Monday, November 30, 2009

Multi-Unit Investment Property Buildings, Charlotte

Dear Property Manager:

My wife and I bought a multi-unit commercial investment property in Charlotte several years ago. I have been doing the property management of these properties myself (I am semi-retired), but my wife and I would like to move out of Charlotte and retire to Florida in the next year. The property gives us a good amount of income, so we would like to keep it, but hire a property management company to manage it for us.

Can this be done cost-effectively, so that we still derive a decent income, but we can also move to Florida?

Bill & Margaret – Charlotte

Dear Bill and Margaret,

A professional property management company would definitely be a good choice for you, since the purpose of the company is to save money and handle the day-to-day operations. Depending on what you have been doing, a property management company may be able to help increase the tenant occupancy and help the property generate more income—off setting the expense.

Additionally, a property management company will be able to look at other potential investments that may be a good fit for you in the same area.

You are smart to look at hiring a property manager for your investment property—and with the right choice, you will be able to enjoy your retirement in Florida, while generating a nice monthly income to support yourself and your wife.

Thanks for writing into us! If you would like to interview Kuester Property Management in Charlotte, please give us a call at 704.973.9019.

Property Manager

Friday, November 20, 2009

Property Management with an Eye on the Bottom Line

Property managers across the country are feeling the pressure to demonstrate additional value for their commercial property clients. For property managers like Kuester, that means paying close attention to efficiencies, consistent delivery of value and showing return on investment.

In a challenging economy, property owners need to look at what property management companies can offer to help them keep an eye on the bottom line. Here are reasons to go with a professional property management company.

Cost Cutting
Providing operating efficiencies, and generating return on investment has always been the primary property management responsibility. Yet, in this economic climate, being able to produce cost savings is even more of a priority. Good property managers are focusing on each property and finding creative ways to save the property owners some money such as web-based pay and maintenance -request systems.

Thinking Green
Green building and energy efficient practices are growing in popularity and the need for environmental responsibility. Property managers are taking this time to consider building materials, energy-efficient appliances, water heaters, solar and wind power, and other green ideas to save money AND help the environment.

Administration Cost
Property managers are sensitive to the fact that there is a cost for their services—but perhaps a higher one for not using them! Property management companies such as Kuester are looking at the cost of administration and making sure the office runs efficiently as well as implementing cost and time-saving changes so that we can provide an even more productive service for property owners.

Kuester Property Management is located in Charlotte, NC, with offices in Fort Mill, SC, Boone, NC, Concord, NC, and Myrtle Beach, SC.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Investing in Your Business in a Down Economy

Now is the time to invest! If you currently own a business and would like to move that business into a bigger space, or expand the space you have now is the time!

Property management companies and building owners are hungry to have their multi-unit commercial properties filled and you can get an amazing deal on space now if you qualify. So many people are on the fence about whether of not to take that leap given the economic conditions, yet we are here to tell you NOW is the time... and here is why:

1) If you can keep a business going in a down economy, you will thrive when the clouds lift.

2) You can spend this time perfecting your business process, so that when you are busy, you have all the "kinks" worked out.

3) All signs, and most experts agree that we are starting what will be a slow, but steady upswing--now is the time to invest!

4) You will get a great deal! Investors with good credit will be able to qualify for some of the best rates ever! Property owners and managers are eager to get their properties filled with great businesses - so if you are able to make the move, you will be rewarded with great deals, great rates and accommodating vendors.

So, for all of you who have wished for the extra space, thought about the move to another building or wished to start their own business and not had the motivation to do it... NOW is the time.

Property Manager
Kuester Property Management
Charlotte, NC

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

CC&R’s: Covenants, Codes and Restrictions.

You shop around, look at several properties (old and new) and you finally decide on a brand new home in Charlotte. You decide to buy a home in a great new subdivision, and you discover that you to do so, you are now part of a homeowners' association. Homeowner’s associations (HOA) have great pluses, and some small drawbacks. One of the drawbacks, is that homeowners' associations exercise a lot of control over how you use your property, (which is also a positive for HOAs!) The transfer deeds to houses in new developments almost always include limitations on how the property can be used. Usually these limitations -- called covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CC&Rs) – place a majority of the power in the HOA.

With every homeowner's association, you have a different method of operations. Some HOAs will prove to be more iron-fisted others will be more relaxed. Much depends on the officers, (and so if you have issues with any of the CCRs, your best course of action is to participate in the HOA). There is a big range, and you will find one that works for you. Regardless of how strict the association is, you will find that most HOAs are operating only to increase and protect the home values of their members.

