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Property Management in Columbia SC | Top 5 Reasons to Invest in Columbia SC Properties

Property Management in Columbia SC

When purchasing investment properties in South Carolina, one of the most crucial factors to consider is where these homes will be located. There are many cities in South Carolina that are perfect for rental investment, but we happen to really love the opportunity for property management in Columbia SC. Columbia is one of the most historic towns in the state and was an integral part of the mercantile economy during colonial times. If the historic charm does not convince you to invest in rental properties in Columbia, there are a few other factors that might!

  1. Lower Priced Homes- Columbia has been ranked as one of the top 25 most affordable places to live in the entire country. The average home price is 11% less than the national average with a median price of $164,200.
  2. Outdoor Recreation- Property management in Columbia SC can also manage vacation homes and short-term rentals which are nearly always full because of the great outdoor recreation Columbia has to offer.
  3. High Demand- Columbia has a steadily high demand for single-family rentals because the low cost of living and reasonable rent rates attract families from all over the state. Most neighborhoods in Columbia have a dense population and employment growth also which brings new people to the city.
  4. Buy from Snowbirds- Retirees who want to spend their winters somewhere warm often purchase small homes or condominiums in Columbia. When these people cannot travel any longer, they often look to get out from under these homes for cheap. Investors can scoop these properties up for great deals.
  5. Rent Yields Are High- Because homes are so affordable in Columbia, investors who can get low interest rates and great tax incentives can often see a much higher rent yield than other areas around the state. This means that the profit you make will be higher.

Buying property in Columbia SC is the best choice for first time investors looking to get into single-family home rentals. The key to success is having a top-notch property management in Columbia SC partnering with you to manage these homes.

If you are ready to discuss the opportunities property management in Columbia SC can offer your investments, call Scott Properties of the Midlands at 803-951-0702.

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Property Management Companies in Columbia SC | Before Investing, Study the Rental Rates

Property Management Companies in Columbia SC

When deciding where to invest in single-family rental homes there are many factors investors take into consideration. One of the biggest factors is the price of homes compared to the rental rates. The amount you pay on your mortgage on the rental property should be considerably less than what you are renting it for if you want to make a profit. However, some investors neglect to take a deep dive into the rental rates in the area and make the wrong choice when choosing neighborhoods their rentals will be most successful. Property management companies in Columbia SC put a lot of time into doing market research and rental analysis and can sometimes advise investors, but we can give you a few tips on studying rental rates now.

Tips for Studying Rental Rates

Market rent is the average price of rent on a single-family home in a particular market/neighborhood. Knowing the market rent is vital to making a great return because you need to know your profit margin to be expected. The way to find out more about market rent is to ask property management companies in Columbia SC, otherwise you have a lot of work ahead of you in research.

Another crucial detail you will want to study in rental rates is the consistency. Are rental rates fluctuating frequently? Do they seem higher than what is being offered in similar neighborhoods? These are signs of a volatile rental market and these neighborhoods make for bad investments in most cases. Choosing properties in Columbia is great because the rental market is consistent with minimal risk of a market fallout. Consistency is also key to planning future investments, renovations, and marketing efforts to build out your investment portfolio and continue working with property management companies in Columbia SC.

Consider partnering with Scott Properties of the Midlands on your next single-family home rental investment for all your property management needs. Call today at 803-951-0702.

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Property Management in Lexington SC | What Must a Lease Include?

Property Management in Lexington SC

The lease is the most important part of a rental relationship between tenants and property management in Lexington SC. The lease is a legally binding agreement that both tenants and landlords, owners, or property managers must abide by. The property manager is responsible for creating and enforcing a lease so ensuring that everything needing to be covered is included in this legally binding document is vital to protecting everyone’s rights under the law.

Lease Check List

Some leases are pages long while others are only a few paragraphs. The more detailed your lease is, the better protected owners and property management in Lexington SC will be when it comes to landlord-tenant laws and regulations. Use this checklist to ensure your lease is comprehensive and legal.

