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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 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.

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.

Duplex – A two-unit residential rental property.

Fourplex – See “Quadruplex”.

High-Rise Apartments – A professionally managed residential building exceeding 10-12 stories and containing 100+ units.

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

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.

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).

Property Management – Property 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.

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

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.

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

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.