Archive | February 2017

Make the right move this holiday season

Dear Friends,

Over the past year I have had the privilege of helping you with one of the most important purchases you’ll ever make…your home. As a realtor at Coldwell Banker in Montecito I have been able to oversee my clients in the buying and selling of property in Santa Barbara, Hope Ranch, Goleta, Montecito, Summerland and Carpinteria.

More than 88% of Santa Barbara home buyers start their research online. That’s why I’m glad to have helped my clients use the Coldwell Banker phone app which finds available homes in targeted areas. I am grateful for the faith you have had in me to guide you through this process. I am also thankful to those who trusted me with the sale of their homes. We were able to go over many crucial disclosures that are often overlooked.

Whether you were buying or selling, 2016 was an active year for Santa Barbara real estate. Let me share several interesting statistics about the real estate market during 2016. The year saw single-family house prices in nearly 40% of 401 metro areas either at or above their pre-recession peak in the third quarter. Meantime, the price of luxury homes fell by 2.2% in the third quarter compared to a year ago.

According to the Redfin report, the drop in prices may have been due to wealthy buyers and foreign investors refusing to buy at the top of the market. Despite the price drop, experts say the luxury market is healthier than it was before the crash in 2008.

Whether it’s luxury homes, single-family homes, or foreclosure properties, I am happy to review all of the market trends of 2016 with you at any time. We can also look ahead to what the experts are predicting for 2017 and how it may impact you.

Another fun bit of news to report; I re-launched my website last month with a brand new design.  If you’re feeling in the mood, leave me a comment on the homepage Facebook box!

Happy Holidays!

-Barbara Reaume

p.s. As a resource to you, we will occasionally recommend local area partners that we feel may be of value to you.  If you are moving in or out of Santa Barbara and need the help of a moving team, contact Casey at – The Careful Movers.  If you recently had one of your home appliances stop working, give our trusted appliance repair partner Burt Yost a call.  For a reputable, licensed & bonded house cleaning company call Rosie’s House Cleaning Team.


Q: I am over the age of 50 and need help downsizing my living space. Can you help?
A: Yes. I have completed an education program offered by The SRES Council. I am qualified to counsel and offer options and information to clients age 50 and above as they go through lifestyle changes.

Q: I am looking into short-sale and foreclosure properties. How can you help?
A: Yes! As a Short Sales and Foreclosure Resource, I can work through the confusion that can come along with short-sales and foreclosures.

Q: Does you only deal with home sales?
A: No, I can also help when it comes to condos and land sales.


Upcoming Holiday Events in the Santa Barbara Area 

  • Windham Hill Winter Solstice 30th Anniversary Concert: December 19, 2016 – Celebrate the Winter solstice at the Lobero Theatre with well-known musical names like Will Ackerman and Barbara Higbie. Ticket prices range from $39-$105.
  • The Brian Setzer Orchestra Holiday Show: December 19, 2016 – Join Grammy-award winner Brian Setzer and his 19-piece orchestra at the Granada Theatre for a night of music to get you in the holiday spirit. Ticket prices range from $44-$89.
  • Mannheim Steamroller Christmas: December 29, 2016 – For a quarter of a century, Mannheim Steamroller has been entertaining audiences for the holiday season. This year The Granada Theatre hosts this Grammy-award winning sensation. Ticket prices range from $34-$93.
  • Blush Restaurant Downtown: Blush will be having a Christmas dinner celebration in downtown Santa Barbara. Blush is a cozy restaurant and lounge that will be open from noon until 10:00 p.m. You and your guests can sit back and relax while their chefs do all the cooking.
  • Maxs Restaurant & Cucina: Known as the best breakfast restaurant in Santa Barbara, your holiday guests will love the brunch served at Max’s.
  • Sammy’s wine tours is a great way to enjoy the area by touring around the local wineries. Get shuttled around in style and avoid a costly DUI.
  • Qui Si Bella Spa is running a Christmas special for their day spa and massage services. Take your family and friends to the spa and get a mani / pedi!


Real Estate Specialist In Santa Barbara

About Barbara Reaume: Realtor Barbara Reaume helps clients sell or buy a home in Santa Barbara, assists with Santa Barbara relocation needs, and provides insights on purchasing land as an investment. Visit the website at for more information on Montecito realtors. “Like” the Facebook page for insights on selling a home in Santa Barbara. Call 805-610-5403 for home buying tips or to request a quick quote.

