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Charleston Property Management in Charleston SC | Avoiding Fraud in Single-Family Housing

Charleston Property Management in Charleston SC

Many people that jump into Charleston property management in Charleston SC do not realize the vast amount of fraud that happens in the rental industry. Tenants will lie on their applications to try to get past background and credit checks, but there is fraud that can happen after the tenant moves in as well. Luckily, there are a few red flags property managers can be aware of to avoid being scammed by con artist tenants.

How Tenants Scam Property Managers

Property managers who work in Charleston property management in Charleston SC are pros at looking for the red flags that pop up during the application process for a property. However, knowing the signs of being swindled after move-in are vital to keeping owners protected.

One of the most common ways tenants will defraud a property owner or property manager is by subleasing the home without authorization. Some tenants will try to sublease the home for more than the rental amount so that they can make a profit. Other tenants will rent out the home for short term rentals like air bnb, or will let others move into bedrooms they are not using without adding them to the lease.

Another way that tenants scam Charleston property management in Charleston SC is to take out a mortgage against the property. This scam is more complicated than unauthorized subleasing, but professional con artists have pulled it off numerous times by tracking down personal data and public records of the property owner and pretending to be them. These tenants will mortgage the property, take out an equity loan, or other monies against the property, cash the check and disappear. These scammers use fake names during leasing.

Charleston Property Management in Charleston SC Spot Scammers

The best way to spot a scammer is to conduct very thorough background checks and credit checks on every tenant. You should also do routine property inspections to ensure that the tenant named in the lease is still living in the home and unauthorized roommates have not moved in. Charleston property management in Charleston SC should also encourage property owners to closely monitor their credit.

The best way to avoid fraud and being scammed is to hire a property management company that knows how to spot the red flags of scammers. Let Scott Properties work with you to rent out your home to qualified tenants today by calling 843-779-6527.

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Charleston Property Management in Charleston SC | Questions Landlords Must Avoid Asking

One of the most important parts of being involved in Charleston property management in Charleston SC is understanding fair housing laws. In South Carolina, discriminating against tenants based on race, color, sex, religion, national origin, handicaps, and familiar status is illegal. One thing property managers and landlords must be careful of is asking questions that would lead to discriminatory behavior.

Questions Landlords Cannot Ask Tenants in South Carolina

There are many questions that cannot be asked by Charleston property management in Charleston SC. Landlords and property managers should be sure never to ask any questions centered around the protected classes. Some examples include:

Questions about their sexuality or gender

Questions about their family status or children

Questions about where their family comes from (national origin)

Questions about accessibility, health, or handicaps

There are a few exceptions to the Fair Housing Act that people who work in Charleston property management in Charleston SC can make including if the housing is classified for senior living only. Property managers can also put limitations in the lease on how many individuals can reside in one single-family home. Typically, two people per bedroom is the accepted rule of thumb.

Is Anyone Exempt from Fair Housing Laws?

There are a couple of rental situations where landlords are exempt from having to follow Fair Housing Law in addition to homes specifically designed for senior living.

  • When the owner lives in the building and there are no more than four units total
  • Single-family houses that are rented without the use of an agent such as Charleston property management in Charleston SC companies.
  • Private housing managed by religious affiliations or clubs that only allow members to occupy the housing.

Property owners who utilize third party property management services must follow all Fair Housing Act guidelines. However, property owners that are also the landlords have less stringent restrictions.

If you want to ensure you are complying with Fair Housing Act laws and regulations, hire our property managers to take the burden off your shoulders by calling Scott Properties at 843-790-4929.

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Charleston Property Management in Charleston SC | The Lead to Lease Process

Charleston Property Management in Charleston SC

One of the most vital parts of Charleston property management in Charleston SC is the lead to lease process. Property managers must be able to capture the best tenants and turn those prospects into tenants quickly to ensure their homes remain full and there are no vacancies. Although you want your properties to be full, you also want to have quality tenants you can trust. You will want to optimize your lead to lease process to be efficient and effective.

How to Optimize Your Lead to Lease Process

The best way to optimize your lead to lease process is to use software for Charleston property management in Charleston SC. Leasing software can track your inquiries, send you alerts to follow up, and create profiles for each lead that comes in. Property managers and leasing agents can easily track leads and make their lead to lease process run smoothly.

