What We’re Reading: November 28-December 2

Shortcuts, privacy, taste, nature, freelancers, stress, currency, and amusement.

This article keeps showing up in my feed, so it must be useful.

Cyber Monday has come and gone, but online shopping is forever. Take precautions.

In case you feel the need to monitor your pet while away from home, take a look at these.

Here are vintage sandwich recipes you could make, though we aren’t encouraging it.

This dam animal made a mess at a Maryland dollar store. chrisjtse 2011 chrisjtse/flickr/2011

Trying to cut a bargain on a Christmas tree this year? You might find yourself paying more than in past years.

What office options will freelancers have in future years?

This is one way to get your name in the record books.

Efficacy aside, this sounds cathartic to us!

Happy holidays to our World Champion Chicago Cubs!

English vegans and vegetarians are not happy with their treasury department. To be fair, England is not the only country with meat laced currency.

This will come in handy the next time you’re on a long flight without WiFi.

Shut up and take our money.



What We’re Reading: November 14-18

Technology, nature (bad), nature (good), inventory, toys, information, and Thanksgiving.

Some genius devised a new, and much improved, use of drone technology!

You might have heard something about the disappearance of bees over the past 10 years or so. Here are steps you can take to help the population. AJC1 2011 AJC1/flickr/2011

All those poor fish!

This is horrifying, but that poor rodent!

This encounter could have gone so very differently…

Dogs are much more than just man’s best friend.

If you are color blind, this new app can show you how others see the world.

In this area of California, housing hasn’t kept up with demand.

LEGO® has bestowed upon us the beautiful skyline of Chicago –shut up and take our money!

There are a lot of out of date articles and fake news floating around on the internet, which is why information literacy is so important.

Better bone up on your carving skills — Thanksgiving is just around the corner.

*We will be on hiatus next week due to Thanksgiving. See you again in December!*


New eBooks – November 2016

NAR members and Association staff can borrow up to six electronic books, digital audios and/or videos at no cost, through the Virtual Library eBooks Collection. Members can also borrow up to three books for 30 days from the Library Catalog for a nominal fee of $10. Call Information Central at 800.874.6500 for assistance.

1131+1=3: Changing the Equation with the Booming Hispanic Market
by Tony Dieste, Greg Knipp and Jim Wegerbauer
We have entered a new era in American demographics and Dieste has something new to say about marketing and selling to Hispanics. 1+1=3 is not based on academic theories. It’s based on experience. This book is first and foremost about myth busting. It shows that much of what some believe about the US Hispanic culture is false. Many American businesses get caught up in these misconceptions and make costly mistakes.

brain2 Weeks to a Younger Brain
by Gary Small and Gigi Vorgan
Misplacing your keys, forgetting someone’s name at a party, or coming home from the market without the most important item — these are just some of the many common memory slips we all experience from time to time. But such cognitive lapses don’t just plague middle-agers and seniors; UCLA studies indicate that forgetfulness begins much earlier in life. Scientists can detect subtle changes in the brain that coincide with mental decline by the time we reach age 40, and our findings show that people as young as 20 already have memory problems.

investThe 3 Simple Rules of Investing
by Michael Edesess, Kwok L. Tsui, Carol Fabbri and George Peacock
Managing your money can be stressful. And confusing and complicated advice from the financial industry just makes it harder. But as the authors of this clear, practical, and enlightening book—part financial guide, part exposé—prove, there are just three simple rules you need to follow and only a few investment products that are necessary for an ideal portfolio. That’s it. And the authors dispense with all that “expert” advice by deftly debunking what they call investing’s Seven Deadly Temptations. By embracing commonsense solutions and rejecting investments that seem enticing but are needlessly complex, overpriced, and risky, you’ll put not only yourself in a stronger position but the entire economy as well.

thinkingThe 4 Essentials of Entrepreneurial Thinking
by Cliff Michaels
In The 4 Essentials of Entrepreneurial Thinking, Cliff Michaels takes us on an inspirational journey while capturing the passion and wisdom of extraordinary people. On the cutting edge of life and business strategies for over 20 years, Cliff not only shares his triumphs and tribulations as an entrepreneur, he unleashes a fun system of timeless lessons anyone can follow. Drawing on classic mentors from da Vinci, Edison, and Mozart, to modern moguls like Jobs, Oprah, and Branson, Cliff suggests we all benefit from a real-world MBA – your Master’s in Basic Abilities. This fast-paced book raises the bar for learning success principles.

