Web Site Reviews: October 1997

October 1, 1997

Big on Info at SBA

The Web site of the U.S. Small Business Administration (http://www.sbaonline.sba.gov) contains information on how to start, finance, and expand your business. Click on “Expanding Your Business,” and you’ll find workshops on franchising and marketing. The site also features a robust directory of business-related links, including such categories as “Women in Business,” “Home Business,” and “Legal and Regulatory Resources.”

Completely Unwired or Just Starting to Go Mobile?

Mobilis (http://www.volksware.com/mobilis) bills itself as the “mobile computing lifestyle magazine.” Whether you’re a gizmo freak or just someone who can’t live without a cell phone, the articles on this site will keep you plugged in to the latest news on wireless technology.

Check out the Readers’ Choice Awards (http://www.volksware.com/mobilis/june.97/rca.htm), which lists favorites among personal digital assistants and both wide area and local area wireless services.

If you’re looking for something specific, use the site’s search function, which scours the site’s two-year-old archive. (A search on “cellular phone” brought up more than 80 articles!)

A free subscription service will send you an E-mail when new articles are posted at the site.

Tool Time

CCH Business Owner’s Toolkit (http://www.toolkit.cch.com) is a virtual primer for small-business owners. One of the site’s features, the SOHO Daily News, presents a column on an issue of interest to small-office and home-office workers. Another useful feature is Business Tools, which provides model business documents, financial spreadsheet templates, and checklists on such topics as business finance and marketing. Although the site isn’t specifically geared to the real estate business, it offers soup-to-nuts details on how to start, run, or even shut down a business.

Matchmaker, Matchmaker, Make Me a . . . SchoolMatch

According to SchoolMatch, a research and database company that specializes in rating schools, “71 percent of all transferees are reluctant to move because of concerns about schools.”

You can help buyers learn more about schools by pointing them to SchoolMatch (http://www.schoolmatch.com). Search the school system database at no charge to find schools by state, ZIP code, or metropolitan area. The site also includes links to information on family counseling and child custody, legal services, and education.

Most of the other services at the site are fee based. Report cards, for example, which compare schools regionally or nationally in 22 categories, are available for $34-$49.

Help for Fixer-Uppers

It might be easier to sell that fixer-upper if you show buyers all the resources available at the Web site of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (http://www.nari.org). NARI wants to help consumers avoid rip-offs, so the Web site includes a section called Red Flags. Sellers considering home improvements should click on Homeowner Help for a library of articles with tips on remodeling (check out “13 Common Mistakes in Kitchen Remodeling”). And be sure to tell sellers to click on The Master Plan for Professional Home Remodeling for information on how to interview a contractor, what to look for in a contract, and how to develop and maintain a sound budget.

Get the Lay of the Land . . . and the Walls and Furniture, Too

With the number of immigrants increasingly on the rise, chances are you’ll work with buyers who observe feng shui, the Chinese art of enhancing luck, well-being, and general harmony by arranging the layout of the home or office.

If Feng Shui is new to you, check out Feng Shui Made Easy (sunflower.singnet.com.sg/~cecil/), click on the FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) icon for an easy-to-understand lesson on feng shui, the principles behind it, how it’s used, and the basics of a home survey.

When you’re ready, move to The Home section of the site to learn how the entrance, walls, ceilings, and decor can affect a home’s harmony.

The News Isn't Drudgery Here

The Drudge Report (http://www.drudgereport.com) is one news site that fits all. Browse op-ed pieces by writers of all political persuasions, such as James Carville and Arianna Huffington; entertainment news from Liz Smith and Army Archerd; and political news from The Washington Times.

You can also link to UPI and AP wire services, press digests from around the world, network news sites (ABC, CNN, MSNBC), and more than 30 newspapers and magazines, such as The Times of London, The Jerusalem Post, The Washington Post, and the Christian Science Monitor.

Don’t expect fancy graphics or even color, but after a visit to this site, you’ll be able to color your conversation with up-to-the-minute news items all day long.

Notice: The information on this page may not be current. The archive is a collection of content previously published on one or more NAR web properties. Archive pages are not updated and may no longer be accurate. Users must independently verify the accuracy and currency of the information found here. The National Association of REALTORS® disclaims all liability for any loss or injury resulting from the use of the information or data found on this page.