Recovery Reader The March 2019
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FROM THE DESK OF Dan
Do you hope to have “the luck of the Irish”when it comes to your tenants? Or do you use a solid screening solution to “make your own luck” and enjoy a great tenant experience? We regularly see that good tenant selection is HUGE in producing that “good luck”when you work with your tenants. That is one reason why our screening service, Preferred Screening Profiles, provides that solid solution for you. One of our landlords called the other day, saying that many of the applicants were just not qualifying for his property during this winter season. Be aware, many of the perspective tenants available off- season are moving because they were evicted from their last property! Ouch! Screening Tip: When experiencing an off-season vacancy in your property, consider offering a lease for 14-16 months to reset your expiration to coincide with the spring moving season. Thinking of that eviction, did you get a judgment thinking there was a “pot of gold” at the end of the rainbow? And found out there wasn’t?
Cybersecurity is a notorious boogeyman for small-business owners. The problem is that many entrepreneurs either believe that cyberattacks are not a direct threat to their livelihood, or they cannot afford to put robust network security in place. In a time when digital threats exist in unprecedented abundance, this kind of thinking couldn’t be more dangerous —or irresponsible. After all, underinvesting in IT doesn’t just put you at a disadvantage to your tech-savvy competitors; it also calls the very future of your organization into question. When a Fortune 500 company gets hacked, they shell out millions of dollars and make headlines. But when an unprotected small business comes under serious fire by cybercriminals, it often collapses quickly —without fanfare or much of a fight. This is why poor cybersecurity“represents an especially pernicious threat to smaller businesses,”SEC Commissioner Luis A. Aguilar said in 2015.“The reason is simple:”he wrote, “small and midsize businesses are not just targets of cybercrime; they are its principal target.” With that in mind, it’s essential that you do everything you can to protect yourself and your employees from cyberattacks. Here are three things you can do today to strengthen your network security and prevent a crisis. 2WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR CYBERSECURITY NOW, NOT LATER Batten Down the Hatches—or Face the Consequences
Our decades of experience in judgment recovery can fill that“pot of gold”and recover those lost rents.
Have a great month, maybe spring is finally here!
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Cover story, continued ...
1. TAKE A CLOSER LOOK AT YOUR CYBERSECURITY BUDGET (OR SET ONE). It can be overwhelming to set a firm budget for any aspect of your business, but this is especially true of IT, because many business owners aren’t often sure what type of security their company needs or how much it will cost. According to CIO magazine, you should spend around 4–6 percent of your annual revenue on cybersecurity. If your current cybersecurity budget falls under this range, it’s time to re-evaluate. Will your current IT system protect your business should a cybercriminal target it? If the tech you use every day gets hacked for hours or even days, will your company survive? Most companies simply cannot afford that much downtime, much less the loss of precious data, due to a single employee’s misguided click. Even if you are already prepared to invest good money into cybersecurity, you must do your research to determine which IT companies are
worth your dollars. If you can afford it, bring in an outside IT consulting firm, as they’ll give you the hard truth and let you know exactly where your weaknesses lie. This might be a tall order for your small business, but it might save your entire operation down the line. 2. LOOK FORWAYS TO EDUCATE YOUR TEAM (AND HOLD THEM ACCOUNTABLE). According to IBM’s X-Force Threat Intelligence Index, more than two-thirds of cyberattacks occur due to “inadvertent insiders.”These are employees who unknowingly engage in actions that leave the network vulnerable, like clicking on a suspicious link in a phishing email or ignoring a key software patch. Cryptographer Bruce Schneier put it best when he said, “Only amateurs attack machines; professionals target people.” Because of this, the best way to boost your cybersecurity isn’t to pile money into a better antivirus or complicated network defense — it’s to get your people up to speed with
cybercrime trends and educate them on best practices for avoiding threats.
To this end, it’s a good idea to hold regular education sessions on cybersecurity. You might be able to easily recognize a phishing email; many of your team members may not. Again, it’s a good idea to bring in an outside company whose specialty is training teams on digital threats. Sometimes all it takes is a single session for everyone to understand just what they’re up against. Cybercrime is a bigger problem now than it ever has been, and it shows no signs of slowing down. But if you take responsibility for defending your network before it’s too late, you can bat away these threats and drastically
reduce the danger to your operation. All it takes is a little time, a little savvy, and a willingness to invest in better IT.
An Inside Job The Curious Case of the Disappearing Flags
Apparently, the wooden flagpoles attract groundhogs, something other groundskeepers have experienced as well. “I’m glad we don’t have someone who has taken it upon themselves to desecrate the stones and the flags in front of them,” said Hudson mayor Bill Hallenbeck. “We can all rest a little easier knowing that it was a critter and not a human defacing our flags, especially those of the veterans,” added Hudson’s police commissioner.
Like the year before, flags were placed on veterans’ graves in honor of Independence Day, and again, they went missing sometime in the night, this time taken from the graves of African American Civil War soldiers. Cemetery caretaker and veteran Vincent Wallace was appalled, as was the rest of his community. “I just can’t comprehend the mindset that would allow someone to do this,”Wallace said. Determined to find out who was to blame, police put up surveillance cameras and recorded the goings-on in the cemetery. As they watched the tapes, sure enough, they saw one of the culprits sitting atop a gravestone with an empty flagpole in front of him. It was a groundhog.
Theft is a serious matter, made even more grave when the victims are fallen war heroes. Such was the situation that stumped police in Hudson, New York, in 2012. The crime was first committed in July of the previous year. Flags had been placed around the graves of soldiers in Cedar Park Cemetery — only to go missing right around Independence Day. Veterans groups and locals were outraged and mystified by the crime. Some worried that a hate group was to blame, as the missing flags had adorned the graves of Jewish soldiers. Veterans worked to replace the flags, one by one, and right the wrong. No culprit was found, and the community moved on — until the following July, when the mystery repeated itself.
