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Why It’s a Great Time for Foreign Investors to Buy Properties in Vietnam

Since they allowed foreign property investment and ownership in 2015, Vietnam has gained more and more attention in terms of property sale. Over the years, the country’s real estate market has been a prime contributor to its thriving economy. This is especially seen in Ho Chi Minh City or Saigon, as it is the country’s biggest city.

Finding a property for sale here should not be an opportunity to miss given the conditions. But, before you consider new project launches and buying and/or selling properties, it is important to understand the policies around foreign ownership of properties.

Conditions for foreign property ownership

The biggest change brought about by the revised law for Vietnam property investment is that foreigners are now able to buy a home unit in HCMC. A foreign investor who is granted a visa to the country is already eligible for foreign property ownership. But there are still limits placed upon them, and surely for good reason.

• Foreigners can only own a maximum of 30% of units in a condominium or other residential buildings.
• 10% of total land property units in a compound; and
• 250 landed property units including apartments and the like.

Hotspots in Ho Chi Minh City

Obviously, selling, buying, and leasing will be different anywhere. If you’re serious about property investment though, you’ll have to look in the right places. And that’s exactly what Ho Chi Minh City is today, the right place.

Given how big Saigon is, there are a lot of areas where you could choose to buy property. There are certain districts, though, that gain much attention from foreign and local investors alike. Whether you’re looking for a property for sale, real estate or good apartments to invest in, here are some of the best areas to look:

District 1 (D1) is basically the central district. There are many major attractions here like the Notre-Dame Cathedral and the Independence Palace. Because of this, it is one of the more expensive areas in the city. Even so, you’ll certainly be able to find an apartment for sale.

District 2 (D2) is a popular area for many foreign Asians and Westerners. This is because the district is filled with villas that mostly appeal to Americans, Europeans and the British. Though it was once one of the poorest areas in the city, it has now a place of high-end housing and a go-to for dining, drinking, and other activities. Having apartments in this district can also be advantageous given there are a lot of schools in the area.

District 4 (D4), where Lancaster Lincoln is situated, is the smallest district in the city. However, because of new project launches over the years, the district has seen significant growth, especially in the beautiful place at Lancaster Lincoln, in terms of real estate and property sale overall. More and more investors are buying property in this area, both residential and commercial.

Things to take note of

Buying real estate in Ho Chi Minh, as said earlier, is an opportunity that should not be missed. For instance, Millennium properties just completed a launch, and is one of the most sought-after property in the real estate market of Vietnam today. With that being said, Millennium is rapidly selling out because of the reasonable price and the ease-of-process for foreigners to own a unit from the said property.

But to whom can foreigners buy land and the building/s standing on it? In the real estate market, you can basically buy from the developers of the residential projects or those with the remaining ownership. The payment for purchases is handled by a licensed credit institution, typically a bank. It’s quite easy to send money to Vietnam, though you’ll still have to process the proper documents to avoid any issues.

It is also important to note that Saigon property prices depend on many. Many of those who put their apartment for sale, open up a condominium unit, or sell their properties take into account the sentimental value whatever they’re selling. The typical foreign investor won’t usually consider this, but it can actually affect the price.

Looking for a property for sale in Vietnam has never been easier for foreigners and locals alike. All credit goes to the country’s efforts to open the market to more people to be able to make the economy even better. More than that, understanding property investment before anything else can contribute to a lot of gains on your part as a potential buyer. Picking the right districts and buying the right properties largely depends on you.

Marketing Strategies for Home-Based Wedding Florists

As a home-based wedding florist in Singapore, one of the biggest hurdles you’ll face is getting people to notice your business. Overcoming this requires some creativity thinking, especially since there are already numerous established wedding florists both online and with physical stores.

For a new wedding florist such as you to be noticed, you need something that sets you apart from others. We’re not just talking about having prettier and more unique arrangements, but also about being able to cater to a wide variety of job orders, whether it’s for a small wedding or a grand bonanza, whether it just needs one special bridal bouquet or a whole package deal with everything from aisle markers to boutonnieres.

Building your brand and a accruing a significant customer base won’t happen overnight, but you’ll achieve these if you observe the following business practices:

A Solid Business Plan

A lot of entrepreneurs draft a business plan as part of an application for a loan. However, even if you won’t need to apply for a loan, a business plan is still an indispensable tool in ensuring that your business won’t flounder as it gives you a realistic and comprehensive view of the wedding flowers industry.

Knowing what milestones you want to achieve for your business – and the steps you need to take to achieve them – gives your business its mission and vision, and assures that you’re always going in the right direction.

Your specialty arrangements, as well as the specific customers you want to target (if any), also comes into play here. For instance, are your target customers more likely to opt for just simple floral decor for the venue, or will they also require other flower arrangements such as wedding car decor and souvenirs?

Market Research

Look up who your most likely customers will be. Flower-buying habits can be different depending on the demographic – the more information you can get to gain an insight with regards to your customers, the better. For example, you want to target the wedding market, therefore you want to provide wedding flower packages and selections that would fit into the occasion. Expect to hear many soon-to-be brides from Singapore saying, “I want beautiful roses for my marriage.” So, you would want to secure a reliable wholesale flowers supplier that would not run out of roses, as well as other in-demand wedding florals, all year round.

