How do Filipinos celebrate weddings may sound strange to foreigners, but if they do get a chance to witness a traditional Filipino wedding, they will certainly love the experience. Weddings in the Philippines are never a one-day event. The wedding preparation takes months. And then comes the wedding day itself which in most cases begins from sun-up to sundown.

Filipino weddings are typically solemnized in the church, officiated by a Catholic priest or a pastor, depending on the religion of the couple. Garden weddings have become quite popular these days, too, but usually they are allowed only when it is not going to be a Catholic wedding.. If it is, the couple must have been married in civil rites first for them to obtain permission to get married in a garden or non-church setting.

Catholic wedding ceremonies, regardless of where thuey are celebrated, usually takes more than an hour to finish. The bride arrives in a bridal car, a carriage, or mode of transportation for that matter just minutes before the wedding. Then the church bells ring, signaling the start of the ceremony. The wedding ceremony begins with the processional of the wedding entourage composed of the groom, the parents of the groom, the principal sponsors (some have as many as 20 pairs of principal sponsors!) who will stand as witnesses, secondary sponsors who will light the candles, and put on the veil and cord, the maid or matron of honor, the best man, the bride’s maids and junior bride’s maids, the coin bearer, the ring bearer, the bible bearer, the flower girls, and finally the bride who may or may not be accompanied by her parents. Sometimes, the processional alone can take 20 minutes already!

The mass proper then begins; incorporated therein are the wedding rituals such as the exchange of vows, the exchange of rings, and the giving of the arrhae. A photo shoot after the mass is customary. This can take another 30 minutes to one hour. If you want this portion to be organized, better get the services of a professional photographer who has vast experience taking wedding photographs.

After the wedding, the guests proceed to the reception. It can be in a hotel or in the bride’s residence. Hotel wedding receptions can be very expensive, but they can be less stressful for the couple and their families as they no longer need to stress themselves out any more than they already have. Wedding receptions held in the house are more comfortable and fun, though. All the neighbors get to be invited which make the affair very memorable. They are also less expensive, but can be more tiring.

During the wedding reception, the usual rituals, such as the slicing of the cake, the throwing and catching of bouquet and garter, and the releasing of doves, are observed, with some variations. There is an abundance of food, lots of table-hopping, greeting friends and guests, picture-taking, dancing, singing, and tears of joy.

So how do Filipinos celebrate weddings? Well, Filipino weddings are joyously celebrated, that’s for sure!

 

Sumerians were the first culture to quit hunting and gathering food and begin cultivation. Like many other inventions that Sumerian culture gave to the world, they also contributed in farming and food. Sumerian food consisted mainly of barley.

The raw material of most of Sumerian food was barley, barley cakes and barley paste were accompaniments of all major meals. Wheat and millet were other raw materials used in Sumerian food. Farming yielded vegetables and fruits, chickpeas, lentils, beans, onion, garlic, leeks, cucumbers, cress, mustard and fresh green lettuce was all part of the early Sumerian food. Sumerians were the first culture to settle down and leave the earlier nomad lifestyle. With settlement they began domesticating animals for food and labor. Goat’s milk and meat, eggs, pig; wild fowl, deer and venison were an integral part of the Sumerian’s food as well.

Everyday Sumerian food was probably barley cakes with onions and beans washed down with barley ale. Fish that swarmed in the rivers of Mesopotamia were a major food source too. Over fifty different types of fish are mentioned in the early texts dating before 2300 BC and the fried fish vendors had a thriving trade in the city of Ur. Food stalls also sold onions, cucumbers, freshly grilled goat, mutton and pork. Meat was more popular and common in big cities as compared to sparsely populated towns as they would spoil in the heat. Cattle were only slaughtered for consumption when they were nearly at the end of their working lives.

Information about Sumerian food can be gathered from archaeology and written records on cuneiform tablets. These sources also indicated the importance of barley and wheat cakes as the staple diet together with grain and legume soups, onion, leeks, garlic and melon. Besides farmed vegetables, Sumerian food also included fruits. These were apples, fig and grapes. Several culinary herbs and honey and cheese, butter and vegetable oil have also been mentioned in later Sumerian food records. Sumerians drank beer often and sometimes wine too. Preservation of foodstuff had also been evolved with meats being salted and fruits conserved in honey. Various other fruits including apples were dried to preserve them and a fermented cause is also mentioned in the Akkadian texts.

