When Should You Consider Filing Bankruptcy?

What is Bankruptcy?

It is a legal term for when a person or business can’t pay off their outstanding debts. You have to give a declaration that you are unable to reasonably make repayments!

The U.S. Constitution provides you the ability to relieve all or part of your debts when you are no longer able to meet obligations to your creditors.

Basically, you will find 2 major types of personal bankruptcies, applied to the consumers.

Let’s check them once!

Chapter 7 bankruptcy: It is often called as “liquidation bankruptcy”. That means many of your possessions will be sold to pay off your existing debts.

To qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you need to pass a means test. The test proves that your income is less than the median income for your family size in your state.

Passing the means test will give you a green signal to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy! It will forgive most of your unsecured debts like medical debts, credit card debts, etc. You can expect to get a discharge by 60 to 90 days.

However, if you fail the means test, you can go for filing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy!

Chapter 13 bankruptcy: It is also known as “reorganization bankruptcy” or “wage earner’s bankruptcy”. In 2019, you are eligible to file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy if

● Your unsecured debts (credit cards, medical bills, etc.) are within the limit of $419,275.

● Your secured debts (home, car, property, etc.) aren’t more than $1,257,850.

If you qualify for the Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you pay off all or part of your debts through 3 to 5 years repayment plan.

You and your bankruptcy estate trustee/administrator need to fill up a form for a repayment plan, to be submitted at the court.

Within a few weeks, there will be a hearing to approve your repayment plan. Your creditors can raise objections against the payment amounts, but the judge will have the final call!

Once a suitable repayment plan is constructed and gets approved, you will be making periodic payments to the court. The court, in turn, will pay your creditors, as per the payment agreement.

Hence, if you are debt trapped, it might be enticing for you to file a bankruptcy. But let me tell you, a bankruptcy is often considered as a last resort to pay off your debts. It helps you to start your financial life afresh. And once you file it, you don’t need to interact with your creditors anymore!

But it’s a serious decision with dire consequences like your credit score suffers a huge drop by around 160 to 220 points! Apart from your financial life, bankruptcy hampers your personal life too!

But you might come across certain situations, where you can’t see any other way-out except filing bankruptcy!

So, let’s check out some situations where bankruptcy is the best possible way-out!
Here you go!

You are being sued by the debt collectors

Debt collectors or collection agencies can file a lawsuit against you for your outstanding balance amount.

At this point, the worst thing you can do is ignoring the lawsuit summons! Even if your debt is time-barred (i.e. Statute of Limitations period is over), ignoring lawsuit summons can hurt you in the long run!

Because if you fail to show up in court, the collection agency can get a chance to win a default judgment against you!

If you can’t owe to make regular affordable plans to pay off your debts, you can go for filing bankruptcy. Because bankruptcy’s automatic stay prohibits most creditors to make collections during the whole process.

But make sure that your debts are not time-barred! Because some debts become time-barred after the statute of limitations (SOL) is over. Usually, the SOL usually ranges from about 3 to 6 years.

Once a debt is time-barred, you aren’t legally bound to repay your debts!

Your wages are garnished

Wage garnishment happens when your creditors sue you in court for regular nonpayment and win a case against you!

Under Title III of the Consumer Credit Protection Act (CCPA), the maximum garnishment in a week either has to be 25% of your net income. Or, 25% of the amount by which your net income exceeds 30 times the federal minimum wage, i.e., $7.25 per hour at present! Thus, it can be difficult for you to cover your regular expenses when your wages are garnished.

So, if you have received a notice for wage garnishment, you can declare bankruptcy. An injunction called automatic stay goes into effect when you file bankruptcy. This injection stops most of the collection activities like collection calls, letters, etc.

However, the automatic stay doesn’t apply to garnishments for domestic support obligations like child support or alimony.

Once your creditors get the notice of bankruptcy, the garnishment must stop! Even if your creditors want to garnish your wages, they have to seek court judgment.

But what if your wage garnishment has started before filing bankruptcy!

Well, in that case, the wage garnishment should have occurred during the 90 days prior to your bankruptcy filing date.

To recover this money, you need to file a lawsuit against your creditors in bankruptcy court.

You are unable to pay off your bills

Let’s say, you’re going through a financial crunch. And you’re not able to pay off your credit card bills.

You see a whopping rise in your outstanding balance amount every day. Because your daily outstanding balance amount is calculated on a compound interest basis! Yes, you heard it right!

Let’s say, today, your outstanding balance amount is $1000 and the APR (Annual Percentage Rate) is 10%. And the minimum payment for your credit card is $50 for this month.

