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The 30 Best Universities for Real Estate Studies

Real estate is a constantly changing industry that holds a lot of opportunity for those looking to launch a career. At one time, real estate was an industry that anyone could enter easily and with very little training. Now that over half of all wealth in the United States is invested in real estate, with the industry responsible for over 8 million jobs, that is changing. Education and a solid understanding of best practices are necessary for real estate professionals who want to contribute positively to the industry. What do you need to get started?

  • Accreditation and Certificates: Many schools offer certificates and accreditations that give students a foundational understanding of real estate practices. These programs are great for students who want tfo start working right away in entry-level development and brokerage positions. Some of these programs are state specific, so make sure you choose one that will allow you to work where you want to.
  • Undergraduate Programs: Some universities offer undergraduate degrees in real estate while others offer business or finance degrees with a real estate concentration. These degrees are great for launching a career or continuing on to further schooling. The business or finance focus of each degree will give you a good understanding of which industries and positions the program will best prepare you for.
  • MBA’s and Advanced Degrees: These degrees put you on the fast track for high-level executive jobs in the real estate and financial investment sectors. Many of them also include coursework in economics and urban development, making them a good choice for those who may want to enter into government fields.

This information should help you get started on your search for the right university for your real estate education. When choosing a school, be sure to keep your goals in mind. Which sector of the real estate industry you want to work in will affect which school and which program is right for you.

1. University of California at Berkeley

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This prestigious institution offers an undergraduate degree in real estate through the Fisher Centre For Real Estate and Urban Economics. The program has a high level of student satisfaction and consistently ranks as one of the top three real estate programs in the country. Students studying here also have the opportunity to participate in the Undergraduate Real Estate Club, where they can hone their professional skills and network with professionals in the industry.

2.Washington State University

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Washington State offers a B.S. in Business Administration Real Estate through the Carson College of Business. This college is accredited by the Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, which as an accreditation held by less than 5% of business schools worldwide. The program offers lots of opportunities for networking and career assistance.

3. California State University

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California State offers a B.S. in Business Administration with a real estate focus. The program is offered at their Fresno, Fullerton, Los Angeles, Northridge and Sacramento campuses, giving students lots of locations to choose from. All of the university’s locations regularly rank very high among public universities in the US for both academics and student satisfaction.

4. Marquette University

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Marquette University offers an undergraduate degree in Real Estate that focuses on practical applications in the industry. They also stress the importance of ethical practices in real estate, and the accountability real estate professionals have to residents and businesses using developed space.

5. Colorado State University

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Colorado state has an undergraduate program in real estate that is offered through their Everitt Real Estate Center. They provide a high level of student support through the center, including a large amount of career assistance upon graduation.

6. Indiana University

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Indiana University has an undergrad program in Business Administration Finance with a real estate concentration. The degree is offered through the Benecki Center for Real Estate Studies, which offers a good level of student support by helping them to gain experience in their industry.

7. University of Wisconsin

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The University of Wisconsin offers both undergraduate degrees and an MBA program in Real estate. They are the home of the James E. Graaskamp Centre for Real Estate, where students can make professional connections within the industry. These programs have an international scope and a focus on social responsibility in the real estate market.

8. University of Connecticut

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The UConn School of Business Center for Real Estate is ranked #1 in the United States for real estate research. It is among the top 10 undergraduate real estate programs in the U.S., with the center acting as a professional resource for those already working in the industry. The program focuses not only on real estate business practices, but also on urban economics.

9. DePaul University

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Despite being a relatively small school, the DePaul business program is very well ranked on a national level. The program has a highly professional focus, and surveys have shown that both recruiters and alumni rate the school very highly. The Princeton Review ranked the program in the top 25 nationwide for potential entrepreneurs. The program has a heavy focus on financial success, investment and industry analysis.

10. Virginia Commonwealth University

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Virginia Commonwealth University offers a Bachelor’s degree in Real Estate. The program combines a mixture of accounting, general business courses, real estate specific courses and high-level finance. It is very practical, focusing on building concrete skills that serve graduates well in a rapidly changing industry. The ultimate goal is to provide students with the knowledge they need for professional licensing and designations.

