The rental housing business is very local and it takes time and effort to understand a local market and all the nuances that go with it. Many variables can impact the rent you can charge for your rental unit including: location, building structure, amenities, age of unit, market conditions, etc. The subjective and local nature of many of these variables make it difficult for anyone to tell you exactly the right rent for your rental unit.
However, having said all that, there are some things you can do to help you more confidently set your rents. Below are a few ideas to help you set rents for your rental property:
- Stay up to date on local economic and business activity in your market because economic activity is one of the key drivers of housing demand including rental housing.
- Work with local real estate professionals – property managers, brokers, agents, appraisers, and lenders. Local experts are especially good at identifying the drivers of housing supply and demand unique to your market – jobs, local ordinances, zoning, etc.
- Check local apartment listings using the local newspaper, apartment guides, CraigsList, and of course Rentometer (shameless plug!).
- Check your local apartment or rental housing association for research and other information they may provide about local rent levels – past, present, and future.
- Use “rent per square foot” whenever possible as a benchmark. This allows you to encapsulate into a single number all the subjective variables of rent and provides you a basis for comparison across different units, locations, amenities, etc.
The task of setting rents can be done more confidently with good current and historical data, as well as a thorough understanding of the local market and current market conditions.
As a landlord, there are 3 primary reasons why you should screen your potential resident:
- To Protect Your Profitability – You want to rent your apartments to renters that will pay the rent on time and for the full lease term.
- To Protect Your Property – You want to rent to responsible individuals that will take care of their apartment and respect your property.
- To Protect Your Other Residents & Neighbors – You never want to put any of your residents in harms way.
Overall resident screening helps to assess your prospective renter’s willingness to pay the rent: do they have the appropriate income to pay the rent, do they have a track record of paying rent, and do they have a track record of paying their other bills?
It’s a great opportunity as well to assess their criminal background. Do they have a serious criminal offense or a history of previous criminal offenses?
One thing to consider about criminal background checks, there are restrictions and requirements to access and use criminal data records. These records can change depending on which state you are using a criminal background check in.
A few of the folks at Rentometer were in the Resident Screening Business for 20 years before becoming rent comparisons experts!
Rentometer is the fastest, easiest way to compare rents anywhere in the U.S. Rentometer uses advanced technology and data management tools to provide a thorough rent comparison analysis within seconds, for any address in the U.S. Rentometer also offers premium subscription services for professional users that need more information and services to help them build and operate their rental housing businesses.
ClearNow can only furnish rent payment data to Experian. So please make sure that you are pulling your credit report directly from Experian. You must also opt in for credit reporting with ClearNow in order for us to furnish the data. This is a separate process from your enrollment into ClearNow as your payments are not automatically reported. Instructions on how to opt in for credit reporting are in every rent reminder email. Please note, ClearNow must have four months of complete data before we can furnish your rent payment data.
ClearNow does not process credit card transactions. We can debit a checking or savings account and some prepaid card accounts. If your tenant would like to enroll using a prepaid card account, please have your tenant check with his/her card company prior to enrolling to ensure the card account can handle an ACH debit.
Yes, you can. Each ClearNow account debits on a specific debit day. The available debit days include the 1st, 5th, 15th, 25th, Biweekly (every other Tuesday), and Semimonthly (3rd and 17th). So for each debit day, you will need to set up an additional ClearNow account. While the first tenant in your first account is $14.95/month, the first tenant in each additional account is only $7.95/month. Each tenant after that is $2/month.
ClearNow not only makes it easy for landlords to collect rent from their tenants, but we also provide a simple way to organize that payment data. Just one of the many reports you can run through your ClearNow account is the “Report by Date.” This report lists your tenants’ names, property addresses, rent amounts, and their payment status for each payment period. Another useful report is the “Lease-End Tracking Report” which can be very important as it lets you know when each of your tenants’ lease end date expires in ClearNow. This date is important because once it expires, the tenants’ debits via ClearNow will stop. ClearNow also provides Reports by Person and Address, a Profit and Loss Report, and a Schedule E Helper Report to help you at tax time. So enroll in ClearNow and take advantage of just a few of our many useful tools for online rent payments!
Yes. As a landlord, you are able to record income and expenses manually. Rent payments made through ClearNow and service fees paid are automatically recorded. You are also able to record various expenses such as repairs, advertising, insurance, and utilities. There are also reports you can generate using the data recorded, including “Profit and Loss” and a Schedule E Helper Report to assist you during tax time.
ClearNow only furnishes rent payment data to the Experian credit bureau. Once you are enrolled in ClearNow, you must take an additional step and opt in for credit reporting if you would like your payment data furnished. Once you have four months of complete data, those months will be furnished to Experian and each month thereafter, on a monthly basis. If you still do not see your rent payments, please make sure that you are checking your Experian credit report and not one with another credit bureau.
ClearNow enables landlords and property managers to collect rent electronically from their tenants in a quick and easy fashion. Tenants are debited for the rent, and the funds are deposited into their landlord/property manager’s bank account 3 banking days later. By using ClearNow, landlords/property managers no longer have to worry about collecting a check or money order from their tenants or spending the time depositing the funds. ClearNow also eliminates the headache of waiting for payments to come in the mail. Funds are received faster and communication is more efficient whether the tenant’s debits are successful or not. The same applies for property owners and their property managers. If property managers use ClearNow’s owner proceeds, property owners receive the rent on the same day the property managers receive their fees. Plus, property managers eliminate the need to write and mail checks to the owners!