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Setting Rental Prices

One of the most discussed topics when meeting with owners about their property is the rental amount.  There are many different ways to determine the rental amount of your home.  The first and the most important is what you have probably heard at some point in your life which is location, location, location!  This is very important and it is where we begin to form an idea of what your property might rent for.  Some think that it may be as simple as an entire city but it really is more specific than that.  When we look at location we focus not just on the city but down to the neighborhood where the home is located.

Next, we focus on what that neighborhood has as it pertains to amenities (pool, sidewalks, playground, storage area, tennis courts, basketball courts) an assess the condition of them.  These are amenities that most tenants want to know about and the value it brings as it corresponds to the rental amount.  A pool has a lot of added value for tenants because it gives them a way for their family or themselves to have recreation at their finger tips.  Some tenants like to idea of having sidewalks so they can walk or run for exercise or to just enjoy the outdoors.

Lastly, we look at the age of the home, square footage and building materials used (granite, hardwood floors, crown molding, tile, fixtures) and how that may increase the value for our potential tenants.  The age of the home is very important to tenants because they are going to want a home that is energy efficient and aren’t going to want items like HVAC to be constantly serviced.  Having a home that is updated even though it may be older is very important for your rental amount and also to secure tenants that will take care of your home.  Next, everyone wants more room and obviously square footage has a big impact on rental amount along with the amount of bedrooms the home may have.  This part is pretty simple, the more room and rooms you have the more the rent can go up.  Some of the more important materials that need to be in a home to maximize your investment is granite vinyl plank or hardwood floors. The main point that we tell our clients is to get rid of the carpet and put down solid flooring.

This is not a comprehensive way to evaluate your rental price but these steps will put you on your way to getting a very close estimate for your home.  We are always willing to help in anyway we can so if you have any questions please let us know.

 

How Important Is Property Management Bookkeeping?

Charlie, the Real Estate Watch Dog

Charlie, the Real Estate Watch Dog

We have added a new member to our team of real estate professionals at Quartermaster Properties.  This is Charlie, the real estate watchdog.  He is a two year old Golden Doodle with a keen sense to sniff out real estate and market trends.  He also has good advice on how to make sure you pick the best real estate company for your needs.  Charlie is partial to Quartermaster Properties but does his best to be as objective as possible.  In addition, we are supported by APM Help, a bookkeeping firm specializing in the property management sector who Charlie also recommends.

Property Management Bookkeeping

For obvious reasons, property management bookkeeping is extremely important.  Accurate bookkeeping is important for the company.  Likewise, it is also very important for clients  to know their funds are managed correctly.  But I’m sure you must ask yourself:  How do clients know the condition of a company’s books?

Audit Tool:  Triple Tied Out

For months now we have been working with a company called APM Help.  APM Help is a bookkeeping firm which offers many client services including audit tools which report on the quality of a client’s books.  Quartermaster Properties has added a badge/link provided by APM Help called Triple Tied Out.  Triple Tied Out generates a link displayed at the bottom of our website.  This link provides 24×7 reporting on the condition of our books.  Consequently, the service helps us insure we keep our bookkeeping up to date and as transparent as possible to our current and future clients.

When searching for a property management company who is transparent, ask them if they use an audit tool as part of their bookkeeping process.  Quartermaster Properties is the “Gold Standard” in more ways than just bookkeeping.  We prove this saying by being transparent for all to see on the internet with our triple tied out badge/link and also by how we treat our clients and their properties.  We realize the importance of integrating useful technology with real estate and strive to stay on the cutting edge.  Take a minute and look for this symbol at the bottom of our landing page to get a current overview of our books.  Don’t forget to subscribe for triple tied out updates at the bottom of our web site.

Bookkeeping: Triple Tied Out Daily Audit Tool

Investment Home Trends

Owning a rental home is a great way to diversify your investment portfolio.  This couldn’t be more true as we make our way into the summer of 2018.  South Carolina as a whole is booming and people from all over the world are moving here for various reasons.  South Carolina boasts beautiful beaches and magnificent mountains with wonderful lakes all in between.  The other major reason people are moving to South Carolina are jobs jobs jobs and more jobs.  Charleston continues to add major companies like Volvo, Boeing, and the ever growing medical jobs that the area is known for.  The Greenville/Spartanburg area continues to offer jobs with BMW, Michelin, GE Power and Water and Honeywell.  With all of these industries coupled with what people are able to do and see in South Carolina it makes it the perfect location for investment homes.  We continue to get more and more people calling us wanting to rent our homes so they can get a “lay of the land” before they purchase a home.  Some of our clients in this situation stay in the rental for a couple of years before they decide to purchase.  We also have clients that wish to stay a tenant so they can be more mobile due to their job situation.  These are all positives for the investors who want to continue to grow their investment home portfolio!  To make it as simple as I can the 2018 rental market is as hot as we have seen it and it continues to impress us.  Quartermaster Properties has the tools and knowledge on how to make these strategic purchases and manage them in the Greenville/Spartanburg or Charleston area.  If we can help you continue to grow or start your investment home portfolio we are ready to help. We Are Exactly What You Need!

