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Market Insights

crowdfunding
Real Estate, Market Insights

Crowdfunding: Giving Individuals A Piece of the Real Estate Action

Crowdfunding is turning the real estate investment sector on its head: It allows a group of investors to pool their money together to fund real estate transactions. On-line platforms connect individuals to commercial real estate investments across the United States, making it easier for them and real estate companies to raise capital as compared to traditional channels.

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Work-at-Home
Market Insights

Workin’ the “Work-at-Home” Jam

Work it, baby! Millennials are moving up in industry, baby boomers are set to retire, and the number of companies that facilitate work-from-home jobs is on the up and up. In fact, it’s been growing for decade.

Ten years ago, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 19% of the workforce did so from the comfort of their home office. Cue the footy pajamas. Now that figure is closer to a quarter of the workforce in the US and rising.

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Travel Ban
Hospitality & Restaurants, Market Insights

How Tourism May Be Affected by the Travel Ban, Extreme Vetting, and Stronger Dollar

A confluence of events could have a real impact on tourism and the hospitality industry in the United States. There is the proposed travel ban of six countries by the Trump Administration, consideration of extreme vetting of foreigners entering the U.S. by the government, and a strong dollar that may dampen the spirits of visitors coming to our shores for sightseeing, some fun in the sun and great shopping.

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robot hotels
Hospitality & Restaurants, Market Insights

Robot-Hotels in Your Future?

Could robot hotels be in our future? In Nagasaki, Japan, the future arrived last year and is planning to clone itself exponentially.

The Henn na Hotel, staffed by 140 robots (and a half dozen “flesh and bloods” like you and me), takes care of guests’ needs from check in to check out via robotic assistance.

Maybe you’ve done self-check-in on your laptop at a Marriott or even used your smartphone to open your room door at a Hilton. In several California hotels, robot butlers have been working the hallways to deliver extra towels and amenities. But the Henn na Hotel is taking tech to a whole new level.

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Hospitality & Restaurants, Market Insights

How Hotels Are Handling the Ban-the-Box Movement in Background Checks

More than 150 cities and counties in 25 states across the country have adopted what is widely known as “ban-the-box” laws so that employers consider a job candidate’s qualifications first, without the stigma of a criminal record. More jurisdictions are also adopting policies in addition to ban-the-box, such as incorporating the best practices of the 2012 U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) guidance on the use of arrest and conviction records in employment decisions and strategies for compliance with existing anti-discrimination laws under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).

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Hospitality & Restaurants, Market Insights

Sanctuary Restaurants Popping Up Nationwide

More than 150 restaurants nationwide have declared themselves “sanctuary restaurants.” But what does this mean?

For starters, it’s a way for small or large establishments to declare their commitment to anti-discrimination policies in response to potential immigration changes. It is a way for these businesses to ensure safety for immigrants who may face workplace mistreatment or retaliation. Many restaurants rely on immigrant staff to run operations and want to ensure fair treatment for their employees. Hate crimes, deportation threats, and fear of raids are also concerns that sanctuary restaurants are addressing.

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3-D Food
Hospitality & Restaurants, Market Insights, Sustainability

All I Want For Christmas Is Some 3-D Food

3-D printers—they’re not just for making cool plastic things anymore. They’re for making dinner!

That’s right 3-D food. Consider it the hospitality wave of the future that’s already lapping on some shores. Just take some pureed raw chicken, add in some vitamins, minerals, and veggies, and print out this liquefied form into any shape you can imagine. Then just pop in the oven to cook! That’s what the innovative culinary company Food Inc. from London, England, has been up to these days as it showcases this new way of cooking on a restaurant world tour.

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Hospitality & Restaurants, Market Insights

Bee Hotels. It’s What’s Happening On A Hotel Roof Near You

We’re seeing a whole new kind of rooftop hangout from San Fran to New York to Paris and Taipei. It involves one rockin’ queen, a few hundred thousand of her closest friends, and jars upon jars of honey as a bonus.

Bee hotels. It’s what’s happening on a hotel roof near you.

The Colony Collapse Disorder is no joke. The decrease in bee populations across North America and Europe is of significant concern, so some leading hotels have taken the opportunity to help combat this problem by setting up shop for bees. Bees are a vital part of the food chain, and creating safe homes for them is key.

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Hospitality & Restaurants, Market Insights, Sustainability

More Fun in the Sun for Hotel Owners

Going solar: You can go big or you can go small.

Baby-stepping into solar? Pick up a little solar generator to charge up your cell phone. Cue winking emoji.

Looking for a mongo tax incentive? Go ahead and search Google images for “Mandalay Bay solar panels” to take a peek at a hotel industry leader that went solar. Cue wow emoji!

Luckily most businesses fall somewhere in between a solar-powered calculator and a twenty-acre solar array for a grand resort. And, in the past few years, prices to install solar panels have dropped, making it an affordable solution for many establishments.

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Real Estate, Market Insights

Lower Electrical Bill – Coming to a Home Near You?

It’s official – solar power isn’t just a passing fad. Solar panels are popping up on the roofs of residences across the U.S. and generating electricity for more homes as each year passes. As the solar revolution gains momentum, it is becoming more affordable to install a system that, long-term, saves you money. Plus, most states offer awesome incentives – fat tax credits that are worth a look. Going solar is making both environmental and financial sense for many homeowners.

A few states take the lead in utilizing photovoltaic (PV) installations across the nation. California is king with more than 3 million residential houses utilizing solar power for lights, fridges, espresso makers, computers, and TVs. Arizona, New Jersey, and North Carolina rank high, too, with 200-300,000 residences per state running off the sun. On a related note, as more PVs are installed, more jobs are available. While California leads with 75,000 solar jobs, small-but-strong Massachusetts follows with 15,000 jobs in solar energy.

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Real Estate, Market Insights, Sustainability

Student Housing and Sustainability Policies

Universities across the United States are committed to sustainability on and off campus, including for student housing. In fact, many universities have sustainable practices in place for their student housing facilities such as energy efficiencies, use of renewable resources, reduction of energy use, use of recycled and recyclable products, reduction of water use, waste reduction and more. They use the Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) rating system as a guide for new construction projects, renovation projects and on-going maintenance of facilities. They are also committed to educating residents and staff through presentations, work group involvement, focus groups and the development of living learning environments.

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Market Insights, Distinguished Life

Reaching Out to Millennials at Rutgers

Rewarding? Lucrative? Cool? Yep, a career in insurance can be all of these things and more!

Introducing the next generation to the insurance industry is the mission of Distinguished’s Millennial Outreach Committee and an important part of our company’s future success. This summer, we were invited to present for the second time at Rutgers Business School, lead by Ron Richter.  While there, Distinguished promoted the insurance industry as a career choice for prospective business grads looking to join the workforce in the next 3-5 years.

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