in danger.

The most important reason for concrete repair and restoration in the MD/DC/VA area is what any waterproofing contractor will tell you – moisture is the most damaging force to concrete.  If you have cracked or damaged concrete, it is much easier for water to seep through and cause further damage. 

How to Perform Concrete Repair, Restoration

There are do-it-yourself methods, but we do not recommend wasting your time with those.  Not only are they relatively expensive, but are also time consuming and difficult to perform properly. 

There is no simple fix for damaged, dirty, or cracked concrete – every job is different.  Some cracks can be easily repaired with epoxy injection, and some stains can be removed by power washing with chemicals and sealant.  But sometimes, the fix will come from facade re-anchoring, especially in stadiums, balconies, and parking decks.

For an estimate or just to ask questions about concrete repair or restoration, give a call to Concrete Restoration at 301-261-4933.

Commercial Construction Services

Commercial construction refers to construction of commercial projects such as office buildings, shopping centers, sports complexes, hospitals, schools and luxury hotels. Commercial building construction is not an easy task; it involves visualizing a concept and translating into reality which needs to be innovative as well as application of engineering brilliance.

Often when it comes to commercial constructions, huge capital finances are involved and invested. In fact, investments in capital property are a widely used method of retaining capital. When huge finances are involved, the legal aspects are another important aspect that needs careful consideration. Any real estate used exclusively or in parts for business purposes are considered as commercial properties. Hence, it is vital that you satisfy all the legal formalities, rules, norms and regulations that need to be adhered to in your locality before you start construction.

Companies or vendors offering commercial construction services need to sign the commercial construction agreement or contract in which a party agrees to furnish all labor materials, equipments, supplies and do all things necessary for the construction and completion of a commercial building. Essentially, the core aspect of the agreement remains the same in all countries/regions subject to a few modifications depending on the local governing laws in that area or locality or country. They must also ensure compliance with a wide range of regulatory requirements such as environmental standards, legal employment practices and such like.

As we all know, most commercial building construction require huge capital investment as well as employment of skilled employees in various departments. In the construction industry, safety regulations need to be adhered strictly. Many workers who work during the construction process need to be protected against any accidents or physical damage during the course of their work. Hence, safety is a major concern in the real estate business and companies or vendors are required to maintain a safe jobsite and minimize or avoid any health risk to their employees through proper planning, training and regular inspections. Planning ahead allows workers to see and avoid mishaps before they occur.

Implementing a successful commercial project requires a great deal of work at all levels of the project; right from conceptualization to the delivery of the project. While overseeing a building construction, a thorough knowledge of the budgets, materials and staying right on schedule ensures a successful and complete project.

Construction Project Management Tips

A really good project manager can manage most if not all construction projects fairly easily. That being said sometimes even the best project manager may need to be reminded about the best practices for running projects smoothly every now and then. In this article we take a look at 4 very important keystones for a construction related project manager.

Planning for success

This point sounds very obvious but the fact is that the majority of construction projects fail because their project manager had no clear plan to complete the job. In order to be successful you need to take four very important steps:

  • Outline a clear goal
  • Make a list of all the milestones you need to meet to reach your goal
  • Publish a clear schedule
  • Make a daily list of things to do and mark the completed stuff off

The Pareto Principle

Also known as the 80/20 rule, the Pareto Principle is one of the most important keystones. The principle talks about 20% of the work required to yield an 80% result. In order to achieve this, project managers need to know exactly what core milestone needs to be completed to complete 80% of the job.

Have meaningful meetings

Construction project managers need to have meaningful meetings to provide valuable information which is instrumental in pushing the project forward. There is no point of drawn out meetings except that it wastes valuable time and accomplishes very little. The meeting should not feel like work, rather the meeting like the project as a whole needs to work for the team. The aim should be to:

  • Outline a clear agenda for the meeting
  • The setbacks faced should be explained in detail
  • There should be focus on opportunities that a project presents
  • Ancillary groups should be established for debates, external input and technical issues

Always think Big

In order to manage any construction project a successful project manager needs to always look at the big picture. You need to keep each and every milestone in mind but at the same time also the project as a whole. The biggest aspects of this ‘big picture’ focus for any construction project are: to stay out of all the work itself and to avoid micro management.

Conclusion

The team which is hired for a construction project is always chosen for a particular reason. A really good manager is able to take a few steps back and allow the architects to chart out any design details with the client. The architect should be allowed to finalize the design of everything from the external look of the structure to each and every beam. The person in charge of delegating jobs, balancing priorities and efficiently managing time which does not mean that you have to be the best code interpreter or client handler.

