Wally Charnoff's RentRange, the Data King of Rental Housing

Investors rely on his numbers as they gobble up distressed houses
“We try to balance the fun of being part of the whirlwind with not getting too into the hype of it” Photograph by Benjamin Rasmussen for Bloomberg Businessweek

Financiers may be familiar with the going rates for luxury Manhattan condos, but when they want the latest on rents in Atlanta, Phoenix, or other places where they’re scooping up single-family homes, they turn to Wally Charnoff. Using data from 12 million properties around the country, RentRange, Charnoff’s six-year-old company, can estimate how much monthly rent a property is likely to generate. That helps drive the data-hungry financial models private equity firms use to determine where to buy distressed homes to convert to rentals. “We’re the only ones with a deep, well-scrubbed, reliable rental database,” says Charnoff.

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