When I first dabbled with Airbnb, it was all about renting out a guest bedroom in my own home. As much as I loved the idea of playing host and meeting travelers, there was this niggling thought at the back of my mind: how comfortable would I be with a revolving door of strangers?

Not much, it turns out. To strike a balance between my enthusiasm for hosting and my need for privacy, I decided to require a minimum of a 20-night stay.

At first, I wasn’t sure if travelers would bite. I mean, who’d want to book monthly rentals in someone else’s guest bedroom? To my pleasant surprise, there was a market for it. And just like that, without even realizing it, I had taken my first steps into the world of monthly rentals on Airbnb.

And as the days turned into weeks, and my guest bedroom saw more monthly rentals, I couldn’t help but reflect on the shift. My guests were happier, forging deeper connections with the neighborhood and truly settling into the rhythms of life in my home.

I felt more at ease, building stronger relationships with the few guests who passed through. This got me thinking, and I want to pose the same question to you: Have you ever thought of renting your property for longer durations? The landscape of Airbnb hosting is changing, with more and more people catching onto the benefits of monthly rentals.

Why are monthly rentals becoming so popular?

There’s definitely a growing demand for longer stays. Whether it’s remote workers seeking a change of scenery, families in the midst of relocating, or individuals on sabbatical trying to immerse themselves in a new culture – the reasons are as diverse as the guests themselves.

I remember an insightful conversation with one of my guests who initially booked for a month and then decided to extend her stay for another month. She was in the process of relocating to Atlanta and wanted a temporary base. By spending time in the city and getting a feel for its vibe, she hoped to pinpoint exactly where she’d like to settle down for the long haul.

What drew her to my property? It was a combination of the design, which she absolutely loved, the exact move-in date that matched her requirements, and the flexibility with move-out dates that gave her peace of mind during her transition. As we sat in the living room one evening, she mentioned, “Your place isn’t just a temporary stopover for me. It’s a bridge to my new life here in Atlanta.”

This shift isn’t just one of my personal observations. If you do a quick scan of online forums, Airbnb host groups, or even Airbnb’s own stats, you’ll see a large interest in monthly rentals. More hosts are catching onto this trend and tailoring their spaces to cater to this new breed of travelers.

You might be wondering, “Is this just a temporary shift because of the global changes we’ve seen?”

While it’s true that certain global events have accelerated this trend in monthly rentals, the desire for deeper, more meaningful travel experiences has been on the rise for a while. It’s not just about ticking off tourist hotspots anymore. People want to ‘live’ in a place, even if it’s only for a short time.

What are the benefits of monthly rentals?

Hosting short-term guests has its own allure, and I’ve cherished those fleeting connections. But there’s a certain depth and rhythm to monthly rentals that I’ve come to value immensely, and here are some reasons why:

  • Steady income: The financial predictability of monthly rentals was a game-changer for me. Instead of juggling numerous short-term bookings, each with its own set of uncertainties, I had a solid, long-term commitment from guests. This kind of consistent income stream, especially during off-peak seasons, really does put a host at ease.
  • Building deeper connections: There’s a kind of camaraderie that forms when a guest is with you for an extended period. Take my guest relocating to Atlanta, for instance. Our interactions evolved over time from simple pleasantries to genuine conversations about life, dreams, and even our favorite local spots. It’s a relationship that transformed from a simple host-guest dynamic to a heartfelt friendship.
  • Less wear and tear: At first glance, this might seem paradoxical. How does a prolonged stay lead to less wear and tear? Fewer guests transitioning in and out means less frequent cleaning and maintenance. And when guests stay for a month or more, there’s a sense of ownership they develop, leading them to care for the place as if it were their own.
  • Cost-efficient cleaning: Here’s a financial tidbit that many overlook. When hosting short-term guests, cleaning fees can quickly eat into your profits. Each turnover incurs a cleaning fee, and it adds up! But with monthly rentals, even though the overall income is higher, the cleaning fee remains consistent and is spread out over a longer duration. This means that a significant portion of what you earn isn’t immediately offset by maintenance costs. In other words, the income-to-cleaning-cost ratio is more favorable with extended stays.

In my chats with fellow hosts, what’s become clear is that these benefits aren’t unique to my experience. Many of us in the Airbnb community are beginning to recognize and appreciate the tangible rewards of monthly rentals.

Just a few small adjustments in your booking settings on the Airbnb website will transition your services to monthly rentals.

what are the challenges with a monthly Airbnb rental? (And how To navigate them?)

While the benefits are clear and compelling, there are certain challenges that you may encounter with monthly rentals on Airbnb. But with a bit of foresight and planning, these hurdles can be managed effectively.

  • Scheduling conflicts with exact move-in and move-out dates: When dealing with a monthly rental, there’s often the need for precise scheduling. A day or two’s overlap with another guest’s reservation can be difficult to manage.
    • Solution: Make use of advanced booking tools and calendar integrations to ensure there’s no overlap. Clear communication with potential guests about their exact move-in and move-out dates is also crucial. It allows for smoother transitions and prevents double bookings.
  • Extended vacancies: One of the potential pitfalls of monthly rentals is the extended vacancy between bookings. Unlike short-term rentals where a few vacant nights might not make a significant dent, with monthly rentals, a month without a guest can be a substantial loss.
    • Solution: Keep a close eye on booking trends and adjust your prices slightly during off-peak times. It’s also worth considering offering weekly or monthly discounts or incentives for guests who might be on the fence about an extended stay.
  • Handling Maintenance and Repairs: With guests staying longer, there’s an increased chance they might run into maintenance issues, be it a leaky faucet or a temperamental air conditioner.
    • Solution: I’ve found it helpful to have a trusted local handyman on speed dial. It not only ensures timely repairs but also reassures the guest of a hassle-free stay.
  • Building a Rapport with Long-Term Guests: A month or more is a long time, and it’s crucial to establish a good rapport with your guests. But, not every guest will be easy to gel with, and sometimes differences can arise.
    • Solution: Communication is key. Regular check-ins (without being intrusive) and a genuine willingness to address any concerns can go a long way. It’s about striking a balance between being a gracious host and respecting boundaries.
  • Potential for Increased Utility Costs: Longer stays might lead to increased utility bills, especially if your guests aren’t particularly conservative with their usage.
    • Solution: Clear communication upfront is crucial. Consider having a brief chat about responsible utility usage or even incorporating it subtly into your house rules.