However, even if a property manager does not have access to leasing software, there are a couple of things they must keep in mind about the lead to lease process if they want to be successful.

  1. Respond as quickly as possible to inquiries. The quicker you get back to tenants the more likely they are to visit the home and fill out an application.
  2. Qualify leads ahead of time. During the first inquiry make sure the home will be a good fit for the prospect and that they meet the application guidelines before booking a showing of the home.
  3. Onsite leasing is vital to an efficient lead to lease process. Handing off applications to sending leads to their current home to fill out applications online is a substantial risk. You never know if a potentially perfect tenant will forget to bring back an application or decide to commit to another property instead.
  4. Follow up is the key to getting leases and should be done even if the lead decides not to rent that particular property. Charleston property management in Charleston SC is constantly changing with new investments happening all the time.

Your property never has to sit vacant for long when you rely on the best Charleston property management in Charleston SC to manage your homes. They make the lead to lease process easy and uncomplicated.

If you are ready to discuss your next investment move, call Scott Properties today at 843-790-4929.

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Lowcountry Property Management | How Long Does a Property Showing Take?

Lowcountry Property Management

One of the most time-consuming parts of renting out properties is touring the unit with prospective tenants. Sometimes, Lowcountry Property Management companies spend their entire day showing homes to one person, couple, or family, after another. By the end of the day a great property manager’s voice with be hoarse, their feet sore, but a stack of applications will be in their hands.

New property managers often do not understand how to budget time for property showings. Some people will walk into a property, take a quick peek around, and then leave, without saying much to you. Others will take their time, opening every door, cabinet, and window to inspect the home, asking lots of questions, and make sure it is their dream rental home.

When you work in Lowcountry Property Management, however, you must learn to balance these showings and keep to a tight schedule to work efficiently. The consensus is that a property showing should take between 30 and 60 minutes depending on the size of the property. However, the entire appointment for the prospective tenant could take longer.

Steps to Property Showing

The tenant should meet the Lowcountry Property management representative at the home they are interested in renting.

  1. Greet the tenant and provide them with any literature you have on the home.
  2. Give a quick tour of the exterior of the property including highlights such as a recently redone deck or patio, a spacious backyard, or heated garage.
  3. Take the tenants into the home through the entrance they would use if they were to move in if there are multiple entrances.
  4. Move the tenants through each room pointing out highlights such as new hardwood floors, countertops, or appliances. Make sure to not oversell.
  5. Stand back and give tenants a few minutes to look around each room but aim to spend no more than 2-4 minutes in each.
  6. After the showing, ask the tenants to complete their application for the property onsite or back at the rental office.

Showing the property is the top way to get the home rented; however, you need a professional property manager to make the most of your property and every tour.

Scott Properties can get your home rented quickly. Call us today at 843-790-4929.

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Lowcountry Property Management | Tips for A Successful Property Showing

Lowcountry Property Management

Every great Lowcountry property management company understands how important a property showing is to getting a home rented. However, giving a tour of a property is not as easy as some people might think. There are many tasks that go on behind the scenes to prepare for a property tour and all these things help the tenant fall in love with their next home.

When property showings go poorly however, prospective tenants can not only leave your home vacant, they might leave bad reviews or tell friends about their negative experience with your company. However, the best Lowcountry property management home tours can have everyone in town raving about your amazing homes. If you want rave reviews and homes that are always leased, follow these tips for a successful property showing.

  • Clean and Pristine- Before you start showing a property to tenants you should always tour the home yourself first to ensure the home is clean, everything is in order and any last-minute maintenance has been completed. You never want a tenant to see a home that is not move-in ready.
  • Dress it up- Empty homes do not inspire tenants. Having a few pieces of home décor and furniture can help tenants imagine themselves living in the home and get excited about moving in their own belongings. You should also try to give special attention to the outside of the home as well such as flower beds, potted plants, a clean porch, and fresh cut grass.
  • Application Folders- Single-family home rentals are generally not located on the same property as the Lowcountry property management office. Getting prospects to come back to the office to apply immediately can be difficult, but you can make sure each prospect leaves with a folder full of enticing literature such as a picture of the home with the specs, an application, instructions on how to turn in the application and what other documents are needed, and information about your company.