Rice and corn was unknown in ancient Mesopotamia, thus barley and its flour was the staple Sumerian food. Their bread was coarse, flat and unleavened, though an expensive version was made out of finer flour. Pieces of this bread were found in the tomb of Queen Puabi of Ur, left there for sustenance in afterlife. Breads were enhanced with butter, milk and cheese, sesame seeds and even fruits and their juices. Later records show truffles being made as well. With the advent of irrigation canals lush fruit and vegetable farms with fruits like mulberries, pears, plum, cherries and pomegranates were found in abundance. The most important food crop in southern Mesopotamia was the date palm. Goats, cows and ewe were domesticated for milk; geese and ducks for eggs and some 50 varieties of fish were a staple Sumerian food. Meats were cooked by roasting, boiling, barbecuing or broiling and preserved by drying, smoking or salting. 

Travel is frequently listed as one of the “must do” things on peoples’ lists, and resort hotels that not only pamper but also include natural beauty, history, great food, and lots of recreational opportunities are very attractive. Here’s the lowdown, in no particular order, on five of these resort destinations I’ve visited recently; they are located in the eastern part of the country, and some are offering enticing incentives during these tougher economic times (golf, tennis, pools, and spas are part of each location unless indicated):

1. The Greenbrier Resort, White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia. Of the five hotels, I’d say this one has the prettiest lobbies and other public areas – colors such as peach and pink combine in magical ways to produce drop-dead gorgeous palettes. The resort became popular in 1778 because it was thought that the mineral waters had healing properties, and people flocked to “take the waters.” Located in the Allegheny Mountains on 6,500 acres, there are more than 700 rooms and 50 different activities you can attempt, including falconry, kayaking, and geocaching. Eight restaurants, ranging from jacket and tie to casual attire will address your culinary needs. Don’t miss: The Bunker Tour ($30/person), a hidden government enclave under the Greenbrier built to shelter Congress in case of a nuclear war. Rates begin at $99/person. Pet friendly? Yes, for an extra fee. (The resort is undergoing some changes – West Virginia businessman Jim Justice of Justice Family Group LLP recently has acquired The Greenbrier from CSX Corp.)

2. Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, Farmington, Pennsylvania. The ambience here is woodsier – after all, you are in 2,000 acres of the Laurel Highlands of Southwest Pennsylvania. The resort offers 335 rooms within its six different options – from lodge guest rooms to luxury homes. The property began as a private game preserve, was later used as a conference center, and took on its present character with its purchase in 1987 by the founder of 84 Lumber Company, Joseph Hardy III. The name of the resort honors Chief Nemacolin, a Lanai Lanape Indian. A few less-common activities include a shooting academy, dog sledding, and a bowling alley; you can also land your plane at the resort’s 3,900-foot airstrip. Dining ranges from elegant (jackets suggested) to casual with more than a half-dozen choices. Don’t miss: The Great Escapes E-Newsletter notifies you of upcoming activities, special promotions, and reduced rates. Rates begin at $319/person. Pet friendly? Yes, for an extra fee.

3. The Homestead, Hot Springs, Virginia. This National Historic Landmark was founded in 1766 (pre-Revolution), but according to the site’s timeline, archaeologists found evidence that the “hot springs” were used in 7000 BC! With 483 rooms on 3,000 acres in the Allegheny Mountains, miles of hiking trails, a 270-seat movie theater inside the resort, carriage rides, ice-skating and skiing, there is something for everyone year-round. Only 40 miles from the Greenbrier, you could try out both places over a long weekend. A number of restaurants, from formal to casual, will tickle your taste buds. Don’t miss: We’re beginner golfers, and played 9 holes on the Old Course, so named because it was completed in 1892 (we did schedule the last tee time so we wouldn’t delay anyone’s game). The Number 1 tee is the oldest tee in continuous use in the United States. Rates begin at $99. Pet friendly? Yes, for an extra fee.

