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Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 178

Chicago's Credit Rating

by Carol Best | Real Estate and Homes in the Barringt

Moody's Investors Service downgraded Chicago's credit rating just one notch to Baa1 with a negative outlook, putting it only three notches above junk-bond status.

The city's rating had been A3 after Moody's lowered it 3 notches July of 2013, due to the Chicago's enormous unfunded pension liabilities.

Moody's downgrade said the pension debts "threaten the city's fiscal solvency absent major revenue and other budgetary adjustments adopted in the near term and sustained for years to come."  Except for Detroit, which is in bankruptcy, Chicago is now the lowest-rated major city in the nation - surely not good news for all of us who reside here!

 

Give Yourself a Raise!

by Carol Best | Real Estate and Homes in the Barringt

 

Managing Under-Performers at Work

by Carol Best | Real Estate and Homes in the Barringt

The below article is from the Pro-President's Resource Organization:

How to Manage Under-Performers
by Ray Silverstein

 
For most small business owners, handling an under-performing employee can be extremely challenging. After all, we don't run our small businesses like big, impersonal corporations. We know our employees personally; we work side by side with them. Often, we strive to create a family feel within our workplace.
 
But if someone isn't pulling their weight, that's money out of your pocket. They're hampering productivity, jeopardizing accounts, and endangering morale. If you have a slacker in your midst, who's picking up the slack?
 
Ask yourself: can you afford to carry this extra burden, especially now, when business is so tight? If you allow this to continue, you are only hurting your business.
 
When it comes to dealing with mediocre employees, you have two choices: get them up to speed, or get them off your payroll. Either way, you start at the same point.
 
If you handle this wisely, you'll give that employee a chance to turn things around, while safeguarding your business. But if you proceed rashly, you can set yourself up for a wrongful termination lawsuit. Here's how to do it right.  
 
Getting Someone on Track
 
Managing employees is a process. It involves ongoing communication and documentation. Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs learn management skills on the fly, so often there's no formal process in place.
 
No matter how small or informal a firm is, employees need to know what's expected of them. It's good for them, and it's good for you. That's why job descriptions and performance reviews are such great management tools. Don't use them? It's time to start!
 
Meanwhile, if you're dealing with a problem employee, the first step is to communicate with him. Plan this meeting carefully; be factual, specific, and cool-headed about it.
 
One thing you need to determine beforehand: is the problem due to lack of effort, or lack of skill? Is this something training may rectify? If so, draw up a training plan and make it part of your meeting.
 
Frame your expectations in quantifiable terms. Rather than tell an employee he isn't producing enough widgets, give him a specific daily production goal. Now he's got a goal to aim for and you have a yardstick to measure against. Be sure to schedule a follow-up evaluation.  
 
Make sure the employee understands this is a warning. Document your expectations; ask the employee to sign the document. This becomes proof you provided advance notice, which may protect you against potential legal action.
 
Making the Break
 

Hopefully, your employee will make great progress during the probation period. If so, continue with ongoing reviews to keep performance on track.
 
But what if your employee makes little or no progress? Well, you can continue trying to work with him. However, usually it is in your best interest to end things cleanly.
 
If you do terminate him, get that in writing too, in the form of a signed severance agreement. Like a written warning, a formal agreement may protect you from a future lawsuit. But how do you get an employee-especially an angry or opportunistic one-to sign it?
 
Offer a severance package. In return for X weeks or months salary, your employee agrees not to pursue legal action. Offer an amount that seems fair, one you feel good about.
 
Once the employee signs the agreement, he has a fixed number of days in which to recant. Withhold payment until after this period and spread the payments out to discourage a change of heart. (Don't know what a severance agreement looks like? For a free sample agreement, call me at 800-818-0150 or email Ray@ProPres.com.)
 
Making the Leap
 
Yes, it's still difficult letting someone go. But here's a thought that might spur you to take action.
 
