Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Boman Rustom Irani gives you tips on investing in real estate

By Boman Rustom Irani - Lately, real estate is not really basking in the glory of a good reputation. Things like real estate bubble, not a buyer’s marker, increased supply without demand, stuck up projects because of FSI issues, are commonly heard statements. So in this gloom scenario, are you planning to invest in real estate? Real estate mogul Boman Rustom Irani gives you tips on investing in real estate, read on to know more:

1.    Be realistic about your expectations while investing in real estate. Is it a short term investment or a long term one? Have you checked the background and other projects of the real estate company you are going with?

2.    What kind of project are you investing in? Is it an under construction project or a ready one? Are you paying in slabs or paying everything upfront? Are you planning to pop it off before it’s ready and the value is appreciated or are you planning to hold on to it till you get possession? Is renting it out part of the plan?

3.    Do you have any prior experience with real estate investments? If not, speak to a legal advisor, your friends who have invested in real estate and weigh your pros and cons.

4.    Don’t invest in multiple projects unless you have a proper plan in place. Some people think it’s a great idea to invest in three or four projects by paying the minimum first slab and then selling them all in between. This type of a plan can be very heavy on your pocket, if the market takes an unexpected route.

5.    Study the market trend, check out various projects in person and do a thorough background check on the real estate company you are planning to invest in.

Just like any other form of investment, with real estate too you should safeguard yourself first and not take any unnecessary risks by getting lured with short term gains.      

Friday, 1 March 2013

Quick tips to save money in 2013 by Boman Rustom Irani

So how has the new year been so far for you? Is it exactly how you expected it to be, one with a fresh start where you finally have your finances in order – your investments planned, your debt cleared and your expenses under control? Messy finances can be like a vicious circle and it is often hard to see yourself climb out of that ditch. But brace yourself, because it is not impossible.

New age businessman and first generation real estate tycoon Boman Rustom Irani has quick tips for you to finally get your ducks in a row and start afresh in 2013. Read on to know more:

  • Enlighten yourself! How much do you bring home? Are you the only earning member? How much are you paying in the form of interest on your credit cards? How many EMI payments are you are currently paying every month? What else is going out of your paycheck that you are not aware of? 
  • Mandatory saving is the best way to ensure that you are putting aside some funds every month. Till you consciously decide that you are going to save a certain amount every month, you will always feel that you have no extra funds to create savings. 
  • Lower your overheads. When you are used to spending on things for a long time, they almost become necessities, which you can’t do without. So ask yourself the next time you are going for a sushi dinner or to a Brazilian blowout salon is this really necessary or can this money be put to better use? 
  • Be serious but don’t drive yourself up the wall! The more you flinch and fluster about money matters, the harder it seems. So take a deep breath and relax. With effective planning, conscious thinking and may be some expert help, you can get right back on track, as far as your finances are concerned.

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Best ways to save money while redoing your home by Boman Rustom Irani

Renovating your humble abode is a very exciting task for most people. Whether it is your first bachelor pad, your first apartment as a newlywed couple, your brand new house after having children or your old home, which desperately needs a facelift; home improvement or overhaul can be exciting and daunting at the same time.
Just like while buying a home, most people go overboard, when it comes to the pre-decided budget, same is often the case for home renovation also. So how do you get your dream home and also make sure that you are not left penniless in the process. The following tips should come in handy:

1.      Having a budget in mind (possibly on the lower side with some wiggle room) is the most important and safest way to make sure you don’t go overboard while renovating your home. While it is a good idea to expect the budget to go overboard, make sure you have an upper limit in mind.

2.      How much do you want to spend on basics – flooring, ceiling, plumbing, etc. and how much do you want to spend on frills – fireplace, bathtub, LED TV, etc. Make sure to take care of the necessities first and attend to the luxuries later. You don’t want a leaking bathroom, while watching your favorite show on your home theatre system.

3.      If you are planning to hire a contractor, make sure he knows what all you are expecting from this renovation project. Also, you can get quotes from two or three contractors to compare and study and get the best possible rate.

4.      Delays are a given when redoing your home, so be prepared. But if each delay is causing you more labor cost and other costs, then make sure to clarify the same with the contractor in advance.

 Boman Rustom Irani’s tips to save money while redoing your home should really bring you one step closer to your dream home.

Friday, 22 February 2013

Steps You Should Take To Protect Your Business Ideas

Good business ideas are hard to come by and when you do happen to think of an idea that sounds like it good generate good money, it is very important to protect it. In order to do so, you need to take certain steps that will ensure that your ideas cannot be used by any other individual or company.

Has this idea been used before?
Before you rush off to begin establishing your new business, conduct some market research to understand what are the scope of your business and the potential of your concept to materialize into reality. You also need to note whether or not an idea such as yours has been used before to ensure that you are not infringing upon someone else's copyrights. Hire a lawyer who specializes in copyrights and patents to help you establish your business successfully and to fully know what steps you need to take in order to make it marketable to investors, clients and consumers.