So, your outstanding balance would be 1000.27 till midnight of this day! But, how so? See the calculation below!

((10/100) * 1000)/365 = 0.27 (since total no. days in a year = 365)

On the next day, your outstanding balance would be about ((10/100)*1000.27)/365 = $1000.544 and so on!

Some credit cards have a single purchase APRs for all customers. Others have a range from about 13% to 23% and your specific rate depends on your creditworthiness.

To stay from your credit card debt you can:

● Pay your bill in full every month, preferably within the grace period. Then you won’t have to pay any interest.

● If you can’t off your balance in full, try to pay as much as possible, preferably more than the minimum payment.

However, if you are up to the neck in debt and your income has taken a serious hit, it’s high time to file bankruptcy!

You may go for filing the chapter 7 bankruptcy, which is specially designed for the peeps whose income isn’t sufficient to carry their debt burden!

You have tried everything else

You might have tried negotiating with your creditors for a better payment plan and opted for refinancing loans too!

Maybe you have looked for a side hustle for an extra income. Also, you might have tried to consolidate debt to get out of the financial crisis!

But unfortunately, all your endeavors got into vain!

The high interests are making it cumbersome to pay off your debts and you are not able to find a solution. Declaring bankruptcy can help you to get relief from most of your debts!

But before you file bankruptcy, you should be aware of certain things like:

● You might think that bankruptcy courts operate similar to small claims court, which is usually settled in a day or two.

The most commonly filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy usually takes about 4 to 6 months to complete. Whereas, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy will take around 3 to 5 years to complete. And it may take about 2 years or more than that if you file a Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

● Do you feel uncomfortable discussing your paycheck with your friends?

If yes, declaring bankruptcy can be a tough task for you! Because you have to expose your financial life including your financial mistakes to the public while filing bankruptcy.

By the way, are you filing for bankruptcy protection?

Then you need to do file bankruptcy schedules, which is an extensive package of paperwork.

The schedules will comprise of all your debts, assets, income, expenses and recent financial transactions.

Besides, you have to attend a meeting of creditors. During that meeting, the bankruptcy trustee will ask you probing questions in a public room. Not only that, any of your creditors can ask you questions at the meeting.

Usually, these proceedings are open to the public and held in private only under extreme circumstances.

● Bankruptcy forms are somewhat like those confusing tax return forms! These forms contain complex, tricky questions about your financial status.

Forms like Schedule A to Schedule J, Statement of Financial Affairs, are one of the complicated ones!

So, it’s highly advisable to educate yourself with the bankruptcy process and its related forms before filing it.

Or you may approach an experienced bankruptcy attorney who will guide you through the entire process. But always remember that the services of an attorney come with a professional charge.

● The ultimate goal of filing bankruptcy is the discharge from your debts. But filing bankruptcy is not at all cheap. Rather, it comes with a price!

If you are filing bankruptcy through an attorney, you have to shell out a hefty amount as a professional charge. It can vary from about $500 to $3,500 depending on the complexity of the case.

Even if you prepare and file your own bankruptcy case, the filing fees alone are substantial.

Indigent debtors can seek relief from these fees by applying for a fee waiver to the bankruptcy court.

In case you are applying for a fee waiver, make sure your income is not greater than 150% of the federal poverty level!

● Usually, for Chapter 7 bankruptcy it takes about 4 to 6 months to get a discharge. Whereas, if you file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, it can take upto 5 years to get a discharge from your debts.

In the meantime, your credit report gets affected to a great extent! The effect of Chapter 7 bankruptcy stays on your credit report for about 10 years whereas that of Chapter 13 stays for 7 years!

No doubt, after filing bankruptcy, you become free from your debts and start your financial life afresh!

But this is the time where you get vulnerable to the debt trap once again! Many credit card companies or credit unions are going to offer you credit cards. And you may get appealed to their lucrative offers!

But there is a catch! Credit card companies set a very high APR along with stringent terms and conditions. Because they know you can’t file bankruptcy again, before a specific time!

Well, you can opt for a credit card during this time. Your credit score suffers an abysmal drop after you file bankruptcy. So, you can charge your card for small amounts to improve your credit score.

But make sure to use your credit card responsibly and thereby avoiding to fall into the debt trap once again!

Hopefully, you have understood why bankruptcy is considered as a last resort to get out of the debt trap. And at times, it can be frustrating too! But it provides you a little breathing room when your finances are spiraling out of control!

So, it’s important to assess your situation before you file to make sure it’s the best choice!

Do Stablecoins Require Your Attention?

