by Lauren Rothlisberger and Amy Shick, Guest Contributors
Military Property Project Scouts are not traditional scouts. Clearly, they are not searching out enemy positions. Instead Military Property Project (MPP) Scouts are available to gather information, close the distance and enable our clients to solve long-distance problems.
Scout is a new concept. It’s a solution to the 3 challenges that affect all military families: time, distance and money.
We all make decisions in our ever-changing, transient lives based on those 3 factors. Like most military families there is a limited supply of time and money and frequently a distance problem. Scouts help solve these problems and in the process solve another problem that military spouses often face: finding flexible, part-time opportunities that provide extra income.
What can a Scout do for you?
Here are a few examples.
- Tour a home, verify details, take photos and videos before you rent sight unseen (you don’t want to end up living next to the local jail).
- Check up on your house if you are deployed or away for extended periods (don’t come home to a disaster waiting for you).
- A variety of tasks for long-distance military landlords who need help when they can’t be there. Deliver keys to a new tenant (they will appreciate the timeliness), let contractors in your house and assess house for damages after a move out.
- Take updated advertisement photos of your rental (a must for landlords).
- Drive by your rental to check up on the yard maintenance (keep the neighbors from nagging).
This also begs the question, what can a Scout NOT do? Basically a Scout can not legally act as the person who hired them, (unless that person decided to give a special power of attorney). This means they can not sign a lease or accept any funds on someone else’s behalf.
Who are these Scouts?
All Scouts have have been through our application process which includes an interview and reference checks. Our Scouts are all experienced active duty military spouses and are incredibly trustworthy, reliable, dedicated and have a genuine desire to help others. Most of our Scouts own rental properties and have PCS’d on average 7 times.
Military spouses become masters of research, logistics, planning, budgeting, traveling, assimilating, adapting, transitioning and exploring. Sounds like a fancy job title and degree should be attached to all these skills, but this is just life for military spouses. And that is why they make the best Scouts out there.
We currently have 25 active Scouts across the nation including Hawaii and Alaska. We are adding new Scouts every week and if we continue on this pace we will have more than 75 Scouts by the end of the year. If you are interested in becoming a Scout please visit our website and begin at Become A Scout and complete the application.
Who Needs A Scout?
Everyone has different needs. They change year to year, from location to location. Below are some examples of people who would benefit from Scout services.
1. Service member PCSing to a new location.
You are PCSing and there is not enough time or money to travel to your new installation to house hunt. You found a great house for rent, but you want to make sure it is not a scam and that the house is in the condition that the landlord represents in the photos. Remember, pet odors or cigarette smoke don’t show up in photos. Time to send a Scout to tour the home for you. The Scout will answer your questions, take extra photos and videos so you have the information you need to decide to rent the house sight unseen or dodge an expensive nightmare.
2. A long-distance military landlord.
Your rental is at Fort Stewart, GA and you are at Fort Lewis, WA. You are in between tenants and you need someone to unlock the house for the house cleaner and carpet cleaner and relock it once their work is complete. A Scout is the perfect person to take care of this task for you. Now the house is ready for your new tenants. A Scout can also take updated photos to document the condition of the property before new tenants arrive. Traveling across the country is time consuming and expensive and so is a full-time property manager. Hiring a Scout for these random and infrequent tasks will cut costs significantly for you.
3. A deployed service member.
You are getting ready to return from a deployment. If you left your place unoccupied while you were overseas, have a Scout check on it to make sure you are not coming home to a problem. Or, if you gave up your residence and now looking for a new place and renting sight unseen, have a Scout tour the place and give you the details you need to make a good decision.
4. A military spouse who is out of town for the summer.
When you leave for long periods of time, problems can come up without you knowing and you return home to a bigger mess because you were away. Have a Scout check in. The Scout’s visit can accomplish a couple things. One ensure the house is okay and two give an appearance someone is there. Scouts can turn on and off the lights for you, make sure the yard is being taken care of in your absence or put a package left on the front porch inside. Nothing screams “we are away” like a delivered package sitting on the front steps for days.
5. A military tenant.
You are getting ready to PCS and you are feeling uneasy about getting all of your deposit back. Once you have cleaned the house and followed the landlords move out procedures, hire a Scout to come in and photograph the condition of the property. Now you have photographs of the rental as you left it and if the landlord does not return your deposit you now have documentation from a third party to dispute the landlord.
Check out the Military Property Project to learn more about Scout and our other resources.
Amy & Lauren are the founders and owners of Military Property Project. They both have background in investing in real estate throughout their time in the military and self-manage many of their properties. Through Military Property Project they are working to build a business that assists those looking to do the same. Amy and her family are stationed at Fort Wainwright, AK and have discovered the meaning of bitter cold. Lauren and her family are stationed at Fort Benning. Please visit us at www.militarypropertyproject.com and you can learn more about Scout at scout.militarypropertyproject.com.