Turns out Punxsutawney Phil has some very naughty cousins — ones who aren’t subject to the law.
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Has Your Exercise Routine Reached a Plateau? Try These 3 Supplements
Diet, exercise, and sleep are all essential to achieving your fitness goals, but you’re inevitably going to reach a plateau. Maybe it starts with noticing you’re not getting the gains you wanted, or you’re feeling sluggish on a daily basis. This is common when going through an exercise program, and one factor hindering your progress could be a lack of nutrients. The following supplements may be able to help you reach peak physical fitness. Getting enough protein is vital for muscle-building and overall health. But when you consider all the options, choosing the right protein can be overwhelming. Soy? Whey? Plant-based? A fast-release protein, like whey or soy, is best to consume directly after your workouts, and a slow-release protein, like casein, works well if taken before bed. The fast release helps with muscle growth, and the slow release prevents muscle deterioration and speeds up recovery. PROTEIN
endurance throughout your time at the gym. These often contain caffeine, so anyone with sensitivity should take a delicate approach when using this supplement. While there are regulatory entities in this industry, many products are not subjected to their oversight. The FDA does not control pre-workout supplements, so users should be aware of potentially dangerous side effects, such as vomiting, jitters, cramps, headaches, and tingling extremities. Vitamins aren’t just for kids and the elderly. Many of our diets lack the nutrients necessary for muscle development and good health. A well- rounded multivitamin will add these nutrients into your body, giving you benefits at the gym and beyond. Supplementation isn’t just for gym rats. It can help anyone get closer to their goals and live a healthier life, and these three products are just the tip of the iceberg. While doing your own research is a great place to start, it’s also important to consult a fitness professional when looking for the right balance of supplements. There are many options available, and deciding the best regimen can be daunting, but once you have the proper routine, you can expect results. MULTIVITAMINS
Sometimes you just need that extra push of focus and energy. An excellent pre-workout product delivers vital nutrients to your muscles and increases
Recipe courtesy Delish
Take a Break!
HOMEMADE CORNED BEEF Ingredients
1. In a large stockpot, combine water, garlic, and all herbs and spices tomake brine. Cook over high heat until salt and sugar are fully dissolved. Remove fromheat and stir in ice. 2. Once water temp reaches 45 F, place brisket in a 2-gallon zip-close bag, pour in brine to cover, lay flat in a large container, and store in fridge. 3. Brine for 10 days, checking daily tomake sure brisket is fully submerged and brine is stirred. 4. After 10 days, remove brisket frombrine and rinse under cool water. In a large pot, cover brisket, onion, carrot, and celery with water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and gently simmer for 2 1/2–3 hours. 5. Remove, slice across the grain, and serve.
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2 quarts water 1 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup brown sugar 2 tablespoons saltpeter (potassiumnitrate)
1 cinnamon stick, broken into large pieces 1 teaspoonmustard seeds
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
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8 cloves garlic
8 whole allspice berries 12 whole juniper berries 2 bay leaves, crumbled 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
2 pounds ice
1 5-pound beef brisket, trimmed
1 small onion, quartered
1 large carrot, coarsely chopped 1 stalk celery, coarsely chopped
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INSIDE THIS ISSUE From the Desk of Dan PAGE 1 2 Strategies to Improve Your Cybersecurity Today PAGE 1 The Curious Case of the Disappearing Flags PAGE 2 3 Supplements Everyone Needs PAGE 3 Take a Break PAGE 3 Homemade Corned Beef PAGE 3 3 Ways to Qualify Your Prospects PAGE 4
ARE YOU QUALIFYING YOUR PROSPECTS? 3 Questions to Ensure You Obtain the Right Clients
closer to that threshold, ask yourself if it’s worth continuing that relationship.
The shotgun lead generation approach is both ineffective and inefficient. For years, businesses put the power of decision-making in the hands of the consumer. Companies chased after any opportunity to put their name in front of a lead, hoping their skills would lead to a conversion. It wasn’t until recently that marketing and lead generation trends flipped the tables. Rather than an organization spraying out strategies across every feasible medium, new tactics implement a more targeted approach to get the right clients. Here are three questions you can ask to qualify your prospects.
DOES THE PROSPECT ALIGNWITH YOUR VALUES?
Youmay attract the right lead, and youmight be able to convert that lead efficiently, but that doesn’t mean they are the right fit for your company. Above all else, a client needs tomatch your core values. Your team is a direct reflection of your company, but so are your clients. By qualifying your prospects effectively, you’ll increase client retention, improve client satisfaction, and create rave followers. Rather than trying to find leads under any rock you can turn over, ask these three questions about each prospect, and you’ll find more success in business.
WHAT DOES YOUR IDEAL PROSPECT LOOK LIKE? Rather than taking any client they can get, a smart business owner focuses their attention toward the leads they want. It’s important to focus on candidates in a specific demographic. Doing
HOW MUCH TIME ARE YOUWILLING TO SPEND ON A LEAD? Once you understand the type of client you’re looking for, the next step is to designate how much time you’re willing to spend fostering a connection. Just because someone fits what you’re looking for doesn’t mean they are worth the time investment. Some of your ideal prospects will demand excessive time from your team, making the cost of client acquisition even higher. Set a maximum amount of time you’re willing to dedicate to a lead, and as you get
business with those who match your requirements will result in happier clients and better relationships.
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