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Property Management Tips and Tricks for Leasing Season

May is the beginning of leasing season. Students are graduating and moving out, looking for houses for rent. People who have been anxious and wanting to move, but not during the cooler winter months or holiday times are jumping on the chance to pack up and go now. Rental growth in many large cities across the US is slowing down though. There is a growing need every year as the population increases, however, millennials are finding it easy to buy homes now that the housing market is stable again. You can still fill your vacancies and achieve 100% occupied by following these tips and tricks.

Maximize Marketing-Digital marketing is the way to reach new tenants. Radio advertising, mall kiosks, and bill boards are simply not seeing the ROI that they have in the past. Making sure you can reach your future tenants online is important and your marketing budget should reflect that. Someone on your property management team should be an expert in SEO and the newest virtual reality marketing trends.

Automate it-If your tenants are students, they expect a response to any inquiry, whether an emergency or not, within 2 hours. You should try to be available during business hours for future tenants, but you should also make sure to respond to inquiries off the clock to. You can automate much of the leasing process to make it smoother and faster. Allow people to book appointments online, take virtual tours, and have an automated email message that generates during off hours.


Technology Upgrades-Technology is getting smarter and the population is getting savvy to it. Take some time to update your rental homes with keyless locks, smart home technologies, energy saving appliances, environmentally friendly options, and apps that can be used to send maintenance requests, pay rent, or send an inquiry. Leasing season can be hectic for property management, but a good team will fill vacant units quickly and increase resident retention through smart growth and development.

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What a Property Manager Will Do for You

Many people get into flipping houses because they know they will get a great return on their investment. Renovating a house can be fun and exciting but finding someone to live there when it’s all finished can be a challenge. Even after you have secured a renter, it may surprise you that there is a lot to be a landlord that you may not have thought of before. For property owners that want to continue flipping houses and turning them into rental homes, their hands may become full rather quickly. Companies like Scott Properties can be hired to manage your property for you. What will a property manager do for you though?

  1. Marketing-A property manager is an expert in the rental market in your area. They will know the best ways to reach prospective tenants and be knowledgeable on best marketing practices.
  2. Managing Tenants- Property Managers are there for your residents 24/7 and always have a system in place for after-hours emergencies. They can deal with resident complaints, resident retention, planning for upgrades on the property and making sure residents are adhering to the lease.
  3. Collects Rent-When you own several rental properties, managing the money can be tricky. Property managers take on the responsibility of collecting and processing rent payments, assessing late fees and damages, and pursuing collections on tenants.
  4. Maintenance-The property manager is who renters will contact for maintenance requests. Sometimes, the property manager will have a maintenance manager that renters can contact instead, but the property manager is the person that makes sure it all gets done, handles getting the tools and materials for the job, and follows up with the renter.
  5. Pursuing Eviction-When residents fail to pay rent on time or break their lease and an eviction is necessary, the property manager can handle the ins and outs of the legal system and represent you in court.

Scott Properties is a great solution to meet your needs for a property manager. Let us take the stress off your shoulders so you can continue to do what you love.

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How A Property Manager Can Implement Smoke Free Policies

Not too long ago, in December 2016, the department of Housing and Urban Development, HUD, instituted a new law requiring properties that cater to low-income tenants and public housing to be smoke-free by July 2018. This new law requires that prohibited tobacco products, such as cigarettes, be  banned from rental units and shared areas. Tenants who wish to smoke must be more than 25 feet from the building. This law only applies to public housing; however, private rental companies and landlords are considering implementing these rules as well.

Smoke Damage to Properties

Smoking inside of a home can decrease the value by up to 29%. The chemicals in nicotine stain walls, ceilings, floors, and the smell clings to everything–even furniture. This residue left over from cigarette smoke is sometimes referred to as third-hand smoke. Real estate agents know it is more difficult to sell a home that has been smoked in and many prospective home buyers won’t buy a home that has been smoked in so why would a renter want to live somewhere that has smoke damage?

How to Transition Tenants

If you have long-term tenants that have smoked in their rental homes for a long time, they may be extremely resistant to change. New tenants may feel as though the rules are changing soon after they got there. There are a few ways a property manager can go about implements smoke free policies.

