Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

From my family to yours, Southern Coast Vacations and Rentals wishes all our homeowners, tenants, past and future guests a happy holiday season.

We have been very blessed this past year, and we are looking forward to a prosperous 2009.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.


Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Direct Deposit

The following letter is being sent to our Long Term Homeowners with their statements. Please continue to visit this website for updates on the starting date of the deposits.

Dear Homeowner,

To ensure a more proficient and timely basis in which your monthly rental income check is deposited, Southern Coast Vacations and Rentals will be offering the option to have your rental check directly deposited into your bank account. We are offering this service at no charge to the homeowner.

The direct deposit will be made on the 1st of each month for long term properties. If the 1st falls on a weekend or holiday, your direct deposit will be done on the following business day.

If you are interested in having your check direct deposited, please fill out the enclosed form, attach a voided check, and mail back to:
Southern Coast Vacations and Rentals
Attn: Peggy
3701 Renee Drive
Myrtle Beach, SC 29579

If you would prefer not to take advantage of this service, please fill out the top portion of the form, cross through the account information, and mail back the form so that we may update any address and email information on file.

Should you have any questions, please feel free to call our office at 843-663-6063 or you may email me at


Peggy Rotterman
Property Manager
Southern Coast Vacations

Monday, November 24, 2008

Snowbirds flock to Myrtle Beach

Our Myrtle Beach Snowbird website is getting great visitor traffic and recently placed #1 in the search engine for the phrase "Myrtle Beach Snowbird". Yea!

Great Article in the Sun News this week, you can see it at MyrtleBeach Online. Click the link below.

Economic headwinds and tailwinds are pushing at snowbirds this winter. Read More....

Also if you want to see our personal Snowbird webpage go here.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

New Layout and Look.

I decided after working on the Myrtle Beach Snowbird site that I would give this Blog a facelift. I think I like this look a lot. I just hope it is easy to read and navigate. I will probably add some additional items in the side bar later.

If anyone out there has any design suggestions or wants to help make a header file for me, I would greatly appreciate it.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Rent my property please!!!

If you have a vacant long term rental then please keep on reading! This is the list of what we are are doing, what we are up against, and what you the homeowner can do to help fill your property.

Let me first start by discussing Southern Coast Rentals exposure and advertising. We have reviewed our marketing program and we are doing everything possible to drive tenants to our properties. Our internet placement is the best, we are located right at the top on most Google searches, we are doing multiple craiglists weekly, we are advertising weekly in the local papers, and we have placed signs everywhere we are permitted.

Additionally, we are offering multiple specials on our properties. Examples are: 1 month free, installing blinds in new units, new washer/dryer with a year lease, including offering referral fees to agents bringing us qualified tenants. If you have any more suggestions, please contact myself or the staff.

So what else could we do? We could lower our standards of our screening process. Thus allowing tenants with lower credit scores to rent. Bad idea! Historically I know that this will never work and the administrative costs and damages to the unit will cost you and I more in the end.

Let's face it, the market is flooded with properties and the competition is extremely tough. If we can not rent your property then no one will make any money.
So what can you do to help? Read on faithful homeowner!

My first recomendation is for you to make sure your property is in good shape. As a management company we will do everything possible to maintain your property but please understand that if it has not been maintained prior to coming on our program, then it going to take time and money to get it in the right condition. Remember if you wouldn't stay in the property then more than likely we are not going to find a tenant that will want to stay in it either.

Second, make sure all HOA, POA, taxes and insurance is paid on your property. Nothing will stop a lease or renewal faster than certified mail or a notice on a door for the owner.

Finally ....drum roll have to lower your rental rate.

As painful as this may seem please understand that in most circumstances lowering your rate just $50-$100 dollars can make a difference. Would you like to make $0 or something? anything? Ok... let me clear this up for you even on my patient property owner!

As we enter the Fall season, here are some reasons you should consider lowering your rental rate on your property.

1. We are in an area that is already heavily saturated with rentals.

2. The rental season is slowing down, and all the those vacation properties start entering the long term market for short leases. we rent many vacation properties for 2 to 6 months at very low monthly rates and they usually include all the utilities.

3. During the months of November and December very few people move or relocate due the Holidays. That generally means that Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years are very slow times for my industry.

4. The current state of the economy is wreaking havoc on the real estate and rental market. So many properties are going into forclosure or approaching it. That means the property owners and investors are renting their properties for anything they can get. I mean anything...I have seen some ridiculous low rates on gorgeous properties. This is driving rental rates down and also placing many unqualified tenants in their properties. Ahhh...I can't stand it.

These tough times call for tough decisions. Southern Coast Vacations and Rentals wants to rent your property, please contact us and let us know if you have any suggestions for specials or advertising, and if you are willing to lower your monthly rental rate.