languagesThe 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace
by Gary D. Chapman and Paul White
This book helps supervisors and managers effectively communicate appreciation and encouragement to their employees, resulting in higher levels of job satisfaction, healthier relationships between managers and employees, and decreased cases of burnout. Ideal for both the profit and non-profit sectors, the principles presented in this book have a proven history of success in businesses, schools, medical offices, churches, and industry. Each book contains an access code for the reader to take a comprehensive online MBA Inventory.

paths5 Magic Paths to Making a Fortune in Real Estate
by James E. A. Lumley
More and more people are discovering that real estate investing is a safe and affordable way to increase their cash flow and build lasting wealth. If you want to achieve financial freedom, then look no further. 5 Magic Paths to Making a Fortune in Real Estate reveals the proven real estate investment strategies that many of today’s millionaires used to make their fortunes. In fact, you don’t even need a lot of money to start investing and start putting cash in your pocket today!

employeesThe 7 Hidden Reasons Employees Leave
by Leigh Branham
People are four times more likely to leave a job because of something going on in the office than for an outside opportunity. Yet most managers blame employee turnover on the lure of other companies. . . even when the real factors are well within their control. Based on research performed by the prestigious Saratoga Institute, The 7 Hidden Reasons Employees Leave provides readers with real solutions for the costly problem of employee turnover. Readers will learn how to align employee expectations with the realities of the position, avoid job–person mismatches, and provide feedback and coaching that breed employee confidence. The book examines factors such as manager relationships, lack of trust in senior leadership, company culture and integrity, salary and benefits, and more—revealing what can be done to hold on to the people who provide the most value to the organization.

What We’re Reading: November 8-11

Nature, listings, mail, drones, logos, hotels, maps, dogs, halftime shows, and coffee vessels.

The earth and communities are still recovering years after natural devastation.

Think about how much thought and effort you put into a listing, then look at how little was put into these.

This is the time of year a doorman would be especially helpfulwes hill 2007 Wes Hill/flickr/2007

Maybe we’ll catch this show the next time Annual is held in Orlando!

Do you know about the hidden images in famous logos?

We wonder how much a-rrest we would get in these hotels

Do you like Google Street View, but wish for something that makes you feel like you’re really traveling the streets? Good news!

Dogs have the good life.

Is anyone else amazed by the talent of these student musicians?

Calm down, people. You have your red cups.

What We’re Reading: Oct. 31 – Nov. 4

FLY THE W!, floor plans, extra time, sea life, technology, home buying, travel, and science.

THE CUBS WON THE WORLD SERIES!!! Fly the W! We aren’t the only ones who knew the Cubbies could pull it off! Chicago is a city of loyal fans!

Max Goldberg 2016 Max Goldberg/flickr/2016

This series ending couldn’t have been better if it had been scripted in Hollywood!

You know this meteorologist/Cubs fan had this one in his back pocket for a while.

Take a closer look at the floor plans of these cult TV shows.

This weekend marks the end of Daylight Savings Time. How will you spend your extra hour on Sunday?

Have you ever seen coral move? Soon you can say yes!

Solar panels have never looked this good.

Finally a phone for people who hate change. And get off our lawn!

It’s hard to save the money for a down payment on a house. Juggling 20 boyfriends doesn’t sound like an easier route, but to each her own.

Shut up and take our money.

In case you were looking for a reason not to smoke, we now know how each cigarette affects the DNA of your cells.

Have a song stuck in your head? Here’s why.

What We’re Reading: October 24-28

CUBS!, innovation, photography, physics, elections, mystery, Halloween, home buying, food, and amenities.

Did you hear who made it to the World Series this year? GO CUBS GO! (Forgive our department’s bias — we are headquartered in Chicago, after all)

Learn management lessons from Joe Maddon.

This seems harder than using stairs, but okay…

Virtual reality has so many real world applications, including real estate!