Coldwell Banker - Thanksgiving


Holiday Incentive Ideas From Strategic Incentives

Holiday Incentive Ideas From Strategic Incentives

Dear Friends,

The holidays are quickly approaching again, and what better way of showing your appreciation than by giving well-considered gifts, rewards and incentives? There are so many people that contribute to the successful running of a business – employees, vendors, management, sales and customers. Each participates in some major way, and deserves to be recognized through incentive programsloyalty programs or rewards programs. Let Strategic Incentives help you say “thanks” in just the right way.
Rewards and gifts at this time of year must be viewed as recognition of past performance and motivation of future effort, and not as just an out-of-pocket expense. If you create a formal employee motivation program now as part of an ongoing performance improvement plan, recipients will appreciate the acknowledgement of their value and your company will reap the benefits down the road. Here are a few thoughts about holiday incentives from Strategic Incentives:

  •  Workforce Programs: Your employees are the grease that keeps the engine of your business humming smoothly. The holidays are an especially appropriate time to show thanks through involvement, customer satisfaction, or productivity and quality programs.
  • Premiere Recognition: Showing that you really appreciate a job well done will help in raising employee engagement and increasing organizational performance. These recognition awards are perfect for on-boarding, training completion, sales achievement, attendance, safety, anniversary, or suggestion participation.
  • Channel Partners: Keep the flow of business coming with a sales incentive program that targets your sales staff or sales channel. Let us help you design a  team building program that will motivate partners to achieve established objectives, reward them when they are successful, and enhance channel sales efforts.
  • Customer Loyalty Programs: With the constant onslaught of marketing and digital shopping opportunities, a customer who comes back to your business again and again is a valuable commodity. Show your appreciation with a customer loyalty program from Strategic Incentives. Take a look at our merchandise, travel, or debit card awards and think about how they will make your customers feel about you.
  • New Customers: Once your current customers are satisfied, you can begin working on attracting new blood to your business. Our promotional marketing opportunities can help your company stand out from its competition. Choose from promotional products, corporate apparel, and corporate gifts, or let one of our professional sales reps help you find something that’s just right for your company.

There are many reasons to say thanks during the holidays.  Honor your employees this Holiday season by recognizing not only their accomplishments, but also their performance and loyalty. Call us at 1-888-686-8116 or email us at today and we’ll help you develop the perfect plan that fits your corporate culture.

Happy Holidays from Strategic Incentives!

About Strategic Incentives: Strategic Incentives is a leading nationwide provider of employee motivation programs. The company works with HR managers to implement sales incentive programs and safety incentives to retain employees, and loyalty programs to build customer relationships.  Visit the website at to download a complimentary PDF of “35 Ways to Use Incentive Programs.” “Like” the Facebook page to receive regular updates on sales incentives and promotional ideas. Call 888-686-8116 for more information on creating an in-depth performance improvement plan.
Strategic Incentives


FINAL DRAFT® Now Partners With "The Story Solution"

Dear Writers All,

As you know, I’m ever on the lookout for ways to help you become more adept at the art and craft of writing a movie script or novel. In addition to utilizing the writing tips available in my book, The Story Solution, I encourage all writers to take advantage of every tool at their disposal to help make their screenwriting and novel writing efforts more successful. That is why I am so pleased to announce that The Story Solution has now partnered with FINAL DRAFT® 10 – the world’s most popular screenwriting software!

Eric Edson’s “The Story Solution” HERO GOAL SEQUENCES® Story Structure Paradigm is now a downloadable template included in FINAL DRAFT® 10.  

FINAL DRAFT® is a tremendous resource for all screenwriters. It is a fully dedicated screenwriting software application that automatically paginates and formats scripts to Hollywood’s stringent industry standards, allowing writers to do what they do best – write scripts. For the past 25 years, the name FINAL DRAFT® has been synonymous with Hollywood, and I am delighted to join in this partnership with FINAL DRAFT®. Their latest version, FINAL DRAFT® 10, offers new productivity-improving templates.

And the Story Solution’s Hero Goal Sequences® template is in some pretty good company! The FINAL DRAFT® 10 educational additions now include:

  • Eric Edson’s Hero Goal Sequences® Structure Template: As you write, this integrated template coaches you onward, action by action, helping to build your story and weave your characters through it, to create the strongest possible impact on readers and audiences. Based on Eric’s book “The Story Solution”.
  • Michael Hauge’s 6-Stage Structure Template: Top Hollywood script consultant and story expert Michael Hauge identifies six essential stages to any well structured story.  Michael’s approach is defined by five key turning points as used in successful Hollywood films.
  • Chris Vogler’s The Writers Journey: Mythic Structure For Writers Template:Chris’s mythological approach to story is based on his book, “The Writer’s Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers, 3rd Edition”, published by Michael Wiese Productions.
  • Jen Grisanti’s Story Worksheet For Writing A TV Pilot:  Script consultant, top studio executive, author, and internationally known instructor Jen Grisanti presents her template specifically for TV writing.
  • Richard Walter’s Template: Richard Walter is a movie industry consultant, author, and longtime chairman of UCLA’s graduate program in screenwriting.
  • Donna M. Anderson’s Screenplay 1-3-5 Story Structure Template: Former story analyst and development exec Donna Michelle Anderson is the author of three books.