The same can be said about your competition. Some information that would be very helpful to you are how they are able to stay in business, how your competition reaches out to their customer base, and what strategies you can use to gain more market share.

Another thing you need to find out is how saturated the market is for wedding florists working in both storefronts and home-based, as well as the kinds of services that they offer. If there are too many florists doing the same thing, you need to brainstorm to find a new niche that you can dominate.

What does your potential client base prefer? If they prefer shops with a storefront best, you might want to point to that direction – however, you don’t have to chase only where the numbers are high. Trends always shift, and what you want to do is to target a reliable customer base.

In the floristry industry, services related to weddings make up the vast majority of sales. Thus, another crucial data you need to have are updated pricelist of wedding flowers and floral decor sold both online and actual stores.

Storage and Transportation

While you will mostly be ordering flowers in advance, you will also need to think about how you will be able to store the flowers, especially when you work at home as the wedding date approaches. If the temperature is too high, your flowers may wilt and be unsellable.

Most flowers are stored at the optimal temperature of 1.1 to 2.2 degrees Celsius and keep best at a high humidity, usually between 90-95 per cent. For tropical flowers, they should be stored at temperatures between 13 to 15 degrees Celsius.

While transportation can set you back, you can also turn things around by turning it into an asset. Keep in mind that if you’ll also offer wedding car decor you need to keep flowers that have very high heat tolerance.

Online Marketing

Posting your portfolio online is a great way to allow potential clients in Singapore to see what you specialize in and whether they want your specific style and arrangements for their floral decor. Clients will appreciate a florist capable of many ways of arranging and styling wedding flowers, be it wedding car decor to floral arches to wedding centerpieces to even small things such as boutonnieres. Find inspiration in mood fleur, a well-known wedding florist all-over Singapore.

Social media influencers and bloggers are good friends to have in this case, particularly if you are exclusively home-based and has no actual venue to showcase your floral decor and bridal bouquet samples. In this day, they are your greatest advertisers.

Having a good online presence and marketing drive is also a great way to save on expenses, especially if you don’t want to open a storefront: where before you need to set up in a public place, now you can set up your arrangements at the comfort of your home and just share pictures of your products via social media. If you take this route, make sure that you also respond quickly to messages and inquiries sent your way.

Wire Service Membership

A lot of wedding florist businesses in Singapore subscribe to a wire-service membership in order to receive orders through the said service.
While most orders come from within the country, there are also overseas orders for large florist businesses that can handle the job.
Having a wire service for your business can give you the advantage of saving time, but may also have some setbacks. For instance, for every sale made, a small percentage goes to the wire service for bringing you that order, as well as a start-up fee that can set your budget back by a significant account if you’re only just starting.

This may also mean applying for the licenses needed to start a business, and you will have to pay taxes depending on the type of business that you operate.

5 Questions You Should Be Asking Your Freight Forwarder (If You Haven’t Already)

When you’re looking for a logistics company in Singapore to provide you with the necessary logistics services for your cargo, especially when it comes to air freight and sea freight, it’s always good to know as much as possible about the company beforehand.

While there are a few standard questions that you can go with, they often won’t tell how the forwarding agency will treat you as a client. To get past that, here are a few questions that you should ask your forwarding agency before entrusting them with your cargo:

1. How will you stay in touch?

Communication in any industry is vital, but even more so in the field of freight forwarding and transportation. When you do need to get in touch with your freight forwarder in Singapore, you need to be able to do so in a way that is within your utmost convenience.

However, even with social media and phone calls, you as a client need more than just convenience with your freight forwarder. As much as possible, be sure to get a forwarding agency that ensure that you get the best customer service possible.

Your clearing and forwarding agent in Singapore can do this by assigning a specific point person, or representative, that you can reach easily. This can make all the difference when it comes to safe cargo handling and ensuring timely updates, as well as a complete understanding of the industry and everything you need for your shipment.

By having a specific representative for your freight forwarding needs, you also get a consultant that can offer you an expert’s inside knowledge on how the industry works. Not only can the representative guide you in choosing the necessary Incoterms, but you can also expect recommendations on the best sailing schedules to close your deadlines.

2. What’s your freight forwarder’s tracking technology?

As a logistics company, your freight forwarding agency in Singapore needs to be able to keep track of cargo shipments real-time, and should be able to offer you more advanced technologies beyond just Microsoft Excel or emails.

Ideally, you want a good forwarding agency that can give you tracking technology that tells you exactly where in the world your cargo is and where it’s going, and all without having to press your representative for regular updates, or any delays or changes in schedule.

Whether the cargo is travelling by local freight or international freight, any additional information provided by this technology is also quite useful, such as purchase orders or item levels, especially when it comes to giving you the much-needed visibility in your supply chain.

The same can even be said with air freight, and especially with sea freight, which is the most likely type of cargo transportation to be compromised by a variety of factors.

