The Ultimate Rental Real Estate Dictionary

Rental Real Estate Dictionary
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The world of rental real estate is a vast industry with many different technical terms, unofficial slang and acronyms. This glossary of rental real estate terminology contains a comprehensive list of all these essential terms.



Air Rights – A type of property interest referring to the “space” above land.

Anchor Tenant – An Anchor Tenant ( also called an “anchor store”, “draw tenant”, or “key tenant”)  is a larger retail tenant which usually draws in a substantial majority of customers into the overall retail property. Examples of anchor tenants are Walmart, Publix, or Home Depot.

Apartment – A multi-unit building, often 2 stories or more, that has only residential suites.


Basis Points (BPs) – Values equal to one-hundredth of one percentage point. For example, 100 basis points = 1 percentage point.

Buy and Hold – Buy and hold refers to a long-term real estate investment strategy where an investor purchases a property, rents it out, and continues to hold it for an extended period of time (usually 3-5 years)


Cap Rate (Capitalization Rate) Cap Rate (Capitalization Rate) is the ratio of Net Operating Income (NOI) to Property Value and also a valuation metric used to estimate the expected rate of return when comparing multiple investment real estate properties.

Central Business District – Central Business District (Commonly called CBD) refers to the commercial and business center of a city.

Clear Height – Clear height is an industry term in industrial real estate that refers to the usable height to which a tenant can store its product on racking.

Commercial Real Estate – Commercial real estate (CRE) is property (i.e. buildings and land) that is used solely for profit-generating business activities and often leased to commercial tenants for solely business purposes.

Commercial Property Management Commercial property management operates non-residential properties such as retail spaces,  offices buildings, and industrial warehouses. Like residential property management, commercial property management encompasses the tasks and responsibilities of operating an income-producing property.


Data Center – Data centers are specialized properties that house the technological hardware and related equipment used to store, process, distribute, and provide access to large amounts of data.

Duplex – A two-unit residential rental property.



Fourplex – See “Quadruplex”.



Hospitality –  Hospitality properties are those that primarily serve travelers such as hotels, motels, lodges, cabins, hostels, and any other type of property for overnight stays.

Hospitality Property ManagementHospitality property management is a specialized type of real estate management that deals with the comprehensive oversight of operations for hospitality-related properties such as hotels, resorts, and restaurants.


IndustrialOften large buildings used for warehousing, manufacturing, and any other type of industrial economic use.




Land – Plots of land ranging in sizes from small to very large and also type depending on location such as agricultural outside of metropolitan cities, and infill land within urban cities.

Land Property ManagementLand property management is a specialized type of real estate management that deals with the comprehensive oversight of day-to-day and long term management of land properties.

Long Term Vacation Rental – A long-term vacation rental is the leasing out of a furnished living space for a period of time that is generally one month or longer. 


Maintenance – Rental property maintenance is the act performing repairs, safety checks, and general upkeep throughout a rental property.

Mid-Rise Apartments – A residential building approximately 5-12 stories tall, containing 30-100 units, and elevator service.

Mixed Use – Buildings where the property may have a combination of uses, such as retail, office and apartments.

Multifamily – A multifamily property is any residential property that contains more than one housing unit. While they serve for residential dwelling, the general purpose for the property type is for investment (owner-occupied or not).



Office Buildings where administrative work usually takes place. These often include spaces for Medical Centers and Professional Services (Lawyers/Accountants).


Parking Lot A parking property (also called a parking lot, car lot, or car park) is a piece of land that is primarily used for short to medium term parking of motor vehicles (cars, trucks, etc.). This can include both public and private parking lots.

Parking Property ManagementParking property management is a specialized type of real estate management that deals with the comprehensive oversight of parking-related properties such as surface lots and parking garages.

Prefab HousingPrefabricated housing (also called “prefab” or “prefabs”) is any dwelling structure that has sections of the structure  manufactured in an off-site factory, and then subsequently transported to its intended site of use.

Property Maintenance Software Property maintenance software is any digital platform that is used to automate work orders, track asset information, and develop cost-optimized maintenance budgets.

Property ManagementProperty management (also known as rental management) – is the daily oversight of rental real estate by a third-party contractor.

Property Manager (PM) – A Property Manager (PM) is a person whose job is to manage the daily routines of rental properties and preserve the value of the properties while generating income. Generally, property managers oversee management activities such as rent payments, repairs and maintenance, security, and general property upkeep.


QSR (Quick Service Restaurant) – A QSR is a type of tenant that occupies a retail property with a “Quick Service” restaurant use that is generally a fast-food franchise such as McDonalds, Subway, or similar. QSR properties are usually freestanding but can also be in-line or end-cap.

Quadruplex – A four-unit residential rental property.


Residential Property Management – Residential property management runs income-producing residential properties leased to tenants, on behalf of the property’s owners. Properties commonly designated as residential include single family, condominiums, townhomes, and multifamily apartments.

Retail Public facing storefronts such as shopping Centers, Malls (both indoor & outdoor), Neighborhood Plazas, Strip-Malls, and In-line retail in commercial corridors.


Self (Property) Management – Self (property) management is a type of rental property management where the owner oversees and handles all of the day-to-day operations of the rental property.

Self StorageSelf storage is the business of renting storage space, also known as “storage units,” to tenants, usually on a short-term basis. Self-storage tenants can include businesses and individuals.

Self Storage Property ManagementSelf storage property management is a specialized type of real estate management that deals with the comprehensive oversight of self storage properties such as drive up and indoor climate-controlled facilities.

Senior HousingSenior housing (also called senior living or retirement homes) refers to multi-residence housing facilities that are intended for the elderly.

Senior Housing Property ManagementSenior housing property management is a specialized type of real estate management that deals with the comprehensive oversight of senior living properties such as 55+ communities and skilled nursing facilities.

Short Term Vacation Rental – A short-term vacation rental is the leasing out of a furnished living space for a short period of time – this can range from a few days to weeks.

Single Family Rental (SFR)  – A Single Family Rental (SFR) Property is a stand alone detached structure usually on it’s own lot with a yard and garage, and rented out to tenants for the purpose of tenant dwelling and landlord profit.

Student Housing Property ManagementStudent housing property management is a specialized type of real estate management that deals with the comprehensive oversight of student housing properties such as off-campus apartments.

Suburban Office – Suburban office space refers to mid-rise office buildings that are located outside of a city center.


Tenant Screening – Tenant screening is the act of evaluating prospective rental tenants based on a series of quantitative and qualitative factors.

Tenant Screening SoftwareTenant screening software is the various digital platforms used to generate various reports on prospective tenants for the purpose of assessing the likelihood of a potential tenant to fulfill the terms of the lease agreement.

Triplex – A three-unit residential rental property.



Vacation Rental – A vacation rental is the renting out of a furnished private dwelling residence such as an apartment, house, or professionally managed resort-condominium complex on a temporary basis to tourists as an alternative to a hotel.

Vacation Rental Management Vacation rental management is the supervision and administration of vacation rental properties, ranging from handling bookings, cleaning, and maintenance, to marketing, and taking good care of the guest experience.