Landlords and property managers use rent rolls to analyze an investment property. For example, a property manager can quickly glance at the document to see how many tenants have leases expiring within the next couple of months. They can then reach out to those tenants to see if they plan to renew. If not, the property manager can start marketing the units.
Landlords also use a rent roll document to do market research by comparing the average rent on their units with those currently on the market. If their rents are lower, they can list those with expiring leases at the higher market rates and boost their income.
Investors and buyers use rent rolls to analyze a potential investment. A prospective buyer might notice that the majority of the leases on a rent roll report are at above-market rates and expire in the next couple of months, suggesting that rental income could decline significantly after acquiring the rental property. On the other hand, a rent roll analysis could tell an investor that there's room for rent increases given what comparable units are going for on the open market. Because the rent roll provides a current snapshot of a property's gross rental income, it's a crucial document for valuing commercial real estate, since investors focus on a property's net operating income, not comparable values.