Rental comps, history, and vacancy rates

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Is there a quick/easy way to get rental comps, history, and vacancy rates?

Is a property manager the best resource for this type of info? I guess they would be preferable compared to a real estate agent?

Originally posted by @Ben M. :

Is there a quick/easy way to get rental comps, history, and vacancy rates?

Is a property manager the best resource for this type of info? I guess they would be preferable compared to a real estate agent?

 I use zillow and renometer to get a baseline for area rents based on bedrooms. Then I hone in my estimate by searching live listings so I could view photos and compare like style properties and renovation trim so I can get an apples to apples comparison based on neighborhood and property type. If I'm buying the property with an agent, I ask my agent to run sale comps and also rental comps for the immediate neighborhood for similar properties. That gets me pretty accurate rental comps. Vacancy rates you can do a google search of the city and find area vacancy rates. I generally just estimate 8-10% for my calculations which is conservative for my area.

I use hotpads in addition to Zillow. What I like about hotpads is you can see how many times the property has actually been contacted in the past week, so you know if the property is really getting activity at the current asking rent.