I have been asked to talk about how to price your rental if you are a landlord in San Francisco in today’s market. My 25 years of residential property management experience in San Francisco will hopefully help you determine how to successfully price your rental. Right now, the rental market in San Francisco is kind of crazy and rents are all over the place. There are some neighborhoods that are hotter than hot and other neighborhoods that are lukewarm at best.
The most important thing you can do is check out the market. I recommend starting on Craigslist. In San Francisco, we are fortunate because Craigslist is widely used by everyone. So, if you have a two bedroom house for rent in the Sunset, go to Craigslist and look up other two bedroom houses in the Sunset. Take a look at what is out there; examine pictures, look at the location and determine how it compares to your property. Track it. If you see the same house listed week after week, then you know the rent is probably too high on that particular property in that location. You will not be able to get that much for a similar house. If you see a property very similar to yours and it is no longer listed the next week, that’s a good indication that the property was fairly priced. You could even call the landlord or the property management company and ask if they got the rent they were advertising for. Most owners or managers will be willing to tell you.
After you have looked at comparable properties on Craigslist, look truthfully at your own house. Ask how your house compares to what else is on the market. If you are seeing houses with remodeled kitchens that have granite counter tops and stainless steel appliances, and your house has a 1960’s kitchen, you will not get the same rent that the upgraded houses are getting. The same is true on the flip side. If you have renovated your property from top to bottom and it is drop dead gorgeous, with every possible amenity, you are going to get the top dollar for it. But you want get a whole lot over top dollar. If your property is in the Sunset, you will only get what the top rentals are getting in that location. You will not get the price you might get in Pacific Heights or other neighborhoods that command higher rents. Be honest about your property when you are looking at comparable rentals.
The San Francisco rental market can be complex. If you have any questions, or you’d like more information, please do not hesitate to contact us at Gordon Property Management.