It’s All in the Handshake

Have you ever had a crush on a person who was out our league? You spend weeks working up the courage to talk to them. Finally, you find the perfect opportunity. Your heart is beating out of your chest, you walk over and sheepishly say “HI” and ask them out on a date. This exact thing happened to me and it all got messed up by a weak “dead fish” handshake.

I was 16 years old and head over heels for the most beautiful girl in my class. I laid the groundwork and talked with her a few times before finally asking her out. She said yes, but with a catch! I had to meet her dad first. Now, I was not the most impressive 16-year-old boy in the school by any means. I was a skinny, lanky young man with a bit of an acne problem, who would rather play video games and build computers than join the football team or run in track. Meeting her father scared the crap out of me. Would I get his approval or would he crush me like a bug?

The day finally came where I would be picking her up from her house and meeting her family. I drove up to the house in my little Mazda, nervously got out, walked up to the door and rang the doorbell. A massive man answered the door and introduced himself. I quietly gave him my name while gazing down at my toes. He reached out his hand for the all too important handshake and I proceeded to give him the weakest dead fish handshake of my life. His hand engulfed mine. From there I could do nothing to impress the man. My first impression was awful, guaranteeing that my relationship with his daughter would be short lived.

This experience taught me a valuable lesson in life. It’s all in the handshake. I learned that looking someone in the eye and giving a firm well-placed handshake is one of the most important tools in my real estate career, or any career for that matter. It builds trust in clients and associates. It shows that I am a capable professional. It says, “You can trust that I will represent you to the best of my abilities.”

Here are the steps to a proper handshake.

  • Make eye contact and put your hand out.
  • As they reach their hand out, grasp their hand so the base between your thumb and pointer finger meet theirs. Make sure you don’t come up short by grasping their fingers. This will not lead to a good handshake.
  • Shake their hand twice. Up down up down. No more and no less. Make solid eye contact and give them your name and title.
  • Then release and continue the conversation.

Don’t be a dead fish. Learn to give a good handshake.

If you would like to learn more about a career in real estate check out realestatetraininginstitute.com, call 800-727-7104, or email  info@traininginstitutesedu.com.

 

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UAS Sighting Reports

An associate of mine recently sent me a list of UAS sightings by manned aircraft and it astounded me. As a licensed private pilot and commercial drone operator I have an understanding of the negative consequences associated with reckless drone flight.

I remember my one “close call” while flying a Cessna 172 Skyhawk G1000. I was on my second solo cross country flight. I was on short final for an uncontrolled airport in Northern Michigan. This was the first airport that I would be doing a touch and go on before heading out on the second leg of my flight. It was a clear day and I had a 3-knot headwind. It was a perfect day for flying. I was about 300ft AGL when a bird struck the windshield of the aircraft. As a very green pilot this shook me up a bit. It was just a little blackbird and did not damage the Cessna whatsoever but it did cause me to lose my concentration. Being the overly cautious person that I am I immediately increased throttle and announced to airport traffic that I would be going around.

This experience taught me a lot and after reading these reports made me think. What if that blackbird was a UAS? What would have been the consequences? If the drone hit the prop most likely it would have been shredded and thrown plastic shrapnel back at the windshield of the little Cessna. If it missed the prop and hit the windshield it would have probably cracked if not broken the windshield. If the drone was big enough it could even damage the aircraft and having a green pilot behind the yoke it could be disastrous.

I want to urge everyone who picks up a controller to a UAS; take the time to research the rules and regulations. Use the tools the FAA gives you to learn what you can and can’t do with your new drone. Educate yourself and think of the drone as a dangerous piece of equipment that can cause serious damage. If used recklessly it can injure or kill.

Good luck and keep on flying.

If you are interested in becoming a commercial drone pilot please visit our website, call 800-727-7104 or email info@traininginstitutesedu.com

 

 

 

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Oregon Contractors, Plan Your Test Accordingly

If you plan to take your Contractor License Exam in February, be sure to plan accordingly. PSI will not be offering the Oregon contractors licensing exam between February 21st and February 28th because of an update to their testing system. This update will allow test takers to toggle between the English and Spanish version of the test, and will help students who speak Spanish as their primary language and English as a second language to have the best chance of passing the exam.

Here are the steps you will need to take to get your contractor’s license in Oregon.

