Thursday, February 26, 2009

Selling a Commercial Property

Dear Property Manager,

I need to know the best way to go about selling a commercial property. My business partner and I own a 15,000 square foot property and a small bit of land near Charlotte. We are interested in selling the land and the building--although we know that a buyer may want to take it down and re-build.

Can you suggest the best way to advertise the property or find builders who might be interested in the land? Over the last few years several buildings have gone up near us, and maybe the property owners would like to expand…How do I contact these people?

Thank You,

Howard H.

Hi Howard,

In your case, I recommend that the best way to go about selling of the property is to contact our commercial real estate division at 803.802.0004. Commercial real estate agents specialize in leasing, some in land development, and others in sales—so it is important to make sure the company or agent you work with has specialties in selling and development, to find the right buyer. Kuester works in all of these arenas, and has significant experience in the Charlotte area. We will work with you in as a commercial agent and assist you in pricing the property appropriately, finding potential buyers and negotiating an offer to purchase, and handling all of the details involved.

We look forward to talking with you soon.

Best regards,
Property Manager

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Lease Agreements: Property Management

Dear Property Manager,

I have owned a commercial building in Concord for 2 years that I took over when my father passed away. I had hired my brother-in-law to handle the property management for me, but I am realizing now that this was a mistake. The tenants have been complaining about lawn maintenance, and building upkeep—including areas that I think are their responsibility, and have joined together saying that they will not pay rent this month unless I take care of these things. My lease agreement states that the tenants accept the premises “as is”—and are responsible for the inside building maintenance, but one of my tenants is an attorney, so I need to be careful. I don’t want to lose the tenants, but I don’t know how to make all the changes without increasing rent, or even if I am legally obligated to do so.

I need to help with this situation—and then hire a professional maintenance company. Do you have any suggestions?

Gary H. Concord, NC

Dear Gary –

First off, I need to say that I am not a commercial real estate attorney – and clearly you need to talk to yours.

What I can tell you is that most commercial leases provide that the landlord will take care of things like maintenance of the common areas of the property – and that includes the lawn maintenance, parking lot, common hallways or sidewalks. Generally, unless the property is a single-tenanted building, the lawn, for example, is not under their control. There is a part of your lease that deals with your specific landlord obligations, and probably addresses what you are responsible for. It would probably be best for you to consult your lawyer to assist in interpreting whether you are entitled to recover the costs associated with upkeep of the common areas, and repairs. But my recommendation would be to make the repairs and hire a qualified property management company immediately to deal appropriately with tenant satisfaction and management. In the long run, you will save money and frustration, and keep your building filled—which in this economy is especially important.

If you would like to speak to someone in our Kuester Concord office, give us a call at 803.578.7701.

Property Manager
Kuester Property Management

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Selecting a Property Management Company

Dear Property Manager,

I currently own a 20,000 square foot office/retail space (can sub by 1000) in Charlotte which will become available in May of this year. I would like to know how to select the right type of property management company. I am planning on handling the advertising/listing portion myself, but would need someone to handle the leasing arrangements, maintenance and rent collection. Thank you.

Charlie J.

Dear Charlie,

First, look around in the neighborhoods or near your building and look who handles the management for those buildings. A lot of the times the property management company will post a sign. Also, you can ask other building owners who they use. Hopefully Kuester will be on your list! Then I recommend you make appointments with the top three that catch your eye. Meet in person with each company, ask them about their experience with property similar to yours, and if they think you are a good fit for them—and then get references.

Then… definitely check those references.

After you have gone through this process, you should be able to choose the best property management company for you—and I do hope you chose us!

Please give contact us today to set up our “interview”. I look forward to hearing from you.

Property Manager
Kuester Property Management

Friday, February 13, 2009

Requirements for HOA Property Managers

Dear Property Manager,

Our neighborhood in Charlotte is in the market for a new homeowners property management company. Can you tell me what is mandatory for HOA organizations and what kind of experience and certification do your HOA property managers have?

Jasmine K.

Dear Jasmine:

All HOA managers are required to have at a minimum their CMCA (Certified Manager in Community Associations) Certification. However, two-thirds of the Kuester HOA Management team also have an AMS (Association Management Specialist) Certification. All Managers are required to continue their education through training seminars and encouraged to receive additional certifications. The Kuester Managers have 2 to 10 years experience in the Homeowner Association industry.

If you think that Kuester may be a good fit for your community, we would be happy to talk with you. Please give us a contact at 803.802.0004.

Property Manager
Kuester Property Manager

Monday, February 9, 2009

Sale of Commercial Property

Dear Kuester –

I have a large piece of commercial property that I inherited, and would like to sell. I have sold houses before and had no problems, but I’ve been warned that I really need to work with a professional firm that specializes in real estate transactions. What would be my risks in such a sale, and is this the type of transaction Kuester could handle?

Ziggy R.

