When I compare my condos to what other apartments/condos are asking, rentometer is very low. I do believe it gives you an average of the general area, but I'm finding it can't gauge accurately sometimes for a couple reasons -- it can't tell if I have 2 baths instead of 1.5, nor can it tell that some of my rentals are considered 'higher end' because of the finishes - and so some of my properties can compare with the 'newer/upscale' apartments in town, but for some folks, mine may more desirable because it's only got 1 shared wall. That said, I still find it somewhat risky in this Covid environment to know if I'm not about to overprice mine to the point where it may sit empty for awhile. What are your thoughts on this?
If you have a property manager, I would reach out to them first and see what their thoughts are and possibly a local real estate agent who has rental experience. Websites are great but I feel like humans can be very helpful as well.
@Ann R. - I would also consider using BP insights to gauge rental prices since you are a pro member. It is similar to rentometer and zillow, but offers you specific comps behind the prices. You can see units close to yours and what they are renting for. You can then choose a unit that closely resembles yours and base the price on that.
I do a far better job by following my market on Zillow, on a weekly/bi-weekly basis, then any algorithm can. You know your markets, your streets, the complexes and multi-families.
Also my markets rents are increasing at a faster clip then they can gauge.
@Ann R. It can a bit difficult to gauge the prices but you can always price high and then move the needle slightly lower if you don't get any traction depending on your time frame..
Rentometer and Zillow are good for a general range, but as @Jeffrey Edwards said, you need a good PM and Investment Realtor in the area. There are natural and man-made barriers where neighborhood values change, and if you don't know where those are, you could be over/undercharging for rent significantly. You can cherry-pick off these reports if you know where those boundaries are and do the average yourself. After that, if you're diving really deep, try to find pictures of those properties and see what the finish levels are: nice, average, or lousy. That will get you a pretty good idea of what rent you can charge. But, at the same time, don't go into Analysis Paralysis. Get an idea and run with it. If you list it for rent and get tons of applications, you can raise rents next time. If you get crickets, you're probably too high. Hope that helps!
I would reiterate what @Jeffrey Edwards said, a good PM will take care of it for you and put your investment on autopilot at the right price.
When I'm doing analysis though, I'll look at Zillow, apartments.com and rentometer to just get a rough estimate of what I think it will rent for and take the consensus of them. I also BRRRR properties, so I'm usually looking at 95 percentile of what Rentometer tells me since it has fresh refurbishments.