Property Investment Checklist

If you want to make a successful and highly profitable real estate investment, there are some key factors that you should consider before choosing an investment property. We have compiled this Property Investment Checklist to provide you with a short but essential summary of key factors you should pay attention to.1. Have you chosen a reliable and professional property investment agency? If you are investing through a property investment company or property agents, you will have to make sure that you can fully trust them. Check the company’s track record, ask to see client testimonials, and try to contact former clients. Ensuring that you are using the right property investment company will give you peace of mind and is essential for a successful property investment.2. Do you understand the basics of property investment and current market conditions? While you should use professionals, solicitors, or real estate agents during the investment process, you cannot entirely rely on them. Make sure that you understand the basics of property investment and all financial details involved. This will enable you to spot any potential risks ahead of time and to find a profitable investment opportunity and a good location.3. Do you have a clear picture of what type of investment property to buy? There are a variety of investment properties, such as buy to let properties, BMV properties, off-plan properties or overseas properties. The type of real estate will also determine your investment strategy, so make sure that you know what kind of property and investment strategy you are looking for to achieve your desired profits.4. Is the property in good condition and is it in a good location? These should be crucial considerations, as you will either want to let the property, or sell it to another property investor or home-buyer. A property that is in good condition might be more expensive, but buying a relatively cheap property in a bad condition will always incur significant additional repair costs. Whether you want to find tenants, or resell the property, the location will be crucial, and a property in a bad neighbourhood or in an economically unstable location will rarely turn out to be a good investment.5. Will you find tenants for your property? When investing in a buy to let rental property, the tenants will form the basis of your investment bringing you profit, so it is essential to make sure that you can find tenants for your property. This will depend on the location, property condition, the rent, and many other factors. Some property investment companies will even help place tenants in the investment property.6. Do you understand how to maximise your returns? Achieving a positive cash flow will make your property investment successful. While it is obvious that every investor wants to maximise returns, you will have to understand how to make this happen. Finding a property possibly below market value but in a good location and good condition will be crucial for the success of your investment. You will also have to understand how to minimise the costs, including repairs, and taxes, and you should also make sure that the property remains let for most of the year.7. Do you understand the risks? Property investment will never be without its risks, and you will thus need to understand all the risks involved. Economic growth might not be as expected, or you might not find tenants for a longer period. By understanding these risks, and developing an effective risk-mitigation strategy, you will find it easier to turn your property into a successful investment.

