March 15, 2023

Five things traveling tenants wish landlords knew

The relationship between landlords and tenants does not need to be cumbersome or confusing. Some situations lead to miscommunication and frustration. And it doesn’t have to be this way! With some consideration on both sides, both landlord and tenant can walk away from the experience feeling happy, secure, and fulfilled.

So, how do we cultivate this environment? We polled travel nurses to find out what they wish landlords knew about creating a better experience for their tenants. The benefit of this information is reciprocal: if landlords implement the advice, they will have happier tenants. Additionally, by using these strategies, landlords’ properties will cater more directly to their audience, resulting in a more desirable unit, increased occupancy, and increased profitability.

Read on for our findings.

1. Think like a traveler: include thoughtful amenities

As a landlord or property owner of a furnished rental, one of the most important questions you can ask yourself is: if I were traveling, what would I want in this unit? Shifting your mindset to think like a traveler will help you consider some of the most sought-after amenities by travelers.

To start, think about everyday essential items that are bulky and difficult to travel with—for example, a hair dryer, toaster, iron with an ironing board, coffee maker, or water filter pitcher. Most of these items are relatively inexpensive yet vastly improve the experience for traveling tenants.

Then, think of the little things. Here are some examples:

  • Extra hangers: Most travel nurses span several climates, and they have packed accordingly. Why not include plenty of hangers in your closet so they can unpack and organize?

  • Fans: Everyone moves through the world differently. For those who run hot, provide a fan! If you don’t have a ceiling fan, a standing fan or box fan work just fine. This also serves the folks who like background noise while they sleep.

  • Blackout curtains: Generally speaking, one of the largest populations of travel tenants is traveling nurses or healthcare professionals. These folks often work night shifts or crazy schedules, causing them to sleep during the day—make it easy for them to catch up on rest by providing blackout curtains

  • Kitchen items: Stocking your kitchen involves more than a set of cups, plates, and silverware. Be sure to include gadgets like can openers, cheese graters, strainers, and anything else that will serve the home chefs occupying your unit.

2. Consider comfort over aesthetics

When we polled travel nurses about their experience in furnished rentals, one of the most overwhelmingly common responses was that the furniture is there for looks instead of comfort. What’s the use of a living room couch that doesn’t allow you to, well, live on it?

If you need recommendations, here are some of our Amazon picks at a variety of price points:

The same goes for bedrooms. Purchase a highly-rated mattress, or at the very least, add a mattress topper to make your guests comfortable.

3. Make it easy for your tenants to keep your home clean

Generally speaking, travel nurses are some of the most conscientious tenants. Most take great care in keeping your place tidy. When we polled travelers, many of them reported that they want to help keep the property tidy but are not equipped with the cleaning supplies to do so effectively

The solution? Make it easy for your tenants to treat your property the way you’d like it treated! Stock your unit with some simple cleaning supplies, like all-purpose cleaners, disinfectant wipes, and bathroom cleaning produc

Tools also go a long way—many travelers reported that their unit did not contain a quality vacuum, making it difficult to properly clean the floor. Stock your property with a vacuum (don’t forget a handful of replacement filters!), a Swiffer or easy-to-use floor mop, and dusters. Your tenants will thank you, and so will your cleaners!

4. Don’t skimp in the kitchen

A lot of thought and planning goes into launching a furnished rental. There are so many small details to consider—plates, glasses, utensils…the list goes on. As you furnish your unit, don’t forget the small details that make a kitchen as functional as it is aesthetic. Often, these are the items that are tucked away in drawers but make a big difference.

Many travel nurses shared that the units they stay in lack the small kitchen details to make the space fully livable. Think: can openers, pasta strainers, a pizza cutter, measuring cups, measuring spoons…you get the idea. It would be a shame to be halfway through cooking a fresh pot of chili only to discover that you cannot open the can of beans.

5. Streamline your application process

Travel nurses are typically sifting through dozens of listings before they find “the one” for their next contract. Add to the mix a lengthy, cumbersome application process, and you might deter potential tenants from applying.

To make the process simple for everyone (while still thoroughly vetting your applicants), audit your listing process to see if there’s anything you can streamline. A good benchmark to use is to ask yourself: can potential tenants apply to my listing in one sitting? For example, can they send one email with application materials or upload application materials in one session? Put yourself in your tenant’s shoes and think about the process from their perspective. (Pro tip: Use Keycheck, Furnished Finder’s sister company, to make screenings quick and easy!)

As landlords, we can always work to improve the guest experience for the travelers we serve. Through doing so, we can not only reap the rewards of a more positive experience with tenants but be rewarded in increased bookings and profitability along the way due to the best-in-class experience provided. Win-win!

About the author

I'm Sarah Weaver, and I love offering safe, adorable housing to travel nurses! I have a few furnished rentals in Omaha, Nebraska. I primarily rent to traveling nurses, but I have hosted folks from many professions. I'd love to host you! You can get in touch through this listing for Omaha and this listing for Des Moines.