The Land of the Blind: Are Blogs Misguiding Landlords on How to Set Rent Rates?

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There’s a lot of blogs out there for landlords. Most of them are side projects of businesses selling products to landlords, such as apartment listings, investment services or property management. (This blog is no different, although our target market is tenants rather than landlords.) Given the marked absence of actual landlord training programs, these blogs have come to serve as the main DIY course syllabus for landlords working in the 21st century US housing market. While the content varies from blog to blog, they all have something to say about the big topics.

This week I visited 14 landlord advice blogs to see what they had to say about the biggest topic of all: the factors that landlords should consider when setting rent rates.

I’ve grouped the results by popularity and, of course, I will provide my own take on the matter. Continue reading The Land of the Blind: Are Blogs Misguiding Landlords on How to Set Rent Rates?

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Kay Cleaves

Founder and owner of RentConfident. She's the primary developer of the website and research engine code. She's spent over 10 years working in the Chicago rental industry and has assisted with over 1200 leases.

The Problems of Package Delivery in Chicago Apartments

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This article was originally going to be “questions to ask your next landlord about package delivery,” but once I got about 2 paragraphs in I realized that it’s a problem that extends far beyond something that landlords can address on their own. So I’m framing it from the perspective of a discussion that Chicago residents and residents of other cities nationwide need to have as a community, involving the US Postal system, landlords, property managers, third party parcel carriers, logistics innovators, and municipal governments.

We’ve stuck our fingers in our ears for too long on the matter of increasing package delivery volume. Today I’m going to simply try and outline the problems we’re facing. Hopefully it will serve as launchpad for discussion, because I’m not really sure of a way forward but I’m also not sure how much longer we can afford to ignore the matter. Continue reading The Problems of Package Delivery in Chicago Apartments

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Published by

Kay Cleaves

Founder and owner of RentConfident. She's the primary developer of the website and research engine code. She's spent over 10 years working in the Chicago rental industry and has assisted with over 1200 leases.

A Day in the Life of a Rental-Focused Chicago Realtor

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Last week I described what I did during an average day when I worked as a leasing agent for a local landlord. That was the first half of my real estate agency career. Today we’ll be doing the same thing but looking at the second half when I was working for a real estate brokerage as a Realtor focusing on rentals. Continue reading A Day in the Life of a Rental-Focused Chicago Realtor

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Published by

Kay Cleaves

Founder and owner of RentConfident. She's the primary developer of the website and research engine code. She's spent over 10 years working in the Chicago rental industry and has assisted with over 1200 leases.

A Day in the Life of a Landlord’s Leasing Agent

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I spent 10 years in the multifamily industry before starting RentConfident. For the first half of that time I was employed directly by the owner of roughly 50 Class C and Class D vintage walkup buildings scattered across the north side of Chicago. For the second half I was a licensed real estate agent focusing primarily on representing tenants in rental transactions across the city and suburbs of Chicago.

It has occurred to me that throughout the history of this blog I’ve spent a lot of time talking about what I learned during those years and in the time since I quit agency, but I haven’t really talked about what I did while I was working there. So for the next two weeks I’ll be doing “day in the life” articles, one from my time working for a landlord and the other from my time working for tenants. Continue reading A Day in the Life of a Landlord’s Leasing Agent

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Published by

Kay Cleaves

Founder and owner of RentConfident. She's the primary developer of the website and research engine code. She's spent over 10 years working in the Chicago rental industry and has assisted with over 1200 leases.

Apartments and Academia: Research Roundup

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It’s the end of May, when college students across the country are concluding their studies for the year. Many of these students, especially those in the post-graduate levels of education, are enjoying a return to normal life following the completion of research, writing and thesis defenses. But for many of them, the final product of all their work will only be seen by their family, friends, and a handful of professors and academics. (They don’t call it the “Ivory Tower” for nothing.)

As far as I’m concerned it simply isn’t fair to do all that work for such a small audience. So today I’m going to be highlighting some recent dissertations and thesis papers created by Masters and Doctoral students from across the country, from a variety of disciplines, all focusing on some aspect of rental housing.

I don’t know any of these authors personally and have no ties to any of the universities that sponsored their work. I don’t necessarily agree with their methods or their conclusions. But each of these authors and their advisors did a ton of work and I think that someone out here should make an effort to recognize it. I found them by searching through databases of open access dissertations including ProQuest Open, Ebsco, NDLTD and Google Scholar and selected these in an attempt to show the breadth of rental industry scholarship. None of the essays linked below were trapped behind paywalls at the time this article went live.

I know that many of our regular readers were/are also in academia, so I hope you enjoy these as much as I did. If you’re an author of one of the essays linked below and want to discuss your research let us know at @RentConfident on Twitter or Facebook, or drop us a note using our contact form.

Architecture:
Integrating Flexibility and Sustainability to Define a New Net-Zero Apartment Building Prototype
by Amber E. Galko, M.S.
The University of Arizona, 2015, 35 pages

Anthropology:
Defining success in low income housing: Why does it matter?
by Katherine S. Nutter, M.A.
California State University, Long Beach, 2016, 167 pages

Business:
Assessing the Relationship between Employee Training and Organizational Commitment in Rental Housing Management Firms
by Shawn R. Person, Ph.D.
Capella University, 2018, 182 pages

Economics:
The Economic and health consequences of lead paint abatement regulations
by Ludovica A. Gazze, Ph.D.
MIT, 2016, 172 pages

Education:
Resident Retention: Understanding and Predicting On-Campus Residents’ Decisions to Return to Campus Housing
by Kyle David Smith, Ed.D.
University of Louisiana at Lafayette, 2017, 201 pages

Finance:
Ranking of Mortgage Underwriting Criteria for Multifamily Rental Property
by Tejram Basdeo, D.BA
Walden University, 2017, 127 pages

Gerontology:
Intake Resident Assessments for Seniors Living in HUD-Sponsored Affordable Housing Apartment Communities
by Kiara Banks, M.S.
California State University, Long Beach, 2019, 58 pages

History:
Two Windows: The Tenants of the De Freyne Rent Strike 1901-1903
by Daphne Dyer Wolf, Ph.D.
Drew University, 2019, 328 pages

Social Service Administration:
Privatizing Chicago: The politics of urban redevelopment in public housing reforms
by Amy Turnbull Khare, Ph.D.
The University of Chicago, 2016, 319 pages

Sociology:
A policy to protect hoarders: An analysis of Fair Housing Amendments Act, 1988
by Mina Jahan, M.S.W.
California State University, Long Beach. 2015, 81 pages

Urban Studies:
The campaign for the tenant right to purchase in Greater Boston
by David Tisel, M.S.
MIT, 2018, 113 pages

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Published by

Kay Cleaves

Founder and owner of RentConfident. She's the primary developer of the website and research engine code. She's spent over 10 years working in the Chicago rental industry and has assisted with over 1200 leases.