Sunday, July 25, 2010

Looking to Lease?

Are you looking to lease a commercial space for your business? There are several factors to condisider when trying to find the right place... that is, afterall, why they say: Location. Location. Location!

The first thing to do is to find the right part of town to locate your business. Is Uptown Charlotte your best bet, or is suburb Fort Mill, SC more your speed? Do you need a stand-alone office, or a high-traffic retail spot. Identifying who your clientele is, and where they are will help you choose the right types of locations.

Once you have narrowed it down to a genre of locales, you can start looking at specifics and what is available. Check out thet Kuester site for available properties in your area. Here are some other factors to consider:

1) Are there other businesses in the immediate area that would compete with you?
2) Are there businesses in the immediate area that complement your business? (i.e. a restaurant and an ice cream shop).
3) Is there enough parking for your customers/clients?
4) Does the area have foot traffic?
5) Is the location near a major roadway?
6) What is the rent price?
7) Is there area growing or established?
8) What kind of upfits will you need to have done?
9) When will the space be available
10) What are the contract terms?

If you are interested in learning more about the available properties that Kuester has to offer, just check out our website at

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

What you should know - Investing in property

To many, being an investment property owner is the best way to financial freedom. Owning real estate can certainly create and build wealth. However, owning investment property is not something that comes without work. Finding the best property, negotiating the contract, and then finding tenants and managing the property are all obvious tasks, but the most important things... are Time and Money. Managing these are the hardest jobs in investment property!

Before you get started – there are a two things you should know:

Time is of the Essence:
Do you plan to own the property for a long time, or turn it around quickly? These are important questions when trying to figure out what upgrades and improvements should be done. Also, you can expect that if you do own the property for 5-10 years, or longer, that there will be a new roof that needs to be put on, or a furnace that needs to be replaced. Your investment will need continual investing to keep it in top condition—but if you are only planning on hanging on to it for a year or two, you won’t want to sink money into unneeded expenses that you won’t be able to recoup.

Time is also important as you time the purchase and sale of the property, and balancing that against your needs, situation and the property you are looking for. Timing your sale or purchase is tricky, and that is where having a commercial real estate company on your site can make or break the investment. You don’t want to pay too much when you buy, nor do you want to wait too long when you are ready to sell. Timing can be your best friend or your worst enemy.

Money. Money. Money.
Having money on hand and a great credit situation is imperative for investment property owners. Besides having the cash to buy the property, having the monies available to make repairs and manage emergencies is important.

Work with you financial advisor to determine the property amount of cash vs. loans that you will need to get the right mix for your expenses as well as what you will need to make your payments and still have what you need “just in case.”

You also should make sure you can save enough for retirement and other long-term goals before making the investment. Property ownership is not a sure bet, so it is important to not put all your eggs in one basket!

Property Manager
Kuester Property Management
Charlotte, North Carolina

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Finding a Good Property Management Company

Finding a good property management company the most important decision when it comes to your commercial real estate. The right management company will make your operations run smoothly--and a bad one will make your life miserable at the very least, and potentially cause significent financial hardship! Property Management should not be a decision based on cost, but rather one based on customer service and experience. We have outlined a process below for finding the best property management company for you:

1) Outline your goals.

What is it that you want? Would you like a full service property management company, or one that just focuses on finding tenants?

The full service companies such as Kuester will advertise your property, help to place tenants, maintain the property, including major repairs, collect the rent, and send reports and a check each month.

A company that finds tenants will just advertise your property and place tenants. Depending on what your level of involvement is, you may choose one or the other options.

2) Set realistic goals.

Depending on what you bought your property for, and what your mortgage is AND what the average rental cost is AND how many tenants you are able to get, AND a near endless series of other factors - you may or may not make a profit on your property! Run through all the factors with your accountant and be conservative. Consider asking other property owners what surprise expenses they have had and make these part of your calculations.

3) Do your research.

Reputable property manangement companies will have a website outlining their services, philosophies and available properties. After narrowing it down, ask for referrals. Also, look for signs from the company posted around town and take notice of their advertising. Do you like what you see?

4) Always get references.

Ask for at least 2 references from current or recent clients. Most property management companies will give this information with zero hesitation, and if they refuse do you really want them managing your investments?

5) Never sign before you read.

Property Management contracts are legally binding contracts and can be negotiated. But sometimes they include details that were not previously discussed! Not only should you read before you sign, but you should also have your attorney review the contract as well. There may be language in the contract about additional costs that you will have to pay (i.e. major repairs), and reasons that either you or the property management company could cancel the agreement. So know before you make anything permanent.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Commercial Property as a Retirement Investment

What is your long term plan for income after retirement? Many people, especially those who have been in business the majority of their adult lives, have chosen commercial property as a way to provide themselves with long-term monthly income through their retirement.

A good choice in commercial real estate can not only earn you the money to live off of, but be a significant asset in your estate, even after your death.

Investing in commercial real estate, as much as it has great potential, is not a decision that should be entered into lightly. As with any investment, there is risk involved, but there are several things that you can do to reduce that risk:

1) Do Your Research: Take your time and research the property before making a purchase decision. What is the land zoned for? Has there ever been any problems on the property, are their current tenants? Are the buildings (if any) sound and ready to be leased, or will work need to be done first?

2) Make sure you have enough money: The purchase price may be in your budget, but is the cost of needed repairs, fees, taxes, maintenance, management, etc.

3) Consult your attorney: As with any real estate transaction, having an attorney to advise you and go through the contract is a must to be able to project yourself.

Investing in commercial property can be a very wise decision--one that could see you comfortably through your retirement. However, it is a choice that should come only after long and careful consideration!

If you would like to know more about investing in commercial real estate in the Charlotte area, just give us a call at 888.600.5044!

Kuester Property Management