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Simple Ways to Decorate Your Home this Christmas

When some houses shine brighter than the rest and you hear the sound of carol verses alternating with refrain, then you know Christmas is near. There’s something special about this season; the weather gets colder, roads get busier (at least in Lagos), clothes and jewelries leave retail shelves faster than they came in, tunes change on your favorite radio stations and of course, you’d feel it in the air.

One of the ways to get in a festive mood is to make sure your immediate environment reflects this. The living room, bedrooms and kitchen should remind you what season it is.

If you’re thinking of how to get your home ready on a budget, here are simple ways to decorate your home this Christmas.


Christmas Tree

This may sound cliché, but not setting up a well-dressed Christmas tree during Christmas is like not eating chicken on Christmas day. They are such a fun tradition and are automatically capable of changing the atmosphere, instantly giving your home a lift.

When choosing Christmas trees, consider the size, accent and height.


Headroom with stars

Especially when it’s a mix of bright colors of wood, paper or metal stars, who doesn’t love the exciting feeling of looking up at a starry headroom.

With these shiny shapes in various sizes dangling from your ceiling, your living room has never been readier for the holidays.


Candle Lights

Create a lovely lighting effect within your home. Ensure to buy battery powered LED candles for safety reasons.


Jazz up your Porch

When it comes to decorations, a second impression could correct the first. Your porch is like a sneak peak of your home, so you might as well make it striking. To create magic, add planters with mini trees.


Display Christmas Cards

Create a little space for your most beautiful Christmas cards. You could also get creative by using string lights make them look more festive.


Upgrade Your Flowers

Decorating with flowers is one of the simplest ways to transform your home to a Christmas paradise. When it comes to flowers, your colors and arrangements are key. Once you get these right, they burst with festivity.

Some of the perfect flowers are cranberries, white roses, red roses, carnations, lilies and tulips.

Photo credits

Pinterest
Elle Decor

3 Ways to Maximize Profit on Your Rental Properties

Making high returns on your investments is not just a function of the size of your portfolio but also its efficiency and effective management. If your real estate investments don’t generate enough profit as expected, you need to restrategize.  Rental property can be a great source of income but it can also be a huge headache if not properly managed.

The biggest areas for improvement that will positively impact your profits are occupancy, on time payments and maintenance.

See below 3 ways to maximize profit on your rental properties.

Tenant Screening

The quality of tenants that occupy your property is like the foundation for everything and a key determinant of how your investment will perform.

As a rental property owner, it’s absolutely vital for the collection of your rental payments to be timely. Payment delays are not good for your business. Bad tenants may also damage your property and leave a whole lot to be repaired. To avoid this, you need to do a thorough background check to ensure you won’t lease to tenants who would give you problems. You need to follow the basic tenant screening practices to identify the loop holes and act accordingly.

The goal is to find quality tenants that take care of your property and also pay consistently while you increase the cash flow from your rental properties. Late payments, stubborn tenants and property mismanagement is not only a nightmare but also ensures you don’t get the best out of your investments.

Long lease

Tenant vacancy is always a huge issue for property owners. The longer the downtime, the more money you lose. One of the ways to manage this risk is to consider long lease.

You could reduce rental rates by giving discounts, depending on the number of years. This may lead to higher revenue especially if you give discounts and do a 3 to 5 year lease or more.

Some of the advantages of long lease also include the following:

  • It attracts serious renters who are willing to commit to your property.
  • Peace of mind knowing that there will be no vacancy for that period.
  • Not doing repairs yearly will increase your savings.

Choose a good location!

This is still as relevant now as it was in the past, if not more. Oh yes, we know you’ve heard it time and time again, but we’d say it again; location matters and it still tops the list of factors that determine profitability in real estate investments. Before you invest in a property, do your research to determine and have an idea of the value potential tenants are willing to place on the property.

Some of the factors to look out for are proximity to amenities, neighborhood status, scenic views, etc.

Contact us for unparalleled Property Management services and  property investment solutions that will improve your ROI.

Afriland Properties Plc MD/CEO, Uzo Oshogwe, Wins 2018 Most Enterprising Woman in Real Estate Award

The Managing Director/CEO, Afriland Properties Plc, Uzo Oshogwe, has won the Most Enterprising Woman in Real Estate Award at the 2018 edition of Africa Real Estate Conference and Awards, AFRECA’18. The award was given in recognition of her exceptional leadership and untiring efforts in providing adequate service delivery in the growth of the Nigerian real estate sector.

The event which was organized by Propertypro.ng took place at Landmark event centre and is designed to proffer solutions to real estate challenges and celebrate excellence amongst African Real Estate stakeholders, for their national and global achievements.

While speaking during one of the sessions themed; Sustainable & Equitable Housing: The Role of The Government and Private Sector, Uzo Oshogwe recommended collaboration between the private and public sector as the solution to the housing shortfall Nigeria has experienced for decades. She also stated that ‘’Property developers need single interest loans to be able play their role in providing affordable houses and should explore other sustainable materials in order to crash the cost of construction.”

