Monday, March 30, 2009

Commercial Property in Boone: Property Management

Fort Mill based Kuester recently opened an office in Boone.  If you own multi-tenant residential or commercial property in Boone and are looking for superior real estate service and property management, please consider Kuester.


If needed, we can assist you in making the proper upgrades to the property to get it to code and attractive to potential tenants. We can also assist you in marketing the property and then dealing with the management when the units are filled.


The first step is to give our Boone office a call and we will coordinate with you to get your property ready for leasing and listed for tenants. Our Boone property management office info is below:

Kuester Companies
Boone, NC Office
140 Highway #105 Extension
Suite 201
Boone, NC 28607
tel: 803.578.7725
toll free: 888.600.5044

- Boone NC Property Management Office

Friday, March 27, 2009

What is an HOA?

Here is a little info in on North and South Carolina Homeowners Associations:

A homeowners' association (HOA) is a legal entity created by the real estate developer of a development for the purpose of building, managing the neighborhood and selling homes.

An HOA allows the developer to cleanly exit financial and legal responsibility of the community when they are done, (or as they are finishing development) usually by transferring ownership of the association to the homeowners in the community after selling off a predetermined number of lots.

The pros and cons vary from community to community, state to state, however in general, having a HOA that is looking out for a neighborhood's common areas (pool, ponds, common areas, parks, etc.) as well as for the value of the neighborhood as a whole is a good thing. While it may seem (and be) restrictive to have limits on home colors allowed or what kinds of fence you can build, no one wants to be next door to the family that decides to put up a 12 foot metal wire fence around their home, or run their part-time car-repair shop in the front yard. HOA's help keep the overall value of the neighborhood high and help keep order and solve disputes amongst the homeowners.

Our advice is always to check out the HOA rules and regulations before you decide on a neighborhood, ask any questions you have ahead of time and keep an open line of communication with your Realtor as you are finding the perfect new home.

If you have any more questions, please let us know.  We are very experienced in the Charlotte HOA arena and would love to answer any question you may have. 

Property Manager - Charlotte

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Choosing Tenants for Commercial Property

Dear Property Manager,

I have been leasing out a small commercial property for about a year now. I have had good luck, and bad luck with the tenants. Some are great... and well others have been a huge headache. As the lease terms are up, I want to do a better job screening my tenants. What advice can you give me and other landlords so that they get the best tenants for their commercial properties?

Henry J - Charlotte

Dear Henry,

As a landlord, having the right tenants is very important--they can be the difference between a profitable business and one that is full of dissapointment and frustration.

Problem tenants, may or may not be easy to spot at the onset - and your "gut instinct" could put you in an unfavorable position with a cronic late-payer, or worse.

We have 10 recommendations that you, and other landlords can follow to choose the best potential tenants.

1. Use a rental application. A completed rental application will give you the the starter information you will need to know about the applicant, including references.

2. Follow the Fair Housing Act (FHA). This act is in place to ensure that landlords are not denying someone the ability to rent property based on race, religion, or similar reasons. Make sure to follow the regulationa and avoid claims of discrimination by adhere to the FHA's code of ethics for landlords.

. Get proof of identity. Insist on seeing a valid photo identification card from your potential tenants. The rental application should include a section to write down the driver's license number. Make a photocopy of the photo ID to attach to the application.

4. Perform a background check. Checking up on your potential tenant's past may not be fun, but it can help ensure that there are no preexisting problems lurking beneath the surface. If your potential tenant has a history of skipping rent or destroying property, you may be able to find this out through a background check.

5. Perform a credit check. In addition to a background check, you can check a potential renter's credit history. You will need to get his or her permission in writing as well as their Social Security number to perform this check.

6. Get the name of the previous landlord. Not all landlords report problem tenants to the authorities, so it's a good idea to follow up and check with their former landlord.

7. Ask for character references. Ask for references ? and actually check with them. Not all applicants will give you "real" references, so following up is essential.

8. Meet your prospective tenants in person. In our busy world, many people are switching to digital communication and phone meetings. However, it's important to take the time to actually meet face to face with your potential tenants. This will help you get an idea about their personalities, and goes a long way toward making a lasting relationship.

9. Protect yourself. In addition to following the FHA, your rental application should state what you will do with the information your potential tenants provide. If you do not have their permission to run their credit report, you may not do so. Be up front by explaining your process, so you'll be protected from potential future allegations of impropriety.