Before you buy that home – check out those CC&Rs. Read the CC&Rs very, very VERY carefully before plunking down any cash. If you have questions or concerns, ask questions and get legal advice. It might sound a bit scary, but you are protecting yourself. And remember, you should be confident that the CC&Rs enhance and not neuter your lifestyle. CC&Rs traditionally can (but not limited too) restrict :

1) Color you paint your house.

2) The color of the curtains or blinds visible from the street

3) Front yard landscaping

4) Where you can hang laundry, or if you can hang it.

5) Prohibit certain vehicles being parked in the driveway or street

6) Garages facing the street need to be kept neat

While to some, that may sound controlling, generally HOAs work hard to keep their membership happy.

If during your residence you discover that you need to make a change in your property, - and it is one that is restricted by the HOA – you do have a final recourse.Waivers to HOA rules are tough to obtain, but they are not impossible. The process is different from association to association, so do some checking before you buy your property. If you want to make a structural change, like building a fence or swimming pool, or adding an addition, you'll probably need formal permission from the association. But, here is a general and speculative idea of what you might have to do:

1) Submit an application for a variance. A written application.

2) Get your neighbors' permission – both/ all your neighbors. The more people on your street behind you, the better.

3) Be prepared for a formal hearing. You may also need to go up in front of you zoning board too.

We have written at length before about HOAs. WE cannot stress enough how important they are to some communities. They are not designed to be bad guys, they are there to be of assistance to home owners. Find one that you fit into, and it might be one of the best relationships of your life!

Property Manager

The Kuester Companies, a leader in all forms of HOA management in North Carolina and South Carolina was established to be involved in the management of Homeowner’s Association properties, to include mixed-use developments, town homes, and residential communities. This branch of the company fills a unique niche in the Real Estate market because we have established a proud history of providing management services in Charlotte and surrounding markets. Those throughout the North Carolina homeowners association management community know and recognize Kuester as a leader in the Charlotte HOA, Columbia HOA and Charleston HOA management arenas.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Property Management: Being a Good Tenant

If you are a commercial renter, and you deal with a property management agency or property manager – you have a unique relationship that needs to be nurtured and respected. A good relationship with your property manager will ensure you have a wonderful stay at this property. A bad relationship, will leave you both unhappy and unproductive.

When moving into the property, be sure to politely reach out to your property manager with a friendly “Hello!” and provide the best contact information for your business. You want to make sure the lines of communication are open. If your property manager can contact you easily, it might mean they take your calls quicker later down the road. You don’t need to be your property manager’s best friend. But, you should immediately demonstrate your ability to work with them. Let them know about any special circumstances concerns you may have. Will children be in the space? Do you have employees with special needs? An odd work schedule? Let them know.

When a problem or situation arises in your commercial rental unit, contact the property manager immediately. Depending on your rental agreement, you might be able to handle the crisis yourself. Still, you want to make the property manager aware of it ASAP. Once they are aware of the situation, give them a professional amount of time to handle the problem. Don’t keep calling, avoid pestering or annoying your property manager or agency. Some property managers have several properties, or this is a side-job or part-time situation for them. Contact them with issues that they are obligated to address in the lease agreement. Be polite, professional, and businesslike when you do contact them.

You should understand this is a business relationship and you need to maintain some boundaries. If your property manager is not responding to your needs, you should discuss it with him/her before going to the landlord or outside assistance. If you are supposed to have your sidewalks shoveled within 12 hours of snow-fall, then that is what should be done. Don’t bend too often, or you might find yourself bending always.

A property manager, like landlord, is there to ensure your commercial space arrangement is exactly what you are paying for…with your help! If the two of you work in tandem, you will ensure a safe, secure, and stress-free business relationship.

If you are looking for commercial, retail or office space in the Charlotte, Fort Mill, Boone, Myrtle Beach, or Concord area, please give Kuester a call!

Kuester Companies
Corporate Office
1300 Altura Road
Fort Mill, SC 29708
tel: 704.973.9019
toll free: 888.600.5044
fax: 803.802.0005

Kuester Companies
Coastal Office
1200 48th Avenue North; Suite 102
Myrtle Beach, SC 29578
tel: 843.839.9704
toll free: 888.600.5044
fax: 843.839.9706

Kuester Companies
South Park Office
6600 Central Pacific Avenue
Charlotte, NC 28210
tel: 704.973.9016
toll free: 888.600.5044
fax: 704.552.1008

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

Kuester Companies
Concord Office
9505 Moss Plantation Avenue
Concord, NC 28027
tel: 704.973.9017
toll free: 888.600.5044