The owner of Auben Realty LLC first had his mind on music and made his way to New York City in 2000 for an editorial internship with Rolling Stone not long after graduating from the University of Denver with a double major in English and communication. Schuetze put his efforts into freelance writing for several music magazines during his time in the Big Apple.
“I thought I wanted to become a music journalist and do that full-time,” said Schuetze, a Louisville, Ky., native. “I also was interested in writing fiction, but I saw that it was going to be a very hard way to make a living, especially in New York.”
Schuetze held many other odd jobs to supplement his income. He worked as a paralegal for an intellectual property law firm, went door-to-door collecting data for the U.S. Census Bureau, did marketing for Red Bull, worked in a parking garage and ran a record label.
It wasn’t until 2004 that Schuetze shifted gears and considered a new job path. He reluctantly agreed to go with his father to a conference in Boston that focused on multi-family real estate.
“It was kind of pie-in-the-sky representations,” Schuetze said. “I could see through some of the smoke and mirrors, but the fundamental aspects of investing in real estate made a lot of sense to me.”
From there, he began networking and educating himself about the housing market. Before taking the plunge into the world of investment properties, Schuetze became a rental agent in New York.
His first investment, small with less risk, was to renovate a run-down triplex in Syracuse, N.Y., and turn it into a rental property.
Schuetze was sold on real estate after that, and the allure of a growing population in the Southeast brought him to Augusta.
“I packed up and moved to Augusta in January 2006 knowing a total of one person in this city,” he said.
Schuetze flipped homes in the area until the home sale market crashed in 2007. He then shifted to rental properties. His company, Auben Realty, was created in 2009 as a result of local investors needing property management.
The investor-oriented brokerage still specializes in property management, but Schuetze and his team also now assist investors and owner-occupants with turn-key services, from finding a home through the acquisition and renovation process.
Stan Nurnberger got to know Schuetze in 2009 after selling him family-owned property in North Augusta. Schuetze manages rental homes in North Augusta and on the Hill for Nurnberger, and has overseen the renovation projects.
Nurnberger, who now lives in Gulf Breeze, Fla., said he’s grown to consider Schuetze a friend.
“He seems to have a really good business head on his shoulders,” he said. “He always pays attentions to what he’s doing.”
In 2012, about 100 rental homes were added to Auben Realty’s inventory.
“We’ve always focused on Richmond County,” Schuetze said. “I’ve just personally always felt that downtown, Summerville, Harrisburg, all of the neighboring areas, had so much potential and just needed active involvement from responsible managers and owners.”
Schuetze lives and works in the primary area he serves. His office is on Central Avenue, and his home is near Milledge Road and Battle Row. His wife is expecting a child in November.
Schuetze also serves as an advisory board member on the Harrisburg Neighborhood Association.
“To me, the most interesting and exciting part about it is seeing the transformation of a home that’s been vacant and abandoned turn into a home that somebody wants to move into,” he said.