On June 18 2019, Facebook announced its plan to launch its new cryptocurrency, Libra. The move is supported by various prominent names such as Visa, PayPal, eBay, Spotify, and Uber. Binance, a leading crypto trading platform, announced the launch of a unified stablecoin market in November 2018. The USDT Market (USDT) market was renamed to USDⓈ, to serve as a combined stablecoin market. Many experts opine that these moves will help make stablecoins a part of everyday transactions in not too distant a future.

Like various other stablecoins or altcoins, Libra is to be backed by real-world assets. What essentially differentiates a stablecoin from a conventional cryptocurrency such as bitcoin is that the former comes without the extreme volatility that the latter might face. This is why most businesses remain wary about accepting cryptocurrencies. However, a change may well be coming. According to a recent report, close to 60 stablecoins are out there or in the process of development. In addition, the New York State Department of Financial Services has approved and regulated two USD-backed stablecoins – the Gemini Dollar (GUSD) and the Paxos Standard (PAX).

While these advancements indicate that stablecoins are making their presence felt, do they require your attention?

How Do Stablecoins Work?

What’s common between all stablecoins is that they come with fixed values. Ones that are pegged to real-world assets such as fiat currencies and precious metals adhere to a centralized model. Decentralized stablecoins, on the other hand, can be backed by cryptocurrencies, rely on algorithms, or even be tethered. The four main categories stablecoins fall under include:

  • Fiat- collateralized
  • Commodity- collateralized
  • Crypto- collateralized
  • Non- collateralized

Fiat- Collateralized

A fiat-collateralized stablecoin is backed by a fiat currency at a 1:1 ratio. What this basically means is that for each stablecoin out there, a fiat currency is held in a bank account to serve as collateral. Some of the popular fiat-collateralized stablecoins include Tether (USDT), TrueUSD (TUSD), USD Coin (USDC), Gemini Dollar (GUSD), and LBXPe.

If you wish to redeem your stablecoins for a fiat currency, the issuer of the stablecoin takes the amount from its fiat currency reserve and transfers it to your bank account. The stablecoins you exchange are either taken out of circulation or destroyed. Since this is the easiest structure that stablecoins follow, it can make way for widespread adoption. If the currency that a stablecoin is pegged to remains stable, the same holds true for the value of the stablecoin as well.

 Commodity- Collateralized

This type of stablecoin is backed by different interchangeable assets. While gold is the most commonly used commodity that serves as collateral, some stablecoins are backed by assets such as other precious metals, oil, and even real estate. If you own commodity- collateralized stablecoins, you essentially hold a real-world asset with a tangible value. However, volatility comes in the form of increase or decrease in value of the assets that back such stablecoins.

Until not long ago, only the really rich could think about investing in assets such as gold, oil, or international real estate. Commodity-backed stablecoins give just about anyone the ability to make such investments.

Look at Digix Gold (DGX) as an example. This ERC-20 token, built on the Ethereum network, is backed by gold that is stored in Singapore and is audited every three months. The value of 1 DGX is equal to the value of 1 gram of gold. If you don’t mind travelling to Singapore, you may redeem your DGX for actual gold.

Tiberius Coin (TCX) is a stablecoin that is backed by as many as seven precious metals that commonly find use in technological hardware. SwissRealCoin (SRC) is backed by a Swiss real estate portfolio, and it gives token holders the ability to vote on investment choices.

Crypto-Collateralized

Backed by other cryptocurrencies, this type of stablecoin relies solely on the blockchain, which makes it more decentralized that fiat or commodity-backed alternatives. It is common for these stablecoins to be over-collateralized, as this allows better absorption of price fluctuations. If the price of the cryptocurrency to which a stablecoin is pegged drops below a predetermined level, the stablecoin is liquidated automatically.

It is not uncommon for crypto-collateralized stablecoins to be backed by multiple cryptocurrencies to minimize risk. They offer increased liquidity, giving you the ability to quickly convert your investment into the underlying asset.

Dai, created by MakerDAO, is a popular crypto-collateralized stablecoin. While its face-value is pegged to the USD, it relies on the Ethereum blockchain through the use of smart contracts. A smart contract is a self-executing contract that exists on the blockchain network and requires no external authority to endorse or validate it.

Non-Collateralized

While stablecoins are typically backed by real-world assets, this is not the case with non-collateralized stablecoins. These coins rely on algorithmically governed approaches to control their supply. When there is an increase in demand, the price is brought down to the normal level by creating new coins. If the value drops noticeably, the issuer purchases coins from the market to reduce the supply in circulation. Theoretically, the value of such stablecoins would experience relative stability because supply and demand remains their driving force.