The History of Quartermaster Properties

 

Quartermaster Symbol

The Company Name

Quartermaster Properties . . . our clients often ask us where we came up with the name.   The history of the term quartermaster is a naval term related to navigation. The quartermaster is the enlisted member in charge of the watch-to-watch navigation and the maintenance, correction and preparation of nautical charts and navigation publications.  Joseph Morelli, our Broker in Charge, served his country enlisted and commissioned in the United States Navy for a total of 31 years.  Thus, he is the reason that the name of the company is what it is today.  Consequently, the term Quartermaster Properties could not be more relevant to the real estate business and the close watch we have on our clients’ real estate investments

The Beginning

The name of a company is great, but where the rubber meets the road is how good is the service it provides to its clients?  We all have been in a situation where we really needed something done right and done right the first time.  The struggle is very real when it comes to finding someone to do just that!  In the early years of Quartermaster Properties (2008) we had a friend who needed “boots on the ground” to manage their vacation rental.  It was a very nice $2 million home on Folly Beach and it gave us our first look into what it takes to be a great property manager.  From there we expanded into long term rentals, securing several of our own, and made a few minor mistakes as we learned the business.

The Company Today

Since 2008, we have grown and adjusted our processes to make Quartermaster Properties one of the most highly respected property management companies in South Carolina.  Our vision for the company was to eventually add a sales division, which we recently completed.  Now Quartermaster Properties is a full service real estate company providing the best property management and sales in South Carolina.  The term that we have coined could not be more true today than it was in 2008 . . . We Are Exactly What You Need.

Why Professional Real Estate Photography?

Professional Real Estate Photography

We have all often heard the saying, “A pictures is worth a thousand words.”  It is true and one of the reasons we put such a high value on the quality of our properties’ photographs.   We have observed that some companies state that they will market your home with “professional real estate photography.”  Then the listing is published and the owner discovers the provided photographs are less than professional, i.e. photos with pets, people, lingerie, clutter, sometimes the reflexion of the photographer in a mirror, etc.  Such photographs leave a prospective renter or buyer with a less than favorable impression of the property and the company.  Photographs ARE the key to a property’s online marketing presence; consequently, the photographs need to be good quality and accurate in order to market it effectively and to insure the property vacancy rate stays as low as possible.

We believe the only thing worse than a vacancy is a bad tenant.  In order to attract the best tenants we do everything we can to position the property in the best possible light.  One way we do this is to hire some of the best photographers in the area to insure quality results and so that our owners’ properties present well and are depicted accurately in order to have the best online presence possible. 

Review our Listings

We invite you to review our listings and see for yourself.  Such details set us apart from our competition and is also one of the reasons we won Expertise’s Best Property Managers in Greenville, South Carolina award again.   

Hurricane Harvey Relief

Hurricane Harvey Property Management Challenge

With the recent impact of Hurricane Harvey in Texas, we as a property management community need to open our hearts and wallets to help in this tragedy. As we all know, Texas will be in need of help for many months to come and we need to make sure they have what they need to get back on their feet.

Quartermaster Properties challenges all South Carolina property management companies to contribute a minimum of $250 to Samaritan’s Purse. Please go to www.samaritanspurse.org/disaster/hurricane-harvey/

or a charity of your choice today and make your contribution. Then send proof of your company’s pledge to info@qm-llc.com and we will publish a list of contributors to our Facebook and Google pages. Let’s give to these people in need and keep them in our thoughts and prayers.

Please join us and add your name to the list.

Thanks!

Quartermaster Properties

 

What Makes Great Investment Homes

We get asked all of the time by first time investors and experienced investors about what makes up a profitable rental home. Here is a list of things to consider when buying a rental home or turning your current home into a investment property.

Key Points to Consider When Purchasing an Investment Home

Condition: One of the most important parts of the home is the condition it is in. Rental homes in great condition demand more rent and also bring much better tenants than homes that are in need of repairs. Even minor repairs to a property can turn away great tenants and lead to bigger maintenance issues in the future. Make sure you have had a through home inspection to maximize your investment.

Neighborhood: The quality of the neighborhood in which you buy will influence both the types of tenants you attract and how often you face vacancies. For example, if you buy in a neighborhood near a university, the chances are that your pool of potential tenants will be mainly made up of students and that you will face vacancies on a fairly regular basis (during summer, when students tend to return back home).

Property Taxes: Property taxes are not standard across the board and, as an investor planning to make money from rent, you want to be aware of how much you will be losing to taxes. High property taxes may not always be a bad thing if the neighborhood is an excellent place for long-term tenants, but the two do not necessarily go hand in hand. The town’s assessment office will have all the tax information on file or you can talk to homeowners within the community.

Schools: Your tenants may have or be planning to have children, so they will need a place near a decent school. When you have found a good property near a school, you will want to check the quality of the school as this can affect the value of your investment. If the school has a poor reputation, prices will reflect your property’s value poorly. Although you will be mostly concerned about the monthly cash flow, the overall value of your rental property comes in to play when you eventually sell it.

