How To Sell, Donate Or Junk Furniture In NYC

One of the worst parts of living in NYC is moving. You can’t bring your furniture on the subway, a cab will never stop, and getting a moving truck near your front door is almost impossible. That’s why many New Yorkers simply buy cheap furniture and get rid of it when they have to move. But what exactly are you supposed to do with it?

Leaving Old Furniture On The Curb

Unlike in most neighborhoods, you can’t just leave your furniture on the curb for someone to take in New York City. To begin with, it’s illegal for someone to take items left on the curb. Anything you leave out becomes city property, and no one is allowed to touch it even if you leave up a sign saying it’s free.

You also can’t just leave your furniture out for trash collection. Bulk items require a special appointment for pickup. They’re free to schedule if you can get an appointment, but getting the right time can be difficult if you don’t want to be without furniture before your moveout date.

In addition, your landlord might have something to say about you leaving furniture out. They can set rules on how you bring furniture out of the building and where you can leave it. In many cases, they’ll simply ban leaving things out on the curb. Since they’re the property owner, it’s within their rights to do so unless you managed to have furniture disposal included in your lease.

Donating Used Furniture

New York City has a wide range of donation options available. This includes big names like Goodwill and The Salvation Army, local churches and charities, and other specialized non-profits.

If you don’t already have an organization in mind, you can check out donateNYC for a complete list of organizations that accept donations in the city. Some will come to you, while others won’t help you much because they require you to bring your furniture to them. More on that later.

Selling Used Furniture

You can also sell your used furniture on websites like Craigslist and Facebook, in traditional classified ads, to consignment shops, or directly to other people. The trouble here isn’t so much where to list your furniture but how hard it will be to actually sell.

Most consignment shops and other middlemen won’t come to you unless you have something very valuable. Even then, the pickup costs will reduce what you receive for your furniture.

If you go the private route, you could find a steady stream of lowballers, flakes, and just plain crazy people before you find a reasonable buyer. Remember, these are the same people you ride the subway with.

In most cases, you’ll be disappointed with how much you got for your furniture especially when you add up the hours it took to sell it all.

Why Is No One Willing to Pay for Used Furniture?

Remember how you took the ferry down to Ikea or just had everything mailed to you off of Amazon, Overstock, Walmart, or Wayfair? Everyone else had the same idea.

Assemble-it-yourself disposable furniture that comes in a nice little box right to your door is one of the most popular furniture buying options for renters precisely because of how cheap and easy it is. For just a few dollars more than buying used, you get brand new items with delivery included. There’s no hassle of dealing with strangers, trying to lug the furniture back to your apartment, or hoping someone’s Ikea handiwork doesn’t fall apart in the process. This type of furniture is so cheap now that it has almost no resale value.

Trying to get rid of furniture that’s a little higher end — maybe something you got from a relative? Nobody wants that, either. Traditional furniture, that’s heavier, more difficult to move, old, and brown, is out. Disposable furniture is in. Sure, some people might want your old, brown furniture but the demand is far less than the supply created by aging generations downsizing and finding out their kids don’t want their stuff. Unless your furniture is a truly high-quality antique or a top of the market piece, you’ll be lucky if you can get even pennies on its original purchase price.

Why Don’t Charities Want Your Furniture?

Charities don’t want your old furniture, either. In many cases, donations are sold through thrift shops to the same people that you’d be trying to sell to. If your furniture doesn’t sell, the charity has to spend time and money disposing of it. They also have to make enough money to cover the costs of picking it up from you — which is why many charities are now very picky about what furniture they’ll pick up for free.

For charities that directly use the furniture, they usually have better options than hoping someone’s old Ikea furniture doesn’t fall apart. This includes bulk buying new, cheap furniture or working with large estate sellers.

Simply put, charities are trying to further their own mission not provide you with a free way to dispose of your stuff. Many furniture donations would end up losing their money, so donations to charity don’t work out.

The Bed Bug Scare

Bed bugs are also another big reason why no one wants used furniture anymore. They can be almost impossible to detect within a cushion or pillow, but getting just a few into your home can mean almost literally burning it and all of your clothes and furniture to the ground. This makes it much harder to get rid of soft furniture, like sofas, and hard furniture, like wood tables, already falls into the rule of no one wants old, brown furniture.

The Risk of Damage When Selling Furniture
Whether you sell, donate, or give away your furniture, there’s the risk of damage to your apartment or the building’s common areas when someone comes to move it. Even if you didn’t directly cause the damage yourself, you’re still on the hook for it as the person who let them into your building.

When you’re dealing with a reputable furniture reseller, junk removal company, or charity, they should have insurance to cover potential damage. You should ask to see proof of insurance, and your building may require you to give management a certificate of insurance before any move or any move out cleaning.

If you’re dealing with an individual you met online, you may not have enough contact information to get them to pay up for any damage. Even if you do, it could take a small claims court case before you can get them to pay up.

If you do choose to roll the dice and hope nothing happens, you could still end up with a nosy super who is worried about damage trying to put a stop to your move — or ratting you out to management if there’s an “illegal” moving fee in your lease.

How to Stay Safe When Selling Furniture

If you do decide to sell your furniture, here are a few tips that can keep you safe.

  1. Try to deal with people you know — coworkers, friends of friends, etc. If you sell to strangers, use a third-party app that verifies the identities of people who sign up. Even if you don’t have their personal information, the police can retrieve it from the app if needed.
  2. Using a marketplace that has payment processing, like PayPal or an escrow system, can help alleviate concerns over handling large amounts of cash or getting a bad check.
  3. Never meet a stranger alone except in a public place such as a well-trafficked street or lobby. Don’t meet in a quiet side street, a lobby with everyone gone for the day, or your own apartment.
  4. Have the right number of people to lift the furniture plus at least one extra to hold doors. Don’t hurt yourself trying to lift too much.
  5. If the person taking your furniture is coming to you, have a helper so you can bring the furniture down to their truck rather than them coming up to your apartment. If they need to come up to your apartment, let your doorman or a neighbor know what’s going on ahead of time so they can keep an eye on things and check in on you if you don’t swing by to tell them everything went smoothly.
  6. If you’re dealing with a business or charity and aren’t sure if they’re legitimate, you can call 3-1-1 for assistance. You can also call 3-1-1 if you feel you’ve been ripped off or overcharged.
  7. When possible, schedule furniture removal after you’ve moved your valuables to your new home. This reduces the risk of theft during the move or if you meet with someone who decides to burglarize you.

Get Help Cleaning Out Your Apartment

If you need help getting furniture out of your apartment or just getting a final clean to make sure you get your full security deposit back, Maid Sailors is here to help. We provide a full range of home cleaning services by bonded and insured cleaning professionals. Call, text, or chat now for a quote.