11. University of Texas

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The University of Texas offers a B.S. in Business Administration with a real estate concentration through their Naveen Jindal School of Management. The program is offered at many different campuses, including Dallas, San Antonio, Austin and Arlington. Many of their classes can be used to fulfill requirements for the Texas Real Estate Commission’s licensure program.

12. University of Northern Iowa

This is the only real estate program in Iowa, and they offer a B.A. in Real Estate through their department of finance. The program has a very practical lean, focusing on real-world skills that will help students function well as professionals in their field. Because it’s the only program in the state, this school has a strong connection with the Iowan real estate industry, making it a great place to form professional connections.

13. Southern Methodist University

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Southern Methodist University offers an undergraduate degree in real estate through the Robert and Margaret Folsom Institute for Real Estate. The program has a wide focus, encompassing academics, research and community outreach. The school’s location in Dallas makes it a great place to find professional connections, since Dallas is a major center for real estate holdings.

14. University of St. Thomas

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The University of St. Thomas is a small university that offers solid business foundations along with a series of specializations. Students can earn a B.S. in Real Estate where they will gain knowledge on specialized subjects like urban development and government assisted housing law. The school offers internship opportunities, as well as the option to join their Real Estate Society and build professional connections that way.

15. University of South Carolina

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The University of South Carolina offers a B.S. in Business Administration Real Estate through their Darla Moore School of Business. Darla Moore has a very good reputation as a business school, particularly their international MBA programs. The undergraduate real estate program focuses on investment, analysis and urban economics, while also giving students the opportunity to study international business practices.

16. Clarion University

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Clarion offers a B.S. in Business Administration Real Estate, as well as a Letter of Completion in Real Estate Appraisal and a Letter of Completion in Real Estate Brokerage. Their undergraduate degree is offered online as well as on campus, making it a convenient choice for students who don’t wish to relocate. The program combines field projects and in-class academics to give students both practical and theoretical experiences.

17. Florida State University

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Florida State offers an undergraduate business degree with a major in real estate. The program aims to help students enter the mortgage banking industry as well as real estate brokerage and investment, giving it a highly financial focus. Students have access to the Real Estate Society as well as the FSU Real Estate Network for the purposes of career development and networking.

18. University of Miami

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The University of Miami offers an undergraduate program for business majors in real estate, as well as a unique MBA/Bachelor of Architecture joint degree program. Students save about a year of schooling using the combined program to get both degrees at once. Real estate undergraduate programs at the University of Miami have a heavy focus on different markets and the particulars of working within them.

19. Temple University

 

Temple University’s real estate undergraduate degree is offered through the Fox School of Business, a highly ranked and well-regarded business school. The program leans toward the financial sector, with students studying analysis of investor and lender perspectives. The university has it’s own professional organization, known as the Temple Real Estate Organization where alumni, professionals and students can network freely.

20. Portland State University

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Portland State offers an undergraduate certificate in real estate as well as a master’s degree in real estate development. Their master’s program is very unique, offering a focused approach to the development side of the real estate industry in a way that no other school does. They have a strong community built around the program, which gives them plenty of opportunities for their students to interact with the professional world.

21. University of Cincinnati

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The University of Cincinnati offers a Bachelor of Science degree in Real Estate that combines general business knowledge with real estate specific course work. Their cooperative education program allows their students to gain relevant work experience while also earning credits toward their degree. Students are also given opportunities to study in fields that impact the real estate industry like geography, civil planning and construction.

22. Cleveland State University

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Cleveland State offers an undergraduate business degree with a focus on real estate, as well as both undergraduate and graduate certificates in Urban Real Estate Development and Finance. The certificates are quite unique, offering plenty of opportunities for students to get first-hand experience along with their regular coursework. All of these programs are taught through the Pal J. Everson Centre for the Study of Real Estate, which has a very good reputation for cutting-edge research and professional networking.

