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Real Estate Agents and the Internet – How to Buy and Sell Real Estate Today

Then and Now

Ten years ago, a search for real estate would have started in the office of a local real estate agent or by just driving around town. At the agent’s office, you would spend an afternoon flipping through pages of active property listings from the local Multiple Listing Service (MLS). After choosing properties of interest, you would spend many weeks touring each property until you found the right one. Finding market data to enable you to assess the asking price would take more time and a lot more driving, and you still might not be able to find all of the information you needed to get really comfortable with a fair market value.

Today, most property searches start on the Internet. A quick keyword search on Google by location will likely get you thousands of results. If you spot a property of interest on a real estate web site, you can typically view photos online and maybe even take a virtual tour. You can then check other Web sites, such as the local county assessor, to get an idea of the property’s value, see what the current owner paid for the property, check the real estate taxes, get census data, school information, and even check out what shops are within walking distance-all without leaving your house!

While the resources on the Internet are convenient and helpful, using them properly can be a challenge because of the volume of information and the difficulty in verifying its accuracy. At the time of writing, a search of “Denver real estate” returned 2,670,000 Web sites. Even a neighborhood specific search for real estate can easily return thousands of Web sites. With so many resources online how does an investor effectively use them without getting bogged down or winding up with incomplete or bad information? Believe it or not, understanding how the business of real estate works offline makes it easier to understand online real estate information and strategies.

The Business of Real Estate

Real estate is typically bought and sold either through a licensed real estate agent or directly by the owner. The vast majority is bought and sold through real estate brokers. (We use “agent” and “broker” to refer to the same professional.) This is due to their real estate knowledge and experience and, at least historically, their exclusive access to a database of active properties for sale. Access to this database of property listings provided the most efficient way to search for properties.

The MLS (and CIE)

The database of residential, land, and smaller income producing properties (including some commercial properties) is commonly referred to as a multiple listing service (MLS). In most cases, only properties listed by member real estate agents can be added to an MLS. The primary purpose of an MLS is to enable the member real estate agents to make offers of compensation to other member agents if they find a buyer for a property.

This purposes did not include enabling the direct publishing of the MLS information to the public; times change. Today, most MLS information is directly accessible to the public over the Internet in many different forms.

Commercial property listings are also displayed online but aggregated commercial property information is more elusive. Larger MLSs often operate a commercial information exchange (CIE). A CIE is similar to an MLS but the agents adding the listings to the database are not required to offer any specific type of compensation to the other members. Compensation is negotiated outside the CIE.

In most cases, for-sale-by-owner properties cannot be directly added to an MLS and CIE, which are typically maintained by REALTOR associations. The lack of a managed centralized database can make these properties more difficult to locate. Traditionally, these properties are found by driving around or looking for ads in the local newspaper’s real estate listings. A more efficient way to locate for-sale-by-owner properties is to search for a for-sale-by-owner Web site in the geographic area.

What is a REALTOR? Sometimes the terms real estate agent and REALTOR are used interchangeably; however, they are not the same. A REALTOR is a licensed real estate agent who is also a member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS. REALTORS are required to comply with a strict code of ethics and conduct.

MLS and CIE property listing information was historically only available in hard copy, and as we mentioned, only directly available to real estate agents members of an MLS or CIE. About ten years ago, this valuable property information started to trickle out to the Internet. This trickle is now a flood!

One reason is that most of the 1 million or so REALTORS have Web sites, and most of those Web sites have varying amounts of the local MLS or CIE property information displayed on them. Another reason is that there are many non-real estate agent Web sites that also offer real estate information, including, for-sale-by-owner sites, foreclosure sites, regional and international listing sites, County assessor sites, and valuation and market information sites. The flood of real estate information to the Internet definitely makes the information more accessible but also more confusing and subject to misunderstanding and misuse.

Real Estate Agents

Despite the flood of real estate information on the Internet, most properties are still sold directly through real estate agents listing properties in the local MLS or CIE. However, those property listings do not stay local anymore. By its nature, the Internet is a global marketplace and local MLS and CIE listings are normally disseminated for display on many different Web sites. For example, many go to the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS Web site, http://www.realtor.com, and to the local real estate agent’s Web site. In addition, the listing may be displayed on the Web site of a local newspaper. In essence, the Internet is just another form of marketing offered by today’s real estate agent, but it has a much broader reach than the old print advertising.

In addition to Internet marketing, listing agents may also help the seller establish a price, hold open houses, keep the seller informed of interested buyers and offers, negotiate the contract and help with closing. When an agent provides all of these services it is referred to as being a full service listing arrangement. While full service listing arrangements are the most common type of listing arrangement, they are not the only option anymore.

