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Rental Property Management in Charleston | How Important Are A Tenants Finances?

Rental Property Management in Charleston | How Important Are A Tenants Finances?

When screening tenants, rental property management in Charleston takes finances into consideration as one of the main qualifications for rent; however, some tenants are often frustrated with rules on their finances because it often keeps them from renting their dream home. Even if a tenant has a shining star next to all the other qualifications, rental property management in Charleston should not overlook the tenant’s ability to pay the rent.

How Much Should the Income to Rent Ratio Be For Rental Property In Charleston?

The standard qualification for income to rent ratio is that tenants should have a household gross income equal to three times the amount of rent in order to sufficiently afford the rent. Property management companies in places where the cost of living is lower can sometimes slide down to an expectation of 2.5 times the amount of rent; however rental property management in Charleston often recommends that gross income should be 3.5 times the rent because the cost of living is higher. If tenants get behind on their other bills or utilities the chance that they will pay their rent late is much greater. Property managers need to ensure that tenants can afford to live in the home, not just have the ability to pay on paper.

What is Considered Income?

If a potential tenant doesn’t meet the income requirements for a home based on their employment alone, remind them of the other possible sources of income they may be getting that they can include on their application including:

  • Grants or Student Aid
  • Scholarships
  • Income of other adults in the home
  • Interest on accounts
  • Disability payments
  • Child support payments
  • Social security payments
  • Dividends from stocks
  • Unemployment compensation
  • Cash payments

Although it is not recommended, some landlords will bypass income qualifications for tenants that offer to pay the term of their lease in cash upfront as this is guaranteed payment. When this happens, you run the risk of tenants that wouldn’t usually qualify and could cause other problems later when it is lease renewal time.

If you want to work with a property manager who understands tenant screening, call Scott Properties at 843-972-9008.


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Property Manager | What You Should Never Mention on Property Tours

Property Manager | What You Should Never Mention on Property Tours

One of the most important jobs a property manager has is to ensure that homes are not vacant for long. When a tenant moves out of a home and another tenant is not lined up to move in, you might find yourself spending days on end meeting potential renters and giving them tours of the home. When giving prospects the rundown on a home, you want to sell them on the very best features while also making sure that the home will be the right fit. While you should never lie to a tenant, there are a few things you should avoid mentioning when giving a property tour.

Here’s what a Property Manager should avoid mentioning while giving a tour

  1. Previous Tenants- Prospective renters may ask you about the previous tenants but a property manager should remember to keep private information to themselves. You shouldn’t discuss with tenants the race, nationality, age, job, or other identifying information about past tenants. In the same regard you should avoid speaking ill about past tenants as a good business practice and moral decency.
  2. Pest Control Problems- The last thing you want to do is announce how the last tenant had a cockroach problem that pest control has mitigated. Prospective tenants will be unlikely to believe the problem is gone and worry that the home is not clean. Unless there is a current pest control issue that needs to be addressed there is no need to delve into the past. Instead, let tenants know about your pest control policy and any regular pest control maintenance such as preventative spraying that is provided by the property manager.
  3. Don’t Make Assumptions- Never assume that the people touring the property can’t afford it, won’t like it, or aren’t going to qualify for the home. You also shouldn’t assume that all the great aspects of the neighborhood will be favored by the prospective tenants so keeping statements general and trying to leave out opinion is also a great rule of thumb.

Property managers and leasing professionals should have great salesmanship skills and be able to market your property the right way to ensure low vacancy and quality tenants. Many landlords and leasers make the mistake of saying the wrong thing during showings that send potential tenants running the other direction. Don’t let the same thing happen to you!

If you are ready to work with a Charleston property manager that knows how to market your home effectively, call Scott Properties at 843-972-9008.

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Property Manager | How to Determine Price of Rent

Property Manager | How to Determine Price of Rent

You’ve made the jump into property investment and purchased a single-family home to rent out—Great! Maybe you’ve even completed the remodel and the unit is move-in ready. Before you start marketing your home for rent the most important thing you need to determine is what you are going to charge for rent.

Here are the things a property manager needs to take into consideration when assigning a rent value to a home:

  1. Home Value- The rule of thumb is to charge between .8 and 1.1% of your home’s value in monthly rent. A home that has a market value of $250,000 can be expected to charge anywhere from $2,000-$2,750 for rent each month.
  2. Market Rent- Just because the formula for figuring out rent determines you can charge thousands per month doesn’t mean you should. A great property manager will survey the area and find out what others are charging for similar single-family homes in the area. Keep rental prices comparable to remain competitive in the neighborhood.
  3. Repair Costs- If you had to invest money into the home to get it rent-ready you should take these costs into consideration when determining rent value.
  4. Upgrades- Is the property full of modern amenities, appliances, brand new carpeting, freshly painted walls, a new roof, landscaping or other upgrades? When determining the rent amount, if you’ve made upgrades to the home you can charge higher end of the rent range.
  5. Rent Control- Are there laws and ordinances in the neighborhood that determine maximums that can be charged for rent or deposits? Many communities put a cap on rent and no matter how luxurious your home is, you might not be able to charge what you would like for the property.