10 Pros And Cons Of Living In A NYC Doorman Building

When it comes to the idea of living in a doorman building—especially in New York City—people generally love or hate the idea, but rarely is anyone indifferent about it. Without a doubt, there are many advantages and disadvantages, most of which can really only be learned with first-hand experience.

Regardless of your current opinion on doorman buildings—or even if you don’t have a current opinion yet—here are 10 pros and cons for you to consider before packing your bags and moving in (or out) of your current place of residence:

Pros Of Living In A NYC Doorman Building

1. Safety

Safety is always a plus, and a doorman is good at keeping strangers and unwanted guests at bay. See someone loitering outside your building?—the doorman will take care of it. Want the peace of mind that you’re never totally alone at night in your building?—rest easy. The doorman is at the front desk, and he has everything under control. Even just the presence of a watchful doorman is good at keeping unwanted or illegal activity to a minimum. A good doorman pays attention to who is coming and going and generally has a good sense when something isn’t right. They are also beneficial to let your apartment cleaner come in when you are not home.

2. Luxury

Without a doubt, having someone waiting in your building who will open the door for you or greet you as you enter is seen—at least by the general public—as a luxury. And having a doorman can certainly give a good first impression to family members who visit you or people who stop by your building for a visit. If your doorman also serves as a concierge of sorts—or if you have a separate concierge service in your building—pat yourself on the back. You are one of the lucky few who gets to live in a full-service building. Not too shabby! The doorman himself is perceived as a value add—let alone the actual value he brings in the services he provides.

3. Deliveries

With online shopping in the U.S. at an all-time high, having a doorman who is always available to accept deliveries—and then to keep an eye on those deliveries during the day—is a great bonus. You’ll never have to worry about the pesky neighborhood kid taking off with one of your packages from the front steps. Nor will you need to rearrange your schedule for your FreshDirect delivery or to meet the FedEx guy. If you need someone to sign for something, your doorman will be able to handle that.

4. Assistance

Living in NYC can require juggling acts to get from the front door of your building to the taxi waiting for you on the curb (and vice versa). Carrying groceries or balancing an armload of packages can be tricky at times. And luggage?—that can feel nearly impossible. A good doorman will take note of your troubles and try to help, which can be very, very handy.

5. Gatekeeper

If you live in a doorman building, you now have someone to whom you can direct your complaints or concerns. If the neighbor is playing his music too loudly (again!) you can call the doorman. If the front lobby looks like a herd of elephants came marching through after a mudwrestling tournament, you can tell the doorman. If you’re even concerned that you may have forgotten to shut off your stove before leaving for work, you can call the doorman. Bottom line: Your doorman is there to help you.

Cons Of Living In A NYC Doorman Building

1. Privacy

While it is good to know that the doorman is always there and is paying attention to who is coming and going, it can also feel like a violation of privacy that the doorman is always there and is paying attention to who is coming and going. His omnipresence can feel like a pro and a con, depending on the day and the situation. Some people don’t like feeling like every guest must first be trotted past the ever-present doorman, and some feel like they must explain why someone is coming for a visit and why he or she stayed the night. No deliveries or activities escape his notice. The doorman basically knows everything, and that can make some people feel uncomfortable.

2. Cost

A full-time doorman means a full-time salary (and generally benefits are included as well), and the cost of the doorman is typically added to the rent of everyone who lives in the building. So depending on how many units there are or aren’t can make a world of difference in how much you need to pay every month for the benefit of having a doorman. According to a Wall Street Journal article, those who live in luxury condos in NYC pay as much as 65% more per square foot in buildings with doormen. Which, depending on how valuable or not their services are to you could be worth it. On the flipside, buildings with doormen typically have a higher resale value than those without. So the investment is not without its potential reward. If you live with a tighter budget or you’re looking to save money month to month, living in a doorman building may not be your best use of funds.

3. Gossip

Let’s be honest. Most human beings are naturally nosey, and doormen are no exception. While it isn’t always the case, doormen have been known to gossip on occasion. And why not? They’ve seen and heard a lot on the job. Unfortunately, some doormen are known to talk amongst themselves—or to others in the building—about the things they’ve seen or heard. And if you have nosey neighbors who are happy to compare notes with the doormen, the combination can feel intrusive. If you’re a private person, living in a doorman building may not be right for you.

4. Chitchat

In reality, this one may actually fit in the “pro” category depending on your personality and preferences. If you like seeing a familiar face on your way in and out of your building and don’t mind the occasional chat about your day or your plans, then a doorman building may be a perfect opportunity for you. On the other hand, if you’d rather get from the curb to your couch as quickly as possible without so much as a “hello” to your neighbor, than you may not want to live where a doorman will always greet you. By the nature of their work, doormen can be pretty chatty.

5. Tips

As if the cost of having a doorman is not already high enough, it is typically expected that the doorman receives tips, especially during the holiday season. On average, the holiday tips run between $25 and $150 on average. A very small percentage of tenants don’t tip their doormen, and it is known to have a negative effect on them.

Doorman In NYC Overview

NYC is truly a city with endless opportunity, and whether or not to rent or own a place that comes with a doorman is one of the many exciting possibilities available to you. Your best bet is to make a list of your own priorities and determine whether or not the pros outweigh the cons.

The Ultimate Guide To Moving To NYC

Moving to New York City can be equal parts exciting and nerve-wracking. Exciting because NYC is the beating heart of the U.S., and nerve-wracking because there’s so much to do to get ready for the big move. In order to make your move to The Big Apple just a little easier, we have put together a moving checklist, a breakdown that allows you to take care of one moving-related task at a time.

Two To Three Months Before The Move

__ Edit your belongings. As much as you may dread the task, there is something about sorting through your belongings that is deeply satisfying. Go through each room of your home and decide what you can’t live without, what you want to denote, and what needs to be tossed. Keep in mind that living space in NYC is at a premium and you’re unlikely to have the space to keep everything. Besides, wouldn’t you rather move only with the belongings you truly need or enjoy?

__ Call a Realtor or leasing agent. If you haven’t already established a place to live, now is the time to get a Realtor or leasing agent on the job. They’ll need to know what you’re looking for, where you’d like to live, and how much you plan on spending. It is vital to work with an agent who will dedicate himself to finding you what you’re looking for in plenty of time for you to visit and sign a lease.

__ Compile a moving binder. Keeping everything in one place may just save your sanity. It’s the perfect place to keep your moving estimates, home listings, an inventory of everything you plan to move, utility turn-off and turn-on schedule, and receipts you’ll need for next year’s taxes.

__ Research moving companies. Whether you plan to hire a moving company or rent a truck and move yourself, now is the time to gather quotes. Do not rely on a phone or online quote if you’re hiring a moving company. Request an on-site visit and a written estimate (with a “not to exceed” price). Make sure the company you’re working with has a U.S. Department of Transportation number. It’s also a good idea to check with your state’s Better Business Bureau to get a sense of the company’s reputation.