Changes in the technology behind the real estate business have caused many agents to change the way they do business. In large part, this is due to the instant access most consumers now have to property listings and other real estate information. In addition, the Internet and other technologies have automated much of the marketing and initial searching process for real estate. For example, consumers can view properties online and make inquires via email. Brokers can use automated programs to send listings to consumers that match their property criteria. So, some agents now limit the services they offer and change their fees accordingly. An agent may offer to advertise the property in the MLS but only provide limited additional services. In the future, some real estate agents may offer services in more of an ala carte fashion.

Because of the volume of real estate information on the Internet, when people hire a real estate agent today they should look at the particular services offered by the agent and the depth of their experience and knowledge in the relevant property sector. It is no longer just about access to property listing information. Buyers and sellers historically found agents by referrals from friends and family. The Internet now provides ways to directly find qualified agents or to research the biography of an agent referred to you offline. One such site, AgentWorld.com, is quickly becoming the LinkedIn or Facebook for real estate agents. On this site an agent can personalize their profile, start a blog, post photos and videos and even create a link to their web site for free. Once unique content is added to their profile page the search engines notice!

Some have argued that the Internet makes REALTORS and the MLS less relevant. We believe this will be false in the long run. It may change the role of the agent but will make knowledgeable, qualified, and professional REALTORS more relevant than ever. In fact, the number of real estate agents has risen significantly in recent years. No wonder, the Internet has made local real estate a global business. Besides, Internet or not, the simple fact remains that the purchase of real property is the largest single purchase most people make in their life (or, for many investors, the largest multiple purchases over a lifetime) and they want expert help. As for the MLS, it remains the most reliable source of real estate listing and sold information available and continues to enable efficient marketing of properties. So, what is the function of all the online real estate information?

Online real estate information is a great research tool for buyers and sellers and a marketing tool for sellers. When used properly, buyers can save time by quickly researching properties and, ultimately, make better investment decisions. Sellers can efficiently research the market and make informed decisions about hiring an agent and marketing their properties online. The next step is to know where to look online for some of the best resources.

Internet Strategies

In the sections that follow, we provide strategies and tips on how to use the Internet to locate properties for sale and research information relevant to your decision to purchase the property. There are many real estate Web sites from which to choose and although we do not mean to endorse any particular Web site, we have found the ones listed here to be good resources in most cases or to be so popular that they need mention. One way to test a Web site’s accuracy is to search for information about a property you already own.

Finding Real Estate for Sale

Despite the widely available access to real estate listings, many believe that MLS databases continue to offer the most complete and accurate source of real estate information. Most MLSs now distribute content to other Web sites (primarily operated by real estate agents). An excellent starting point for MLS originated content is the national NAR Web site, realtor.com, which is also the most popular web site for searching real estate listings. Virtually all local and regional MLSs have an agreement with realtor.com to display much of their active listing inventory.

Some local and regional MLS systems also have a publicly accessible Web site. However, to get complete information you will most likely still need to find a qualified local REALTOR. Many local real estate agents will also provide their customers (via email) new listings that are input into the MLS that match their predefined criteria. This can be very helpful to a busy buyer.

There are also many Web sites that display both real estate agent listed and for-sale-by-owner properties. Some of the more popular Web sites include zillow.com and trulia.com. These sites offer other services too. For example, zillow.com is best known for its instantaneous property valuation function and trulia.com for providing historical information. Another source of properties for sale is the state, regional, and local Web sites associated with brokerage companies; for example, remax.com or prudential.com. Search engines like yahoo.com and classified advertising sites like craigslist.com also have a large number of active real estate listings.

One key difference between these sites is how much information you can access anonymously. For example, at trulia.com you can shop anonymously up to a point but then you will need to click through to the agent’s Web site for more information. Many new real estate search engines allow you to sift through listings without having to fill out a form. The best strategy is to browse a few of the sites listed above to find geographic areas or price ranges that are interesting. Once you get serious about a property, then that is the time to find a qualified REALTOR of your choice to conduct a complete search in the local MLS.

It also never hurts to search the old-fashioned way by driving through the neighborhoods that interest you. There is no substitute for physically, not virtually, walking the block when you are making a serious investment decision. In this sense, real estate is still a very local business and standing in front of the property can lead to a much different decision than viewing a Web page printout.

Valuing Real Estate

As we mentioned, one of the most popular real estate tools is zillow.com’s instant property valuation. Just type in an address and in and you get a property value. It even charts the price ups and downs, and shows the last date sold (including price) and the property taxes. There are other sites that provide similar tools such as housevalues.com and homegain.com. Unfortunately, many people use these estimated values alone to justify sales prices, offers and counteroffers. However, these are only rough estimates based on a formula that incorporates the local county sales information. These estimates can swing wildly over a short period of time and do not appear to always track actual market changes, which are normally more gradual. In addition, these estimates do not automatically take into account property remodels or renovations or other property specific or local changes. This is not to say these sites are not useful. In fact, they are great starting points and can provide a good ball-park value in many cases.