If you are planning to submit your screenplay soon to an agent or contest, be aware that FINAL DRAFT® is the expected industry formatting standard, used by top studios and production companies worldwide including: NBC Universal, Paramount, ABC, Sony Pictures, Walt Disney Pictures, Warner Brothers and many, many others.

Other FINAL DRAFT® 10 features that screenplay writers will appreciate include:

  • Story Map™: This tool offers you a high-level view of your story and allows you to easily preview and navigate to scenes.
  • Beat Board™: A brainstorming tool that gives you total freedom to organize your ideas as they come to you completely within your .fdx file.
  • Collaboration: Work on your script remotely in real time with your writing partner(s).
  • Alternate Dialogue: Store alternate lines of dialogue within the script for easy reference.

I am thrilled about this new partnership with FINAL DRAFT®, and look forward to finding even more ways to help you become a great screenwriter or novelist.

If you want to find out more about how you can write successful screenplays, check out my website and follow me on Facebook and Twitter.

Happy Writing!
Eric Edson

About The Story Solution: Eric Edson’s The Story Solution provides screenwriting tips for those interested in screenplay writing. Seen as one of the best books on screenwriting and currently #1 in its category on China Amazon, Edson outlines 23 actions used to create three dimensional heroes. Visit the website at  to learn about writing a movie script. “Like” the Facebook page to receive tips on scriptwriting. Call (818) 677-7808 for information about writing a movie script.

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Endorsement

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If a familiar celebrity or public figure agrees to endorse your product or services then this can be a reliable and profitable way to promote your brand and raise public awareness. Product endorsement is a traditional and highly effective marketing strategy which has the potential to amplify brand awareness and generate notable sales channels overnight – that is, of course, if done correctly.

Product Endorsement – what’s Involved?

Product endorsement can be used as part of your brand management strategy. A lot is involved in an endorsement agreement so it’s always advised to gain the help of a marketing agency that can help you to appropriately endorse your company.

First of all you need to establish what type of celebrity or public figure accurately matches your branding. Who is your primary and secondary target market? What sort of ‘voice’ does your business possess and who can accurately represent your brand and your business to help promote brand awareness?

The next step is to find a celebrity who is willing to endorse your brand! This can be a difficult and challenging step as there are plenty of celebrities out there who are continually offered endorsement packages.

Product Endorsement – Important Considerations

Aside from the above considerations there are also plenty of legal, commercial and regulatory considerations to bear in mind when it comes to using your ‘brand ambassador’ to promote your goods or services.
Matters to consider include image rights licensing as well as the use of product endorsement on various advertising platforms including traditional offline marketing platforms along with more contemporary online marketing avenues such as social media. When you draw up a contract between yourself and your chosen public figure, all of these matters will be negotiated and agreed upon.

Advantages of Product Endorsement

With the help of a celebrity or public figure you can:
• Enhance brand awareness within a short period of time
• Shift consumer attitudes about your goods or services
• Add a fresh perspective to your brand
• Improve brand management
• Give your brand a major competitive edge
• Create long-term loyalty towards a brand
• Boost cultural awareness on a global scale by using an internationally recognised celebrity

Product Endorsement: Is it Worth your While?

Despite the advantages, endorsement can be an incredibly challenging (not to mention, expensive) offline or online marketing strategy to successfully execute. It is essential that you find the right celebrity to endorse your products who carries a continually positive reputation: otherwise they could bring a negative influence on the products they are endorsing. Finally, it is also important that the celebrity endorsing your brand maintains their fame in order to maintain the integrity of the endorsed product.

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Using A Plagiarism Checker Online

Image result for internet browsing

If you work as a researcher, content writer or running a website, then epidemic of duplication and plagiarism has become a concern for you. Fortunately, there are tools available that help in plagiarism checking and detection. The online plagiarism checker helps to detect plagiarism from the text and highlight the part of the text published or copied to somewhere on the web. Using such plagiarism tools will help you to get rid of the plagiarism and create genuine content for your websites.

