Longer stays give you a steady and dependable stream of income and increase occupancy while reducing your turnover costs. They can also help you increase low-season bookings and make the high season last longer.
But marketing and managing longer stays requires a different approach to short-term bookings. It’s a whole new ball game that demands distinct strategies and considerations.
In this article, you’ll read about why longer stays are on the rise, and how you can take advantage of this trend using four best practices. We’ll also discuss seven channels that accept longer stays and who they cater to so you know where to list your properties.
Let’s get right into it!
Why are longer stays becoming so popular?
Longer stays have become increasingly popular because they offer guests more than just a place to stay for a few days. Many people today value the freedom to work and live from anywhere, and extended stays provide the perfect opportunity to do just that. When guests choose a longer stay, they can experience the excitement of a new environment but still have all the comforts they need, like a fully furnished office space, kitchen, and laundry room.
Plus, these stays can often be more cost-effective, giving guests better value for their money. People who book longer stays tend to actively look for listings with weekly or monthly discounts, and companies like Airbnb have taken note. As a result, they actively encourage their hosts to set a monthly discount rate on their listings. This way, hosts can attract and retain guests for extended periods, and score those off-season bookings, while guests can enjoy affordable stays.
Longer stays are also becoming a hit with remote and hybrid workers and digital nomads. As people gain more freedom and flexibility to work from anywhere, they can now turn their vacations into “workations,” and hop on their Zoom call right after a hike instead of from their home office.
All they need is a laptop and a decent internet connection, which enables them to move from one place to another whenever they wish. They travel the world, making one place their home for a few weeks or months, then moving on to the next.
In fact, in 2020, Airbnb reported a 20% increase in mid to long-term stays, compared to 2019. At the end of 2022, bookings of 28 nights or longer were 21% of Airbnb’s total nights booked. According to them, guests across all regions and age groups have taken to this new approach.
In response to the growing demand, the company launched their “monthly stay” feature to make it more convenient for both guests and property managers to take advantage of this trend. If you’re using Rentals United as your channel manager, you can take advantage of this feature even more easily and set a minimum stay directly on the platform.
With this feature, you can experience:
- More bookings. Stays of over 28 days account for 1 in 5 nights booked on the platform.
- Higher revenue. Listings that are open to both short and mid to long-term stays generate 45% more earnings than those only open to short-term stays.
- Increased occupancy. Airbnb listings that are open to extended stays have a 10% higher occupancy rate than those who don’t.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at some actionable tips to help you get the most out of your longer stays.
4 ways to get the most out of listings for longer stays
If you’re new to listing your property for extended stays, here are four tips to help you get started.
1. Showcase your property as a home office
With remote work becoming the norm, guests are actively seeking spaces that double as comfortable and productive home offices. And if you’re targeting digital nomads in particular, they’re more likely to use your rental as a dedicated workspace and spend a lot more time in it than tourists would. So how can you convince them that your property will suit all their needs?
Here are a few steps you can take:
- Create an inviting workspace and showcase it in your listing by setting up a dedicated desk, ergonomic chair, ample lighting, and access to power outlets. You can even include essential office equipment like a printer, speakers, and extra phone chargers. Ensure ample natural lighting in your photos and don’t forget to mention these amenities in both the property description and photo captions.
- Highlight high-speed internet availability as a top amenity. But before you do, make sure to test your WiFi speed.
- Add thoughtful touches like a coffee maker, tea pots and kettles, and even a small snack station in the workspace to make their experience even better.
2. Offer monthly discounts
Offering monthly discounts can make your property stand out to travellers who are looking for a comfortable, but affordable, extended accommodation. Offering discounts, like 10% off for a month, 20% off for two months, is a good place to start. It can also incentivise guests to extend their stay with you, which increases your occupancy and potential revenue.
If you’re listing your property on Airbnb, you can set your monthly discount at the same percentage as your usual vacancy rate. For example, according to the company:
- If you book an average of 24 days per month, you have an average 20% vacancy
- If you set a 20% monthly discount, you’ll still earn a similar account with a single stay
3. Don’t leave out any perks
The more you can make your properties feel like home, the more comfortable your guests will be. So when you’re crafting your listing, put yourself in your guests’ shoes. Think about what you would need if you were staying somewhere away from home for at least 28 days.