When it comes to getting a more accurate value for a particular property, there are other strategies that are more trustworthy. One is to go directly to your county’s Web site. More often than not the county assessor’s area of the Web site provides sales and tax information for all properties in the county. If you want to research a particular property or compare sales prices of comparable properties, the local assessor’s sites are really helpful. When you visit a county’s Web site you are getting information straight from the source. Most counties today publish property information on their Web sites. Many times you cannot only see the price a previous owner paid, but the assessed value, property taxes, and maps. Some county assessors are now adding a market and property valuation tools too.

Given the importance of valuation to investing, we are also going to remind you of the two most important (non-Internet) valuation methods: real estate agents and appraisers. Working with a local REALTOR is an accurate and efficient way to get value information for a property. While one of the primary purposes of the MLS is to market the active property listings of its members, the system also collects sales information for those listings. REALTOR members can pull this sales information and produce comparable market analyses (sometimes called CMAs) that provide an excellent snapshot of a particular property’s value for the market in a particular area.

Finally, the most accurate way to value a property is by having a certified appraiser produce an appraisal. An appraiser will typically review both the sold information in the MLS system as well as county information and then analyze the information to produce a valuation for the property based on one or more approved methods of valuation. These methods of valuation can include a comparison of similar properties adjusted for differences between the properties, determine the cost to replace the property, or, with an income producing property, determine a value based on the income generated from the property.

The Neighborhood

There are many ways the Internet can help you get the scoop on a particular neighborhood. For example, census data can be found at census.gov. You can also check out the neighborhood scoop at sites like outside.in or review local blogs. A blog is a Web site where people discuss topics by posting and responding to messages. Start by looking at placeblogger.com and kcnn.org/citymediasites.com for a directory of blogs. Trulia.com has a “Heat Map” that shows how hot or cold each neighborhood is based on prices, sales, or popularity among the sites users.

Schools

When it comes to selling residential property or rental properties that cater to families, the quality of the area school district makes a huge difference. There are many Web sites devoted to school information. Check out greatschools.net or schoolmatters.com. Most local school districts also have their own Web site. These sites contain a variety of information about the public schools and the school district, including its district demographics, test scores, and parent reviews.

Finding the Right Real Estate Agent

A recent addition to the Internet boom in real estate information is Web sites that let real estate agents market their expertise and local knowledge by displaying their professional profiles and socially networking with blogs. You can search to find an agent with a particular expertise, geographic area of specialization, or an agent offering specific services. The web site AgentWorld.com lets users quickly and easily find an agent with the right expertise using keyword searches and clean and simple agent profiles. AgentWorld.com also enables agents to post personalized blogs, photos and videos to help consumers find the best agent for their needs. Plus, many agent profiles include a direct link to the agent’s web site where you will likely find the local MLS listings.

Maps and Other Tools

The Internet has made mapping and locating properties much easier. To get an aerial view or satellite image of a property or neighborhood, go to maps.live.com or maps.google.com or visit walkscore.com to see how walk-able a particular property is. These sites can give you an idea of the neighborhood characteristics and the types of entertainment, restaurants, and other facilities that are within walking distance of the property. Maps.Live.com provides a view at an angle so you can see the sides of houses and Maps.Google even gives you a 360 degree street-level view for certain neighborhoods. If you have not tried one of these satellite map Web sites, you really should if only for amusement.

Final Thoughts on Internet Strategies

The Internet is a very effective research and marketing tool for real estate investors but is not a replacement for a knowledgeable experienced real estate professional. The Internet can save you time and money by enabling quick and easy property research and marketing options. Sites like AgentWorld.com also help you efficiently find a REALTOR who fits your buying or selling needs.

Always remember, when it comes to Internet strategies for real estate: More knowledge is better. You need to use the Internet to build your knowledge base on a target property or to find a real estate agent with expertise you need. However, the big caution here is that the Internet should not replace human judgment and perspective, expert advice or physical due diligence-keys to successful investing.



Source by Tyler Kraemer

Neon Signs – The Pros and Cons

Neon signs are still a popular choice when it comes to advertising your business. To many people they may seem old fashioned, now that modern LED signs have become more cost-effective, but those looking for something different to make their business stand out from the crowd, still opt for neon.

Pros

One of neon’s big advantages is that custom made neon signs can be created in almost any shape or form. They are made by hand and there is an art to the process. The glass tubes are heated and bent into the desired shape and the fluidity of the curves is part of the appeal.

There is an almost old-fashioned nostalgia to neon that makes them a great choice for businesses looking to promote an image of solid worth or retro cool. But neon can also be shaped to look cutting edge and modern, it’s all in the design.

When a business is looking to establish a unique brand a custom made neon sign could be an important part of the branding process, giving an immediately recognisable identity to a store. When you have a neon sign designed especially for you, you can be sure that it is unique, as the hand-made element comes into play.

Quality neon signs are long lasting and need little maintenance. Eventually the gases may need refilling but this can be done relatively inexpensively and give your sign a new lease of life.

Cons

Neon signs are bulkier than the slimline LED signs that are now on the market. If space is an issue this may be a problem, but if not then it makes little difference.