Remember, when the economy is tight, like it is now - it's a great time to upgrade your staff. There are many talented people hungry for work. Do you really want to turn them away because you're stubbornly holding onto a proven under-performer?
 
During tough times, smart entrepreneurs grab onto every advantage that presents itself. A burgeoning talent pool is one of the few upsides of a downturn, so seize it. The bottom line is, when times are hard, you can't afford to be soft.
**

Custom Roofing in Cary, IL 60013

by Carol Best | Real Estate and Homes in the Barringt

Winter roofing problems?  If you live in the north or northwest suburbs of Chicago, call Custom Roofing in Cary, IL.  Their employees do an awesome job of clearing your roof of snow or ice.  They are dependable, affordable and most importantly they are reliable and do what they say they are going to do.  These guys did a great job, worked until 6:30pm on a weeknight in the cold.

For all your roofing needs, call or email them and tell them Carol Best referred you.  Here's their contact information:

Custom Roofing, Inc.
Cary, IL 60013

Phone:  847-639-8400 or email them @ info@YourCustomRoofing.com & ask for Ken S. 

Here's their website hot link too:  www.YourCustomRoofing.com  **

 

2014 Design Trends for Kitchens & Baths by Carol Best - Top Agent in Barrington, IL

by Carol Best | Real Estate and Homes in the Barringt

I love it when my friends and past clients stay in touch - they want to know what's hot and what's not.  I am delighted to help - I would never want them to make a design or home improvement decision that is not in their best interests.  When it comes to their future ROI, certain improvements are better than others.  So with a little help from one of my favorite publications, Professional Remodeler Magazine, here's a quick recap of the latest 2014 Design Trends.

Top 8 Kitchen Trends for 2014

  • Open design to family room perhaps
  • Islands - get creative & out of the norm for a statement
  • Floating shelves - more casual look
  • Appliance finishes
  • Apron/farmhouse sinks - keep it simple w/clean lines
  • Refaced kitchen cabinets - can you believe it?
  • Lighting - check out LED & energy efficient
  • Counter top material - black in color - consider quartz or black granite w/a leather finish!

Top 8 Bath Trends for 2014

  1. Stand-alone tubs
  2. Radiant heating
  3. Natural stone & custom tile
  4. High-quality faucets
  5. Multi-generational design
  6. A spa experience
  7. Free-standing & hovering vanities & cabinets
  8. Appliance finishes - stainless is still preferred but a natural matte grey is also desirable.

For answers to your questions please send me an email - here's an easy hotlink to contact me: CarolBest @ me.com or call 773-799-5939 **

 

 

 

What your home is or is not Worth by Top Agent Carol Best

by Carol Best | Real Estate and Homes in the Barringt

Question:  How does a buyer determine what price they will offer for your home?

Answer:  Buyers that will actually live in and occupy your home [not investors], typically will view from 6 to 50+ homes currently for sale. Buyers do not always look within the same zip code or school district, depending on their specific needs.  In this market they have lots of homes from which to choose.  Younger buyers do the online research and now tell the agents what homes they have time to view.

The real market value of your home is what a buyer is willing to pay, coupled with [hopefully] a lender that works in the area/community, if the buyer is not buying with all cash.

*The buyer will make an offer, based on today's market & the current inventory available [your competition].

*If they need financing, any uptick in rates means the buyer can afford less.

*Based on the perception of the condition & the location of your home.

*How easy it is for them to make an appointment to view your home.

That said, the value of your home is NOT:

-What you have in it

-How much you have it insured for

-What it appraised for

-What you either want or need out of it.

The value of properties changes every minute of every day, including the actives, pendings, solds and new listings that just came on the market.  Property values are a moving target.

