It’s safe to say that travel habits have shifted dramatically in 2020, but Airbnb hosts are still able to find success if they adapt to the changing times. As vacations have declined with the onset of the global pandemic, many hosts are turning to a different business model than usual in order to fill their rental properties: Long-term renters.
There are pros and cons to both short- and long-term renting that you should consider if you’ve noticed a decrease in bookings this year. Here are a few things to think about.
Most Airbnb hosts target short-term renters. These are the people who want to book for shorter periods, like a weekend getaway or maybe they need to rent a venue for a family gathering. Usually, short-term renting is an ideal arrangement as you’re able to keep your property booked for peak season rates without having to worry too much about unpleasant guests overstaying their welcome.
However, when no one is traveling, short-term renting is much less lucrative. Hosts may struggle to keep their properties occupied, especially on weekdays (even at the best of times), and enhanced cleaning guidelines means spending more time and money on thorough sanitization between guests.
While the exact definition may vary depending on who you ask, in general, a renter is considered long-term if their stay is 30 days or longer. Some areas will grant your guest tenant rights after a month, so if you do decide to pursue long-term renters, it’s important to know your local laws and ordinances first.
It’s also extra important to vet your long-term renters before their stay. Short-term renters can only do so much damage during their time with you, but a long-term renter could wreak serious havoc on your property if you’re not careful. It’s a good idea to check in with long-term renters a few times during their visit to make sure they’re not causing any harm to the unit.
However, there are many pros to long-term renting that make it worth considering. Usually, offering discounted rates would mean that long-term renting isn’t as lucrative as short-term if you’re able to book back-to-back short-term stays.
But these days, since few people are traveling, you’re actually better off booking a long-term renter and guaranteeing your property will be occupied for a month or more at a time.
Hosts who rely on short-term rentals might see their units sitting empty for most of the month, but plenty of people still need to book long-term rentals because they’re between leases, or because they want to ride out the pandemic in a new location.
Many hosts report that long-term guests end up taking better care of the rental property than short-term guests because they come to see it as their home during their stay. Finally, you’ll also save on cleaning fees as you won’t have to disinfect the property nearly as often when your guests are staying long-term.
While you might need to change your business model to attract long-term renters, it’s a profitable solution that many hosts enjoy. Ultimately, navigating through these uncertain times will require you to consider whether short- or long-term renting is a better fit for you.