Dear Ziggy –

The sale of commercial property is far more complex than the sale of a house, for many reasons. In a commercial sale:

-->Your risk for liability is much higher;
-->There may be liens and title problems of which you are unaware;
-->Zoning issues may pose a threat to the sale;
-->You run increased risk of legal disputes;
-->Land use may come into contention;
-->Market fluctuations can jeopardize the sale;
-->There are debt service and lender requirements before another entity can purchase the property;
-->You may have hazardous material and environmental waste issues to address prior to selling;

While all of these potential risks are real, they are far from insurmountable. However, you do need the help of a seasoned professional real estate company whose wealth of experience in the sale of commercial properties will guide you through any obstacles that may arise.

Since 1975, Kuester been handling commercial property leasing, land and property sales and has managed commercial property for diverse types of businesses. Our goal is always to maximize profits, minimize challenges and obstacles for our clients and provide the highest level of customer care and service.

Please give us a call at 803.802.0004 for a private consultation on the sale of your commercially zoned property.

With best regards,

Property Manager
The Kuester Companies

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Commercial Site Location Services

Dear Property Manager

I have decided to launch an Italian restaurant in one of the suburbs of Charlotte. A buddy suggested I consult with you to help determine what locations would be the most advantageous. Could you please outline what services you provide?

Joey G.

Dear Joey –

Congratulations on your decision to open a restaurant!

In the past 32 years, we have helped hundreds of companies like yours find ideal locations that provide the greatest benefits for business growth.

Initially, we will sit down with you and determine whether you’re looking to launch a fine or casual dining restaurant and the necessary logistics such as seating capacity, kitchen size, ambiance desired, etc. We’d determine whether you prefer to build your restaurant or to lease or purchase an existing facility. If you prefer the latter, would you be seeking a turnkey move-in or whether renovation is an option.

To assist you in your decision of where to open your restaurant, we conduct market research, establish market development plans and conduct site tours to assure the best location. Then, we work on your behalf to ensure the best business arrangements to achieve your long-term goals.

Other services we provide include:

-->Trade Area Analysis
-->Site Package Process
-->Approval Coordination
-->Contract, Lease Negotiation and Legal Coordination with Analysis

Before you take that next critical step, give us a call at 803.802.0004.

Best regards,

Property Manager

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Pros and Cons of a Managed Community

Question:  To live in a managed community or not in or near Charlotte, NC?  

Dear Margie-

In many communities and housing tracts, there are some restrictions. When there are none, you can end up in a situation where several homes are not cared for and the value of nearby properties is adversely affected. In such communities, there is no one to mediate complaints or look out for the common interests of all homeowners.

There are distinct advantages to a managed community, when the management is done well. You have a professional service to assure work is done efficiently and cost-effectively. A management company can mediate complaints and controversies and care for many issues homeowners prefer not to handle.

While there are fees in managed communities, the fees should be fairly assessed based on the amount and type of service offered. You will want to read the contract to see what the management company handles. Is the fee fair for services offered?

Be sure to read a copy of the Contract, the Bylaws, the Budget and the Current Financial Statements to make sure the community is on solid ground. Find out whether there are scheduled assessment increases and whether there are improvements planned that will bring about an assessment. Determine whether the HOA Management Company is responsive to the Homeowners’ Association.

Although this may seem like a lot to think about, if you select a home in a managed community, be sure the management is handled by a responsible and responsive professional company with a solid history of happy association homeowners.

In additon to providing many other real estate services, Kuester is a Homeowners Association (HOA) management company here in Charlotte, NC.

We would be delighted to work with you and your husband to find the perfect home that suits your needs, tastes and budget. We pride ourselves in helping families and business throughout the Carolinas since 1975.   Please call us at 1 (800) 782-2453.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Recommended Home Maintenance Schedule

Dear Property Manager –

I recently bought a one family home in the Charlotte, NC area after moving here from an apartment in Michigan.

My new next door neighbor started telling me about some of the maintenance he does on his house annually and I realized I need a list of what needs to be done and how often.

Do you have such a list available?

Mark C.

Dear Mark –

You are wise to jump on preventive home maintenance from the outset to avoid having problems arise. Just as in medical or dental care, those homeowners that do regular preventive maintenance and “checkups” are less likely to incur unexpected and expensive repairs.

Below is a list of activities we recommend every homeowner undertake, and their frequency:

1. HVAC (Heating/Ventilation/Air Conditioning) Inspection – Quarterly
2. Gutter Cleaning – Seasonally
3. Roof Assessment – Annually
4. Electrical Inspection – Quarterly

There are also other areas that should be reviewed annually such as whether decks need to be refinished, exterior painting/power washing done, fences repaired, driveways resurfaced, bricks repointed, chimneys cleaned, etc.

If you are seeking seasoned pros to handle these services, as well as other maintenance needs such as painting, light carpentry, general home maintenance, plumbing, lock replacement, and appliance maintenance, we at Kuester now offer Professional Home Maintenance Services covering everything from routine general maintenance, to preventive services, to 24 hour on call emergency services. Working with us, you can expect competitive rates and you’ll rest assured that the work will be done by skilled, licensed professionals.

We look forward to speaking with you about your home maintenance needs. Please call us today at 803.802.0004.

Best regards,
Property Manager