July 20, 2021

Opt for an agent or go the FSBO route?

If you’re preparing to sell your home, you have an important question to answer: Do I need a real estate agent to sell my house? A skilled professional and the services he or she provides could help your home sell more quickly and for more money than if you try to do it on your own. Problem is, an agent may charge a hefty commission fee based on the sales price of your home.

If you choose the help of a real estate agent, you wouldn’t be alone: Nearly nine in 10 home sellers opt for the assistance of an agent, per the National Association of Realtors. But you could save money by going the for-sale-by-owner route if you’re well prepared and have the time.

Consider your needs and what’s involved carefully, and weigh the risks and rewards of relying on yourself versus an agent. For more advice, read my article on this topic recently published by Bankrate, available here.

July 12, 2021

Heir ye, heir ye: Load up on life insurance for your loved ones

If you want to safeguard your family's financial future in the event you pass away unexpectedly, it’s smart to buy life insurance. You can purchase a policy online or through an agent or broker, and the process isn’t as complicated as you may think.

Learn how to buy life insurance, what’s involved, and how to compare life insurance quotes by reading my newest article for Insure.com, available here. By performing your due diligence, you can likely save money on premiums and ensure a safety net for your beneficiaries that can give you priceless peace of mind.

July 5, 2021

Purchase a home off the beaten path


Having a hard time finding an affordable home? The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) offers a great financing option for first-time and repeat homebuyers: a USDA Section 502 guaranteed home loan. This generous mortgage loan is aimed at low- to moderate-income borrowers willing to purchase a property in eligible rural and suburban areas and who meet USDA loan qualifications. 

Consider the perks: USDA loans require no down payment, typically charge lower interest rates than other types of mortgage loans, and have no purchase price limits.

But it’s important to understand what’s involved with qualifying for a USDA loan. Take the time to learn more about eligibility requirements by reading my latest piece for Home.com, available here.

June 28, 2021

Ruling the printer/scanner roost

Bet you didn’t know that Epson, known for its printers and scanners, began life as a watchmaker – Seiko Corporation – in 1942 in Nagano, Japan. Odds are you also weren’t aware that Epson and its parent company are responsible for multiple technological innovations over the years: from creating the first handheld digital printer and scores of manufacturing robots to rolling out augmented reality smart glasses and a brand-new smart streaming laser projector.

Learn more about Epson and its history by reading my profile on the printer giant, my latest article for The Costco Connection magazine, available here.

June 17, 2021

Still Jonesing for adventure 4 decades later


In Cineversary podcast episode #36, host Erik Martin is joined by James Kendrick, Baylor University film professor and author of Darkness in the Bliss-Out: A Reconsideration of the Films of Steven Spielberg, to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the greatest action/adventure movie of all time, Raiders of the Lost Ark. Together, Erik and James explore deep and dark caves, pits, tombs, and catacombs of conversation in their analysis of Raiders, examining why the film is worth celebrating all these years later, its cultural impact and legacy, what we can learn from the film in 2021, and more. 

James Kendrick

To listen to this episode, click here or click the "play" button on the embedded streaming player below. Or, you can stream, download or subscribe to the Cineversary podcast using Apple PodcastsStitcherSpotifyGoogle PodcastsBreakerCastboxPocket CastsPodBeanRadioPublic, and Overcast.

Learn more about the Cineversary podcast at anchor.fm/cineversary and email show comments or suggestions to cineversegroup@gmail.com.

June 7, 2021

Hub how-to

Consult Gartner’s glossary and you’ll learn that a customer engagement hub (CEH) is an “architectural framework that ties multiple systems together to optimally engage the customer,” one that allows for personalized, contextual customer engagement, either via a human, artificial agent, or sensors, across all channels. 

Industry experts, on the other hand, equate a CEH to a personal butler for every customer the moment they walk in your store or visit your site.

Whatever the definition, CEHs have become increasingly popular for a simple reason: They centralize all customer interactions in a single, simplified customer experience, enabling synchronization across sales, marketing, and other departments to optimally engage patrons. Put another way, a well-planned and executed CEH is meant to make your old-fashioned contact center obsolete.

Learn more by reading my latest article for Destination CRM, available here.