Other attendees include the Honorable Minister of Housing, Lagos State, Prince Gbolahan Lawal, Erejuwa Gbadebo, Chief Executive, Cluttons Nigeria and Rogba Orimalade, Principal Partner, Rogba Orimalade & Co.

Don’t Lose Sleep: 5 Ways to Secure Your Home

The fear of intrusion or unauthorized entry into our homes is one of the greatest fears of all. Great enough to keep us awake. An ideal approach to home security would be to combine latest security systems with best home security practices. However, we would focus on safe security practices in this article.

Break-ins are quite common in our environment today. The richer or more resources you have access to, the more susceptible you may be to attacks.

Don’t lose sleep. Below are 5 ways to secure your home and properties:

Eliminate all hiding spots

Trees, untrimmed garden and bushes are good covers for burglars. They either hide there to get in or hide there on their way out, especially if they are close to the doors or windows. Tall trees that are close to the building with extended branches may also serve as supports to get in through the window.

Ensure regular gardening and keep your environment clean.

Lock all windows

There’s a general misconception or a rule of thumb that suggests that only ground floor windows need to be locked and that windows on the first floor don’t need to be locked. This is not true. Windows on other floors asides the ground floor may also be accessible.

If there are two burglars, one climbing and the other assisting, that makes other windows accessible. Therefore, always lock all windows, especially when you will not be at home for a long time. You could also make use of reinforced glass, window bars and alarms that trip off if glass is forcefully broken.

Get a Dog

The general saying” The bark matters more than bite” is very applicable in the case of burglars. Though a dog is not a home security system, they won’t let strange movements go without a bark and that is to your advantage as a home owner. Dogs are reliable and know how and when to use their sharp claws, jaw strength, unparalleled sense of smell and fearlessness to your defense.

Monitor service providers

Most burglars need at least a bit of information on how to get into your home or move around once they gain access. A lot of scouting is done sometimes by service providers for this purpose. Keep your home secure by conducting background checks and keeping an eye on them when they are around.

Light up

Although majority of housebreaking occur during the day, some occur at night while homeowners are fast asleep. The darker it gets; the more confident burglars get and the easier it becomes for them to operate.

Light up your landscape. You could improve protection by installing lights that are equipped with motion sensors. Once there is movement in that area, they come on. That makes them feel someone is watching and might be less motivated to break in.

Top 5 Landmarks in Lagos

Landmarks are the reason some people have not walked into a one-year old’s birthday party instead of a formal interview with a prospective employer in Lagos. Has anyone ever described a location to you using up to 5 different landmarks: ‘When you go straight down you will see a green mosque, by that mosque you will see a road to the left, don’t go that way, take the one to your right after the church.’ Typical right?

They are easily recognizable, outstanding and some have historical backgrounds.

See below top 5 landmarks in Lagos:

Tafawa Balewa Square

Popularly known as TBS, two features that stand out and make this landmark truly unmissable are the gigantic sculptures of four white horses and seven red eagles at the gate, the symbols from the national emblem signifying strength and Dignity respectively.

The square is a 14.5-hectare ceremonial ground in Lagos Island, Lagos.  It was constructed in 1972 in memory of Alhaji Tafawa Balewa, the first prime minister of Nigeria over the site of a defunct rack for horse racing.

The square conveniently accommodates over 50,000 people.

Third Mainland Bridge

This bridge is definitely one of the top 5 landmarks in Lagos. Of all the 3 bridges connecting Lagos Island to the mainland, 3rd mainland bridge is the longest and the busiest. Built by Julius Berger and commissioned in 1990, it was the longest bridge in Africa until 1996 when the 6th October bridge in Cairo took that position.

Measuring approximately 12 kilometers on water, with several billboards advertising top brands and products, there’s absolutely no way one would miss this landmark that starts at Oworoshoki and ends at Adeniji Adele interchange.

National Arts Theatre

The National Arts Theatre in Iganmu is indeed an architectural masterpiece, not just for its significance but also for the exterior design which is shaped like a military hat. It is very visible from Eko bridge.

Inaugurated by General Yakubu Gowon’s in 1973 and completed in 1976, the 23,000 square meters wide and 31 meters tall cultural landmark was constructed for the preservation of Nigeria’s arts and culture.

National Arts Theatre is indeed a significant landmark as commuters  refer to the structure in distinguishing between Ijora and Costain exits on Eko bridge.

Lagos Lagoon

The Lagos lagoon is one out of about 10 lagoons in Lagos. When setting out on a trip to visit Lagos for the first time, one of the most important things you are told to look out for is the 50 km long and 3 to 13 km wide lagoon.

The lagoon receives the discharge of the Ogun river and the Osun river. It is separated from the Atlantic Ocean by a long sand spit to 5 km wide.

Balogun Market

Arguably referred to as the largest market in West Africa, you’d find anything in this market, as long as it can be sold. If someone is ready to buy it, someone is ready to sell it in Balogun market. Located in Lagos Island, Balogun market is a place you would get the best bargains provided you are careful enough not to buy counterfeit products.

However, you can easily get lost in this market due to it’s size and many streets that look almost the same.

