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Archive for the ‘Property’ Category

Welcome to PRimage

Friday, February 1st, 2013

Bill Gates once said, “If I was down to my last dollar, I’d spend it on public relations.”

That’s quite an endorsement for the value of PR.

If you want to make 2013 the year that your company or product maximises the value of strategic and results-led PR, we can help.

PRimage offers you fresh ideas and a wealth of experience. Our experience spans most industries – and we offer specialist insights in health, well-being, property and social media.

Our social media marketing services cover daily management of your business Facebook page(s), Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and company blog postings – all strategically structured to work in synergy to increase brand awareness. We maximise our three decades of public relations and marketing experience and our 360-degree deep immersion in social media to help connect ideas, trends, products and people!

New for 2013 is our PR & Marketing Package for Start-ups – aimed at new companies who need to get their budding business and products off to a healthy start.

Download our credentials presentation to learn more about our services and how PRimage create the buzz to help you stand out and get noticed!

Judy Viitanen and the PRimage team are sure your business will benefit from our cost-effective services and client-orientated approach.

When you’ve reviewed our presentation and you’re ready to find out more, please contact us for a free consultation.

PRimage PP Credentials


Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

Here at PRimage we regularly monitor the trending topics in the housing sector – in the UK and across the pond.  Some recent news and stats that have caught our attention ….

In the States there is a lot of debate on ownership versus rental …. It seems that in 71 percent of the cities in the U.S., owning is now currently cheaper than renting.

In 2011, 1.4 million new households entered the rental market due to foreclosures and demographics — i.e., the 80 million members of Gen Y are at their prime time for starting new careers, getting married and having kids. At the same time, the number of new homes being built has dropped substantially. As a result, the demand for rental properties has skyrocketed.

Bank of America is launching a pilot program that will allow homeowners at risk of foreclosure to hand over deeds to their houses and sign leases that will let them rent the houses back from the bank at a market rate.

A survey released earlier this month from the National Apartment Association and Houston-based J Turner Research gives multifamily owners insight into an important demographic: college students.


HAPPY 2012! Love and best wishes from Judy Viitanen and PRimage

Saturday, December 31st, 2011

☆¸.•°*”˜˜”*°•.¸☆ ★ ☆¸.•☆☆¸.•°*”˜˜”*°•.¸☆

In 2012….I hope the kindness you’ve given to others returns many times to you.
May you have the hindsight to know where you’ve been,
The foresight to know where you’re going,
And the insight to know when you’re going too far.
May hope, love, and warmth be in your heart’s possessing,
And may the New Year bring you and yours many blessings.
Happy New Year!

Judy Viitanen

Happy Habitat – It’s all about You, Your Home, Your Community!

Friday, November 4th, 2011

Looking to connect with your neighbours and get the local community buzz?  Want top tips to make your house a home and make the most of your life and home living? ….. Happy Habitat can help!  Check out our Facebook page and click ‘Like’ …. and then watch this space! Happy Habitat – You, Your Home, Your Community


Housing crisis in UK – ‘generation-rent’? PRimage comment

Tuesday, August 30th, 2011

PRimage had just been reading a new report released today on the crisis in the UK housing market – which forecasts that home ownership in England will slump to just 63.8% over the next decade.  The National Housing Federation report also forecasts steep rises in the private rental sector and a house price boom. It blames the bleak outlook on an under-supply of homes in the UK.

So, for the UK it looks like we are heading for a ‘generation-rent’ scenario! And market trends will follow those in the US. Certainly many young people now face decades of renting!

PRimage believes the NHF are right to highlight stark statistics which show that last year, the number of new homes built reached the lowest in peacetime since 1923 – and correct in blaming declining home ownership on banks setting too lenient lending criteria and too small deposits.  The Government needs to take immediate action to tackle this crisis and the chronically low supply of homes. From what Judy Viitanen understands, reading the report and comments from industry experts, the difficulties of raising deposits and obtaining mortgages are one side of the problem. The other is housing supply. It is, though, a bit of a catch-22.  The major developers say they are willing and ready to build more homes. But they worry that they won’t be able to sell them, because potential buyers will not be able to raise the finance.  The dilemma for policy makers is how to escape this damaging cycle, of restricted supply leading to high prices, which leads to curtailed demand, resulting in unwillingness to build

  • In England, the proportion of people living in owner-occupied homes will fall from a peak of 72.5% in 2001 to 63.8% in 2021.
  • In London, the majority of people will rent by 2021, with the number of owner-occupiers falling from 51.6% in 2010 to 44% by 2021
  • Average rents for apartments and single family homes in the private sector are forecast to increase by 19.8% over the next five years, fuelled by high demand and a shortage of properties.


