How to survive… an interview

first_img1. Clothes. In the immortal words of Trinny and Susannah: “you are what you wear”. So dress the part. If you’re going for an architect’s job, don’t wear the suit you last wore to your Aunt Reenie’s funeral. Go for something stylish and understated that can’t fail to reflect your knowledge about space and form. Gentlemen: white socks will put the interviewer on full Chav alert and comedy ties, well, just aren’t funny. Most people have an innate distrust of men with moustaches – if you have one, shave it off.Ladies: we all know the power of a nicely turned out lass but it’s not a good idea to dress like a hooker – keep the wonderbra and mini skirt in the wardrobe or you may get the job with expected “overtime”. It won’t win you many friends among your female colleagues either. Trainers are not an option2. Shoes. Little foot warmers to protect your tootsies? Wrong. Shoes say everything about you. Make sure they are clean and polished – and no trainers please. It’s a sad fact of life that, statistically, tall people usually get the job over the vertically challenged. So if you’re a lady of the ‘petite’ persuasion, don’t be tempted to wear ballet pumps with your suit but do check you can walk in your Manolos. Similarly, short men should sneak in whatever they can get away with – cuban heels under a long trouser leg may be just the ticket.3. Be punctual. If you’re rubbish in the mornings, arrange the interview for the afternoon. Give yourself plenty of time for the journey – only death or natural disasters are valid excuses for lateness. Prepare your ‘outfit’ the night before and don’t go out on a massive bender, even if it is your birthday. If you are unavoidably late, then ring in to let the interviewer know.4. Project your voice. Though not in a Dennis Rodman fashion. Whatever you do, don’t go into mouse mode during the interview, mumbling your answers into your shirt collar. Look straight at the interviewer making direct eye contact and speak slowly and confidently, as if you were talking to a bemused foreigner (go easy on the condescension). Play for extra time by repeating the question asked of you back to the interviewer in a rephrased, considered manner while your mind is panicking about the answer.5. Tell them what they want to hear. You love working as “part of a team” but you are also sufficiently motivated to work well “on your own”. Interviewers will want to hire someone they can boss. They don’t want confrontation, yet they don’t necessarily like someone they can wipe the floor with. It’s important therefore to tread that fine line between mobster and mop.Ah, yes, the salary…6. Don’t go into braggy mode. Never swagger into an interview. When the interviewer asks that nightmarishly open-ended question: “just tell us a little about yourself”, don’t seize the opportunity to launch into a monologue about just how brilliant you at sky-diving, sudoku and salsa. Bosses don’t like show-offs or people who can do things better than they can, and come to think of it nor does anyone else. 7. Never slag off your former employers or colleagues. However tempted you may be to call your current boss an imbecile, resist the urge. If you are badmouthing them, what does that say about your ability to be loyal to your new company, eh? Think about it…8. Be keen but not desperate. Avoid exaggeration – no one will ever believe that as a small child you dreamed of becoming the contractor on a multi-storey car park. Make sure you swot up on the company so that you can ask some incisive questions – with the amount of info on the net, you’ve no excuse.9. Prepare answers to possible questions. Rehearse in front of the bathroom mirror as if you were being interviewed (Parky rather than Paxman if you want an easy ride). When asked, “where do you see yourself in five years time?”, never say “in your seat”. Take a copy of your CV with you, and check the ‘facts’ to be sure to remember them. Body language, such as scratching your nose or looking shiftily away, will draw attention to the fact you are lying.10. Money, moolah, wonga. There’s no subtle way of putting it. This is the bête noire of interview questions. The interviewer probably won’t bring it up until asked, just to make you sweat. Yet if the job ad mentioned a “competitive salary” (read “as little as we can get away with paying you”), then you need to know. If there are likely to be a string of interview stages, save the question until you get through to the next level. Otherwise, ask if the interviewer could give you some idea of the proposed salary. You are likely to be asked what you are currently earning. Always remember to bump up your answer by at least two grand – the interviewer will nearly always assume you have done and you will only lose out if you are a martyr to your morals.last_img read more