  1. Complete a State-approved 16-hour exam prep course
  2. Register with PSI to take the Construction Contractor exam.
  3. File your assumed business name, corporation, or LLC at the Oregon Corporation Division
  4. Obtain and submit a CCB surety bond in the required amount.
  5. Obtain general liability insurance in the required amount.
  6. Provide evidence of worker’s compensation and other employer account numbers if applicable.
  7. Apply for and get the State BIN (Business Identification Number) number from the
    Oregon Department of Revenue and write it on the application.
  8. Apply for and get the Federal EIN from the IRS.  Do not substitute a Social Security Number
    for the EIN number.
  9. Submit a completed CCB application with the $325.

Application can be obtained from:

Oregon Construction Contractors Board0
P.O. Box 14140
Salem, OR  97309
Phone:  (503) 378-4621
http://www.oregon.gov/ccb

Be sure to select a Contractor License Exam Preparation course that is fully approved and has a proven track record of successful passes. Choosing a course that comes in both text and narration fashion allows you to not only read and take sample exams, but to listen to the content as you drive or relax.

Good luck and keep on contracting.

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Real Estate Agents, What Does Your Car Say About You?

A real estate agent pulls up to a potential listing and gets out of a 10-year-old gray Honda Accord. The paint is a little faded and the headlights are foggy. The car looks as if it hasn’t been washed in a few months and is making a strange sort of squeaky noise screeching from under the hood.

This presents a few questions in my mind. Will the inexpensive and unmaintained sedan cost this real estate agent the listing? Does this make the agent look unprofessional or maybe even incompetent? Is there room for improvement?

Here is another situation for you. A real estate agent pulls up to a potential listing in a brand-new Chevy Tahoe with all the bells and whistles. Leather interior and a company logo on the side.

This also raises a few questions. Does the new SUV show a higher level of professionalism? Will the agent driving the new car do a better job than the agent in the old sedan? Could you overwhelm a potential client by showing you wealth and success?

I think the most important question to be answered is “Is the vehicle I am driving helping or hurting my business?”

There seems to be three opinions on this topic. The first, my car does not matter. It is all about how the customer is treated and the amount of professionalism I show to everyone I do business with. The second attitude is the make, model or year has no impact. If it is clean comfortable and safe it will do. The last is Yes, the car you drive makes a huge difference. You want to exude success in every way and the vehicle you drive should be top of the line and brand new.

In my opinion you should base your vehicle on your target market as well as your location. You would not want to drive a rear wheel drive sports car in an area that gets a lot of snow. On the other hand, you would not want to drive old pickup truck to sell someone a house in Beverly Hills. Pick your car based on location, your target market, and what you can afford.

I hope this helps you pick the right car for the clients you want to reach. Good luck and keep on listing.

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Online Video Courses for Texas Pesticide Applicators

Online video continuing education courses are now available for pesticide applicators in Texas. The Texas Department of Agriculture has approved a new series of online video training courses for pesticide applicators who need to renew their license and/or certification. The courses are available 24/7 and can be taken from any internet connected device including computers, tablets, and even your smart phone.

No More Boring Text Slides!

These online video training courses feature an on-screen instructor, Gene Merkl, explaining each topic. By combining innovative video technology with an extremely easy-to-use online training system, we have created an online continuing education program unlike any other in the pesticide or agricultural industry.

What Course Are Offered in Online Video?

COURSE# COURSE NAME CREDITS APPROVED
0753581 PEST MANAGEMENT 1 GENERAL – PEST FEATURES
0753583 FEDERAL PESTICIDE LAWS 1 LAWS AND REGULATIONS
0753585 PESTICIDE LABELING 1 LAWS AND REGULATIONS
0753586 PESTICIDE FORMULATIONS 1 GENERAL – PESTICIDE FACTORS
0753587 PESTICIDE HAZARDS AND FIRST AID 1 GENERAL – SAFETY FACTORS
0753590 PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT 1 GENERAL – SAFETY FACTORS
0753591 PESTICIDES IN THE ENVIRONMENT 1 DRIFT MINIMIZATION
0753593 PESTICIDE TRANSPORT STORAGE AND SECURITY/PROFESSIONAL 1 GENERAL – PESTICIDE FACTORS
0753594 PLANNING THE PESTICIDE APPLICATION 1 GENERAL – PESTICIDE FACTORS
0753596  PESTICIDE APPLICATION PROCEDURES 1 GENERAL – APPLICATION TECHNIQUES

How do I get Started?

