Setting Rental Rates

6 Replies

I'm new to the PB community and this is my first post. 

I've had an investment property for about 10 years. Half of the time I was living in one of the units and renting the other two units to family members, below market value.

One of the units just became available and I'm having a hard time figuring out the "going rate" in the area (I don't want to leave money on the table). Is there a good resource (online/in person) where I can get comps or appropriate rental rates in my area? 

The house is in Lawrence, Massachusetts.

Any help will be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.

Hi @Wilfredo P.

Welcome to BP.

There are lots of places you can check out.

I think rentometer is usually pretty decent:

Zillow also does rent Zestimates.  I have not really looked into these but I have heard people say they are much better than the ones for property value.

Also around hear most people will search out places on Craigslist so look up other places in Lawrence and see what they are going for.

I don't know for sure but you can also take a look in the Eagle-Tribune online or hard copy and see if there are classified ads for places.  I have a bunch of places in Lowell and when I was first starting I got a few copies of the SUN and got a little info from that.

Finally if you know any real estate agents that do rentals in the city you can ask them what they think it would rent for.

Good luck!

There's a few ways, and using all of them will probably give you the best idea. Ask local real estate agents with good local knowledge what the going rates for units like yours are renting for. Check out, and Also look on craigslist at similar properties near you. Or go to a similar building/house and knock on the door and ask what their rent is going for because you're considering moving in nearby

i use rentometer (which is OK but not great--simple but not sure about accuracy), craigslist, redfin (search for multifamily props for sale and note the rents they are charging) and our RE agent. 

Welcome to the site @Wilfredo P.

The best way to determine the rent is to check multiple sources (i.e. Zillow, Rentometer, Craigslist, Padmapper, local property management companies, "for rent" signs in the yards of other nearby rentals, etc).  The more sources the better because not one of these sources is entirely accurate by itself. 

You might get some more ideas from reading this: The Ultimate Guide to Fair Market Rents

If you use a realtor to rent the property he/she will run rental comps off MLS for you, and that's the best way to determine the optimal rental price.

Thank you so much to everyone for the quick and thoughtful responses. I had checked out Zillow, Rentometer, and Craigslist. I'm definitely going to be looking at the other suggestions and we'll reach out local RE agents.

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