10. Include a written code of conduct with the rental application or written lease. This should clearly state what's expected of you and your tenant, and will allow you to make sure everything is clearly explained. Have the prospective tenant sign that they have read the code of conduct.

By covering all your bases, you can help ensure that you will not only have the best tenants for your rental property, but also that your rights and the rights of your potential tenants are being protected.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Time to Expand

Dear Property Manager,

My 4 person staff and I are stuffed into an office space I rented out almost 5 years ago when it was just me and a part-time bookkeeper. I would love to stay in this smaller, (less expensive) space, but since my lease is up in September, I am wondering if it is time to “bite the bullet” and upgrade the square footage.

Is there some way to know for sure? I am concerned about taking the leap before it is time.

Ivan M.
Charlotte, NC

Dear Ivan,

Given the economy – and even if we weren’t in a bit of a… let’s call it a “slowdown” --your position is an enviable one. The first thing that I will say is that it is really hard to be effective and efficient in a business setting when you are in a cramped space. If you are feeling the “crunch” now, then it is definitely time to start looking at a bigger office, or to ask your landlord if it is possible to expand the space that you are in.

Here 10 signs that it is time move or expand your office:

1.) People are sitting on top of one another – or sharing desk space

2.) Your company meetings are spilling into the hallway

3.) You can’t find anything because there are piles of paperwork, computers and people everywhere

4.) You are using the conference room as an office

5.) There is no place for guest to wait

6.) There is no place to have a “private” phone call

7.) Your employees are frustrated and unproductive

8.) The bathrooms are also being used as a storage area

9.) There is no place, for you, or for visitors to park

10.) You are hesitating to take on new clients and/or new employees because of your space issues.

Good luck finding the right space for your growing business and please let us know if you need help finding a new office space in the Charlotte area!

Property Manager
Kuester Property Management

Monday, March 16, 2009

Should I Hire a Property Management Company?

Dear Property Manager:

I recently bought a commercial property near Charlotte, North Carolina, and my original intention was to manage it myself. However, I recently had to go back to work (I had been officially "retired" over a year), and now I think I need to consider a property management company to take over for me.

Should I hire a company to manage the property, or is it possible to do this and work a full time job?

Greg H. Charlotte

Dear Greg,

Maintaining and running a commercial property can be quite a responsibility, and because of that, many landlords do choose to work with a Charlotte property management company.

While I can't say if this is the best decision for you, I can tell you what you need to consider:

Do you have a thick skin, a strong business sense and the ability to get things done?
Collecting rent from your tenants may be easy... or it may be very difficult. Having on-site property management in Charlotte can be in your best interest, and allow you to stay "the good guy," with your tenants and, as such, may be the ideal situation for you. Also the day-to-day maintenance of a rental property can be time-consuming, and if you are also working a full-time job, you may not have the time to handle tenant concerns and repairs.

Where is your property located?
If your property is close to your home or office, then you may be able to stop by frequently. However, if your rental property is far away, it will be more difficult to address tenant concerns and maintenance issues. If you're unable to check on the property regularly, a Charlotte property manager may be a definite advantage.

Is your property new or old, big or small? Depending on the size and age of the property you may want to consider a property manager. Older properties will need more maintenance, and bigger ones are likely to have more frequent tenant concerns.

Ideally, a property management company will be friendly and easy to work with. They will create more free time and less worry for you. Best of luck to you - and please let us know if you would like to know more about how Kuester Property Management - Charlotte, NC may be able to assist you.

Property Manager

Friday, March 13, 2009

To Lease or to Buy...The Best Decision for Business Owners

Dear Property Manager,

I am considering moving my business out of my home and into a commercial space. I am wondering if there is an advantage to buying the property instead of leasing. Is there a set of guidelines or a thought-process that will help me make this decision?

Any advice you can provide would be appreciated!

Mike K. Tega Cay, SC

Dear Mike:

To buy or to lease is a tough question for many business owners. And each individual situation is different--so the answer is... "it depends."

The first thing to consider is your finances. If you are able to purchase a commercial building--this could be a great option. You may also be able to lease out space that you are not using as a secondary income.

However, there are many headaches, frustrations, and extra work that can come from owning a commercial property. If you want or NEED to focus solely on your business, leasing may be the smartest way to go.

Below are the pros of leasing your business property:

1.) Flexibility. The biggest advantage is flexibility--when the lease is up, you can easily relocate to another office that better suits your needs.

