Apartment Prices Controlled by Computers

Landowners with fewer apartments units are starting to use software similar for pricing airline tickets and hotel vacancies to determine rental rates for their properties, reports Matt Hudgins for The New York Times.

The software factors hundreds of variables including competitors' rental rates and seasonal trends when determining the rent for each apartment. Large or small landowners that have used software like Rainmaker LRO or YieldStar Price Optimizer have seen benefits for the owner and renters.

"Just as travelers can lower their airline fare by flying at off times, residents can often lock in lower monthly rents by agreeing to lease terms that help apartment owners avoid downtime or fill less popular units. Revenue management software can generate options for renters by varying rental rates, start dates and numbers of months on the lease - and still hit a landlord's revenue target."

"In initial testing, Equity Residential found it was able to raise revenue 3 to 5 percent at complexes using Rainmaker LRO, (said David Romano, the vice president of pricing and revenue management at Equity Residential, one of the largest publicly traded apartment owners in the United States). That persuaded company leaders to buy the software for the entire portfolio."

Full Story: When Apartment Rents Climb, Landlords Can Say ‘The Computer Did It’

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