Real Estate Websites – US Top 10 Ranking

Tuesday, August 30th, 2011

The Experian Hitwise infographic data detailed below  is based on US market share of visits as defined by the IAB, which is the percentage of online traffic to the domain or category.

365 Connect publishes second in series of case studies on Online Resident Usage

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011

365 Connect, the New Orleans based, award winning online technology platform architect for the multifamily industry, today announced publication of its Two-Year Study of its Multifamily Internet Platforms: The Retreat at Cinco Ranch in Katy, Texas. The second in a series of data compilation and analyses projects, the study tracks two years of usage by market-rate apartment dwellers of Internet-driven leasing and resident platforms. Following activity on 365 Connect’s powerful Online Leasing Centers and Resident Services Portals, the publication delivers more detailed evidence of strong Internet usage by apartment dwellers and provides the best documentation to date in the multifamily housing industry.

The community followed in this Case Study is The Retreat at Cinco Ranch, a market rate, garden style apartment community located in Katy, Texas. With 268 units spread over a unique mix of one-bedroom units ranging in size from 708 square feet to 875 square feet, two-bedroom units from 993 square feet to 1,170 square feet and three-bedroom units at 1,369 square feet, the property appeals to a wide spectrum of professionals and entrepreneurs. With nine-foot ceilings, garden tubs, private entries to a 24-hour fitness center, resort style swimming pool and cyber café, The Retreat at Cinco Ranch sets the standard for creating elegant living in a market-rate community.

The data in this study was collected by 365 Connect, L.L.C., a designer and operator of online marketing, leasing and resident services platforms for multifamily communities. The 365 Connect Multifamily Platforms automatically collect and tabulate an extensive amount of data regarding marketing response, leasing activity and resident interaction. The Retreat at Cinco Ranch data was collected over a full two‐year period from the beginning of 2009 to the end of 2010, representing a statistically significant period of study.

The Case Study revealed that The Retreat at Cinco Ranch’s Online Leasing Platform brought more potential residents to the leasing staff than any other form of marketing, with an astounding 119,355 hits over the two-year period. From this traffic, 2,318 prospect leads were procured through online contact forms and applications. The Case Study further demonstrated that upon the release of 365 Connect’s Marketing Syndication Platform in May 2010, the quality of traffic increased, delivering 1,412 prospect leads in 2010 versus 906 prospect leads in 2009, representing a 58% increase. This data makes a very strong case for the argument that the Marketing Syndication Platform can eliminate the need for traditional third party listing services that are rapidly becoming outdated and redundant.

365 Connect introduced its Mobile Leasing Platform in August of 2010.  Despite the short history, mobile usage appeared to be organic in nature in that the community did not market its mobile website. From August to December 31, 2010, The Retreat at Cinco Ranch’s Mobile Leasing Platform produced an average of over 600 hits per month.  Along with the addition of QR Codes in late November 2010, 365 Connect’s Mobile Platform has proven the value of mobile marketing by driving additional leasing traffic, delivering prospect leads and “Click to Call” interactions to the community.

Data gathered from The Retreat at Cinco Ranch’s Resident Services Platform brought the multifamily industry its long awaited answer to the question – “Are residents really using Resident Services Portals?” With a staggering 108,084 hits over a two-year period, the 365 Connect Resident Services Platform proved to be worth its weight in gold. It delivered 10,616 contacts between management and residents, 4,810 online exchanges between residents on the Be Social Message Boards and 21,871 views of LearnTV videos.

In 2010, The 365 Connect Automated Lease Renewal Notice System generated 884 renewal notices from which 156 leases were renewed at The Retreat at Cinco Ranch, representing approximately $2 Million in annual lease revenue. The new automated graphic card delivery system for holiday, birthday and “Thank You for Renewing your Lease” cards made 2,043 deliveries to the residents, creating important personal touch points with its residents.