€300m loan to finance Italian regional trains

first_imgITALY: A €300m corporate bond subscription agreement which will finance the acquisition of new passenger rolling stock for regional routes was signed by the European Investment Bank and national railway FS on December 23. The bond is guaranteed by the European Fund for Strategic Investments, and according to EIB is ‘highly innovative’ in its financial structuring and targeting of regional lines.The proceeds will be used to finance the acquisition of 49 multiple-units and 250 double-deck coaches for regional services in Lazio, Toscana, Veneto, Piemonte and Liguria. Passenger operator Trenitalia’s total investment in the five regions is put at €700m.‘For years the EIB has been at Ferrovie dello Stato’s side in all its investment, and I am especially proud of today’s announcement as it shows that Europe can be close to its citizens in a concrete way, including in the implementation of the new provisions of the Juncker Plan, whose financial arm is the EIB’, said EIB Vice-President Dario Scannapieco.last_img read more

Austin Williams Picks Up GSC Special Teams Player of the Week

first_imgThe junior from Phelan, Calif. is currently third in the GSC in scoring with 27 points and leads the league with six field goals. Additionally, he has made 33 career field goals which is three from breaking into the GSC top-10 all-time rankings. BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – UWF kicking standout Austin Williams was named the Gulf South Conference Special Teams Player of the Week following his 9-point effort against Shorter last weekend. Williams made a 36-yard field goal and six extra points in the Argonauts’ 51-7 victory. He also put eight of nine kickoffs into the end zone for a touchback and the ninth was fair caught at the 1-yard line. This is the fifth time he has earned the league’s weekly special teams award.center_img UWF will now hit the road for the next three weeks, traveling to Mississippi College (2-0) this Saturday for a 7 p.m. contest at Robinson-Hale Stadium in Clinton, Miss. The game is the GSC Game of the Week and will be available on ESPN3 and the ESPN app. The UWF Sports Network will also have live coverage on 94.5 FM ESPN Pensacola beginning at 6:30 p.m.  Print Friendly Versionlast_img read more


first_imgMuch to the relief of the TFA tournament staff, the sun came out to shine for the first day of action at the 2006 National 18 Years and under Championships.The day began with an Opening Ceremony to welcome all players, officials and spectators to Coffs Harbour as well as to farewell representatives of the Australian sides heading to South Africa in January for the World Cup. Coffs Harbour Mayor, Hon. Mr Keith Rhoades helped open the event, with South Sydney Rabbitohs and ex-Australian Touch representative Joe Williams out and about viewing the best junior Touch players in the country.MENS DIVISION SUMMARY:The Men’s division is as strong as ever this year, with several teams looking capable of taking out the title. Although it’s only early days, both the Sydney Mets and the Hunter Western Hornets look as though they might join last year’s finalists Southern Suns and NSWCHS as front-runners for the trophy.The Hunter-Western Hornets caused an upset in their first game, after a 6-all draw with defending champions, the Southern Suns. The Sydney Mets are also emerging as one of the strongest team in the competition, after defeating Northern Territory a massive 20-1 in their opening match.After a disappointing performance in 2005 Queensland Secondary Schools find themselves in a very tense Pool B alongside last year’s finalists NSW Combined High Schools and the Northern Eagles.NSWCHS will also be a team to watch out for with the Kennedy brothers, Maurice and John back again to display their speed and skill.The Northern Eagles boys came into this year’s tournament on a high from their domination of the Men’s 20’s division at the NTL in March. QSST recorded their first win for the tournament beating NSWCIS 14-2.WHO’S LEADING THE MEN’S POOLS?Hunter Western Hornets are the team to watch in Pool A after a courageous 6-all draw with defending champions the Southern Suns today. They backed up to defeat Crusaders 13-3 on field one this afternoon.NSWCCC started well with a 4-2 win over Sydney Scorpions. The Southern Suns are sitting midway through their pool after their draw with the Hornets. But they recovered to beat Central Queensland 9-3 this afternoon.NSWCHS are leading Pool B after one of the most exciting matches we’ll see on field one this afternoon. They narrowly defeated QSST 6-5. Pool B is proving to be the pool to watch in the Men’s division. North Queensland have performed well on day one, producing wins against the ACT and NSWCIS.The Northern Eagles have not lived up to expectations, recording two losses on day one. In a pool where mistakes are very costly, they’ll be looking for improvement tomorrow when they take on NSWCIS and QSST.The ACT had an encouraging win this afternoon over the Eagles, 8-6. They’ll be hoping to continue that form through to tomorrow against NSWCIS.Sydney Mets are the red hot team in Pool C with SunCoast also a chance.Mets were too good for both the Northern Territory who they beat, 20-1 and South West Queensland who they beat 13-3.Brisbane City Cobras are also looking good in Pool C, they recorded an 8-1 win over SWQ, but were defeated by SunCoast 4-2 in their last round match this afternoon.WOMEN’S DIVISION SUMMARY:In the Women’s division NSWCHS and QSST both started strongly this year. After an exciting and tight grand final last year, both teams will be hoping to continue their form through to the finals again.Led by captain Nicole Beck, who is a member of the Women’s Open National Training squad, NSWCHS recorded impressive wins over North Queensland and Central Queensland.QSST also played well on day one, beating SunCoast in their opening match, 8-2. They also beat NSWCIS 10-1 this afternoon.The Southern Suns showed they are also a team to watch, after holding out NSWCCC to record a 6-4 victory. They also had a notable win against the ACT this afternoon, beating them 14-0.WHO’S LEADING THE WOMEN’S POOLS?Pool A is being led by the defending champions NSWCHS, who recorded two convincing wins in their first day’s play.Sydney Mets are sitting in second place, after drawing 1-1 with Sydney Scorpions and beating Tasmania 5-3. North Queensland were unlucky to play NSWCHS in their first match, but they recovered well to defeat Scorpions 9-2.Tasmania have been competitive in their pool, losing narrowly to both Central Queensland and Mets.QSST and Brisbane City Cobras are clearly dominating Pool B and are currently sharing the lead. QSST opened their campaign with an 8-2 win over SunCoast  and a 10-1 win over NSWCIS.Cobras are trying to overcome the dominance of the school system by beating Eagles 5-2 and Crusaders 10-1. They will have their chance tomorrow at 3.40pm when they take on QSST.SunCoast recovered well from their 8-2 loss to QSST and have shown promise, recording a 10-2 win over Northern Eagles. Great defence saw NSWCIS keep the Crusaders scoreless in their 10-0 victory this morning, but they couldn’t carry on in their winning ways losing to QSST 10-1 this afternoon.Southern Suns are running hot in Pool C, they sent out a warning to the school systems after beating NSWCCC 6-4 and ACT 14-0.SQBD are also a team to watch in this pool, they showed promise recording an 8-1 victory over the ACT before beating the Hornets 6-3 this afternoon.NSWCCC had a shaky start against the Suns, but restored their confidence with a 14-3 win over the Northern Territory.last_img read more