The glass tubes used means that these signs tend to weigh more than lighter plastic signs. This is only a problem if the sign has to be shipped to any distance, to if there isn’t a sturdy enough an infrastructure where it will be mounted.

Neon does use comparatively more electricity to run than LED signs. If you are running just one medium sized sign that might not be too much of a consideration, but if you plan a whole array of signage, the difference in running costs can mount up.

Neon does come in many more colours than it used to in the old days, but if you have a particular shade of colour that you want to match to your business branding this is not always possible with neon.



Source by Jo Connelly

Make A Fashion Statement In A Designer Kurti

The traditional Indian kurti is a woman’s best friend. It makes her look dignified while providing her with security and comfort. It gives her a sense of femininity without taking away from her modesty. It flatters every body type, so she can feel confident about the way she looks in it. There is no need for adjusting a kurti every now and then which gives her independence to complete her tasks without a care in the world. It is safe yet trendy. It is stylish yet traditional. You can never go wrong in a kurti.

There is a lot of variety in kurtis. You can find long kurtis, short kurtis, printed or embroidered kurtis. It can be worn as formal or casual wear depending on the material with which it is made. Cotton printed kurtis are ideal for daily wear or around the office as it is absorbent and airy. You can easily find kurtis in contemporary prints which allows you to be stylish around the office without going overboard. It is a much better option than wearing a salwar kameez or a long formal shirt which can be uncomfortable to wear, especially in summer. Simply put on a kurti over jeggings, leggings, churidar or Patiala and you are ready to make a statement. You won’t need to carry a dupatta that would probably keep getting in your way. You can make your outfit much more interesting with a stole or scarf if you feel the need for one.

If you are off to a party, slip into a heavily embellished kurti with rich embroidery work. The neckline of your kurti is by far the most crucial detail. There are plenty of necklines to choose from, so pick the one that suites your body type. A delicately embroidered neckline adds a lot of value to the overall look. You can also try full sleeves for a sophisticated look, three fourth sleeves for a formal look or short sleeves for a fun and flirty look. For party wear choose from materials like silk, chiffon or georgette. A kurti adds a shape to your figure, making you look slimmer around your tummy and hips which only enhances your look. Kurtis come in various shapes as well, you can pick from anarkali style, A-line, C cut or trail cut kurtis. Remember to accessorize your kurti with long chandelier earrings, bangles and the right sandals. A small bindi adds great value to ethnic wear as well.

There are a wide variety of kurtis available in the market which may make it difficult for you to go from store to store in search of the most ideal one. A better solution for you is to shop online for designer kurtis for women at Zohraa.com. They have an extensive collection of the most exquisite designer kurtis, so you can pick and choose all you like, till you find that special one which is most ideal for your body type and for the occasion.



Source by Sanjeev J

Oscar Dela Renta – Famous Dominican Fashion Designer

Born on July 22, 1932 in city of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Oscar de la Renta is one of the leading fashion designers in the world.

Born as Oscar Aristides Renta Fiallo, de la Renta is a son of a Puerto Rican father and Dominican mother. When he turned 18, he moved to Spain to continue his studies. He attended the Academy of San Fernando in the city of Madrid and studied painting. He then developed his passion for fashion designing and started making sketches for famous fashion houses in Spain. This paved way to his apprenticeship to Cristóbal Balenciaga, considered as the most popular Spanish couturier. When De la Renta moved to Paris, he worked for Antonio Castillo as his couture assistant.

In 1963, torn between choosing a job as a designer for Elizabeth Arden or designing ready-to-wear clothes, shoes, and accessories for Christian Dior in New York City, he seek the advice of the editor-in-chief of Vogue magazine Diana Vreeland. With his goal of creating his own label to make money, Vreeland advised de la Renta to work for Elizabeth Arden instead for the reason that it is with Arden that he could build up his reputation in the fashion industry faster; since Arden is not a designer hence she would be promoting de la Renta’s work. Diana Vreeland added that if he chose to work for Dior, he would always remain a shadow to Dior’s name.

Hence, in 1963, de la Renta started working for Elizabeth Arden in New York City. Two years after, he created his own ready-to-wear label. Over the years, he won numerous awards including CFDA Lifetime Achievement Award (1990) and CFDA Womenswear Designer of the Year (2000). At preset, Oscar is considered as one of the beast and lading fashion designer in the world.



Source by Pollux Parker

Textile & Apparel Industry in Turkey

Market Overview

Textile and Apparel industry has a great contribution to the Turkish economy. The industry has been denominated as the locomotive of the Turkish Economy for years. Turkey’s textile and apparel exports continued rising recently after began falling in January, with elimination of EU and US quotas.

The industrialisation efforts of the 60’s and 70’s gave birth to the modern textile industry in Turkey. At the beginning, this sector was operating as small workshops. But the sector showed rapid development and during the 1970’s began exporting. Today, Turkey is one of the important textile and clothing producers and exporters in the world.

