Realistic Thoughts On Diversifying Your Art Investment Portfolio

Do you know the difference between an original print and a limited-edition print? Some would contend that they are one and the same as far as originality goes, but you can certainly purchase a limited-edition print which is not an original work of art. An original print, therefore, is basically created by hand from a stencil or plate that has been hand created by the artist in order to produce the finished result. You will see that the artist signed the original in pencil as a fraction number, to indicate it’s part of the total edition. In other words, it could be 24/100, which means that the print itself is 24th in an edition of 100. In these situations the artist is very much hands on when it comes to this entire process and he or she will often experiment before being happy with the plates used to generate the finished product. The final printer’s proof is also called a BAT.

Note that the limited-edition print may not be the work of, directly, the artisan as outlined above. It could be a simple reproduction of a painting or drawing and even though it may be signed once more by the artist, it might not be the direct work, per se, of the person.

Today, with our advanced levels of technology it’s perfectly possible to produce digital files of an image stored on a computer in a process known as Giclee’s. Other transfer methods are tending to blur the line between what can be classified as an original print and a reproduction. Purists argue on both sides of the equation and it’s true to say that when you buy signed limited edition prints as a fine art investment you should have a fairly clear idea of how that product has been produced in the first place. This will give you a clear indication of its value and how it may help you to boost the ultimate value of your portfolio as time goes by.

Whenever considering diversification of your biggest investments it’s well worth your while looking at fine art as a part of this. Many studies have shown that art collections can help you to get a 10% compounded return over a lengthy period of time, which is as good or better than many of the major stock market indices. In fact, with the stock market being as volatile as it is right now many experts consider that you should shift some of your investments into other areas that may be somewhat less susceptible to current, political and economical machinations.

Whilst no one can predict the future of course and there is always a certain element of risk whatever you plan for your economic future, people who diversify into art in this way often say that they feel that they have a more involved and hands-on approach and therefore feel as if they are in some way contributing more to their potential gains. Somehow or other the events of recent years should make us all feel that we ought to be more “in control!”

Rehab Projects Are Often Great Investment Opportunities – Why Can They Become Huge Disasters?

A rehab project is easily seen as a great investment opportunity. You are able to purchase the project at a fraction of the replacement cost. After all the cash is invested, the total cost per square foot is far below the competition. You can see an easy path to much greater cash flow after the vacancy is filled and after the rents are increased. Unfortunately, there are a ton of issues that can throw the plan off of the expected course.

A rehab project did not get in the current condition because the owners wanted a run down dilapidated apartment complex. While the situation can be and often is the result of extended neglect, the buyer must consider that neighborhoods change, crime problems develop, basic infrastructure issues become insurmountable.

Where to begin?

First, is the property in a rentable location? Spend time understanding the schools that service the property. Look at access to employment and shopping. Find out what the crime issues are on the apartment complex. Determine what crime in the surrounding area is. Check out the demographics of the area and check with local merchants, consumer, and other sources about the reputation of the area. If too many red flags begin to develop, then you may have identified a project that could resist your best efforts to rehabilitate.

Next, if the property demonstrates solid performance, look at the physical issues with the project. Are the kitchens unable to meet expectations for today’s consumers? Is the foot print to small? What changes are required to meet utility cost expectations? Does the project require central AC? Is parking inadequate? Do the units require washers and dryers in the market and for the demographic the project will serve. What about dishwashers? Are the amenities inadequate? Are the floor plans positioned wrong for demand in the market?

In the case of infrastructure issues like those suggested for review above, the right rehab plan may well be able to resolve the issues. The key considerations are putting together a detailed rehabilitation plan that resolves the issues thoroughly for rentability. If the costs begin to rise to high for the project to be viable, you will know to abandon this prospective project. However, if you can meet the project well below your affordability considerations you have identified a potentially strong performing asset.

While the considerations above can protect against a bad decision because a rehabilitation requires repositioning the project the risk is much greater because rentup may not occur as expected. Renting costs can be too great. Rehab costs may over run. Rent rates may be weaker than expected. Management issues may be greater than anticipated. In all cases, the project can become continually more challenging and lead into failure.

Coaches And Consultants – Are You Making Any Of These Twenty Business Development Blunders?

Professionals who market their services can attract more clients by avoiding the following deadly business development mistakes:

ERROR #1: Talking about specialized knowledge more than about solutions.

ALTERNATIVE: Speak your client’s language. Show him or her how you will get specific results that will help their organization, career, or personal aspirations. Demonstrate your ability to provide significant value, in specific, measurable ways.

ERROR #2: Focusing on you instead of on the prospect.

Prospects care first and foremost about solving their problems and taking advantage of their opportunities. Therefore, they only care about you if your experience and knowledge directly and uniquely relates to solving their problem.

