Real Estate Customer Life Cycle

Recently, my wife and I have been searching for new tenants for our rental property.   That’s an irritating customer cycle.   We’ve had more no-shows at the showings than we’ve had prospects show up.   Most people who call seem to think that the rent on a 2 bedroom, 1.5 bathroom house with a big yard and a 3 car garage 5 minutes from downtown Minneapolis is going to match their little subsidized Section 8 apartment.

Not going to happen.

So we keep looking.  In the meantime, it’s interesting to look at how a real estate trainer breaks down the life cycle of a customer.

Enjoy!

NEC Online Degrees

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Effen Carpets, Effen Pets

We’ve got pets.  Lots of pets.

Chinese Food in Minutes

Chinese Food in Minutes (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  • 4 cats
  • 3 kids
  • 2 pythons
  • 1 dog
  • 1 hamster

And yours truly.

I count, I make a good mess.

Pets have hair.  Well, except for the python and the horrible abominations of mis-evolved Chinese food known as bald cats.

Pet hair gets every-damn-where.

A few weeks ago, we watched our friend’s dogs for a few days.

Those things pee.   Not in the backyard like good dogs, but on the girls’ bedroom carpet.

I hate pee.

Not my own, of course.

I really, really hate animal pee in my house.

So we got the carpets cleaned.   Linda told me it would be a bit more than normal, since we were going to get the air ducts cleaned at the same time.  I was fine with that.  Animal hair gets everywhere, and in the ducts, it makes the furnace and air conditioner work poorly.

Then, I got an email alert from Capital One.

Seven hundred freaking dollars!

That’s about $400 more than I was expecting.

Not flipping thrilled!  < —-Understatement.

Thankfully, we have money tucked aside for crap like this, but if stuff keeps coming up, we’re going to be hosed.

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Healthcare.gov: Is this failure a warning of what’s to come?

English: President Barack Obama's signature on...

English: President Barack Obama’s signature on the health insurance reform bill at the White House, March 23, 2010. The President signed the bill with 22 different pens. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The official launch of online registration for government healthcare has been rife with disastrous glitches from the very beginning. This cataclysmic failure has spurred severe service outages across the country, and this chronically dysfunctional interface serves as foreshadowing for an epidemic of systematic organizational deficiencies. Healthcare.gov is only the first in a series of planned bureaucratic catastrophes.

Luckily, this informative overview exists to demystify the overly complex world of the medical legislation informally known as Obamacare. Being armed with the facts provided below can protect anyone during these times of economic uncertainty in which the destabilizing influence of expensive health treatments can suddenly arise.

The Internet Errors

The requirement of preemptive registration resulted in a complete system crash. The ability to input health data was also starkly limited. Security issues also seemed evident as certificates failed to show updated validations, and there was no indication of where confidential information would be stored.

Lack of Foresight and Oversight

The decision to mandate initial registration was a hastily made last-minute change that failed to consider the magnitude of public interest. This unfortunately coincided with a government shutdown, which left limited federal resources available to respond to claims of malfunctioning servers. The biggest mistake made by the Department of Health and Human Services was underestimating the massive influx of uninsured applicants.

To further complicate woes, a chief contractor behind the layout of healthcare.gov is expected to testify that additional time and money could not have salvaged the doomed enlistment effort. His official testimony will shed light on administrative laziness, and the legislative committee is expected to issue serious reprimands, but nothing will recompense the thousands of individuals deprived access to healthcare registration on the date promised to them years in advance. These problems were completely avoidable, but the team in place refused to promptly pay attention.

Proposed Solutions

The Obama Administration has conveniently remained mum on the topic of minor adjustments to the healthcare law, but Congressional Democrats have proposed implementing small delays to the overall roll-out. The dates for enforcing the individual mandate have become a focal point of discussions to modify Obamacare. Because citizens were not given feasible access to the online enrollment system, it would be unconstitutional to levy fines for their lack of registration.

The Foreboding Warning

If politicians cannot even tackle basic website programming, then they should not be trusted to manage the well-being of millions of Americans. Partisan divisions have made two factions that are fully noncoalescent, which means all future fixes will be the result of an incomplete compromise between two warring parties. Real health concerns have been forgotten by the incessant squabbling of politicians in their ivory towers. This means that every new initiative will only cause further societal strife and struggle. Members of Congress have expanded the breadth of their authority without grasping the technological realm. As a consequence, these politicians will continue overextending the limits of their power, and the public will be left to pick up the pieces.

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PRISM: Did the NSA kill privacy?

The seal of the U.S. National Security Agency....

The seal of the U.S. National Security Agency. The first use was in September 1966, replacing an older seal which was used briefly. For more information, see here and here. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Revelations have been continuing to emerge regarding widespread surveillance tactics being internationally deployed by the United States government. PRISM is the codename of the project, which was implemented by the Protect America Act of 2007 that President George W. Bush signed. Their data collection activities remained obscured for years until a contractor employed by the National Security Agency leaked internal documents regarding the invasive system to the public.

The Scope of Surveillance

Because the intrusive monitoring is being conducted under a shroud of secrecy, it is difficult to estimate the magnitude of governmental spying. Federal agents have direct access to any online conversations conducted between Americans and international locations. These authorities have permission to conduct individual surveillance operations on any person for up to seven days before they need to acquire an official warrant. This scenario indicates that the guise of personal privacy has expired.

Logistics Versus Application

The details that have been released about the program illustrate serious setbacks for privacy activists. Fortunately, the public population vastly outnumbers the amount of authorities with access to these surveillance capabilities. Statistically, this means that that are far too many people to be personally tracked. In all likelihood, most people have not been targeted for individual monitoring; however, the story creates an appearance of governmental omnipresence that instills a need for self-censorship. The exposé about wiretapping operations simply confirms the common knowledge that the expression of incendiary rhetoric is dangerous in any arena. It would be naïve to believe that records of online activities were not being stored before the government had access to them. The permanent imprints of internet use were always available; therefore, it was only a matter of time before the legal authorities started accessing the material.

Unequal Privacy

Technically, the surveillance measures have institutionalized extreme privacy for the secret courts that have legalized extensive wiretaps. The United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court operates in a completely classified fashion. They issue rulings that have fundamental impacts on American democracy, but they only conduct closed hearings. Additionally, they issue secret rulings that form the basis of laws that citizens do not know about. The court is comprised of heavily partisan members. This is based on the fact they are all appointed by John Roberts, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Only one appointee was not a Republican, but the FISA Court is so concealed from the general public that conflicts of interest cannot be thoroughly vetted. These judges are privy to unfettered secrecy while they simultaneously deny the public of rights to their own privacy.

Public Backlash

Privacy still exists, but it has been neglected in favor of flashier technologies that are not secure. Fortunately, people have started returning to conventional methods of communication, which cannot be easily traced. Several organizations are developing secure ways to conduct discrete transactions online, and physical cash may now avoid its inevitable obsolescence. Ultimately, these startling announcements about governmental eavesdropping are generating a resurgence of non-digital media to regain privacy in all interactions.

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