Turkey’s textile and clothing manufacturers began relocating production in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. In the last three years, Turkish textile and apparel companies faced raising difficulties, after having substantially succeeded in the eighties and the first part of the nineties.

Chinese textile exports after a decades-old quota system limits ends on January 1, 2005 and the World Trade Organization believes that within three years the Asian giant could be producing over half of the world s textiles, up from 17% in 2003.

The end of the quota regime has spawned fears of widespread job losses around the world, including in Turkey, whose own textiles and apparel exports stand at around $20 billion a year.

Thus, it is necessary to understand the Turkish textile and apparel sector, the weakness and the strength it has in the World market.

Current scenario of Textiles and Apparels in Turkey

The textile and apparel sector has been the backbone of the Turkish economy with a vital role to play in the industrialisation process and market orientation of the economy in the last two decades. In the 1980s, it was the leading sector related to the global economy and the export revenues of this hard currency earning sector contributed substantially to the overall economy. The textile sector continued to be one of the major contributors to the Turkish economy, being one of the fastest growing sectors in the 1990s with an average 12.2% annual growth, while the Turkish economy had an average growth of 5.2% per year. Total investment in the sector exceeded US$ 150 billion, of which more than US$ 50 billion was invested in the last 5-10 years.

Textile industry started out in the 1960s in small workshops, have rapidly developed and transformed Turkey into a global competitor.

The total number of firms in the sector, dominated (95%) by the private sector, number around 44,000 and 25% of them are active exporters. The apparel industry is constituted mainly (80%) of small and medium sized firms whereas the technology-intensive textile production has been undertaken by large-scale companies. Today, around 20% of Turkey’s 500 largest companies are involved in the textiles and apparel sector.

Low labor costs, a qualified workforce, relatively cheap raw materials have played an important role in the significant growth of the sector; as well as a liberalized economic environment and export-led policies in the last two decades.

The production value of the sector is over US$ 20 billion. Employment in the sector is estimated to be about 4 million people (2.5 million employed directly and a further 1.5 million indirectly through the sub-sectors). Official statistics also reveals that around 500,000 employees in the sector due to unregistered labor force.

The apparel sector exports approximately 60% of its production. Capacity utilization rates are approximately 75% especially among exporting manufacturers.

Turkey ranks also among the top ten global producers of wool cloth, carpets, synthetic filament and fiber, polyester and polyamide filament. While Europe’s 3rd largest polyester producer is a Turkish-US joint venture, Turkey’s synthetics production mounts to 15% of Western Europe’s capacity.

Economic Contribution

Textile and clothing industry has a great contribution to the Turkish economy. For example, textile and clothing industry accounts for:

. 10% in GNP

. 40 % in industrial production

. 30% manufacturing labor force

. 35% of exports earning

The textile and apparel sector contributes over 20 billion USD to the Gross National Product. The sector is mostly important for its export earnings; its share in the country’s total exports has been between 33-39% since 1990.

The major export market for Turkish textile and apparel goods is the EU countries, which account for about 65% of total textile and apparel exports. Turkey ranks 2nd in apparel and textile imports to the EU having an 8.2% and 4.8% share in the EU’s total textile and apparel imports respectively as of 2003.

Export scenario

Textile and apparel exports increased by 14.6% on average per year during 1980-2003. Especially until the second half of 1990s, the sector’s exports increased at a rate above the increase in total exports of Turkey as well as the increase in global textile and apparel exports. In 2003, the sector’s exports totaled US$ 15.1 billion, having a share of 32.6% of the total exports. Exports rose to 23% in 2003, terms of value to 2002. The increasing share of apparels in exports since 1986 signifies the efforts to produce more value added products.

After the EU, the USA is a big and impending market. Turkey is the 19th apparel supplier and ninth textile supplier of USA with a 1.9% and 2.9% share respectively. Beside the EU and the US market, new markets are North African countries namely, Tunisia, Egypt and Algeria; Middle East countries namely Syria, Israel and Saudi Arabia; Eastern European countries namely Romania, Bulgaria, Poland and Hungary; and CIS countries. The sector faces quotas only in the USA and Canada. The Russian Federation was also a big market for the Turkish textile and apparel sector till the financial crisis of August 1998. It was the 3rd biggest market for apparel and 9th for textile products in 1997. Russia is still a promising market for textile and apparel sectors with its high consumption potential that will come out in the following years especially after developments towards better integration to the world economy and WTO membership prospects.

Cotton market

Turkey is a very important cotton country, which is an advantage in raw materials, for the clothing industry. Turkey is a traditional cotton producer and uses this advantage in the textile and apparel sector. Turkey ranks 1st in Europe and 6th in the world cotton production with an average production of 800,000-900,000 tons per

year. Moreover, with the completion of irrigation projects within Southeastern Anatolian Project (GAP), Turkey’s most comprehensive development program, current cotton production is expected to double by the year 2005.