These stablecoins are the most decentralized of the lot, given that they do not use any other asset as collateral. As a result, even if the value of a fiat currency or a real-world asset experiences a negative trend and affects the prices of other types of stablecoins, the value of these stablecoins will remain largely stable. Basis is an example of a non-collateralized stablecoin. It makes use of an algorithm to adjust supply automatically.

Benefits of Stablecoins

The biggest advantage that stablecoins present is relative stability when compared to the largely volatile cryptocurrency market. If you have invested in traditional cryptocurrencies and think that the market is experiencing a downward trend, you may move your investments to stablecoins and wait for the storm to pass.

Businesses have, until now, been largely skeptical about using cryptocurrencies as a valid means of payments. While several leading names across realms such as Microsoft, KFC, Expedia, Shopify, and Overstock accept crypto payments, there is no widespread use of traditional cryptocurrencies yet. This is where stablecoins make for better alternatives. While they offer the same benefits as cryptocurrencies, they also offer the stability and guarantees of trust associated with fiat currencies.

People who trade in cryptocurrencies using trading platforms that do not support payments made via fiat currencies may benefit by turning to stablecoins. Consider this – you have a cryptocurrency investment that you wish to sell, but can exchange it only for another cryptocurrency. This still exposes you to the volatility factor, which is not the case if you exchange your cryptocurrency for stablecoins.

Another aspect that works in the favor of stablecoins is that they use smart contracts that are enforceable over time. Given that these smart contracts remain transparent, traceable, and irreversible, their use is ideal when it comes to making payments toward loans, rent, salaries, and subscriptions.

For example, all an employer needs to do is use a smart contract that automatically transfers stablecoins to an employee’s account at the end of every month. Businesses that have employees in different countries can benefit by going this way because it would reduce not just the costs associated with overseas money transfers, but also turnaround times.

As a tenant, you can set up a smart contract with your landlord. The transferring of stablecoins would take place on the 1st of every month. The same principle would apply when it comes to making mortgage payments or payments toward your regular subscriptions.

According to Gav Smythe, founder of iCompareFX, “stablecoins hold the potential to change the way people make international money transfers”. Given the number of people who work as expats or live as immigrants in countries outside of their own, it is only normal for them to want to send money back to their home countries. Until now, most people turn to their banks or prominent names such as Western Union and MoneyGram. In the process, they often have to deal with less than favourable exchange rates, high fees, and typically long turnaround times.

With stablecoins, cross-border transfers can take place in near real-time, and for a fraction of the cost typically associated with a bank or a traditional overseas money transfer company. Besides, unlike transferring a traditional cryptocurrency, you don’t have to worry about fluctuations in price from when you send the funds to when the recipient receives them.

People who live in unbanked or under-banked regions can also benefit by turning to stablecoins. Given that mobile phone usage is wide-ranging, the use of digital wallets to trade in and make payments through stablecoins can effectively address the problem of no access to traditional forms of banking.

Are There Drawbacks?

When it comes to centralized stablecoins, holders are offered assurance by the issuer that the stablecoins are collateralized using real-world assets, which may range from fiat currencies to precious metals. Take the case of Tether as an example. There was a fair amount of controversy surrounding whether or not it held adequate USD reserves. It was only in late 2019 that rumours were laid to rest when Bloomberg revealed bank statements indicating that $2.2 billion existed in Tether’s bank account around at a time when the same number of Tether was in circulation.

While companies that offer stablecoins operate using the same premise, there is no way for a regular investor to find out is all the information provided is factual. This requires choosing stablecoins that have passed the reliability test, unless you are okay with losing all or part of your investment.

Stability in value is at the forefront of stablecoins, but this is not always the case. Even with stablecoins that are pegged to real-world assets, fluctuations may take place. For instance, in the event of a financial crisis where major fiat currencies drop in value, stablecoins pegged to such currencies would also drop in value. Volatility might be a particular concern when it comes to stablecoins that are pegged to other cryptocurrencies. Some stablecoins are pegged to complicated bond schemes, where liquidity depends largely on future growth.

Companies that offer stablecoins continue to work on increasing investors’ trust by getting approval from relevant government bodies. However, the flipside is that they are required to follow government rules and regulations. For example, if you wish to purchase Circle’s USD Coin (USDC) or the Gemini Dollar (GUSD), you will need to provide proof of identity. In addition, these companies may decline their offerings to people who have previous money laundering convictions.

What Are the Popular Stablecoins?