__ Research auto transport companies. If you plan on having your personal vehicles transported, now is the time to get estimates and schedule a pick-up. Ask how long the trip will take and get an iron-clad delivery date.

Six To Eight Weeks Before The Move

__ Choose a mover (or truck rental company). Now is the time to confirm your reservation and make sure you have everything you need – including the moving date and costs – in writing.

__ Visit NYC. Hopefully, your agent has a few homes for you to view. Ideally, you will find something you love and sign a sales contract or lease.

__ Take measurements. Once you’ve signed a sales contract or lease, measure the dimensions of your new home. Remember to measure the doorways in order to ensure your furniture will fit through. Because so many buildings in NYC are walk-ups and not doorman buildings, you’ll also need to measure how much room you will have navigate furniture up the stairs.

__ Eat up. Create a menu plan that allows you to use the perishable foods in your freezer.

__ Find a cleaning company. Ask anyone who has ever made a big move what their least favorite task was and they are likely to tell you that it was cleaning their old home before move-out and cleaning their new home before move-in. Hire a cleaning company to come in behind you as you’re moving out. The last thing you’re going to want to do is clean a home you’re no longer going to live in when you’re already tired from the move. At the same time, schedule a cleaning company to clean your new home before you move in. As much as you might hope that your new place will be spic-and-span on move-in day, that is often not the case. Besides, living in a new space is so much more pleasurable when every surface is clean.

__ Order moving supplies. Unless a moving company will be packing for you, you’ll need to gather bubble wrap, tape, boxes, and permanent markets. Don’t forget specialty boxes for items such as televisions, dishes, and your wardrobe.

Four Weeks Before The Move

__ Send change-of-address cards. It may seem a bit early to send your new address out to friends and family, but you’re likely to be too busy over the next month to find the time. While you’re at it, pick up a change-of-address package at the post office and have your mail forwarded. If you’d rather, you can change your address online through the US Postal Service website.

__ Begin packing. Place at least one box in each room of your home. As you pass an item you rarely use, wrap it in bubble wrap and slip it into the box. You may be surprised by how few items you actually use on a daily basis.

__ Make a list. Items like an expensive television, computer, or musical instrument may require extra insurance. Make a note of those items as you come across them.

__ Label everything clearly. The more clearly you label a box and its contents, the easier it’s going to be to find what you need in your new home.

__ Arrange for a transfer of records. If you have children, have their school records transferred to their new school district. Request that medical records be transferred for each member of your family. Finally, ask your veterinarian to provide you with a copy of your pet’s health records. Be sure to keep those veterinarian records with you as you travel with your pet(s).

Two Weeks Before The Move

__ Get tuned up. If you plan on driving to NYC, ask your mechanic which services are needed. At the very least, have your car(s) tuned up.

__ Contact moving companies. Call your mover, truck rental company and/or auto transportation company to confirm arrangements.

One Week Before The Move

__ Put together a safe box. Empty the contents of your safe deposit box and place them in the safe box. Add important items such as jewelry, passports, social security cards, and other vital information. You’ll personally transport the safe box on moving day.

__ Pack last minute items. Now is the time to pack the toaster, coffee maker, and other items used on a daily basis.

__ Have prescriptions refilled. Make sure you have enough of the medications you’ll need until you have a chance to meet your new doctor in NYC.

Days Leading Up To The Move

__ Pack your suitcases. You will need enough clothes to get you through until boxes are emptied. Now is a good time to get suitcases packed for every member of the family. While they may not have a suitcase, make sure each of your pets has the supplies they need packed and ready to go.

__ Clean the refrigerator and (if needed) defrost the freezer. Whether you’re taking it with you or not, make sure it’s empty and clean. If you’d like, this is one of the jobs a professional cleaning crew can take care of for you. Most of them specialize in move out cleanings that you do not have to worry about.

__ Get payments in order. Think of all the people you’re going to need to pay over the course of your move. In addition to the moving or truck rental company, you may have to pay for a hotel stay, and meals along the road. Go by the bank for any money orders, cashier’s checks, or cash you will need.

__ Enlist a babysitter. If you have young children or pets, make sure someone is looking out for them when the movers are there. Small children and pets are both tripping hazards for the movers and frankly, none of it is much fun for kids or pets.

__ Get generous. There are items — such as alcohol and plants — that a moving company cannot legally transport. Your current neighbors would probably love to be the recipients of both.

Day Of The Move

__ Verify moving company. If you have hired a moving company, make sure the USDOT number painted on the side of the truck matches the number on the written estimate. Verify that your not-to-exceed estimate is going to be honored.

__ Count boxes. Moving-related losses do happen. It’s not uncommon for moving companies to misplace a box or two. Carefully examine the packing slip before signing off on it. Do the same (with even more care) when your belongings are delivered. Once you’ve signed, you’re telling the company that they have delivered everything as promised. If you later realize that something was lost in transit you have no evidence to support your claim.

Like any journey, making the move to NYC begins one step at a time. The only task you need to focus on is the one right before you. Follow along with this checklist and you are sure to get everything done precisely when it should be.

Are Home Cleaning Services Tax Deductible?

Everybody’s busy. Although, as you well know, there’s busy, and there’s BUSY. You need more time to focus on your career, but your home keeps getting dirty. So, you struggle to make time to clean it. You somehow succeed in getting all the housework done. You do a little victory dance! But, in no time at all—there it is again, dust and dirt and emerging chaos everywhere you look in your house. At this point, hiring a cleaning service is the obvious solution. But, you’re not even sure that’s tax deductible?

Why Do I Need A Home Cleaning Service?

Having help with housekeeping and laundry service frees you from the kinds of chores that add value to your life but that don’t directly add value to your career progress. Delegating the housekeeping work provides the support you need in order to be able to spend more hours on what you do best—use your professional skills to earn a living.

The reality is that you probably paid plenty of money and effort to acquire those skills. You may be finding yourself increasingly frustrated and stressed by a sense that you’re squandering valuable time on housecleaning that could be so much better spent sharpening your job/business skills and applying them to earning more. If that sounds like you, then you probably need to offload a major burden on your schedule by getting yourself a reliable cleaning service.

Advantages Of Having A Home Cleaning Service

  • Higher productivity at your job, due to more time to spend on value-added projects
  • Increased satisfaction with your home and life, due to consistently clean and orderly house
  • Better preserved belongings, due to keeping them free of dirt and dust buildup
  • Reduced stress, from having a big time-consuming mass of tasks completely removed from your hectic schedule.

Disadvantages Of Having A Home Cleaning Service

  • Cleaning services aren’t free. But wait, you’ll make more income if you devote the same amount of additional time to your job that you’ve been spending on cleaning! Sweet! So, you can actually scratch this one off of the list of disadvantages.
  • You’ll have someone in your home during cleaning, while you’re working at home, or relaxing, or while you’re out. A pretty minor inconvenience in exchange for a better living.
  • Throwing yourself into cleaning as a form of exercise will need to be replaced with another type of workout, like walking in the park, or even running in the park, or doing Yoga, or maybe that Zumba thing.

