RealPage algorithm accused of artificially increasing rents, stifling competition

Occurred: October 2022

An algorithm called YieldStar is responsible for artificially driving up prices and stifling competition across the US, according to a ProPublica investigation.

The investigation found that approximately 90% of the 31,000+ property managers/landlords who use YieldStar obey its price increase suggestions. Many landlords do not negotiate with their tenants - something discouraged by RealPage - and thereby sacrifice their relationships and trust with them.

ProPublica also alleged that RealPage's software may be facilitating collusion amongst its clients, particularly in locations where many of them use YieldStar to set rent prices.


RealPage acknowledges that YieldStar recommends a price for every available unit every day, determining the rate by drawing on private competitor data on the actual rent tenants paid, as opposed to the publicly advertised rent. 

However, the company has not reveal its inner workings, or opened its algorithm to third-party inspection or assessment.

Operator: Greystar; FPI Management; Equity Residential, Lincoln Property Company; Mid-America Apartment Communities
Developer: RealPage
Country: USA
Sector: Real estate sales/management
Purpose: Calculate rent prices
Technology: Pricing algorithm
Issue: Business model; Competition/price fixing
Transparency: Governance; Black box


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Type: Incident
Published: October 2022
Last updated: February 2024