Are long term renters a good thing, or is it better to rent for a few days at a time?

What are your thoughts about this?

You say little, actually nothing :rofl:, of what you offer. Do you live on the premises? is it your home?

I run a rustic rural B&B in my home and I prefer short term stays of 1-4 nights. I do offer 1 night stays in one listing , as we are close to a major port to continental Europe, but alter this for 2+ for the National UK holidays.

My general experience is that people who want to stay for a week or more in someone else’s home are weird oddities. I can temper that with brilliant business folk Mon-Fri returning, or my only Channel Swimmer who is returning for her third year for another month. She’s now family!

You have to find out for yourself really.

1 Like

It depends on your goals. If less turnover is the goal then longer is better. If more reviews is your goal then shorter is better. Money is usually better for shorter but lots do minimum of at least 2 days to avoid turnover every day. It’s totally up to each individual host as to what is best for them and their situation.

I agree with others that there isn’t enough information about you or your listing to answer the question.

For starters I need to know how long you have been an Airbnb host. If you are just starting out or haven’t listed at all yet there is a different answer than if you are an established host who is having trouble.

It really depends on your situation. In my state, Airbnb starting collecting and remitting the same tax that hotels have. So its really hard for me to be competitive. The only way I can offer the same price now is by giving long term stay discounts. I’ve learned to cap it at 2 weeks though. Things start getting tense around that point in my experience.

I like long-term. our rental is the entire 3-bedroom house. We had one man who wanted the place fo 3 months, and ended up staying 6 years. Other long-term renters were a family of 4 who were there 18 months. Our AirBnb rate is $89/day; our monthly rate (usually from craigslist) is $1700. Less money per day, but worth it to me in less stress and less work.

Wow! 6 years!? Did he pay $1700/month for all 6 years?

Before starting with Airbnb, I tried it with the same fully-furnished 4-bedroom house. I had 3 tenants that stayed 2, 3, and 8 months each. It didn’t work out like I had hoped. Let’s just say that I wouldn’t do it again unless I included a mandatory weekly cleaning and pass-through utilities (tenant pays actual utility cost for their stay).

1 Like

That was a few years ago. He paid $1450/month.

1 Like

When they started that in my state, TX, it had no effect on number of bookings and I’ve even been able to inch my prices up. Like @PaulRanson stated in another thread it could be that building up the reviews is key. Maybe you can’t compete with hotels if you are a new host but over time you should be very competitive. I’d stay in the right Airbnb over a hotel all day every day. And they still have room to grow in both market penetration and brand recognition.

1 Like

Curious about this. I set my limit to 14 days just because that was the max I was willing to go in case the guest never cleaned anything. What is your experience?

Airbnb was designed for SHORT TERM RENTALS – less than 30 days. Depending on where your live, if you have renters staying more than 29 days, they may automatically acquire certain ‘rights’ which may prevent you from making them leave when their time is up.

Long term renters need a special rental contract which covers things Air’s agreement does not.

1 Like

I have had both long term and short term Airbnb guests. My 3 long term guests have become true friends and in fact, we have one ex-guest-new-friend come to stay with us next week. Which I think is a the bonus that this “business” brings to our family.

However, as I analyse this, in each of these cases the guests stayed in our co-shared space. I think that is important.

Humans are what are called neophiles we love new stuff. But there is a problem because we also are affected by a process called adaption. Adaption is what drives us to invent and create and search out the new and interesting, but it has a downside. We get bored.

For example, adaption is a process that happens when we buy a new car. Initially, it feels fantastic but over time and thru the process of adaption, we fall out of love with it.

Adaption, therefore, introduces a risk to your business the longer the guest stays. The longer they stay the more likely adaption will make them feel bored. If you fail to mitigate this it will inevitably lead to a poor review. And poor reviews damages your business

As @KKC was saying, in another thread, I was explaining how reviews are the “social capital” of your Airbnb. While some fail to see it because they are hard to value, they do add value to your bottom line. This value is what is called “affordance” by some in behavioural science.