  • Lease term
  • Security deposit amounts
  • Rental due dates
  • Penalties for missed or late rent payments
  • Names of all tenants and occupants
  • Property manager responsibilities including repairs and maintenance, pest control, lawn care, etc.
  • Pet policy
  • Deposit return policy
  • Policies on noise, guests, HOA dues, smoking, painting, updates, or other reasonable restrictions on use, damage, home cleanliness, home inspections and other rules.
  • Tenant responsibilities such as obtaining renter’s insurance, having utilities turned on in the tenant’s name, keeping those utilities on, and other responsibilities.
  • Penalties for lease violations
  • Expectations regarding communications between staff and tenants
  • Policies on lease renewal
  • Policies on eviction process
  • Contact information for the property manager.

One thing that a property owner can do to ensure that a lease is legal and employable is get advice from their lawyer. Contractual attorneys specialize in leases and other contracts involving property and business arrangements. Many times, you can partner with a legal expert through a property management in Lexington SC company to ensure your lease is detailed, comprehensive, and inclusive of everything you need to protect all parties involved in the agreement.

If you are ready to partner with a property management team, call Scott Properties at 803-951-0702.

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Property Management Companies in Columbia SC | How to Tell the Good from the Bad in Property Management

Property Management Companies in Columbia SC

Investors who are looking for property management companies in Columbia SC are always looking for the company that will make them the largest return on their investment. Some investors will want to look for the lowest management fees, but they must always remember, you will get what you pay for. There are many property management options for investors, but there are ways to weed out the good vs the bad.

  1. What Is the Average Vacancy Rate? Ask the property management companies in Columbia SC you are interviewing what their vacancy rates are and the average time between renters on the average property.
  2. Are the Properties Comparable to Yours? You want to choose a property management company that has experience renting properties like yours. Do not choose a multi-family housing company to manage your single-family home.
  3. Ask About Vendors. Get a list of vendors that each of the property management companies in Columbia SC you are interested in work with so you can compare their reviews and reputations. Vendors such as maintenance crews, landscaping companies, and others will give you a snapshot of the quality of work that will be done to take care of your investment property.
  4. Compare Services. Property management companies will all offer different services and the pricing they offer will be based on those services. Make sure you are getting exactly what you need and want from a company before signing on the dotted line with one. You will want to work with a company that can meet all your expectations and keep your properties filled and well taken care of.
  5. Compare Reviews. Not only should you be checking out their vendors, but you also need to check out the reviews left on the property management company pages online as well. Do not forget to check Angie’s List, Google, social media, the company’s website, and Yelp.

There are a variety of property management companies in Columbia SC that work with many different types of investors. The best way to put your mind at ease when it comes to your rental properties is to hire the management company that fits you the best.

Give Scott Properties of the Midlands a call at 803-951-0702.

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Property Management in Lexington SC | What Does a Property Manager Do Between Tenants?

Property Management in Lexington SC

Employees in property management in Lexington SC are always extremely busy when homes are filled with tenants. Besides rent collection, a property manager must handle maintenance requests, vendors, property owners, and fielding phone calls from prospective tenants all day long. You might think a property manager will get a break between tenants when homes are empty, but this is often when things get even busier. 

Tasks that Property Managers Must While Homes Are Vacant

The last thing a property management in Lexington SC company wants is for a home to be vacant for long. The more days a house sits unrented, the more money the property owner is losing. Property managers need to do everything they can to make sure the home is ready to rent including maintenance such as:

  • Painting
  • Carpet cleaning
  • Deep cleaning
  • Fixing anything broken
  • Replacing flooring
  • Lawn and garden maintenance
  • Replacing air filters
  • Drywall repairs
  • Odor removal
  • And more!

While the property manager is not the one doing these tasks typically, they do have to oversee the maintenance team to ensure everything is done to company standards. Besides this process, property management in Lexington SC company focus is always on marketing and renting. Property managers will need to be listing the property as available online, putting a sign in the front, fielding phone calls, showing the home when ready and scheduling those appointments, meeting with vendors, and sending reports to owners.

Property managers also have a lot of loose ends to tie up with previous tenants that they need to worry about such as past due unpaid balances on accounts, return of security deposits when applicable, and ensuring that the move out process was completed.

The burden of these tasks and amount of time they take to complete is the top reason investors hire a professional property management company to manage their rental homes.

If you are interested in property management services, call. Scott Properties of the Midlands at 803-951-0702.