Property showings are the most important part of the rental process. They will make the tenant fall in love or turn them off completely. However, a great showing can lead to long-term tenants and keep your properties full.

If you need a professional Lowcountry property management company to help you with your properties, call Scott Properties at 843-790-4929.

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Charleston Property Management | The Top Customer Service Skills A Property Manager Needs

Charleston Property Management

If you are going to find a job in Charleston property management, you will need to have a specific skillset in addition to relevant experience. Your customer service skills need to be on-point and top-notch if you are going to be one of the best property managers in Charleston. You should also be prepared to speak to these customer service skills in a job interview; and if you do not have these skills, but you are trying to rent houses, you should hire a professional instead.

Top customer service skills for property managers

  1. Active Listening- You must be an active listener if you are going to be effective in Charleston property management. You need to listen and understand your tenant’s concerns, comments, and needs to be able to respond in a while that is beneficial for everyone.
  2. Responsive- Tenants become long term residents when their needs and concerns are being tended to and their property manager is responsive. Even when solutions cannot be provided at once, when a tenant makes a maintenance request or has a complaint, you should do your best to acknowledge receipt of the communication as soon as possible.
  3. Accommodating- Whenever possible a great Charleston property management company will be accommodating to their tenants and try to offer solutions. While it is important to follow the rules outlined in the lease, providing bill payment solutions, preventive maintenance, and keeping things convenient for renters with online tenant portals, are great ways to increase tenant satisfaction.

When you can master these three customer service skills, you will make a fantastic addition to a Charleston property management team. When you own rental properties, it is important to ensure that the property manager you hire to help you make the most of your investment owns these skills and more. A professional property management company often has all the solutions you are looking for when it comes to a high-quality team with the best skill set and vendor partnerships.

If you are interest in working with one of the top property rental companies in Charleston, give Scott Properties a call at 843-790-4929.

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Charleston Property Management | How to Make the HVAC in Your Rental Last Longer

Charleston Property Management

One of the most stressful parts of owning rental property is the large expense occurred when a major appliance breaks down or needs replaced such as the HVAC system. The price of the new system as well as installation can run thousands of dollars—an expense that many property owners are not always prepared to shoulder. When you partner with a Charleston property management company, you can discover the key to making your HVAC system last longer.

Preventative Maintenance- Every year your HVAC system should have an inspection that cleans the system, removes any debris from the exterior components, change thermostat batteries, and change the air filter along with checking for damages to the ductwork. The air filters should also be changed every three months or more often depending on how dirty they are. Charleston property management companies have the best rates worked out with local vendors to provide scheduled maintenance and keep warranties valid.

Lease Instructions- Include safety measures and precautions to keep the HVAC system up and running in the lease. Many times, Charleston property management makes sure to include keeping HVAC closets free of boxes and personal items into the lease. If these units are in the basement, you can mark out lines on the floor with tape showing tenants to keep four feet clear on all sides of the furnace or air conditioner.

Inspections- Property managers should do inspections on properties every six months or at lease renewal to ensure that the home is being taken care of according to the lease instructions. The HVAC system, air filter, and thermostat can also be checked during this time to ensure proper working order, along with other appliances.

The best way to increase the longevity of rental properties and appliances is to be proactive and preventive. Let a Charleston property management team with maintenance connections handle the management and upkeep of your rental properties.

Schedule an appointment with a property manager at Scott Properties today at 843-790-4929.

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Charleston Property Management Companies | The Most Common Rental Properties

Charleston Property Management Companies

If you have been looking to invest in rental properties, you have probably been wondering which types of rentals are the most popular and profitable. Charleston property management companies offer many distinct types of rental to appeal to all the demographics of renters in South Carolina. However, first time investors will have some security by investing in one of the most popular type of rental homes.

Single-Family Homes- The most popular type of rental for families are single-family homes. These detached homes usually have yards, and neighbors have defined property lines.

Multi-Family Buildings- These can be large apartment complexes with dozens of buildings and hundreds of apartments, or smaller like duplexes, triplexes, and fourplexes.

Townhomes- Also called row houses, these homes are built connected to each other on at least one wall. They are normally two stories and often share connecting yards as well. Townhomes are often built as part of larger multi-family complexes.