If you subscribe to this view then, long term renters are therefore bad and short term are good.

I’m personally so concerned that I’ve now altered my listings for 3-day maximum stays to avoid this risk.

It has the added bonus that I collect more reviews in a month than before and more chances to make new friends.

1 Like

Its kind of like PaulRanson was saying. The longer they stay, sometimes tensions become higher and the little quirks about you or the house that they were willing to overlook for the first 3 days, they will no longer overlook.
They don’t have all their stuff there at your Airbnb and they can’t work on their projects or do their things. So its uncomfortable for the guests just being away from home for that long.

Thanks for chiming in on this. Can you link me to the ‘reviews are social capitol’ thread? Personally I’ve noticed that the golden zone is around 5 days for my guests visits. I’ve capped it at two weeks now and thats down from a month. I might reduce that to a week though.

I’m brand new to hosting. My first booking was for more than a month. They’re a little more than 2 weeks into their stay and are quite pleasant. They’re a nice couple from Chile and are here to learn English. We even invited them to our place for dinner. I wouldn’t do that for everyone obviously, but it worked out with them. How do I encourage them to give me a 5 star review at the end of their stay?

Since you are on friendly terms sharing meals I would simply have a conversation about it with them. Let them know it’s very important because by taking a one month stay you missed out on getting multiple reviews during the important new host boost period.

1 Like

Maximum 3-day stay? Wow! I’m not sure that’d work in my market. So many different theories and opinions out there. I guess we just have to decide what’s best for our own space.

I don’t think Airbnb is the best channel to go through if you’re renting by the month. I’ve had great roommates who I found on Craigslist or Roomster, but in those cases we had rental agreements with clear terms and an actual deposit that I held during the rental period. I also wasn’t losing 10-15% of my potential rent in Airbnb fees.

1 Like

I had a single guest rent about 50 days this past fall. We started through Airbnb then switched to direct pay. Even with the Airbnb stays (about 10 of them) he didn’t review. During that time period I would have typically gotten about 40 more reviews. The money was great, he was great, it was a lot less work, but if I were just starting out that 40 reviews would be a lot. If @PaulRanson is right about review importance in search rank one might wonder if using multiple platforms or booking direct is cutting off one’s nose to spite their face.

My advice comes from the POV of the value of marketing your accommodation. I think going off platform neglects this.

It’s a reasonable response to add your listing to multiple platforms or even make your own with houfy. But as small businesses we must remember that the property needs marketing too. Marketing takes an enormous effort, but there is a helping hand that comes direct from the guest… Reviews

Reviews are the best form of marketing as they sit next to your listing and inform the airbnb/ Google that your Airbnb even exists. Prospective guests trust an authentic review more than any clever words, adverts or dare I say it photos.

@KKC I am convinced that spreading bookings across multiple platforms is indeed a poor strategy. It dilutes the free marketing one gets from reviews and this paradoxically reduces the visibility of the listing on the individual platforms we market on.

I think it far better to choose a platform (Airbnb/houfy/home away etc) and dominate it. Get as many reviews as you can and allow the platform search algorithm to place your listing above all others to churn your business.

i’ve chosen Airbnb because I think that the word Airbnb is like the word Hoover… when people think vacuum cleaner they say Hoover. When people think short term rental they broadly think Airbnb.

It’s an opinion ( I have no evidence) but I consider the time of the review is relevant too.

So you may have 500 reviews but if they are old then they are not as valuable as one made, say, last week. This means you need to be constantly curating new reviews to keep your listing current.

All the platforms make money from the bookings. As hosts we work for the platform. In effect we are employed by an algorithm.

The algorithm is fed by guest reviews (the star rating). So it makes sense to me that the savvy host works with this mechanism and in turn it starts to work for them…

Obviously this can be interpreted as a mechanical solution: that is something that applies to all… But as I have written about before, guests are complex organic creatures not computers.

In business one should not search for a one size fits all solution but a one size fits a majority that will be prepared to pay for your product solution.

Just saying :wink: