Housing Advice for the Parents of Students Living in UIUC Campus Housing


When you have a student leaving home to attend the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, you’re probably sorting through a lot of emotions, fears, and expectations. It’s a big deal for you and your child, and Ramshaw Real Estate is here to help you navigate the campus housing process. We know what it’s like to be a student and we know what it’s like to be a parent of a student. This is a stressful and exhilarating time. Surround yourself with experts like our team to make the process a little less complicated.

Talk to us about your UIUC campus housing questions, and we’ll share all the resources and tools we have at our disposal as professional property managers and real estate experts in Champaign-Urbana.

Read more

Increase the Value of a Champaign-Urbana Commercial Property with Proper Renovations

Increasing the value of your Champaign-Urbana commercial rental property with renovations and upgrades will obviously earn you more money. A property that’s well-maintained and modern will bring in more rent. You’ll have an easier time attracting and retaining long-term tenants, and later on in your investment process, you’ll think about selling. When you do, you’ll be able to sell for a higher price.

Which renovations make the most sense? We’re sharing our thoughts about that.

Read more

How to Successfully Advertise Your Champaign-Urbana Investment Property


The way you advertise and market your rental property has a big impact on your success as a landlord and investor. Good marketing means lower vacancy rates, which leads to higher returns and more immediate income. The way you advertise your rental home in Champaign-Urbana also affects the types of tenants you’re attracting. When you want to place well-qualified tenants in your home, you’ll need to know where to find them.

We have plenty of experience when advertising rental properties in the Champaign and Urbana markets, and we’re sharing some of our best tips for success.

Start with High Quality Photos of Your Property

Prospective tenants are likely going to look at your property’s pictures before they read the description or consider the neighborhood. Almost everyone looking at online ads are visual people, and they’ll want to get an idea of what the property looks like. Appeal to those senses by providing high quality, professional photographs. While hiring a professional photographer is a great idea, you can take quality photos on your own if you pay attention to the following:

  • You’ve optimized your lighting. Open blinds and turn on lights so your photos don’t appear dark.
  • Removed all clutter and debris from the areas you’re photographing. Don’t take pictures with mops in the background and piles of paper on the countertops.
  • Pay attention to the angle you’re shooting from. A wide lens will help your rooms look larger in photos.
  • Photograph every important detail. Don’t limit the amount of photos of the property. Photograph special items such as fireplaces, upgraded appliances, or pretty landscaping.

After you’ve taken a collection of great quality photos, write a detailed and accurate description that adds to them.

Online Advertising for Your Champaign-Urbana Rental

Leverage the impact that online advertising can have when you’re marketing your rental property in Champaign-Urbana. While there’s still a place for professional signage, most qualified tenants today are looking online for their next home.

Advertise on all the sites that prospective tenants are visiting. Some of those sites might require an advertising fee, and some of them, such as Craigslist, are free. Be sure to include your contact information and whether or not pets are allowed, the amount of rent, and the date that it will be ready for move-in.

Protect yourself against scams. We recommend implementing watermarks on all your photos, and scroll through the site to make sure your ad isn’t showing up where it hasn’t been posted by you.

Be Responsive with Marketing Follow-Ups

Be Responsive with Marketing Follow-UpsYou can have the best marketing strategy in the world and the sharpest ads, but if you don’t answer the phone when prospective tenants call, you won’t have an easy time renting out your home. Answering your phone, responding to messages are necessary and schedule showings are necessary items to do promptly. Some landlords and property managers show homes in person and others use lockboxes or relevant technology. Whatever system you prefer, make sure you’re available to tenants. They must be able to reach you, and you must be able to let them see the property when it’s convenient for them.

These are just a few tips that we’ve discovered are especially helpful when you’re marketing and advertising your rental property. If you need any help leasing your home or you’re curious about the benefits of professional Champaign-Urbana property management, please contact us at Ramshaw Real Estate.

How to Screen Potential Tenants | Expertise from Champaign-Urbana Property Managers

When you’re preparing to rent out your Champaign-Urbana investment property, you’re likely thinking about the tenants who will occupy it. You want a tenant who will pay the rent on time every month. You also want someone who respects the lease agreement and meets expectations. Other qualities in a great potential tenant include open communication and a willingness to help you maintain and take care of the home.

To find this tenant, you need a good screening process. Effective tenant screening is fair, rigorous, and compliant with all federal, state, and local fair housing laws. As local property managers, we have some expertise to share on this topic.

Read more

How to Execute a 1031 Exchange in Illinois


Investors who are worried about their tax liability should seriously consider some of the benefits of a 1031 exchange. This allows property owners to avoid paying capital gains taxes by reinvesting the earnings that are gathered from the sale of real estate.

Holding onto the gains you’ve earned from selling one property will allow you to keep more cash in your pocket even while you continue to invest. It’s an effective investment strategy, and it can even help you diversify your real estate portfolio.

We’re often asked about the benefits of a 1031 exchange and how to execute this type of transaction. Today, we’re explaining how this works.

Read more