During 2003-04 season Turkey produced 893,000 tons of cotton. About 30% of the cotton production is high quality long staple cotton and the rest is of medium quality. The cotton industry provides a competitive edge to the textiles industry, which utilizes cotton as its essential raw material.

Cotton Market Trends

Main destinations for cotton yarn exports are Italy, Portugal, Greece and Belgium and for cotton fabric the UK, Italy, USA and Belgium. Whilst Turkey used to be a net exporter of cotton, the trade balance reversed in 1992 and since then Turkey has been a net importer of cotton since domestic demand has persistently exceeded available stocks. Beside cotton, Turkey has a strong standing in synthetic fiber, wool and mohair productions. Turkey ranks ninth in synthetic fiber, eighth in wool and third in mohair production in the world.

Home Textile Industry

Besides the Turkish textile industry Turkish home textile industry has also shown a growth in terms of production and exports. In recent years the production of home textiles has shown a stable increase due to the rise in domestic and external demand for home textiles. Turkish home textile industry has recorded growth in terms of production and exports in recent years. Almost all kinds of home textiles are produced in Turkey. These may be listed as follows in order of their export values: bed linens, bedspreads, table linens, towels, bathrobes, voiles, curtains, lace, interior blinds, curtain or bed valances, blankets, cushions, pillows, quilts, eiderdowns.

In home textile sector, besides large scale firms there are many small and medium sized firms scattered all around the country. As a division of the textile industry, the home textiles sector accounts for 3.2% share in Turkey’s total exports and have been an important sub-sector for the Turkish economy. European countries are the most important markets for Turkey s home textile exports. At present Germany, the UK, France, the USA, Netherlands and Russian Federation are the major markets for Turkey s home textile exports. New markets such as Poland, Hungary, Romania and CIS countries are gaining more and more importance.

Foreign Investments in the Sector

The products of the Turkish textile and apparel sector have a good reputation in foreign markets as a result of the availability of high quality cotton in Turkey, wide usage of CAD (Computer Aided Design) and CAM (Computer Aided Manufacturing) and the increase in the number of qualified personnel.

Conclusion

The sector is aware of the trend in international markets towards increasing demand for healthier and more environmentally friendly products and tries to adapt itself to these developments by legal and technical regulations.

Nevertheless, it is hard to keep its competitive position in the world market full of emerging players. Thus, manufacturers have shifted their operations to value-added products and creation of brand names. Currently, 30% of Turkish manufacturers have their own designs and brands in international markets.

As current studies reveal, developed countries will have a decreasing share in global textile production while the developing countries will increase their manufacturing capacity to meet the increasing demands. It is also estimated that by 2005, the developing countries will increase their self-sufficiency in textile production. The US with an estimate of 200% increase in textile consumption is also estimated to have a 32% decrease in self-sufficiency by the year 2005.

Turkey, with its adaptability to European standards and regulations related to environment, health, quality, and safety is aiming to move into the production of more and more value added products, into an era in which the Turkish textile industry will be known for its quality trademarks and will be pricing a product for the Made in Turkey sign.



Source by Gaurav Doshi

Kurti’s the Fashion Statement

Indian Fashion Kurti, also known as Tunic tops, is very much in fashion these days. It is very comfortable and looks very stylish. The term Kurta tunic tops or Kurti are used to describe the shorter kameez. Most women prefer to wear these without the chunni. It’s a Shirt-like garment reaching till the hips. It can be of short, long, three fourth sleeves or without sleeves. Its often has a round or a “V” neckline.

Kurti is just a top. Girls nowadays wear Kurti in collages, office wear, and daily wear over jeans, salwar, pant, capri and even a skirt. Indian Kurtis are accepted worldwide and it looks great. They look smart enough to be worn for family functions, religious functions or even for a party get together. Kurtis look decent yet traditional.

It can be short or long with different styles and patterns. There are various varieties like embroidered Kurti, designer kurtis printed Kurti, cotton Kutras, lenin Kurtis, georgette Kurti, traditional Kurti, ethnic Kurtis and fashion Kurtis are the variants of Indian Kurtis. A Kurti gives attractive and decent look to any woman. Different types of fabrics are used like cotton, Georgette, crape, silk etc. Indian Kurtis will lend grace to any women wardrobe. Apart from being comfortable whatever body structure you have, whether you are skinny, plump tall or short kurtis or tunic looks great on you.

They can be worn on any occasions formal, casuals, office wear or evening wear. Indian tunics are especially cotton made for casual summer. Now a day’s even chikan work kurtis are popular among youths. Slim fit denims, pants, and leggings go well with loose kurti tops and long tunics. For evening or party wear they are elaborated with details like crystals, beads, pearls, patch, resham, kundan, stones, semi precious stones, gotta work, mirror work,diamonds, thread work, sequins, embroidery, zari work etc.

Team up with sandals, matching jewelry, necklines, handbags, bangles to enhance your attire. Modern tunics are known for its versatility, style and comfort.