Montaric Brown, 4-Star Safety, Commits To Arkansas

first_imgMontaric Brown seen at his visit to Arkansas.Twitter/@yvngsimba3Montaric Brown is on a visit to Arkansas today, and while in Fayetteville, he pulled the trigger on a commitment. 247Sports ranks Brown No. 1 among all recruits in Arkansas, making this a huge recruiting win for the Razorbacks.Brown announced his commitment via Twitter moments— August 24th (@yvngsimba3) July 28, 2016Here is the full note he used to announce the decision. First off in [sic] would like to thank everyone who has believed in me throughout this process. I want to thank my family, friends, coaches and teammates for their much needed support. I want to thank the college coahces who have invested their time and given me the opportunity to play for their schools. After much discussion with my family, I would like to further my academic and athletic career and commit to The University of Arkansas. WooPig!!! #UnCommon17Brown’s decision was foreshadowed by fellow Arkansas commit Koilan Jackson, a three-star wide receiver, who tweeted the decision a few minutes before it became official. My Boy @yvngsimba3 finally a HOG now Congrats on the commitment dude! Welcome to the Family— Koilan Jackson™ (@KoilanJack3) July 28, 2016In addition to being the No. 1 recruit in Arkansas, 247Sports ranks Montaric Brown as the nation’s No. 18 safety.Brown chose Arkansas over Alabama, Auburn, Baylor, LSU, Missouri, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and others.With Brown’s decision, Arkansas now has 18 players in the 2017 class. He is the second safety and fourth defensive back to join Arkansas’ class.Keeping top players in state is vital for any team, especially Arkansas. Unlike other SEC programs, the Razorbacks don’t have a ton of elite players in their backyard, so hanging on to a guy like Brown is essential. Bret Bielema and the Hogs have landed four of the top 20 recruits out of Arkansas.last_img read more

