Property Management Blog

You Are My Horse

Sunday, December 23, 2012
Property Management Blog

Last night I had a great dinner with my partners Steve, Amanda, and Tammy. The conversation turned to great memories of Christmas and family. I’ve always been a little too proud to talk about my most powerful family moment, but I told them, and now that I have broken that barrier, I will tell everybody. My greatest family moment came at a time when my life was falling apart. Coming from Sumter, where both my older brothers were great football players (one was an All- American and was denied playing for the Packers only because of injury), my self-image was about being a football player. I was blessed to have had a good high school career on some championship teams and had a chance to get a four year scholarship to Clemson. After four years of struggling on the team, barely playing in a few games and mostly being on the junior varsity, I made a bad mistake. With my smart mouth, I made a comment about an assistant coach as he walked into the cafeteria, and I got a huge laugh. This coach got the last laugh, however, as he took me off the traveling team and even off the squad that gets to dress out for the game. That was indescribable humiliation because I self-identified myself as a Clemson linebacker, and the next game I had to walk into the stands and sit with my family. Folks saw me and, naturally, asked questions. Talk about feeling embarrassed and bad about myself. The next few days I went through painful introspection and faced some cold facts. First, I was a senior in college with very little chance of graduating unless I took massive action to take a heavy course load and make A’s. Second, I was kidding myself about any future in football. My pride was in knots. Trained to never quit, it was time for me to make that difficult decision. I packed up my room in the “jock dorm.” With everything packed and ready to transport to the car, I pulled up a chair and cried. Feeling sorry for myself, hating that my dream was over and really scared about my future, I sat there for at least an hour in self-pity. Then I walked to the phone and called home to Sumter. My mamma answered, and I asked if I could speak to my daddy. He got on the phone, and I had to tell him what I was doing. I can’t remember how I told him, but I’ll never forget his words in response: “Son, you are MY horse if you never win a race!” In that moment, the burden of the world was off my back. My father had given me the most reassuring love when I was at the lowest point in my life, and he had no conditions for loving me. The words changed my life, and I caught on fire in the class room making A’s and graduating. Within the next couple of years, I opened two restaurants in Columbia, making and delivering pizzas. It was the beginning of my life, made possible by my dad Ladson Cubbage, who had given me the gift of unconditional love. In my heart, and on behalf of all of our Serrus team, I pray you will feel and give away one of the greatest gifts this Christmas. And if you ever forget, you are always somebody’s horse, even if you never win a race! Leighton Cubbage

 

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

Thursday, December 20, 2012
Property Management Blog

As Serrus continues to achieve success across South Carolina, we are fortunate to be recognized with various awards such as last month when we were announced the “Second Fastest Growing Company in South Carolina” by The Capital Corporation. While we are grateful and humbled for this recognition by business leaders, the most heartfelt appreciation comes from the property owners whom have houses adjacent to property we purchase and rehab as part of our portfolios. The processes, models, and procedures we have developed continue to produce results for everyone involved, and we constantly hear “Thank You” from neighbors, placed tenants, and local community leaders. We are proud to be in each of our communities aggressively renovating homes and restoring communities! This property is another example of the quality product Serrus is dedicated to providing. Chris Laney

 

Serrus Capital Partners announces growth in real estate portfolio

Thursday, December 13, 2012
Property Management Blog Recognized as second fastest growing company in SC Greenville, S.C. – Serrus Capital Partners, a Greenville-based real estate investment and management company, today announced the acquisition of an additional 50 condominiums located in Historic Biltmore Village in Asheville, N.C., continuing a strong growth pattern that expands their portfolio’s regional assets. The addition reinforces other assets including condominiums at The Summit @ Pelham Springs in Greenville and units at Carolina Walk by Williams Brice Stadium in Columbia. Since 2009, the firm has acquired a total of 242 properties, positioning Serrus Capital as the second fastest growing company in South Carolina, as named by The Capital Corporation, which relies on weighted revenue and employment growth statistics from the previous three fiscal years to determine their annual rankings. The continued growth builds on Serrus Capital’s larger stabilization and sales strategy, repositioning underperforming assets while generating cash flow through rentals and patient sales tactics, strategically releasing properties onto market over time. “Despite a sluggish economy,” said co-founder, Steve Mudge, “our team has built a portfolio of strategic, revenue-generating assets, strengthening communities through capital commitments while leveraging investment insight to generate a strong bottom-line.” The only real estate firm included on the SC list of fastest growing companies, Serrus Capital has pursued an aggressive leasing and sales strategy while increasing asset values across their primary marketplace of South Carolina. “It’s an exercise in supply and demand,” said Serrus Capital chairman, Leighton Cubbage. “Our access to and infusion of capital removes excess market supply, stabilizing and increasing asset values for all stakeholders over time.” For more information on Serrus Capital Partners and their portfolio of assets, visit www.serrus.com. To see a complete list of The Capital Corporation’s 25 Fastest Growing Companies in South Carolina 2012, visit www.thecapitalcorp.com. ABOUT SERRUS CAPITAL PARTNERS: Serrus Capital Partners combines real estate development expertise with an entrepreneurial spirit and financial insights to manage investment capital wisely while growing a strategic portfolio of properties. With decades of experience across the Southeast, Serrus Capital is the region’s leader in residential real estate asset investment and management To read the full release, CLICK HERE.