Thanks for being a part of our Southern Coast family and understanding as we strive to fill your properties with the best possible tenant at the most reasonable rental rate.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Myrtle Beach Snowbird

Please check out our new website for Snowbirds/Winter Rentals.

Myrtle Beach Snowbird!

I will point these domains at this new website and start a Google campaign to drive traffic to it.

Please let me know what you think.

Monday, September 15, 2008

BlogTV and Twitter

Couple things I have been thinking about doing for a while are BlogTV and Twitter. I have been trying to figure out a way to make these unique internet communication tools work for Southern Coast Vacations and our homeowners.

Let me briefly explain what the are...

BlogTV is a real time video stream that will allow you or anyone to contact me through the internet. So you could log into your email get a notification that I was broadcasting, stop by and visit the BlogTV show. You can ask questions during the broadcast and get your answers right away. When broadcasting I could be discussing the current market or just making myself available to answer a homeowner's question.

If I had several subscribers I would probably set up a regular time to broadcast.
For more information, visit my channel on BlogTV.

The other thing I am considering is Twitter. With this web based product, I could update homeowners on exactly what I am doing at anytime through their email, phone or webpage. The cool thing is I can do it on the fly by using my phone. Why would I want to do that? Well.... here is an example that comes to mind.

Remember the recent hurricane warning we had along the Grand Strand? My staff and I were so busy running around to all the properties, securing patio furniture and checking rooms that I was unable to update the homeowners until later that evening by posting on this site. If I was using Twitter you could get real time activity of our progress.

Please go here to subscribe to my Twitter account.

Please be patient with me as I begin using this items, there will be a learning curve for me. If enough people subscribe to this Blog, Twitter and BlogTV I know it would encourage me continue to update everything more often.

On one final note.. all this stuff I am writing about does have a very positive effect on our website Southern Coast Vacations and Rentals. Search engine positions improve when using sites and products like these and then linking back to our main webpage. This includes social networking websites like MySpace. Please check out our MySpace page as well while your here.

I am going to include the web addresses in the side bar for you, and please don't hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or comments about this!

Thanks for your support and subscribe!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Snowbird Welcome Letter

This is not the new project that I mentioned earlier but I thought I would share it with you anyway. This is the welcome letter snowbirds will receive when the arrive at your property.

Welcome to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

I would like to take a moment and thank you for staying with Southern Coast Vacations and for giving us the opportunity to help make your winter vacation a memorable experience!

You are staying in a privately owned property that the homeowner has personally furnished. It should be equipped with everything that you need for your winter stay with us. If you find that you need any additional items, please contact me, and I will do my best to accommodate your requests.
Myrtle Beach is home to fabulous shows, tantalizing restaurants, and unique attractions, all of which will add to your stay. I will be more than happy to make any recommendations to you.
Once again, thank you for choosing Southern Coast Vacations and please do not hesitate to call or stop in to see me.

Have a Wonderful Stay!
SCV agents name goes here.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

2+2+2 Program

Southern Coast Vacations has just started a new customer service program for our Long Term Tenants. The 2+2+2 Program. Here is the concept.

After we have signed a lease with a tenant, Southern Coast Vacations and Rentals will follow up with this schedule.

2 Days after the initial lease we contact the tenant and make sure everything is fine in the unit. We will also request the tenant to return the inspection form which we provided during the lease signing. We require that the tenant return an inspection form back to our leasing specialists with any damages or problems with the unit. This prevents us from charging the tenant for damages that were in the unit prior to their arrival.

If you are a homeowner and would like a like of our inspection sheets, please just drop me an email and I will send you one.

2 Weeks after the lease signing we contact the tenant again. During this follow up we ask how their transition into the new property is going and ask if they need anything or are having any problems.

2 Months later we have our final follow up and check once again on the tenant. At this time we remind them about filter changes in the unit and that our maintenance department will be contacting them next month to schedule a property inspection. (We Make every effort to inspect each unit 3 to 4 times a year.)

This sums up our new program. If you have any comments or suggestions please let me know.

I will be follow this post with a great new marketing program we are working on for Winter Rentals.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Southern Coast Vacations and Rentals Homeowner Update.

The staff of Southern Coast Vacations and Rentals has secured all vacation and unoccupied long term properties due to the current weather conditions. Additionally we have contacted all our tenants and asked them to secure all exterior items at their properties.

When weather conditions permit we will revisit your properties and inspect them for any wind or water damages. We will contact you immediately should we find anything that requires attention.

We have closed our office at 3pm today and will reopen tomorrow when weather permits.

I want to thank my staff for a job well done.