Look Out For Cyber Scams – CAC

first_imgStory Highlights The Consumer Affairs Commission (CAC) is reminding shoppers to guard against cyber scams as they make their online purchases during the Christmas season.Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the CAC, Dolsie Allen, says the impulsive spending during the yuletide period makes persons particularly vulnerable to these scams.“The criminals are lurking,” she points out.She notes that the steps to prevent scamming starts and ends with the buyer’s ability to decipher real from dangerous and dubious links.She says consumers must first confirm the legitimacy of the website they are buying from to ensure that it is the official site for the merchant.As such, she is advising persons not to navigate to sites by clicking links in emails or from advertisements. “Don’t click on links in unsolicited emails; type in the URL yourself,” she says.“If you’re unsure about the legitimacy of a site, use a search engine to research it. Do some security checks and make sure you’re using the latest version of your browser, and have it set to the highest security level and install updates when prompted,” she adds.Mrs. Allen points out that secured sites will display a green, locked padlock symbol in the browser window. They will also have an address that begins with https instead of the usual http.She is further advising persons to install protective software and firewalls if they plan to do excessive buying online.She says shoppers should be on guard and be ready to hide their pin numbers, credit card and banking information.“Consumers have to be more vigilant, it is a yearly complaint and we are urging the public to be more responsible and take the steps to protect themselves and their finances,” Mrs. Allen says. Communications Specialist, CAC, Dorothy Campbell, is encouraging shoppers to read their bank statements daily in order to track transactions as well as to look out for any unusual credit card activity.“Plan your spending routes and where you will make your purchases to avoid falling prey to Christmas scams. The CAC is encouraging online shoppers to purchase only with reputable merchants, preferably ones you’ve used before,” she notes further.Ms. Campbell says it is a good idea to get a credit card that it used only for online shopping  as this will make it easier to track genuine purchases.“Remove your card information each time you make a purchase and close the browser at the end of the transaction to prevent the computer from saving the information,” she recommends.“Be savvy about your password. If a site asks you to create a password, use a combination of letters and numbers and avoid using passwords that you’ve used before,” she adds.Ms. Campbell says that while online shopping offers the benefit of  lower prices, getting a redress can be a tedious process.“Ensure that you read the return policy. We have had complaints from consumers about not being able to return goods that were purchased online or if they request an exchange it is at an added cost to them. So, read the fine print before clicking ‘I accept/agree to this offer’,” she advises.For persons making credit card purchases at local enterprises, Ms. Campbell says “ensure that you follow the store attendant; do not leave your credit card with anyone. Con artists are ready to exploit distracted shoppers.”She encourages consumers to first go back to the point of purchase to raise an objection to seek redress, once they have a challenge. Mrs. Allen points out that secured sites will display a green, locked padlock symbol in the browser window. They will also have an address that begins with https instead of the usual http.    “If you are not able to have the matter resolved then we (CAC) will ask you to come to the agency. You may visit the office, call or email the CAC or leave a comment on our social media pages,” she says. The Consumer Affairs Commission (CAC) is reminding shoppers to guard against cyber scams as they make their online purchases during the Christmas season. “If you are not able to have the matter resolved then we (CAC) will ask you to come to the agency. You may visit the office, call or email the CAC or leave a comment on our social media pages,” she says.last_img read more

