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.