Preparing Your Rental Property for Travel Nurses
Why You Should Consider Targeting Travel Nurses as Tenants for Your Rental Property ...
If you are thinking about taking advantage of the booming short-term rental market, you should definitely take a closer look at marketing to travel nurses. Unlike vacationers or business travelers who will only be in town for a few days, travel nurses typically commit to 13-week assignments. For landlords, that means less turnover and less work. You won’t have to worry about constant paperwork, cleaning and long periods where your rental may sit empty.
Travel nurses make ideal tenants because they are reliable, trustworthy and they make it easy to get the most out of your rental property. In most cases, they have gone through an extensive background check to be eligible for work, so your risk of having to deal with an unruly tenant drops dramatically. In addition, if you are thinking about renting out a room in your home and sharing common spaces with the tenant, you know that your new roommate will spend a certain amount of time at work and exploring the city. You can also rest assured that they will pay rent on-time once they take up residence since they receive a monthly housing stipend through work. For landlords, renting to travel nurses is a low-risk and high-reward situation.
Why Now is the Perfect Time to Rent to Travel Nurses
The field of nursing has entered a unique time period where demand for qualified nurses is on the rise and doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. By 2022, the American Nurses Association estimates that 1.1 million jobs will be added for a total of about 5 million jobs across the country. Much of this growth can be attributed to the aging Baby Boomer generation, which numbers at around 75 million people. In 2011, the oldest of the Baby Boomers began reaching retirement age. This meant that many trained and experienced RNs began leaving the profession and opening up employment opportunities for new nurses.
Perhaps even more importantly, this influx of older Americans has also put new demands on the healthcare system. By 2030, 20% of the US population will be over the age of 65 and while Baby Boomers are expected to live longer, they will also experience more chronic health problems. In some states, this increased demand has created a nursing shortage that is only expected to grow as the largest generation continues to age and require more medical care.
In response to evolving and increasing demands on the healthcare system, hospitals and other medical facilities are working to recruit top talent and fill vacant positions. Currently, around 80% of magnet hospitals use travel nurses and more states are joining the Nurse Licensure Compact, which is making it safer and easier for nurses to practice across state lines. The combination of all these factors mean that more people are and will be entering the nursing profession and landlords won’t have a problem finding travel nurses to fill their vacant rentals. Now is the perfect time to take advantage of these trends and rent out your extra space to travel nurses looking to fill in the gaps and support a medical field that is under growing strain.
States with the Highest Demand for Nurses
The next step is to get to know your audience and understand what they are looking for in a property so that you can prepare your rental and attract travel nurse tenants.
Understanding Your Audience: What Travel Nurses are Looking for in a Property
Most people are interested in becoming a travel nurse because they want to explore the country, meet new people and have unique experiences. This means that they don’t have the responsibility of caring for a family and they are probably traveling alone. While some may opt to travel with a spouse or another travel nurse, most are entering a new city all on their own, so they want the process to be as easy and seamless as possible. You can help with the transition and allow them to get the most out of their time there by taking certain factors into consideration and preparing your property to meet the unique needs of a travel nurse. Catering to your tenants will also help you earn positive reviews and generate more business.
Here is a comprehensive list of what travel nurses will be looking for in the perfect property:
Safety: Keep in mind that about 92% of all nurses are women and the majority of travel nurses will be traveling on their own. It is important that they feel safe at home, at work and during their commute. Here are a few steps you can take to improve safety at your property:
Lighting. Make sure that both the front and back of the house are adequately lit to maximize safety. Motion activated lights are a great solution.
Doors and windows. Make sure that there are locks on all potential entry points and that they are in good working order. You should also install deadbolts and peepholes.
Security cameras and alarms. Today’s technology makes it more affordable than ever to install wireless alarms and cameras in homes. If you really want to put your tenants at ease, consider investing in more advanced, user-friendly security options.
Budget: While vacationers may be willing to splurge on a luxury property, travel nurses are on a tight budget. They are given a housing stipend that may be stretched thin, especially in larger markets. You will want to take this into consideration when pricing your rental. Click here to learn more about strategies for perfectly pricing your rental.
Proximity to work and public transportation: Travel nurses are looking for safe, clean rentals that are close to work. Most want to limit their commute to under 20 minutes. It also helps if you are close to public transportation so that they don’t have to worry about fighting traffic. As you create your property listing, be sure to include your proximity to various hospitals. If you are within walking distance to a bus or train stop, this can can a major selling factor, so be sure to highlight that as well.
Furnished: Short-term tenants don’t want to have to worry about hauling their possessions all over the country. Equip your rental with all the basic kitchen items and living essentials that you would expect from a full-furnished property. Also, don’t be too bold with your decor. Keep it modern and neutral so that you appeal to the widest audience possible.
Wifi and cable: Wifi is practically an essential part of life now. It will make it easier for travel nurses to communicate with friends and family back home and enjoy access to their streaming entertainment accounts. Cable isn’t a must, but it can be a nice comfort.
Utilities: Typically, with longer term rentals, tenants take over the utilities, but this process is an unnecessary inconvenience for short-term renters. Include utilities in the rental price and be sure the terms are clear in both your listing and rental agreement.
Type of unit: Some travel nurses are more than happy to rent a room in a home while others are looking for an entire property to themselves. If you have a large, multi-room unit, you may consider renting each room to a travel nurse. This will make them more likely to sign-up for a roommate situation. If unit will be shared, be sure to specify how many people are allowed to live there, which spaces are shared and what is included with each private room.