Are Home Cleaning Services Tax Deductible?

Having a cleaning service may be something you already do routinely. Maybe you need the service so you can put in more time at the office instead of at your house doing cleaning chores. Or, maybe you want to spend more time with your family and have more spare energy to enjoy it.

Or, maybe you have a home office. If so, you’ve figured out that working from home does not mean that you have more opportunity to clean. On the contrary, people working at home often work longer hours than those who go out to the office. That’s partly because when working at home, you may find that you don’t really have clearly defined blocks of time off, like whole evenings and weekends, as people who work at an outside office do.

Meanwhile, the mopping and laundry are crying out to you, louder and louder. But, even though you’re home most of the time, you don’t have time to clean as frequently as necessary to live and work as comfortably as you could if you just had more time—or help with the cleaning. Yeah, you’re definitely someone who needs professional housekeeping services to make your work and private life manageable. But, does the IRS see it that way?

So, you hire people to clean your home office and the rest of the entire house. You use the cleaning services regularly, and it becomes a budgeted item included in your whole home expense. Now you’ve become aware that, for a qualifying home office, you’re entitled to some tax deductions. But, is your house cleaning service one of those?

Can You Deduct Home Cleaning Services As Home-Based Business Expense?

If you have an office for your home-based business or freelancing work that you’re using in a way that qualifies, under IRS description, as a home office, then there are tax benefits you may be able to claim. The IRS allows you to claim business tax deductions for a range of typical expenses associated with operating a home office, regardless of whether you rent or own your home.

So, before you fill out and file your business tax return, find out what your allowable deductions are, and capture all of those that apply to your home office.

How Much Of My Home Cleaning Services Expense Is Tax Deductible?

There are lots of home office expenses that you can deduct from your business tax return, such as phone expense, office equipment, depreciation, security systems, utilities, office supplies, insurance, cleaning services and numerous others. Whatever portion of your home is used regularly and exclusively for business purposes, a percentage of expenses for maintaining that portion is tax deductible. This includes routine maintenance and cleaning expense for your home office.

Cleaning Services Help Keep Your Home and Home Office Clean

Beyond the joy of having a clean home and work environment, there’s the joy of getting a business tax deduction for home office cleaning. Since you’d gladly pay to have the room(s) you’ve dedicated to your home office cleaned as part of your regular whole housecleaning anyway, it’s kind of a bonus to be able to deduct it.

Note: In addition to now having this good general information, of course, unless you’re a tax whiz, you still need to consult your accountant for tax advice.

Having a professional housekeeping service to help you maintain a clean and orderly living and work spaces is, naturally, an essential for optimum productivity and quality of home and work life for busy people. It also saves you time to focus on the things that you would rather be doing, like spending more time on work projects, enjoying being with your family and friends, practicing your Cha-cha moves. And, now that you know you can also benefit from a business tax deduction for a portion of the cleaning in your home, making the decision to get the cleaning help you need is a no-brainer.

Maid Sailors NYC

We are an NYC cleaning service. We’re proud to be among the most trusted and efficient cleaning companies in the city, serving our clients in all five boroughs with the very best in cleaning and laundry services. Maid Sailors offers regular cleaning, deep cleaning, organizing, laundry service, green/eco-friendly cleaning, office cleaning and other services. Call Maid Sailors NYC at (212) 299-5170 anytime, to discuss your home and office cleaning service needs.

How To Avoid Brokers’ Fees In Boston

If you’re looking to rent an apartment in Boston or the surrounding area, you may already be prepared for high rental rates. For a studio apartment alone, it’s not uncommon to pay over $2,000 per month in many of Boston’s neighborhoods. What you might not be prepared for, however, are the additional expenses that can come along with renting in Boston. In addition to security deposits and first/last month’s rent, there’s a good chance you’ll be asked to pay a “broker fee” upon move-in. By having a better understanding of what brokers’ fees are, what they entail, and how to potentially avoid paying one, you can stretch your dollar when shopping around for a rental in Boston.

What You Need To Know About Brokers’ Fees

In the Boston rental market, brokers’ fees are extremely common. Specifically, a broker fee is charged when a tenant uses a brokerage service to help them find an apartment or other residential rental. These brokerage services are more-or-less the equivalent of using a real estate agent to help you buy a home. A broker may provide services such as finding rental listings that meet your criteria, scheduling and showing apartments, and helping you “close the deal” on your rental.

There are a couple other characteristics of brokers’ fees you should be aware of as you prepare for your Boston rental search.

They’re Typically Paid By The Tenant

In most cases, tenants are completely responsible for paying a broker fee. That’s because you’re using their service to help you find and secure your apartment. Specifically, a broker will help you from the first point of contact when you’re searching for an apartment until you receive your keys. Some of the specific services a broker can provide in the Boston area include:

  • finding rentals that suit your criteria and budget
  • organizing your rental/lease applications and other paperwork
  • scheduling visits and showings at apartments
  • assisting with your credit check and application
  • attending your lease signing

They Can Really Add Up

Unfortunately, broker fees can be substantial and can make the costs associated with moving into your Boston apartment extremely high. In many cases, a broker will charge a full month’s rent in fees, whereas others may charge a percentage of the total lease agreement. (usually between 10-15%).

For example, if you sign a one-year lease agreement on an apartment that costs $2,000 per month in rent, a broker who charges 10% will collect $2,400 up-front from you. Combine this with other move-in costs, such as paying first and last month’s rent plus a security deposit, and it’s not uncommon for total move-in expenses to be several thousand dollars up-front in the Boston market. Yikes!

Ways To Avoid Paying A Brokers’ Fee In Boston

Does the thought of spending thousands of dollars on a brokers’ fee stress you out? You’re not alone. The good news is that there are strategies you can employ to potentially lower your broker fee or avoid paying it altogether.

Ask Your Landlord To Cover Them

One option to consider is that of asking your landlord or property management company to cover your broker fee. You’ll never know unless you ask, right? Keep in mind that you’ll have greater chances of success here if you’re looking at an apartment that a landlord is having a hard time renting out. If the unit has been sitting for awhile, there’s a good chance the landlord is losing a lot of money on the property and will be more likely to agree to pay a broker fee for the right applicant. In addition, some landlords may even cover your Boston apartment home cleaning.

This is where having a great credit score and rental history can also pay off. If a landlord knows you have excellent credit, plenty of income to cover your rent, and a great rental history, he or she may be more willing to cover your broker fee. That’s because your landlord will have greater confidence that you’ll be a profitable and reliable tenant. This is where it can be helpful to come into a meeting with a landlord and bring a leasing application that’s already been filled out. This way, you have everything ready to go.