4. Wentworth by the Sea, New Castle, New Hampshire. My parents are from the North Shore area of Massachusetts, and I love going to New England any chance I can. So, our July visit to this Marriott Hotel & Spa was eagerly anticipated, and I wasn’t disappointed. An hour north of Boston, this is the most easily accessible resort hotel among the five, with 161 rooms and views of the Atlantic. Wentworth by the Sea is close to Portsmouth, an historic, pedestrian-friendly city. The hotel itself was built in 1874, was closed in 1982, and, after many changes in ownership and its almost-demolition (two different times), it ultimately re-opened in 2003. Historically, the Wentworth is noteworthy as the venue for hammering out the 1905 Treaty of Portsmouth, which ended the Japanese-Russo War. Although the grounds are small compared to the first three hotels, golf is available at the adjacent Wentworth by the Sea Country Club, and a 170 slip marina is available for boaters. Dining includes the seasonal Latitudes restaurant by the marina, and the Wentworth Dining Room with a local emphasis (i.e. lots of offerings from the sea). Don’t miss: Portsmouth Harbor Cruise departing at Ceres Street (I’d recommend making reservations in the summer – a few walk-ups were turned away). About an hour and a half long, the Harbor Cruise offers lovely scenery, historical sites, and is fully narrated ($16/person). Rates at Wentworth by the Sea begin at $229. Pet friendly? Yes, for an extra fee.

5. The Wauwinet, Nantucket, Massachusetts. The Greenbrier had the prettiest public places, but the Wauwinet had the most charming rooms (all 35 of them) – each one unique yet elegant – ours had blue and white flowered wallpaper, a high antique pine bed, and a small but modern bathroom. The little extras were nice – especially nice turn-down service with yummy chocolates, personalized stationery, full breakfast included with room, the services of an excellent concierge (she knew us by name), and 4 p.m. port, sherry and cheese. The location of the Wauwinet, on the secluded end of the island between the bay and the ocean, lets you escape from it all, but with jitney service provided to town nine miles away you enjoy the best of both worlds. No pool at the Wauwinet and no golf on the premises, but it’s nearby. Now a member of Relais & Chateaux, the inn was built by two sea captains in 1876, and is only open from May until October. TOPPERS restaurant provides fine dining, and has won many culinary awards. We ate there twice -once for the formal dining, and once on the deck enjoying a spectacular sunset. Don’t miss: Use the Wauwinet’s bikes and pedal (about five miles) to ‘Sconset, a quaint oceanside fishing village dotted with historic cottages covered in roses. Rates can vary – a lot. We were originally going to go over Labor Day Weekend, but found that the price of a room was hundred of dollars less per night on the Tuesday/Wed/Thursday preceding the holiday weekend, so ASK (we were able to book a room for $250/night. Pet friendly? No, and guests (human) need to be over the age of 12.

 

The advancement in technology has certainly had a major effect on the lives of many. This world is becoming a global village and distances no longer a problem. Communications and mass information is just a few clicks away; thanks to the computer related technology, more specifically the utility of internet, which is a part of the information technology.

Social networking websites and chat related applications are now presenting quite a number of advantages to the users. They reduce distances between the users and help them connect with relatives and friends from all over the world. The aim of any social networking site is to make the application and utility user friendly.

With the technological changes and new developments occurring every day, internet users no longer have to face the problems online that they had to face lately due to technical glitches, which resulted in frustration. Now the users no longer have to rummage through heaps of messages to access a particular conversation or read at hyperactive speeds just to keep in touch with the discussion on hand. The systems have become more streamlined and responsive and thus more convenient to the users.

This constant and rapid change in web technology has opened many windows of opportunity for both the users and the developers. The users now have more options to switch to and the developers have to work to develop newer, better, efficient and easy to use portals.

In its early days, E-commerce existed simply as a form of facilitation for commercial and financial transactions. It is one of the few things that have changed with the passage of time. This historic turning of e-commerce occurred about three decades ago.

Technologies such as electronic data exchange and electronic funds transfer have been introduced and they had a revolutionary effect because these allowed the businesses to communicate the commercial documents such as the basics of purchase orders and invoices via electronic network systems securely. The growth of telephonic banking services, credit card transactions and automated teller machines has added a new dimension to e-commerce. There are still innumerable aspects of business and other related issues that are growing as per the users need and the information technology is providing a highly efficient and secure platform to them.

Electronic payment systems have become the engine for almost all online transactions. The major electronic payment systems that govern current online transactions are credit card processing systems and electronic payment gateways. The electronic payment gateways are the companies that facilitate financial transactions online by authenticating credit cards and online bank accounts authorizing certain transactions. They basically form the virtual connectivity between merchant’s website and the credit card companies; this sure reduces the hassle of long bank queues and offer purchasing options when ever and where ever any one pleases to have these while utilizing the splendors of computer technology.

The information technology has come a long way and is ever evolving. It has truly made the world a global village.