ALTERNATIVE: Focus on the prospect’s problems and opportunities. Build credibility and demonstrate value by establishing yourself as the expert who understands the prospect’s situation and ways to get results. Make sure you use the word “You” at least twice as much as you use the words “I/We” when you speak to prospects.

ERROR #3: Letting your achievements or expertise speak for itself.

This is a huge mistake. You may be brilliant, but that doesn’t mean clients will come to you.

ALTERNATIVE: Invest in business development. Reach out to prospects in ways that builds your credibility. For instance, provide education and information that matters to them, and also shows the value you offer.

ERROR #4: Not choosing a specific niche or target market.

This will give you the false security of having unlimited prospects, but ultimately will get you fewer clients at higher cost than if you focus.

ALTERNATIVE: Focus on a specific target market.

ERROR #5: Not reaching your target market effectively.

ALTERNATIVE: Develop a series of messages and strategies that reaches and attracts prospects from your target market.

ERROR #6: Not dominating your target market.

If you don’t dominate, someone else will, and your revenue will suffer.

ALTERNATIVE: Position yourself as the leader by establishing your credibility and authority with prospects. If you can’t be the leader, find or define a new niche.

ERROR #7: Creating an incomplete or non-compelling marketing message.

With a poor message, your business development efforts will go nowhere.

ALTERNATIVE: Develop a complete, compelling marketing message that describes the problem you solve for your market, how you solve it, the specific results you have achieved, and why you are better than anybody else. Be especially sure to highlight your “edge” and why it matters to your prospects/clients.

ERROR #8: Trying to “close the sale” too soon.

Most prospects, especially in the market for professional services, need a series of positive interactions with a candidate before making a decision.

ALTERNATIVE: Provide a series of educational messages to establish credibility and attract qualified prospects to you. Get rid of the tacky “sales pitch,” and follow up with prospects in ways that demonstrate your value. This will establish you as the authority in your field, lead to more sole source deals, and earn loyal clients.

ERROR #9: Making poor use of publicity.

Getting mentioned in the news is an exercise in vanity if it doesn’t grow your company.

ALTERNATIVE: Use publicity to attract prospects to your business, capture their information, and build a relationship with them.

ERROR #10: Not asking for referrals.

Few professionals take full advantage of their opportunity to generate referrals.

ALTERNATIVE: Ask for referrals at key times in the client relationship. Develop proactive referral strategies within your sphere of influence.

ERROR #11: Relying too much on referrals.

Referrals are a fine source of additional business, but they put you in the position of being dependent on others.

ALTERNATIVE: Make sure your marketing strategy includes tactics to attract requests and inquiries directly from prospects, clients and your sphere of influence.

ERROR #12: Competing on price.

This error is a sure way to lack enough high-paying clients to meet your financial goals.

ALTERNATIVE: When prospects perceive you to be the authority in the field, you no longer need to compete on price.

ERROR #13: Forgetting to stay in touch with past clients.

Remember the old adage, “Out of site, out of mind.” You forfeit one of the best sources of profitable work if you forget to stay in touch with, and continue to support, past clients.

ALTERNATIVE: Develop a plan to strengthen your relationships with past clients, maintain their loyalty, and continue to show how you can provide them with ongoing value.

ERROR #14: Providing poor or mediocre service during engagements.

Word spreads fast when you do this, and can quickly destroy your reputation.

ALTERNATIVE: Develop a system to delight clients on every engagement.

ERROR #15: Cutting or delaying your investment in business development, especially in bad times.

This error will only hurt your bottom line more.

ALTERNATIVE: Commit to investing in business development. There are plenty of low-cost ways to attract clients in good times and bad.

ERROR #16: Not creating a simple, clear business development plan that lays out goals and a way to achieve them.

If you don’t set goals, how will you know if you are successful?

ALTERNATIVE: Create a plan every quarter that sets aggressive goals and lays out a path to accomplish them.

ERROR #17: Creating a business development plan that misses some crucial steps in the process of attracting and retaining clients.

Your plan must establish yourself as a credible authority, demonstrate your value to prospects, earn trust and commitment, and keep your clients’ loyalty.

ALTERNATIVE: Evaluate how well your business development plan achieves these outcomes, and revise it accordingly.

ERROR #18: Not taking action on your business development plan.

ALTERNATIVE: Make business development a top priority. Budget time as if you were your own client. One of your primary jobs is business development because if you don’t do that, you won’t be doing much consulting.

ERROR #19: Relegating marketing to an administrative role.

ALTERNATIVE: Marketing should be a core part of your strategy, and handled at the top levels of your organization.

ERROR #20: Not getting help.

Many professionals tend to want to do it all on their own. In business development, this can cause them to repeat common marketing mistakes and get poor results.

ALTERNATIVE: Hire competent professionals who can help you build your business. The investment will more than return itself in results.

I sincerely hope you don’t make these, or other costly mistakes. The market is extremely competitive, filled with professionals who are struggling to attract clients.