There is an interesting article on the RealEstateJournal.com site about a web tool for checking how your rent stacks up to other properties in the area.
The tool is brought to you by iiProperty, an online property management service.
The article highlights the pro and cons of such a service. Quick summary. Cons – difficult to directly compare units if you only use the basics (type, location, rent). You can end up comparing a high service building’s penthouse with a walk up that happens to have a similar number of bedrooms. Pro – ease of data entry, a quick overview so you can decide if you want to research the details plus some clear visuals (gauge and map).
My take is the web will continue to help people make informed choices while still struggling with the best way to segregate properties that are subtly but significantly different. You have to remember the fact that no two properties are exactly the same on the planet (each address being unique) so any tools that provide an aggregate view are best used as filters rather than absolute decision making tools.
More historical data will help as trends are trends.
The specific link to the RealEstateJournal.com rentometer article is here.
The rentometer tool is at here.