The Happy Medium Between STRs and Long-Term Rentals
It was October 2019. I had attended council meetings, written letters and tried very hard to understand what was really behind the push to shut down Short Term Rentals (STRs) or Vacation Homes - something I saw as boon to the city, my family, a dear friend and all our wonderful guests.
Whatever the real reason was for the proposed, crippling restrictions, they apparently weren't going to share it. I had done what I could, and the prospect of the city council listening to all our data, evidence and testimonies, seemed less and less likely.
So, I started brainstorming to find solutions to book my vacation home during the slow season and good alternatives in the event we eventually lost the STR battle. Little did I know, this would become all-the-more useful, when all bookings were canceled and travel shut down in the pandemic lock-down just months later.
The prospect of changing my beloved property to a long-term rental held less appeal than oral surgery. What about a furnished month-to-month rental? It avoids the definition of a Short Term Rental (STR) while allowing the freedoms, better income and far greater experience of hosting guests instead of having tenants... a seemingly-perfect solution. But is there a market for that? I started digging and found, not only is there a substantial market, but platforms dedicated specifically for this market. The market is termed “executive stay” or “corporate housing”. It is a perfect compromise between short-term and long-term offerings and has the best of both worlds.
The first platform I listed with was https://www.corporatehousingbyowner.com/.
I have only received a few leads for my large family home, but it works very well for smaller properties. I have had occasion to interact with the company several times and they have always been personable and helpful.
I signed up for Furnished Finder earlier this month, a platform for traveling nurses and healthcare professionals. I think my home is too large to be a good fit for the doctor / nurse audience, but at only $100 / year to list with them and no other fees, it seemed worth a try. Nurses typically have 13 week rotations, and have a reputation as very clean, responsible great guests.
"... at only $100 / year to list with them and no other fees, it seemed worth a try."
Since I am a real estate broker, I also list my vacation home on the MLS, which has been fruitful. And, surprisingly, I still get most of my inquiries for longer stays through VRBO.
What I have found most interesting, is the wide-variety of guests I have had for mid-term stays. Everything from people waiting for their custom homes to be built, to couples "testing" favorite cities to determine where to retire, to families needing a place while their home is being remodeled or restored due to water damage or electrical fires.
It has been a great benefit to me to have this in my resource toolkit and I really enjoy the "down time" I get with great longer-term guests. ~ EK