4 Scenarios for Which Hard Money Makes Sense

Banks and credit unions are the first places many people go when they need to borrow. Business owners go to banks as well, but they also go to private lenders. They sometimes find that private lenders are more amenable to meeting their funding needs. Take hard money, for example.

Hard money lending is a form of private lending that focuses on hard assets rather than the typical lending criteria. Hard money lenders are more interested in the value of collateral than credit scores, cash flow, etc. And even though hard money is not the right option for every funding need, it is the perfect solution for many.

Here are four scenarios for which hard money makes sense:

1. Limited Time for Closing

There are times when a borrower needs to close on a loan quickly. For example, consider the real estate developer with an offer in on a very lucrative property. The owner is expecting to close very quickly. With so many other buyers waiting in the wings, the buyer with the offer on the table needs to get a deal done fast.

Banks could take weeks to approve a loan for this type of thing. On the other hand, a hard money lender like Actium Partners in Salt Lake City can get the deal done in days. Less complex deals have been known to be completed in under 24 hours. When you have limited time for closing, hard money beats bank lending any day.

2. When Bridge Funding is the Goal

Property investors of all stripes turn a hard money when bridge funding is what they are really after. A bridge loan is a short-term loan intended to provide funding while waiting on revenue or income from other sources. Perhaps an investor wants to purchase a property today, while he also has another property up for sale.

The revenues from the sale will cover the purchase of the new property, so a bridge loan makes sense. It provides the needed funding that will be repaid once the second property is sold.

3. Borrowing to Flip Houses

Hard money can be the funding option of choice for house flippers for whom timing is everything. Making money in this market requires flexibility and speed. As such, house flippers do not have the time or ability to go through traditional banks. They need access to fast funding that allows them to purchase and renovate homes rather quickly.

4. Borrowing with Poor Credit

A fourth scenario for which hard money lending makes sense is attempting to borrow with poor credit. As you might expect, banks care as much about credit ratings when loaning to businesses as they do when loaning to individuals. Poor credit could be enough to kill a business owner’s expansion plans by preventing him/her from obtaining bank loans.

Hard money lenders are not as constrained by credit ratings. They base loan decisions primarily on hard assets offered as collateral. Thus, a borrower with poor credit still has a realistic chance of getting a loan if the offered collateral carries a high enough value and has reasonable sale potential.

Contrary to popular opinion, hard money lending is not a means of last resort. Unfortunately, it is often characterized as such. The truth is that hard money lending is an alternative to traditional bank lending that is appropriate for a lot of different applications. Hard money lenders can do things that banks cannot. They can offer deals you will never find at a bank. As such, hard money lending is a legitimate option a business borrower should be looking at.

Kratom Storage Tips to Ensure Long-Term Potency

Once you’ve purchased kratom in any form, it’s up to you to figure out how to store it to ensure it remains potent and fresh. Knowing the do’s and don’ts of kratom storage will prevent degradation of the product.

Cool Temperatures Are Best

Kratom grows in tropical climates, but after harvesting, keeping it cool is best. Cooler temperatures prevent the alkaloids (active ingredient) from breaking down. If they break down completely, it renders the powder useless. Some options for cool storage include a refrigerator with an intact seal and no condensation, a cool drawer, closet, or cupboard, or a room with no windows.

Shade Is Suggested

Kratom doesn’t like sunlight. If the substance is exposed to UV rays, the potency will weaken. The more it is exposed to UV rays, the faster it will break down.

Don’t Expose to Oxygen

After finding where to buy kratom, you will notice the powder, leaves, or capsules are in a sealed, airtight container. This is because exposure to oxygen results in a stale product. Keeping it in an airtight container reduces this and also prevents it from spilling, which can be a huge mess.

Avoid Strong Smelling Scents

Kratom doesn’t have a powerful odor, but make sure not to store it near strong smelling items such as onions, certain cheeses, garlic, or something similar. These odors can be absorbed, which can affect your experience with the product. After all, who wants onion-smelling kratom?

Steer Clear of Moisture

When you purchase kratom, it’s dry. Keep it this way to maintain the potency. This is true for all versions of the product, including leaves, capsules, or powder.

Keeping Kratom Long Term

When stored properly, kratom lasts approximately a year. After that, even if the storage suggestions are followed, it may begin to degrade. Remember this to have the best possible experience with your kratom.

Why Is It Good to Invest in Real Estate?

Have you ever wondered why some people choose to invest in real estate? You may have an interest in doing the same after seeing how much success other people have experienced. If you think it is impossible, you should know that real estate investing is something you can do. You simply need to know how to go about it the right way to have the most success with it.

You Can Make a Living From It

When people want to build their wealth, they often look into the possibility of investing in real estate. While there is a lot to learn, you absolutely can make a living from it. You need to start by gathering information on how to invest in real estate and how to make right decisions when buying different properties. The goal is to find properties in local hot spots for lower prices and then fix them up before doing whatever you want with them. You might want to sell the properties or rent them. It is entirely up to you, but these are some of the decisions you should make before you even begin investing any money.

There Is Plenty of Help Available

There are many resources available for those who do want to get started with investing in real estate. You can take advantage of different programs and loans that are available, along with professional advice and tips from skilled investors who have managed to build their wealth over the years by investing. Some of the best investors have millions of dollars, but they got their start with one property, and it eventually led to them buying and selling dozens of other properties.

It is a great idea to invest in real estate because you can make a living from it. You may not want to have a traditional job, or you may just want to invest in real estate on the side. Regardless of what you choose, help is available to make it easier for you to get your start.

