Barbados Travel Tips – Things You Must Know Before You Go

There are traveling secrets anywhere you travel. This article will tell you key travel you should know before traveling to Barbados. Don’t miss the travel tips at the end!Barbados is a beautiful island and an excellent vacation spot. It is one of the best islands in the Caribbean.MoneyThe currency is Barbados is the Barbados dollar or the Bajan. It is 1.98 the US dollars. So basically $20 Barbados is about $10 US, give or take a little.Cost of GoodsItems and services in Barbardos are not cheap. They are about the equivalent of items or services in the US.A nice dinner for two with wine will run you $100 US. Souvenirs are $20 – $35 for t-shirts, $10-14 for towels, mugs, etc.Natuarally, as it is almost anywhere you travel, the domestic goods are much cheaper than imported items.Traveling To and From and While in BarbadosWhen you arrive in Barbados at the airport and claim your bags you will walk out of the terminal to buses, taxis and shuttle transport. It is best to pre-arrange a shuttle to and from your hotel. The taxi ride from the airport will run $20-60 depending on the distance to your hotel and size of taxi you require. The shuttle will charge for surfboard bags and some other large oversized items. Do not pay more than $5.If you rent a car it will be about $50-60 per day. Don’t let anyone charge you more than that. If you are from the US and you are planning to rent a car while in Barbados keep in mind you will have to drive the car. This may sound simple but the steering wheel is on the wrong side of the car and the cars drive on the wrong side of the rode. This takes a little getting used to but also serves as quite an adventure!DressBarbados is a British colonized island and therefore embraces the British conservatism in dress. The dress during the day is casual, tropical travel beach attire. At night and for dinner the men wear pants and collared shirts and the ladies where dresses and skirts. Due to the weather it is best if they are lightweight materials.The Barbadians, or Bajans as they are more commonly referred to on the island, dress business casual most of the time. In the city business dress is the norm for locals and there are many men in ties and even jackets.When dressing to go shopping beach attire is not appropriate. Bathing suits and swim wear are reserved for beaches and beach bars.DiningThere are some great restaurants in Barbados. The Cliff restaurant is one of the nicest restaurants on the island. The view, as you can imagine for the name, is gorgeous. The restaurant is located in the side of a cliff overlooking the ocean.In St. Lawrence Gap, Bellini’s is great. It is right inside a cove with small boats and is amazing at sunset. The salmon is my favorite.Most hotels will have a book of restaurants on the island in their lobby area or with the concierge desk. It will have a picture of the restaurant and the menu with prices. This is a great way to pick some places you would like to eat at during your stay.HotelsThere is a wide range of hotels to choose from. It all depends on how much you want to spend.BudgetIf you are looking for a bargain, try the Sandy Bay Beach Club. The hotel itself is nice enough, 3 star. But the staff is very friendly and helpful and the beach out front of the hotel is possibly the best on the island. It is all-inclusive so all meals, alcohol, gratuities and non-motorized sports activities are included. This makes it an excellent deal.Breakfast and lunch are served buffet style and there is a snack bar for in-between times. Dinner is your choice of buffet style dinner or 5-course dinner in the dining room, reservations are required. They will tell you they are booked for the dining room when you ask but you can always get in. Just ask when you can come in and see if there has been a cancellation or if you can try coming at last seating which is at 8:30pm.You can scuba, kayak and paddle boat and it is