Once you determine the rent value you want to charge your next step is marketing the home and getting tenants to apply. A property manager in Charleston is the perfect solution for every step of your rental property needs.

If you’re ready to hire a property manager, call Scott Properties at 843-972-9008.

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Charleston Property Management | Hardwood vs. Carpet in Rentals

Charleston Property Management | Hardwood vs. Carpet in Rentals

One of the things a Charleston property management company should consider when upgrading a rental home is whether to change the flooring. This choice usually comes into play when tenants move out of a home and have left the carpeting stained and ripped, or the hardwood floors scuffed and scratched. Check out the perks of hardwood and carpet so you can decide which is best for your rental home needs.

Pros and Cons of Hardwood Flooring

Hardwood flooring are easy to clean and maintain. Hardwood floors tend to last longer than carpet and with proper maintenance can even last the lifetime of the home, unlike carpet. Hardwood also enhances the overall look of your home which can help the property rent or sell faster. Charleston property management companies will save money on carpet cleaning services between tenants if they choose hardwood flooring instead.
The negative aspects of hardwood flooring include the initial cost of installation and the cost to restore if tenants damage the flooring. Moving furniture, spills that aren’t cleaned up, and moisture can ruin hardwood. Wood floors are also noisier than carpet and don’t absorb any of the sound from footsteps. Hardwood floors aren’t as warm as carpeting either and can be shocking on cold morning with bare feet.

Pros and Cons of Carpeting

Families tend to love carpeting when they have small children because carpeting is soft, plush, and doesn’t hurt as much when you fall. Carpeting is also warm and inviting and can make a room feel comfortable and inviting whereas hardwood can look stuffy and rigid. Carpeting also costs far less than hardwood to install.

The negatives associated with carpeting include the durability and longevity. Families with children or pets will wear the carpet down quickly forcing Charleston property management companies to replace it more often. This expense can add up quickly. To properly maintain the carpets in rental homes professional carpet cleaning needs to be completed at least once per year and this cost often will fall on the property manager as well.

There are several other styles of flooring that also make great options for rental homes including laminate and tile. However, carpeting and hardwood are the two best options for single-family rental homes in most cases.  If you’re looking for a property management company that understands how to increase your home value and potential, call Scott Properties at 843-972-9008.

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Charleston Property Management | What to Look for In Investment Property

Charleston Property Management | What to Look for In Your First Investment Property

Getting into real estate and single-family rental homes is a very exciting time. More people than ever are investing in properties to use as long and short-term rentals and using Charleston property management companies to produce bigger than ever profits. Before you begin looking into the Charleston property management teams to build upon your success however, you need to purchase your first investment property. Making a large investment such as a home can be nerve wrecking, but if you keep these five things in mind while looking, you’re sure to find the perfect property to turn into a single-family rental home.

Location is Everything For Your Property

Location is the most important factor to consider when purchasing your first investment property. The location of the home will determine the amount of rent you can charge, the quality of renter you will entice, and the vacancy rate you could experience. You should investigate the safety, market rent, and home values in the neighborhoods you are considering purchasing property in.

Property Management Financial Aspects

What is the home selling for and how much will it cost to make it rent ready? Many first-time investors will try to buy homes at auctions or foreclosures because they are getting a great deal on the first year’s property taxes and assessed home value; however, depending on the cost of rehabilitation needed, homeowners can find themselves in a hole. You want to choose the property that makes the most financial sense with the least amount of risk.

Maintenance Is Key In Property Management

Some investment properties will take more maintenance than others to hold their value. Student and vacation rentals, older single-family homes, and low budget apartments always end up having high maintenance costs. Choosing a home with high maintenance risk is another great reason to invest in Charleston property management as well. Let a team of professionals handle the maintenance so it gets done correctly and quickly.

You might be tempted to let your emotions play a role in purchasing your first property, but you must look at each home as a business rather than somewhere you would want to live yourself. Working with a property manager is the best way to increase your home market savvy and get investment properties under your belt that have a huge return on investment.

If you’re ready to start a partnership with a property manager in Charleston, call Scott Properties at 843-972-9008.

