How to Calculate the Return on Investment for Rental Properties

Oct 04, 2023By Mike Kelly


Investing in rental properties can be a lucrative financial venture. However, to ensure its profitability, it is crucial to calculate the return on investment (ROI) accurately. ROI is a key metric that helps investors evaluate the profitability of their rental properties and make informed decisions. In this blog post, we will guide you through the process of calculating the ROI for rental properties.

1. Determine the Total Investment

The first step in calculating ROI is to determine the total investment made in the rental property. This includes the purchase price, closing costs, any renovation or repair expenses, and other associated costs. Make sure to include all relevant expenses to get an accurate picture of the total investment.

rental property

2. Calculate the Net Operating Income (NOI)

Net Operating Income (NOI) is the income generated by the property after deducting all operating expenses. To calculate NOI, subtract the total operating expenses from the total rental income. Operating expenses may include property taxes, insurance, maintenance costs, property management fees, and vacancy allowances.

3. Determine the Cash Flow

Cash flow is the amount of money left after all expenses and debt service have been paid. It is an important factor to consider when evaluating the profitability of a rental property. To calculate cash flow, subtract the mortgage payment and other monthly expenses from the monthly rental income.

rental property cash flow

4. Calculate the Cap Rate

The Capitalization Rate (Cap Rate) is a ratio that helps determine the potential return on investment. It is calculated by dividing the Net Operating Income (NOI) by the property's purchase price. The Cap Rate allows investors to compare different investment opportunities and assess their potential profitability.

5. Analyze the Return on Investment (ROI)

ROI is a percentage that measures the return on an investment relative to its cost. To calculate ROI for a rental property, divide the annual cash flow by the total investment and multiply by 100. This will give you the ROI percentage, which can help you assess the profitability of your rental property.

rental property ROI

6. Consider Additional Factors

While calculating ROI is essential, it is also important to consider other factors that may impact the profitability of your rental property. These factors include property appreciation, tax benefits, potential rental income growth, and market conditions. Evaluating these factors will provide a more comprehensive understanding of the investment's potential.

7. Monitor and Adjust

Once you have calculated the ROI for your rental property, it is crucial to monitor its performance regularly. Keep track of income, expenses, and market trends to ensure the property continues to generate a positive return. If necessary, make adjustments such as increasing rent, reducing expenses, or refinancing to optimize your ROI.

rental property monitoring


Calculating the return on investment for rental properties is essential for investors to make informed decisions and maximize profitability. By accurately determining the total investment, calculating the net operating income, analyzing the cash flow and cap rate, and considering additional factors, investors can assess the ROI of their rental properties. Remember to regularly monitor and adjust your investment to ensure its long-term success. Happy investing!