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Rentmix aggregates various short term housing and vacation rental search sites

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Screenshot of a basic Rentmix.com search - click image to enlarge.

Rentmix.com launches to improve rental search

“Our goal is to be the Google of vacation rentals: fast, simple, elegant,” says the Rentmix.com team. By now, you’ve probably heard of AirBnB and HomeAway, but taking advantage of streamlining the search process, Rentmix.com has launched to pull all vacation and short term rental data from AirBnB, HomeAway and FlipKey and pulls it all on to one full-screen map.

When you find something that interests you, clicking on “Full Details and Contact Owner,” you are taken to the original listing on one of the aforementioned sites, and everyone wins! The quick rent scenario and vacation rentals are taking the travel world by storm, with many people opting for a more home-like stay in an actual house or cottage, as some people sincerely don’t like hotels, often citing sterility and cold decor.

With Rentmix, you simply tell it where you’re going, when and how much you want to spend, and in a streamlined, simple to view interface, you can simply click a pin and see details on the side of your screen without being taken away from the map and having to start over and over or hop from site to site to site. Brilliant! We also love that it isn’t cluttered with junky ads, it is very easy on the eyes and consistent from page to page from city to city.

Although many on our team use AirBnB.com to search for rentals and it does a superior job of showing nearby restaurants and attractions, this opens up some new possibilities many of us hadn’t considered. The problem we see right off the bat is that not all information is being aggregated, but perhaps it is coming – for example, there are hundreds of listings for Oklahoma City on AirBnB.com but literally none on Rentmix, so we’re betting it is a work in progress.

If anyone is traveling during major conference season like during South by Southwest, the city is often booked solid, but Rentmix could find hidden options that you won’t find on the mainstream travel site. Most of these sites like AirBnB offer insurance for the renter and rentee, and they are aiming to be as secure as hotels, a move which has us taking a second look at vacation rentals, even for short stays outside of our city.

Marti Trewe reports on business and technology news, chasing his passion for helping entrepreneurs and small businesses to stay well informed in the fast paced 140-character world. Marti rarely sleeps and thrives on reader news tips, especially about startups and big moves in leadership.

Real Estate

7 ways your body language can make people want to know you

Better believe it, 55 percent of communication relies on body language – are you saying what you want to say? Here are 7 ways to make an impression.

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body language

Let your body do the talking

Have you ever gotten the prickly suspension that someone didn’t care much for you and couldn’t figure out why? It was likely their body speaking to you.

Learning to understand and use body language can help you capture and attain positive attention.

Grasping the impact of even some of the smallest gestures can be the key to understanding a new companion or putting your best foot forward when meeting others.

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Here are seven ways your body can speak positively without your mouth saying a word.

1. Like an old companion

Upon meeting someone new the best thing you can do is to remain calm and confident. The best way make your body appear relaxed is to treat your new acquaintance like an old friend. Your body will automatically loosen and soften.

2. Greet THEN smile

Your smile is a powerful force, one that you should be keenly aware of. Instead of meeting new acquaintances with a smile immediately, hold back until you’ve had a moment to look over the person’s face. They’ll believe the grin was meant for them and perceive you in a more positive light.

3. Angle your body

During a greeting, be certain to point your body toward the person completely. This will confirm that they have your undivided attention.

4. Forget the fidgeting

Keep the frequency of squirming and fidgeting to a minimum. For many this is difficult to do while you’re holding a continuous gaze. However, you might considerate counting the amount of times your speaker blinks. It will help you focus on something other than how much you want to wiggle. Plus, in various studies, participates who did this trick were perceived more fondly than their peers. Just remember to focus on what they’re saying too!

5. Perfect posture

Think about keeping your head up, with your chin at a 90-degree angle from your neck. Keep your body erect, as if someone is pulling at your puppet strings!

6. Continuous eye contact

After an initial meeting, a person’s eye contact is imperative. Don’t break eye contact until the person is finished speaking. When you do, do it ever so slowly.

7. Scanning

As mentioned above, continuous eye contact is important, but if there is someone of specific interest within a group, make certain to scan back to that person when there are conversational cues that might provoke a response or reaction. Caution: Be careful to use this one correctly. Otherwise, you might just look like you’re staring. We want to invoke a positive response, not a creepy one!

Use these body language tips the next time you meet someone new and interesting, and they’ll want to know you right away!

#BodyLanguage

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Real Estate

How to take the perfect profile pic

The profile picture has become the standard by which we measure ourselves, our colleagues, and even future employees. So how do you make sure it’s perfect?