Avoid Working With A Broker Altogether

While there are certainly many benefits of working directly with a broker, there is also something to be said for acting as your own broker and finding your own place for rent. In doing so, you can avoid paying broker fees altogether. It is important to understand, however, that some rental properties and landlords will only rent to those with a broker representing them—so you’ll need to go out of your way to find rentals that don’t have this requirement.

This will take more time and resources on your part, but in the end, it may be more than worth it when you’re able to find a great property without having to work with a broker at all. To find these kinds of properties, you can check sites like Craigslist; if possible, you may also want to consider driving around the Boston neighborhoods where you’re interested in living and look for “for rent” signs.

If you know somebody renting in Boston who is currently moving or planning a move in the near future, you might also consider asking them to put you in contact with their landlord when their lease is about to run out so you can potentially snag their rental before anybody else.

Time Your Move-In Strategically

Sometimes, timing your move-in can also work in your favor to help you avoid broker fees. Think about the times of year when there is bound to be less demand for rental housing in the Boston area. One of the least popular times of year for leasing is right around the late fall and early holiday season. By now, most who were looking for an apartment at the start of the school year have moved in, and very few people are interested in moving during the cold and busy holiday season.

This is where things can really work to your advantage. By looking for apartments during this time of year, you’re more likely to run into landlords and property managers who are eager to rent out properties so as to avoid losing out on more income. You can (and absolutely should!) try to negotiate to have them cover some or all of the broker fee in this case. You might even be able to negotiate a lower rental rate or foregoing a security deposit. Ultimately, it’s all about finding a landlord who is desperate for a reliable tenant.

The Bottom Line

Avoiding a broker fee is not always possible in the competitive Boston rental market, but there are certainly some strategies you can use to your advantage as you embark on your apartment search. When renting, always be sure to read your lease agreement carefully—specifically as it relates to broker fees and security deposits. To increase your chances of getting your security deposit back without a headache, consider hiring a professional move-in/move-out cleaning service.

How To Clean Your Quartz Countertops

Those beautiful new quartz countertops that you just had installed are a true asset to your home, but sometimes they are going to require a little work to keep looking their best. The beautiful, gleaming surface can really upgrade the look of your kitchen. Yet, without proper care, you can quickly stain and mar that finish. If you want to keep your new quartz countertops looking their best as long as possible, these cleaning tips are crucial. Here are some tips to help you keep your quartz counters clean and glowing, so you can protect your investment and help ensure your counters are an asset to your home for many years to come.

What Are Quartz Counters Made From?

First, before you can understand why proper cleaning is so important, you must first understand the makeup of a quartz countertop. Most quartz countertops are not made from 100 percent quartz. About 10 percent of the countertop will be a binder, like polymeric or a cement-based product. The rest is made up of natural stone, which may or may not be quartz in its entirety. This is an engineered stone or compound stone design, and contains very little, if any, solid quartz.

So why is this important to understand when you consider cleaning? It actually can help make cleaning just a little easier, because quartz is virtually pore-free. This means it will not easily soak up stains or bacteria, so you can keep the counters looking great much more easily. This makeup also means sanitizing the countertops does not require any caustic chemicals, because the counters have no pores for bacteria to lodge in.

Best Way To Clean Your Quartz Countertops

Address Spills Right Away

Even though quartz is non-porous, it can stain, and many foods can dull the finish substantially. To keep it looking as beautiful as possible for as long as possible, wipe up spills as soon as they occur. This is particularly important for items like tomato sauces or juice that are red or purple and have a high likelihood of staining. Simply wipe up the stain with a cloth or paper towel as quickly as you can once it occurs, and you will be able to protect the quartz.

Clean Your Countertops Daily

You also need to have a daily regimen for cleaning your quartz countertops, in order to keep them looking their best at all times. This will not take much time if you get into the habit of doing it every day. Here are the steps to take.

First, remove all debris from the countertop surface. If you have problems with hardened food or liquids on the countertop, use a straight, flat piece of plastic, like a credit card or spatula, to scrape it off. Do not use a blade, as that could scratch the surface of the quartz. If you are not able to remove the food or liquid in this way, use a wet paper towel or cloth to lay on top of the stuck-on mess. After softening it slightly, it may come right off.

Once you have removed any of the caked-on food or liquid, use a damp rag with a little dish soap to wipe down the countertops. This should remove all remaining residue and debris. Finally, thoroughly dry the surface to prevent water spots.

DIY Cleaner For Tough Spills

What happens when soap and water are not sufficient? For hard-to-clean messes or for times when you want to be certain that your quartz is sanitary, make your own countertop cleaning mixture. Use a little dish soap and some rubbing alcohol, mixing three parts soap with one part alcohol and blending in warm water. This will clean and sanitize the surface without dulling the finish or damaging the look of your countertops.

Keep The Finish Looking Great

Of course, one of the draws of quartz countertops is the gleaming, bright finish. Make sure you keep this looking great and shiny too! First, if you notice smudges or streaks after wiping down the countertops, you can use regular ammonia-free window cleaner on it, then wipe it with a microfiber cloth. This will bring back the shine that you love in just a few moments.

You also need to protect that finish. Harsh chemicals, like bleach or ammonia, will dull it with time. This includes cleaning wipes that are bleach-based. Also, avoid acidic cleaners. For those who prefer a natural cleaning product, quartz is not the place to use citrus juice or vinegar, as both can dull the finish. Keep your cleaning routine to the soap and water, and nothing more, to protect the finish. Also, do not scrub quartz countertops with abrasive sponges, because that will mar the surface as well. Always use soft cloths, with microfiber being the preferred option.

You also need to protect the finish from foods that could damage it. Just like acidic cleaners can damage the finish, acidic foods, like citrus fruits and baking soda, can be problematic. Always use a protective cutting board when working with these foods, and if some spill on the countertop, wipe immediately. Similarly, if you have quartz counters in your bathroom, avoid allowing strong facial cleaners or hair products to touch the surface of the countertop. Finally, make sure you never use a sharp object, like a knife, directly on the countertop surface. Scratches in the finish will ruin its look. Use a cutting board.

Save Time by Hiring a Pro

Cleaning quartz countertops is not a difficult task, but life can often get busy. When you run out of time to get your cleaning tasks done, your countertops may suffer. You can save time by hiring a professional for help with cleaning your home, including your quartz countertops. A qualified cleaning service will understand how to safely clean these surfaces so they are sanitary and protected, keeping the finish bright and shiny for many years to come. You will save time and frustration all while knowing that your quartz countertops are properly protected when you choose to invest in professional cleaning.

A Comprehensive Guide To Tipping Your House Cleaner

Hiring a professional maid service can be a great way to keep your home looking its best while saving yourself the time and hassle of cleaning on your own. As with many services, however, one of the most common questions people have is in regards to tipping. Should you tip a house cleaner? If so, how much? While there are no cut-and-dry answers to these questions, there are some general etiquette tips and considerations that can be kept in mind when making the decision of whether or not to tip a house cleaner.