If you plan to invest in stablecoins, consider looking for ones that are listed on at least one major cryptocurrency exchange such as Bitfinex, Ethfinex, Bancor, DDEX, and HitBTC. Some of the popular alternatives include:

  • Tether. The controversy surrounding Tether (USDT) notwithstanding, it continues to be the most commonly used stablecoin the world over. This stablecoin has a 1:1 peg against the U.S. dollar. You may trade in USDT through most crypto exchanges, using most altcoins.
  • TrueUSD. TrueUSD (TUSD) is pegged to the U.S. dollar at 1:1. The company follows complete transparency, making its attestations public, and anyone can access it reports. It is available for trading through most popular exchanges.
  • MakerDAO. While the token (DAI) provided by MakerDao is linked to the U.S. dollar, it is not backed by this fiat currency. Instead, it relies on an algorithm that moves a target price to achieve stability, which, in turn, incentivizes people to trade. This stablecoin is available through most popular exchanges.
  • Digix Gold Tokens. Digix Gold tokens (DGX) are collateralized using gold. The value of one DGX has hovered around the U.S. $40 mark since its inception. Some of the more popular crypto exchanges give you the ability to trade in DGX.

Conclusion

Stablecoins have the potential to change the way different industries operate, and they also make for fairly stable investment alternatives. When compared to traditional cryptocurrencies, stablecoins have largely done away with the apprehension of sudden drops in value. By offering a decentralized, stable, and secure system, as well as compatibility with other digital assets, it appears that stablecoins are here to stay.

Author’s Bio

Jon works for iCompareFX, an online platform that lets users compare leading overseas money transfer companies depending on where they live. His job as a researcher involves delving into the intricacies of how companies from this field operate, and he is often found mystery shopping. Outside of work, Jon likes exploring new music from different genres.

Should You Invest in a Single or Multi-Family Rental Property?

Whether you are looking for your first property or your tenth, the decision to purchase includes the actual living quarters and structure of the property. This means you will need to consider whether you should invest in a single-family home or in a multi-family unit that holds multiple tenants.

While there is no “right” one size fits all answer, there are some factors that can help you decide if one type of rental unit is better for your investment. Learning more about the differences between single-family and multi-family rental properties can help you determine which of these options suits your needs best. Both properties have significant advantages and a few drawbacks too; the factors that matter most to you should be considered carefully before you invest. Consider the following details before choosing your next investment property.

Single-Family Properties

A single-family property means a sole unit (a detached home, single condo, or town home) that is occupied by one tenant or a single-family. Some of the things to consider when you look at this property type are detailed below:

No Tenant vs. Tenant Nightmares: Your tenants are a sole individual or a family; any conflict that they have will be internal. There are no other tenants to feud with and no complaints to you about the guy with the loud music or the lady with the huge dog.

Lower Maintenance: In general, single-family homes require less maintenance on your part, particularly if you have screened your tenant well. Apartments often need more work between tenants, and it is possible to end up with multiple repairs or turnovers at the same time.

Easy to Diversify: When you own several properties in different neighborhoods, the problems from one won’t spill over into another. Several properties in the same building can be impacted by anything from flooding to changes in school district lines and even a leaky roof. If prices begin to fall, having diversified properties offers some protection for your overall portfolio.

Liquid Assets: If you need capital for another project, shift your focus, or simply want to move on to bigger investments, the liquidity of a single home makes it easy to do so. Single homes traditionally sell more swiftly than multi-units, so if you need more liquidity in your portfolio, this property type can help.

Multi-Family Property

This category includes structures that house more than a single tenant or family at a time (like apartment buildings). Here are a few things to expect if you purchase a multi-family property:

Easy Property Management: Since all units are in the same place, you can manage the facility more efficiently. In some cases, you can even have a property manager right on-premise or in the area to keep order, show units, and manage contractors.

Save By Buying in Bulk: If you need to have painting done, appliances switched out, or even need to complete a major repair like a new roof, you can save by buying in bulk. You’ll usually spend less money refurbishing a unit in a multi-family dwelling than you would on a single home.

Increased Cash Flow: If your single-tenant misses the rent, then you’re out of luck, at least for a little while. Even though you have actions available to you, they take time. When you have a multi-family rental, you have several tenants paying rent instead of just one—so a single bad tenant won’t throw your finances off.

After going through the details of each property above, you may start to lean one way or the other in terms of the type of property you’d like to purchase. However, there are other items to consider as well; let’s take a look at a few:

Single-Family vs. Multi-Family Rentals: How Much Money Can You Make?