23. New York University

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NYU offers a wide variety of undergraduate degrees and certificates in the field of real estate through both the Schack Institute of Real Estate and the Furman Centre for Real Estate and Urban Policy. The university’s location in one of the real estate capitals of the world makes it a good place to launch a career in the industry, especially if students take advantage of the many internship opportunities available.

24. Thomas Edison State College

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Thomas Edison State College offers a variety of certificates and accreditations that are aimed at working adults. The college offers many of their degree courses entirely online, and students who are looking to start their career quickly will find what they need at Thomas Edison.

25. University of Nevada

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The University of Nevada has a B.S.B.A. program with a real estate focus that is taught through the Lied Institute for Real Estate Studies. The institute produces great research in the field of urban real estate development and provides opportunities for students to meet people working in the industry. Just like NYU, the university’s location in a city where real estate and development are constantly the focus of much economic attention makes it a great place to launch a career.

26. University of Nebraska

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The University of Nebraska offers an undergraduate degree in Real Estate and Land Use, a unique program they have been offering for over 50 years. The focus of the program is very practical, meant to assist students in functioning well in careers in private real estate, government and investment.

27. Eastern Kentucky University

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Eastern Kentucky University offers undergraduate finance programs with a real estate focus, as well as several certificates and professional development courses. The professional development courses do not specifically require a degree, making them a great choice for those already working in the industry who want to hone their skills. Students can train in real estate sales, real estate law, or a career in the mortgage and estate industry.

28. St. Cloud State University

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St. Cloud University describes their undergraduate real estate program as the most diversified in the midwest. Students are exposed to many aspects of the real estate industry, including business, finance, law and brokerage. They offer plenty of internship opportunities, as well as a student association that can help launch a career. Members of the students association, known as the Real Estate Association, can even compete in an annual competition put on by the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties.

29. University of Michigan

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The University of Michigan offers a Bachelors of Business Administration, an MBA and a PhD program in real estate. The faculty are well respected professionals who publish regularly in the Real Estate Economics Journal, which is published by the University of Michigan. Students study both practical industry skills and macro economics in urban development.

30. University of Baltimore

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The University of Baltimore offers a B.S. in Real Estate and Economic Development, as well as a specialized law degree in Real Estate Practice. The former has an interesting partial focus on the large-scale effects of land development from an economic perspective, while the latter is unique in it’s level of specialization.

The Complete Guide to Accepting Rental Payments Online

Introduction

Decided to make the switch from checks to online rent payment? By the end of this guide you should be able to:

  1. Understand the basic process of getting set up to collect your rent online.
  2. Figure out which method is best for you.
  3. Open an account to start collecting rent.
  4. Collect your first rent payment digitally!
Start Accepting Rent Online

One of the biggest pains in being a Landlord is collecting the rent. Whether “The check is in the mail” or consistently late tenants, what makes owning rental property so rewarding (the money), can often be the most difficult part of ongoing property management. That’s probably why  it’s  one of the most important parts of the job.

Over the past few years, more and more companies have entered the online rental payment space, targeting different markets and users. They use different technologies and different options, but the desired end result is the same: fast, effortless rent collection.

Start Accepting Rent Online

Is Getting Paid Online Better Then Getting a Check?

In a word, yes. Having your tenants set up to pay online every month, is one of the best things to happen to Landlords and Property Managers. Keep in mind that most people (especially millennials), don’t even use checks anymore. So not only do they have to write you a check, they have to remember how to use a check in the first place!

Start Accepting Rent Online

What are the benefits of using an online rent collection service?

When you switch from receiving checks to processing direct deposits, you make life a lot easier for both yourself and your tenant:

  1. It’s automatic! No more running after tenants to get paid. A tenant can either set up an automatic recurring monthly payment, or opt to receive an automated email every month when their rent is due.
  2. It’s fast! Most landlords will receive their money within 24 hours – that’s faster then a normal check can clear.
  3. It saves time! No more messing around with excel or quickbooks – your rental payment will automatically be entered into your online ledger.
Start Accepting Rent Online

Comparing the Different Ways to Accept Rent Payments Online

There are a few different methods that you can use to get paid online. Each has their own pluses and minuses, and we’ll discuss them here:

ACH/Online Direct Deposit

ACH stands for automated clearing house, and is what the banks use to handle transferring money to each other. If you’ve ever used direct deposit as an employer or employee, it’s basically the same system.

