Landlords using a shared secret database of rental prices and algorithm software to adjust asking/renewal rents KossyDerrickBlog KossyDerrickEnt

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Sunday, October 16, 2022

Landlords using a shared secret database of rental prices and algorithm software to adjust asking/renewal rents

landlords using a shared secret database of rental prices and algorithm software to adjust asking/renewal rents. (Read More Here).

Pet lovers, of course, know the limit does not exist — even if repeat bills for vet visits, favorite treats, and medications bring their fair share of pain. 

And yet, there’s one cost that still manages to catch some people off guard: Pet rent, or the monthly fee one’s landlord might charge on top of standard housing costs to shelter the animal and cover any damages, sometimes in addition to a second deposit or non-refundable fee.

“I don’t think I can name any rental complexes, as far as corporate landlords or smaller landlords, that don’t engage in this practice — at least not in my area,” Chris Ross, a 25-year-old cybersecurity analyst living in the Manassas, Va., area with his 4-year-old retriever mix, Goose, said. “I kind of proceed with the assumption that everywhere is going to ask for a little more for a pet — to a lot more.”

On a summer day last year, a group of real estate tech executives gathered at a conference hall in Nashville to boast about one of their company’s signature products: software that uses a mysterious algorithm to help landlords push the highest possible rents on tenants.

“Never before have we seen these numbers,” said Jay Parsons, a vice president of RealPage, as conventiongoers wandered by. Apartment rents had recently shot up by as much as 14.5%, he said in a video touting the company’s services. Turning to his colleague, Parsons asked: What role had the software played?

“I think it’s driving it, quite honestly,” answered Andrew Bowen, another RealPage executive. “As a property manager, very few of us would be willing to actually raise rents double digits within a single month by doing it manually.”

The celebratory remarks were more than swagger. For years, RealPage has sold software that uses data analytics to suggest daily prices for open units. Property managers across the United States have gushed about how the company’s algorithm boosts profits.

“The beauty of YieldStar is that it pushes you to go places that you wouldn’t have gone if you weren’t using it,” said Kortney Balas, director of revenue management at JVM Realty, referring to RealPage’s software in a testimonial video on the company’s website.

The nation’s largest property management firm, Greystar, found that even in one downturn, its buildings using YieldStar “outperformed their markets by 4.8%,” a significant premium above competitors, RealPage said in materials on its website. Greystar uses RealPage’s software to price tens of thousands of apartments.

Ross currently pays $45 a month in pet rent, which, because he’s owned Goose since February 2019, has added up to nearly $2,000. Adding his 59-pound dog to the lease also required a $300 “deposit,” though Ross said it is not refundable and is meant to cover the cost of purchasing new carpets once he vacates the unit. 

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