The actual amount of rent your market will bear depends on your property, the area it is in, and the going rate for the type of home you have. In general, though, a multi-family property will generate more rent, simply because more tenants are paying at the same time.

While a single-family home may generate more rent than a single apartment, a multi-family property has more than one unit. As long as more than one unit is rented out, most multi-family properties will generate more income in total than single-family homes.

With a single-family home, you also take on more financial risk in the short term. If the home is unexpectedly vacated or the tenant can’t pay the rent, you will have no source of income. If the same situation were to occur in one of your apartments, it could be offset, because the other tenants will not have the same problem at the same time. Therefore, when you opt for a multi-family property, you have far less risk of negative cash flow.

Single-Family vs. Multi-Family Rentals: Property Financing Differences

The cost of a single home or a multi-family property will depend on the property itself and where you live. But single homes are almost always less expensive than their larger counterparts. When it comes to financing—especially if you’re just starting out as an investor—a single-family home will be easier to manage and have more financing options available.

A multi-family unit may be slightly out of reach for a new investor, simply because of the overall cost. The actual financing terms will vary, but a residential real estate loan can still be used for a multi-family property of four or fewer units. Buildings with five or more units will require commercial lending instead.

Commercial real estate loans can be more involved than residential mortgages, simply because your lender will want to scrutinize your record, your history of property management, and more. In some cases, you’ll also need to come up with a higher percentage of the selling price as a downpayment.

Single-Family vs. Multi-Family Rentals: Home Appreciation

Both of these property types can (and hopefully will) appreciate over time. While appreciation can occur in each, repairs to a multi-family property can impact more units collectively. Replace a roof on a single home, and you’ve forced appreciation on one home. Replace the roof on an apartment building with eight units, and you’ve appreciated the value of each.

Single-Family vs. Multi-Family Rentals: Rental Property Management

Single-family homes (provided you select tenants with care) require less work and attention than multi-family units because there are fewer people on the property. Conflicts between tenants can disrupt your schedule and can even lead to property damage if a tenant feud escalates. If you have plenty of time to manage your rentals or you can afford to invest in a property manager, differences in management needs won’t matter. But if you are taking the DIY approach, you may end up spending far more time at that multi-family unit than at the single home.

Single-Family vs. Multi-Family Rentals: Exit Strategies

Just as the buying process is more flexible and efficient when purchasing a single-family home, the selling process is also streamlined. Single-family homes can be liquified more easily and can be sold to other investors or buyers who want to live in the home.

The multi-family property may take a little longer to sell; it will need to sell to another investor who will have to get a commercial loan, just as you did when you made your initial investment. Because of this, the prospective buying pool may be smaller than the potential market for a single-family home.

Which is Best? It Depends on You.

Looking at the unique features and advantages of each type of property and comparing important factors like cash flow, liquidity, property management, and upkeep can provide you with valuable insights. These details can help you determine if one property type is better for you at this point in your investing career. Once you know the differences, you can make an informed, data-based decision that will help ensure success.

Some Vital Steps to Take While Planning Your First SMS Marketing Campaign

Sending targeted promotions and offers could be an effective way of reaching your customers and potential customers with a certain interest in your unique products. Research has revealed that SMS open rates are phenomenally high nearly 98 percent while approximately 90 percent of the text messages are actually read within just three minutes. Businesses have realized that no other platform offers that kind of traction today.

As per forbes.com, we understand that there are a plethora of SMS marketing services based in the United States providing businesses with fabulous ways of sending launch contests, mobile coupons, and selling via text. Moreover, restaurants like Domino’s Pizza are increasingly making it simpler and easier to order food via text messaging. Also, retailers such as Target are incorporating effective ways of texting and receiving coupons for boosting sales.

While implementing a robust SMS marketing strategy, you must first of all, seek permission for sending text messages since SMS marketing is purely consent-based. Moreover, you need to mind the frequency of your text messages. You would be running the risk of irritating your target audience if you text too often. They may even go to the length of unsubscribing. On the other hand, if you are erratic in your text messages, you would surely miss golden opportunities to boost your brand. Learn the tricks of the SMS marketing game by seeking professional assistance from experts at simpletexting.com .

Determine a Precise Goal

SMS marketing could assist you in driving people to your store, engaging consumers with your brand and motivating them to visit you online. Your first step toward the success of your SMS marketing campaign is to determine your desired outcome. You must clearly define your business or brand goals that you are aspiring to achieve.

