pcba/SENTRY

Archive for March, 2009

Reason for hope: When homebuyers get tired of waiting

Posted by pcbasentry on March 31, 2009

Maybe it’s just a response to warmer, sunnier weather. Or maybe people really are getting serious about buying homes. Real estate and loan professionals in the Columbus, Ohio, area told the local newspaper it could well be at least as much of the latter as the former…Read more at FineHomebuilding.com

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Phase IV Water Restrictions – They’re Almost Here

Posted by pcbasentry on March 30, 2009

Water is our lifeblood, and we all realize that water conservation is important to our industry.   For a variety of reasons (the cracks in the Bill Young Reservoir and problems at the desal plant among them) the situation in the Tampa Bay area is much worse than here in Polk County.

I have received the following email from Richard S. Owen, Deputy Executive Director of the Resource Regulation Division:

The purpose of this email is to inform you of changes proposed to the water shortage restrictions in the Tampa Bay Area (Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas counties). These proposed changes are outlined below and will be presented to the District Governing Board at its meeting next Tuesday at the Brooksville Headquarters. We wanted to make you aware of these proposed changes and would welcome your attendance at the meeting. Should you have any questions prior to the meeting, please feel free to contact me or Lou Kavouras.

  • First, the changes described below will only apply to the customers of member governments, other utilities that purchase water from member governments, either directly or indirectly, and the customers of other utilities that are exceeding their permitted quantities (Aloha and Mad Hatter utilities in Pasco County). Persons using other sources of water, either private well water or water from other utilities, remain under the current Modified Phase 3 restrictions.
  • Lawn and landscape (non-low volume) irrigation, under 1 acre, using an in-ground irrigation system (rotors and sprays) – limited to one day per week (same days as currently), the hours are restricted to between midnight to 4 a.m.
  • Lawn and landscape (non-low volume) irrigation, 1 acre or greater, using an in-ground irrigation system (rotors and sprays) – limited to one day per week (same days as currently), the hours are restricted to between midnight to 4 a.m. and 8 p.m. to midnight
  • Handwatering, or irrigating with hoses with attachments, of lawns, any size area, limited to one-day per week, the hours are restricted to between 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Handwatering and microirrigation of landscapes, any size area, limited to 3 days per week (the Order will specify the days by address), the hours are restricted to between 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
  • All fountains and other water-based aesthetic features are prohibited
  • Residential and charity fund raising car washing is prohibited
  • Pressure washing – non-commercial uses prohibited
  • Public spaces in buildings with water-based cooling must be kept at or above 78 degrees Fahrenheit
  • The establishment period for new lawns does not change (first 15 days any day; next 15 days 3 times per week, by address). The establishment period for landscapes is first 15 days allowed any day; next 30 days allowed 3 times per week (by address); next 15 days twice per week (by address).

These are the major changes to the current restrictions that will be presented to the Governing Board at their meeting next Tuesday. We welcome your attendance at the meeting.

So far there’s been no public discussions about extending these restrictions to Polk, but the possibility always remains. Such potential should motivate all of us to conserve whenever and wherever possible.

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The Changing Practice of Green Operations

Posted by pcbasentry on March 26, 2009

With the shifting national focus on resource conservation, recent government mandates, and the need to reduce operating costs, it’s increasingly clear that how you did business yesterday is not how you’ll operate your building in the future. In order to make measurable progress, it’s important to have a plan. A facilities management and operations plan that addresses purchasing, site, and cleaning practices will help you create a better building for occupants and the environment while lowering your costs. Engaging your employees, tenants, and vendors as active participants in the process will create a collective mindset that leads to tailored solutions and successful results.  Read more at Buildings Greener Facilities newsletter…

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Green Gap

Posted by pcbasentry on March 25, 2009

As environmentally friendly construction takes off, a question looms: Who’s going to do all the work?

Demand is booming for environmentally friendly construction. But it’s booming so fast that there aren’t enough skilled professionals to do the work.

Green building demands a range of specialized knowledge that most builders don’t have — everything from where to obtain recycled materials to how to orient a building to maximize natural heating and cooling. So, contractors, architects and other pros are rushing to get up to speed, often through their trade groups, which have started offering more training in green techniques. ..Read more at The Wall Street Journal/Business

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What do residential remodelers want to know about doing business with the Federal government?

Posted by pcbasentry on March 23, 2009

About a week ago I asked PCBA’s Remodelers Council members to answer this question:  What do remodelers want to know about doing business with the Federal government. The answers I received were sent to Leah Thayer,  Senior Editor at “Remodeling” magazine.

Our questions, along with those from remodelers from all over the country, were used as the basis for an interview with Andrew Kaffes, a Washington-based government relations consultant who works with small businesses  to gain visibility on Capitol Hill and gain access to government procurement opportunities.

It is an excellent interview and answer many question. You can find it here.

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Contractors prepared to close on the first appointment.

Posted by pcbasentry on March 23, 2009

You have produced a lead opportunity that has placed you in front of your target client. You determine the needs and wants of the homeowner and it appears that they are ready to hire you. After you present the solution they ask you what is the next step.

Do you have a process that allows you to help the customer go the next step? Or do you have to leave and come back after you put together the paperwork and pricing?  Read more at The Contractor Coaching Partnership

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10 Facebook Strategies Your Competitors Don’t Want You To Know!

Posted by pcbasentry on March 23, 2009

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Real Estate SEO – Don’t Get Left Behind

Posted by pcbasentry on March 20, 2009

Technology has advanced real estate marketing dramatically in the last few years, and if you’re not keeping up to date, you’re being left behind.

Unless you’re totally unplugged, you’ve surely heard words like Facebook, Myspace, Youtube, Twitter, Squidoo, iPhone, Blackberry and a dizzying array of other names. You may have wondered, “What does any of this have to do with my real estate business?” … Read more at Florida Mortgage Blogger

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An Economic Engine on Blocks

Posted by pcbasentry on March 20, 2009

Home building, its industry leaders believe in their heart of hearts, is the engine of the United States economy. When new rooftops multiply, GDP steams merrily along, and when housing starts decelerate and thin to a trickle, they take the economy down for a harrowing ride … Read more at HousingCrisis.com

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Polk IS Florida-Friendly at Polk County Earth Day Celebration

Posted by pcbasentry on March 18, 2009

polk-friendly

“Polk IS Florida-Friendly”,  PCBA’s drought-tolerant landscape education project, is a sponsor of this year’s Polk County Earth Day Celebration. The event will be held on Main Street in Haines City on Saturday, April 11, from 10AM to 7 PM.

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