Source by Prapti Bagga Arora

Men’s Fashion – What Is A Power Tie?

The power tie has been around for a few decades now, but it is still difficult to find a precise definition of the term. Traditionally the power tie is considered by general consensus to usually be of a solid colour, and traditionally worn with a business suit.

A power tie is usually associated with the corporate world and signifies power, obviously, and that the wearer has the confidence and the ability to achieve his goals and that he commands respect from colleagues and business associates.

The power wearer will usually be associated with opting for a solid, one colour tie, and this is colour is often red, a colour which coincidentally symbolises courage, passion and sometimes aggression. Other solid colours are often seen and these can be blue, yellow, gold and even pink, the colours are often striking and especially so when worn with a white shirt. Simple and subtle patterns may be acceptable, but pale colours or bold patterns and novelty ties are definitely out.

Having established that power ties are usually solid, striking colours, the question that needs to be answered is whether the tie itself empowers the wearer and the whether the person acts more positively and assertively by wearing a certain type of tie in certain situations.

When meeting someone for the first time, a tie is one of the first thing that’s noticed, and as a tie is usually associated within the business arena, first impressions are always important. Will others be transfixed by your tie as it sets you apart from the crowd, ensuring you make a lasting impression, or help you make a dynamic presentation or give a perfect interview.

Politicians and presidents have been credited with wearing power ties, Ronald Regan was one of the first during the 1980’s and more recently George Bush and Barack Obama, in the business world Donald Trump often wears one, while it would probably be rather silly to suggest that these people have achieved such great heights because of the ties they wear, the possibility remains that they may have helped, possibly sending some kind of subliminal message of importance, authority and power.

A shirt, tie and business suit has always conveyed the message of importance and that you take your responsibilities seriously, arriving for an important business meeting in appropriate attire sends a strong positive message to others, as opposed to the effect of wearing a t-shirt, jeans and trainers

In theory when you wear a power tie you will become more confident, powerful and have a greater effect and influence on those around you, or is it simply a case of certain type of ties are being associated with powerful and influential people. If you haven’t worn one before we suggest you at least try it for yourself and see if you can feel the power.



Source by Louise Owen

The Importance of the Blazer in 2010 Fashion

The blazer has been a staple clothing item for both men’s and women’s wardrobes for several years now. One of the most versatile pieces of clothing anyone can own, putting on a blazer can instantly dress up an outfit, whilst they can just as easily make you look casual, yet always retaining that fashionable air.

Particularly prominent in 2010, the blazer can be teamed with a vast array of different fashion items and pieces of clothing that most would consider to be standard pieces in their wardrobe to produce some stunning complete outfits.

Take the boyfriend blazer style that is so popular right now as an example. As with various 2010 fashion styles, it is important that if you want to pull off the boyfriend blazer look properly that you purchase a blazer which is one size too big. One of the ideas behind this is too make you look as feminine as possible, portraying the traditional image of the smaller girl wearing her bigger boyfriend’s clothes. This is helped along by the most important part of the boyfriend blazer look, which is to always remember to roll up your sleeves and show off your sleek wrists.

Generally speaking, most casual clothes that you have in your wardrobe (as well as some more formal clothes) will work well with the blazer. Skinny jeans, t-shirts and skirts above the knee all look good and the entire image can be finished off perfectly with a large handbag.

What many people like about the blazer is that it is suitable for almost anyone. Whether you wear plus size clothing or find that a pair of size 6 jeans are loose and regardless of whether you are looking for a somewhat formal outfit for an at the theatre or are simply looking to hit the shops in town, blazers are suitable for all occasions.

Blazers can have a particular impact on women who tend to wear plus size clothing. One of the easiest ways to give the effect that you are a dress size or two smaller than you actually are is to wear a dark cardigan or light jacket. Although both of these may have always looked good, neither is particularly fashionable. Wearing a blazer, however, especially one that is tapered in the right places without being too small, can not only make you look slim, but will also turn heads as it makes you look particularly fashionable.

If you’ve never thought about wearing a blazer in the past for whatever reason, but are now thinking that maybe they are suitable for you and are contemplating purchasing one, 2010 is definitely the time to do so. Available in such a wide array of different sizes and varying styles and as they are so popular, you will not have to worry about either finding a blazer that fits you or standing out too much from the crowd, something which some women find a daunting experience when wearing the latest fashion trends to hit the high streets.



Source by Claire Armstrong

Wait Wait, There's Something Missing – 8 Fashion Accessories That Will Perfect Your Look

Hands up if you have ever paired together the perfect outfit after hours of clawing through your closet, only to stand in front of the mirror and ask "Hmmm … what's missing here?" It all works (of course it does, you have style) but there's something else that will take you from à la mode to dress to kill.

Well I have discovered the secret … it's accessories! Yes, those little and inexpensive additions that you can just throw on, which are fuss free, but somehow have that magical power to total spice up your outfit. Here's a selection of my top accessories that will have you updating your outfit and accessorizing effortlessly in no time.

