A New Way To Use Data

*A New Way To Use Data*
**By Tony Garritano**

TonyG***We talk a lot these days about a more data-driven mortgage process. Everybody wants to be more transparent. But data has other uses, as well. For example, intensified investment activity in the single-family rental marketplace has created a strong demand for specialized, analytical rental market data, according to Walter Charnoff, CEO of RentRange. Here’s the scoop on this emerging trend:

****Investment in single-family rentals has increased significantly in the past year, spawning organizations such as the Wall Street Journal and Morgan Stanley to label the segment as a new asset class. “Institutional migration into this sector carries with it an abundance of opportunities, including a liquid disposition channel for servicers; an attractive vehicle for both debt and equity investors to re-enter the U.S. housing market; and a fresh supply of single-family rental inventory for displaced homeowners,” said Charnoff.

****Rental intelligence—that is, rental pricing information based on formal, objective analyses—is an essential element of the single-family rental sector. Servicers require reliable rental information to evaluate investor-centric disposition options. Investors need market-level data to identify performing geographies, and address-level data to gain accurate perspective for purchase decisions. Objective rental estimates enable servicers and investors to achieve optimal pricing on rental homes and to accurately monitor rental portfolio performance.

****RentRange spent five years developing a standardized single-family rental data warehouse, and released a reliable address-level rental AVM. Prior to this, there had been no standardized repository of single-family rental data. Even national MLS information contained far too few transactions to be relevant as a stand-alone resource. Before RentRange, data was subjective, lacked data depth and quality, and failed to produce statistically sound results.

****In response to growing industry demands, RentRange recently released its Macro Data Reports, which are available on a national basis at the MSA, city, county, and zip code levels. Reports are updated on a monthly basis, and are available for purchase at a one-time, bi-annual, quarterly or monthly frequency. A historical data trail of up to forty-eight months is also available upon request. These reports deliver timely, comprehensive market level data called for by participants in the REO-to-Rental marketplace.