The multifamily industry has been inundated with headlines regarding how much rent is or is not being collected due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Never before has there been the technology in place to provide real time data on rent payments, especially during an unprecedented slowdown as steep and severe as the pandemic. However, sometimes the headlines can be more volatile than the actual data.

While the industry has gotten better at reporting real time information, there are still gaps which may not provide us with the full picture. As we continue to track this data, readers should understand the strengths and weaknesses of the different reports.

In this report, we explore what these numbers tell us and how to interpret this valuable information. Some of the key considerations include:

  • How is the data gathered? Is it a survey or a measure of actual payments made?
  • Are partial payments included?
  • What population is reflected in the data? Does it include only renters, or homeowners as well? Is it professionally managed properties or a broader universe?
  • For rental units, what property sizes are reflected? Does it capture single-family rental, small multifamily properties and/or larger properties?
  • At what time of the month is the data collected? Did weekends or holidays impact the timing of rent collections in a specific month relative to others?
  • How does the current data compare with previous reports?