In case one didn’t know it, the actions taken on a contract are all tied to the “execution” date, also known as the “date of final acceptance” (Texas Association of REALTORS® (TAR) form 1601, pg.7). This means that all addendums or agreements with specified time limits must be met within the time specified on a calendar day basis with day one beginning the day after the executed date.

The most important time frame that the home buyer or home seller should keep in mind is the option period, if one has been negotiated. For simplicity sake, let’s use a hypothetical contract signed by all parties and executed on December 31st with a ten day option period. This means that day one of the option period begins on January 1st and ends at midnight on January 10th. This option period is often used for inspections of a property, insurance quotes, and repair negotiations. Once this hurdle is jumped, appraisal and survey follow to complete the closing process.

When dealing with home owner’s association documents, surveys, and third party financing approvals, the same rule applies. If the addendums specify a certain number of days, one must be sure to comply with the deadlines or be in default – which is never a good thing.

Remember, the clock starts ticking on the date of final acceptance, also known as the execution date or the effective date. Professional REALTORS® should always be aware of time constraints within your contract, and need to remind you of the date as a buyer or seller. If not, be sure to ask your REALTOR® what the time frame is.

 

Meet the Chontaduro or Palm Fruit

What’s that?” I asked staring at the plum-sized fruit the woman peeled in her hand.

These are chontaduros from the coast.” “How would you like yours?

How can I have them?” I queried back.

You can have them with salt or honey.

Then give me two of each.

The middle-aged Black woman sat on the top stair leading into the strip mall. Her clothing was well worn, reflecting a hard life and lower stratus. She set to work straightaway. After peeling four of the fruits she cut them in half lengthwise to pry out the single black seed in the center using a small paring knife. Then she dipped the fruit into a small bowl of salt coating half of the fruit. Repeating the procedure with two more chontaduros plucked from a plastic basin full on her lap, she dropped these into a narrow plastic bag while drizzling a stream of honey first over one then another dropped into the bag on top of the first. A separate bag held the two salted ones. With the thick, tough skin peeled off, the lone seed removed and the fruit quartered, there is no waste. I preferred the salted ones.

A Little Known Culinary Treasure

Scientifically named Bactris gasipaes, the Chontaduro or Palm fruit as it is sometimes called, is common in many of the Pacific Ocean coastal regions of Colombia, Costa Rica, Panama, Peru, Venezuela and Ecuador. Varieties also grow in parts of the West Indies. Some of its many other names include Cachipay, Pejibaye, Pijuayo and Pupunja. The skin (epicarp) of the fruit can range in color from red to orange or yellow depending on the variety of the palm. It has a firm texture, slightly starchy taste and its pulp is dry and a bit stringy, but its popularity is extensive nonetheless. In Colombia, for example, it is used in dozens of recipes but is principally eaten boiled in salted water, peeled then dipped in salt or drizzled with honey. To date, the chontaduro has limited popularity outside its locally grown regions. This is beginning to change however, as its use in gourmet fare increases and its availability expands. The Palm fruit though, is a little known culinary treasure working its way up the exotic food rankings.

Cooking with Chontaduro

In sauces, soups, stews and baked delicacies though, the Chontaduro has no equal. The Palm fruit can also be used to make flour, jellies or pressed to release its high cholesterol content oil. Most people eat the fruit after its boiled in salted water, then peeled and dipped in salt, marmalade or honey. When the boiled fruit is peeled and seeded, it can be shredded, grated, ground or processed into a puree base, then used in sauces, crèmes or bases. A particular favorite is a cooked Palm fruit sauce poured over or glazed onto fish and seafood. Its unique flavor makes an interesting base for soups and stews. The pulp can be pickled, fermented, jellied or dried and ground for use in a broad range of additional applications. So if you’re looking to spice up your own recipes, try cooking with chontaduros for a unique flavor twist.

Weddings are joyous occasions, full of the promise of starting a wonderful new life together. Why not increase your chances for future happiness by including some traditional symbols of good luck in your special day? These are some of the things said to bring good luck for weddings.

The best known “good luck package” is the something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue (and sometimes also a sixpence in your shoe). Most every bride knows this expression, but did you know the specific ways in which each item is intended to grant you good fortune? The old item represents your ties to your family and the past, and shows that even as you move towards a new life, your family will still be there to love and support you. The new, of course, represents the newlyweds’ new union and life together, and is most often the wedding gown or bridal jewelry.