Establish your rights over the idea
Ensuring that you hold monopoly over your own idea requires taking certain necessary legal steps. These include taking forms and filling out the paperwork you need in order to get patents, trademarks or copyrights as these will let you use your ideas in the market openly. On doing so, you will also have to set up court dates in order to make your business an official one. You can always receive help or advice from a lawyer who specializes in these matters. Once the courts hand you the official documents stating that your concept is a recognised and legitimate business idea, you can finally put your thoughts into action.

Build up your brand
Consumers distinguish between different brands through identifying means such as logos, corporate colours, brand image and other symbols that are used to help a brand stand out from the others. Use these symbols to mark all your corporate stationary such as business cards, envelopes, letterheads and legal paperwork. This step will also prove to be useful once you start using marketing techniques to generate public interest and awareness for your brand, not to mention sales as well. In order to design these symbols, you can hire a small designing company or, if you are inclined towards the field, design it yourself. Remember, your symbols will represent who you are and the way you design it will send out a messages to your consumers.

Market your brand
Now that you have an established brand, one of the key ways to protect it from dying in the market is to generate consumer awareness about the brand and the products that it offers. This can be achieved in various ways such as constructing a website for your business including the corporate history, detailed descriptions of various products and a few pages portraying your skill in the industry. You can also release press releases in established newspapers or business journals in order to gain attention in the market. If you're worried about the amount of money you'll end up spending while using the mass media as a communication medium, you can resort to staging low-budget events in public areas such as malls, which is also a good way to let the consumer come in contact with your idea directly instead of through an advertisement. Although advertising is also a good way to generate public interest and awareness but it is quite costly and should be implemented only after you have managed to generate sales and are sure of your footing in the market. This is an extremely vital step as a brand's success depends on how many people know about the brand in the first place. - By Boman Rustom Irani

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Tips for saving money on Travel By Boman Rustom Irani

With the ever increasing cost of living, it may get a bit challenging to cope up with the expenses of traveling extravagantly, for an economic class person. However, that should not restrict a person from going out on vacations and occasional retreats, at all.  The most apposite solution for such a situation is planning a modest budget and saving a reasonable amount of money while travelling.

As we all know, saving while traveling may get slightly complicated. Taxes and fees, unexpected needs, impulse spending, emergencies, etc. are just unavoidable. There is no doing away with these expenditures. However there are many other ways by which you can keep the overall budget balanced.

First and foremost, do a thorough research about the city or country that you are going to. Everything starting from traveling expenses, hotels, food, entertainment to amusement spots, currency etc. In this way you will get a rough knowledge of how much you are going to be spending on your trip.

If you are on a tight budget, travel during off-seasons. Scheduling and timing your travel may save quite some money, plus you don’t have to face the hordes of people everywhere.

Secondly, consider tours and travels packages. An all-inclusive deal that comprises of the air or train fair, accommodation, food, entertainment etc. are often cheaper than booking everything individually.

If you are traveling by flight, make sure that you pack your luggage lightly and weigh your luggage while packing. Usually 30-40 kilograms is the limit for free baggage allowance for economic class, make sure you don’t exceed it.

Book your room in advance to avoid any last minute issues. There is no need to plan your stay at a luxurious inn as most of your time will be expended on sight-seeing. Try negotiating with the clerk about the rates of the room or ask him for some sort of perks and advantages like a discount or a free upgrade. Also, make sure you book a hotel which has morning breakfast included in the cost so that you don’t have to go out every morning searching for a restaurant. This saves time and money both.

If you are staying for a long period at one place, you may rent an apartment on a short term basis as it may cost you lesser than hotel rooms. Whenever you are traveling, it is always recommended to carry copiously amount of food, snacks and drinks with you. In this way, you wouldn’t have to spend too much on local bistros, plus you get your regular stable meal in case the native food does not match with your taste buds.
At the destination, try to use the local public transport such as trains, buses etc. instead of renting a car. In this way you can experience the place just like any other native resident! Also get a map of all the local routes and directions just in case you get strayed!

Control your desires and urges to shop, especially the ladies! Try to find markets or bazaars where you get decent deals on local items such as apparels, handicrafts, toys, merchandises etc. Avoid shopping at malls and expensive shopping centers as it will only increase your expenditure and the overall budget.

