The area in which two of my short-term rental properties reside is home to a few large companies and a handful of hospitals. These, among other causes like home renovations keeping people out of their homes, make my houses desirable to guests looking for stays of a few weeks to a month or even more. In this post I’ll talk about my experience with travel nurses, business travelers, and other guests looking for extended stays through Airbnb and VRBO. I will lay out things that make their stays (and the preparation and management of them) slightly different than your typical weekend traveler.
What a Longer Stay Means For You
Early in my hosting journey, I got a request for a 3-month stay by a young woman working for an electrical company. She was going to be in town on an assignment and needed a place to stay nearby. At first, I was almost disappointed. I got into this game to host quick trips and offer intensely thoughtful hospitality to guests for a few days before starting over again. I wasn’t even sure how to handle this type of arrangement. Nervous, I took on the challenge and ultimately had a wonderful and rewarding experience. I found many benefits and helpful nuggets of information for hosting this kind of stay, all while strengthening my hospitality muscles.
- More nights booked. Instead of the 60-70% occupancy rate I expected, the duration would be 100% booked.
- No cleaning during the stay. Airbnb only plans for a post-stay cleaning. I still offered a monthly cleaning to the guest (also for my peace of mind) but she declined and said she would keep the place tidy herself. Because I pay to have my homes cleaned, this saved me money during this period.
- They aren’t here to party. These people are here for important reasons and wouldn’t want to trash their temporary home.
- They are busy. Travel nurses, especially, are working long hours and are mainly looking for a cozy place to rest after their shift. They aren’t going to be in your home for most of their stay in town.
Things To Keep In Mind
- Guests need to feel at home. Unlike your weekend guests, these guests will be cooking, bathing, unpacking, and relaxing. Make sure they have the things they need to feel at home before they arrive. I don’t allow guests to use the washer/dryer in the basement because the area is off limits but I let them know about the laundromat in town.
- Monthly discounts. Most guests will expect a discount for staying an extended period of time. Many Airbnb hosts offer as much as 49% off of nightly rate for a month+ stay. Do your research to stay competitive in the market when a guest makes a longer-stay request.
- Read reviews. While I feel more comfortable about a month-long guest than a weekend one, it’s still important to read a guest’s reviews before approving their booking. If they tend to present hosts with problems, those problems are yours for the entirety of their stay (and longer if they are the type to cause damage to properties). Alternatively, a pleasant guest for a month can save you a lot of headaches.
Every person in your home should be treated as a valuable guest, worthy of a wonderful experience. This is true no matter the duration. My experience with longer stays of a few weeks to a month or more has taught me the subtle nuances of how to prepare myself and my home for stays of all lengths. I hope you found this post helpful.