January 9, 2023

Calculating Fair Market Rental Value for Your Rental Property

An image of the interior of a sky rise looking out over a city with text over it reading "infuse data into the rent-setting process".

For a single-family rental investor, targeting the appropriate rent price can feel a bit like a fairy-tale exercise: not too high, not too low, but just right. You want to get the property rented out as soon as possible, so it makes sense to price rent competitively with the surrounding market … but at the same time, you don’t want to potentially leave money on the table and undercut your return.

Finding tools that will help you pick that just-right rent price isn’t always easy, either. Rental comparative market analyses (CMAs) aren’t brand-new, but they haven’t carried the same levels of sophistication as CMA being used to determine a listing price for a home. A few solutions let you pick comparable listings (comps) and apply what you know about those rent prices to the home you’re about to lease, but the regression insights that shed light on which features are worth the most in which neighborhoods — and how much those features increase a home’s value — haven’t been available to rental investors.

That’s changing today with new features just released in HouseCanary’s Value Report. The rental CMA tool allows you to do all of that and more, and it includes both current and historic rent prices at a neighborhood and even a block level, so you can ensure that you’re selecting only the best comps and applying the most advanced analytics, resulting in a rent price that’s both competitive and profit-worthy.

A simplified User interface of the AVM product

The best rental AVM in the business …

HouseCanary has built the biggest and most pristine dataset in real estate, and that means our rental automated valuation model (AVM) is the best in the business. We have rent estimates for 86 million homes across the country, based not only on current homes for rent but also homes that have been rented in the past, which are brought up-to-speed with today’s rental market before they’re applied.

A solid jumping-off point is important when setting rent rates — but it’s not everything. Like any AVM, ours is subject to limitations: for example, the algorithm can’t see inside your rental home and determine whether it’s in perfect or below-average condition, adjusting rent accordingly.

That’s why it’s important to be able to pick your own comps, then filter and apply them to the rent price on your single-family rental property. And that’s what the HouseCanary Value Report now allows you to do.

Our detailed rental comp data gives you market insights that haven’t been available at this level or scale for rental investors until now.

… Made even more powerful

When you know your subject property and the area surrounding it inside and out, then you’re better placed to make a judgement call on what its ideal rent price could be than anybody else. With the new features, you can see every comp available, make adjustments to that comp based on what you know about it, and add your own opinion basis to the mix.

A user interface of the rental avm product showing comparable properties

You’ll be able to see all the neighborhood data and analytics, including heat maps that show rental yield, school ratings, and much more to help you tweak your rent price. And HouseCanary’s regression analytics, which determine which features are most valuable in each neighborhood (and even on each block) can then be applied to further refine your price. This allows you — the person with the most intimate knowledge of the collateral and the area — to pinpoint a price that’s fair to your renters and maximizes your profit.