Critical mass in limited markets is key to achieving greater economies of scale and American Residential Properties (ARPI +0.7%) - which owns 7K homes in 12 states - owns 1K+ homes in core markets like Phoenix, Houston, Dallas, and Atlanta, and plans to have 500 homes by year-end in five other markets.
The companies are also investing in technology to aid in things like determining how much to pay for a home to managing maintenance. Starwood has a system tracking 400K neighborhoods to figure out fair prices, and a revenue management system based on traffic and rent prices allowing it to optimize rents.
Likely IPO candidates: Blackstone's Invitation Homes, with about 43K homes, and Colony Financial's (CLNY +2.7%) Colony American Homes with more than 8K rentals. Reven Housing (RVEN) - with 177 homes mostly in Houston - has filed with the SEC to raise up to $29M and uplist from the pink sheets.
Related: SilverBay Realty Trust (SBY -0.6%).