all included. Massage for an hour in the spa is only $65. For $5 you can have a giant umbrella staked in the sand by your lounge chairs. The activities center offer a $50 Turtle and Shipwreck snorkel trip. It is a great boat ride and a really reasonable cost.If you try booking this hotel use and you may get an even better deal.ModerateThe Hilton is a gorgeous hotel located on a peninsula, so the view out of every window is crystal blue water.This hotel has all the amenities, valet, room service, scuba excursions, restaurants, bars, spa, pool, children’s programs, everything you might need.The rooms range from $450 – $1500 per night.It is a beautiful hotel and if you have some money to spend on a nice vacation this is the resort to choose. You actually don’t even need to leave the hotel much. You have the views, pool, and beaches while having all the amenities of the hotel only steps away.ExpensiveSandy Lane Hotel is the place to stay if cost is not a concern. It is the site of Tiger Woods wedding and is breathtaking.This hotel is stunning. It is by far the most luxurious hotel on the island. You name it and it’s done. Spa, golf, horse back riding, 5 star dining, concierge service, luxury sedan from the airport. They will have it or find it for you.The children have a summer camp style center called the Tree House Club. It is a kids dream with arts and crafts, movies, pool time. It also always parents some alone time on the vacation. They also have a Den for teenagers to enjoy away from the parents and little ones.Room rates range from $850 – 10,000 per night.AttractionsSnorkeling with the Turtles & ShipwreckCatamaran and boat snorkel trips are offered all over the island. The Snorkel Turtle trip was nice but you may or may not see turtles in the water. Keep your eye out because you may see some from the boat.The shipwreck snorkeling is beautiful. There are a ton of color fish and clear water. There is an old shipwreck and then a newer man made shipwreck where they sunk a party boat, not as authentic, but draws some exotic sea life.Wild Life ReserveIf there is one thing you get out and do in Barbados go to the Wild Life Reserve. It is on the North end of the island and you can take the 4×4 Adventure Tour, taxi or rental car. It is $13 US admission cost and it is worth 3 times the price.When you walk in there are large turtles everywhere. The reserve has no cages in the main area. Only the snakes, gigantic python and iguana’s are caged in a separate area. The monkeys, rabbits, and other wild life run free. The reserve is heavily shaded with rain forest looking trees and vines that hang and provide swinging tools for the monkey. You walk through the reserve on brick paths. There is even a crocodile in a pond, with high rock walls so it can’t escape.It is a unique experience and something not to be missed.Atlantis Submarine ExcursionIf you choose to do the submarine excursion book this on They offer discounts including some two for one booking deals. That means $90 for two people instead of $180.Other attractions on the island include a rum tasting tour, exploring caves, golfing and horseback riding.IMPORTANT TRAVEL TIPS: – Check the weather before travel so you know how to pack- You can search and claim your unclaimed money to have extra spending money for you trip!- Use travelers cheques. If they are lost or stolen they can usually be replaced within 24 hours, from virtually anywhere in the world by most banks, service establishments and by a large number of merchants- Do not leave valuable in your hotel room or if you do opt for activating and using the safe in the closet.- Do not call home from the hotel room. There are shops you can go in and dial from their computer, use a handset to talk and call home for $0.50 per minute. The hotel will charge you $5.00-35.00 to connect you and then $2.90-7.90 per minute! If you use your cell phone it may cost you $2-$5 per minute.- Travel with great people and HAVE FUN!