How to Choose A Plagiarism Checker

There are a number of reasons, which form the basis to use the plagiarism checker tools online. The plagiarism tools have a great variety ranging from free to paid tools. However, most of the free tools are enough to fulfill the purpose and you don’t need to buy plagiarism checker online. The user testimonials and feedback about a particular product or service plays an important role in choosing the plagiarism tool online. Following points can help to choose the right software for plagiarism:

· One of the factors that users normally determined is ease of access to the tool. If you are able to access the website and use the tool without any complications then you may use the tool again and again. So, ease to access is the most important factor that determines the use of plagiarism tool.

· Look at the popularity of the tool. If too many people are recommending and using the website for plagiarism, then the plagiarism tool has got something special and you should try it as well.

· Check the number of sources that the tool has scanned in the history. The more tools, it has scanned, then the better the software will work for the plagiarism.

· Check the percentage of plagiarism the software detects from the text. If it works 100%, then you must prefer the tool over the others.

· Does this plagiarism checker tool offer any detailed report about the plagiarism checks? If it provides a detailed report about the plagiarism, then you should pick this tool to find plagiarism.

· How long does it give free access to the users? If the tool is offered for the limited period of time, then it’s better to find out some other tool for checking plagiarism online.

· Does this tool need any software to download and install to use the application? It is quite annoying for most of the users and normally users prefer to use such software without any hassles.

However, every person has a different need and requirements to use the application. It might be important for you to consider the accuracy and cost, so consider all such points before finally using any software for checking plagiarism.

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Design and Build Contracts, Advantages and Disadvantages

Anyone who has spent time working in the UK construction industry is likely to have strong opinions about Design and Build contracts. In the immediate future, it’s likely that activity within the sector is going to increase, and whilst the exact political flavour of the Conservative government has yet to be confirmed they have at least promised to invest heavily in house building. With that in mind, the following points highlight some of the thorny issues associated with design and build contracts.

UK House Building

200,000 appears to be the magic number; in March 2015, David Cameron promised to double the target of 100,000 homes aimed at first time buyers, and with his position now confirmed in No.10 Downing Street we wait with bated breath to see if this commitment will reach fruition. Across the UK, firms are experiencing a modest rise in construction projects and reporting a certain amount of confidence. Besides the always-nebulous claims of politicians a range of measures including a loosening of planning laws and assistance for first time buyers is buoying up the industry after last year’s lack of growth. For many developers, however the fact that an increased demand for labour and materials is likely to push up prices can make design and build contracts more attractive.

Design and Build Advantages

Design and Build [D&B] is a useful procurement route for developers in that it allows a certain amount of control over costs. In general, lump sum contracts result in a contractor agreeing to take on the responsibility for both the design and construction of a project for an agreed price. The contractor may have their own team of designers or may engage an outside firm. They will agree a design initially with the developer, but after the contract is signed the contractor will have full responsibility.

If the agreed-on design remains unchanged throughout the project, the developer can be reasonably sure that the overall cost of construction will remain unchanged. Of course, it’s possible that the developer will require some design changes during the project, but it should then be possible for the contractor to provide an illustration of exactly how any such changes will affect overall costs.

Another of the advantages of design and build contracts is the possibility of reduced construction time. If the contractor is entirely responsible for design a great deal of time can potentially be saved as the design and building elements will run concurrently. For developers the main benefit is that, once the contract is agreed the contractor takes on much of the financial risk inherent in a project; that’s increasingly attractive when prices of both labour and materials are looking likely to rise. When various political parties claim that an upswing in construction is just around the corner, it’s worth remembering that it’s not just the taxpayer who will be expected to contribute. The Conservative government will also need to rely on private investment.

Design and Build Disadvantages

Not everyone in the industry is a fan of design and build contracts and it’s therefore worth taking a look at their disadvantages. Those who dislike the system point out that if a builder is given a free hand to design a building based on a pre-agreed price, even if costs don’t rise during the project they will be likely to work to the lowest possible specifications [if the contract allows them to alter the specifications].

Secondly, there’s an inherent problem in that builders are not architects. An architect, as well as having years of training and a very specific set of skills not least aesthetic ones, will be up to date with both the legal and design requirements. There are also requirements that may not be written into law but will be at the cutting edge of what makes a building fit for purpose now, and years into the future. Giving a builder a set amount of money and most, if not all the responsibility for design is a recipe for a shoddy result, say some people.

Making generalisations about the merits of D&B versus traditional construction methods is dangerous. In the real world, both can and do result in some buildings that are successful and some that are a disaster. For developers, architects and contractors perhaps the most important point is to ensure that the contract whatever form it takes is fully understood by all sides, covers all legal requirements and has the flexibility built into it to allow a satisfactory result.