The assemblage and publication of the Case Study demonstrates 365 Connect’s commitment to deliver educational information to the multifamily industry and further cements 365 Connect’s role as the leader in creating leading edge, Web-based technology solutions for the multifamily industry.

The complete Case Study is available at: www.365connect.com

About 365 Connect, LLC: Headquartered in New Orleans, Louisiana, 365 Connect was founded in 2003 by a team of multifamily housing professionals with wide-ranging expertise in real estate development, management and technology. 365 Connect provides web-based technology solutions to the multifamily industry, with a focus on resident and management interaction and doing business in the digital world. Today, 365 Connect is the leader in designing and delivering award winning web-based multifamily technology platforms, with an array of products ranging from online leasing centers and interactive resident platforms to MultifamilyBiz.com, a powerful and robust B2B industry portal. More information on 365 Connect businesses and services is available on the Web at: www.365connect.com

Is the US a renter or home-owning nation? ….

Thursday, June 30th, 2011

Mixed messaging and news reports today on the U.S. housing sector …. Latest analyst projections show pent-up demand for rental housing in the wake of the credit crunch. Americans who rented out properties gained $3.3 billion in total income from that endeavour during the month of May, up from $2.9 billion in April, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

But the latest New York Times/CBS News poll shows that nearly nine in 10 Americans say homeownership is an important part of the American dream – and they are keen on making sure it stays that way, for themselves and everyone else.

Budget 2011 – PRimage Comment: Not bad, given the circumstances!

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

Spent time this afternoon trying to assess the Budget announcements …. And overall, our view at PRimage is: ‘not too bad, considering the circumstances’. The eye-catching Budget headlines are, of course, on fuel and corporation tax. Nice to finally see a little bit of light relief for the motorists of this country!

As the owner of a small business, Judy Viitanen was especially interested in the announcements relating to business – noted George Osborne signalling his desire to merge National Insurance and income tax. Osborne is ideologically a fiscal conservative, and this move paves the way for a low-tax future, by convincing Brits they pay too much tax!

Osborne also announced the Government’s Plan for Growthhttp://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/ukecon_growth_index.htm?dm_i=3QN,E7KN,K8LG6,14ROS,1 – a package of measures aimed at supporting private sector investment, enterprise and innovation. This includes measures to increase the competitiveness of the UK tax system; reduce the burden of regulation; and increase incentives for business investment.

Key measures in the Budget for businesses include:

  • A reduction in the main rate of corporation tax by a further one per cent. From April 2011, the rate will be reduced to 26 per cent with further yearly reductions of one per cent until 2014 when it will reach 23 per cent;
  • New Controlled Foreign Company rules to allow groups based in the UK to compete more effectively with those based overseas;
  • The abolition of 43 tax reliefs whose rationale is no longer valid – following recommendations from the Office of Tax Simplification;
  • Dropping existing proposals for specific regulations which would have cost business over £350m a year;
  • £100m for local authorities to repair potholes caused by the cold winter weather;
  • Increase the rate of R&D tax credits for small and medium-sized enterprises from 175 per cent to 225 per cent by April 2012;
  • 21 new Enterprise Zones, to focus growth in specific parts of the UK;
  • Fuel duty will be cut by one penny per litre from 6pm on March 23. The April 2011 inflation-only increase in fuel duty will be deferred to 1 January 2012; the April 2012 increase will be implemented on 1 August 2012;
  • A further increase to the income tax personal allowance for under 65s of £630 to £8,105 in April 2012;
  • Additional work experience placements and additional apprenticeships for young people;
  • Help for homeowners facing difficulties by extending the temporary changes to the Support for Mortgage Interest Scheme for an additional year and providing £250m to support first time buyers to purchase a new-build property.

This Tory pledge is a good move, says PRimage

Saturday, January 15th, 2011

I am sure that a lot of people will be pleased at the news that the Conservatives have pledged to stop travellers gaining planning permission for illegal permanent camps.  During my 5 years as a District Councillor in St Albans the area was plagued with this problem. Often green belt sites were plundered by travellers – which caused a lot of hassle for local residents and the community generally.  The mess, rubbish and damage that these illegal ‘gypsy sites’ caused was unbelievable!