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Property Management in Columbia SC | Why Social Media Matters for Landlords

Property Management in Columbia SC

Once upon a time, a landlord could rent a house quickly by posting an add to craigslist and a sign in the front yard. Today, all the best companies doing property management in Columbia SC understand that social media matters—a lot. Not every property owner wants to focus on social media, it can be tedious and time consuming, but there are incredibly good reasons why you should be connected:

  • Most single-family home renters are between 25 and 38 years old. These young people rely on Facebook and Instagram to connect them with the world with nearly the entire Unites States population in this age range having access to the internet and a smart phone.
  • Images are everything and platforms like Instagram are perfect for showcasing your beautiful coastal homes if you work in property management in Columbia SC. The historic homes against beautiful Southern landscapes can skyrocket the algorithms and ensure your posts are seen.
  • Social Media is a wonderful way for property owners to post reminders or links to fun events happening in the neighborhood. They might also post information on bulk waste pickup, landscape waste collection, or other vital services. Social media is also most renter’s preferred way to find out about new homes for rent.
  • Marketplace on Facebook allows property owners to post rentals. Tenants have access to many different filters to narrow down the number of bedrooms and bathrooms they need, rent they can afford, and other necessities for the perfect rental. Utilizing the social media marketplaces to highlight your rental homes is one of the best ways that property management in Columbia SC for booking appointments and getting new interest.
  • Tenants and prospective tenants can leave reviews on your social media page that will attract new renters in the future. Many renters go to a company’s social media business page to check the public opinion on a landlord before signing a lease or paying an application fee.

One of the best ways to stay on top of your social media game is to hire a property manager that has excellent marketing skills. There is no time like the present to dive into your social media goals and see your investment explode with new opportunities.

If you are ready to make your investment the best it can be, call Scott Properties of Columbia at 803-951-0702.

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Property Management in Lexington SC | When You Should Raise the Rent

Property Management in Lexington SC

One of the most uncomfortable things for a rental property owner to do is raise the rent on their tenants. However, everyone who works in property management in Lexington SC has had to increase the rent and it’s never a fun time. We have been able to come up with some best practices around when the best time to raise the rent is that will minimize the tension between property management and tenants.

  1. When It’s Time to Renew: You can only raise the rent when it is time to renew and sign a new contract. The property management in Lexington SC is just as beholden to the rent as tenants are and cannot charge any more than what is outlined in the lease.
  2. When Property Value Goes Up: Most landlords do not raise rent annually unless the market rent has increased, or the property value has gone up. The rental home may increase in value as properties are reassessed, upgrades and enhancements are made, or the neighborhood because more desirable.
  3. When You Aren’t Charging Enough: Some people who are new to property management in Lexington SC think they should charge below market value in rent just to undercut the other owners and try to get more tenants coming to them first. This is a bad practice because you are costing the property owner money and reputation when it comes to the worth of their rental properties.

How To Tell A Tenant Rent is Going Up

You should notify tenants within 60-90 days of their lease renewal that rent will be increasing. Most landlords choose to send a letter and/or email to tenants to remind them of their lease renewal deadline. Also included will often be the details on rent increases or any other new policies or lease changes tenants can expect. Make sure to always stay to the facts, remain calm, and keep communication with your tenants open and honest when it comes to rent increases and other changes in the lease.

If you’re looking for property management in Lexington SC, call Scott Properties at 803-951-0702.

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Property Management Services in Columbia SC | Help for Landlords During COVID-19

Property Management Services in Columbia SC

COVID19 has put a strain on property investors all over the country and property management services in Columbia SC are feeling the burden right along with them. When you’re a property manager or landlord, bringing in the rent is part of the job description and property owners are depending on you to make it happen; however, with job losses and rent moratoriums happening, some landlords aren’t seeing any rental income coming in. Luckily, there is help available.

Property management services in Columbia SC are working with their investors and property owners to make sure they realize all the programs currently available to keep afloat during these uncertain times. Here are some of the top programs available for landlords to find relief:

  • Mortgage forbearance under the CARES Act makes it possible to stop your mortgage payments; however, all these payments will come due at once when the pandemic or CARES act expires. One of the best things you can do if you apply for mortgage forbearance is to also apply for other financial aid options for relief.
  • Paycheck Protection Program offers loan forgiveness for business that keep their employees such as landlords who hire property management services in Columbia SC.
  • Economic Injury Disaster Loans provides relief to small businesses who are currently experiencing loss of income because of COVID such as landlords who are not receiving rental income.
  • SBA Express Bridge Loans are available to all property owners who already have relationships with the small business association and an SBA express lender to access up to $25,000.
  • SBA Debt Relief is another great choice for small business owners such as property investors. The SBA can pay up to 6 months of principal, interest, and fees on microloans and other types of loans.
  • Municipal relief is often available through local city or county government programs. Cities all over the United States are using emergency funds to offer grants and loans to small business owners.