Something borrowed can be any item that the bride can wear or carry, such as a friend’s veil or a piece of her mother’s bridal jewelry. What many people do not realize is that the borrowed item should ideally come from a happily married woman, the idea being that the bride is borrowing some of her wedding bliss. The color blue has symbolized fidelity and faithfulness since ancient times, making its purpose in the good luck package obvious. It might be even luckier if the groom wore some blue too! Many brides are not familiar with the old English “sixpence in your shoe” part of the good luck package, but quite simply, it represents hope for future wealth. A bride can find at sixpence at a rare coin store (most stock them expressly for this purpose, and they are not expensive) or take her chances with a penny.

Speaking of blue, did you know that a sapphire engagement or wedding ring is also supposed to bring good luck to the marriage? The blue sapphire stands for fidelity and love, just as it does in the “something blue” rhyme. For the same reason, aquamarine rings are supposed to be lucky, but the gem is not nearly as durable as a sapphire, and cracking the stone in your engagement ring seems unlucky indeed! For that reason, brides might wish to consider wearing lucky aquamarine earrings or choosing blue crystal earrings as an alternative.

Brides with Chinese heritage will want to bring some red into their weddings, as it is the good luck color in China. Of course, the double happiness symbol is a natural element to include in a wedding. Meaning “joy and happiness”, the symbol is one of the most powerful good luck charms. Feature it throughout the wedding, on the cake, the invitations, even on the bridal gown. There is no such thing as too much good luck on your wedding day!

Some of the things which are supposed to bring good luck to a wedding are beyond the control of the bride and groom. It is often said that rain on the wedding day is lucky, although that is a type of luck that most brides would be willing to forgo! An old English custom says that finding a spider in the bridal gown is lucky, but again, not too many brides are hoping for that particular lucky omen. Of course, there are those who believe that you make your own luck, by choosing the right partner…but wear something borrowed, just to be safe!

A wedding photographer is not just any photographer who comes along to take some photographs; they should be able to connect in a friendly and confident manner, with the bride, groom, parents, grandparents and any children at the wedding and sometimes, the pet dog as well. The photographer should feel all the emotions and become a part of their day, by that I mean that they should understand the emotions of the people attending the wedding, after all, how else can the wedding photographer capture these emotions on camera, if they don’t feel and understand them.

The romance, excitement and the final realisation of months, maybe even years, of planning for this one day and it’s the wedding photographer’s job to capture these emotions in a realistic yet, beautiful way. The bride and groom will be nervous, the parents hoping everything runs as smoothly as they have planned for and the kids, trying not to look too bored with all the fuss around them. I often capture some great photographs of the kids at weddings. The photographs should reflect the events of the day in such a way that, looking back, when you’re an old married couple, it will seem like the wedding was only yesterday.

All the details need to be photographed, including the church or venue for the ceremony and of course, the reception. As a wedding photographer, I consider it a vital part of my work, to arrive early, get to know the layout of wedding venue, select the best positions and angles for the shots that I want to capture, during the ceremony and strive to produce incredible photos.

Unfortunately, there are still some people who will not allow the religious ceremony to be photographed which is another reason I like to arrive early, to give myself the opportunity to chat with the minister, priest or official who will be conducting the ceremony and if possible, gain a little compromise, in such cases. A good wedding photographer will be aware of all the areas to consider for every occasion. Your wedding will be unique and your wedding photographs should also be unique.

I chose to specialise in wedding photography, initially because I didn’t have a photography studio however, while I run a photography business, I also get so much personal enjoyment from photographing weddings, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

My approach to wedding photography is very relaxed; I prefer the wedding photojournalism approach, as most top wedding photographers do. My wedding portfolio is full of photographs of relaxed couples enjoying their wedding day and spending time with friends and family not, the photographer. These photographs are far more enjoyable to look at and also help to capture the wedding’s events as they unfold, naturally.

In short, wedding photography is very much a specialised area and wedding photography should always be left to the professional. Weddings can’t be re-photographed in a photography studio. The photographer who chooses to photograph weddings, had better know exactly what he or she is doing and be able to get it right, every time. It’s a huge responsibility and requires a responsible wedding photographer.

Many people get confused about the role of advertising in the marketing mix so here’s a simple view of where it fits in.

In the traditional marketing model, we talk about the 4 P’s

o Product

o Pricing

o Place

o Promotion

The last section – Promotion is what we mean when we say you are “doing your marketing”. It’s your communications or your actual marketing activities.

But first, let’s get clear about the PURPOSE of marketing and why you want to get good at it.