Should You Tip Your House Cleaner?

It’s rare to see a house cleaning service that requires tips, though some may build tipping into their standard rates. If this is the case, this should be clearly outlined to you in your service contract so that you don’t feel the need to tip any additional money. These days, more and more cleaning services have also begun to simply pay their cleaners a higher wage in order to forego the pressure for their clients to tip altogether. Again, this is where knowing the policies of your cleaning company can be informative.

Another thing to keep in mind when deciding whether or not to tip a house cleaner is whether they’re the owner of the cleaning company or not. Generally, company owners do not expect tips because they’re able to more-or-less set their own rates and wages. An employee of a cleaning company, on the other hand, may rely on tips (much like servers at restaurants or stylists at hair salons) to make a living wage.

If in doubt, it’s never a bad idea to tip your house cleaner—especially if he or she has gone above and beyond your expectations to provide exceptional service. Some cleaning companies don’t allow their cleaners to accept tips—but if this is the case, your cleaner will politely decline.

Cash Tip or Something Else?

If you want to show your house cleaner some appreciation but don’t feel comfortable tipping in cash, keep in mind that there are other options as well. Instead of tipping cash, you might consider gifting your house cleaner with a gift card to a local coffee shop or restaurant that you know he or she frequents. You can also consider gifts like a nice bottle of wine or even something handmade to show your appreciation.

Maid Service Tipping Etiquette: When To Tip and How Much

Some other common questions people tend to have about tipping house cleaners is how frequently they should tip and how much. This will really depend on your specific circumstances and the frequency of services provided. If you hire a professional cleaner for a one-time service, for example, you can either forego tipping altogether or offer a one-time tip.

Things can get a little more complicated, however, when you have a recurring cleaning service. Your cleaner probably won’t expect to receive a tip every single week that he or she comes to clean your place. Instead of tipping a small amount at each cleaning, you might consider providing your cleaner with a slightly larger tip once every month or even once every few months.

The exception here would be if you have a different cleaner with each service. You wouldn’t want one cleaner to reap the entire tip for a month’s worth of weekly cleaning services if there were other professional cleaners who came in throughout the month. In this case, it may actually be better to offer a small tip with each weekly cleaning instead of tipping a larger amount once a month.

So, how much of a tip should you leave? Generally, it’s good to follow the same tipping etiquette here as you would with a hair stylist, taxi driver, or similar service. A tip of 15-20% is considered industry standard, so if your house cleaning services are $100, then a $10-$15 tip would be greatly appreciated. If you have more than one cleaner coming to your home, it is completely acceptable to split the tip between both cleaners; you are by no means expected to tip them each $10-$15, though if you received truly exceptional service, you might consider doing so.

Other Maid Service Tipping Considerations

Another consideration to keep in mind when deciding whether or not to tip is the state of your home when your house cleaner comes in. If you know that your home hasn’t been cleaned in a while (you may need a deep cleaning!) and that you have an especially difficult project, such as a dirty bathroom or filthy kitchen, then you may want to consider tipping your house cleaner even if you wouldn’t other normal circumstances.

If you’ve hired a professional cleaner through an agency, it’s never a bad idea to contact the agency directly and ask for guidance on tipping. Some larger companies may rely on tipping customers to provide their cleaners with living wage, whereas others pay their cleaners a living wage that doesn’t count on tips. This can vary greatly from one city or region to the next, so reaching out can help you get a better idea of what other clients have done and how much they have tipped.

The Bottom Line On Maid Tipping

Generally, tipping is not expected or required when it comes to house cleaning services. It is always nice to show your appreciation, however, if you have a house cleaner who does a great job or if you know your house cleaner’s living wage relies on gratuity. Tipping your house cleaner with each service is perfectly acceptable, though some people who have a regular house cleaner may prefer to issue a monthly tip or even a large year-end “bonus” of sorts, which can come in handy around the holiday season.

If you choose to tip, 15-20% of your total service is generally a good amount to go with—but you may consider more or less depending on your specific circumstances.

Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to tip your house cleaner is entirely yours. Your house cleaner isn’t likely to do a poor job of cleaning your home if you fail to tip every single time, and many cleaners won’t even expect a tip. But like many other positions in the service industry, it is nice to be recognized for a great job with a cash tip or other form of gratuity, such as a gift card or other token of appreciation.

At Maid Sailors, we do not require tips and our professional cleaners will never solicit tips from their clients, but you are always welcome to add a gratuity to your bill if you believe you’ve received exceptional service. Contact us today to set up your next house cleaning!

How to Clean Hair Brushes

Why It’s Important To Clean Hair Brushes?

So you love your hair, you take pride in your hair. You wash your hair daily, have regular appointments with your stylist to get it cut, colored, so on and on. It’s possible you spend far more than you even think you should on your hair. You love pampering your hair so much that you forget that your hair brush also needs pampering from time to time. Take some time to make sure you have clean hair brushes.

Imagine this, you just finished washing your hair. It’s all nice and clean. And then you take your brush or comb that you’ve used a million times before on your unwashed hair and use it on your freshly cleaned hair. Think about that for a moment. You’ve just taken your dirty hair that was left on the brush/comb and mixed it with your freshly clean hair. Now it’s not as clean as you may think it is.

How Do I Clean It?

Let’s face it, clean hair brushes and combs are a lot better than dirty brushes and combs. They collect debris of dirt and dead skin and its continuous build-up is not good for your lovely locks. The residue left behind by those lovely hair products, also your hair natural oils can leave your hairbrushes and comb look grungy.

Along with your own, hygiene it’s very important to keep tools of daily use like comb and hairbrushes clean. Your hair brush and combs are a tap of germs, conditioner, oil, dead skin and old hair. It may not seem like a very big deal but clean brushes and combs help the way you style your hair and keep them fluff free.

Wait! There is no need to throw out that old brush or comb and get new ones just because it has accumulated so much lint over the gap of months or years. Here are some very valuable tips to keep your hair brushes and comb clean and work like new.

1. Removing The Hair

It is recommended to do this in a bathroom rather than a kitchen as kitchen is mainly used for cooking food and any loose hair can go into the food and make it unhygienic. First, remove all the hair with your fingers or a toothpick. Pick out as much hair as you can. You can also wet the hairbrush and comb under water this will soften the hair and it would be easy for you to remove them

2. Dampen The Brush

Place a small dab of shampoo onto the bristles of the comb or hairbrushes. Carefully rub the bristles together with your hands but make sure the points of the bristles do not hurt you.

