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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: Midlands 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. Midlands is still full of residents that need long term living arrangements for their family.

Knowing your Market

Midlands has a diverse population of just over 130 thousand people however, the entire Midlands region is hearing 750,000. Millennials make up a large chunk of Midlands 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 Midlands 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. Midlands 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 Midlands: How to Make Your Property Stand Out

Midlands 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, Midlands 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 Midlands 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 Midlands.
  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 Midlands, consider hiring a property management company to get you to the next level in rental homes, Midlands, 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 Midlands 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 Midlands 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 Midlands.

  1. Legalities-Houses for rent in Midlands 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 Midlands 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 Midlands into Investment Opportunities

Midlands is a large metropolitan area that has existed since Colonial times. 350 years after the founding of Midlands, people are still moving into this bustling city at a rate of 34 people/families per day. Properties in Midlands 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 Midlands. From collecting rent, scheduling maintenance, and pursuing evictions, there is a lot that goes into managing houses for rent in Midlands 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.

 

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Should You Allow Dogs? 5 Considerations for Property Managers

Over 65% of American families have at least one animals they keep as a pet. Over a third of these families are headed by Millennials who are getting dogs rather than having children. Millennials are the prime rental market; however, property managers are not lifting their bans on pets. If you are a property manager who is debating on whether to allow residents to have dogs, here are 5 things you should consider.

  1. Who is Your Target Renter?Depending on your target market, you may not have much demand for a pet friendly property. Many mid-life residents won’t have or want pets because of active and busy lifestyles. Seniors are usually more prone to want limited maintenance pets such as cats or birds rather than dogs that must be walked; however, Millennials and families with children are often more attracted to properties that allow dogs and other animals.
  2. Pets Can Bring Extra Revenue-Pet owners are often willing to pay more rent, an additional pet rent, or a pet deposit to have their pet live with them. In fact, pet owners usually expect this extra expense. Consider whether the extra revenue can offset the potential cost of turning the unit when vacant.
  3. Resident Retention-When a property manager allows pets the resident retention rates increase. Because many properties don’t allow pets when a renter finds a place that does, they are more likely to continue renewing their lease. If a property manager doesn’t allow pets, but the renter wants one, they may look somewhere else for their renting needs.
  4. Check your insurance-Your property insurance may not allow dogs, certain breeds, or have restrictions on the number of pets in a unit. Residents don’t always realize that it is not always up to the property manager whether they can have a dog, insurance has the final say on the matter.
  5. Requiring Renter’s Insurance-Many property managers require tenants to obtain renters insurance, especially if they have a dog. Requiring this and maintaining the records in the resident file can ease your mind for the liability you as a property manager may face.

Pets are part of many people’s family; however, they can be a huge liability or risk for property managers. Weigh the pros and cons of allowing pets in your properties before making a final decision on your pet policy.

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What You Need to Ask A Potential Property Manager

A property manager’s main function is to relieve the property owner of the stress that comes with managing their property and tenants. If you own a few homes but are ready to retire, are starting another business venture, or simply don’t have the time or enthusiasm to keep running a rental business as a private landlord, a property manager is someone that can help you achieve your dreams while still making a profit. This person needs to be qualified and trustworthy obviously, so while you are interviewing potential property managers, make sure to ask these questions as a good base for determination.

  1. How have you been able to adapt to new and changing business trends?If your interviewee has been in the property management business more than a few years, they have seen several shifts in the industry and understand there will be more in the future. Getting a grasp on their ability to change and adapt while effectively manage your property is key.
  2. What Services Do You Offer? There are many different services that property managers offer, and many will custom tailor their offerings to fit your needs.
  3. What are Your Marketing Strategies? If your property manager is going to be managing multiple homes or a multi-family property, you need to know how they plan to handle and fill vacancies and what strategies they have for resident retention. You also need to know if these marketing services are an extra charge or if you can establish a marketing budget that the property manager then utilizes.
  4. What About Your Team?Are you hiring a single property manager or a property management company to manage your investment? If you are hiring a company, you need to know what the qualifications of their team members are and how they go about their own hiring and training.
  5. Contract specifics are another conversation you should have at the time of the interview with a potential property manager. You need to know how and when you can break contracts and what your duties as the property owner will be. You should make sure that every detail of the arrangement, including updates and financial data is transparent.

Owning a property and taking a hands-off approach to renters can be difficult to navigate, but with a qualified property manager, such as Scott Properties, you can trust you are in qualified hands.

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Finding the Right Rental Homes in Midlands

Moving to Midlands, South Carolina can be a significant move for some people. With a population of almost three-quarters of a million people and lots of historic charm and nostalgia, Midlands can be a place quite different than many other large metropolitan cities. Being located on the coast has many advantages for Midlands because its beaches are some of the best in the country and offer a lot of tourist opportunities and a tourism economy. This is also a disadvantage to long-term renters because the demand for rental homes in Midlands can increase the property values which increases rent.

Analyzing the cost of living in Midlands shows that it cost significantly more on average to live in this historic city than most other places in the United States. One-bedroom apartments cost over $1,000 per month on average and rental homes are averaging more than $1,900 per month. Millennials that are living with roommates and families that need multiple bedrooms are often seeking out rental homes in Midlands rather than apartments.