Construction Management

Recently there has been something of a trend towards construction management rather than design and build contracts. Here, an intermediary in the form of a construction manager is appointed and the developer takes more responsibility for the overall costs of a project. It’s possible, however that if private investors are effectively forced into taking more financial risk the supply of money for the promised housebuilding boom could begin to dry up.

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Top 10 Reasons to Hire Strategic Incentives in 2017

Top 10 Reasons to Hire Strategic Incentives in 2017

Dear Friends,

Strategic Incentives believes motivating and maintaining staff are two of the most crucial elements to the long term success of a company.  That’s why we work with company managers to provide performance incentivesrecognition programs, and marketing campaigns. Here are the top 10 reasons to hire Strategic Incentives in 2017.

  1. Performance Incentives. We believe your workforce is your greatest asset. This is why we work on ways to better involve employees and expand your customer base. Call us today at 888-686-8116 for more information. We will work with you to find the program which best suits your needs.
  2. Recognition Programs. Employees like to feel valued. Recognizing and rewarding hard work and behaviors within your organization can set the foundation for employees to thrive and help you achieve your business objectives. Strategic Incentives offer recognition solutions specific to your company needs.
  3. Peer Recognition Programs. Empowering employees to recognize their peers quickly reinforces positive behaviors. Over time this creates a more connected workforce where employees genuinely care for one another. Fostering a positive workplace culture leads to a higher rate of performance improvement and more engaged employees.
  4. Spot Recognition Programs. In addition to peer recognition programs, Strategic Incentives will also help you determine when spot recognition programs work best. These types of programs give immediate appreciation right when it is deserved, not months later. Instant gratification proves to be a powerful indicator to improve employee morale and improve productivity.
  5. Promotional Marketing. We will develop an effective theme and detailed plan of action to give you the best marketing campaign. We oversee the success of your promotional plan from start to finish. At Strategic Incentives, we give a thorough evaluation of your audience and marketing objectives. You will work one-on-one with members of our team.
  6. Power of Pride.  When employees feel proud, they are more productive. Strategic Incentives offers  several unique programs to inspire a sense of pride in your employees.
  7. Web Enabled Programs. In-house web design and programming allow us to build traditional award plans and create state of the art marketing, tracking, and redemption award programs. Strategic Incentives can also help you develop a special award to recognize a particular job well done. We will not only help you search for that special award but also give you tips on how to present it.
  8. Employee Engagement Programs. Engaging employees is never easy. The key is to engage them in a “genuine” manner that helps them stay motivated for longer periods of time.  Employee engagement programs need not be complicated and expensive to get your employees “involved in a genuine way.”
  9. Customer Loyalty Programs. A company cannot be successful without satisfied customers. We will help you identify and record customer expectations and increase customer confidence. Most importantly we will retain customers by providing exceptional levels of service and help you implement customer loyalty programs. A Strategic Incentives Loyalty Program is a long-term, flexible marketing strategy that helps a company define, retain and grow its best customers by communicating, recognizing and rewarding them based on their purchasing behavior.
  10. Incentive Programs Outlined. Strategic Incentives will outline a plan with you. From establishing objectives to setting a budget we will help you customize a program for your company’s needs. Once you know your goal let Strategic Incentives outline the map for you to get there. We will help you determine the type of budget that best suits your company as well as how to get the most out of it.

For the latest news and specials offered by Strategic Incentives, sign up for our newsletter online. Our consultants look forward to guiding your organization on its path to growth and success.  For more information on Strategic Incentives’ unique motivational programs, call 888-686-8116 or visit our web site at

Q&A Hot Sheet

Q: How can Strategic Incentives help me find the best program for my business?
A: We will sit down with you and help you outline a strategy, establish a budget, and identify objectives, among other things. Each plan is tailored to your specific needs and business size.  Request a quote.

Q: How can I stay connected to what’s going on at Strategic Incentives?
A: It’s easy. Just visit our site and sign up for our newsletter. We’ll keep you up to date with our e-mail newsletters.

Q: Besides building incentive programs, what other services do you offer?
A: Strategic Incentives can also help with promotional marketing. Call us today at 888-686-8116 to find out what items can help with getting the word out about your business.



About Strategic Incentives: Strategic Incentives is a leading nationwide provider of employee motivation programs. The company works with HR managers to implement sales incentive programs and safety incentives to retain employees, and loyalty programs to build customer relationships.  Visit the website at to download a complimentary PDF of “35 Ways to Use Incentive Programs.” “Like” the Facebook page to receive regular updates on sales incentives and promotional ideas. Call 888-686-8116 for more information on creating an in-depth performance improvement plan.