17 Sep
2014

Communication – a fundamental ingredient in a successful relationship

It’s a well-known fact that communication is a key ingredient in a successful marriage. Without effective communication, a couple is unable to discuss important issues and resolve their disagreements. This can often lead to feelings of detachment, anger or resentment in the long term. Although I refer to communication in relationships these tips are equally important in any important relationship in your life.

Communication can be tough, especially if it is with someone you have been in a relationship with for a long time. After a while, couples get comfortable with each other and, as a result, the level of communication tends to decrease. Assuming your partner already knows something or not taking the time to communicate with them can lead to a relationship breakdown over time.

Comfort should not equal less communication. There are many issues that may arise if you don’t keep yourself open and make an effort to communicate with your partner. Follow these simple tips to keep the communication lines open between you and your partner.

1. Never Assume
It’s important not to assume something unless you’ve communicated directly with your partner about it. This could be anything from a roster of household chores, to making assumptions about the way your partner thinks or feels about a particular issue. If you’re unsure, ask your partner and avoid arguments or misunderstandings.

2. Say what you mean
If you have something to say, say it. But make sure you’re clear with your communication and that you’re actually getting the right message across. There’s nothing more confusing (and frustrating) than receiving conflicting messages from your partner. In some cases, it may even help to write your thoughts and feelings on a piece of paper. By writing it down you are able to construct your thoughts in a clear and concise way and ensure you’re getting all the important bits of information across.

3. Don’t be afraid of a disagreement
If you disagree with something your partner has said or done, you should let them know in a calm and reasonable manner. Don’t avoid these conversations for fear of a disagreement. While a disagreement may be difficult to deal with in the short term, an open dialogue about such issues will do wonders for your relationship in the long run. By staying quiet about issues that are important to you, you will only become resentful and angry.

4. Communicate the good, not just the bad
Communication in relationships is not just important when there is an issue to address. If you have something good to say about your partner, say it loud and often. By communicating feelings of love and appreciation with your partner you will nurture the love and trust in your relationship.

5. Make time to communicate
With work and kids and extra curriculum activities it’s easy to see how some couples can’t find the time to communicate with each other. It’s very important you set aside some time on a regular basis to reconnect and communicate with your partner. This may be every day or simply on a weekly basis. Make sure you shut off all electronics and remove yourself from distractions to really focus on what each other has to say.

AusPsychology offers professional counselling services to people having communication difficulties. Their experienced counsellors can help you improve your communication skills and work towards better relationships with your partner or significant others. If you would like to talk to someone about relationship counselling, contact AusPsychology today.

22 Aug
2014

Cladding Mackay – Consider Vinyl Cladding Over Painting

Over the past several decades, more and more people have become aware of the numerous benefits of modern vinyl cladding and started to use it instead of paint. Paint is a great choice if you plan on selling the house in the near future since it does not involve a major investment, but if you want to make your home more comfortable, then vinyl cladding is the best choice. The truth is that vinyl cladding does have a series of advantages that should be taken into account if you want to get the best quality for your money. Here you will find the most important benefits:

What Is Vinyl Cladding?
In order to fully understand its benefits, you must firstly know what vinyl cladding is. In a nutshell, this is a type of cladding made from PVC combined with several other substances that aim to increase durability. This material is fixed on the exterior of your home to improve its overall aspect and also for improving thermal performance. Paint, on the other hand, is used only for improving the aspect of your home and it does not improve the thermal performance of your house in any way.

This type of cladding is also very durable in the long run, unlike paint which peels off and loses its intensity thoughout the years. This is possible with the help of the acrylic components found in vinyl cladding, which help it stand the test of time – and weather! It does not rot or crust, and it can last for decades even in the harshest weather conditions.

One of the most important advantages of this type of cladding is that unlike paint, it is very easy to maintain in the long run, and it adds value to your home. Paint is difficult to maintain over the years as it can easily deteriorate, but fortunately this is not the case with this type of cladding: you can easily wash it with a sprayer and some mild detergent once in a while, and that is it! It is true that vinyl cladding does require an initial investment, but the quality and the comfort are certainly worth it. Besides, this will also lower your energy bills.