Sunday, April 13, 2008

Myrtle Beach Rental Market April 2008

Everything you see online, in the newpaper, on TV, from your friends, family and politicitians is negative information about the economy. The reprecussions of this economic state on the rental industry is rather unique.

Long term rentals are increasing due to the ability of consumers to rent for less than the average mortgage for a home. It is not uncommon for a standard 3 bedroom 2 bath homes with a 2 car garage to rent for around $1000.00 a month. Every since the real estate boom from a few years ago the long term industry has been suffering from the surplus of units on the market.

Increasing demand in the long term market will finally start removing the surplus of properties available in the Myrtle Beach and Grand Strand area. This should increase the rental rates back to normal.

So the current rental market is actually favorable for the long term rentals. Considering the fact we are entering the busiest season along the Grand Strand, it really is the best time to place your property on a rental program.

The short term vacation rental market is a different story. Currently we have the same surplus in the this area, plus we have the additional issues of discounting from buyers who were intent on flipping their property.

Lets add the way rising gas prices may affect our travelers, and also the overall state of the economy and the fact it is an election year. We probably are in for a tough year on the vacation side. Property managers and Resorts are going to need to focus on value as well as exposure to survive the lack of demand on vacation properties.

I know I have focused on my internet pages ranking and specials heavily this year with limited results. Lets buckle in and keep smiling to all our guests and focus on customer service as we dig in and ride out the economic state of the hospitality industry.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

A Perfect Guest Book

I recently stayed in a mountain cottage and found a perfect guest book. The company that produces it is called Journals Unlimited. I was very impressed by the layout and quality so I encourage you to add one to your vacation property.

As a homeowner, listening to the comments of your guests can help you add the right supplies, accessories and amenities. Additionally I find them very helpful for future marketing descriptions.

Be sure to check all the other journals while looking through their site. There is something there for everyone.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Insurance on Rental Properties

First let me clarify that I am not licensed nor do I claim to have sufficient knowledge of the laws governing the insurance industry. I recommend you contact your insurance carrier or you can call my office and my staff will point you to a professional. My goal in this article is to help you determine what kind of insurance you need for specific types of rental properties.

Homeowners who have purchased a new condo in a resort or on a golf course may believe their Home Owner Association (HOA) dues cover their insurance. This is a common mistake with any property that has a HOA and a Homeowner has to pay HOA dues. Most HOA fees do have policies that cover exterior of your property, but these policies do not cover your personal liability in your property and the interior contents.

As a homeowner you should make sure you have at least 300k liabilty coverage. This protects you in the event something should happen to a guest in your unit. You should also have your interior contents covered. This type of insurance is commonly referred to as a HO6 policy, it covers liability and contents for rental properties.

Please contact your insurance provider for details on HO6 coverage amounts. You should also discuss what your HOA exterior policy may or may not cover. Be sure you know the difference between wind and water damage if you own a property close to the coast.

Rental houses and other free standing structures such as a duplex, that are not affliated to Home Owner Associations require insurance policies similiar to the one you have on your home. The physical structure, exterior, interior and liability issues all affect your coverage. Make sure you describe in detail the structure(brick,wood,etc),age of the property,amenities(pool, fencing,etc) and purpose of your property. Your agent should know whether it is a long term rental, second home, or a vacation property to insure you have the proper liabilty coverage. Sometimes you can include your rental property under an "umbrella" policy which can cover your home, vehicles and rentals properties.

I often get asked about renter's insurance, as a property owner you are not required to provide renter's insurance. Renters insurance is for the renter, and it covers their items and they have the option to purchase it. They are not required too. I encourage my tenants to purchase a renters policy. It covers thier personal property, provides liability coverage and is relatively inexpensive.

I hope this article helps you determine your insurance needs. Remember that the insurance industry is constantly changing and may be different in other states. Please contact a specialist in the field for specific policy details and requirements.

Thanks for reading my article and please be sure to contact me with any questions you may have about the Rental industry.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

This beach I call home.

The beach has provided so much more than a suntan. She has given me glorious sunrises my entire life.

She has offered herself up as my private gym with endless miles to roam, an ever changing pool for swimming. When I surfed the beach she became a dramatic medium for carving out a path on the pulse of the Atlantic. At times rising up and violently fighting me at other times she is calm and peaceful.

Her shoreline has provided me a treasure trove of items. Endless hours have I spent searching for sharksteeth,fossils and shells.

When fishing from the surf or from one of the Grand Strand's piers I have brought forth from the depths all manner of creatures. From the plates of Red Lobster to aquatic terrors of million dollar movies my beach delivers a marine biologist's dream list.

This is where my story begins, along the beaches in South Carolina. Welcome to my home.