April 27, 2020

Furnished Finder Featured in Wall Street Journal as Vacation Rental Owners Shift Toward Monthly Furnished Rentals

It’s no secret that the Covid 19 pandemic has caused a lot of changes in a short period of time. From where and when we can buy groceries, to how we interact with family, to what our family trips will look like for the rest of the year, everyone in the United States is currently figuring out how to slow down and shift their lifestyles to adjust to these changes.

One of the hardest hit industries right now is the vacation rental industry. I say “vacation” as opposed to “travel” because as a housing resource for travel nurses, I need to distinguish the difference between people searching for vacation rentals for a few days and a travel nurse or professional looking to temporarily relocate for months at a time. These types of month-to-month rentals or medium term rentals are in a category all their own.

And according to this article by the Wall Street Journal, the effects of Covid 19 on the vacation industry could be felt by short term rental owners for a long time, which could have detrimental effects on landlords who depend on these rentals for income.

As Covid has crept across the US and travel bans were imposed to limit spread of the virus, vacation rentals across the country are facing mass cancellations. According to a study done by Earnest.com, Airbnb hosts net an average of $924 per month off of one vacation rental listing. Many people rely on this income to pay their everyday bills as an alternative to full time work. In addition, many vacation rental owners have more than one property, which means even more income is being lost as the vacation industry has come to a screeching halt.

Meanwhile, the same landlords have to continue to pay insurance, mortgages, and minimum utilities on their properties whether or not they have someone living there. This has led to landlords everywhere searching for a new way to utilize these spaces to keep some sort of revenue coming in.

While the vacation industry isn’t exactly booming right now, the need for medium term housing is still prevalent. Travel nurses across the nation are being recruited to come help take care of the increased load of ICU patients thanks to the Covid 19 crisis. Staff nurses who work in surgery centers or freestanding clinics that have temporarily shut down are looking outside of their hometown for work. Large hospital systems are sending help to their facilities in harder hit areas.

All of these people need somewhere to live while they work away from home, and are often prepared to pay more than standard rent in an area if they can find move-in ready housing that will work with them to provide a short-term lease or month to month options.

Now is a great time to consider turning your vacation rental space into a short-term housing option for travel nurses and other healthcare travelers. While many industries have slowed down to the point of almost stopping, we still need nurses and there are still travel contracts in most parts of the United States.

Furnished Finder is a great option for landlords looking to make this switch to travel nurse housing because it connects travelers directly with hosts looking to fill their space. Since the platform is designed for stays of 30 days or longer, you don’t have to figure out how to navigate a short-term rental agreement in a space designed for vacation rentals. In addition, the listing is customizable so you can be up front about the type of housing you are offering including any cleaning fees, deposits, and pet policies that accompany the property.

There are also several advantages for landlords who opt to rent to travel nurses. First, they are guaranteed their space will be filled for the allotted time. Furnished Finder landlords usually rent for a minimum of thirty days at a time, but the average length of stay is ninety days. This means property owners will save on the expense of frequent cleaning, and don’t have to regularly coordinate check ins or check outs.

Second, you know you are renting to a professional, typically single person who will be spending most of their time either working or out exploring the city. No need to worry about large groups or people who may be using your space to party for the weekend. Additionally, travel nurses typically like to keep up a good reputation with their short-term landlords in case they need references in the future as they move more frequently than other rental tenants.

And most importantly, the hosts who rent on Furnished Finder remain in control of their rental property. The listing platform acts as a way to connect traveling professionals with renters, and it is up to you how to arrange a lease, dictate any fees and policies, or handle cancellations should they happen. Plus, you get to connect with your renter directly via phone, email, or chat on the Furnished Finder app.

Opting to utilize investment properties as medium term rentals instead of vacation rental has been a viable option for a long time.. Now, the reliability of each market is being tested, and the short-term rental market has a lot playing in its favor. Whether you used to rent to vacation goers or people in town on business for the week, there is inherent risk that has now come into play as trips are canceled and business conferences are being moved online or rescheduled.

As always, Furnished Finder is proud to facilitate the perfect match between these travelers in need and landlords who depend on income from their properties no matter what the vacation rental industry looks like. As a company and as a team working through this dynamic and challenging time, we pride ourselves in filling this need and continuing to create the ideal housing platform for property owners and travel nurses alike.


Author Alex McCoy

Alex McCoy, BSN, RN

Alex is a pediatric travel nurse and the content manager of Furnished Finder. After traveling for four years with her husband, a physical therapist they recently welcomed a daughter, Jade, into their crazy travel family. Read more articles from Alex on Furnished Finder or Travel Nurse Housing, or read about her previous travels here. Have an idea you would love to share with fellow travel nurses or landlords? Be sure to email her at Alex.McCoy@FurnishedFinder.com.