 

Second Ecoplosion Summit Announced

Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Property Management Blog To focus on Entrepreneurship, Real Estate, and Economic Development December 11, 2012 | Greenville, SC – Community and business leaders today announced plans for the second annual ecoplosion summit, scheduled for January 24, 2013, at the Clemson University ICAR Campus. The event will engage thought leaders in both entrepreneurship and real estate through an open discourse needed to build robust, sustainable communities. Ecoplosion will feature keynote speaker Randy Dobbs, who has led three companies valued at over $1 billion. After beginning his career as an hourly employee at General Electric Company, he excelled and became one of 150 corporate officers directing the global entity. Dobbs currently serves Welsh, Carson, Anderson and Stowe in various business capacities, and published Transformational Leadership in 2010. Dobbs provides leaders concrete steps to improve the internal structure of their companies and adapt in the changing and unpredictable economic climate. The summit will also host three industry expert panels that provide unparalleled experience and insight in entrepreneurship, real estate development and executive management, as well as class-A professional networking opportunities. The inaugural ecoplosion event, held in January 2012 ignited collaboration across industries to create economic momentum. “We were overwhelmed by the response to ecoplosion in 2012. The people attending are willing and eager to improve our community, and can make a tremendous impact,” said Leighton Cubbage, co-founder of Serrus Capital Partners. “We can inspire large-scale growth by focusing on education and by fostering a strong sense of community in the Upstate. We hope to fill the room entirely again this year.” The summit is presented by Elliott Davis, Serrus Capital Partners and Wells Fargo. The event is free to attend, but all attendees are required to register in advance at www.clemson.edu/ethics/events/ecoplosion2013.php, as space is limited. “Anyone who attends this event can be sure that they will take away strong ideas of how we can foster a sense of community in the Upstate, whether through improved infrastructure, dedication to providing jobs to the unemployed or simply reaching out to those in need,” said Dave Wyman, Clemson. Ecoplosion will be hosted by the Clemson University’s Richard H. Pennell Center for Real Estate Development and Arthur M. Spiro Institute for Entrepreneurial Leadership. For more information please visit www.clemson.edu/pennell. To read the full release, CLICK HERE

 

Serrus Capital Partners Makes $9 Million Investment in Asheville

Monday, December 10, 2012
Property Management Blog Purchase of The Residences at Biltmore Contributes to Local Economy GREENVILLE, SC, December 10, 2012 – Serrus Capital Partners, a Greenville, South Carolina real estate investment firm, recently purchased the remaining 50 condominiums at The Residences at Biltmore, located on Biltmore Avenue, near the Biltmore estate. The purchase price combined with unit updates places the Serrus investment at $9 million, supporting local economy growth. The firm plans to offer the condos at a reset market rate, much less than the original asking price or original pre-sales, with units starting below $250,000. “At Serrus Capital Partners, we’ve been paying attention to the Asheville market and recognize its allure to residential real estate investors and the continuous stream of visitors attracted to this unique and engaging community,” said Steve Mudge, co-founder and CEO of Serrus Capital Partners. “We aim to bring our real estate expertise and stability to a property that has a lot to offer, and in doing so, contribute to the local economy.” The Residences at Biltmore hosts 114 single family residences, from studio to three-bedroom accommodations. The 50 units purchased by Serrus Capital Partners in November are being updated and refurnished for market introduction in December 2012. “Serrus plans to implement a long-term hold strategy with the release of the individual units to market,” ensured Chris Laney, vice president, sales and marketing at Serrus Capital Partners. “To maximize market value, we will not flood the market. This will be a phased approach, starting with the release in December – two or three at a time.” The newly purchased luxury units are two- and three-bedrooms, each equipped with full-service, granite countertop kitchens, flat-screen televisions, designer linens, bath retreats with jetted tubs and frameless walk-in showers, custom rock gas fireplaces and private balconies with mountain views. There is an on-site fitness center and an outdoor recreational area with a pool, hot tub and fire pit. Condominium owners will be invited to participate in the optional rental program. Biltmore Management will continue to oversee and manage the property. Mudge says, “We see this as a great investment for Serrus and a beneficial gain for Asheville. We’re excited to be active in this market and look forward to contributing to tourism, one of Asheville’s main economic drivers.” About Serrus Capital Partners Established in 2009, Serrus Capital Partners is a real estate investment and management firm headquartered in Greenville, South Carolina. With an experienced team of real estate developers, entrepreneurs and financiers, the firm holds the acumen to manage capital wisely and the vision to strategically grow a portfolio of properties. Serrus Capital Partners has acquired 242 properties across the Carolinas, including units at Carolina Walk in Columbia, South Carolina, Summit Condos at Pelham Springs in Greenville, South Carolina, and The Residences at Biltmore in Asheville, North Carolina. Serrus Capital Partners was recently ranked second in the annual South Carolina’s Fastest- Growing Companies competition. For more information, visit www.serrus.com. To download the full release via PDF - CLICK HERE