Condominiums- Condos are multi-family units that are privately owned. Investors can purchase these buildings and then sell individual units.

Investors in rental properties have traditionally pursued long-term rentals of a year or more when trying to attract tenants. There are other investors who have ventured into the Air BnB side of renting where short term rentals of just a few nights are popular. Air BnBs are generally in houses, apartments, or guest houses. These rentals can be unpredictable, and tenants are not screened the same way they would be for long term renters signing leases.

Charleston property management companies understand the risks and benefits of the distinct types of rental properties. Once you find the perfect investment, you will need a property manager that can find the best tenants through marketing, screening, and taking care of the day-to-day tasks of managing rentals.

Single family homes are some of the best properties to focus your investment on. When you are ready to hire a property manager to take your investment to the next level, call Scott Properties at 843-790-8502.

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Why Your Property Is Still Vacant?

Property Management Services in Charleston

One of the most frustrating things for property management services in Charleston is when properties are not renting quickly. Vacant properties mean no rental income and no rental income is the last thing that an owner wants to hear. When a home is left empty a property manager needs to decide why the renters are not interested in the home. There are several things that could be contributing factors to a home that is not garnering much interest.

  1. Overpriced- Single-family homes are more expensive than apartments but if the home you are renting is priced way over the others in the area you will likely have a difficult time renting it out. Property management services in Charleston are diligent in doing market research to figure out the best rental price for a home in various neighborhoods.
  2. Poor Marketing- A sign in the front yard is not always enough to get the attention of quality tenants. Property owners need to ensure they are marketing across many platforms including social media, rental sites, and craigslist to ensure maximum exposure. Some property management services in Charleston also do radio and TV advertising, billboards, and more.
  3. Curb Appeal- Ask yourself whether the home is attractive. When siding is dirty, the lawn is sparse and brown, the porch steps are broken, or there are cracks in the sidewalk leading to the home, possible tenants may think the home is not safe. They might also be weary of whether the home is clean inside which will turn them away from scheduling a showing.

Outside of price, marketing, and curb appeal, the only other reason a home would remain vacant is if there is no demand for rental homes; however, this is almost never the case in Charleston. Single family homes are in hot demand and great homes are not likely to stay on the market for long. If you have been interested in diving into real estate investment now is the time!

Great property management services are vital for success in Charleston renting and Scott’s Properties is here to make sure your rental business is the best it can be. Call today to set up an appointment at 843-790-4929.

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Are Move-In Deals Effective?

Property Management Services in Charleston

One of the things that is always on the mind of property management services in Charleston is how to keep tenants in homes so that occupancy rates are high, and turnover is low. Resident retention is especially important but getting quality, long-term tenants can sometimes be difficult. Many landlords are tempted to offer move-in deals to sweeten the pot and try to get more traction to their properties; however, there are many things to consider before offering incentives on rental properties.

  1. What is the Market? The first thing you must consider before offering deals is what the rental market is currently like. Are many of the property management services in Charleston struggling to fill homes? Are there move-in specials being advertised everywhere? If rentals are filling up fast, there is no reason to offer money off or incentives for new leases. Supply and demand must always be the first consideration you make when figuring out specials.
  2. Quality vs. Quantity- When you offer good deals for homes you will have an influx of tenants that will request more information or book showings; however, not all these tenants will be the high-quality tenants you are looking for. Some tenants who are looking to move as fast, and cheap, as possible may not be credit worthy or have the income available to sustain the rent long-term. Therefore, it is important to never offer free application fees either. You only want tenants that know they are qualified to apply.
  3. Time Vacant- When a property management service in Charleston has homes that are vacant for longer than a few weeks after a previous tenant moves out, they may think about offering a deal, especially if they have had showings but no concrete interest. However, before coming up with special offers, consider ways to make the property more attractive such as power washing the outside, planting fresh flowers, or redoing the driveway to increase curb appeal.

In addition to considering the market, quality of tenants, and time vacant, property management services in Charleston must also ensure that they will not be losing money or costing the property owner any money in offering deals or incentives.

If filling up your properties has become a hassle and you would like to talk to a property manager with years of professional experience, contact Scott Properties at 843-790-4929.