While these challenges can seem daunting, with a proactive approach and a willingness to adapt, they become just blips in the larger, rewarding monthly rental experience.

Tips for a successful monthly Airbnb rental

Create dedicated working spaces in your Airbnb

In today’s digital age, more people are working remotely than ever before, making the demand for work-friendly spaces in extended stay accommodations increasingly crucial.

Creating dedicated working spaces isn’t just about placing a desk in a corner. It’s about ensuring that the environment is conducive to productivity. Think about natural lighting, ergonomic furniture, and minimal distractions.

When I first ventured into the Airbnb long-term rental market, I made sure to set up a quiet corner with a comfortable chair, adequate lighting, and some basic stationery supplies.

But it’s not just the physical aspects that count. High-speed WiFi is a non-negotiable in these work-friendly spaces. No matter how comfortable or aesthetically pleasing your dedicated working space is, it’s rendered ineffective without reliable and high-speed WiFi. Given the number of video calls, large file uploads, and downloads professionals deal with today, ensuring your internet connection is up to par is essential.

Design your space as a home fully furnished (not just the bare minimum)

Airbnbs are of course marketing your home as a fully furnished rental. But with so many different hosts coming into the rental space, “fully furnished” has different meanings for different hosts.

A home fully furnished rental is more than just dropping a sofa and TV in the living room. Home fully furnished rentals mean offering a space that’s thoughtfully designed, comfortable, and practical for extended living.

When guests see “home fully furnished rentals,” they’re expecting a home-away-from-home where they can seamlessly continue their daily routines.

From a fully-equipped kitchen to a cozy living room setup, the details in your furnished offering can make a world of difference in securing long-term bookings.

Remember, in home fully furnished rentals, it’s not just about filling rooms with furniture; it’s about creating a liveable, welcoming space that meets all your guests’ needs.

Be flexible with the payment structure by offering a single monthly payment system for long-term stays

One aspect of monthly rentals that often comes into discussion is the payment structure. While Airbnb traditionally requires guests to pay upfront for their entire stay, this approach might feel burdensome for long-term guests.

Recognizing this, you may want to offer flexibility with a single monthly payment system. Instead of demanding the full amount, allowing a single monthly payment can make the rental experience more feasible and less intimidating for guests who are committing to a longer stay.

It’s a win-win situation. Guests appreciate the financial flexibility, and hosts can secure long-term bookings more easily.

Using a lease for Monthly rentals

When we talk about extended stays, especially those in the 3-6 month range, an entirely new dimension of “short-term” hosting comes into play. The longer the duration, the deeper the additional commitment required from both the guest and the host.

Airbnb’s general terms provide a foundational layer, but they might not cover the specifics of each unique property or long-term stay situation.

That’s where a custom lease comes into play. By having both the guest and the host sign this document, it spells out the exact terms of the monthly stay, from payment terms to property maintenance.

Having this type of agreement isn’t just about laying down rules. It’s about fostering a sense of mutual trust and responsibility between you and your guests. The act of having the guest and host sign a lease acknowledges the additional commitment they’re both entering into.

The lease becomes a physical testament to the seriousness and professionalism of a long-term monthly stay.

If you’re considering 3-6 month extended stays, don’t leave things to ambiguity. Ensure clarity, trust, and mutual respect by embracing the additional commitment of a signed lease. It’s a simple step that could make all the difference.

Build corporate housing partnerships (a long-term strategy)

Corporate housing offers you a distinctive opportunity that’s different from typical Airbnb rentals. At its core, corporate housing allows you to enter into long-term contracts with companies, in order to provide short-term rental accommodations to their employees.

This dual advantage ensures a stable income stream for you since you have a binding agreement with the company, and helps the company provide consistent housing to employees who might be in town for training, temporary assignments, or other short-term corporate needs.

Establishing these types of partnerships isn’t an overnight success. It’s something I’m working on in my own business! Just like any business relationship, corporate housing affiliations require time, effort, and persistence to build up.

With patience and dedication, building these connections can lead to a steady and lucrative flow of guests, making the initial investment of time and effort well worth it.

Final Thoughts

Venturing into monthly rentals and (hopefully soon!) corporate housing, wasn’t just a business decision—it was a personal one. It’s about striking a balance between financial viability and providing a haven for those in transition, whether they’re relocating, on a business trip, or just seeking a change of scenery.

I remember the sense of surprise and excitement when my first long-term guest extended her stay, needing that little bit more time to find her footing in Atlanta. It taught me the power of adaptability, patience, and, above all, listening to the needs of my guests.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a mid-term rental?

A mid-term rental, also known as a medium-term rental, is a type of accommodation that is longer than a typical short-term vacation stay but shorter than a traditional long-term lease.

Who is looking for mid-term rentals?

Individuals such as digital nomads, relocating professionals, or students.

How long is a mid-term rental stay?

A mid-term rental typically spans from one month to about six months, bridging the gap between short vacation stays and year-long leases.