I am posting this from my other website Living the real estate LIFE, not only because it’s a good post, but because the ECHO FLEX is back in stock for a short time and it will be a short time because this item sells out fast. Read on to see why this device is GREAT!!!
My first favorite smart device is a smart speaker from Amazon, the Echo Flex. THIS IS A GREAT SMART SPEAKER TO GET YOU STARTED–With a starting price tag of $24.99 you immediately start to see why I like this device. The small price tag is only equaled by it’s small size(2.8″tall by 2.6″ wide), but don’t be fooled their is ALOT you can do with this device. This is the only Alexa speaker that plugs straight into the wall. What comes in the box is the Echo Flex and some instructions that’s it, NO CORD. You plug the Echo Flex directly into an outlet and you can plug it in RIGHT side up or UPSIDE DOWN. I’ll explain why you might want to do that later. The Echo Flex has a 3.5mm line out on the side, perfect for plugging into a speaker, a USB PORT on the bottom, and Bluetooth capabilities. The microphones, speakers and on/off buttons are on the face of the Echo Flex. The speaker is small, but with the Bluetooth capability you can synch to a more powerful Bluetooth speaker or an Amazon Echo Dot or like I mentioned earlier you can run that 3.5mm wire to a bigger and better speaker. Because of it’s size and the ability to plug directly into an outlet this Echo can go places other echo’s have difficulty like behind a counter or on a wall that doesn’t have a table or ledge near it. You can use this device just like other Echo devices, calling the wake word and then asking for what you need. Wake words include: Alexa, Computer, Echo, Amazon, Ziggy and any of the celebrity voices you have paid for. Here is an Amazon link to the Echo Flex.
The Echo Flex has several accessories that you can use with the device and one of these is my second favorite smart device. Important thing to note you can only use one accessory with the Echo Flex at a time. I mean you plug the accessory into the USB port on the bottom of the Echo Flex. The three most popular accessories are a digital clock, a night-light and a motion sensor. The brand of accessory that I have tested and have had positive results with is made by Third Reality. The device that I have tested is the motion Sensor, $14.99. You would plug the motion sensor into the bottom of the Echo Flex and then plug the Echo Flex into an outlet. Your motion detection would be at the bottom of the device. If you are not getting the range that you want you simply unplug the Echo Flex, flip it upside down and now the motion detector is on the top. Here is an Amazon link to the Motion Sensor for Echo Flex.Link to the Clock.Link to the Night-light.
Having a motion detector with a speaker opens up a world of opportunity with Amazon Routines. Your looking at around a $40.00 one time fee. Let me be clear, that’s buying an Echo Flex and a Third Reality Motion Sensor and does not include any shipping and handling. You can add Amazon Prime or Amazon music but all of your echo devices will work fine without an Amazon Prime or Amazon music account. Let’s talk about routines. The flow of a routine is: Trigger=Action.
Your trigger is motion detected. Your action could be all of the following: 1) Sound “dog barking” 2) Smart Home “lamp goes on” 3) Alexa says “Someone’s in the kitchen”. You can also set this routine for certain days of the week and certain times of the day. You can then have the routine wait for let’s say 15 minutes then turn off the lamp. Lastly you can suppress the routine for a number of hours or minutes before it will run again, that way people won’t be tripping it over and over again and it becoming annoying.
The small price tag and size makes the Echo Flex and it’s motion detector the perfect tool for any real estate agent or broker listing properties. It’s perfect for you to promote your listings as buyer’s tour the property and you might want to use one during and open house. After all Alexa is the ultimate assistant, put her to work upstairs or in another part of the home. She can talk to buyers upstairs while you talk to a group in the kitchen. The ultimate open house that EVERYONE will be talking about.
By buying through any of the links above I will earn a commission at no cost to you:)
A Public Improvement District (P.I.D.) in Texas is a common way for a subdivision developer to create infrastructure for the subdivision they are creating. The developer will choose their location and begin laying out what the development would look like. The developer would also get in contact with the city that the property is in so that the development follows the local guidelines. The developer may see a need to create a P.I.D. so that they can recoup money they pay upfront for lights, sidewalks or many other uses. Once the developer sees the need to establish a P.I.D. they request the city to sponsor their P.I.D. through the city’s formal process. There are two local government codes that P.I.D.’s can be created under in Texas: 372 and 382. For example, the P.I.D.’s in Conroe and Tomball are created through government code 372. Once the city has approved the P.I.D. the citizens that live in that subdivision will be assessed a P.I.D. tax and it can be seen under the jurisdiction section of the taxes. A citizen that is paying a P.I.D. tax can pay off their portion at any time. IMPORTANT NOTE—there may be some lag time from the creation of the P.I.D. and the P.I.D. tax showing up on the tax records. This can vary but is typically when the subdivision has it’s first completed home. New home developers in Tomball and Conroe have been given information from their respective cities for the public about the P.I.D.’s they have created. The total number of P.I.D.’s in Tomball and Conroe at the time of this article was 17. The trend is for new developments to create a P.I.D.
Can an existing subdivision create a P.I.D.? The answer is they can, but they usually don’t. Let’s say you live in a subdivision that has sidewalks that are cracked badly, they look horrible, and you can’t even push a stroller without it being dangerous. The homeowners in that subdivision could approach their Homeowners Association and ask them to create a P.I.D. to fix the sidewalks. The H.O.A. would need to gather a petition with more than 50% of the homeowners agreeing to the P.I.D. tax. That petition would then be taken to the city for a hearing. The hearing is where it goes bad if the H.O.A. did not get a large majority agreeing to the P.I.D. Citizens do not usually give themselves a new tax to pay, but it can be done and that’s pretty much the process. It is rare to see a new P.I.D. created in a subdivision that is established.
Here are some other details you might want to be aware of. If a person lives in a P.I.D. and they wish to sell, they MUST provide notice of the P.I.D. to the buyer before the contract is executed. Sellers that are selling condominiums, new construction, raw land, commercial and residential homes all must provide the P.I.D. notice. The seller should be aware that they are in a P.I.D. for one of two reasons. The first way a seller should be aware if they are in a P.I.D. is they are and have been receiving a bill for that P.I.D. If this is the case the P.I.D. should show up in the Jurisdiction section of the tax records. The second is that if a new P.I.D. has been created or is in the process of being created the seller would have received notices in the mail for hearings about the P.I.D. that was created or in the process of being created. In this case the tax records may not show the P.I.D. since it is new or still in the creation process. Click here to review EXEMPTIONS under the Texas Property Code but remember Condominiums are NO LONGER exempt.