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Expense and Rent Strategies in Real Estate Management

A model of the real estate market is developed where the rent-vacancy trade-off also embeds selections on expenses. High expenses and rents or low expenses and rents are explicit strategies, positioning properties along an efficient isoprofit frontier. Instead of a rent-vacancy trade-off, the operator can select either gross or net rent, or some combination as an offset for vacancy. This macrostructure is more in keeping with observed real estate markets, where some managers focus on net operating income, and others on effective gross income. Empirical results for apartments in Portland, Oregon supports the hypothesis that expenses and rents are positively correlated. An aggressive expense-increasing strategy pays off in higher rents, though in not all cases is net operating income positive. There are two implications. First, incentives in management create strategies to maximize gross as opposed to net income. Second, rent-vacancy trade-offs that use gross income may misstate the adjustment toward equilibrium.

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Article provided by American Real Estate Society in its journal Journal of Real Estate Research.

Volume (Year): 15 (1998)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 267-282

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Handle: RePEc:jre:issued:v:15:n:3:1998:p:267-282
Contact details of provider: Postal: American Real Estate Society Clemson University School of Business & Behavioral Science Department of Finance 401 Sirrine Hall Clemson, SC 29634-1323
Web page: http://www.aresnet.org/
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Order Information: Postal: Diane Quarles American Real Estate Society Manager of Member Services Clemson University Box 341323 Clemson, SC 29634-1323
Web: http://pages.jh.edu/jrer/about/get.htm Email:


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  1. Eubank, Arthur A, Jr & Sirmans, C F, 1979. "The Price Adjustment Mechanism for Rental Housing in the United States," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 93(1), pages 163-68, February.
  2. Karl E. Case & Robert J. Shiller, 1988. "The Efficiency of the Market for Single-Family Homes," NBER Working Papers 2506, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Denise DiPasquale & William C. Wheaton, 1992. "The Markets for Real Estate Assets and Space: A Conceptual Framework," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 20(2), pages 181-198.
  4. Stiglitz, Joseph E & Weiss, Andrew, 1981. "Credit Rationing in Markets with Imperfect Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(3), pages 393-410, June.
  5. David M. Cutler & James M. Poterba & Lawrence H. Summers, 1990. "Speculative Dynamics," NBER Working Papers 3242, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Benjamin, John D & de la Torre, Cris & Musumeci, Jim, 1995. "Controlling the Incentive Problems in Real Estate Leasing," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 177-91, March.
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