3. Soak The Brush

For the remaining bits of hair and debris, soak the brush under warm water with a bit of baby shampoo or detergent. Generally speaking, baby shampoo is very good for cleaning makeup brushes. The warm water and detergent will soften the dirt and debris in the hair bristles.You can also use vinegar and baking soda for cleaning hair brushes and combs. Pour half cup of vinegar in half cup of warm water and soak all your brushes and comb into it for about half an hour. Wait till the dirt and hair get dampen and soft. Similarly, you can mix baking soda with warm water and soak in your hair brushes.But remember, an exception to the baking soda process is that, not to immerse certain types of hair brushes and comb into it.

The cushioned brush, the wooden bodied brushes, rubber brushes and comb and natural boar bristled brushes. Permitting water to get through the vent hole on cushioned brushes will erode the cushioning of the brush faster and it will reduce its shelf life. A wooden bodied brush or comb may cause wood to absorb water and may cause damage to the finish and make the body swell and break. While natural boar bristle brushes contain natural hair that would take in moisture as would other types of natural hair so the bristles can twist or curl if dampened.

4. Use A Toothbrush

You can use a toothbrush for cleaning the debris and left over in the bristles of the hair brushes and comb. This will indeed be helpful in cleaning the hair brushes and comb till the end of their root inside the bristles. It would be advisable to use a new tooth brush rather than old one. You cannot use the one for your hair that you used for your teeth; could you? Rinse the combs and hair brushes well.

5. Dry The Brush

Take a clean cotton towel would be preferred, dry the combs and hair brushes with the help of the cotton towel and let the remaining water dry on its own. Keep them in some clean place so that further dirt, grime and dust particles do not stick on it as this can easily happen when the combs and hairbrushes are wet.

6. Repeat

Now, after drying, again clean it with a dry towel so that the dust particles are removed if any are there in the hair brushes and comb. And VOILA, You are done! Your hairbrushes and combs are now clean and you can use them for keeping your lovely locks beautiful. Washing the hair tools twice a month can be very helpful for your long tresses; it will not only keep your hair clean but also helps in keeping your hair healthy.

Bonus Tips

  • Throw away pieces of hair stuck in your brushes because that could build up oil in your scalp and this can damage your hair.
  • Remove your hair from your hair brushes and combs after each brushing
  • Always clean your hair brushes and comb gently so bristles do not break off.
  • Never use finger to scrub a brush, it is very painful to get pinned in the finger by a bristle and even worse under a fingernail.

Hopefully, you’ve learned some awesome tips on how to keep your brushes and combs clean! If these worked for you, drop us a comment below. And if you have any other tips on house cleaning please leave us a comment below. We love to hear from our readers!

How Much Office Space Do You Need?

When you’re launching a business of your own, there’s a good chance you’ll need some dedicated office space for you and your employees. One of the biggest challenges, however, can be determining exactly how much office space your company needs. On the one hand, office space can be costly—so you don’t want to pay for more than you realistically need. On the other hand, you don’t want your employees working in tight quarters and you need some room for your business to grow.

Not sure where to begin when it comes to calculating your office space needs? There are a few factors worth taking into consideration.

Top Considerations For Office Space

When calculating a rough estimate of how much office space your business will need, it’s important to consider the number of employees, their individual workspace needs, and your company’s plans for future growth.

Number of Employees

Start by tallying up your current number of employees. If your business is yet-to-launch and you haven’t hired your entire team yet, estimate the total number of employees that you will hire to be working in your office. From there, you can come up with a general estimate of space needed based on average square-footage needs per employee. For a high-density office, for example, you’ll generally need between 80 and 150 square feet per employee. This is about what you’d see in a space such as a call center.

A more average per-employee square footage amount would be closer to 150-250 square feet per employee. This would accommodate a more “traditional” office layout. With this number in mind, you’d need about 10,000 square feet of office space per 50 employees.

Employee Workspace Needs

Speaking of office layouts, you’ll want to consider your employees’ unique workspace needs as well. Depending on the type of business you’re running, it may make sense to have most of your employees working in cubicle spaces with a few dedicated offices here and there. In other cases, may want to opt for a more open and shared workspace.

Will any of your employees be able to work from home? Remote workers can be a great addition to your business because they don’t have the same physical space needs, which can save you money and resources when it comes to your search for office space. Of course, if you have an employee who will only be working from home part of the time, you’ll still need to take him or her into consideration when calculating square footage needs.

Plans For Future Growth

While it certainly makes sense to shop for office space based on your company’s current needs, it’s also a good idea to take anticipated future growth into consideration. Of course, you don’t have a crystal ball, so it can be difficult to know exactly how your business will scale. Hopefully, though, you took the time to write a detailed business plan that should give you a general idea of where your business will be in one year, three years, or even five years down the road.

If you’re seeking a short-term office lease, you don’t need to worry as much about accommodating for future growth. However, it’s generally best to choose an office space that will offer at least a little room to grow, since relocating your company can be costly, time-consuming, and can even interrupt your day-to-day operations.

Ideally, you may want to consider leasing office space within a building where additional space will be available as you need it. This way, you can have the option to expand as your company grows without necessarily having to relocate.

Additional Rooms and Spaces

When seeking out office space for your business, it’s important to look beyond your individual employee’s workspace needs. Yes, all of your workers will need at least a small amount of space to call their own. But what about other spaces, such as conference rooms, break rooms, and storage spaces? You’ll want to take these into consideration as well. And of course, the more employees you have, the larger these spaces will need to be in order to accommodate them. A break room, for example, will require at least 25 square feet per employee while occupied. And while it is unlikely that all your employees will congregate in the break room at the same time, it’s a good idea to make sure the space can accommodate the majority of them at once.

Questions To Ask When Touring Office Spaces

Now that you have a better idea how to determine the right square footage for your company’s needs, there are a few questions work asking as you begin touring office spaces for lease.

Do You Offer Any Special Amenities?

Some office spaces may come with amenities to make your life (and your employees’ lives) a little easier. For example, you might find that one office space offers an on-site fitness center, whereas others may have a cafeteria where your employees can grab a quick and nutritious lunch. Other office landlords may even offer dry cleaning or laundry services. Before you begin touring properties, take some time to consider the types of amenities (if any) that would be most convenient for you and your workers.

On the other hand, if a “bare bones” office space is more along the lines of what you’re looking for, you may actually want to avoid office listings that mention long lists of amenities—as you’ll likely end up paying a premium for them.

What’s The Parking Situation?

If the majority of your employees will be driving personal vehicles to work, make sure they’ll have access to convenient and ample parking. You don’t want your workers having to park a substantial distance from the office and walking the rest of the way, as this could not only lead to poor morale but late arrivals as well.

Depending on the location of your office, you may also want to look for proximity to public transportation and/or access to bike racks. This is especially true if your office will be located in a busy downtown location where it is likely that fewer workers will be driving their own vehicles to work.

How Long Ts The Lease Term?