Google Earth is a cool tool, until there is a glitch, at which point it becomes terrifying!

For the record, we know that the wizarding world is fictional, but these photographs are magical.

So this is a thing now? We thought playing with your food was frowned upon.

Did you know we are about to have an election? Here are some tools to inform voters on procedures in their states. Iceland is facing an election, too. One that’s about to be taken by pirates.

Now that this mystery is solved, maybe we can get answers to what happened to Earhart, Hoffa, and left socks.

With all due respect to the editors of this list, we only agree with half of it. Once you have sorted the good candy from the bad, consult this list for wine pairingsThad Zajdowicz 2014 Thad Zajdowicz/flickr/2014

These articles are always interesting to us, we hope you enjoy them, too!

In case you’re not interested in a healthy start to your day, this now exists. No judgment! And in case you’re thinking of embarking on a new diet, see what science has to say about some of the most popular diet plans out there.

In a place like NYC, a driveway is the height of luxury.

Here are a few reasons to embrace the benefits that our future overlords provide us while we still can.


What We’re Reading: Oct. 17-21

Prompts, awards, interviews, housing, Halloween, literature, candy, hobbies, and the internet.

This could be useful IRL as an augmented reality feature at cocktail parties.

We will never be as cool as Bob Dylan, as proven by his ignoring one of the most prestigious awards out there.

Ugh. And we thought Skype interviews were bad.

Depending on what you’re into, these houses could be really cool or very scary to own.

The toughest part of Halloween is decided what to dress as — here are some DIY ideas. And here are some pop culture costume inspirations.

Call me impressed. This classic novel is 125 years old! Richard Eriksson 2014 Richard Eriksson/flickr/2014

Forgive us, but what’s better than candy? Data about candy!

If your passion was fishing, and you could afford to, would you do this?

Do parts of the internet appear to be broken today? This could be the answer.

Have you been limiting your children’s screen time? Maybe you should stop.

What We’re Reading: October 10-14

Literature, technology, security, builds, recreations, clowns, libraries, and procrastination.

How many roads must a man walk down, before you call him a Nobel Laureate?

You’re never going to own Samsung Galaxy Note 7 now. Why do bad things happen to ostensibly good phones? Check out the packaging precautions for the safe return of these malfunctioning devices.

Interested in Google Assistant? Here are some commands you can use!

You might already use Facebook at your workplace, but now you can use Workplace By Facebook. What?

Tired of trying to remember all your passwords? Biometrics might replace them in the future.

Friendship bracelets were so much simpler when we were children, but we’re not knocking the learning outcomes on these. IMG_3846 Traci Lawson/flickr/2010

Want to build a home, but only spend as much as you would on a car? Try a Tiny House! This method must be less expensive than using traditional housing materials, too.

Is this a “build it and they will come” idea?

What is the world coming to? Legitimate clowns are laying low until this creepy clown drama cools off.

Let’s go back to a time when living in a library as a custodian was a possibility!

Speaking of cool library ideas, don’t you wish your town had one of these?

I read this list while procrastinating another task. Whoops.



Tips And Tricks For Successful Real Estate Investing

Knowledge is power, always, but especially with new business ventures. You can make quite a bit of money with real estate investments if you choose good properties. Continue reading to learn the basics of investing in real estate.

Decide which type of investing you will focus on with real estate before you begin. You may find that real estate flipping is just your style. You may even prefer to start rehab projects when choosing real estate. The work involved is quite different, so it’s important you choose wisely.

If you want to start investing in real estate, think about the amount of time you have available for managing properties. Tenant issues can eat up your schedule. If you realize managing it takes too much time, consider hiring a company that specializes in property management to assist you.

Choose popular, well-known locales that will pique the interest of potential clients. This is very important because it could give you the best amount of resale when you go about your purchase. Also, try to look for properties that can be easily maintained.

Make sure that you devote a lot of time to your investment. Dealing with your tenants can be very time consuming. Before it becomes overwhelming, it can be a smart choice to get the help of a company who can handle property management for you.

Join an investor group online or follow the blogs of some of the most successful real estate investors in the world. This gives you a place to gain valuable knowledge. You can also talk with others in the same field.