COVID-19 has turned life upside down for tenants and landlords alike. The pandemic has made tensions run high, but property owners, managers, landlords, and tenants should try to take advantage of the programs available for assistance.

If you are interested in hiring property manager services in Columbia SC to help you navigate the changes with the pandemic, call Scott Properties at 803-951-0702.

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Common Questions Owners Have About Property Management

Property Management | Deciding to hire property management to take care of your rental property is a big decision and one that should not be made lightly. There may be several companies that boast the best vacancy fill rates or have great reviews, but as an owner, there are common things that you should wonder about. When you begin interviews potential companies to manage your rental property, make sure to ask these questions.

  1. Do You Require A Security Deposit?Not requiring a security deposit is a big mistake for homeowners and most property management companies will also charge at least one full month’s rent as a deposit that will be placed in an escrow account according to law. These deposits protect the owner against damages incurred by the tenant.
  2. Do You Do Inspections?Believe it or not, many property management companies do not walk through or inspect rental homes to make sure that everything is being taken care of. An excellent property management company should schedule walkthroughs at least twice per year to verify that the house is being treated well.
  3. What Are Your Fees?Don’t trust a property management company that has hidden fees or charges for services based on a laundry list. A high-quality management firm should charge a flat percentage rate of the gross monthly rent. Owners also need to ask if the tenant doesn’t pay rent, who is responsible for the rental fee? Some companies may require that the property owner still pay the fee, even if the renter doesn’t pay. Look for a property management firm that doesn’t hold owner’s responsible such as Scott Properties in Midlands.
  4. What is The Application Process for Tenants? As the owner of the home, you want to know that the people renting from you will pay on time, not destroy your home, and not cause problems in the neighborhood. Tenants should be screened through an application to determine suitability. Background checks, income verification, and previous rental history along with photo idea should all be part of the application process.

 

Start with these four questions when you interview property managers. If the answers aren’t to your liking after these four, it is time to move on to a different property management company. Call Scott Properties today to see how we can help you rent your home in Midlands!

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Why Your Property Manager Will Require Renters Insurance

Property Manager | When a property manager is handling the leasing of your rental home, you want to trust that they will be able to keep your property safe and incur a profit for every month. One way the property manager you are working with will ensure that your rental property stays safe and valuable is to include mandatory renters’ insurance in the lease agreement.

Why Renters Need Insurance

Many tenants may not want to purchase renter’s insurance. No one wants to take on more bills; however, renter’s insurance should be non-negotiable. Many renters do not understand that when it comes to their belongings, a property owner’s insurance is not liable for damages to the renter’s things. Renters need their insurance to cover them in the event of disasters that result in the loss of property.

Your property manager should ask for a copy of renter’s insurance to prove the renter’s liability coverage if damages are caused to the property as a result of the renter’s negligence. Renters are often surprised to find out that if they leave the water running and flood the apartment, or cause a fire, that they are responsible for the damages, not the property owner.

Where to Get Renters Insurance

Many renters will ask a property manager where they should get renters insurance. Most of the time a renter can receive a discount on their insurance if they package renter’s insurance with their other policies such as car insurance. Tenants should be able to choose whatever insurance provider they prefer, but a property manager may also have suggestions for tenants.

What Does Renters Insurance Not Cover?

While every policy may be different, there are a few things that most renter’s insurance will not cover. Natural Disasters, especially in flood zones such as coastal cities are not covered in renter’s insurance policies; however, additional coverage for these events is generally available. Damage caused by pests is usually not included. High-value items such as antiques, or rare collectibles often require additional coverage as well, especially if their value exceeds your policy limits.

If you are looking for rental property in the Midlands area, call Scott Properties today to see how we can help you rent your home in Midlands!