You can choose your course and register online by clicking this link (Online Pesticide Training in Texas), or simply give us a call at 1-800-727-7104. Our experienced course advisers will help you choose the right course(s) for you, and walk you through the entire process. We will make sure that you are entirely comfortable with logging in and starting your training before the end of the phone call.

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Nebraska Pesticide Applicators, Complete your Re-certification Course Online!

The Nebraska Department of Agriculture has approved the first and only online video
re-certification program for private pesticide applicators. This ground-breaking new program allows private applicators to complete the required continuing education for re-certification from the comfort of their own home. This program is available 24/7, is taught by an actual instructor (Gene Merkl) on screen, and can be completed at the applicators convenience.

Students who complete this online video course can fulfill all requirements for private applicator re-certification in Nebraska, and will be granted re-certification by the Nebraska Dept. of Agriculture. This is a major change from past years, when Nebraska did not allow online training courses for private applicator re-certification.

Why is this training better?

Certified Training Institute has partnered with Mississippi State University to deliver the highest quality online video training ever produced for the pesticide industry. Combining cutting edge video technology with an online learning system that is extremely easy to use. These courses are raising the standard for online education in the pesticide industry. Gene Merkl, the on-screen instructor, walks applicators through each and every topic, making sure they know exactly what is required of them both at the state and national level.

How does it work?

Completing your applicator re-certification program through Certified Training Institute is extremely easy. Simply call 1-800-727-7104 and our training advisory staff will assist you in registering and starting your course, or click this link (Nebraska Re-certification Program) and register yourself online. Once the registration and checkout are complete, you will be able to start your course immediately.

Do I have to do it all at once?

No, students can come and go as they please. The system will keep track of your progress so you can begin again, right where you left off.

Don’t have a computer?

No Problem! This training program can be completed from any internet connected device.
That means that you can take the course on your smart phone, tablet, PC, or even your TV if it connects to the internet.

Get Started Now!

Call 1-800-727-7104 and our experienced staff will guide you through registration and checkout, making sure that you are totally comfortable before your hang up the phone. If you want to experience the best online courses that have ever been offered to pesticide applicators in Nebraska, this is your opportunity.

 

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New Training Options for Oklahoma Pesticide Applicators!

Pest control professionals including Certified Applicators, Private Applicators, and Service Technicians now have a new option for completing continuing education using online video courses. The Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food, and Forestry has approved 10 new online video courses for continuing education credits.

These 10 courses covering pesticide core standards topics are produced by Certified Training Institute in partnership with Mississippi State University. On screen instructor Gene Merkl does an excellent job of explaining each topic and uses real life examples to help students apply the lessons to real life situations.

Online video pesticide courses approved by Oklahoma’s Department of Agriculture are:

Pesticide Application Procedures
Pesticides in the Environment
Federal Pesticide Laws
Pesticide Formulations
Pesticide Hazards and First Aid
Pesticide Labeling
Pest Management
Planning the Pesticide Application
Personal Protective Equipment and Emergency Response
Transportation, Storage, Security, and Professional Conduct

The goal of this program is to set a higher standard for online education in the pesticide and agricultural industries. These courses offer the same great education you would normally receive in a classroom, with an instructor on screen discussing the information and showing real world examples. Except, you can complete them from your couch at home using any device that connects to the internet. Yes, we said it, you can use your phone, tablet, or computer to complete these courses right from home and get the credits you need to renew you license.
They do not have to be completed in a single sitting, and you can come and go as you please.

To register and start your pest control continuing education courses simply click this link (Online Pesticide CE Courses) or call 1-800-727-7104 and one of our personal course advisors can walk you through getting set up.

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New Training Option for Michigan Pesticide Applicators!

Michigan pest control professionals, including private and commercial pesticide applicators, can now complete their required continuing education training using online video courses. The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development has approved 10 new online video continuing education courses produced by Certified Training Institute in partnership with Mississippi State University.

These courses are based on the National Pesticide Core Standards and are approved for core credits in Michigan as well as many other states. The on-screen instructor for these courses is Gene Merkl. Gene is a licensed landscape architect, former nursery owner, and is currently the Pesticide Education Coordinator for MSU (Mississippi State University) Extension service. Using real life examples, Gene walks students through each topic making sure to cover exactly what you need to know as working professionals.