Key Priorities in Personal Prospecting in Commercial Real Estate Agency

In commercial real estate agency today, you as an agent really do need a personal prospecting system. When you can establish a prospecting system that is geared to the local area and your relevant property experience, things get a lot easier when it comes to market share and growing your commissions.One key problem that exists in the commercial property industry is that many agents work with far too few clients. When they lose a few key clients, they lose a massive amount of income and momentum. It takes time to build up good and productive client relationships.Your personal prospecting process should bring new clients into your ‘pipeline’ of client contact and networking. Be prepared to lose a few clients every 6 months or so. Prepare for the loss by building new relationships. Nurture good clients and quality listings; it is a deliberate process that is ‘formulated and commenced’ at an individual level.The cycle of commercial real estate sales and leasing is quite long. On that basis it can be months if not years before a client is ready to act in a sale, purchase, or lease. Your networking system has to continue in a relevant way for the ongoing time to capture that business. The only thing that you should determine at the outset of a first contact is that you then know that the person or prospect has the potential to need your services in the future.Here are some other tips to help you with your personal prospecting system in this property market and economy:Define your business area and your property type so you clearly know where you are focusing. You should also determine why people should use your services. If you cannot establish that information for yourself it will be very hard to sell and pitch the idea of your services to anyone else. Confidence and relevance are key factors in presenting and pitching your agency services. You must be better than the competition agents; how can you do that?
Given your special services, why are you a top agent? Can you sell that idea to a prospective client? What can you do that is more relevant and real than some of your competitors? Over time these things will need to grow and consolidate. They must become part of your personal brand.
At any time and in any market you will find clients that are under property pressure in some way or form. Through consistent daily prospecting you will locate these clients and you can work with them to solve the ‘property pain’. If you are lacking clients and listings now, take a serious look at your prospecting systems and efforts. Most of the agents that are struggling are those that do not prospect enough. I have met agents that admit that they do little or no prospecting at all; I then wonder why they even bother being in the industry given the costs and pressures that apply to the average agent. Every property market has opportunity to identify and action.
Track your prospecting efforts so you can see where you are progressing in conversions, calls and meeting outcomes. It takes about 3 or 4 approaches to some prospects and targets to get them to let you have a meeting with them. Consistency and relevance in contact are the key factors. When you ‘open the right doors’ with prospects, keep them open through ongoing relevant contact.Given all of the above, the prospecting time that you apply to your career every day should be split 50% to established contacts, and 50% to finding new prospects. In this way you can build market share for the time that you lose a few good clients. Understand what works for you in commercial real estate and repeat the process over and over again. That’s a good way to get more new business.

How to Decide Whether Or Not to Be a Real Estate Agent

If you are thinking about delving into the turbulent world of real estate there are a few things to be aware of before you start. Real Estate is an exciting and sometimes devastating business. It can be feast or famine. It seems right now it’s more in the famine stages for many agents but not for all.

Here are some tips to keep in mind when considering becoming a Realtor.

1. It is not for the part timer or leisure worker. - If you plan on getting into real estate simply to sell your home or buy a friends home for them, know that it takes a lot of time and money just to get to the point of becoming an agent. It may not be worth your time and money if you are only going to use the license once or twice. If you plan on becoming an agent to make a living, know that it is a full time job that requires a lot of energy and marketing of yourself. You can’t just sit back and wait for real estate deals to drop into your lap. Buyer’s are not ringing phones off the hook looking to buy a house or email boxes flooded with leads. A few years ago, the market was a little better but even those agents that got into the business while it was hot still found they had to work hard just to make a sale.

2. It takes time and money. - The education alone can cost $400 or more a year to maintain. It is a business that requires ongoing education. Most are once a year or once every other year for qualifying clock hours. These classes typically cost money. Your real estate broker may put on free classes once in a while and these are the ones to jump on to collect your continuing education credit. These classes also take a lot of time to complete. Some classes are available online where you can sit in front of your computer and learn, listen and read your real estate updates and information then take online quizzes and tests. The final test to receive the license must be taken at a qualified testing location and it is usually performed on a computer with other classmates. The facilitator can tell you right away whether you passed or not and then pass your score onto your state which in turn sends you the license. The license then must be “hung” with a qualified broker. A real estate agent cannot go out on their own until they become a broker. The broker test is another test altogether; more intricate and detailed and you must be a licensed agent for a certain amount of time before you can go for your broker license.

3. It takes a lot of marketing of yourself. - Most agents or brokers that have been in the business for years have built up a good customer base and live on the referrals from others. If a real estate agent does 30 deals a year, those 30 clients may know 30 other people that they can refer their agent to, provided they did a good job. That customer base helps the agent maintain the business even in slow times. But the new agent may not have a base to start from and this is where many new agents get burned out and quit. Marketing yourself take a lot of time, energy and work. Sitting open houses, spending a lot of money on flyers, marketing the listings you do get as heavily as possible and finding a niche to work with that make buyers come to you first. This initial marketing can cost agents thousands of dollars and considering they have already spent several hundred in education and licenses they might find themselves in the hole fairly quickly.

Before launching into the world of being a real estate agent consider all the steps involved and know that this is truly the career for you. For those dedicated and persistent, it can be a huge payoff with thousands in commissions each month. Getting to this point however, may take years of practice and marketing.