Vinyl cladding is undoubtedly one of the most affordable and versatile cladding options: you can easily adapt it in order to match the overall style of your home, no matter if you own a traditional or a modern house. All you need in order to make your home stylish and unique is some high-quality products and a little bit of creativity. Besides, it is so affordable that you can even clad your entire home with it without having to spend a little fortune!

Last but certainly not least, another great benefit of this type of cladding is that it comes with an important warranty that confirms the quality and the durability of the material. This warranty will give you the peace of mind you need: your investment is fully protected, should anything happen with the cladding.

In conclusion, these are the main advantages of vinyl cladding over painting. Painting may be cheaper, but it is less durable in the long run, it does involve some maintenance costs, it can easily peel off and it does not improve the thermal performance. On the other hand, vinyl cladding is extremely durable, affordable, easy to maintain, it adds extra style to your home and it improves thermal performance as well. For cladding Mackay contact Prestige Exteriors today. Make sure you check out the before and after photo gallery.

16 Sep
2014

Johnny The Jester – Brisbane’s Adult Magician

Johnny The Jester – Brisbane adult magician – is probably unique in the whole of Australia, if not the world.

Johnny has what is, in effect, a dual personality, both of whom share the same name. The first Johnny the Jester is an adult comedy magician who will amaze at corporate events, weddings, birthday parties, trade shows, at the races, or any other function where you want to entertain and impress your guests, visitors or customers.

For the past six years, Johnny has been entertaining the crowds at major shopping centres in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria, and it takes a very special type of entertainer to be able to do that on a regular basis. Johnny was also the only Brisbane magician to be hired by the Queensland government to entertain over 170,000 people a the opening of the Second Gateway Bridge. If you were there, then you have already seen Johnny at Brisbane’s biggest ever one day event. In 2008, on World Youth Day, Johnny was the only children’s magician to entertain the huge crowds at the Pope’s visit to Sydney.

Johnny The Jester is also a regular volunteer at the Royal Brisbane Hospital Wonder Factory and has appeared at the Mater children’s Hospital on Christmas Day for the last seven years.

Then there is the other Johnny, the kids magic show entertainer. For his kids shows Johnny has several animals including Dorothy the dove and Stewart the rabbit, both of whom disappear and reappear in a comical fashion which simply has the kids screaming with laughter. Johnnny’s magic show lasts for 45 minutes and then he goes on to his other true love which is his educational live python demonstration. He is probably the only snake charmer living in Australia today.

Johnny believes passionately that our wild creatures need protection and always brings at least two different types of pythons to his shows. The amazing thing about this is that he actually lets the kids hold and play with the pythons! You simply would not believe the amazement of these children when they get to have a python slithering around in their hands. (It’s perfectly safe – Johnny always makes sure the pythons have had their dinner before he brings them to a show!). If you have ever had the experience of a ten foot python sliding across the back of your neck you will know why the kids just go wild for it.

But Johnny’s show is also educational in that he explains to the kids the differences between the pythons and explains where they come from. For example, he may have a water python which lives near rivers and creeks and then a Common Brisbane Carpet python which you may well find in your own back yard.

Johnny also explains to the kids what to do if they find a snake of any sort either in the wild or in the back yard and the vital importance of looking after our local habitats in order to conserve not only the snakes but all living creatures.

If you are thinking of booking Johnny The Jester for your corporate function or just for your kids party (and why wouldn’t you?) you can actually “try before you buy”. Johnny performs between 6.30 pm and 8.00 pm every Friday at the Everton Park Hotel, Flockton Street, Everton Park and at the Monier Hotel, Monier Road, Darra at the same time every Saturday night.

To book the amazing Johnny The Jester for YOUR event just call 0412 068 868 or complete the form at his website: http://www.johnnythejester.com.au/magician-for-birthday-parties/

15 Sep
2014

10 Mistakes To Avoid When Selling Your Home

Selling your home isn’t something that you do every day-unless you’re a real estate agent. Over the years I’ve honed my skills in learning what works when it comes to selling your home, as well as what doesn’t.

Fortunately, other people have made these mistakes so that you don’t have to!

1. Ignoring an estate agent’s style tips

We all develop personal connections to our homes, but sometimes those connections mean that it’s hard to see our home through the eyes of a potential buyer. An experienced agent should know how to present your home in a way that will maximise your home’s selling potential.

