Some real estate agents help their clients purchase properties and rent them out to tenants. The property can be any type: single-family homes, multifamily residential buildings, retail locations, office buildings, and mixed-use properties. The work of a real estate professional in these situations varies; they may help investors find the right property, explain cash flow and profit potential, negotiate the deal, or manage the property, among other duties. Some real estate professionals work the other side of the transaction, helping businesses and individuals find, rent, or lease the right property for their needs. Also, brokers and agents may find investing their own funds in real estate to be a good wealth-building or retirement strategy.

Rental Properties Topics


NAR Library & Archives has already done the research for you. References (formerly Field Guides) offer links to articles, eBooks, websites, statistics, and more to provide a comprehensive overview of perspectives. EBSCO articles (E) are available only to NAR members and require the member's nar.realtor login.

Top Ten Tips for Landlords

  1. Screen potential tenants using a written rental application
  2. Document the important facts of the agreement with a written lease
  3. Establish a fair system of setting, collecting, holding, and returning security deposits
  4. Stay on top of maintenance and make repairs when requested
  5. Provide secure premises
  6. Provide adequate notice before entering the rental space
  7. Disclose environmental hazards
  8. Choose and supervise your property manager carefully
  9. Purchase liability and other property insurance
  10. Try to resolve disputes with your tenants without lawyers and lawsuits

Source: Top Ten Tips for Landlords (NOLO)

40% of N.Y. Tenants May Not Pay This Month. Then What Happens? (The New York Times, Mar. 31, 2020)

Landlord Investment Tips

  1. Have a property management firm screen your tenants
  2. Require that your tenants have renter's insurance
  3. Make sure your property is protected for vandalism due to the tenant not taking care of the rental
  4. Make sure you have insurance that covers you for fair rental loss
  5. Make sure you have adequate limits of liability

Source: Landlord Beware: Advice to Protect You and Your Investment (Realty Times, July 18, 2005)

California Considers Unprecedented $25-Billion Economy Recovery Fund, Rental Relief (The Lost Angeles Times, May 12)

Chicago Area Landlords are Concerned About Pandemic’s Impact on Rent (NBC Chicago, May 12, 2020)

Investing in Multi-Family Property

NMHC 50 List Highlights Unrelenting Nationwide Demand for Apartments (National Multifamily Housing Council, Apr. 6, 2016)

Fannie and Freddie Reward Affordable Housing Properties (National Real Estate Investor, June 23, 2015)

The Case for Investing in Multifamily Housing (Institutional Investor, May 27, 2015)

Six Reasons Why Investing in Multi-Family Housing is a Smart Move (Cash Flow Diary, Oct. 2014)

Buying a Multi-Family Investment Property (Reality Times, Aug. 20, 2014)

Due Diligence: Purchasing Multi-Family Investments (REIClub, June 20, 2014)

Don't Rule Out Multifamily Investments (REALTOR® Magazine, May 2014)

Property Management

Rental Market Reacts to Coronavirus but Stays Active (The Washington Post, Jun. 10, 2019)

Coronavirus Guidance for Property Managers (National Apartment Association, Mar. 24, 2020)

How the Coronavirus is Affecting the Rental Market (MSN Money, Mar. 24, 2020)

Freddie Mac, Fannie May Move to Protect Renters from Eviction During Coronavirus Crisis (HousingWire, Mar. 23, 2020)

How To Manage Your Multifamily Property Manage (Theresa Bradley-Banta Real Estate Consultancy)

Multi-Family Property Management (Landlord Station)

How Do I Manage a Multifamily Housing Complex? (SFGate)

Useful Websites

Marketing and Leasing: Multifamily Properties (Realtor.org). — NAR’s education matrix.

Multi-Housing News — Provides current news and statistics about the multi-housing industry.

National Apartment Association — A trade association for the apartment housing industry.

National Association of Residential Property Managers® — A trade association for residential property managers.

National Multi Housing Council — Provides a forum for insight, advocacy and action for members and the community.

Property Manager — Sells property management software, and shares perspectives and best practices to help manage your property management business.

Books, eBooks & Other Resources


The following eBooks and digital audiobooks are available to NAR members:

The Complete Guide to Buying and Selling Apartment Buildings (eBook)

The Complete Guide to Real Estate Finance for Investment Properties: How to Analyze and Single-Family, Multifamily, or Commercial Property (eBook)

Complete Landlord and Property Managers Legal Survival Kit (Kindle, Audiobook, eBook)

The Complete Real Estate Encyclopedia (eBook)

Every Landlord's Legal Guide (eBook)

Happy About Apartment Management: 30 Years of Expert Tips and Advice on Multifamily Property Management (eBook)

Insiders Tips to Operating a Successful Property Management Company (eBook)

Multi-Family Millions: How Anyone Can Reposition Apartments for Big Profits (eBook)

Opportunities in Property Management Careers (eBook)

Property Management Kit for Dummies® (eBook)

Property Manager, Community Manager, Real Estate Manager - How to Land a Top-Paying Job: Your Complete Guide to Opportunities, Resumes and Cover Letters, Interviews, Salaries, Promotions, What to Expect From Recruiters and More! (eBook)

Rich Dad's Advisors®: The ABC's of Property Management (Kindle, Audiobook, eBook)

Streetwise Landlording & Property Management (Kindle, Audiobook, eBook)

What Every Landlord Needs to Know: Time and Money-Saving Solutions to Your Most Annoying Problems (eBook)

Books, Videos, Research Reports & More

The resources below are available for loan through Member Support. Up to three books, tapes, CDs and/or DVDs can be borrowed for 30 days from the Library for a nominal fee of $10. Call Member Support at 800-874-6500 for assistance.

Principles of Real Estate Management (Chicago, IL: Institute of Real Estate Management, 2011) HD 1394 In7rm

The CompleteLandlord.com Ultimate Real Estate Investing Handbook (Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 2009) HD 1382.5 L49

Buy It, Rent It, Profit! : Make Money as a Landlord in Any Real Estate Market (New York, NY: Simon & Schuster, 2009) HD 1394 C39

7 Secrets to Successful Apartment Leasing: Find Quality Renters, Fill Vacancies, and Maximize Your Rental Income (Chicago, IL: McGraw-Hill, 2006) HD 1384 C91

Every Landlord's Legal Guide (Chicago, IL: Nolo, 2006) HD 1394 St4e

Complete Guide to Buying and Selling Apartment Buildings (Chicago, IL: John Wiley & Sons, 2005) HD 1377 B46

Practical Apartment Management (Chicago, IL: Institute of Real Estate Management, 2005) HD 1394 In7pr Ed. 5

The New No-Nonsense Landlord: Building Wealth with Rental Properties (New York, NY: McGraw-Hill, 2003) HD 1394 J76

Have an idea for a real estate topic? Send us your suggestions.

The inclusion of links on this page does not imply endorsement by the National Association of REALTORS®. NAR makes no representations about whether the content of any external sites which may be linked in this page complies with state or federal laws or regulations or with applicable NAR policies. These links are provided for your convenience only and you rely on them at your own risk.


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