Flexible Inventory is Here: Incorporate Extended Stays Into Your Business Model With Guesty
With limitations on international travel over the past couple of months, as well as uncertainty around when it may return to normal, many short-term rental property management companies are looking for ways to recoup their losses and ensure business continuity. According to a recent Guesty survey of nearly 400 property managers, a staggering 38% are diversifying their business model to include extended stays of 28+ days to attract more bookings, whether from remote workers looking for a new set-up or domestic travelers seeking a local escape. In fact, Airbnb also recently introduced a “Monthly Stays” program to enable hosts to make a smooth transition to mid-term rentals.
This post will walk you through the A-Z of extended stays, break down the benefits of including them in your portfolio and explain how Guesty’s feature set can help you support this business model.
What Are Extended Stays?
Beginning from 28 days, extended stays are longer than a standard vacation or business trip. Typically, they will last anywhere from one to three months.
While short-term rentals tend to have higher daily rates, extended stays offer the security of occupancy for a longer period of time and thus typically a reduced daily rate. Stays like this are especially relevant when there is still so much uncertainty around when and how travel will recover.
Why Are Extended Stays Relevant Now?
In light of COVID-19, demand for short-term stays has decreased and people are increasingly seeking out rentals for a month or more. In fact, Airbnb has seen a 20% surge in longer-term bookings compared to this time last year. The most common scenarios for these monthly stays are frontline workers who need a temporary place to live that’s close to work and isolated from family members; social distancers who are seeking to escape crowded areas until the worst of coronavirus blows over; and “work-from-homers” or digital nomads looking for a more spacious or better-equipped setting now that remote work has become the norm. Other typical mid-term guests include students and people transitioning between permanent housing situations.
These guests don’t want to make the commitment of signing a several-month lease, so instead, they are looking for a “long-term rental” — all the convenience of a furnished home or apartment without the hassle. For property management companies, this creates opportunities to fill rentals during off-seasons and other low-occupancy times, even after coronavirus has become a thing of the past.
Which Guesty Features Support Extended Stays?
Guesty’s platform is designed with flexibility in mind, allowing it to easily accommodate the evolving needs of property management companies.
These are the key Guesty features that will enable you to support extended stays:
Seamless integrations: Guesty enables you to integrate with Airbnb’s Monthly Stay program, plus, for customers already integrated with Rentals United, you can also list your mid-term rentals on sites including Spotahome, Homelike and BridgeStreet. For other key mid-term rental sites in your region, make sure to set incoming reservations to “inquiry,” so you can manually approve them and record them in Guesty.
Send a Quote: By allowing you to adjust prices, offer custom quotes and hold dates, this feature ensures that you have the flexibility you need to capture leads seeking all types of stays, increase direct bookings and boost revenue.
Yield Management: Apply custom rate strategies to your listings and Guesty will automatically adjust your prices and minimum night rules accordingly, helping you maximize both occupancy and revenue.
Rental Agreements: With Guesty’s Rental Agreements feature, you can automatically send guests personalized agreements with your terms and conditions to sign digitally, reducing your vulnerability to fraud, helping you fight false chargeback claims and limiting unwanted guest behavior. Set up an agreement customized for longer stays and send it via automated message to guests staying for 28 days or longer.
Booking Website: Create your own custom-branded direct booking website for free with Guesty, which not only enables you to book guests without the added channel fees — it also makes it easier for you to set your own rules when it comes to extended stays.
Custom fields and filters: Filter reports and smart views by length of stay to see your longer-term listings at a glance. You can also tag all your extended stay listings within the Guesty admin, allowing you to filter inbox communication views. This way, you can automate communication exclusively for mid-term listings.
What You Need to Know About Airbnb Monthly Stays
To be featured within Airbnb’s Monthly Stays tab, listings must have a maximum booking period of 28 days or more as well as offer a monthly discount of at least 10% off the usual rate. You also have to provide amenities that make longer stays more comfortable: a kitchen, WiFi, a washing machine, and essentials such as toilet paper, soap, towels, linens and pillows.
Setting up your Airbnb monthly stay on Guesty:
Make sure to select a maximum stay of 28+ nights, set your monthly discount to at least 10% (most property managers offer between 20% and 40% off), and ensure the amenities above are ticked on your listing. Keep in mind that if you set up a length of stay discount in Airbnb, it will be applied on top of any other discount you set within Guesty.
How to Optimize Your Airbnb Long-Term Rental Listing
Guests looking for longer-term stays on Airbnb need to know they’ll be comfortable. Instead of promoting your listing’s location or proximity to tourist attractions, highlight luxury amenities, entertainment including Netflix or AppleTV, high-speed WiFi, a work-from-home set-up, as well as private outdoor space. Due to coronavirus, guests will be spending less time out and about, so a yard, deck, outdoor hot tub, or workout area will all be major selling points.
Guests in the COVID-19 era also need to know they’ll be safe. Make a point of emphasizing your stringent cleaning protocols in your listing descriptions, and be sure to offer information on how mid-stay cleanings are safely provided. If you offer contact-free services like grocery delivery, mention it in your description as well.
Who Should You Target When Marketing Extended Stays?
Set your sights on domestic guests for now, and play to your properties’ strengths. For spaces with a great office set-up, target professionals who are likely to be looking for a work-from-home upgrade. For bigger, more rural properties with yards and outdoor spaces, target families from nearby urban areas who need more room for their kids to play. Don’t forget to reach out to your network of past guests who may be interested in a longer stay at a place they love and trust.