Whilst traveling, you may need to be in touch with people back home. Instead of spending a fortune on roaming charges, buy an international SIM card. This will reduce your mobile bill by at least 50 per cent.
By taking these petty steps and precautions, you can save a decent amount of money. Follow the above mentioned advice and you will notice less of a trench on your bank account! – Contributed by Mr. Boman Rustom Irani

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Ten ideas to increase your property value By Boman Rustom Irani

Most people tend to obsess over the price of their homes and the last few years have not really been easy on anyone owning a residential property. The prices of property have fallen since the recession of 2008 followed by the subsequent economic uncertainty. However, in the current times, most people are apprehensive of taking a step into real estate investment. This also explains the reason why most people now choose to simply improve their homes. However, there is a wide array of choices in home improvements and some of them are worth considering.
Most people do not realize the impact that flooring has on the appearance of the house and how a proper change of flooring can improve the value of your home. There are different types of flooring available and you can choose one that suits your needs as well as those of your home.
Windows help in making your homes energy-efficient by ensuring that the heat does not escape easily. Choosing an aesthetic design and a strategic location not only improves the beauty and value of the property but also provides other benefits like flow of light and maintaining temperature.
Refurbishing the Master Bedroom
The master bedroom is unanimously taken as one of the centerpieces of the house. Therefore, there is no surprise that anyone showing interest in your property will want to have a look at the master bedroom particularly. This makes it almost essential to revitalize the room with correct lighting and overall ambience.
New Shower
Studies have pointed out that showers with lower amounts of water pressure are quite underwhelming. Although it does not imply that you must install a new shower altogether, the least you can do is to purchase and install a pump to improve the pressure.
Loft Conversions
Other surveys have shown that converting lofts is one of the best known techniques of boosting the price of your property. The survey states that most real estate agents were of the opinion that increasing the living space does bring up the value of the property.

Increasing energy efficiency

Recently it has been all over the news that increasing cost of electricity consumption has been troubling people all over the world. Taking this into consideration, it makes complete sense to try and ensure that your house is relatively energy efficient. There are many websites freely giving out environmentally-friendly measures of doing so.

Adding a Skylight
Skylights are a common addition to lofts and are also highly popular. At fairly economical rates skylights can add just the right amount of light to your gloomy lofts.

Kitchen Appliances
Although this does not seem like a priority when you want to sell off your house, you might want to consider upgrading your kitchen appliances. Standing in a high-tech kitchen adds to the visual appeal making it even more attractive to your potential buyers.

Having an original fireplace in your house attracts buyers like a magnet, but it requires you to make the most of it. Although a fireplace in itself adds to the value of the property, an ill-maintained one gives the impression that the house is not well-looked after. Keep it clean and tidy and you could make it the focal point of your home.

Lightings have a major effect on the overall appearance and the ambience of a house. So last, but not the least, you must consider putting in new lighting to make the most of your home. Dimmable lighting particularly have a transformative impact on the entire atmosphere – By Boman Rustom Irani.

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Future of Real Estate – By Boman Rustom Irani

The job profile of selling real estate for a living really has not changed much through time. There may have been some change in the rules or some increase in paperwork depending from place to place, but by and large, the procedure has remained the same.
Originally agents used to sit in an office and there was a concept of “Floor time”. Moreover, they used to publish some ads in local and newspapers and homes magazines. At times they also offered advice to their buyers and sellers personally or via postal mails.
Then came the advent of the internet and all the listings of homes were being displayed online. It took some time but slowly, real estate agencies took to buying URL’s to set up websites of their own. In the year 2005, the American National Association of Realtors had reported that almost 70% of the real estate customers over the country were looking for houses online.

It did not take long for the figure to cross 90%, wherein the customers would first look online and then speak to their agents about it. Likewise, sellers also go online and consult agents who will best market their property for them.
Keeping all of this in mind, here are a few possible predictions of what the future of real estate will look like:
1.      The concept of “floor time” will fade out as more and more agents will take to working from their homes.
2.      Personally sharing information will be replaced by sharing of information online, especially any transactions that are in progress.
3.      The control of the market will be in the hands of those agencies with the best websites.
4.      And finally, agencies will shut down their physical shops.
The future of real estate will see “Floor time” as a waste of time majorly because of the decrease in the number of people who will visit them in person. All of these agents will choose to set up work stations at their homes and schedule all of their working commitments around their family responsibilities. Moreover, they will also find themselves free of the usual office banter and interruptions giving them a chance to focus.
Given the needs of the younger generation, most people would prefer the latest file sharing options which gives easy and fast access to everybody. In fact, customers and clients will not need to personally see the agent at all, till the time comes to view the house before listing it.
Having said all this, one thing that will remain unchanged is that customers will still look for information and they will still feel the need to be acquainted with their agents before actually entrusting them with properties and transactions of such high values.
The biggest thing about the future is that the agencies with the best websites will be the ones with the lion’s share of the business.
So what would define the ‘best website’?
Best websites are those that will be able to offer the buyers and sellers with all the information that they need. Not only will it be easy to navigate through the website for information, but the site will also offer the customers and sellers some very useful information on real estate.
The best websites will also have virtual tours for prospective buyers to have a look at the house within the comfort of their homes. They will be able to “see” each and every room in the house apart from the grounds, the neighborhood and the entire view from the house. There will also be intricate details about the house such as the taxes and local assessments, the association fees, the measurements of each room as well as the floor plans.
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