If you have questions or would like to talk with a top agent, email CarolBest @ me.com for more information or call her @ 773-799-5939**

Coldwell Banker is #1 posted by Carol Best - Top Agent

by Carol Best | Real Estate and Homes in the Barringt

Coldwell Banker and the real statistics:

82,000 sales associates worldwide - yes we have offices all around the world

3,100 offices

100+ years of success & professionalism w/results

2012 year-end results of:  $178 Billion in total sales volume

Previews International - the world's leading Luxury real estate marketing program

 

Posted by Carol Best - Top Agent with Coldwell Banker in Barrington, IL 60010 |

cell # 773-799-5939 **

Successful Luxury Agents - Which Realtor to Choose When Selling Your Home

by Carol Best | Real Estate and Homes in the Barringt

Upscale homeowners don't always know the right questions to ask or how to figure out which Realtor is the best choice to list their home for sale.  Here is a direct quote from the Council of Residential Specialists - representing the Top 3% of all agents in the country:

"Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) agents have a proven record of success—3X success, in fact.  Compared to the average REALTOR®, CRS agents have been in the business nearly 3 times longer, have 3 times the number of annual transactions, and generate 3 times the amount of gross sales.

There’s no coincidence when it comes to CRS success. CRS agents must meet stringent education and experience requirements. That’s why only 3% of REALTORS® are Certified Residential Specialists. CRS agents are dedicated professionals. They work to ensure success for their home-buying and selling clients by tapping into their superior training, exceptional professional referral network, and timely and cutting edge industry resources.

CRS agents made the right choice when deciding to become a Certified Residential Specialist. Now it’s your turn. Make your first home-buying or selling decision to work with a member of the Council of Certified Residential Specialists. Choose success!​​"

What Realtors did 5 years ago… listing your home in the MLS & talking about who they know in their social circles, just isn't enough - that's old school & we are not in a low-inventory market.  Reputation matters and more importantly online marketing is huge.  Does your agent have 25 superior hi-resolution photos, ad copy that resonates emotionally to the buyer, social media marketing and so much more.  It's all about results & closed properties - ask your agent for a list of their closed properties for 2013.

Perhaps it's time to work with one of the best-trained Realtors available.  Work with the Best - Hire a CRS!  Technology is in - and mobile marketing is the future.

To take it to the next level, make sure your Realtor is also a Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist.  If they are into numbers, they will know exactly how to position your home for sale.

For a no obligation meeting contact CarolBest @me.com or call/text to 773-799-5939 to sell your home for the highest sales price in the shortest amount of time.

*** 

Best Dentist in Barrington, IL

by Carol Best | Real Estate and Homes in the Barringt

Dr. Gregory S. Tehle, DDS & his staff come highly recommended, and I don't have the opportunity to say that very often!

I have been a client/patient of various dentists in Barrington, Palatine, Chicago and Arlington Heights for many years, for crowns, cleaning, etc.  After many years of feeling I've received less than outstanding service, I decided to seek a recommendation for a top-rated service provider through my orthodontist, Dr. Robert Skopek.  

I am happy to report that I've now received major restorative services from Dr. Tehle and I am extremely satisfied with the end result.

Here is his office contact information:

Dr. Gregory S. Tehle, DDS
​312 West Main Street
Barrington, IL 60010

Office: 847-381-5958

www.GregorySTehleDDS.com 

Appointment@GregorySTehleDDS.com

Feel free to mention that you read my blog post about his world-class dental care services!

posted by: Carol Best - Barrington, IL 60010 ** 

The U. S. Government by Carol Best - Top Agent at Coldwell Banker in Barrington-IL

by Carol Best | Real Estate and Homes in the Barringt

This article was written by Charlie Reese a retired reporter for the Orlando Sentinel - there is a lot of truth here & it's easy to understand.  The article is neutral [neither Republican or Democratic].  It is a short but excellent read & WORTH YOUR TIME:

545 Government People vs. We, the People

Politicians are the only people in the world who create problems and then campaign against them.

Have you ever wondered, if both the Democrats and the Republicans are against deficits, WHY do we have deficits?