Online video pesticide courses approved by Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development:

Pesticide Application Procedures
Pesticides in the Environment
Federal Pesticide Laws
Pesticide Formulations
Pesticide Hazards and First Aid
Pesticide Labeling
Pest Management
Planning the Pesticide Application
Personal Protective Equipment and Emergency Response
Transportation, Storage, Security, and Professional Conduct

These online video courses are meant to set a higher standard for online education in the pesticide industry. These are the same great courses that you would normally have to travel to a classroom to attend, but now they are much more convenient. With these new online video courses, applicators can complete their training on their schedule from the comfort of home. These courses can be taken using any internet connected device, including phones, tablets or computers, and your certificate is available immediately upon course completion.

These training courses are available 24/7 and can be taken at your convenience. The do not have to be completed in a single sitting, and you may come and go as you please.

To register and start you pest control continuing education courses simply click this link (Online Pesticide CE Courses) or call 1-800-727-7104 and one of our personal course advisors can walk you through getting set up.

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Florida Pesticide Applicators Now Have a New Training Option!

Florida pest control professionals including public, private, and commercial pesticide applicators can now complete their required core continuing education using approved online video training courses. The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has approved 10 new online video pesticide courses from continuing education credit. These new video courses are available 24/7 and can be completed on any internet connected phone, tablet, or computer.

Mississippi State University partnered with Certified Training Institute to produce high quality video training courses with an actual instructor on screen walking students through each topic. These are the same great courses that you would normally have to travel to a classroom to attend, but now they are much more convenient for everyone! On-screen instructor Gene Merkl discusses each topic and uses real world examples to help you apply the materials to your daily work. These courses cover exactly what you need to know as a working professional.

Online video pesticide courses approved by the Florida Department of Agriculture for core credit:

Pesticide Application Procedures
Pesticides in the Environment
Federal Pesticide Laws
Pesticide Formulations
Pesticide Hazards and First Aid
Pesticide Labeling
Pest Management
Planning the Pesticide Application
Personal Protective Equipment and Emergency Response
Transportation, Storage, Security, and Professional Conduct

These courses are based on the National Pesticide Core Standards and are approved for core credits in Florida as well as many other states. Gene Merkl, the instructor, is a licensed landscape architect, former nursery owner, and currently the Pesticide Education Coordinator for Mississippi State University Extension Service.

These training courses are available 24/7 and can be taken at your convenience. The do not have to be completed in a single sitting, and you can come and go as you please.

To register and start you pest control continuing education courses simply click this link (Online Pesticide CE Courses) or call 1-800-727-7104 and one of our personal course advisors can walk you through getting set up.

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Why Must Michigan Builders Have A Code Book

In 1999, the state of Michigan amended the law (PA 230 of 1972) to require all jurisdictions in the state to use the currently adopted version of the state construction code. The current version of the Michigan Residential Code is the 2015 version, which took effect on February 8th, 2016.

In 2008, the state of Michigan amended the builders licensing laws (PA 299 of 1980) to require ALL individuals who possess a Michigan Residential Builders License to have a current copy of the Michigan Residential Code book in order to their renew their license.

How Often is the Code Book Updated?

The Michigan Bureau of Construction Code (BCC) is required to update the Michigan Residential Code at least every 6 years. In the past, the BCC updated the code every 3 years, but this time around they chose to update the code on a 6-year cycle. The Michigan residential construction industry will not know when the next Residential Code will be adopted until the BCC announces that a new version of the code will be published. The soonest a new version is published will be in 2019 and the latest could be 2022. The state of Michigan requires by law that individuals wanting to renew their residential builders license own a current code book. For the 2017 license renewal cycle, the 2015 Michigan Residential Code is required.

It is known that the 2015 Michigan Residential Code has some errors in the book. The Michigan Bureau of Constriction Codes (BCC) has acknowledged the errors and has published some corrections on it’s website. The BCC has stated it will continue to post corrections on its website when they become aware of the errors. The BCC has also stated it will not publish a revised version of the 2015 Michigan Residential Code book. The 2015 Michigan Residential Code book is the only version currently available for the 2017 license renewal cycle.

The International Code Council (ICC) is the Copyright holder and the publisher of the International Residential Code (IRC) which the 2015 Michigan Residential Code adopts. The ICC will only allow the Michigan Bureau of Constriction Codes to revise the 2015 Michigan Residential Code because of the Copyrighted material that is adopted. No bookstore can revise ICC copyrighted materials and publish their own version of the books.

The Builders License Training Institute, a division of Certified Training Institute, is a proprietary school and bookstore offering online and classroom Michigan Builders 60-Hour Prelicensure Programs, continuing competency courses, lead paint safety RRP classes and Michigan Code Official continuing education.

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