Photo credit: Pinterest

Reference: Wikipedia

Don’t Be Afraid to Fail

Apple was founded by Steve Jobs in 1976, the company had its share of failed products – even ousting its founder during a downturn in 1985. The iMac and iPod turned everything around, with Steve Jobs returned in 1997 and becoming an icon of the industry.

 

Nintendo’s first offering, the Famicom console, had to be recalled after only a few months. Atari’s failure in the mid-1980’s left the American video game market a mess, and the Nintendo NES barely sold when it was introduced in 1985. By the end of 1986, however, two little characters named Mario and Luigi had changed the history of American gaming forever.

 

Have you ever wondered where this useful lubricant WD-40 got its name? The name comes from the fact that the formula represents the 49th attempt to create a degreaser and rust protection solvent. Although it was originally used in the aerospace industry, it became so popular among employees that it was packaged into aerosol cans and introduced to retail in 1958. Can you imagine if the lab had given up after 39 tries?

 

It’s hard not to have a soft spot for companies that started out in someone’s garage and achieved great success despite great odds. Mattel is one of those companies. Founded in 1945 by Ruth and Elliot Handler and Harold Matson, the company initially manufactured and sold picture frames.

 

Sources:

Forbes

Allthatsinteresting

Photos: These Throwbacks Tho!

 

How to Overcome Procrastination

Procrastination is a dangerous habit with severe consequences. Excellence and procrastination are two parallel lines that won’t meet, each fighting for a different course. Characterized by slow response to actions borne out of apathy, lack of passion and laziness, often leading to demotivation, it is safe to say it is the real thief of time.

Procrastination comes at a cost.  From losing time, to blowing opportunities and not meeting targets, the costs are numerous. To have a successful career and even thrive in business, you will have to overcome procrastination.

Here are 5 tips on how to overcome procrastination:

Admit it

Be honest with yourself. If you are unwilling to carry out assignments, extending timelines unnecessarily, ignoring important tasks and setting new start dates for no good reason, leaving an item on your to-do list for too long, then you might be guilty of this.

Admitting to being guilty of this does not make you a failure. It does not also mean you will not make better decisions henceforth and in the future. It is the first step to overcoming procrastination.

Commit to the task at hand

Stay committed. If there is work to be done, then get to it. As a go-getter, you have to walk in that consciousness. You have no business wasting precious time on unproductive activities when you have an assignment. At the end of the day, your task will still be left undone.

Don’t stop until you get it done. Rest if you must but don’t stop.

Make the right choice

Inactivity can lead to procrastination, so choose to be active. Procrastination is also a choice. This means you can choose not to procrastinate. The earlier you start, the sooner you finish, the later you start, the longer it takes to complete your task.

Prioritize

Treat the most important tasks as the most important. It is not enough to make a to-do list, your tasks must be in order of their importance, from the most to the least. Once you have done this, stick to it. Your priority might change for a good reason as your day unfolds, embrace this but always go back to tick off your list.

Keep your eye on the goal

Distractions also lead to procrastination, so you can’t afford to be distracted. Sometimes we get so distracted and forget what we ought to do, only to receive a reminder and realize we are out of time.  Keeping your eyes on the goal will keep you focused.

There is something you are trying to achieve in the first place. If you can successfully run with this vision in mind, then you will overcome procrastination because all you want to do is deliver.

Building the Execution Culture

Examining an organization’s culture is so imperative it can be compared to a DNA test, that’s capable of coding genetic information for the transmission of inherited traits. It is that deep. It’s values and ideologies form its decisions, strategies and results. One of such cultures is the power to execute.

A survey of CEOs carried out by Amanet revealed that strategy execution is the number one problem they face, and it is estimated that over 60% of strategies are never executed.

Simply put, execution is the discipline of getting things done. It is one of the 3 essentials of building a great, competitive and profitable organization, the first two being vision and strategy. A poor execution directly affects performance.

Below are 3 tips on building the execution culture:

Effective communication

Just like a sailing boat with a destination in mind, all members of staff must know where the organization is headed.  Execution is strategy or plan implementation. Therefore, your plan must be clear.

This can be achieved by ensuring your organizational strategy is at the core of your internal communication, stating clearly what is expected and what role each member of staff is expected to play.

Communicate, educate and reinforce!

Choose the right metrics

Your strategy must be broken down to action points and deliverables. If there is a goal to be achieved, how do you know when it is achieved? The right metrics! What does success look like and how do you know it when you achieve it?

Choose performance metrics that identify and improve various internal functions of your business and their resulting external outcomes. You must be able to accurately measure where you are and compare to where you are going. That way, you can provide feedback accordingly.

With the right system that’s in total alignment with your strategy, everyone can be held accountable and tasks can be completed in a quality and timely manner.

Test and Adapt

Building an execution culture is an iterative process. The desired result is achieved by repeating rounds and rounds of analysis and cycle of operations.

However, strategy might change even within a short period. If this happens, it is important to successfully navigate these changes and develop appropriate and effective processes to adapt and properly manage them.

Photos: MD/CEO’s Birthday Dinner

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