If you are managing a property that the new law applies to, well, you have the law on your side and your tenants should realize this isn’t a policy that was up to you. If you are a property manager that is not affected by the law, but still wish to implement the new policies you will have to tread more carefully. Most of the time it is wise to implement the policy unit by unit as leases are being renewed. Make sure to give tenants ample notice of the policy changing so that they can start looking for a new place to live if they can’t live with a smoke-free policy.


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How A Property Manager Screens Prospective Tenants

You want to make sure the people living in your rental home are not going to be a liability for you. Trusting that the people renting from you will take good care of the home, not engage in illegal business or other nefarious acts on your property and will pay rent on time can be difficult. Therefore, screening prospective tenants is so important. There are a few ways that a property manager will screen the people applying to live in your rental home.

Credit History-Most property management software and programs will allow property managers to run a credit check on tenants. A credit check with the 3 major credit bureaus will tell you if the prospective tenant pays their bills on time, has prior judgements against them from landlords, and bankruptcies. The rental application needs to include a photo ID and social security card, proof of address, and signed consent.

Eviction/Tenant History- Making sure to check a tenant’s prior rental history is important. Landlords and property managers can fill out rental verification forms that tell if the tenant had delinquent payment history, citations, lease violations, eviction, or other problems.

Criminal History-Programs like YARDI for property management run a credit and background check. You can also search public records using address history and the information from the rental applicant’s ID. Registered sex offender lists are also available online for free.

Income Verification-Most property management companies recommend that rent is no more than one third of a person’s budget to remain affordable. People who spend only one third of their income on rent are more likely to pay their rent on time. Income verification through paystubs, offer letters, or employment contracts are the norm with rental applications. Property managers should make sure to call previous jobs and current to verify employment.

Tracking down all this information and making a good decision about a prospective tenant can be difficult, especially when you must comply with fair housing laws. Let Scott Properties be the solution to your property management needs.

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Long-Term Rental Homes: Charleston and other Iconic Cities

Finding the perfect rental home can be quite difficult in cities that are iconic tourist destinations. Air BnB has been expanding rapidly and property owners with rental homes are starting to market to short term rentals rather than long term family housing. Sometimes however, this kind of renting is not sustainable because you are never guaranteed that someone will choose your home for their stay and you are also taking a new risk with each different person that you are trusting to stay in your rental homes. Charleston is still full of residents that need long term living arrangements for their family.

Knowing your Market

Charleston has a diverse population of just over 130 thousand people however, the entire Charleston region is hearing 750,000. Millennials make up a large chunk of Charleston with the median age being 36. The population is growing quickly with 34 new people moving to the area daily. This means there are new opportunities every day to secure a great long-term rental for your property. The average household income is around $70k per year which means that many families are in a financial position to rent, rather than buy in many cases.

Resident Retention

The best way to ensure that your long-term rental homes in Charleston are never vacant is to practice good resident retention. Making sure that maintenance issues are taken care of in a timely manner, being available and reachable for your renters, keeping the property up to date and letting your renters know that they are appreciated. Property owners that are professional and knowledgeable always have better resident retention than those who aren’t. When you find a great renter, you want to make sure they stick with you.

Renting your property can be hard, but there are always people looking for rental homes. Charleston is a quickly expanding city that is changing with each generation, Scott Properties can offer property management that is up to date on all the market trends to ensure your property is rented long-term.

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Rental Homes Charleston: How to Make Your Property Stand Out

Charleston South Carolina was voted the #1 city in the US and Canada during the 2017 Readers Choice Awards by Traveler Magazine. The city is known for hospitality, history, sandy beaches, and summer festivals. People come from all over the world to vacation in South Carolina and for property owners who wish to get into the industry of rental homes, Charleston is an ideal place to build a business. When there are so many rental homes available in the city, how can a property owner ensure their home stands out from the competition?