Identify Your Audience

Are you thinking of connecting with your prospective customers, existing customers, repeat customers? Are there any specific psychographic or demographic traits that should be defining them? You must focus your thoughts on determining who precisely your target audience is and what are they looking for and accordingly segment your target audience.

Seriously Seek Permission

Do not take things lightly. The rules and regulations governing text marketing seem to be quite distinct and clear. You must necessarily have the relevant permission from your target audience. You must consider setting realistic expectations. There are numerous ways of building your opt-in list. Your list must be comprehensive.

Utilize a Messaging Tool

There are a number of companies that are known to feed low-cost tools for helping organizations deliver text campaigns without investing heavily on new technology. These reliable companies would be simplifying the entire process of SMS marketing. They upload your opted-in contact list, deploy messages and also, track results for various businesses.

Create Compelling Messaging

When you are creating your text message for your brand’s SMS marketing campaign, remember to ensure that the message must be convincing enough. It must be catchy and clear and also, must deliver tangible value. Do not forget that customers feel nice and happy to get promotions and coupons but they do not like receiving irrelevant notices. Customize your messages and create convincing and compelling content. There should be a sense of urgency in your message that should motivate your customer to swing into immediate action.

You need to make sure that your recipients realize that the message is actually originating from your company or brand. You must incorporate force words into your SMS and always offer some enticing benefit so that your prospective clients take action. Limit yourself to 160 characters and find out how to furnish your SMS with some extra information. You may include a link for them to click if they are interested in more data. You could consider using a link-shortener with the intention of making the most of your limited characters.

Follow Up but Do Not Overdo It

We know that SMS gets a phenomenally high open rate but it could be a good idea to send another follow-up SMS just for reminding your prospective customers about your product. When subscribers give your consent to shoot text messages, it is a good idea to let them know how often you would be contacting them. Accordingly, plan your follow-ups without exceeding your maximum message count.

Keep Tracking Results

Suppose you are predominantly an online business, it is essential to keep tracking your SMS campaigns with cookies and dedicated landing pages. Suppose you are having a brick-and-mortar business, you need to keep asking your clients why they are actually visiting you. All this data would be telling you exactly how your SMS campaign is performing and assist you in calculating an ROI.

Keep Experimenting to Become Better

There are many SMS marketing tricks. Keep experimenting and do something new in your next SMS marketing campaign. You may change the offer, make the messaging more enticing and exciting or you may go on experimenting with delivering text messages at different times. You have to be considerate and always keep your clients’ comfort on top of your mind. Nobody would appreciate late-night interruptions.

Pay Attention to the Right Timing

You need to pick the right time to send text messages to your target audience. Be cautious and try to know more about your clients. Determine the right time to send text messages to them. Timing is of utmost importance here. If your SMS is delivered when people are driving, your SMS would get lost among numerous others. Hence, avoid commuting hours as they are not a great time to deliver your SMS. Moreover, do not send your text message when people are taking rest or sleeping. You simply do not have the liberty to disturb your clients. You must restrict yourself to a maximum of 4 text messages every month.

Conclusion

Professionalism is paramount while using SMS marketing strategy. SMS marketing offers some degree of flexibility. Your text message would be reflecting your brand image and your company’s vision. Today, several companies are realizing amazing ROI and incredible accomplishment with an SMS marketing strategy after using the above-discussed guidelines.  The best way to emerge victorious is to follow these rules diligently. They would help you in developing your rundown, converting clients and boosting your business, everything while providing valuable offers and data to your customer base.

Best Car Buying Tips for First Time Buyers

When you’re a first-time car buyer, your experience can be both exciting and a little daunting to say least.

However, as much of a sweet talker a car salesman is, there are a few important tips you can use to ensure that you get the best deal available rather than acquiescing to everything the salesman says.

To see through the car salesman’s tricks and get a fair deal for your car, Quick car removal Melbourne put together a few tips below.

Come Prepared

It is important to do your homework before committing to something as big as buying a car.

This includes the market value of a car, finding out the mark-up of the car’s sticker price and how much the car salesman expects to profit.

It is important to know as much as you can about safety, reliability and pricing information.

Research the Reputation of the Car Dealership

Like all businesses, there are occasional few who may be dishonest or provide a poor-quality service.

This is why it is important to research the reputation of a dealership – but luckily this isn’t hard to do.

A quick Google or Facebook search can tell you what customers are saying and show you what the dealership’s rating is.

If there are more than a few unhappy customers, it’s safe to say you should look elsewhere.

Call First

A car salesman will do everything they can to get you to make the deal that they want you to make and a lot of their power comes from sweet-talking and charming you.