Re-Engineering Healthcare

Early December, 2010 I was contacted by Mr. Stephen Will of The Hendra Agency in New York, New York. Mr. Will had read one of my articles online concerning Lean Healthcare. The Hendra Agency represented Jim Champy, co-author of Reengineering Health Care, A Manifesto for Radically Rethinking Health Care Delivery. Mr. Will proposed that I chat with Mr. Champy, since we seemed to have many of the same interests. I agreed and on January 5 Mr. Champy and I discussed our mutual concerns about health care. Following are some excerpts from that discussion as well as a review of some of the material in his book.December 21, 2010 Laura Landro, healthcare columnist for the Wall Street Journal, recommended Reengineering Health Care written by Jim Champy and Harry Greenspun, M.D., as one of two must-reads for healthcare executives. The other was Transforming Health Care: Virginia Mason Medical Center’s Pursuit of the Perfect Patient Experience. Both books advocated focusing on the quality and safety of patient care. Both books recommended major changes in the way patient care is delivered.In my discussion with Jim Champy I asked if his approach to changing healthcare was similar to the Toyota Production System (Lean Healthcare) and if so, what was the difference (I found his recommended approaches quite similar to the TPS when I read the book). He stated that the approaches he illustrated in the book were quite similar to the TPS but that the difference was that he advocated such dramatic changes in a shorter time frame. The TPS can take 4 or 5 years to significantly change the culture and processes at a healthcare site. According to Mr. Champy, such a gradual approach is too long given the inefficiencies, costs and safety and quality issues plaguing healthcare today. He supports reengineering healthcare in a much shorter time frame.Mr. Champy in our discussion and in his book advocated that clinicians lead the change at healthcare sites. In order to meet the time frame he advocates change must be directed by clinicians and senior executives. One of the early chapters of the book illustrates this approach by detailing the changes Zeev Neuwirth, M.D., brought about in his career. Dr. Neuwirth early in his career instituted significant changes in patient care in the Bronx Veterans Administration hospital. He spent his time there improving the patient experience by focusing on communication and team building.Another section of the book focuses on the lifetime work of Debra Geihsler, who was at different times VP of Mercy Health System in Wisconsin, president of the Advocate Medical Group in Illinois, and CEO of Atrius Health in Boston. Ms. Geihsler focused in much of her work on building the capacities of physician groups. At Mercy she helped build a unified system that provided services on many levels, just short of in-patient hospitalization. The seamless integration of services provided much better communication among the multiple providers in the system, improving both the quality and safety of care delivered while significantly improving the bottom line.Jim Champy in his comments to me said he wrote this book with an eye to readability and easy application. There are many books that give significant details, charts and graphs about improving the delivery of healthcare. He wanted to avoid being too technical, making the book an easier read for executives and laymen. Thus, he focused on real stories about individuals who have made significant changes in the way that care is delivered. He focuses on three main elements of change in the book-technology, processes and people. Technology provides significant opportunities for improved communication and viewing change at the population level, to see the progress of change. Significant change cannot occur without viewing the delivery of care as a process. Making these elements work requires commitment by individuals who have the means to carry out the change.I asked Mr. Champy how he approached overcoming barriers to change. Physicians and other clinicians who have been in the system for some time are often reluctant to endorse changes and, thus, can significantly impede progress. He stated that he would take such individuals to “come and see” the positive changes that have already occurred. In the book, he says it is often easier to start changes with clinicians who have not been in the system too long. They are more eager to welcome changes in the environment. Starting with the younger clinicians, those who are directing the changes should after achieving significant gains, take those who are resistant and demonstrate how the new ways of delivering care have improved quality and safety and that those involved are happy with the achievements and their efforts in making the changes. The resistant clinicians are usually willing to go along with the changes after seeing such positive outcomes. After all, says Mr. Champy, most physicians and clinicians really want to deliver very effective care to their patients but do not understand how to make the changes necessary to deliver ever better care.I asked Mr Champy what one additional chapter he would like to add to the book if he could. He said that he would like to add some additional focus on the continuum of care, such as advocated by Debra Geihsler. The medical care that he receives is coordinated by his primary care physician. He feels much better that the care he receives is not fragmented but is overseen by his personal physician. He believes that the best care is based upon this patient-centered medical home model.I highly recommend this book for organizations that want to significantly improve the care that they deliver and want to understand quickly good ways to effect the changes necessary. The book is a quick read and effectively describes for those who will be directing changes at their site what is necessary to accomplish their goals. The book does not say the path is smooth and easy but that change can be effected through individuals who are dedicated and knowledgeable.

Building E-Commerce Niche Websites and Using the Right Hosting Company

When you are ready to build an e-commerce niche website it is important to find a company that can handle hosting your account. Since the beginning of e-commerce there have been a ton of hosting companies pop up, but not all offer the same things that you may need to build an e-commerce niche website. You need to make sure that whatever hosting company you choose that they have great customer support.Some of these hosting companies are free while others cost a little. If you are planning to build an e-commerce niche website on a small scale then one of the free ones may work for you, but you will be limited on what you can do. If there is any thought of you really getting in to e-commerce on a larger scale you may not want to consider going with the free hosting company.Unfortunately going with a hosting company that charges money is the only real way to go. They will be able to deal with credit card payments, handle large amounts of traffic, and you get a ton more space to build web pages.When you’re starting to build an e-commerce niche website you will need to pick a really good domain name and have it registered. Most of the hosting companies will also offer registration of your domain name as a part of their package.Consider yourself lucky if you already know all the coding for build e-commerce websites because it want take you much time at all to build an e-commerce niche website. For those of you that do not then there are many different companies that offer templates you can use to build your site. There are also a few sites that allow you to put up your site and also get the different bids from different people. Also many of the hosting companies have a few web designers on hand that can build a good quality e-commerce website for you.If money is not a problem for you then hire someone to build a professional looking site for you. Just make sure that they have the credentials inside of their portfolio to see if they can actually build an e-commerce niche website. If this is not affordable you could also try to use the WYSIWYG to build your e-commerce site. There are many of little sites out there that can help you build an e-commerce niche website. Make sure when you build an e-commerce niche website to include pictures and descriptions of your products.