- A washer and dryer and a fully equipped kitchen with everything from utensils and plates to a stove, oven, and microwave.
- A parking space, either on the lot itself or at a nearby parking facility. This is especially important for more remote locations where public transport isn’t as readily available.
- Storage and closet space for a clutter-free stay. While you might not need to worry about storage space for short-term guests staying for a long weekend, guests staying for longer are going to need a lot more space to feel comfortable. Make sure you provide adequate storage space and update your listings to reflect that.
- Air conditioning and heating so your guests can adjust the property’s temperature to their preferences, especially if they’re staying long enough for the seasons to change.
- Pet-friendly amenities for people travelling with their furry friends. Offering amenities, like designated pet areas, pet beds, and food bowls, can make a big difference.
4. Offer discounts to popular spots nearby
Guests may spend a large chunk of their day working from home, but they won’t stay locked inside forever. Guests on extended stays love exploring local restaurants, cafés, yoga studios, gyms, and coworking spaces. Strike up partnerships with nearby spots and see if you can offer them discounts to these places. The more opportunities for networking and meeting new people you can offer, the better.
Don’t forget to advertise what makes your particular location and neighbourhood stand out. For example, the proximity to public transportation, grocery stores, parks, and museums. You can also provide them with some recommendations on what to do and see in the area, and invite them to join local events or community groups.
If you want to take things a step further, and if you can find out what activities they’re into beforehand, put together a personalised welcome manual and local guidebook for them to check out.
What channels accept longer stays?
Now that you’ve read about the ways to prep your properties for extended stays, here are some channels that let you list your longer accommodations:
- Airbnb attracts a large and diverse pool of travellers seeking longer stays. It’s a great choice if you’re listing various extended stays and want to reach people from around the world. And perhaps the best part? It integrates perfectly with Rentals United so you get the latest API features allowing you to rank high on Airbnb, upload listings automatically, and manage calendars, rates and bookings.
- All Luxury Apartments caters specifically to luxury and upscale mid to long-term rentals, making it an excellent channel if you’re listing high-end properties.
- AltoVita specialises in curated, corporate extended stays to help organisations accommodate their employees with compliant properties during business trips or relocations.
- Furnished Finder is geared towards corporate travellers and healthcare professionals like travelling nurses. This channel is a good choice if you’re listing properties located near medical facilities and business districts.
- HomeLike is dedicated to professionally managed mid to long-term stays, letting you target business travellers, expats, digital nomads, and working professionals.
- Housestay is best for listing fully furnished monthly rentals, with a minimum stay of 30 days. They mainly target individuals and businesses, including real estate agents, HR professionals, and 3rd party relocation professionals.
- Nestpick is an international platform specialising in furnished apartments and targeting mainly students, expats, and business travellers.
- HousingAnywhere opens the doors to a home across Europe for students, expats and young professionals to securely rent rooms or apartments.
If you want more information about current travel trends and channels that accept longer stays, you’ll find it in our free ebook The Who’s Who of Short-Term Rental Listing Sites. You’ll have access to exclusive data such as Average booking value, Average nights booked, Number of listings, Traffic sources, and Fees for property managers.
Longer stays: the key to beating the low season
In conclusion, the desire for extended stays is growing with no sign of stopping. As more people discover opportunities to work remotely or from a home away from home, they’re increasingly drawn to longer stays.
But it’s not enough to just set your property up as a longer accommodation. In this article, we walked you through four ways to get the most out of your listings, including:
- Showcasing your property as a home office by creating and advertising an inviting workspace and other amenities like high-speed internet.
- Offering monthly discounts to stand out among other listings and incentivize guests to extend their stay.
- Not leaving out any perks that guests might need, like a fully equipped kitchen, parking facilities, and pet-friendly amenities.
- Offering discounts to popular spots nearby like coworking spaces, gyms, restaurants, and parks.
Finally, you can use Rentals United to gain valuable insights into your bookings, spot opportunities to increase your booked nights, and manage your longer stays across all the top channels listed in this article, in one place.
Want to reduce the manual work and manage multiple longer stays with ease? Our specialists are here for you!
Already a Rentals United customer? Set up your monthly stays now!