 

Serrus acquires properties in Carolinas

Monday, December 3, 2012
Property Management Blog From GSABusiness.com Staff Report Published Nov. 30, 2012 Serrus Capital Partners, a Greenville-based real estate investment and management company, announced the acquisition of 89 properties in three markets across the Carolinas. This acquisition includes 10 condominiums in The Summit at Pelham Springs in Greenville, 29 condominiums in Carolina Walk by Williams Bryce Stadium in Columbia and 50 units at the Residences at Biltmore in Asheville. “It’s an exercise in supply and demand,” Serrus Capital Chairman Leighton Cubbage said in a news release. “Our access to and infusion of capital removes excess market supply, stabilizing and increasing asset values for all stakeholders over time.” Founded in 2009, Serrus Capital Partners has purchased 242 properties, and sold off 42, including nine at Carolina Walk and three at The Summit at Pelham Falls. Serrus Capital plans to release the remaining units acquired over the next four years, leveraging investor assets to reposition, market and sell the units at competitive market rates, according to a news release. “Despite a sluggish economy, our team has built a portfolio that includes over 242 revenue generating assets, strengthening communities through capital commitments while leveraging investment insight to generate a strong bottom-line,” co-Founder Steve Mudge said in a news release. Serrus Capital Partners manages residential real estate asset investment and management, while growing a strategic portfolio of properties. *Here is a link to original article as posted on GSABusiness.com 

 

Intimidated at Cracker Barrel: Homes of Hope

Thursday, November 29, 2012
Property Management Blog

A few months back, I had breakfast with Don Oglesby, the President and CEO of Homes of Hope. Have you ever felt intimidated by somebody? By this, I do not mean intimidation in the old macho sense, but in an incentivizing, motivating sense. No, Don does not try to scare or bully people, quite the opposite; he simply leads an organization—Homes of Hope—that is as inspirational as a Hollywood movie, but performs its own miracles right here in our community. This Alabama native (and Crimson Tide fan) told me the whole story. Their mission is to provide affordable housing to help break the poverty cycle. Their vision is to touch lives in three significant ways:

  1. Provide affordable housing for men, women, and families in need;
  2. Furnish job training and mentoring for men overcoming addictions; and
  3. Offer case-management services to clients.

On January 31, Homes of Hope will celebrate the completion of the 400th affordable home for a family in need. They will not stop there: they already have a waiting list of 170 more families. Yes, that’s impressive, and for someone like me in the real estate business, those accomplishments and goals are also intimidating. We love our Serrus news, and in our blogs we like to “talk big” about our wins. In fact, this month, we won a great award of being the #2 in South Carolina’s Fastest Growing Companies. We also closed on 50 condos in Asheville. However, after my breakfast with Don, when I read more about Homes of Hope, I knew the real definition of winning. Now, I am proud to be a new member of their Board. Maybe you could look them up, too, and learn about these generous people who are making huge differences in the lives of so many people and, in turn, helping all of us. www.homesofhope.org. I’d like to thank one of our young super stars, Chris Laney, Vice President, for pushing me to meet with Don. The team would also like to remind you that 33% of your donation can be taken as a South Carolina state income tax credit. You can also volunteer your time. As Winston Churchill said, “We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.”

 

“Act Like Every Play Is Your Last Play.”

Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Property Management Blog

These are the words that the great Marcus Lattimore spoke to his team the night before his season-ending injury, urging them to take nothing for granted. Less than 24 hours later, Lattimore—after fighting his way back from a devastating injury in the previous year and having played every play of the game as if it were his last—lay on the field in agonizing pain, as the crowd stood in shocked silence as players from both teams surrounded him in prayer. Outside out the stadium, fans across the nation shared the disappointment and profound sadness that such a devastating injury could again strike a young athlete with so much talent and character. Sports are games, but they can create the most acute feelings in people. Those of us who are fans actually will consider ourselves successful when our teams are successful. As a football player at Clemson, I remember grown men saying after a game, “We beat so-and-so!” Of course, after a loss, the “we” changed quickly to “What’s wrong with y’all?” The point is that sports lead us through a vicarious journey. In this tough situation that impacted fans and observers, I’m moved to remember Marcus’s admonition to his teammates. I agree that we should play every play like it’s your last because it really could be. Lattimore’s message is also similar to the Latin phrase “carpe diem,” meaning “to seize the day.” Today is a gift. Focusing on what is important, however, requires a concerted effort. For me personally, in the mornings, my wife and I reflect, as a couple, on our previous day. Most mornings, the discussion we enjoy is in listing the blessings from the day before. I am amazed at how my attitude changes when we take the time to focus on our blessings and concerns. Similarly, in business, even though the economic crash of 2008 jarred most of us to a different economic perspective, I believe it was for the good in many ways. The crash was a wake-up call across the country that we could not take the economy for granted and invest unwisely. As a result, my partners and I invest in hard assets, and we are thankful for every day and are mindful that we must invest carefully and that we must work together through the good times and bad. Please join me and embrace number 21’s message: “Act like every play is your last play.”

 

Leadership Matters

Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Property Management Blog

Being located in Greenville, South Carolina, you can imagine our Staff has its fair share of Clemson support. Before starting their respective careers, our founders Steve Mudge and Leighton Cubbage met as members of the Clemson University football team, and I am constantly reminded how much our actions each day are similar to that of a football team. As Clemson’s Head Football Coach, Dabo Sweeney, has made a point to continue to not only recruit great players, but also bring in great coaching talent to help lead and plan each sector of the program. Serrus might not be creating captivating schemes like Clemson’s new Offensive Coordinator Chad Morris, but the leadership here at Serrus has been able to recruit and retain top talent that continues to make Serrus a leader in the South Carolina real estate landscape. Recently Serrus expanded its Property Management division to assist with our Investor’s personal rental properties, as well as the property of other independent owners. As lead Property Manager, Serrus’ Ollie Medford (who is actually a Gamecock fan for those of you keeping score at home) continues to oversee the management of this expanded division and has achieved phenomenal results for the Serrus Funds, as well as 3rd Party Owners. With her 20+ years in Property Management, Ollie has helped many clients over the years maximize their rental portfolios while assisting tenants with her polite and professional attitude. In September, a previous client found Ollie though the Internet and asked if Serrus would analyze the client’s rental properties and provide a fresh start to the struggling investments. After preparing a detailed plan, Serrus took over the property management of the 3 vacant properties on October 1st. Ollie and the Serrus team rented the 1st property on October 12th, the 2nd property on October 16th, and the final vacant property on October 19th. All three properties we leased within Three weeks, and Serrus is now able to collect and direct deposit almost $2,000 per month in new rental income to the property owner. As Dabo Sweeney has seen first hand, having the right people makes all the difference in the world. If you have not had the success you were expecting in the rental market, we would love the opportunity to review your personal situation and recommend a plan of action for you. Real Estate and Real Estate Investing should be fun – but only when you have the right people on your team. Chris Laney

 

At My Age

Monday, October 1, 2012
Property Management Blog

I was talking to one of my best friends today about a mutual partner of ours who invested only in hard assets. The story was that, after a payday, he plowed 100% of his earning into investments that would always maintain an intrinsic value. He is conservative in light of the roaring 90s, and he is smart post-2008 as we saw banks fail and the stock market surge and flutter. Our mutual friend lives a conservative life, but I can assure you he is sleeping well every night. When talking to my partners with Serrus Capital Partners, I say something at least twice a day like, “At my age, I would definitely like to make more money, but I definitely can’t lose any more money!” Their agreement is practically universal. We all know that no investment is perfect, but your sleep will improve with an opportunity to invest in a hard asset, below the market price, with cash income, a strong historical demand, a conservative debt-to-equity ratio, and a seasoned operating team. We love buying and improving these houses and the feeling of security it gives us “at my age.”

 


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