Crime: No one wants to live next door to a hot spot for criminal activity. Go to the police or the public library for accurate crime statistics for various neighborhoods, rather than asking the homeowner who is hoping to sell the house to you. Items to look for are vandalism rates, serious crimes, petty crimes and recent activity (growth or slow down). You might also want to ask about the frequency of police presence in your neighborhood.

Job Market: Locations with growing employment opportunities tend to attract more people – meaning more tenants. To find out how a particular area rates, go directly to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics or to your local library. If you notice an announcement for a new major company moving to the area, you can rest assured that workers will flock to the area. However, this may cause house prices to react (either negatively or positively) depending on the corporation moving in. The fallback point here is that if you would like the new corporation in your backyard, your renters probably will too.

Amenities: Check the potential neighborhood for current or projected parks, malls, gyms, movie theaters, public transport hubs and all the other perks that attract renters. Cities, and sometimes even particular areas of a city, have loads of promotional literature that will give you an idea of where the best blend of public amenities and private property can be found.

Building Permits and Future Development: The municipal planning department will have information on all the new development that is coming or has been zoned into the area. If there are many new condos, business parks or malls going up in your area, it is probably a good growth area. However, watch out for new developments that could hurt the price of surrounding properties by, for example, causing the loss of an activity-friendly green space. The additional condos and/or new housing could also provide competition for your renters, so be aware of that possibility.

Number of Listings and Vacancies: If there is an unusually high number of listings for one particular neighborhood, this can either signal a seasonal cycle or a neighborhood that has “gone bad.” Make sure you figure out which it is before you buy in. You should also determine whether you can cover for any seasonal fluctuations in vacancies. Similar to listings, the vacancy rates will give you an idea of how successful you will be at attracting tenants. High vacancy rates force landlords to lower rents in order to snap up tenants. Low vacancy rates allow landlords to raise rental rates.

Rents: Rental income will be the bread and butter of your rental property, so you need to know what the average rent in the area is. If charging the average rent is not going to be enough to cover your mortgage payment, taxes and other expenses, then you have to keep looking. Be sure to research the area well enough to gauge where the area will be headed in the next five years. If you can afford the area now, but major improvements are in store and property taxes are expected to increase, then what could be affordable now may mean bankruptcy later.

Natural Disasters: Insurance is another expense that you will have to subtract from your returns, so it is good to know just how much you will need to carry. If an area is prone to earthquakes or flooding, paying for the extra insurance can eat away at your rental income

When Should I Hire A Property Manager

There is a lot of confusion about when is the best time to hand over your investment and hire a property management company. So when should I hire a property manager?  You could argue back and forth about doing it yourself (DIY) or hiring a credible management company to take your headaches away.  After all it could avoid costly mistakes depending on your level of expertise and the type of project it is.  With any DIY project there is always a learning curve that you don’t expect to run into.  We all think that things are easier in the beginning of a project since after all “It can’t be that hard”.  After the project is finished sometimes we look back and think maybe if I had hired a professional to do this I could have saved money in the long run.

Once you decide to use a professional take Dave Ramsey’s advice and seek out the true professionals.  Not all management companies are created equal and each of them have their own business model they follow.  Most of them have the same level of software, advertising products and features to make them and their properties stand out.  The question is how do they handle the details of your property and what exactly do you and your tenants get for the price you pay?  Put yourself in a tenants shoes and look at the different companies through the eyes of the consumer.  Would you want to use this company for your housing needs?  How can I be sure I am renting a home from a company that will take care of it while I am living there?  There are a lot of window dressing out there for companies to mask what they can really do for you.  Make sure you take the time to look behind the curtains and see what makes each of them tick!  Here is some great info from Dave Ramsey about property management!  Just because you are a big name in property management doesn’t mean you are the best. Like Dave Ramsey says, “There are great management companies out there you just have to search them out.” Make sure you search a great company out, and make sure you stop and search Quartermaster Properties because “We Are Exactly What You Need!”

https://www.facebook.com/QuartermasterProperties/

 

 

South Carolina Schools

School is just around the corner and for some we are excited and for others it’s the end of the summer fun.  We often get many questions about schools and which will fit each families needs the best.  We at Quartermaster Properties have families and children of our own and know the importance of navigating South Carolina schools for the best fit for us.  South Carolina is different than many other states as there are more options for schools depending on the area you live in.  There are Charter Schools, Magnet Schools, Academy’s, Creative Art Schools and Montessori Schools which can be mind boggling to think about.  With all of these options this can be very hard for some who haven’t experienced this in the previous area they lived.  This is one website that we use to research the schools our children go to and thought we should share it with our Quartermaster Properties family.  Also we that it would be helpful to add a link to Charleston County School website to answer in other questions you may have.   Enjoy the links and we hope you all have a great start to your school year!

https://www.schooldigger.com/

https://www.ccsdschools.com/

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