The primary benefits of ACH include:

  1. Same day and next day payment receipt.
  2. Difficult to dispute (which is good for Landlords).
  3. Can be automated.
  4. Very low costs, compared to credit cards or paypal. (Compare $2 a transaction vs 2-3% of a rental fee!)

This is the cheapest system to use, and is also the most secure. It’s also the one that powers our online system, which you can sign up for here.

Start Accepting Rent Online

Accepting Credit Cards For Rent Payment: Good Idea or Bad for Business?

In theory, accepting credit cards seems like a good idea. Almost everyone has one, everyone knows how to use it, and you don’t have to worry if your tenant can’t afford the bill later on.

There are two main problems with credit cards for Landlords, which makes accepting them a bit of a risk, as well as expensive:

  1. Cost: Accepting credit cards can be very expensive. Transaction costs are usually 2-3% + 50 cents of a transaction, depending on which company you use. If your rental costs $700 a month, you could potentially lose up to $21.50 a month just on credit card fees. You could try and make your tenant pay for it, but most will fight with you. Compare that to a $2 fee for accepting direct deposit, which you can directly charge your tenant, and it makes direct deposit a clear winner.
  2. Chargebacks: The little spoken, but much bigger risk of credit cards, is chargebacks. This is when the credit card holder (in this case, your tenant), calls his bank and disputes the charge. The bank then takes the money back out of your account AND charges you a fee – anywhere between $25-75 every time. Now you have to fight with your bank to get that money back, and you often lose!
  3. Start Accepting Rent Online
When does it make sense to accept credit cards?

If you work with a lot of low income tenants, offering the option of credit cards can allow a third party (a well to do relative or friend) to pay the occasional payment on time. Additionally, if your tenants don’t have bank accounts, they may prefer to use prepaid bank cards that they can buy at places like CVS, Wallgreens or Krogers.

Start Accepting Rent Online

Should I Use Paypal to Get Rent from Tenant?

Paypal has been around since the beginning, and is a well trusted name in the payment space. That being said, it’s important to understand the risks involved with taking any kind of money from paypal:

  1. Chargebacks again! PayPal can and will remove money (even if sent as a “check”) from your bank account, if it decides you are defrauding the person who sent you money. The burden of proof with PayPal lies solely on the Landlord, never on the tenant!
  2. Account Freezes: Do some Googling. Find out how many people have had a paypal account frozen! When you accept money with PayPal,it’s not your account!
  3. High Fees: PayPal charges very high fees to accept payments.
Start Accepting Rent Online

Demand Draft – Printing Out a Check for Your Tenant

Demand drafts are these little known method for accepting checks. Mostly used by telemarketers, the idea works like this: You receive permission from your tenant each month to print a check in their name, with their account information. It doesn’t need to be signed. There is special software that does this for you. Then, you take this to the bank and deposit it like a regular check.

Start Accepting Rent Online

Paying at a Kiosk

Services like PayNearMe let’s the so-called “underbanked” (people who don’t have bank accounts, typically lower income), pay rent in cash at places like 7-11.

FAQ About Our Payment Service

Is it safe to pay and collect rent online?

Yes, our service is 100% safe and uses the same level of encryption and security that banks use, as well as companies like Amazon.com.

How much does it cost?

It currently costs $1.99 for each rental payment you accept.

How do I start collecting rent online?

Simple, click here to get started.

Start Accepting Rent Online
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How To Calculate Prorated Rent

Landlords: Do You Want To Make Life Easier?

RentApplication.com is the only service that allows you to easily find tenants,  screen them and collect rent, automatically. Collect Rent and never have to worry about prorating again.  We're offering a free trial, which includes free tenant lookups, a free rental website, and more. Try it todsy!