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perfect profile pic

We all have to have a profile pic somewhere

We all know the bathroom selfie is a social taboo and not recommended for anyone over the age of 17, especially if you want to depict yourself as a semi-intelligent human being. However, do we really know the difference that a closed or open smile would make on a potential employer or date? Do we understand the minutia of psychological processes that are involved when we make instant judgments based on appearance?

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The key to having a profile picture that stands out from the rest, one that will astound, amaze, and get you that job at Google (not really, but it helps to dream big), is all in the details. An immense amount of scientific research is available on the psychological effects of having a poor or an excellent profile pic, and it helps to know objectively how your pic holds up to scrutiny.

Is your profile pic conveying what you want it to?

According to a study reported by the journal Psychological Science, it only takes 40 milliseconds to draw a conclusion about a person based on their photo, which is about how long it takes to snap your fingers. This makes sense, especially because, the phrase, “making a snap judgement,” is used so much by our society.

Photofeeler, a great app to help you get feedback about your profile pic via real people voting on your picture, conducted a study that examined over 800 photos, which rated them on three attributes: likeability, influence, and competence.

What they found might be interesting to you, and it might also help you on your way to becoming a top influencer on your LinkedIn profile. Or it may just get you a few more likes when you post a new selfie. The outcome is up to you.

Squinch your eyes, wear a gray suit

The study concentrated on five areas of the profile pic’s composition: eyes, face, body position, setting, and editing, and focused on three attributes; likeability, competence, and influence.

Eyes were perceived the best when squinching, correlating positive increases in all areas. Wearing sunglasses decreased likeability, and obstructing the eyes led to decreases in competence and influence.

Smiling open mouthed while showing teeth, or smiling while laughing showed the greatest increase in likability among all areas.

Wearing a dark gray suit with a neutral background had the most positive correlation with influence, and competence, and no real increase with likeability.

Also, don’t bother with those Instagram filters, because they actually decreased competency, and likeability, and if you are a photographer, or an enthusiast, then you might find that using the rule of thirds is the best approach when taking a profile picture, and showing head and shoulders (not the dandruff shampoo), had the most beguiling effect as opposed to full headshots or body shots.

Time to update your profile pic?

Profile pictures are signposts for our digital personas, and it’s probably one of the most important elements we can have that give a visual impression of our human side.

The importance of having a great profile picture; can’t be understated. Either if it’s for your personal or professional life, your profile pic is something that should be not overlooked.

I think I am going to go change my linked in profile picture now.

#ProfilePic

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Real Estate

Surprising facts on the state of technology: are wearables really all that?

(Tech News) With all the talk about wearable technologies, one would think more and more people are jumping on board the trend, but are they?

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wearables

Let’s talk about that wearable bandwagon

Wearable technology seems to be the latest buzz, but how many people have actually jumped on the bandwagon? Apple’s recently launched smartwatch was the latest addition to wearable tech gadgets. While it drew significant interest, recent research by GlobalWebIndex suggests that most adults are not partaking in the wearable technology trend.

GlobalWebIndex surveyed 170,000 adults, across 32 markets and only 9 percent report owning a smartwatch and a mere 7 percent own smart wristbands. This is in heavy contrast to the 80 percent of adult who own a smartphone.

While smartphone ownership has reached an all-time high, according to the survey, it has yet to overtake the 91 percent of people who current use PCs to access the Internet. A surprising fact of the research: only 47 percent of those surveyed use a tablet. Personally, I would have though tablet use would be more heavy than this figure.

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One particularly interesting point in the GWI survey is in regards to VPNs. Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) are increasing in popularity. The rise of restrictive firewalls in some markets has led to their necessity. VPNs allow you to appear on the Internet as if you were somewhere else than your actual location.

Most users are not searching for apps…

According to GWI, 27 percent of survey takers said they had used a VPN at some point. While using a VPN, the most highly accessed service is Google Play. It seems a bit surprising, perhaps, but most of these users are not searching for apps, but rather audio and video gaming content. A close second to Google Play, is the iTunes store.

Mobile Internet use is also on the rise. GWI states that 75 percent of smartphone users are accessing mobile Internet services on their smartphones with the average amount of time spent browsing coming in around 1.85 hours. This is quite an increase from the 40 minutes spend in 2012. Some markets are seeing PCs being replaced by phones, so it makes sense that their mobile devices are seeing more usage.

So what does this mean for you?

This may change the way you develop your content. Pages that display beautifully on a PC, may not do so on mobile devices. With more and more people using Internet on-the-go, it may change the way content is displayed as well as consumed.

Additionally, while wearable technology may be trendy, it doesn’t seem as though everyone is on board (yet), so it may be prudent for developers to wait a bit before taking the plunge into that particular marketplace.

#wearables

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