When your business is first starting out, you generally don’t want to be locked into a long lease term because your needs will change and evolve. You may find yourself needing to expand or even cut back substantially. With this in mind, you’ll want to find an office space with a lease term that will suit your needs. A “standard” office space lease is generally anywhere from five to 10 years, but shorter terms are available. Just keep in mind that a shorter lease term will likely also mean higher rent, as you will pay a premium for a shorter lease.

Other Services To Think About

In addition to your monthly cost of leasing office space, there are some other services you may want to budget for as well.

Professional Office Cleaning

Hiring a professional office cleaning service to come in and clean your office space on a regular basis is a great idea. Not only does it save you from the time and hassle of cleaning the space yourself, but it can help boost worker morale and productivity. When your workers come into a clean and organized space, they’re more likely to feel valued and appreciated, which can improve outlook and job performance.

Furthermore, with a cleaner office, you can cut down on the risk of employees spreading sickness. And when employees take fewer sick days, everybody wins.

Water/Beverage Delivery

Keeping your employees well hydrated will also work to your advantage, so you may want to consider using a scheduled water/beverage delivery service for your office—especially if there is no on-site cafeteria or beverage machines in the break room. A water delivery service can be a great way to keep your workers refreshed while they work, and you can even consider having additional beverages (such as coffee and tea) delivered to improve productivity.

IT/Phone/Internet

Your business will need reliable phone, Internet, and other IT services to provide your clients with the best experience, so make sure to shop around and find the best local provider. Keep in mind that some office spaces will include business Internet, phone, and even cable with your monthly rent—but this is not always the case. Ideally, you’ll want to be able to bring in a provider of your choosing.

Deciding on how much office space your business needs can be a challenge, especially if you’re getting ready to launch a brand-new company. As a general rule, you can expect to need about 200 square feet of office space per employee—but again, this can vary greatly depending on your office layout/configuration, employee workspaces, and the need for additional rooms or common areas.

Now that you have a better idea of where to begin when looking for your next office space, you can begin the process of touring available office space near you. With a little time and diligence, you’ll find the ideal space for your growing business!

8 Effective Tips That Will Protect Your Email From Spam Filters

Organizations or individuals involved in email marketing campaigns usually complain about the low email deliverability. If you are also facing the same situation then you must be wondering why your emails are being spammed. However, there can be multiple causes of emails landing in the spam folder. Cleanliness of the email database, authentication status and knowledge of your recipients are some of the factors that affect your email stats.

Steps to make sure that your emails stay out of the spam folder:

Remember one thing that you are not alone and there are numerous ways to ensure that your emails do not get into the spam folder. Even the email marketers that are experienced and skilled can send spam emails and face delivery issues. However, by following these instructions you can easily get your emails delivered to your recipients without being troubled by these spam filters.

Create your own Email List: The things written in the email carry great value; however, the content will not be of any significance if you have sent it to an unengaged or wrong audience. You should always avoid purchasing, renting or co-registering of email addresses from a third force. You should not indulge in sharing a common list or utilize a shared list with another firm. If you are executing email harvesting, then this will lead to the spam camp. Creating your email list organically will help you to reap the benefits in the long term. It is not the fastest or effortless method to increase your list, but it is the most productive one.

Come up with a Double Opt-in: If you are creating a list of email addresses of your new subscribers then you should come with a method to make certain that your recipients are interested in your services and wish to get an email from your organization. The most effective method is to use a double-opt-in approach. By this method, your subscriber will receive a welcome email by you and they have to approve it by agreeing to the email before getting listed on the list of your email marketing campaign. The double opt-in approach is a stamp of approval which means they are interested in your services and emails. This method also helps to enhance the deliverability and engagement rate of your email marketing campaign.

Validate your Email with DKIM, DMARC, and SPF: The process of email validation is a tricky task, however, verifying your email determines who you are and confirms that you are sending a rightful email. Yahoo and Google believe on validated email and they deliver mail into your inbox from verified email only. These approaches verify your email and justify to the providers of the inbox that your email has the value to be in the inbox instead of the spam folder. SPF stands for the sender policy framework. It validates you are what you are presenting by analyzing the IP of the sender with the list of IPs that are allowed to send from the specific domain. DKIM signifies that the sent email was not altered during the process of transmittal. DMARC leverages the ability of both, DKIM and SPF. DMARC needs both to succeed so that it can send and dispatch the email.

Make Sure to Clean Up your List Regularly: There are some chances that few of your subscribers will unsubscribe you normally if they are not anymore interested in your service. However, a large number of your subscribers who are not interested in receiving your email will just ignore you rather than unsubscribing. This is clearly destructive. It is because it will diminish your engagement rate and this will make a negative impact on the ISPs. In easy words, your emails will have a greater chance to land into the spam folder. You can easily fight the low engagement rate by reducing the rate of bounced emails, removing unengaged users and identifying the non-working email addresses. Do not worry, there is plenty of mass email list cleaning tools available. So do not wait more, start cleaning your email list to enhance the deliverability rates.

Monitor your Reputation and Avoid Blacklists: There is a reputation linked with your email domain. If you send a spam trap email or the reputation of your domain diminishes, you might locate yourself on an email blacklist. However, you can avert this risk by using the double opt-in method, removing unengaged subscribers and by utilizing address validation tools. Keeping a close watch upon the deliverability rate of your email marketing campaign will caution you with the indications that you might be on a blacklist.

Allocate a Preference Centre: Providing a preference center to your new or existing subscribers will help them to determine the frequency of receiving the emails. This will also diminish the incidents of your subscribers labeling you as spam. It is because they have the command to choose the frequency as well as the kind of content they are going to receive. Offering a striking and effortless preference center will decrease the chances of irritation of your recipients. This will safeguard your emails from the spam folder and it will also enhance the engagement rate. There are varieties of preference center so you should come up with the easiest and helpful one.

Evaluate the Metrics of your Email Engagement: To know the effectiveness of your email program you should regularly track the email engagement and performance metrics. But before that, it is essential to create baseline metrics. This will help you to get a proper picture of your email marketing campaign and it will guide you to make some changes if required. You can take help of spam complaints, click-through rates, and open rates metrics. If you are getting a negative trend then also you should not panic, but make sure to execute immediately. For example, if the open rates of your email campaign are falling then you should inspect the email frequency and subject lines. It is because these two elements can majorly affect this metric.

Send Valuable Content: As we all have heard that “content is the king”. The productivity of your email marketing campaign mainly depends upon your valuable content. You should not send email merely to hit a quota! It is because if you do this then it will definitely impact your engagement rate. It will diminish the chances of your email being opened or clicked that indicates a bid possibility of getting in the spam folder.

The email marketing campaign is simple but needs perfection if you want to make it successful. Following these suggestions will enable your email program to function with its best ability. These steps will boost the email engagement rate that means your emails will reach your intended receivers without getting trapped in the spam filters. You can also use an email list validation service to keep your email database clean.