2. Underestimating the importance of street appeal

First impressions matter, and potential buyers driving past or inspecting your home will take notice of your property’s exterior. In my experience, people buy in the first five seconds and justify throughout the inspection. Make a good impression from the outset and keep up to date with the mowing and weeding!

3 Under-investing in marketing

A targeted, wide-ranging marketing campaign designed to reach as much as possible of your buying audience is essential. Buyers fall into different groups and demographics, and a high quality marketing campaign will reach out effectively to all of these.

4. Not being switched on about going online

In our office, it’s where about 90% of our buyer enquiry comes from. The more you invest here the better. Only a small percentage of buyers look beyond the first page of property search results!

5. Being afraid to commit to a sale price

Committing to a sale price isn’t an easy task, but it’s one that should be a much easier decision when you consider that almost half of all potential buyers will pass over properties with no listed price. Why? It seems too hard, or worse, they fear it will be out of their range. Take the plunge and name a figure.

6. Holding out for a better price

Though it can be tempting to wait for a better offer, the property market doesn’t play by the rules of Who Dares Wins, so think twice before rejecting that initial offer. In my experience, often the first offer is the highest we’ll receive, and almost every record price we achieve comes from an offer made within the first thirty days.

7. Taking offers personally

A low offer on your property is not a reflection on you, or even on your home. Instead, they’re representative of a willingness to commit to opening negotiations. I always encourage vendors to see a low offer as a starting point rather than a final figure.

8. Opting for appointment-only viewings

Although there is the odd exception, for the most part opening your home for inspection is essential to ensure it’s seen by as many potential buyers as possible. We get around 10 times the buyer traffic if it’s open for inspection as opposed to by appointment viewings.

9. Cutting costs when choosing a real estate agent

If you think the best agent is expensive, try hiring the second best & see how much that costs you!

10. Failing to keep up with property maintenance

It’s almost always cheaper to do it yourself than to let the buyer use it as leverage for a price reduction.

I recently sold a home in Aspley where the building and pest report identified multiple maintenance issues at an estimated repair cost of $15k! As expected, the buyer tired for a $15k price reduction. I intervened & re-quoted with a local trusted trade and they seller got the job done for $3k. Fortunately, I managed to salvage the deal without a price reduction. However this could have been avoided or worse the deal could have fallen through.

So call that plumper you’ve been avoiding! For real estate Aspley, contact Justin Watt of Watt Realty today.

14 Sep
2014

Social Media for Small Business

With a population of 2,189,878 (2012 population estimates), it is not surprising that there are many competitive businesses in Brisbane. Small businesses need to be innovative if they are to compete with larger corporations that have the money to buy radio and TV time and newspaper and magazine space. The Internet offers several business marketing opportunities, one of the most effective being social media marketing (SMM). So, how does a small business benefit from social media Brisbane?

More than half of all adults in Australia have a social media presence and your business should tap into this. You will reach more people than you would with newspaper classified ads, newspaper ads and other traditional marketing techniques which limit you to Brisbane or Queensland.

You will be able to compete with larger businesses on the same level because the effectiveness of an SMM campaign is not dependant on profitability. You will spend a fraction of what you would spend on traditional marketing methods.

All small businesses should tap into the power of social media Brisbane because this increases the chances of the business’s product going viral. All you need is a good YouTube video or a witty picture on Pinterest for this.

The creation of quality content is increasingly popular following Google Panda and Penguin updates. Social media marketing allows you to create quality and unique content effortlessly. This and the fact that search engines reward user engagement means SMM is good for your search engine optimization (SEO).

You will have a lot of control over your SMM campaign. There is a risk of your online reputation getting tarnished with other online marketing techniques such as email marketing. You get to monitor how your campaign is doing social media Brisbane, which helps you make informed decisions.

SMM is a must for small business in Brisbane because it helps you bring in targeted Web traffic. Only people who like what you have to offer will ‘like’ or ‘follow’ your social media profile. You are allowed to include links to your website on your profile. Your industry clout increases with each ‘like’ or ‘follower’. People are more likely to buy from you if they see you are popular.

The interaction with your customers and potential customers is important because you will get information that will help in product development and you will be able to solve problems that you would have had to hire a customer support team for. The use of social media Brisbane is also advantageous in that you get instant feedback.

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