Consider the amount of time you can realistically devote to managing property. It can be time consuming to deal with tenants. Get a management company to do the dirty work for you.

Avoid purchasing properties in bad neighborhoods. Be certain to understand the locale where you intend to buy. Research it. A home may seem like a great deal until you realize it is located in a bad neighborhood. It may be vandalized and could be hard to sell.

Know the basics of real estate before you spend money. Mistakes in investing in real estate could leave you in a big ditch. One of the best investments you can make is in educating yourself.

Don’t buy property in a bad neighborhood. Make sure you pay attention to the location of the property you are buying. Research it. Sometimes a good deal is too good to be true. It might be damaged and hard to sell.

Before investing in real estate, familiarize yourself with the neighborhood. Location is a key aspect of investing in real estate, and you also need to know about zoning laws. Speak with the people who live in the area to get a grasp of the renting potential of property in this neighborhood.

If you plan on getting involved in real estate investing, get started soon. You can’t learn about the business until you get going. You are going to find yourself behind with the market’s changing if you don’t get moving!

It’s best to buy properties in the local areas that you know. When you know the area, you’ll have a better feel for whether it’s a good buy or not. You need not have concerns about what is taking place at your properties, since you will always be in the vicinity. This will give you more control during the investing process.

If you become a seasoned real estate investor, there are certain to be ups and downs. Don’t allow the low points make you want to give up on real estate. Be persistent and you will be successful. Keep learning new things and trying again and you are sure to accomplish your goals.

When figuring out your profits, you should deduct any repairs that have to be made. If the property is something you are selling, you should make the repairs first. There is also maintenance that you will have to shell out money for. Your profit expectations are going to be most successful if you pad your estimates for costs that surprise you.

Make certain that you can afford the mortgage on any property you purchase. If the property you purchase is going to be rented out, you have to be able to still afford the monthly mortgage payments no matter whether or not you have tenants. It’s not smart to assume your rental income will fully cover the mortgage payment.

Stay away from beginner realtors. When it comes to investing in real estate, you really need someone experienced to provide you with the best opportunities. The only way you find exactly what you desire is by using one with experience. At the very least, hire an experienced firm.

Be prepared and willing to make a few sacrifices. For instance, you will be investing not only money, but a great deal of your time if you enter the real estate market. You may need to give up some free time to be successful in real estate investing. Keep in mind that they will be waiting after reaching your goals.

Are property values on the rise in the area? Are there tons of vacancies in rental properties? These are the questions that you need to ask yourself before purchasing real estate. You might want to buy a cheap house to flip, but you shouldn’t set expectations to high.

Always keep enough capital on hand to cover the mortgage on your rental property, regardless of whether your tenant can make the rent. This will keep you more calm and allow you to choose the right renter instead of the first person who comes along.

Know the marketplace’s lingo. You should have good idea what you are talking about at all times. If you come across as someone new to the business, the seller might try to take advantage of you. You want to use your lingo and your knowledge to your advantage. If you sound professional, negotiations become easier.

After you have been making real estate investments for a while, you will soon become familiar with the pitfalls. The more you know about these pitfalls before you start, the better off you will be. Use the techniques listed above to be successful.

What We’re Reading: October 3-7

Baseball, privacy, nature, safety, bees, coffee, TV, home buying, and bathrooms.

The Chicago Cubs are having a record season — how did Theo Epstein put this team together? Let’s hope the Cubs can put this mess behind them!

No one deserves an ordeal like this, but can oversharing information on social media make you a target?

Did this koala get upstaged?

What is being done to keep public spaces safe in the wake of recent shootings?

Double check that species of bee before you swat it — it might be protected! Never mind that bees can be trained to complete tasksAJC1 2011 AJC1/flickr/2011

Nearly two months ahead of the anticipated follow up to a popular TV series, Netflix partnered with local coffee shops for a bit of fun publicity.

Speaking of TV, which of these famous TV homes fits your style?

Here’s some advice to pass along to buyers who do not want a mortgage. And here’s some advice to pass along to everyone.

If money is a huge issue, here’s an affordable solution.

We didn’t even know awards were handed out for this, but good job to two Chicago restaurants for making the short list?