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Property Manager | The Three Kinds of Maintenance Your Rental Property Will Need

Property Manager | The Three Kinds of Maintenance Your Rental Property Will Need

When you decide to become a property manager, one of the major tasks you will find becoming part of your job is overseeing the property maintenance. Investors need the values of their homes to rise while making a profit on rent and when a home is falling into disarray, there are issues to be fixed, and maintenance has not been a priority, home values fall and so does resident retention and rent value.  

Three Types of Rental Home Maintenance

There are three types of maintenance that a property manager must provide for single-family rental homes. Providing these types of maintenance will ensure that owners and tenants stay happy, and properties stay filled with no vacancies.

Preventative Maintenance-There are a few different preventative maintenance tasks that all single-family homes need, including duct cleaning, air filter change, annual roof inspections, and yard maintenance. A lot of these tasks will fall on the renter, but the property manager is often the person in charge of the bigger preventative maintenance tasks such as roofing inspections since the investor is the one who holds the warranty.

Corrective Maintenance-The bulk of maintenance a property manager has to conduct on a single-family home is corrective maintenance. This type of maintenance is when a tenant calls and says that something is broken and needs to be fixed, there’s a leak, crack in the wall, the garbage disposal stopped working, or other issues that the tenant cannot fix on their own. Depending on the issue, some of these things might be the tenant’s responsibility. A property manager needs to make sure that all of the tenant’s maintenance responsibilities are clearly spelled out in the lease.

Emergency Maintenance-The worst nightmare for a property manager is often an emergency maintenance issue such as flooding, break-in, natural disaster, pipes bursting, gas line breaks, or other issues that can affect the safety and security of tenants. Emergency maintenance is hopefully the type of maintenance that will take up the least amount of time for a property manager.

Maintenance takes up a lot of time for homeowners, renters, and your property manager. Make sure everyone involved in the property understands what part of the maintenance they are responsible for to avoid lease violations and keep the property in great shape.

If you’re looking for a property manager in Charleston who can ensure the maintenance on your single-family rental is always taken care of, call Scott Properties at 843-790-4929.


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Property Manager | Making Your Single-Family Home More Appealing to Renters

Property Manager | Making Your Single-Family Home More Appealing to Renters

A great property manager is always looking for ways to appeal to new renters and remain competitive in the market. With the price of rent going up all over the United States but especially in large metro areas like Charleston, new renters are going to be looking for the best value with for their money and won’t want to shell out more than $1,000 per month for a sub-par single-family home in a nice neighborhood. Investors need a property manager that can keep up with the trends in single-family homes and market the value of the property to renters willing to pay top dollar for their rental.

Here are some things a property manager can do to make their single-family homes more appealing to renters:

  1. Landscaping-A home’s landscaping is one of the major factors that enhance curb appeal. Don’t do anything that requires the tenants to put in a lot of work into maintaining the landscaping; however, as this responsibility could drive prospects away. Many tenants will be looking for a property manager that will include landscaping duties in the rental fees. Providing landscaping such as fresh mulch, tree trimming, and annual grass seed when needed, can increase the single-family home rental value.
  2. Upgrade the Technology and Security-Home security has come a long way in the last decade, and many homes are equipped with doorbells that have motion-detecting cameras inside to film everyone that comes to their door and alerts the homeowner through an app. Including a home security system set up for tenants is another great way a property manager can increase the rent value.
  3. Offer Upgrades-When your long-term renters no longer see the value in renewing their lease, especially If a property manager is raising the rent, one thing you can do is offer upgrades for renewal. A fresh coat of interior or exterior paint? Professional carpet cleaning? New landscaping? There are plenty of services a property manager can offer tenants for retention.

One of the top ways a property manager can make a home more appealing is by always providing high-quality customer service and making sure tenants know they are valued. Make sure you are communicating with your tenants and understand their needs and what they are looking for in a single-family home.

If you’re an investor looking for a great property manager in Charleston, call Scott Properties at 843-790-4929.

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Property Manager | Key Factors Investors Need to Track For Their Rental Properties

Property Manager | Key Factors Investors Need to Track Their Rental Properties

A rental property owner needs to understand how their single-family rental homes are performing if they want to know what their profits are. There are a few key performance indicators that a property owner or property manager needs to track to get the full picture of how well their rental is doing. It comes down to more than just rental income vs. expenses. Make sure your property management company is looking at these financial and operational indicators:

Financial Key Performance Indicators

The financial key performance indicators will tell a property manager how the rental property is doing on a financial level. The rent falls into this category, along with expenses, but you need a much more in-depth financial ledger if you plan to file business taxes, apply for a loan, grant, or need to make other significant financial decisions.