2.) Less responsibility. If you are leasing, a property manager, or building owner will be responsible should maintenance need to be done--one less thing for you to worry about.

3.) Cash flow. If you aren't locked into a mortgage, you will have the option to take cash and allocate it to the projects and resources that you need to keep your business moving forward. Also, you won't need a down-payment, (typically 20-25% of the price of the down payment).

4.) Negotiable rates. The current market has plenty of properties available. You may be able to negotiate an excellent rate for your business, and lock it in for years to come.

5.) Easier tax paperwork. If your business is leasing office space, your income tax return will be simpler to file than that of a business owner.

Good luck with your decision and if you need any assistance in finding the right building--to buy OR to lease, please give Kuester a call at 704.973.9019.

Property Manager

Kuester Property Management

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Before You Sign a Commercial Property Lease

Dear Property Manager,

My partner and I are about to embark on a huge—and hopefully successful adventure as we take the “plunge” and start our own consulting business. We are looking at an office space in the Carolina area, either North or South Carolina in the Fort Mill, or Indian Land areas.

Being brand new in this process, we need to know-- what we need to know-- before we sign that commercial property lease!

Any guidelines you have you be much appreciated.

Tony L., Charlotte, NC

Dear Tony,

As I am sure you have noticed, renting office space in this area can be expensive, and quite complicated. That said there are also some great deals and wild differences in price from one place to another—and once you find the right place, then you get to start the lease negotiation process.

Since this is your first time renting a commercial space, there are a few things you should know before you sign anything. First, there are no standard lease agreements, and some include a lot of details, and others do not. No matter what property or leasing company you ultimately work with, you should have your contract reviewed.

Secondly, your lease is a legal and binding contract—one which you should not enter into unless you intend to fulfill your responsibilities. So before you sign on the dotted line, ask yourself (and your broker and landlord) these questions:


· How long do I plan to stay? Will you be there 1 year or 5? The terms will vary depending on length.

· Can I get out of the lease? What are the penalties for breaking the lease if the business needs to close or relocate before the term is up


· What are your certifications? What recognized real estate associations does your broker have to distinguish them from the others in their field.

· What experience do you have in similar transactions? Commercial real estate is very specialized, and most brokers specialize on one or two property types, and certain property sizes. Choose a broker who has experience in the type of property, size and location you are looking at.


· Who are the current tenants? Are the tenants in the building compatible businesses? If you own a dry cleaning business, you may not want to be in the same building as another dry cleaner.

· What about a property manager? A manager probably won't be on site at a small building, but if a manager or maintenance person is not on the premises business hours, make sure you know who will handle emergencies and requests.

· What kind of build-outs and amenities are provided? Make sure you know if the landlord will handle and approve build-outs, and what extra amenities are available with the lease.

· Will you be allowed to sublease? If you have extra space, or need to vacate before your terms are up, some landlords will allow you to sub-let the apartment.

· What are the lease terms? The monthly rent is the most important term, however, you also need to know if rent may go up during your term, and if you're required to pay charges for maintenance, taxes or other costs.

Property Manager
Kuester Property Management

Monday, March 2, 2009

Expanding Business, In Charlotte

Dear Property Manager,

We see a significant opportunity to expand our business in the coming year. Despite the slow economy, our business is strong and we would like to take advantage of the availability and low prices. We are looking for a development / management company with which to partner so that we can make it through this process as effectively and efficiently as possible.

Can you send me some recent examples of how you have worked with similar companies to expand?

Petra K., N. Carolina

Dear Petra,

Thank you for contacting Kuester and congratulation on your success. It certainly is a great time to expand for many businesses, as properties can be purchased at a great price if you know where to look and if they are a good fit.

Kuester Development Corporation and Kuester Real Estate Services work in tandem to acquire, develop, lease, manage and sell assets and others for third party owners throughout the Carolinas.

Kuester Real Estate Services is a prominent commercial brokerage firm in the Charlotte area. Recently Kuester made the addition of the Shops at Stonecrest, (a 26,000 square foot development in front of the new Tega-Cay, SC Wal-Mart). KRES is engaged as well to manage the Promenade at North Market, a new 26,000 sf retail-office development in Wilmington, NC. We have extensive experience in all areas of commercial property development, acquisition and management and look forward to the opportunity to work with your company on its effort to expand.

If you would like more information, references or examples of properties that we have developed or worked with, please call Kuester at 704.973.9019.

Property Manager
Kuester Property Management