Pressing Carbon Fiber Parts Dramatically Reduces Production Time

Imagine building the entire body of a sports car by fabricating individual carbon fiber panels via a manual layup process. Each panel would have its own tool that would be covered in carbon fiber prepregs before being cured in an autoclave. A team of workers could spend several days fabricating a single body.

This sort of fabrication is not at all uncommon. Manual layups are the normal way to fabricate such large parts. It may not be so normal in the future. Thanks to a company with a long history in Formula One racing, it might soon be possible to press carbon fiber body panels in less time than it takes to make a cup of coffee.

Fast, Easy, and Repeatable

New Atlas reports that Williams Advanced Engineering (WAE), having said goodbye to F1 racing in late 2019, is now working on its own commercial products involving both lightweight batteries and new carbon fiber technologies for the automotive industry. Their idea for pressing carbon fiber parts is not new, but their results are some of the most impressive the industry has seen.

Details of the pressing process are understandably scarce. WAE has no intention of giving away the store. Yet what they described to New Atlas is quite elementary in theory.

They start by creating a tool for whatever part they want to fabricate. They then align carbon fiber fabric in whatever way makes the most sense for that part. Engineers can utilize different qualities of fabric and different fiber alignments in order to maximize strength in key areas.

Once the fabric is ready to go, they can combine it with a polymer in a heated press that shapes and cures the part in about 90 seconds. The finished part is half the weight of aluminum at about the same production cost.

Working out the Kinks

WAE’s carbon fiber process isn’t yet ready for prime time. It is reasonable to assume that they are still working out the kinks. It is also not clear how the carbon fiber fabrics are arranged before parts are pressed. Undoubtedly, arranging the fabrics adds to processing time.

Still, even if it took 30 to 60 minutes and then just 90 seconds to press a part, the time savings would be drastic. A single part could be completed in about an hour as opposed to several hours with manual layups and autoclave curing. And of course, there is the energy involved in the curing process.

Autoclave curing consumes a tremendous amount of energy to create both heat and pressure. In a pressing process, the pressure is applied by the press itself. It stands to reason that heating the press to the desired temperature should cost less per part than fabricators currently spend keeping autoclaves running.

Driving Electric Cars Forward

WAE has not divulged the totality of its future plans, but few would be surprised if they end up playing a key role in driving electric cars forward. The battery projects they are working on are clearly targeting automotive batteries for full electric vehicles (EVs). Furthermore, car companies in pursuit of the first marketable EV are looking for any way to reduce the amount of aluminum they use without jacking up the price on the car lot.

Pressing parts seems to be a logical direction to pursue. If you can cut weight in half without adding to the cost, you have just what car companies are after. You have a way to produce a lighter EV that the average car buyer can afford.

Will Social Distancing Encourage More In-Store Retail Tracking?

Coronavirus and social distancing have us talking about things that were not on the radar at the start of the year. For example, who would have considered the idea of contact tracing being implemented by default in smartphone operating systems? Likewise, we have some older capabilities that might be given new life in the coming months.

One such capability is in-store retail tracking. Through the use of RFID tags, motion sensors and video cameras, retailers have long had the capacity to track retail customers in brick-and-mortar stores. Such capabilities have not been widely embraced because they have been deemed unnecessary. Social distancing might very well change that.

More Space, Less Contact

Now that states are reopening in phases, we are seeing the retail sector subjected to certain restrictions. Social distancing demands more space between retail patrons as they shop. More space between patrons and staff is also required. Physical contact is being discouraged as well.

As such, touchless payments are on the rise. Retail operations are more reticent than ever to accept cash when doing so is avoidable. Customers are being encouraged to pay with smartphones and smart chip-enabled credit cards compatible with tap-and-go systems.

With so much focus on social distancing now, what happens to the old sales floor model? It is no longer acceptable for sales representatives to directly engage customers on the floor. Without that engagement, it is more difficult to meet customer needs. It becomes more difficult to answer questions, offer advice, and explain features. Enter in-store retail tracking.

Technology Taking Its Place

In-store retail tracking utilizes fairly mature technologies like RFID, barcodes, and motion detectors. By properly outfitting a store and its inventory, it is entirely possible to track customer behavior from the time a person walks in the door until the time he/she leaves.

Such capabilities have many practical implications. For example, California’s Rock West Solutions explains that custom RFID signal tracking makes it possible to know whenever a customer handles a retail item. Motion detectors can tell retailers how long customers spend in a given area of the store or, even better, how much time they spend looking at a particular product.

Bar and QR codes can be deployed as a means of giving customers information about products at a glance. One example would be that of a customer using his/her phone to read a QR code attached to a piece of clothing. After reading the code, the customer’s phone would display pertinent information.

Getting to Know Customers

Rock West also explains that the data gathered through in-store tracking helps retailers get to know their customers better. And the better they know their customers, the more they can meet customer needs. It all leads to a better experience that builds loyalty, solidifies branding, and turns browsing customers into paying customers.

Of course, making all of this work requires a keen understanding of how to use the data gleaned. After all, data is useless if it is not actionable. There is no point in tracking customers in a retail setting if the data gleaned is not used to improve the shopping experience.

Solving the data problem is one of the things companies like Rock West tackle. Data analysis experts are continually developing new ways to analyze and use data. To that end, deep learning and artificial intelligence are seen as the future of big data. Both technologies offer practical applications for retail.

Social distancing is bound to change retail shopping in the coming months. For one thing, it could encourage more in-store tracking in place of direct and personal customer engagement.