“The PURPOSE of marketing or it’s biggest task is to

persuade prospects to visit you online or offline so you

can present your offer. Done well they come waving their

credit card and ready to buy so there’s no need for hard sell.”

Whenever and wherever you get in front of your potential market is your marketing opportunity – you are communicating or getting your message across.

You could say this started as far back as Babylon when the Town Crier was the only delivery method! They went around town shouting out to people to go to the marketplace and you went to the marketplace with your goods to “present your offer”.

With the invention of print and other technologies you now have a smorgasbord of delivery methods or media to reach people such as

o Print – newspapers, magazines, catalogues, newsletters

o Phone, mail, fax

o Radio & TV,

o Internet – through websites, blogs, social networking sites, email, video & Audio podcasts

o Teleseminars & webinars

o Mobile media – Blackberrys and mobile or cell phones

o And lets not forget in person public speaking and networking

Now that range adds a level of complexity. But choice is good and you don’t have to use all of these but they are available to you.

In any event you’ll either be speaking or writing. Simply narrow down what makes sense for you and your business and use your strengths to work out a plan.

JUST remember the marketing principles remain the same no matter the medium – so the PURPOSE of your marketing is still the same. To persuade prospects to visit you online or offline so you can present your offer.

So where does advertising fit into this?

Advertising is simply a subset of your marketing activities it’s the SALES function when you make the sales pitch or “present your offer”. This could be verbal or written in all the same media you use for your marketing communications. What adds to the confusion is sometimes big companies use image based ads for awareness so the “sales pitch” isn’t obvious.

But the primary purpose of advertising is to SELL.

So you create ads in one form or another and get them in front of your audience.

Small businesses can’t afford to waste money on image advertising that is designed for the masses to promote a well known brand. It simply isn’t designed to sell, NOW.

What I do and recommend is Direct Marketing which is based on one-on-one relationships and uses proven direct response advertising techniques instead of mass advertising.

The purpose of a direct response advertisement is to get a response, NOW! Which means these ads actually ask the prospect to DO something.

Whether you’re building a list, selling a product or service, an appointment or even something you are giving away – you still need to “sell” it to your prospect. And ask them to take the action you want them to take to move them through the sales process.

In a nutshell, advertising is a subset of marketing and direct response marketing and advertising is the champion for small business.

 

You may be wondering if the title of real estate consultant is a meaningful one, and if it indicates anything different from the same old licensed real estate brokers with a vested interest in the fate of a property. While it is true that anyone can call himself or herself a consultant, the term is not meaningless window dressing. For those who take their real estate consulting business seriously, it represents a different model, a different approach to real estate practice.

The first and most important difference is objectivity. Whereas a real estate broker typically is paid contingent on an outcome-in other words, they receive a commission-a real estate consultant is paid solely for their expertise. They have no stake in the outcome. Salespeople are paid only for getting a result-a sale. Real estate consultants are paid for their expert advice only, and by design have no stake in achieving a particular outcome to a particular transaction. This gives them the capacity to be more objective and inherently more trustworthy than a traditional real estate salesperson. Think about it-even the most honest salesperson will unconsciously try to steer you toward a sale. After all, that’s where their pay comes from-from selling! The consultant is paid the way other professional advisors or service professionals like CPAs are, with a retainer regardless of outcome.

Consulting can involve a variety of skills and areas of expertise. You can hire a consultant for legal advice, market research, or to locate possible properties to invest in, among other things. Since they are paid as much for their time if they advise you that there are no properties in an area worth investing in as if they advise you of dozens of viable properties, they have no stake in anything except giving you the best advice possible. After all, their future business depends on word-of-mouth endorsements from investors like you.

If you are looking for properties to invest in, a real estate consultant can tip you off to developer closeouts and bulk opportunities, equity partnerships, joint ventures, and possibly even some very unique and profitable turnkey investment opportunities. The consultant is selling information and expertise, and therefore can provide you with a layer of insulation between you and the people selling the properties. They can work out a lot of the details and business prospects of a property before you have to talk to a salesperson. Once you face the salesperson, you can approach the negotiation fully armed with an array of appropriate information, and thus avoid being bamboozled and negotiate from a position of strength.

If, on the other hand, you are selling properties, especially if you have a lot of properties to sell, a real estate consultant can help you create a strategy to sell the units before you get involved with actual salespeople, which can have many advantages. For example, you can sell a lot of properties in a relatively short time without creating the appearance of a bulk sale by having a real estate consultant distribute the properties among several different sellers.