Have you ever wondered, if all the politicians are against inflation and high taxes, WHY do we have inflation and high taxes?

You and I don't propose a federal budget. The President does.

You and I don't have the Constitutional authority to vote on appropriations. The House of Representatives does.

You and I don't write the tax code, Congress does.

You and I don't set fiscal policy, Congress does.

You and I don't control monetary policy, the Federal Reserve Bank does.

One hundred senators, 435 congressmen, one President, and nine Supreme Court justices equates to 545 human beings out of the 300 million are directly, legally, morally, and individually responsible for the domestic problems that plague this country.

I excluded the members of the Federal Reserve Board because that problem was created by the Congress. In 1913, Congress delegated its Constitutional duty to provide a sound currency to a federally chartered, but private, central bank.

I excluded all the special interests and lobbyists for a sound reason. They have no legal authority. They have no ability to coerce a senator, a congressman, or a President to do one cotton-picking thing. I don't care if they offer a politician $1 million dollars in cash. The politician has the power to accept or reject it. No matter what the lobbyist promises, it is the legislator's responsibility to determine how he votes.

Those 545 human beings spend much of their energy convincing you that what they did is not their fault. They cooperate in this common con regardless of party.

What separates a politician from a normal human being is an excessive amount of gall. No normal human being would have the gall of a Speaker, who stood up and criticized the President for creating deficits...  (The President can only propose a budget. He cannot force the Congress to accept it.)

The Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land, gives sole responsibility to the House of Representatives for originating and approving appropriations and taxes. Who is the speaker of the House?( John Boehner. He is the leader of the majority party. He and fellow House members, not the President, can approve any budget they want. ) If the President vetoes it, they can pass it over his veto if they agree to.  [The House has passed a budget but the Senate has not approved a budget in over three years. The President's proposed budgets have gotten almost unanimous rejections in the Senate in that time.]

It seems inconceivable to me that a nation of 300 million cannot replace 545 people who stand convicted -- by present facts -- of incompetence and irresponsibility. I can't think of a single domestic problem that is not traceable directly to those 545 people. When you fully grasp the plain truth that 545 people exercise the power of the federal government, then it must follow that what exists is what they want to exist.

If the tax code is unfair, it's because they want it unfair.

If the budget is in the red, it's because they want it in the red.

If the Army & Marines are in Iraq and Afghanistan it's because they want them in Iraq and Afghanistan ..

If they do not receive social security but are on an elite retirement plan not available to the people, it's because they want it that way.

There are no insoluble government problems.

Do not let these 545 people shift the blame to bureaucrats, whom they hire and whose jobs they can abolish; to lobbyists, whose gifts and advice they can reject; to regulators, to whom they give the power to regulate and from whom they can take this power.
Above all, do not let them con you into the belief that there exists disembodied mystical forces like "the economy," "inflation," or "politics" that prevent them from doing what they take an oath to do.

Those 545 people, and they alone, are responsible. They, and they alone, have the power.

They, and they alone, should be held accountable by the people who are their bosses. Provided the voters have the gumption to manage their own employees... We should vote all of them out of office and clean up their mess!

Charlie Reese is a former columnist of the Orlando Sentinel Newspaper.

 

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 178

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All Information Deemed Reliable but Not Guaranteed. The data relating to real estate for sale on this website comes in part from the Broker Reciprocity program of Midwest Real Estate Data, LLC. Real Estate listings held by brokerage firms other than Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage are marked with the Broker Reciprocity logo or the Broker Reciprocity thumbnail logo (a little black house) and detailed information about them includes the names of the listing brokers. Some properties which appear for sale on this website may subsequently have sold and may no longer be available. The information being provided is for consumers' personal, non-commercial use and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing. ©  Copyright 2014 Midwest Real Estate Data LLC, Inc. | Copyright © 1992-2014 Carol Best, Barrington, IL - All Rights Reserved. No text, artwork or images may be copied, or reproduced without the express written permission of Carol Best.
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