Today I decided to check up on rent rates for one of our rental properties. I checked the prices on Rentometer.com However I realized I had no record of the Rentometer rates from previous years. I know I'd checked it in the past but I didn't actually make note of the rent rates. Therefore I decided that it would be best to track the rates over time. That way I can see if there are any positive or negative trends for the rent rates in the neighborhoods that our rentals are in.
First a quick word on setting rents. I wrote about how to set your rent in the past. You should get data from a variety of sources. HUD Fair Market Rents, Rentometer.com and Craigslist are all valuable sources of rent rate information. I also pointed out in a previous article how I think that spending the extra time to research rent rates is important. I'm just tracking Rentometer numbers here for my reference but I wouldn't stop there when doing your own research.
I checked rents for 4 properties on Rentometer.com and here are the results :
Properties C and D are located in the same city a few miles apart. A and B are located in different cities.
Our rents are above median for the houses and below median for the apartment units.
Rentometer reports the rates that the bottom 10%, bottom 20%, median, top 20% and top 10% are. They also report the number of properties they compare to in the area and the distance the properties are apart from one another. I've made note of all this data.
Notice that property B only had 57 comparable rental data points in the Rentometer database. That could mean their price data for that location has a higher margin of error. I would think that 57 properties is 'good enough' to get a decent average that wouldn't be skewed much by some particularly high or low figures but its worth noting their sample was low there so it could be a little more suspect. The other properties had 1000 comparables so that is a LOT of data and should have a pretty solid average.
I don't believe that Rentometer knows if a property is a single family house or an apartment. People will pay more rent for single family houses than apartments so you should keep that mind if you're using Rentometer. Our rents for the houses are above the averages cited but like I said I assume the comps have a lot of cheaper apartment units.