The spread of the novel coronavirus has intensified worldwide and is ripping through the tourism and hospitality industry. As a result, the demand for short-term rentals continues to dry up. With the travel bans, most Airbnb hosts are losing nightly bookings by the day and are scrambling to find new guests. In an effort to survive the coronavirus pandemic and stay afloat on mortgages, Airbnb hosts who have been renting out their property to travelers for a few days at a time are now turning them into Airbnb long-term rentals.
In these uncertain times, the new target guests are long-term renters looking to self-isolate or self-quarantine to limit the spread of the virus. Existing short-term rental units are rebranding to “quarantine pads“. Airbnb long-term rentals are now targeting healthcare workers and people with a recent travel history who don’t want to expose their household members to the virus.
While Airbnb long-term rentals make social distancing more bearable, having guests longer than a few nights can be daunting to Airbnb hosts who are considering it for the first time. It is actually a serious commitment. However, if done right, making your rental property available for longer terms can be incredibly rewarding. But how does Airbnb work for long-term rentals? If you are looking to host long-term guests, here are some crucial Airbnb tips.
7 Tips for Running Airbnb Long-Term Rentals
Below are several things to keep in mind when running Airbnb long-term rentals:
1. Check Your Local Airbnb Regulations
Airbnb regulations vary greatly and are usually based on local laws. Therefore, before getting into Airbnb long-term rentals, it’s important that you have a good understanding of the local laws.
For instance, knowing the laws that govern tenancy in your area will prevent you from accidentally granting tenant rights. In most states in the US, a guest who stays in a rental unit for longer than 28 days may establish rights as a tenant. Thus, they will be protected by local tenancy laws and you are not allowed to evict them without going through a court process. This, of course, can cost you a lot of time and money.
Check the local laws before setting the maximum number of nights that Airbnb guests are allowed to stay in your rental property. Better still, consider consulting a landlord-tenant attorney for expert counsel regarding local laws.
2. Have Your Guests Sign a Rental Agreement
For Airbnb monthly rentals, you may consider asking your guests to sign a rental agreement. This is a good way to insure yourself against any potential issues. Also, make sure that this requirement is clear in your ‘House Rules’ in the listing description before you finalize an Airbnb booking.
Since you will be having the guest for a long-term stay, it’s important that they know what you expect of them to avoid future problems. Be sure to check the laws governing rental agreements since they may vary depending on your location.
3. Screen Your Prospective Airbnb Guests Thoroughly
When it comes to Airbnb long-term rentals, many Airbnb hosts are frightened by the prospect of leaving their rental property in the hands of total strangers for long periods of time. However, you should understand that running an Airbnb for long-term stays is almost like running a traditional rental apartment. Therefore, you should always do a background check on all potential guests before accepting them for a reservation.
Carefully screening prospective guests will help you avoid bad guests who could cause problems. Be sure to check their reviews too. If you are unsure about a guest, we recommend that you don’t accept them for a long-term stay.
4. Offer Weekly and Monthly Discounts
As an Airbnb investor, longer bookings will help you achieve a higher Airbnb occupancy rate and a more predictable Airbnb rental income. One of the best ways to encourage Airbnb guests to book longer stays is to set up weekly and monthly discounts. By reducing your guest turnover, you will reduce the cost and time needed to prepare for new guests.
5. Offer Essential Supplies and Amenities
When a guest is staying in your Airbnb rental property for weeks or a few months, it’s important that essential supplies and amenities like sanitizers, face masks, Wi-Fi, and laundry are made available. You want your Airbnb investment property to be a comfortable place for quarantine. Be sure to also highlight what you provide in your Airbnb listing description. Such efforts can significantly increase your bookings.
6. Keep in Contact
When running an Airbnb long-term rental, make sure that the guests feel like part of the community. Check on them regularly and maintain healthy communication. This way, you will keep them more honest and cooperative.
If you live out of town, consider having a local contact who can attend to your guests. This way, you won’t have to worry about responding to guests’ issues yourself. Alternatively, you can hire a property management company to do the rental management work on your behalf. However, be sure to take into account the management cost. Whichever option you choose, make sure that your guests have a good experience. Happy guests will give you positive reviews.
7. Do a Thorough Cleaning Between Guests
One way Airbnb hosts can curb the spread of COVID-19 is to ensure that the rental property is thoroughly cleaned after a guest leaves. It’s important that you also consider the new Airbnb cleaning protocol, which includes a vacancy period of 24 hours between bookings. Though it’s not a requirement, Airbnb guests will be able to see if you are taking part in this cleaning initiative.
The Bottom Line
COVID-19 concerns have caused the demand for short-term rentals to dwindle, forcing several hosts to convert to Airbnb long-term rentals. In these trying times, Airbnb hosts who rise above the occasion and respond quickly to the impact of the novel coronavirus can beat the odds. If you are going to take this route, be sure to consider the above tips and the latest Airbnb data to ensure that you run your Airbnb business effectively.
If you are thinking of buying an Airbnb rental property, be sure to use Mashvisor’s tools for your property search and analysis. You can also use our rental property calculator to determine how much your Airbnb can generate as a long-term rental property. To use our tools, sign up with Mashvisor and use promo code BLOG15 for 15% off.