1. The statement ring
Small, effective and eye-catching, just some of the reasons why the ring is one of my favorite accessories. A statement ring has been known to transform my LBD from classic to party-ready in a few seconds flat. Oh, and it can show off that perfect manicure you just got! Just remember that when it comes to making a statement with statement jewelery, less is more, so avoid wearing a bracelet on the same arm to maximize the ring's wow factor.

2. Necklaces (in all shapes and sizes!)
Anything that can change the total look and feel of an outfit in one effortless motion always gets my vote! Whether it's a long necklace you wear with a turtle neck, or a chunky metal piece with color for added effect with your favorite round neck top, the necklace is a guaranteed outfit changer. My personal favorites are layering (of course) and wearing a choker over a turtle neck … oh so now … and oh so easy! My golden rule is to make sure no necklace falls in and out of my clothes, after all accessories are there to complement my gorgeous ensemble, not to compete with it.

3. Earrings, the ultimate nod to glamor and class
What's the perfect outfit without the perfect earrings? Earrings have the unique power to totally complement an outfit, your make-up and your hair, all in one go! With an up-do and an evening dress, the bigger and sparklier the better I say! For a more understated day look, I love colored studs or pretty little details, like bows.

4. Matching sets
Match, match and match away I say! Whilst mixing and matching and stacking and layering are amazing, a matching set can add elegance and give you the air of a chic Parisienne. Sets are perfect for weddings, and ideal to achieve the polished "I pay so much attention to little details" look for that big work meeting.

5. Bracelets and bangles
Stack, stack and stack away! When it comes to bracelets and bangles, mixing and matching metals, colors, fabrics and textures is where it's at. This has got to be the easiest and quickest way to create a unique look. If you do not want the fuss of smaller pieces, or just want something that screams "wow", opt for a statement bracelet or large bangle that catches the eye. Too much for the day? Pop it in your purse and slip it on when you apply your lip gloss on your way out of the office!

6. Brooches (no, they're not just for your Gran or Dot)
What's not to love about a good brooch? Talk about the best multi-tasking accessory out there! Put one on your work shirt for an instant foray in to the fashionable side of an office wardrobe, wear it on your coat to show you have style, even under all those winter layers, and clip it to your bag or scarf to update it , or … add it to your up-do as a hair accessory for something truly innovative.

7. Scarves, the trusty wardrobe essential for all seasons
They keep us warm, and they keep us stylish. No wonder we love this basic accessory in all fabrics, textures, colors, prints and styles. A huge woolly one in this season's hottest color has the power to revamp a black or gray coat, at the fraction of the price of buying a new one, and a skinny silk scarf wrapped around the neck oozes city style and Parisian chic and Italian glamour … all in one! I can not live without my scarf collection … maybe I will buy just a few more (as they are so practical of course).

8. Clutch bags, because I just need space for a lipstick
So what if all you can fit in your glam clutch is lipstick? That's what men's suits are for, to carry all your other essentials! Whether you choose a dainty clutch to carry your evening must-haves, or an oversized one to complement your jeans for a weekend brunch date, this really is a little detail that creates a big (and practical!) Impact.



Source by Hina Amlani

Choosing Your Path in Fashion Design

There are a lot of students who are looking at fashion design as one of their choices for the course that they will be taking for college. Unfortunately, there are still a lot of them who don’t know which course should be taken up. There are a lot of courses that a student can take which are categorized under fashion design. Today, I will be showing you some of the things that you need to know about fashion, which will help you determine the course that you will be taking up for college. Read on to learn which the best option for you is.

The first thing that you need to determine is the career direction that you want to take. Now imagine yourself working as:

  1. Costume Designer
  2. Costume Coordinator
  3. Pattern Maker
  4. Fashion Designer
  5. Assistant Designer
  6. Fashion Illustrator
  7. Fashion Merchandiser
  8. Fashion Stylist

Now that you have a list, it is more likely that one of the mentioned careers sounds good for you. The next thing that you need to do is to figure out which fashion design course will you be taking. There are different courses that you can take, and it will depend on your preferences.

Another way to find the best fashion career that you will be taking is to know the responsibilities associated with each career. Of course, there are some students who will find costume designing as tempting, but the responsibilities of this career are huge. It would be better if you are going to learn more about each career before deciding on which should be taken up.

Finally, there is a saying that goes “Fashion needs a strong passion”. If you have a strong passion for fashion design, then you’ll more likely to succeed in whatever career you take. Just keep in mind that fashion design is an industry that offers hundreds of opportunities. Regardless of the reason why you take fashion, you will have your own opportunity to break through this billion dollar industry.

Once you’ve figured out which career will you be taking, the next step that you need to do is to find a reputable school that will help you succeed in your career. This is probably the most important step that you will be taking in your career, because the school where you will be going will hone your skills, and this will be the basis of your success in this industry.



Source by D. R Taylor