However, when you call, a lot of their edge is lost, and it is a lot easier for you to negotiate with them.

It’s a lot easier to say no when you’re not face to face with the car dealer – or anyone for that matter!

Don’t Mention Your Plan to Trade

A car salesman will scale your deal if he knows you are planning on trading in order for him or her to get more profit.

Only mention you plan to trade once you’ve gotten the information you need.

Focus on the Price – Not Payments

A car dealer will try to focus on how low monthly payments are but then extend the loan term so that the overall cost of the car is higher.

It is important to not equate lower monthly costs to a better overall deal.

Be Patient

Negotiating can take a lot of effort and sometimes a lot of time.

It is important to not accept a deal simply because you are fatigued by the process.

When you get the deal that suits you, you won’t regret having stuck it out to achieve it.

Get Rates from Multiple Dealers

The oldest rule in the book – get quotes from different dealers.

It will take a little more time, but you could save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

Sell Your Old Car for Cash Before Hunting for a New Car

Sometimes car buyers want the upper hand financially before buying a new car.

By selling your car to a Car Removal company, you can get cash for scrap cars Melbourne up to $9,999 which can certainly help your finances before hunting for a new car.

Contact Quick Car Removal today at 0481 332 220

5 Interesting Tips on How to Finance a Business with No Money

How to finance a business with no money?

Starting a business without a capital can be a huge challenge but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible.

Do you have a great idea for a business? And the thought of getting capital for your business is holding you back from chasing your dreams. But who said you need money to start a business?

Most people get stuck at this thought that: “how you can finance a business without any capital?” If you’re confident that your idea is unique and sellable, then capital is the last thing you need to worry about. Why wait for an investor or an uncle with a hefty bank balance to sponsor your business idea when you can just get started with no money?

Starting a business with no money or very less capital works well if your business:

  • Can get the revenue immediately
  • Has less overhead
  • Has less inventory or labor expenses

There are a few things you need to keep in mind when starting a business with no money or a very less capital. The cash flow is an essential part of the business and it will create a huge impact when the time lapse between your pay and bills is more. Being successful in a business is all about maintaining the right balance between cash flow and the net profit. If you’re able to get a good revenue after clearing all your bills, then you can push yourself towards expansion and business growth.

Start with a good business plan and focus on the key tips mentioned below and just get started with your business easily. We share with you 5 interesting ways on how you can finance a business without any capital.

5 Tips on financing a business without money:

#1. Every penny counts

Don’t spend even a single penny if it doesn’t help you in growing your business. If the money you spend is not fetching you, potential customers, then stop spending. When you start a business with no money, then you are accountable for every dollar you spend so spend it wisely. Most entrepreneurs think about buying everything for their business and neglect the fact that every penny counts especially when you’ve just started a business. Instead, you can look for lease options.

#2. Look for the grants offered and how you can get the best out of them

While there are many options to get funds from such as crowdfunding, bank loans, investor etc. but getting a grant is one of the best ways to fund your business. Although, getting a grant is not that easy and the process may take a while but it’s worth shredding your sweats for it.

There are 4 categories of grants and you can research each of them before you check for the eligibility:

  • Federal small business grants offered by the Government
  • State and regional small business grants
  • Corporate small business grants
  • Speciality small business grants

#3. Develop your understanding of the basic principles of accounting

It is important to have some understanding of the basic principles of accounting to track your income, expenses and know which measures are profitable and which aren’t. For this you don’t have to be a CPA, you can make use of the free tools to track and monitor your finances.

Some of the free accounting software are:

  • ZipBooks
  • TurboCash
  • Wave
  • GnuCash
  • CloudBooks

#4. Think twice before you opt for having an Office space

Office space can be an expensive affair especially when you are starting a business or just started as every penny counts. Hold on this thought of having a physical office space until you find the need. If your business demands holding meetings, then you can schedule one in any coffee shop. Most companies start without a physical office until they feel they can manage the costs and would have a profitable revenue.

#5. Quality is better than quantity – employees, customers & more

Hiring can be something you need to focus on. Instead of hiring full-time employees, you can hire 2 or 3 freelancers or business services to do everything. When you feel that you’ve more projects which can’t be managed with freelancers then you can hire full-time employees or hire part-time freelancers to work on a project basis.

Having one good customer who pays on time and doesn’t fuss about stuff is always better than having 4 bad customers. Instead of wasting time and money on fussy customers, you can work on generating potential leads and quality customers.

Summing up:

More than starting a business, the thought of funding a business is more challenging. So, these 5 tips would help you to get started with your business and help you to understand how to finance a business with no money.