9 Pro Tips for Selecting a Custom Home Building Contractor

Planning to build your custom home that matches your personal taste in architecture? First, you have to find a contractor you can rely on. Selecting between different residential contractors can be tricky at times, because every other company claims to be the best in business. Here are the 9 pro tips that you need.

1. Ask around. When you are looking for custom home builders, references always count. Talk to your friends, colleagues and neighbors to know about the services that they have tried so far. Ask them about the experience and why they liked or disliked a service.

2. Check if the company is genuine. Don’t be surprised to find that many of the contractors don’t have any experience working with clients. They often offer the best discounts and sell the contracts to smaller subcontractors to make some easy money.

3. Make sure the company is licensed, insured and bonded. You need to check if the contractor has the required permissions to work in your city and area, and they must be insured, as well. These are basic aspects that people often ignore while comparing the options.

4. Are they open to your ideas? A good and reliable general contractor will take the time to understand the needs, expectations and requirements of their clients. They will also discuss the ideas that you may have in mind, and depending on the practical aspects, they may suggest the right things.

5. Will they offer an estimate? As a client, you should be extremely careful about your choice of contractor, especially with regards to the estimate that they provide. Check if their prices are genuine and in sync with the standards. Getting an estimate is also important because you can compare the options.

6. Specialization counts. Always work with a contractor who has worked on and managed projects similar to yours. Not all commercial contractors deal in residential projects, so ask them about their areas of expertise.

7. Check their previous projects. You can never rely on a service that doesn’t have enough clients. Check the work they have done so far, so that you know the kind of experience they have with residential projects.

8. Ask for references. It is not enough to see a few pictures of their previous projects. You need to know the experience of their clients with regards to their services, and for that, nothing is more important than references. A company that has been doing business for more than five years will have enough clients.

9. Ask why you should hire them. As a client, you need to know why a company believes that they are better than others. Know about their highlights and ask them questions about their work. They should be able to convince you about their highlights and the kind of things they do.

Finally, take the time to set up a personal meeting. You may need two to three meetings before you can give a nod for the project.

5 Tips for Choosing a Contractor for Your Construction Project

With the economic outlook so bleak these days, how is Los Angeles construction doing? Well in looking at the numbers we are doing pretty well against last year. And this year it is only going to get better with leading indicators giving us hope for a better future. Looking for a contractor is not any easier though.

Every day you hear of some contractor scamming someone out of money. How can you avoid this? There are many things that you can do as a prospective client to protect yourself from a bad deal. Here are 3 tips to get you past through that process:

1. Get references. Ask your friends and co-workers. Los Angeles construction is varied and sometimes specialized so don’t just rely on one person, ask a lot and look for reviews of the contractor. The more feedback you get the better your decision will be and the happier you will be. DO YOUR RESEARCH. You are going to be spending a lot of money so spend the time and check them out. Go online, call the better business bureau, and the Builders association.

2. Design. Try not to start with an architect as they draw pretty pictures, but they have little regard for the bottom line. If you do start with an architect involve the contractor along the way. If you can find a contractor with “in-house” designers and architects, as they will have a better grasp on the budget components of the job.

3. Building Site. Another thing to consider in Los Angeles construction is our topography. With the varying terrain in the LA area it is imperative that you consider your surroundings. Ask the questions that need to be asked about the costs and process of building on your specific site. What experience does this contractor with hillside construction if its on a hill?

4. Ask questions. Can I talk to some of your past clients? Can I see some of your work? Can I see pictures of similar work to my project you have done? The answer to these questions could save you years of grief if you do the work of checking them out.

5. Multiple bids. You should get 3 bids to make any kind of rational decision unless the contractor comes from a very reputable referral. You are not obligated to anyone, don’t be pressured by a sales person, friendship, or any other emotion. Your goal here is to get the best value for your dollar. Does that mean that you are going to take the lowest bid? Not always, there are a lot of factors in play and you need to look carefully and the bids. One contractor will include things that another will not. Be careful of things not included, they can add up to be staggering amounts of money and heartache.

A good reputable builder will sit down with you, go through the construction process, timelines, and budgets, and answer all the questions you have. If, they don’t make you feel completely comfortable that they have total control of what is going to happen, MOVE ON.

The most important thing to remember about Los Angeles Construction, is that is can be specialized and know the ins and outs of the area and its challenges is important.

New Business Loans Guide for Small Business Owners and Entrepreneurs

It’s not the easiest thing in the world for a new business to obtain the money it needs to help get started. New business loans can be difficult to get unless you have excellent credit and a good plan in place. If you can get approval, you’ll get the proceeds you need for things like working capital, equipment, supplies, machinery, inventory, advertising, or maybe even real estate construction or commercial building rental.