  1. Curb Appeal-Homes in Charleston are iconic and beautiful. A mix of historical charm and modernity embraces the city and people from all over the world are looking for the perfect blend of the two. Renters want to live in a home that is well kept, up to date on maintenance, has a yard with landscaping, and reflects modern convenience with charm and elegance of the south. The first impression matters, and your curb appeal should be a priority in getting your home ready to rent in Charleston.
  2. Availability-Renters, especially long-term renters want to rent from someone who is available when they have questions, when there is an emergency, and can be available when maintenance is needed. When a property owner isn’t living near the property, availability can sometimes become a concern. Make sure your renters know the best ways to reach you and what to expect for response times.
  3. Updated Technology-Millennials are the prime target market for renters and they want the newest and latest technologies that are energy efficient, environmentally friendly, and easy to use. Simple updates such as the newest digital thermostats and automated lights can make a significant difference in helping your property stand out.

If you aren’t sure if you have the time or energy to make sure your property stands out on the market of Rental homes Charleston, consider hiring a property management company to get you to the next level in rental homes, Charleston, South Carolina.

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Renting Your Home Out: What You Need to Know

Your home is one of the most important pieces of property that you own. The value is higher than most other possessions, while sentimental value alone will make your home priceless. When we have to move, sometimes selling our home is a difficult choice to make. We want to hold onto the home rather than sell it, even if we can’t live in it anymore.

Even if you don’t want to sell your home, the house doesn’t have to sit empty. Many home owners choose to turn their home into a rental. Houses for rent in Charleston aren’t cheap. The iconic, tourist town with sandy beaches and history galore is the perfect place to own a rental home. People are moving to Charleston every day and more families are looking to rent homes. The earnings potential can be tremendous from rent collection. There are some things property owners must know before making the decision to become a landlord and offer houses for rent in Charleston.

  1. Legalities-Houses for rent in Charleston have to adhere to strict laws and guidelines if they are going to be rented to someone. There are rules to eviction, late rent collection, disclosure to the tenant, landlord access to property while occupied, and many other ordinances that must be followed.
  2. Availability- Landlords need to ensure that tenants can get ahold of them 24/7. This doesn’t mean that you are mandated to answer your phone each and every time a tenant calls, however, tenants need to know how and who to reach in the case of a maintenance emergency. Setting up an after-hours call service and keeping regular office hours is a necessity for landlords.
  3. Maintenance-Being a landlord is a very hands on career. Depending on the lease, you may be responsible for doing a lot or very little for your tenant, however most renters expect for major repairs to be covered by and handled quickly by the landlord.

Being a landlord isn’t for everyone. Houses for rent in Charleston can be managed by outside companies from the property owner. A property management company, like Scott Properties  can ensure that all laws are known and followed, you have a thorough lease, and all of your responsibilities are taken care of professionally.

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Turning Houses for Rent in Charleston into Investment Opportunities

Charleston is a large metropolitan area that has existed since Colonial times. 350 years after the founding of Charleston, people are still moving into this bustling city at a rate of 34 people/families per day. Properties in Charleston are a mix of history and modernity with some homes sparkling and new and others falling into a state of disarray. These so called “fix-her-uppers” are the perfect investment opportunity. There are many steps investors need to know before jumping into a mortgage on a future rental home.

  1. Build Wealth-Investing in property is for people who are financially stable. They have surpassed the survivability income, been stable for several years and can easily put at least 1/3 of their income into savings. Buying a home, even one is disrepair, is expense and the project of fixing it up can cost even more. Most planners recommend having at least 50,000 dollars in cash to use as a personal investment into a property.
  2. Have a Strategy-If you aren’t someone who works a trade job like construction, plumbing, electrical, etc. you should really get to be friends with people who are. You will need all hands on deck to complete renovation projects under budget. Otherwise, you are going to be paying top dollar to hire someone else to do the work for you.
  3. Know Your Market-When designing a home, design it for the type of renter you want to attract. Older people prefer homes with no stairs and smaller yards with just 2 bedrooms. Millennials want room to grow, the latest technology and energy efficiency. People with families appreciate pet friendly homes, large yards with fences, and 4 bedrooms or more, as well as full bathrooms.
  4. Become a Landlord-After you finish the home, you have to become a landlord or hire a property management firm to take care of the business end of houses for rent in Charleston. From collecting rent, scheduling maintenance, and pursuing evictions, there is a lot that goes into managing houses for rent in Charleston and other cities.

If your house is ready to rent, consider hiring Scott Properties to make the most of your investment through professional property management.