Rentometer makes comparing market rents for your investment properties easy. But does it really work, and how accurate are the reports? See answers to these questions and more in our complete review.
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- What Is Rentometer?
- Our Take
Both landlords and tenants want their rates to be correct. Landlords don’t want to leave money on the table and tenants don’t want to overpay for a unit. Fortunately for you, Rentometer exists.
What Is Rentometer?
Rentometer is a market rent comparison tool that lets you quickly and easily compare rents for properties in your neighborhood or anywhere in the U.S.
Simply enter in a few data points and Rentometer spits out a rent comparison analysis in only seconds, just by putting in the address. This doesn’t sound like much, but consider the alternative.
You can spend hours and even days slogging through Craigslist, Zillow and your local Multiple Listing Service looking at comparable properties, writing down rents, and visiting properties.
For real estate agents, landlords and others, just a small amount of effort can help keep vacancies to a minimum without leaving rent money on the table. Even renters can use Rentometer to make sure they aren’t overpaying.
Rentometer’s Best Features
While the product is basic by nature, it comes in a few versions. The basic tool simply analyzes rents, but the Pro version includes some advanced features that may benefit landlords or even tenants.
Rentometer’s basic rent estimate calculates rent prices based on location and apartment size. Then it gives you a market rate estimate.
The results of a basic analysis will tell you how many rentals with a similar number of bedrooms were rented in the last 12 months within a one-mile radius of the entered address. It also shows the average and median rents.
You also get a feel for the range of rents in the area with Rentometer. You get the upper and lower rent figures that cover 80 percent of the rentals, and another set of upper and lower figures for 60 percent.
The results appear in an easy-to-read dial format. If the needle appears in the green area, the rent you input is on the low side. If the needle moved into the red, it’s on the high side.
The basic Rentometer analysis gives you a solid starting point if you’re looking for a quick snapshot. To go further, subscribers to the paid version can see a Pro Report.
The Pro Report lets you filter for rentals during periods other than the last year, such as the last three months. You can also modify the search radius to something besides the standard one mile.
This advanced version also lets you search by ZIP code or neighborhood. You can filter results by the age of the listing, building type and other details such as square footage, number of bathrooms and bedrooms and dollars per square foot.
You can generate a Pro Report ready to print. Or you can download the results to a standard CSV to import into Excel or another spreadsheet program for further analysis.
This feature simplifies the job of analyzing a list of properties by address. Just by uploading a list of addresses, you get a CSV file with rental statistics by bedroom type for each address on the list.
The Portfolio Analysis recognizes five floor plan types, including studio and 1 to 4-bedroom homes. While the basis rental analysis is free, and Pro Reports are included in the free and paid subscriptions.
Each Portfolio Analysis costs $49. That’s good for up to 500 addresses. You can analyze up to 2,000 addresses for $99.
Rentometer Rental Listings
You can list a property for rent on the Rentometer rental listings services. Rental properties on the Rentometer listing service appear on Rentometer’s maps of rental properties marked by a special orange icon.
Clicking on the icon brings up details about the property. Prospective renters can contact property owners and leasing agents directly from the property landing page.
Rentometer sends owners and agents an email to let them someone has expressed interest in the property.
Plans and Pricing
Rentometer offers a free trial that includes five Pro Reports. You can get unlimited reports by signing up for one of the Pro plans.
Free Trial — Free
The free trial is a great way to sample the service to see whether you’ll like using it. This plan includes:
- 5 PRO Reports
- Fresh Rent Comps
- Historical Rent Trends
- Property Reports
- 3 Batch Analyses
- Neighborhood Search
- Zip Code Search
- City Search
- Google Street View
- Google Search Results
- Custom Report Branding
- Rent Analysis Report
- Map Presentation
- 1–4 Bedroom Summary Report
- Share Reports
- Professional Print Format
- Download to Excel
PRO Monthly — $29/month
The PRO Monthly is a step up from the free plan, and includes all of its features but adds:
- Unlimited PRO Reports
- Unlimited Batch Analyses
- My Reports (saved searches)
PRO Annual — $99/year
The PRO Annual is simply the PRO plan billed annually instead of monthly. It includes:
- Unlimited PRO Reports
- Unlimited Batch Analyses
- My Reports (saved searches)
Pros and Cons
As with any product, there are pros and cons. We’ve used our professional experience to point out some benefits and also drawbacks about using Rentometer.
Pros (what we like)
Rentometer is a great way to get started using online automated rent estimator tools because it’s free to start. Plus, the interface is easy to figure out.
You can get a quick idea of whether the rent you are charging or paying is fair by simply entering the address, current rent and number of bedrooms.
If you like the results and want to get more analysis, the Pro subscriptions are reasonably priced. These offer the added power that landlords, real estate agents and other professionals will want.
Cons (what can be improved)
One of the drawbacks of Rentometer is that the really useful information is the rents on comparable properties. And you have to sign up for one of the Pro plans to get that.
Also, in addition to putting in the address of the property you are looking at, you have to put in the number of bedrooms. Some of Rentometer’s competitors use public records to gather this information so you don’t have to.
As a property manager by day, I know a thing or two about rental rates. In fact, we’ll use a rental home I personally own to test out the estimate. The area in which I own my home is still being developed.
In one direction, the homes begin to show their age, but the rest of the neighborhood is showing signs of development. That said, I am currently renting my 3 bedroom, 1 bathroom home for $1,295.
Based on the Rentometer estimate, the average rental rate in that are is $1,251. Granted, my home has granite counters, newly refinished wood flooring, new paint, improved bathrooms, and new landscaping.
So that justifies the extra cost relative to other homes in the area. I ran the numbers on 5 other rentals that I manage, and the rates were typically within 10% of what I determined the market rate to be.
Given this tool uses averages, it’s a good barometer to know if your rental rates are close to market. However, I set market rates by simply looking at the market. I pull up the listings on Craigslist, Zillow, and other sites.
Then, I simply look for comparable homes and determine if my own listing needs to be adjusted. It’s easy enough to do and I don’t need a tool to do it for me.
However, I can see this being valuable in a pinch where you don’t have time to dig through rental property listings.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a well-balanced review if we didn’t point out the competitors. Like Rentometer, these other sites simply aggregate publicly available information. While the basic functions remain constant, there are minor differences that we’ve outlined below.
My Rent Rates
This site is a free rent analysis tool with an interface similar to Rentometer. You input the address, current rent and number of bedrooms.
The resulting report tells you where this rent figure sits in the area average rents as well as the highs and lows. It also adds additional information such as the year the property was built, square feet and number of bathrooms.
This product is a paid-only rental analysis tool that provides all kinds of reports and data to help real estate professionals manage single-family rental properties. You buy credits that you can use to pay for reports.
Credits cost from $3.50 to $2.25 each depending on how many you buy. Each report costs a minimum of 4 credits.
RentRange offers a wide variety of reports. Individual property reports give rent rate estimates and other information on specific addresses.
Market Metric Reports give average market rents and trends. Investor Lists identify potential rental investors based on location and other factors.
Should You Use Rentometer?
Rentometer can slash hours off the time it takes to get a rough idea of whether a rent is competitive or way under or over the market.
It doesn’t completely replace good old-fashioned market research like checking online listings and driving the neighborhood. But it definitely deserves a place in your market research toolbox.