It’s time for your annual real estate portfolio review where you calculate total equity in the properties you own, what you owe, interest and holding costs as well as revenue. As properties appreciate, you can get a fix on current valuations from your real estate agent and your loan balances are relatively easy to obtain with a few mouse clicks.

is it time to raise the rentYou’ll soon be receiving your 1098-INT forms from the banks and your property manager will have your annual expenses for you very soon. But what about the revenue side? Can you raise the rent? If so, then by how much? Rents over time always increase so is it time to increase yours?

To see if it’s even possible to raise the rent, and in most areas it is, you need to compare your units with others in the area. How do you compare today? Are you in line with other rental properties? If not, then it’s time for an increase. This is easily justifiable to your tenants when you’re able to show other properties that rent for the same amount. If they decide not to renew, they’ll more than likely have to pay the higher rent in the new property.

If you want to establish a rental rate above the market, what sort of amenities do you provide your tenants the other properties do not that justify the higher rate? We all want to be fair but this is also your business and your job is to balance occupancy with the highest rent possible. If you have multiple properties there may also be some tenants you’d rather leave alone because they pay the rent on time every time, never complain and help keep the property in good shape. On the other hand, you may have tenants that you wouldn’t mind leaving and if you do decide to renew the lease you’ll be more than happy to raise the rent to cover the consternation.