One of the questions that we see asked a ton is “How Do I Calculate the Prorated Rent on My Unit”?

Before we answer that question, let’s answer an important question:

New: Use This Calculator:

What exactly is Prorated Rent?

Prorated rent is how much you, the landlord, charge a tenant when the tenant is occupies the rental for a unit less that specific on the lease.

The most common example is a tenant who starts a monthly or yearly lease in the middle of the month. Normally, you charge them for a whole month, but they won’t be living in the unit for a whole month at some point of the term. Since your daily rental rate is often significantly higher then your monthly rate, you need to prorate the apartment rental.

Why do You Need to Prorate the Rent?

Simple – it’s the honest, fair thing to do. It’s the best method for when tenants want to move in for odd lease durations, or need to get a 4.5 month lease or something similar.

How Do You Prorate the Rent?

There are two popular methods to prorate rent:

1. Number of Days in the Year

While popular in certain segments of the rental industry, it can be confusing to tenants. It’s technically the most accurate for a yearly lease, but can sometimes cause confusion and short change tenants during months with shorter days.

Here’s the formula to prorate yearly:

((Months Rent * 12) / Days in The Year)) * The Number of Days The Tenant Needs to Pay

If we took an example of August 18th Moving in Day, and a monthly rent of $1000, the equation ends up being:

((1000 * 12/ 365)) * 14 =  $460.27

2. Prorate by the Number of Days in the Month

This method is simpler, easier to calculate, and ultimately ends up being fairer to tenants.

((Month's Rent) / Days in the Month)) * The Number of Days The Tenant Needs to Pay

Using our example again from above of August 18th with a $1000/m rental:

((1000 / 31)) * 14 =  $451.61

Notice how the monthly prorated came out to slightly less then the yearly prorated? The yearly prorated will be more on months with 31 days.

The nice thing about the monthly pro-ration is it works extremely well for those who often rent month to month. And since your rents can be all over the place depending on demand, it makes sense to prorate based on the actual month the tenant is renting.

Additionally, it’s dead simple. Your tenants will get it and you shouldn’t have that many problems or pushback from them.

Local Laws and Prorating

As always, check with your local government about specifics related to prorating the rent. In Los Angeles, for example, the courts have decided that a rental month is always 30 days for evictions, so use that for your prorating.

Summing Up About Prorating and Rental/Lease Agreements

Whatever method you decide to use to prorate, be consistent. Specify how you’re prorating in your lease, when you take the prorated rent (some Landlords will prorate a longer term lease on the second month to smooth out income and make sure you can pay the rent), and what method you’ve decided to use to prorate the rent. Once you’ve done that, stick to it!

At the end of the day, prorating is not a difficult concept.

Post in the comments if you have questions or opinions on how to prorate!

 

 

1

The Nine Tips You need to Know to go from Amateur to Professional Landlord in No Time Flat

Ask any former Landlord what their biggest issue was, and you’ll always get the same answer: “The Tenants”.

Your tenants are both your greatest benefit (they pay the rent, after all), as well as your biggest annoyance. No one else is going to call you at 3AM because of a leaky Air Conditioning unit, or try and sneak their 200 lbs rottweiler into the building.

Some of us became landlords accidentally, while others entered this business to quit their 9 to 5. Regardless of how, or why, you’re a landlord, the rules for success are the same. And love ’em or hate ’em, a lot of your success is going to focus  on how you deal with tenants.

1. Never be The Final Decision Maker

This is the most important thing any Landlord can do. It’s a well known negotiating technique. Whenever a Tenant has a complaint, simply tell them it’s from the owner. You’re always just the property manager or owner’s representative.  This may require operating the rental under an LLC and a few other notes, but it’s well worth it.