Companies fret about hazy rules around pot use

first_imgTORONTO – Once recreational cannabis use becomes legal, taking a “smoke break” at work could suddenly become much more complicated.At least that’s the fear among some human resources officials who wonder if the law change will bring impairment at work, decreased productivity, poor attendance and, of course, safety issues.Many questions linger over what legal pot will mean for the average workplace, says Scott Allinson of the Human Resources Professionals Association, which outlined its concerns in a 25-page report over the summer.While some of those issues have been addressed by proposed provincial limitations on who can toke and where, Allinson says many in his field are still unclear about what constitutes impairment and when an employee can be tested for cannabis use.“Is it going to be decreased work performance? Is that going to be a huge issue? Is attendance going to be a big issue?” says Allinson, whose provincial group represents 24,000 members, most in Ontario but also some outside the province and country.“And then the disciplinary procedures of how to deal with it — (who is) going to be the test case for the first court case?”Without a clear, legal definition of impairment, many human resources officers are unsure how to revise their policies, he says, especially in sectors that are not especially safety-sensitive.The tricky part is in explicitly outlining how much is too much, detailing expectations about possible recreational use before a shift, and being able to accurately monitor job performance they suspect is affected by pot use.“There are policies in place that tell you when it comes to alcohol, you can’t drink — for pilots or for truck drivers, you can’t drink X amount before (a shift),” he says. “What is it for somebody who is consistently a user recreationally? Is that impairing him to do his job as a desk worker?”Indeed, it’s the sectors where safety issues are less concerning that might be less prepared for possible fallout of legalization, slated to take effect by July 2018, suggests human resources consultant Jan Laevens.“I worry about the systemic and the more subtle impact because the extremes are always a little more straightforward to deal with,” says Laevens, who works with the Toronto firm HirePower.“If people are going out and having a few drinks at lunch, are they coming back? And we’re seeing a productivity drop of 10, 15 per cent? Haven’t a clue. Very hard to ascertain. Very hard to measure and certainly very, very challenging to investigate.”Right now there is no reliable test for impairment. While urine and saliva tests can detect the presence of THC — the active ingredient in marijuana — that doesn’t indicate active impairment and it can take between 24 and 48 hours for THC to clear the system.It’s also possible for a worker to test positive if they’ve been exposed to second-hand smoke in a poorly ventilated room, according to a recent study at the University of Calgary.The Canadian Union of Public Employees cautions employers from using legalization as an excuse to pursue a more aggressive policy around random drug testing, which is rarely permitted and requires a high legal bar to protect workers’ human rights.The public sector union, whose members include flight attendants, paramedics, and child care workers, says there are more effective ways to manage addiction and substance abuse issues “that are constructive rather than punitive.”Nevertheless, it seems that employers are investigating their options.Employment lawyer Nadia Halum saw a spike in queries about random drug tests after a Superior Court judge allowed the Toronto Transit Commission to test its employees earlier this year.But she says the TTC had very specific criteria that earned the judgment, beyond the obvious safety concerns.“A lot of what the court decision took into consideration is that when it comes to the TTC workplace, it’s the entirety of the city of Toronto and that an accident could affect not only workers but a pedestrian, members of the general public,” says Halum, an associate at Macleod Law Firm in toronto.“There are still human rights considerations, and there are still privacy considerations and you have to show that drugs and alcohol are a problem at the workplace.”Just last week, a union that represents 3,000 oilsands workers in northeastern Alberta won a court injunction against random drug testing by Suncor Energy. The judge said the privacy rights of employees are just as important as safety concerns.The whole issue is a thorny one — Halum notes that even raising concerns with an employee about possible impairment must be handled carefully. In an office environment, the connection between substance use and a perceived drop in productivity would have to be clear. An employer would also have to rule out the possibility of addiction, which is considered a disability.Edmonton-based cannabis expert Alison McMahon says some signs of cannabis use to look for include odour, appearance and pupil dilation, as well as any change in ability to multi-task and stay focused.Even when accommodating medical use, “under no circumstances does an employer have to accommodate impairment in the workplace,” she says.But if it’s going to be a problem in the workplace, it’s likely a problem now, she says.“People who are willing to take the risk of being impaired in the workplace, they’re probably already exercising that today,” says McMahon, whose Calgary-based company Cannabis at Work educates employers and helps them comply with changing legislation.She says employers need to know there are different strains of cannabis, each with different properties and uses. Some strains are low in THC and high in cannabidiol, or CBD, which has been shown to have medicinal properties without the psychoactive effects.Unfortunately, McMahon says stigma has led a lot of employers to avoid or ignore the issue of marijuana at work — even medical marijuana, which has been legal for years.“We have been told for so long that cannabis has been an illegal substance, essentially if you use it that means that you’re a bad person. It takes a long time to shift away from those stigmas.”Another problem is that research has been slow to keep up with the demand for more information, say scientists Andrea Furlan and Nancy Carnide, who are studying existing literature to see if there’s any link between cannabis use and workplace injury, death and near-misses.Data tends to come from drug tests conducted after an accident, says Carnide, a post-doctoral fellow at the Institute for Work and Health. There is scant data with control groups, which would suggest the extent to which workers who did not have an accident were also using cannabis, and whether the rate of use was greater among workers who had accidents versus those who did not.And while it’s widely assumed that recreational pot use would increase when legal, that’s hard to nail down, says Carnide, whose review for the not-for profit research organization is expected to be completed in summer 2018.“We don’t have a sense right now to what degree workers are using cannabis in the workplace, or just before work. We don’t understand what their perceptions and attitudes are towards workplace use, what their intentions are and whether they understand what their obligations are in the workplace,” says Carnide.Furlan says whether cannabis affects productivity is another open question, noting there’s little data on its impact — even among medical marijuana users.Sharon Somerville says her family business in Oak Bluff, Man., has a well-defined policy about what’s allowed and not but she’s still unsure she’ll know how to adequately assess possible impairment, or know when she can legally dismiss a worker.“You as the employer have no way of knowing if somebody took it half-an-hour before they left for work that morning or if they took it the night before,” says Somerville, the human resources boss at Somerville Design Homes Ltd.“You really have to know how somebody behaves and look at their behaviour … and it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s drug-induced or not drug-induced, there could be lots of things. It’s very murky, there is no black-and-white and that’s the problem.”Although she’s consulted a lawyer on firming up company policy, she says she’s waiting for more government guidelines on how marijuana will be restricted.Allinson predicted a “painful transition period when this becomes law in July.”“In the New Year there’s going to be the, ‘Oh, my God’ sort of scenarios of, ‘We need to get on this.’”last_img read more