You also want a type of tracking technology that’s highly customizable for your needs, easy to use, and easily accessible from your different devices that you will be using in your day to day needs.

3. How can your forwarder ensure that your cargo is a priority?

Your freight forwarding agency may be an exceptional logistics company that offers top-notch logistics services, but it still won’t mean that your cargo will be registered as a priority in the shipping company that they have enlisted unless you specifically request it.

You can easily know whether you are a priority or not in the forwarding company’s list by asking if there are any clients that have requirements similar enough to yours. If the answer is yes, there’s a good chance you’re not high on their priority transportation list.

Another way that you can tell whether you’re a priority or not is if the forwarding company only tells you when the cargo arrives.

Ideally, your forwarding company should be able to send their representative to sit down with you and plan out the standard operating procedures (SOP), such as who to call or get in touch with and under what circumstances.

4. How strong is the forwarding agency’s network?

The answer to this should be “fairly strong” at least, since in order for an effective logistics company to work successfully, it needs to have excellent connections with more than just one shipping company.

Freight forwarding services offered by professional logistics company are more than just shipping lanes and networks, however. A reliable forwarding agency should have relationships with other agencies and companies that have on-the-ground knowledge on things such as overseas regulations, goods taxes, etc.

Expertise is the one thing you need from a forwarding agency especially in a constantly changing climate in the business industry that you happen to be in, and solutions should be in hand during times of crisis, such as port strikes or massive traffic caused by shipping season.

Call Your Freight Forwarder!

If this is your first time contacting a forwarding agency, there are a lot of things to consider to make sure everything is specified and that your forwarder is up to speed with your needs.

Be sure to consult your forwarding agency to give you the best advice on how your cargo should be handled. This way, your cargo gets to where you want it to go in one piece and in its best condition.

Calling a forwarding agency for your cargo not only helps your cargo, but also your business, as you would be open to new possibilities for your shipments that you never thought possible.

Get in touch with your freight forwarder today!

Components of a Fire Alarm System

Is your office considering installing a sophisticated fire alarm system complete with fire alarm, heat sensor, fire extinguisher, and a state-of-the-art warning system for other emergencies? Knowing what makes up a complete emergency system can help narrow down your choice for a professional alarm service provider in Singapore.

Initiating Devices
The initiating devices in the system are also known as the fire detector which can be activated manually or automatically. Examples of the automatic initiating devices are the heat sensor and smoke sensor devices, which are based on several technologies such as aspiration, photoelectric, beam, duct, and ionization. Some of the most advanced devices can detect not only flame and smoke, but also water flow, carbon monoxide, and others which might be considered hazardous for the occupants. Camera detection is sometimes used in high-tech offices to allow for analysis through computer algorithms of the fire and movement. Manual initiating devices are the pull stations you can sometimes see in building corridors that are housed with an axe and a fire extinguisher for emergencies besides fire. Most of these are located near exits and other accessible areas.

Fire Alarm Panel
Also called the fire alarm control panel, this is the “brains” of the fire alarm system in Singapore that monitors overall system integrity, monitors all the inputs, and controls the outputs by relaying the proper information to the other parts of the system. It is made up of circuit writing and circuit cards, sometimes with a specific assigned card for different zones especially in large buildings. Users and fire protection companies in Singapore alike will be able to signal an alert, reset, reprogram, and disable the alarm through the panel.

Remote Display and Control Panel
For large building complexes, a more sophisticated monitoring system may be required. The panels and control allow for faster checking of the status, signaling alarms or disabling them, and the activation or deactivation of the fore alarm system components within the building.

Notification Devices
As the name implies, this component of the emergency system consists of devices that will notify the occupants in the area about an emergency. Notification may be done through an emergency alarm, flashing or strobe lights, speakers for instructing people on how to evacuate, and many more. Voice alarm systems sometimes use pre-recorded instructions or messages that are played during the evacuation.

Safety Interface
There are other devices which might help the occupants and responders stop the spread of fire by controlling aspects of the environment. This can be done through control of the lighting, exit or evacuation of the occupants, air movement to prevent the fire from getting bigger, and others. The devices range from simple evacuation diagrams to sophisticated duct smoke detector for the ventilation and air conditioning system and the magnetic smoke holders that will keep the doors closed or open to restrict passage or to allow passage of evacuees. Other high-rise buildings are required to have an emergency elevator service to prevent people from getting trapped during the evacuation.

Primary and Secondary Power Supply
For the emergency system to function even during a power outage, it is connected to a primary power supply and a power backup, such as a generator. The primary supply is connected to the 120 V or 240 V alternating current, while the backup power supply is provided by the batteries installed in the system’s panel or another enclosure near it.

Fire Protection
In cases where notification alone might not be enough to stop the fire, a sprinkler system is connected to the fire alarm as part of an active fire protection step. Commercial and industrial buildings are required to install the system. The sprinkler has a heat-sensitive glass and a pipe cap which can pop out once the temperature activates it. Types of sprinklers include the water spray, foam water, and water mist.