05:01 AM

TransUnion National Rental Survey Finds Property Managers Faring Much Better Than Last Year

BOSTON, MA--(Marketwire - Jun 28, 2012) -   A new TransUnion survey found that both large and small property managers are faring better than they did one year ago and are more easily attracting residents while increasing rental prices.

The survey of 1,248 property managers across the country took place in early June and is being released during the 2012 National Apartment Association Education Conference & Exposition in Boston. The breakdown of survey respondents included 1,107 small (managing 200 or fewer properties) and 141 large (persons managing 201 or more units) property managers.

Nearly half of respondents (48%) said rental prices on the majority of their units had increased since this same time last year. Approximately 44% said rental prices remained the same. Comparatively, in the 2011 TransUnion rental survey, only 39% of respondents stated that such an increase occurred with 48% saying prices remained the same.

Percent of respondents stating that rental prices have increased in the last year
Property Manager 2011 Survey 2012 Survey
Small Property Managers (1-200) 36% 46%
Large Property Managers (201+) 64% 70%

"Data throughout the last year has pointed to a healthier rental market, and our survey helps validate the current strength of the rental industry," said Steve Roe, vice president, TransUnion Rental Screening Solutions. "The rise in rental prices, coupled with a decrease in vacancy rates and the ability to attract new residents with less effort are all positive signs for the market and rental property managers."

Despite increasing rental prices, more property managers are finding it easier to locate prospective residents. Nearly 73% of respondents said it is not difficult to find residents. In the same 2011 survey, only 67% of property managers answered this way.

The percent of respondents stating vacancy rates for their properties are between 0% and 5% increased from 81% in 2011 to 83% in 2012. Large property managers saw this number increase from 60% in 2011 to 64% in 2012. More than 70% of small property managers said they have zero vacancy, up from 66% in 2011.

Even with a healthier rental market, property managers continue to be concerned with attracting profitable and reliable residents for the remainder of the year. Nearly 60% of respondents said they are concerned or very concerned to find such tenants. "Though this number is down from 65% in last year's survey, it does point to the continued unease about the economy and a lingering question about the ability of tenants to make timely rental payments," added Roe.

Property managers also may be cautious because more than half of survey respondents (53%) said they have had a renter "skip out" leaving the unit with unpaid rent or damages. Approximately 18% of those surveyed said a tenant has skipped out in the last year.

"Finding reliable tenants is critical as property managers can lose thousands of dollars in rent if a tenant skips out of a rental unit, or if the property manager must take action to evict someone from a unit," said Roe. "Nearly 50% of small property managers said they've had someone skip out of their rental unit. Many of these people only rent out a few units, thus it's especially important for them to do all they can to identify reliable tenants."

By applying analytic scoring models to comprehensive credit and criminal background data, TransUnion provides property managers with screening tools to make faster, more well-informed leasing decisions. As a result, property managers can improve their resident profile to increase cash flow and decrease costs. TransUnion offers two distinct rental screening services, including CreditRetriever, www.transunion.com/creditretriever, for large property management companies and SmartMove, www.MySmartMove.com, for small and independent property managers.

About TransUnion

As a global leader in credit and information management, TransUnion creates advantages for millions of people around the world by gathering, analyzing and delivering information. For businesses, TransUnion helps improve efficiency, manage risk, reduce costs and increase revenue by delivering comprehensive data and advanced analytics and decisioning. For consumers, TransUnion provides the tools, resources and education to help manage their credit health and achieve their financial goals. Through these and other efforts, TransUnion is working to build stronger economies worldwide. Founded in 1968 and headquartered in Chicago, TransUnion reaches businesses and consumers in more than 32 countries around the world on five continents. www.transunion.com/business