One thing many lenders will expect you to do is determine your personal equity. How much of it will you be able to bring to the table? Lending institutions tend to require that you are able to bring 20% – 40% of the total loan amount you are requesting.

In the 21st century, there are many more options available for start-ups than the traditional loan from a bank. However, before you apply for any type of funding, you must prove that your company qualifies as a small business. Small businesses are usually measured by factors such as number of employees, number of years (under 2) in operation, number of employees, generated income, types of assets and their value, revenue, and so forth. Most traditional lending institutions require that you put of collateral and a guarantee that you will repay.

Your Credit Score and New Business Loans

If your personal credit score is very high, you might want to look into getting a credit card to use towards your business. The line of credit might not be enough to cover everything you need, but it’s a good start. There is no rule that says you have to get all of your funding from one source. There are a variety of microloans for which you might qualify, such as those offered by the SBA and other non-profit organizations. These types of new business loans can be used for the purchase of inventory / supplies, furniture, working capital, etc.

As for alternative start-up business financing options, such as grants and crowdfunding, you’ll want to put more of a focus on our business model as opposed to your credit score. These types of funding are worth looking into if you have poor credit. However, in order to impress crowd-funders, grant organizations, angel investors, etc… , you’re really going to have to come up with a great message and marketing campaign.

Once you get all of your documentation, files, financial records, financial plan, etc. together, you can start checking for new business loans at US Business Funding. This organization has 95% approval rates and offers flexible terms and payment options.

7 Ways Construction Firms Can Hire and Retain Quality Tradesmen

Whether you are a construction recruitment agency or a construction firm itself looking to hire the best of talent industry has to offer, here are a few important tips to help you in this quest.

Hire in the off season:

Conventional wisdom has it that you must never go grocery shopping while you are hungry. You tend to buy whatever you get at the earliest and that’s almost never a good bargain. The same is true for hiring tradesmen when you need them.

So the best time to look for a tradesman is when you don’t require one. It will help you scan wide range of talents, be more selective, and acquire the kind of worker you exactly want. As an added piece of advice, aim for the off-season when many construction workers are out of work and you might get a bargain.

Pay the market rate:

When you pay peanuts, you get only monkey! Firms who pay below-market wages not only have the least-qualified and least-productive employees, but they are also the ones always in need of new workers. Why? Because competitive tradesmen will leave you the moment they get more lucrative opportunities. Do I need to tell you what a dent it makes to overall productivity?

Provide a safe work environment:

Don’t underestimate the value of a safe and healthy workplace in retaining workforce. Too many workers falling sick on site might force others to look for a safer option. A major accident on site and the resultant bad press might turn away potential hires.

Develop a great work culture:

There is something more than a good salary a qualified and talented tradesman look forward to. Bonuses, paid leaves, company outings, work-life balance, and retirement programs are some of the perks that entice the best of talents. The more people want to work for your company, the easier it will be to attract (and retain) quality people.

Invest in your workforce:

I haven’t met a tradesman who doesn’t like adding on new skills or getting a pat on the back for a job well done. So it’s a good idea to invest in your workforce. When you provide them a chance to learn, grow and develop they can help your company do the same. Training improves the efficiency of the workers and quality of the output. This is also a great way to identify the people with potential to take on bigger roles within the company.

Be in step with time and technology:

Embracing technology not only makes the company more efficient and productive but it also attracts younger and tech-savvy workforce. You can also publicize it as your USP to entice people buying your product or services.

Character can pay more dividend than the skill-set of a hire:

Characters can’t be built, skills can be. People with character can make the most of the training you give them. Such workers are more likely to stick with you in bad times as compared to those with only skills and potential.

Commercial Building Inspections – Tips for Finding a Reliable and Competent Building Inspector

If and when planning to purchase a commercial property, the question often arises, ‘How Can I Find a Reliable and Competent Building Inspector for Conducting a Commercial Building Inspection?’ While one could easily write an eBook on this subject matter, this article offers several tips to help you hire a reliable and competent inspector for the purpose of obtaining a thorough and diligent commercial building inspection. So without further ado, let me begin by telling you ‘What Not to Do’.

Never hire a commercial building inspector who was referred to you by the real estate agent or any other outside party who has a vested interest in and stands to gain from the sale of the property.

Although this statement goes without saying, it’s worth mentioning simply because many of those looking to purchase commercial real estate believe it is standard protocol to rely upon the realtor’s recommendation for hiring an inspector. In reality, this practice poses a conflict of interest that can have dire consequences for the party purchasing the property. Unfortunately, real estate agents who knowingly partake in this practice along with inspectors who continue to burn the candle from both ends know exactly what they’re doing and how to get away with it. While there may be a few exceptions to what I am telling you, I can assure you that the majority of inspectors who rely heavily upon referrals from real estate agents for their business are not going to rock the boat by disclosing any information to the client during the course of an inspection that may later serve to jeopardize their relationship with the broker or real estate company who referred them in the first place.