Senior US legislator dont fold to Canada on dairy in new NAFTA

first_imgWASHINGTON, United States of America – A senior senator is demanding changes that would open Canada’s dairy market as part of any new NAFTA and is urging American trade negotiators to hold the line in the final stages of bargaining.Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer has sent a letter on the issue to U.S. trade czar Robert Lighthizer amid some fears that his negotiating team may be softening.His request illustrates the ongoing differences between the countries, despite predictions about a deal being close, including from U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence, who over the weekend said an agreement could be achieved within weeks.Schumer is urging the U.S. team to seize a rare opportunity to lower what he calls Canada’s “dairy wall” — and says opening up the market must be a top priority.“Securing meaningful and enforceable commitments that will allow U.S. dairy producers to compete with Canada’s on a level playing field should be a top priority in NAFTA renegotiations,” Schumer wrote in the letter, which he released publicly Monday.“As I have expressed to you many times, I strongly believe that we should not miss this opportunity to protect our dairy producers from Canada’s recent predatory trade practices.”Schumer isn’t the only leading legislator for whom it is a priority; the Republican Speaker of the House of Representatives, Paul Ryan, is from the dairy-producing state of Wisconsin and also considers it a key issue.The view of American lawmakers matters in a trade negotiation.U.S. law requires that they must eventually ratify any agreement and that they be consulted throughout the bargaining process by American trade negotiators.Lighthizer told lawmakers at a recent hearing that dairy will likely be one of the final issues to be resolved. He expressed some understanding that the topic is politically sensitive in Canada, where the dairy industry is concentrated in the two most populous provinces, Ontario and Quebec.Some of Lighthizer’s own colleagues are signalling the U.S. might not get the changes it wants.“I’m not as optimistic as I’d like to be,” Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue told another congressional hearing last week when asked about dairy.“We have impressed upon Ambassador Lighthizer, almost on a weekly basis, how important it is to get the dairy situation (settled) with Canada. (But) he has some larger issues (in these negotiations).“I think we would love to have any other help in impressing upon (Lighthizer) how important it is to make sure the dairy situation in regard to Canada is also resolved.”A few days after that request, Schumer released his letter.The countries do not have free trade in dairy — and the U.S. is calling for two changes.Over the longer term, it wants the elimination of Canada’s supply-management system. The system limits competition, but guarantees stability on Canadian farms by capping imports, imposing tariffs and setting prices at the grocery store.The shorter-term U.S. objective is to get Canada to eliminate its special rule allowing byproducts for cheese-making, skimmed off milk, to be sold at market prices.The Canadian government’s view is that the U.S. also protects its dairy market in other ways, such as price-stabilization programs and counselling services when prices crash and farms face collapse.Some Canadian industry defenders point to analyses that say U.S. farmers consistently sell dairy at below-market prices, because they benefit from a patchwork of policies to keep them profitable.last_img read more

Housing data decision opens door to real estate innovation say realtors

first_imgTORONTO – Realtor Daniel Steinfeld has wanted to post home sales data on his business’ password-protected website for as long as he can remember, but it took a seven-year court battle between the Competition Bureau and the Toronto Real Estate Board for him and other realtors to land the right to publish the numbers.Steinfeld, the owner of On the Block Realty and an online real estate auction platform that prevents blind bidding, is still working to get the information posted on his website, but he and other realtors think the right to publish the numbers could open the door to increased innovation in the Canadian real estate market.“The more the barriers come down and access improves, it reduces people’s tentativeness in trying to do more,” said Steinfeld.“Real estate is one of those weird industries that hasn’t seen a considerable amount of change in years and years and years. Releasing sales data isn’t really an innovation, but access to information and how you can use it is really what people are looking for and more and more people are going to find ways to do that.”TREB, which began releasing the data through a feed on Tuesday, has restricted realtors from scraping, mining, selling, reselling, licensing, reorganizing or monetizing the data, but Steinfeld envisions a future where real estate companies will be able to increase their craftiness.Already he’s imagined realtors using the data to build tools that create timelines of housing sales at a specific address or offer side-by-side comparisons of neighbourhoods or properties.But those would pale in comparison to some of the innovations the American and British markets have seen. San Francisco-based Opendoor, for example, allows users to request an offer for their home from the company through an app. If the seller agrees to the offer and a commission fee, Opendoor buys the property and then flips it to another buyer, allowing the original seller to move on to their next home without the hassle of waiting for their place to sell.Then there’s No Agent, a U.K. company that lives up to its name by allowing customers to sell their homes without a broker, and Reali, which allows buyers and sellers to complete their entire transaction through an app.While none of the companies have announced plans to head to Toronto, the ability to publish the TREB data could empower international companies to set their sights on Canada, said Steinfeld.Purplebricks, a commission-free real estate company, and Zillow, a prominent U.S. listings service, were both preparing for their entry into Canada in the months prior to the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision not to hear the home sales data case, effectively forcing TREB to allow realtors to publish the numbers.TREB had fought the release at three judicial bodies for seven years by arguing that allowing the numbers to be released on password-protected websites would infringe on privacy and copyright. The Competition Bureau insisted keeping the data under wraps was anti-competitive.As the fight dragged on, real estate companies watched anxiously and probably realized, said Steinfeld, that they would be “remiss” if they didn’t enter the Canadian market.“Anywhere there is business to be had or a problem to be solved, innovation should be welcomed,” he said. “Toronto being as big a market as it is, alongside Vancouver, is probably the most logical starting point for new innovations in real estate.”Phil Soper, chief executive officer at Royal LePage, doesn’t think the TREB decision will be enough to push American innovators into Canada because many of them still have plenty more room to grow and markets to conquer in the U.S., but he still expects some novel ideas to come from Canadian companies.His company, for example, will focus on trends by crunching the data to show what neighbourhoods have markets that are rising and falling, how price projections differ from what properties actually sold for and how investments, zoning and new schools are affecting the market.“But it’s not like these things haven’t been occurring anyways,” he said, noting that Canadian real estate companies have toyed with artificial intelligence and maps to lure in customers.“Perhaps this will excite consumers to be more open to using those kinds of tools rather than always using people.”On top of innovations, Queen’s University real estate professor John Andrew said he expects TREB’s decision to spur the liberalization of data across the country.Real estate boards in Calgary, Greater Moncton and B.C.’s Fraser Valley told The Canadian Press they were all looking at how to release their sales data following TREB’s move.“Who knows what could be done with it,” he said. “We are only limited by our imaginations.”Follow @Tara_Deschamps on Twitter.last_img read more

Chowkidar is the spirit not linked to uniform Modi

first_imgNew Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday expressed his confident and said that people will give him opportunity to serve the country again. Modi is interacting with people throughout the country via video conferencing from Talkotra Stadium here. “Once again, the people of the country are going to give us the opportunity to serve the country,” Modi said while addressing Main Bhi Chowkidar programme. He added that the people of the country do not need the “king” but they are liking the “Chowkidar” nowadays. He said the watchman is not an identity recognised by a uniform but watchman is a spirit. “I had said my effort would be not to allow the public money to be clawed in. As a watchman I will discharge my responsibility,” Modi said.last_img read more