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How to find the most accurate rental prices in an area

real estate software
by Jeff Rohde, posted in Investment Strategy

If you’ve asked yourself, “How do I find rental prices in my area?” you’re not alone. This is a common question for landlords and property managers.

Plenty of resources are available to help you find the answers you need. This blog post will discuss ways to find rental prices in your area.

Key takeaways

  • Check out comparable properties in the area to get a good idea of average rent prices.
  • Talk to local property managers and real estate agents to collect insights.
  • Look at online listings for an idea of what renters are looking for.
  • Consider the amenities included in the rental property to help you set the correct rent price.
  • Get creative by secret shopping to gather competitive intel.
  • Find a balance between making a profit and attracting qualified tenants.


Best ways to find rental prices in an area

You’ve got a place to rent, and you want to get the best price possible. Where do you start? 

Use a rental search engine

Search for “average rent prices in (your city or state).” This will give you a good idea of the going rate for rentals in your area.

Rents can vary significantly from one area to another, so the next step is to drill down to learn what fair market rent is in your specific neighborhood. Stessa Rent Estimate, Rentometer, and Zillow Rent Zestimate are 3 ways to price a rental.

For example, Stessa, a Roofstock company, has a premium option to help you set asking rent for your unit based on an analysis of current listings, recent rent comps, market trends, and neighborhood trends. The report takes a deep dive into key factors to help you set the right rent, including:

  • Rental unit comps by address
  • Full map view of all comps in relation to your property
  • Median rental analysis across the local market
  • Trends over the last 5 years
  • Changes in median rents for the ZIP code, city, county, and state

After signing up for a free account with Stessa, visit your Rent Estimates page and purchase a report for just $19.99 to find rental prices in an area.

Check out online listings

You can also look at online listings for rental properties in your area. Websites like, HotPads,, and Zillow list rental prices for apartments and homes.

Roofstock is another excellent option for learning what other landlords in your market are charging for rent.

Each rental property listed for sale on the Roofstock Marketplace includes vital information, such as the square footage of the home, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and neighborhood rating. Many of the rentals are already occupied by tenants, so you’ll get a good idea of what landlords are actually getting for rent instead of a vacant property with an “estimated” rent price.

Contact a property management company

Local property management companies are a good way for landlords to find rental prices in an area. They have access to data that can help you determine the average rent price for your area. Additionally, they can provide you with advice on how to set your rents based on market conditions.

However, some property management companies are better than others, and you’ll want to ensure you get accurate information. When speaking with a property manager about local rent prices, ask about their experience managing properties in an area similar to yours, and try to get a list of references from past clients.


real estate agent standing in house

Talk to a real estate agent

An investor-friendly real estate agent specializes in working with rental properties. They will have a good understanding of the rental market in your area and can help you find rental comparables.

Once you have found an experienced rental agent, they will be able to help you access the multiple listing service (MLS). Your rental agent can find properties similar to yours in size, location, and amenities.

Check out local newspapers

Another good way for landlords to get an idea of rental prices in their area is to check out the classifieds section of their local newspaper and online classified advertising websites like Craigslist.

By looking at what other landlords are charging for rent, you can get a better sense of what the going rate is in your area. Keep in mind, however, that classified ads may not always be up-to-date, so it’s a good idea to use multiple sources before making any decisions about what to charge for rent.

Ask (and drive) around

Asking other landlords, networking with fellow investors, and driving around the neighborhood are all great ways to find out what rental prices are in an area. Here’s why:

  • Ask other landlords. If you know other landlords in your area, ask them what they’re charging for rent. This is a great way to get a feel for the market.
  • Network with fellow real estate investors. They can be a great resource for finding out rental prices in your area.
  • Drive around the neighborhood. Look for rental properties that have “For Rent” signs posted outside. This is often referred to as “driving for dollars.” You can quickly get a sense of what people are charging.

Doing your research can ensure that you’re pricing your units competitively and maximizing your profits.

Get creative

Don’t be afraid to do some “secret shopping.”

Many businesses use secret shoppers to do competitive research, and landlords can use the same technique to find out what other rental properties in their area are charging for rent.

To secret shop, simply call up different rental properties in your area and pretend that you’re interested in renting a home from them. When you talk to the landlord or property manager, ask questions about the rent price, square footage, amenities, and any waiting lists. You can also ask about the length of the lease and whether or not there are any special deals or promotions.


Closing thoughts

You may find that the best way to get an accurate estimate of rents in your area is to use a Stessa Rent Estimate report.

This report considers various factors, such as location, property type, and short- and long-term rent trends, to give you a more accurate picture of what you can expect to receive in rent. With this information, you can set a fair market rent.


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