What Do Landlords Think of the Freehold Right to Buy?

The owners of the vast majority of flats hold them under a lease – which is quite different from owning a property outright on a freehold basis.

Providing you meet the terms stated in the Leasehold Reform Housing and Urban Development Act 1993, you have a right (along with fellow flat owners in your block) to go about buying the freehold of your block of flats instead. But you may wonder what the landlord thinks of this particular situation and what his response will be to any application by you and your fellow tenants to exercise your freehold right to buy.

In truth they have a limited number of options and they can only block your attempt if they have a valid reason in the eyes of the law to do so. If this is not the case the flat owners can continue with their freehold right to buy under the Act mentioned above.

However this does not mean they will automatically civil about the matter. If you want to buy your freehold you should be prepared that your landlord may not be happy about the situation. Needless to say they will want to at least secure the best possible price they can for the freehold you are about to purchase.

You can see why lots of people decide to enlist the help of a specialist solicitor to move through the whole process as quickly and easily as possible. There are certain time limits attached to certain parts of the freehold right to buy process and it is incredibly important that these are met. Having the right solicitor on your side will also limit the amount of contact you need to have with your landlord. This is not a bad thing if your freehold right to buy effort has inflamed some bad feeling between the flat owners and the landlord.

It is worth bearing in mind that your case may also end up going through the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal. This unfortunately happens relatively rarely – but if the landlord digs in their heels for the best possible price, the whole issue could end up being decided by the tribunal.

It is understandable that some landlords will object to the situation if it should arise. Instructing a solicitor to act on your behalf definitely makes the situation easier to manage and it also means you know everything will be done just when it should be. You cannot influence the attitude of the landlord but you can at least make the process as easy as possible to go through.

The Urban Myth of Newsletter Provider Deliverability Rates

What metric you SHOULD use to get the best deliverability rates?

Many people are under the illusion that choosing the “right provider” for their email newsletters has a direct impact on the deliverability of their newsletters; that choosing one over another may result in their emails being caught up in spam filters, or vice-versa.

Fortunately, that really isn’t the case.

Major Email Service Providers (ESP’s) such as Mailchimp or Aweber, comply with strict anti-spam policies to ensure the best delivery rates possible. They even work with Mail Service Providers to ensure their services aren’t black listed.

This includes tools such as providing customers with spam score analysis, tips on avoiding spam, and warning (or even disabling the accounts of) customers should their messages result in higher than acceptable spam filter ratings.

Nowadays, the difference in delivery rates between major ESP’s is negligible.

Sending out an email blast with the same content, one through a provider such as Infusionsoft and the other 1Shoppingcart. isn’t going to affect the amount of people that see your email.

In saying that, the one thing we have noticed is that 1ShoppingCart can be a bit slower at sending out emails than its competitors. This can be a detriment to your marketing campaigns if people are not receiving their confirmation email right away.

What Does Affect Email Deliverability?

The important aspect of keeping your emails going to your recipient’s inboxes, and not their junk folder, is remembering to avoid common spam-triggering mistakes that will get your newsletters marked as spam.

Things like using:

  • Subject lines with “Free Offer” or “Once in a lifetime opportunity!” in them,
  • Excessive exclamation or dollar signs in the subject line, or
  • Using poorly coded HTML

So, how do you choose the right ESP for you?

That all depends on what you’re looking for; often it boils down to costs and ease of use. Here are five of our top picks and their benefits:

  1. Mailchimp
    Mailchimp is a very simple to use and most importantly, free email service provider for accounts with up to 2,000 subscribers, with monthly subscriptions available based on list size for larger accounts. The minimalistic user interface makes setting up newsletters and autoresponders a breeze, and Mailchimp offers a robust feature set, including advanced analytics, third party application support, and even a mobile app. We often recommend using Mailchimp to new business owners who are just building their list. With the cost being free (unless they want to set up an auto responder series), there’s little reason to not go with them.
  2. Aweber
    A monthly subscription-based service, Aweber offers premium features such as a selection of hundreds of customizable templates, over 6,000 free stock images to use, unlimited autoresponders and subscriber segmenting. The monthly fee starts at $19 for lists of up to 500 subscribers, and they also offer a free 30 day trial.
  3. Constant Contact
    Constant Contact offers unlimited broadcasts and lists as well as a plethora of application integrations such as Facebook and Salesforce, image and file storage, and real-time stat tracking for a monthly fee. Constant Contact starts at $15/month for up to 500 subscribers, and they currently offer a 60 day free trial.
  4. 1ShoppingCart
    Combining an shopping-cart and payment processing system for selling products and services online with a fully-featured email service platform is a great way to operate an online business. With support for up to 10,000 products, digital product delivery, unlimited autoresponders and questionnaires, an affiliate program and more, 1ShoppingCart is designed as an all-in-one service for online businesses.
  5. InfusionSoft
    InfusionSoft is an alternate option to 1ShoppingCart. I often refer to it as a Cadillac that offers a lot of email marketing, CRM (Customer Relationship Management) and eCommerce tools all under one roof. If you have plans to build your list into the thousands and also offer products or services for sale on your website, InfusionSoft is worth exploring. It’s monthly costs are higher and the learning curve is quite steep, but well worth the investment for serious marketers.

If you choose one of the major newsletter service providers to use for your sendouts, you shouldn’t have any problems with THEIR deliverability but it is important to ensure YOU create newsletters that won’t get caught in the spam filters.

We have first hand experience using all of the above email services; for more information and additional service options we recommend, visit our website.

The Urban Missionary

When we think of missionaries we usually think of someone out in a tropical jungle, wearing kakis maybe, speaking a foreign language and surrounded by little native children. Granted, there certainly have been many a notable missionary who has served in a foreign country, in a remote location, and greatly impacted the natives by building schools and hospitals. Missionaries to foreign countries have brought Christian alongside the local culture which has greatly improved the quality of life for the locals. These missionaries have done ground breaking work and set a tremendous example.

The need to foreign missions has not gone away, and indeed, will always be there. But what about the urban missionary? This missionary might wear a pair of jeans and t-shirt, or a suit and tie. This missionary will speak his or her own language, and maybe even live in their home town. We’re talking here about being a missionary to your own people. This might be your full time calling, or something you do whenever God lays someone across your path, or shows you a need that you can fill.

As an urban missionary you may never be called upon to speak about your missionary efforts at a church or a convention. You may never even be called a missionary by anyone, but there is still a tremendous need for your efforts.

Our urban metropolises are rife with needy people. In places where technology is quickly replacing the human touch, someone who extends a smile or a kind word, act of love can make a tremendous impact. If you feel a calling to serve in some way, but going abroad as a missionary has not been presented as an option, then begin to give right where you are.

Dr Moody said this and it’s true: “The only Bible many people ever read is one bound in shoe leather.” Take God to the people around you, whether they are half dressed natives in Papua New Guinea, or Armani clad Wall Street bankers. You might not think your efforts are of any real tangibile value, but you just might be surprised.

One day Heaven will reveal how many people’s lives have been saved because someone showed concern, compassion, interest and friendship. Wherever God has placed you, there is a need for your special brand of care and friendship. Cultivate your missionary heart, and it might take you to the heart of Africa or Asia or maybe just down the street. Either way it will matter.