What does rsf mean in real estate?

What does rsf mean in real estate?


In the world of real estate, there are numerous abbreviations and acronyms that can be confusing for those not familiar with the industry. One such abbreviation is RSF, which stands for Rentable Square Feet. RSF is a term commonly used in commercial real estate to determine the amount of space that can be leased to tenants. In this article, we will dive deeper into what RSF means in real estate and how it is calculated.

What is RSF?

RSF: Rentable Square Feet

Rentable Square Feet refers to the total area within a commercial building that is available for lease to tenants. It includes both the usable space, which is the actual area that tenants occupy, and the common areas such as hallways, lobbies, and restrooms. The RSF is an important metric used by landlords and property managers to determine the rental rates and to allocate costs among tenants.

Calculating RSF

To calculate the RSF of a commercial property, several steps need to be followed:

Step 1: Measure the Usable Area
The usable area is the actual space that tenants occupy. It is measured from the inside face of the exterior walls and includes any interior walls that separate the tenant’s space from other areas. This measurement is typically taken from the centerline of shared walls.

Step 2: Include Common Areas
Next, the common areas of the building need to be added to the usable area. Common areas include hallways, lobbies, elevators, stairwells, and restrooms that are shared by multiple tenants. These areas are essential for the overall functioning of the building but are not part of the tenant’s exclusive space.

Step 3: Apply a Load Factor
The load factor, also known as the loss factor or the add-on factor, is a percentage that accounts for the shared space in the building. It represents the proportion of the common areas to the usable area. To calculate the RSF, the load factor is multiplied by the sum of the usable area and the common areas.

RSF = (Usable Area + Common Areas) x Load Factor

Importance of RSF in Real Estate

Understanding RSF is crucial for both landlords and tenants in commercial real estate. For landlords, it helps determine the rental rates based on the total area available for lease. The RSF also plays a role in allocating costs among tenants, such as common area maintenance fees and utilities.

Tenants, on the other hand, use the RSF to compare different properties and evaluate the cost-effectiveness of leasing options. By knowing the RSF, tenants can calculate the price per square foot and determine if the space meets their requirements.


Rentable Square Feet (RSF) is a term used in commercial real estate to represent the total area available for lease, including both the usable space and common areas. It is calculated by adding the usable area and common areas, multiplied by the load factor. RSF is an essential metric for landlords and tenants to determine rental rates, allocate costs, and evaluate leasing options.


– Investopedia: www.investopedia.com
– The Balance Small Business: www.thebalancesmb.com
– Commercial Real Estate Leasing: www.commercialrealestateleasing.com