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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Spotlight On...Sicily Mall , Azalea Fall & Tyrone Taringa- Leabros Memel Reporting...

Staff Reporter
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Azalea Fall and Tyone does the heavy lifting…

“Sicily Island Malls and Peppermint Properties owners Azalea and Tyone forge a partnership that is both profitable and poetic in their Second Life.”

When you do a highlight article, you’re never quite sure where the story will take you. I teleported into the Sicily Mall area, and at first just shook my head. After a while, you know, in both RL and SL… all malls start to blend together and look the same. So I was pleasantly surprised to get an inside look at how Azalea Fall and Tyone Taringa have made Sicily Island a unique experience. It’s not the outside that matters here, it’s the service and the inside!

“Always good to start at the beginning.” I said, “How did you two start to collaborate, and how have you started SL dreaming together?”
Tyone Taringa quickly chimed in. “Well, I started Sicily back in March 2007. I had previously started SL in October 2006 and opened my club, Spunky BT's in December 2006. When Sicily started, I wanted a club and mall, no residential back then. I bought my 2nd island, Sicily Beach Resort in September 2007 which was entirely residential. Sicily back then was only a commercial sim, relying on the club and mall to make traffic.”

“And you picked Sicily Island as a name because?” I asked.

 “Just because I loved the place in RL, and I wanted something romantic.” He replied.

Little did he know where that “romantic” thing was going to get him, as he continued.

“I met Azalea first when she first joined the game, she rented a treehouse from me on Sicily Beach resort, and I didnt really know her to start with but she caught my eye because she kept on buying more and more prims.”
Azalea started giggling… “Nice, more prims are always good for business!”

“Who would have thought,” this reporter said, “In SL, the way to a man’s heart is not through his stomach, it’s through his prims!”

“Then I advertised for guides and Azalea was keen to do it,”
Tyone continued. “She was totally awesome at getting new tenants, usually 12-15 every week!"

“And still awesome now, I must add .” Azalea piped in.

“I got to know her more and more and its weird because it just clicked immediately I just knew I wanted to know much more about her , so we grew closer and closer and became together around May 2008. Azalea bought into both islands 50%. Then we started a 3rd business, which was skyboxes on a mainland sim that evolved into a 4th business which was right here on Sicily Bay, a homestead, so we moved the skyboxes over from the mainland sim to Sicily. Now we have 3 islands that generate around 300k I guess a month.”
A quick note of explanation for the readers, a homestead is a scaled down full island. It is the same size (65536sqm) but only 3750 prims instead of 15000.....

“ It is limited because it can’t be used for commercial activities,” Tyone explained, “But is ideal for residential because it is a cheap way to have a large plot of land for reduced prims.
I asked Tyone and Azalea what had been their driving vision.

“Well I always knew I wanted SL to be more than a passive experience,” Tyone began. “I was keen to start a business and quickly realized that clubs are great for meeting new people but are a drain on finances. The mall was an obvious step for me to start with. Then it became clear that many people want cheap, affordable, quality houses to live in, with the highest standard of customer service. We pride ourselves on distancing ourselves from most normal residential, where the rules are like an encyclopedia! Our vision is to run a friendly business with a mixture of relaxing living, vibrant club, diverse mall, and an overall experience of SL to be remembered. Azalea is the best host on SL!”
I asked what it was that they felt set them apart from other residential experiences, and Azalea was finally quick to chime in.

“Well, to that question about what sets us apart, I can tell you that we do our best to make the new renter happy and comfortable. Whatever a renter asks for, we do our best to accommodate them. Make sure they get what they want. We work with them until they are happy and that is what is important."

“Basically Lea,” Tyone continued, “Nothing is too much trouble. We welcome tenant queries and will happily furnish their home and sort out their issues quickly and without fuss. We have guides here to help them find the perfect home and we are very flexible with rates".

“ As difficult as my experience as a noobie was,” Azalea hopped back into the conversation. “When i got my first home in SL, I don’t want it to be that way with someone renting their first home here... and a lot of our renters are first time renters as well.”
“We can provide people with anything from 250 a week to 10k a week, depending on their budget and needs.” Tyone explained. “We have a range of properties to suit all budgets. We have condos at 250 a week, duplexes at the same rate, skyboxes from 400 a week to 1000 a week, houses from 500 a week to unlimited pretty much... depending on prim and space requirements. The most popular tend to be 1k a week houses on the beach with 400 prims or an offer of us furnishing for them free of charge. Although, many people love skyboxes too for the privacy. All our houses come with security, prim counters, radios and tv’s with ‘Shoutcast,’ ‘youtube’ and films as standard".

“I know one of the hardest things for new folks... well for anyone, is learning prim management. How do you handle that?” I asked.

"We have prim counters in every house which are set to their name and also anyone else who will be living there so that they can see instantly how many prims they are using at any time." Tyone explained.

“They are really good with prims.” Azalea was quick to add. “Only a few who go crazy with them, but deprim once we notify them.”
“We are very lenient, “Tyone continued. “And will give them advice on deprimming. We never just return stuff!!! It’s such a pain to sort out your lost and found folder on sl!”
“Oh yes totally", Azalea remarked. “We've got suggestions on where they can go to get low prim items and furniture. We want to make it work for our people.”
“Since Azalea has started to offer the furnishing service that has proven really popular.” Tyone remarked. “At one time, we only rented empty houses. It was fine but many people asked us to furnish, so we realized that there was a huge demand for it, especially with newer people. Now we offer what we call ‘3 ways to rent.’ In a nutshell, it means that when you rent from us you can take either: an empty plot, just the house, or the house furnished. The prims will differ dependant on which offer you go for.”

Do you work with the renter on furnishing, or is it pretty much “as is?”
I asked. Azalea explained.

“Some I do, if a home is unfurnished, we will furnish it together. I will show them what I have to choose from and they take their pick. Lately we have been able to furnish all our empty homes already, so if they like it they will keep as is, unless they want something removed, moved or changed, I will do that for them too. So yes, lots of options! I want them to completely love what we put down for them.
“Sounds like you have a great and thoughtful place here.... any plans for the future?” I asked.

“We are currently changing the club to a more dj driven club. Tyone explained. “We are planning a communal beach area, we want to get another island. We want to offer more and more interaction and we want to get the word out more and more, which is why we are so grateful for this spotlight opportunity. Azalea has also designed an awesome website to compliment the business. and

“Yes, and as much as we cater to our residential renters we do the same for our commercial renters as well. Azalea continued. The mall has 47 shops, and it’s really diverse. We have a good mixture of chain stores and independents. We are also very keen on live music we have around 3 live acts a week in the mall on Sicily.”
“In fact, there is one tonight at 6pm if you can get 5 minutes ;-).” Tyone advised. Just one more indicator of how ready to please and to invite Azalea and Tyone are!

So, there you have it folks. If you’re looking for a place to live with that special personal touch and nearby shopping, swing by Sicily Islands and have a look, and make sure you give “the best hostess in SL” a chance to charm you.

Leabros Memel

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