People choose to live in homes in Midlands because of the aesthetic appeal also. Midlands is full of cobblestone streets, colonial architecture, and remnants of the plantation area and thriving agricultural businesses. Homes in Midlands are expected to live up to the beauty that surrounds them which also creates a demand for higher rent rates. Many rental homes are professionally landscaped and maintained by the property owner or property management company to ensure that the home retains its value during and after the tenants.

Midlands has a very low unemployment rate at less than 5% which is a remarkable thing for property owners of rental homes in Midlands. When people keep their jobs, they are more likely to remain living in their home. If you are interested in renting your property to a business class professional, you will have low turnover and amazing retention for your home. Scott Properties can help you navigate the path to turning the properties you own into rental homes in Midlands.

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Marketing Your Property to Millennials Scott Wallace – Friday, April 20, 2018 Millennials are now in their late twenties and early thirties and are the prime candidates for the rental market. They are at the beginning stages of their careers or family building and may not be quite ready to purchase a house yet, but are looking for something new, but still affordable to call home. Another reason Millennials are prime rental targets is because they were teenagers and young adults during the recession and not only saw the impact on their parent’s, but many on themselves also. These young people would rather rent than buy because they have seen how the economy can go belly up overnight. Property management professionals are learning more about marketing to the Millennial generation and have started using digital platforms to reach these renters. Almost 9 out of 10 Millennials owns and operates a smart device regularly so enabling online rent payments, maintenance requests, and email communication will always attract a Millennial. Another thing that property management companies can do to get more millennial renters is offering high speed internet options. Large apartment communities will always be more desirable if there are high speed internet options available. IF you really want to attract Millennials, include highspeed or broadband internet in the rental agreement. Eco-friendly properties will also be sure to attract the millennial generation. Whether a large community or single-family home, property management companies are making their homes more environmentally friendly by providing recycling service, offering community garden plots, using solar heating and energy efficient appliances in the homes. Millennials are also looking for property management companies that aren’t discriminatory towards pets. A third of all pets in the United States are owned by Millennials. Making your properties pet friendly can increase your attractiveness to this generation. Managing and marketing your property can be difficult. Knowing your target market is crucial for having low vacancy and turnover. A property management firm can help build your properties reputation and find the renters you desire most!

Millennials are now in their late twenties and early thirties and are the prime candidates for the rental market. They are at the beginning stages of their careers or family building and may not be quite ready to purchase a house yet, but are looking for something new, but still affordable to call home. Another reason Millennials are prime rental targets is because they were teenagers and young adults during the recession and not only saw the impact on their parent’s, but many on themselves also. These young people would rather rent than buy because they have seen how the economy can go belly up overnight.

Property management professionals are learning more about marketing to the Millennial generation and have started using digital platforms to reach these renters. Almost 9 out of 10 Millennials owns and operates a smart device regularly so enabling online rent payments, maintenance requests, and email communication will always attract a Millennial.

Another thing that property management companies can do to get more millennial renters is offering high speed internet options. Large apartment communities will always be more desirable if there are high speed internet options available. IF you really want to attract Millennials, include highspeed or broadband internet in the rental agreement.

Eco-friendly properties will also be sure to attract the millennial generation. Whether a large community or single-family home, property management companies are making their homes more environmentally friendly by providing recycling service, offering community garden plots, using solar heating and energy efficient appliances in the homes. Millennials are also looking for property management companies that aren’t discriminatory towards pets. A third of all pets in the United States are owned by Millennials. Making your properties pet friendly can increase your attractiveness to this generation.

Managing and marketing your property can be difficult. Knowing your target market is crucial for having low vacancy and turnover. A property management firm can help build your properties reputation and find the renters you desire most!

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How Property Management Deals With Hoarding Residents

We’ve all been to a relatives house who keeps everything from trinkets and figurines to old newspapers and TV Guides. As the years go by and the “stuff” starts to accumulate, it is clear that person is surely becoming a hoarder. When the property isn’t yours, you may not put too much thought into all the stuff inside, but when a property management company has to deal with residents who are hoarding, there are many things, including fair housing laws, that come into play. Hoarders can have an impact as small as making a nuisance to creating health and safety issues for the property and other residents.

If your property management company is dealing with a hoarder there are a few tips to make the situation easier:

  1. Understand the Behavior: Hoarding is not just a bad habit, the behavior is obsessive compulsive and is a treatable mental disorder. This means they are protected under fair housing laws. Property management companies cannot discriminate against tenants with mental illness or disability and must make reasonable accommodations before threatening eviction.
  2. Messy vs. Hoarding: The difference between messy and hoarding is that hoarding can cause safety issues within a unit such as blocking exits, interfering with the sprinkler system, attracting pests, or creating health or safety hazards for other residents. While someone may be unclean and messy, these traits don’t always cause safety issues for the resident or others.
  3. Document Everything: Property Management companies have a duty to provide habitable and safe dwellings for their residents. If you suspect a resident of hoarding, you must document every instance of contact with the resident and both their own willingness to uphold their end of the lease as well as your attempts to make accommodations for the person such as offering to lease them additional storage space.

Hoarders can wreak havoc on a property and can be troublesome for private landlords to manage. To avoid these costly and complicated legal matters, hiring a property management company to manage the home you own is always a smart choice!