Pet friendly: A lot of landlords are hesitant to rent to pet owners because they don’t want to deal with potential damage and extra cleaning. However, many travel nurses are pet owners and you may open up your pool of potential candidates if you allow for pets. You can either charge a pet deposit or an extra monthly fee to offset any additional costs to you.
Laundry: After a long day at work, the last thing a nurse is going to want to do is head to the laundromat. Provide easy access to onsite laundry facilities to attract tenants.
Parking: A designated parking spot can be a big selling features, especially in big cities with limited space. If at all possible, provide one guaranteed spot for your tenant where they can safely and easily park their car.
Amenities: Remember that travel nurses coming to your city for the experiences. They want to be close to conveniences like grocery stores and coffee shops along with entertainment venues, parks and other amenities. The more your location has to offer, the more tenants you will attract.
Reviews: Travel nurses rely on reviews from fellow travelers to find the best housing in each city. They will certainly take a look at your reviews, so be sure to go the extra mile with tenants and provide a safe, comfortable and budget-friendly space that they will feel good about recommending.
How to Price Your Short-Term Rental
Things can get tricky when deciding how to price your rental. With long-term rentals, the rule of thumb is to charge around 1% of the total value of the home. For example, a home valued at $200,000 would have a monthly rent of $2,000. When it comes short-term rentals, there is no magic formula. Your best bet is to use this search map to learn more about what other properties are going for in your area.
Here are a few other considerations to take into account:
What are other rentals going for in the area? You want to competitively price your rental so that it is a viable option for travel nurses.
Do I offer a full suite of extras and amenities? If you have in-house laundry, a dedicated parking space, fireplace and a great view all within walking distance of hospitals, you may be able to charge a little more. For properties that have a lot of selling points, but might not be fully stocked will everything on the list above, you will want to consider pricing your property at a more affordable rate.
Should I charge seasonal rates? If you live in the northern states, you might notice a lull in inquiries during the winter months. This could be the perfect time to offer discounted rates to attract tenants.
What will be paying in cleaning fees and utilities? Your monthly rental amount should cover your mortgage payment along with any additional fees.
What is my time worth? How much profit you want to make each month can depend on how much your time is worth. Remember that you will have to manage the property, address any issues that arise, market your listing and spend time preparing the space for each new tenant. How many hours do you want to invest in those aspects of being a landlord and what is your time worth?
After you have decided on a price and advertised your listing, remember that you can always make adjustments along the way. If you aren’t getting the results you want, try lowering the price a little, especially in the beginning. As you build up more positive reviews, you will have better luck at a higher price. Also, keep any eye on the local market and see if your competitors are changing their prices. This could be an indication that you need to adjust as well.
In the end, pricing is up to your best judgement. Do some research, calculate your costs and come up with a price that is fair to renters and will make the project worth your time.
You only have a few seconds to make a good impression because all it takes is a click to move onto the next listing. Here are some tips for listing your rental property and attracting rental nurses.
Making a Good Impression: How to Gain Attention in Competitive Markets
First and foremost, make sure that you are advertising on websites like furnishedfinder.com and travelnursehousing.com specifically cater to travel nurses looking for excellent rentals.
The most important element of your listing is photos. Invest time in taking high-quality photos that should angles of every room, the exterior, views from porches, landscaping and anything else that you think will give the audience a feel for the character of your home. You will also want to add seasonal photos throughout the year for a truly representative story of your property. Readers will be instantly turned off by fuzzy, poor quality photos. It is probably a good idea to hire a professional to make sure that the job gets done right.
Also, think about the number of photos you display with your listing. One study found that readers are 83% more likely to contact a landlord if the listing has over 20 photos. The more the better. A couple photos can give the impression that you have something to hide, so go all out and really sell your property with lots of great images.
Other essential information to include in your listing:
Distance from your property to nearby hospitals
All available amenities
What is included in the rental price
Information about the city. Use your listing to not only sell your property but also sell the city. Take the time to educate your audience about the area. Many travel nurses begin the search process by looking at the city and then taking professional opportunities into account. These nurses are looking for new experiences, so include references to neighborhood bars and restaurants, local entertainment venues, annual events and any other points of interest.
More Tips for Maximizing Your Listing Potential
Remember that your rental property is essentially a small business, which means that you will want to pay attention to the details and provide excellent customer service throughout the entire experience.
Respond Quickly
As soon as a potential tenant send you an inquiry or contacts you with specific questions, you will want to respond promptly and thoroughly. Demonstrating an eagerness to help along with a certain level of professionalism will work in your favor. Besides, a renter is going to lose interest if it takes you a few days to write or call them back.
Stay Up-to-Date
You will also want to keep your profile and your listings up-to-date. Make sure that you calendar and pricing reflects the latest information and be sure to post positive reviews. Glowing comments from previous tenants are your best marketing tool.
Request Reviews
The best way to get reviews is to request them. A former tenant might not think about hopping online and leaving a message the moment they leave, but if you send a polite thank you email along with a request for a review, you will exponentially increase the potential that you will receive feedback that can be used to market your property.
Preparing your rental for travel nurses can be easy if you have a plan in place. The more you understand about the unique wants and needs of these short-term tenants, the more you can take concrete steps to prepare your property, create attractive listings and have a pleasant landlord experience.