Never hire a Home Inspector to conduct a Commercial Property Inspection.

As for hiring a home inspector to conduct a commercial building inspection, suffice it to say that in most cases, conducting a commercial building inspection is altogether different from performing a home inspection for reasons too numerous to list in this article. However, the proliferation of home inspectors over the past twenty years (everyone wants to be one, especially in those States where home inspection licensing has become mandatory making it relatively easy for anyone to become licensed), hasn’t helped either as this has spawned an increasing number of home inspectors who are still unable to properly inspect a home, much less a commercial building, even if their life depended upon it. Moreover, given the number of significant and distinct differences between residential and commercial property, while experience in inspecting homes may well serve as a prerequisite, it is by no means a substitute for the vast amount of knowledge and experience required and yet to be learned by most home inspectors before they can even begin thinking about conducting a diligent and thorough building inspection.

Aside from ‘What Not to Do’, there are also other criteria you need to consider or at least be aware of in your quest to hire a reliable and competent commercial building inspector. namely:

Know the fundamental difference between a Commercial Building Inspection and a Property Condition Assessment (PCA).

Although this topic warrants a separate discussion, it’s important to note that the terms ‘PCA’ and ‘Commercial Building Inspection’ are often used interchangeably in the commercial sector. This in turn has resulted in a lot of confusion not only among real estate investors and others looking to purchase commercial property but real estate agents as well who more often than not simply do not know much less understand the difference. To make matters worse, the ASTM (American Society of Testing Materials) has also gotten in on the act by promulgating their ASTM Standards for Conducting a Baseline PCA. What this means is that since they happen to be a nationally recognized organization in the construction industry, in certain respects they’re similar to the AMA in the medical profession meaning anything and everything they write on a particular subject happens to bear a lot of weight. The problem arises in that the Standards for Conducting a Baseline PCA are often misunderstood by many in the profession and seldom if ever read by those buying and selling real estate.

To simplify things, all one really has to know is that the difference between a commercial building inspection and a Baseline PCA is like night and day since the later can be performed in a fraction of the time it takes to conduct a thorough and diligent commercial building inspection. The reasoning behind this is pure and simple in that a PCA is essentially a cursory walk-through of the property that relies heavily upon second hand information obtained through interviews and documentation (that may/may not be readily available let alone veritable) normally obtained through the owner and/or occupants of the property. Hence, my advice to anyone who is seriously considering having a PCA in deciding whether or not to purchase a commercial property is to forget it since in most cases a PCA is a total waste of time and money in providing information contained in a property condition report that isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on.

Try to obtain as much information as you can about the company and the inspector beforehand

This is another statement that goes without saying but I mention it because many people feel uncomfortable in asking questions of this nature especially when speaking with someone they don’t already know. However, if you reflect upon what I’ve just said for a moment, the fact you don’t know anything about the company or the inspector should be reason enough to ask all the questions you can to solicit answers without being embarrassed.

Be sure to ask the company or building inspector for references

Last but not least, do not be embarrassed to ask for bonafide references regarding recent clients for whom they have conducted similar commercial building inspections. If the company or inspector is reputable and if they have confidence in the service they provide, they normally will not have any reservations whatsoever in providing you with this information.

My next article will provide tips as to what questions you need to ask and what else you need to be aware of in looking to hire a reliable and competent commercial building inspector.

Commercial Real Estate Loans

Commercial real estate loans can help you purchase, build or refinance commercial properties owned by you or your company. Such loans are designed to help acquire, construct or simplify payments for residential income properties, such as like apartment buildings, commercial business properties (offices), retail and warehouses and development projects like a condominium and subdivision projects.

There are a number of free commercial mortgage lender databases on the Internet to help you find mortgage lenders and commercial construction lenders who will process your application. These search directories can be very powerful tools, if you know how to use them. As a general rule, you should only use commercial mortgage lender databases that give you direct links to the lenders, not brokers. This way, you cut the paper trail and do business directly with the lender.

Most commercial mortgage lender databases require that you fill out a basic commercial loan application. After you submit your application, the database matches your data with hundreds of commercial mortgage financing programs. The results of the search will depend on your location and the type of commercial real estate loan you are looking.

Your application will be matched with commercial lenders who best meet the information you provided. You can compare rates and choose lenders who you think will work for you. If you use commercial mortgage lender databases to your advantage, you can easily secure loans for virtually any commercial property purpose. A good database gives you intelligent insight into what kind of conventional and government commercial property loan is best for your particular circumstances.