These are the financial key performance indicators that a property manager needs to track:

  • Gross Rent
  • Average rent increase
  • Average rent per square foot
  • Profit margin
  • Vacancy rate
  • The average cost to turn a home
  • The average cost of monthly repairs
  • Cash on cash return
  • Cashflow
  • Return on investment
  • Depreciation
  • Vacancy losses
  • Delinquency losses
  • Eviction losses
  • Property tax
  • Capital improvements
  • Insurance
  • Utilities
  • Marketing
  • Background and credit checks
  • Property management software subscriptions
  • Rental website subscriptions
  • Legal fees
  • Accounting fees
  • Manager fees
  • Mortgage interest
  • Vendor payments

Operational Key Performance Indicators

Knowing the operational key performance indicators will allow an owner to see how effective their property manager is and how the property manager is affecting the overall return on investment.

A property manager should be tracking these operational key performance indicators:

  • % successful renewals
  • Average rent increase per year per lease
  • Rent increase for new tenants vs. the previous tenant
  • Applications that come in
  • Percent of applications denied and approved
  • Average day to process an application
  • Percent of lease breaks
  • Percent of evictions
  • Delinquency rates
  • Average days rent late
  • Percent of leases terminated each year
  • Average days vacant units are on the market
  • Number of days a home takes to turn
  • Days a unit is vacant
  • Number of work orders entered and days to complete
  • Tenancy Duration

A property management company who can track these key performance metrics will better understand the property and increase profits for owners quickly.

If you need a property manager that effectively manages your property across all metrics, give Scott Properties a call at 843-202-4274.

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Rental Property Management in Charleston | Investing in Single Family Real Estate in 2020

Rental Property Management in Charleston | Investing in Single Family Real Estate in 2020

Have you ever pondered jumping into rental property management in Charleston? If your answer is “yes,” 2020 is the time to invest in single-family real estate. Some experts are saying with the economy slowing down, 2020 could be a challenging or risky time for investors, especially in coastal cities where economies revolve around shipping yards for importing and exporting goods around the world. However, in big markets like Charleston, the economy is still thriving with businesses in the IT sector and other markets. Home prices are also stabilizing, although still planned to increase by an additional three percent in 2020, along with rent prices. Buying into rental property management in Charleston early in the year will be the best time.

Rent Vs. Own Gap

The recent surge in the prices of single-family homes has made buying just out of reach for the average first-time homebuyer but still a great investment for those who want to go into rental property management in Charleston. Would-be homebuyers with families are still looking for single-family homes to meet their needs for space and privacy which means there is unimaginable rental income to be made, especially in Charleston.

Rental Property Management in Charleston

Buying the perfect home to rent out is the easy part; managing a property with tenants afterward is long, and often tedious, work. Marketing a vacant home, leasing, maintenance, upkeep, and everything else that goes into property management can be easily managed by outsourcing this work to a property management company.

Property management companies take the burden of managing the properties off of the investors’ hands so they can focus on other things and just let the profits roll in. With the price of renting rising in big cities and metropolitan areas, investors are looking to make a nice return on their investment when they rely on the right rental property management company.

Experienced property managers at Scott Properties are waiting to talk to investors about their single-family homes today! Call 843-779-6527 to learn more about how we can help owners.

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Charleston Property Management | How to Rent Your Home Fast

Charleston Property Management | How to Rent Your Home Fast

Charleston property management can be a fast-paced and exciting venture, especially in single-family home investing. The housing market in Charleston is still favorable to renters, and with the market value of rent, increasing right along with the price of homes, investors with vacant homes should focus on getting them rent-ready and on the market—ASAP!

Here’s what investors need to do to get their vacant homes rented fast:

  1. Focus on Curb Appeal- Charleston property management companies are most successful when they manage the best-looking properties. If you want to rent your home fast, it needs to have great curb appeal, including a clean, maintained lawn, safe walkways, and entries, a great looking exterior, and a welcoming ambiance. The right property managment copmanies know that the curb appeal is the first step to filling your home.
  2. Marketing- After your property is in tip-top shape and the curb appeal is off the charts, the property management companies are going to push marketing. The first step is to get high-quality professional photographs of the interior and exterior of the property. You might even consider a virtual tour or live tour that is recorded and ready to be uploaded to your property management website. After you’ve got the pictures and content, you need there are several sites available for posting your rental including, Zillow, and craigslist.
  3. Schedule an Open House- Property management companies with homes in desirable neighborhoods should consider holding an open house for renters, much like realtors. This practice can save Charleston property management a lot of time in individual showings and also show prospective renters that this single-family home is in high demand. You’ll be more likely to get applications back quickly, with completed information and fees when you have an open house.

If this all sounds like a lot, you should consider hiring one of the great Charleston property management companies to ensure you are getting the most out of your single-family home investment. Charleston property management knows the ins and outs of rentals including the laws and ordinances that affect individual neighborhoods.

If you’re ready to partner with Charleston property management, call Scott Propertiestoday at 843-790-4929.