2. Never Stop Learning

Being a real estate investor and landlord constantly requires education and knowledge. There is so much information out there that can help double or triple your real estate business over time. We’re big fans of anything John T. Reed publishes, and of course everything on BiggerPockets.com

3. Know Your Marketplace

Surprisingly, A lot of landlords don’t have a clue about their marketplace. What are the normal rents? What kind of tenants does the area attract? What is included standard with rentals? Who generally pays the utility bills? These are important questions, and the answers differ significantly by region and market. Knowing them is important.

4.Learn Marketing

You’re competing against hundred of other business that offer a similar product, and advertise in the same place. How do you make your ads and your product stand out? In other words, how do you get your listings noticed on sites like Craigslist, Zillow and Trulia? Head to the local library and pick up a book or two on marketing, and get to work.

5. Network Network Network

It’s important to know what’s going in your market, so make sure to network. Networking also helps you find better deals for more properties and services that might not be available elsewhere. Join local apartment associations, find a local real estate investing group on Meetup.com, and of course, check out BiggerPockets!

6. Know the Law

You don’t need to be a lawyer, but you should have a good understanding of local and federal laws. Read up on the Fair Housing Act, your state’s equivalent law, as well as the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Find out what, if any, local ordinances there are, and how they affect you. For example, some jurisdictions require licensing for every unit that you own and rent out. Others prohibit AirBNB. It’s important to research and find out exactly what’s going on in your area. This is another reason why networking and joining a local apartment association can be so helpful.

7. Be Organized

Keep everything relating to your rentals separate and organized. Maintain a calendar and a log book so you can know what happens, when. Consider getting a google voice number so you can track calls but also maintain privacy. 

8. Be Professional

Being a professional Landlord is not that hard. Maintain specific hours of when you are always reachable by tenants, and defer anything outside that time except emergencies until the next time. Create actual policies and stick to them. Not only does this make life easier, it gives you another higher authority to defer to. “I’m Sorry John, we only accept checks and credit cards, no cash. It’s our policy.”

9. Care About Your Properties

Your properties, along with your tenants, are the life blood of your business. You don’t need to coat everything in gold plating, but you need to make sure you offer a quality rental that meets and exceeds renter expectations. It can be simple things like a fresh coat of paint and functioning air conditioning, or even extra add ons like a digital keyhole. The specifics will depend on your budget, your market, and you. The important thing is to go the extra mile and make sure your tenants know you’re doing it for them, too.

 

What are your best ways to improve your rental business? Share in the comments below and on facebook!

 

What’s the Real Cost of AirBNB?

AirBNB is always in the news. There’s constant debate about its affect on rental supply and market rents. This infographic shows you the true cost of AirBNB.

AirBnb_infographic

 

Embed This Infographic On Your Website:

<a href="https://www.rentapplication.com/whats-the-real-cost-of-airbnb/">  <img src="https://d11crtb5sd24b1.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/AirBnb_infographic.jpg" alt="AirBNB affect on rental apartments"></a> <a href="https://www.rentapplication.com/whats-the-real-cost-of-airbnb/">How AirBNB causes a rise in rental pricing</a>, courtest of <a href="https://www.rentapplication.com">RentApplication.com</a>

This Map Shows You Every Sex Offender in NYC

New York State, like many states, allows you to search for a sex offender.

The Empire State only lets you map individual sex offenders. You can’t plot a map of all of the sex offenders currently registered around your block or your neighborhood.  For example, if you live on the Lower East Side, you can’t see all the offenders near you.

Until Now.

In an effort to make this data more accessible, we’ve (literally) put every sex offender in New York City on the map. Just click on each point to view pictures, name, offense, and a link to the full rap sheet provided by NYS Criminal Justices.

Important Reminder and Warning

Anyone who uses this information to injure, harass or commit a criminal act against any person may be subject to criminal prosecution.

Want to share this map on your blog? Here’s the code:

<iframe src="https://rentapplication.cartodb.com/viz/ce303a7a-0f6f-11e5-a761-0e0c41326911/embed_map" width="100%" height="520" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe>
This Map was built and produced by <a href="https://www.rentapplication.com">RentApplication.com</a>.You may redistribute as long as this link remains intact.