Elizabeth R. Elstien, Realtor turned real estate writer & educator (Self Employed at Elizabeth R. Elstien: Write, Research, Edit, Sell, Educate)

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Doug Dawes
Keller Williams Evolution - 447 Boston Street Topsfield, MA - Georgetown, MA
Your Personal Realtor®

Comps, cap rate, research. Make yourself knowledgeable within your market area. There is no secret sauce.


BTW, you don't have my permission to use my name or comments in published articles

Nov 17, 2019 05:14 AM
Peter Mohylsky
PMI. Destin - Miramar Beach, FL

Market research, home work, experience all are the answer to your question.  There is no secret sauce in this business, sales or rentals.  Experience does matter.  

Nov 17, 2019 03:49 AM
Joe Pryor
The Virtual Real Estate Team - Oklahoma City, OK
REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties

Cap rate, cash on cash, annual equity build, and the internal rate of return.

Nov 17, 2019 04:22 AM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Study the comps. Information is everywhere. Visit some, if not all, the current competition. Experience counts!

Nov 17, 2019 04:05 AM
Peter Testa
Nationwide Homes - Danbury, CT

Knowing what similar properties have recently rented for is a good indication.

Nov 17, 2019 04:02 AM
Mott Marvin Kornicki
Waterway Realtors® • Notary Public & Apostille - Sunny Isles, FL
Miami Notary & Apostille 786-229-7999

Comps are the best way to go. What have similar units rented for in the recent past or current rates. Lyn Sims mentioned the 1% rule that is not really in use any longer in most areas due to rising rental rates. 

Doing a CMA on a S/F/R is fairly simple as you can get your samples from almost every MLS system. Small multi-family and guest houses may require some leg-work and knowing the market.

Nov 17, 2019 06:42 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Comps are avilable on MLS. Experienced investors generally also know what the market will bear. Please do NOT quote me. This is not quite the place to put in such a question and then announce your response may be published.

Nov 17, 2019 05:12 AM
Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!
Red Rock Real Estate (435) 632-9374 - St. George, UT
St. George Utah Area Residential Sales Agent

Of course, I'd consult with a trusted PM for that information. Otherwise, I'd look for web sites advertising rentals in the area, compile similar stats, then determine rent based on an average of size, amenities, location, condition and neighborhood desirability. 

Nov 17, 2019 07:38 AM
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Happily Retired - Franklin, MA
Previously Affiliated with The Todaro Team

to determine rental value, do a market analysis on rented properties..... same concept as a cma for single family homes...

Nov 17, 2019 06:31 AM
Evelina Tsigelnitskaya
SIB Realty - Sunny Isles Beach, FL

No idea, sorry.

Nov 17, 2019 06:20 AM
Tom Bailey
Margaret Rudd & Associates Inc. - Oak Island, NC

Find a good property manager, and do some research. 

Nov 17, 2019 06:15 AM
Lyn Sims
Schaumburg, IL
Real Estate Broker Retired

Similar size in or near the subject neighborhood. I think you might be referring to the old 1% rule which hasn't been valid for quite some years in my area. Ex:  200K pp would equate to $2000 per month. 

Also makes a difference how updated the unit is. Tack on whatever you think you can get over your comps. New remodels rent quicker.

Nov 17, 2019 05:26 AM
Annette Lawrence , Palm Harbor, FL 727-420-4041
ReMax Realtec Group - Palm Harbor, FL
Making FLORIDA Real Estate EZ


There are no TRICKS to determining market rates. Just make sure the owner knows about the 'xxxxx' that may not be shown in the 'xxxxx' statistics.

I agree the details deserve compensation.

Nov 17, 2019 05:25 AM
Debe Maxwell, CRS
Savvy + Company (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
The right Charlotte REALTOR!

Precision market research, comparable properties, cap rates and extensive area knowledge. If the property is in a particular school zone, we know tenants will likely pay more; walkable property will bring higher rates and property near public transportation will as well.

Nov 17, 2019 08:56 AM
Ryan Huggins - Thousand Oaks, CA
https://HugginsHomes.com - Thousand Oaks, CA
Residential Real Estate and Investment Properties

As much as I hate to say this, but Zillow's rental zestimate is usually about 90% there, if not spot on... at least out here.  I use that as a starting point and compare to the MLS (which few people use) and sometimes Craigslist.  But by and large, Zillow is where +90% of my applicants and rental traffic comes from.  I might get ONE person from the MLS who is refered for free by a friend of theirs who is an agent.

Nov 17, 2019 08:48 AM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
Probate Real Estate

I do not agree to your terms.  Thank you all the same.  I wish you all the best with your article. 

Nov 17, 2019 07:22 AM
Michael J. Perry
KW Elite - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster, PA Relo Specialist

A survey of other rentals in the market

Nov 17, 2019 06:23 AM
Bob "RealMan" Timm
Ward County Notary Services - Minot, ND
Owner of Ward Co Notary Services retired RE Broker

When I was active as a property manager Elizabeth R. Elstien I belonged to The Minot Property Managers Association and we regularly shared information and helped each other out. 

Nov 17, 2019 05:41 AM
Valeria Mola
SIB Realty - Miami, Sunny Isles Beach - Sunny Isles Beach, FL
305-607-0709 SIB Realty Condos for Sale and Rent

Lucky me, Elizabeth, we are "condo" people.

Nov 18, 2019 05:50 PM
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, KW Diversified - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

Similar to a CMA for selling homes, find out what similar homes are renting for in the neighborhood.

Nov 17, 2019 09:09 PM
Scott Godzyk
Godzyk Real Estate Services - Manchester, NH
One of the Manchester NH's area Leading Agents

When setting a rental rate the best way is to use what has rented previously as a guide. You need to look at size, condition and location as well. Increase or decrease value based on those facts. 

Nov 17, 2019 02:22 PM
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

Worst obvious case scenrio: knock on apt/housing doors in area. 

Nov 17, 2019 06:51 AM
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Appraisers can do a rent analysis

Nov 18, 2019 05:13 PM
Jeff Pearl
RE/MAX Distinctive / LIC in VA - Lovettsville, VA
Full Service Full Time Realtor

MLS Rented comps. Most rental leases allow for owner to increase rents so much per year, etc.

Nov 18, 2019 08:38 AM
Olga Simoncelli
Veritas Prime, LLC dba Veritas Prime Real Estate - New Fairfield, CT
CONSULTANT, Real Estate Services & Risk Management

These are not "tricks", there are formulas for arriving at these numbers that requre research and knowledge of the market and market conditions. If you are writing an article, you should be doing that research.

Nov 18, 2019 05:30 AM
Harry Norman, REALTORS® - Atlanta, GA
Associate Broker

Doug Dawes has your answer

Nov 17, 2019 05:21 PM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

MLS data is often helpful.

Nov 17, 2019 12:20 PM
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy

Doug Dawes has a wonderful answer. A

Nov 17, 2019 09:57 AM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

I always refer to my property mgr for rental rates.

Nov 28, 2019 07:37 AM