Property Management Going Mobile: Mobile Websites and Apps “Must-Haves” Now?

I was out to dinner the other night in Uptown Charlotte and saw the typical 21st century young, urban couple. They were dressed stylishly, moved with grace, were good-looking, and barely talked or looked at each other the entire time I saw them at the restaurant. Were they:

A. In a fight?
B. Shy mutes?
C. Engrossed with their mobile phones?

Of course, and sadly, the most probable answer in today’s world is C. I have a difficult time with this! I want to say, “Buddy, wake up! You’re with a good-looking woman; I can’t believe I have to tell you to look up and talk to her, instead of texting your friend, Chuck! What’s wrong with you?”

So, being a grown man, I had to decide whether to cry about this newer phenomenon or accept it. After some internal wrangling, I’m happy to report that my righteous indignation has passed and I’ve accepted this digitally-inspired apathy towards fellow humans as the “new normal”. So what does this consumer love affair with mobile phones mean to property managers?

It means we better get in the game in the mobile realm. Regular websites have worked really well for a while, but change has come again. New renters are going to want to use their smart phones to search for rentals near them (aided by GPS), fill out rental applications, pay application fees, and put down deposits. They want the whole rental process available from their mobile phones.

What specifically does this mean? It means we better have mobile websites that allow them to do this; the mobile websites need to include only succinct information potential renters would want when on the go. It also means we need a mobile application (a custom company “app”) that customers can put on their devices so we own some real estate on their phones. Trends show that home internet connections are on the way of landline phones; the new battleground is the mobile phone. We need to be on as many as possible.

A mobile website is critical when consumers search for property management companies from their smart phones. Will yours come up? If it does, can consumers easily find rental homes, contact you (even text you!), and do everything you want them to do (like they can when you see them in your office or when they are in front of their home computer?)

An app is critical to sealing the relationship with customers. How can they remember you when they are on their mobile phones? Your app (with your company logo) sitting with the rest of the apps they use everyday is a good start. This is a good way to build mindshare and also to make it easy for your customers to contact you and refer you to their friends. Not an apps believer? Apps are set to be a $36B business by 2015- a lot of people use them and will be using them!

Change is hard, but the mobile revolution is not going away. If making a property management company last long term is the goal, mobile websites and apps are now “must-haves”!

Train Your Brain With Action Games and Fighting Games

Maybe you’ve heard that playing video games will rot your brain or lead to other negative consequences. While sitting in front of the screen for hours a day may take time away from other positive activities, the mental stimulation of game playing has proven benefits. Action games, fighting games and other fast-paced adventures can actually help your brain.

Studies have shown that playing action games can improve sharpness of vision, accuracy, alertness and response times. One study showed that gamers made accurate decisions 25% more quickly than those who don’t play. Oddly enough, fighting games and shooters have demonstrated more positive effects than strategy based games. The fast action provides a high level of stimulation that keeps the brain active and engaged. The ability to focus on a task at hand while ignoring distractions is enhanced by playing these types of games.

It has long been known that puzzles and games are good for aging individuals, with the benefits of improving mental fitness and reducing the cognitive decline of old age. Contrary to popular opinion, research suggests that video action games may be more effective than the old-fashioned crossword puzzle or card game. Maybe it’s time to pit Grandma and Grandpa against each other in a fighting game!

Gamers will be happy to hear that these effects increase with the amount of gaming. That is, the more time you spend playing video games, the more of these benefits you will see. Of course, it is still important to act with moderation. Too much time in the virtual world can result in neglecting things like work, school, family or physical activity.

So, do you need to drop hundreds of dollars on expensive game consoles or computer software? That is certainly an option. However, as the old saying goes, sometimes the best things are free. Gamers today have more options than ever before, and many of them won’t cost you a penny. From apps on your mobile phone to social networks and browser based Flash, HTML5 or JavaScript games, there are plenty of free options.

Remember, to realize the most benefits of brain boosting gaming, you’ll want to opt for fast-paced adventure and fighting games. Now that online games are sophisticated enough to rival traditional console, arcade and PC software games, it’s easy to find websites that let you play directly from a web browser. In fact, there are dozens of great free games available to you right now.

Get gaming and boost your brain power!

Downloading Free Android Games And Apps – How To Protect Your Phone

Android applications and games are simply popular and fans keep looking for the latest and most interesting games or apps to download onto their phones. Usually to enjoy the exciting world of games and apps you need an Android application package or APK, which is that the file format that the Android operating system uses to install and distribute software especially the apps or games. The source of your APK downloader should be verified and trustworthy for you to have a pleasant experience downloading; but there are other simple things you can embrace to make sure that your phone remains safe from malware when downloading the android apps.

1. Keep off unknown sources

Google Play is the best installation source when it comes to the android apps, but you still have an option of getting the apps from other reliable sources. You can find Google Play APK easily today, but you ought to be careful with the APK file that you download because you could end up with malware on the device. What you should do is to ensure that the source is safe and disable unknown source installations on your device until a time when you feel safe enough to trust the download from a given source.

2. Double check your app ratings

Just because the games and apps are on Google Play does not necessarily make them safe for downloading. Always make a point of checking reviews and ratings of the android games and apps you are about to download because they can help you unveil technical issues you are likely to encounter. In essence the higher the rating of the game or app and the more downloads it has received, then safer it should be for you to download it. If you are interested in new releases that have little feedback on them, then take your time to research a little bit more about them before you go ahead with the download.

3. Check the app or game details

Details about the publisher and developer of the game or apps you are about to download can help you determine how legitimate they are. You can use independent discussion forums and reviews to get the details you need so you can confirm that what you are about to download is the correct app or game. Malware writers easily create apps that are very similar to the popular ones so make sure that you take your time to check that the app developer, name and publisher are correct before you do ahead.

4. Know permissions you grant

When installing a new app or game, you get a list of permissions that you grant the software. Unfortunately, not many users understand or take time to check what permissions they grant. Be on the safe side by evaluating permissions and why they are needed so you know whether they have a valid reason or they are suspicious. If what you are allowing the software to do is suspicious then don’t grant the permission.