MTR as a strategy to max out earnings on your STR

13 Replies

Took a deep dive into analyzing my STRs this year. November marks the beginning of our slow season for the STR market in our area & I started noticing that even though I had to lower my prices to keep occupancy at a comfortable number, the guests seem more demanding & a little harder to please, resulting in more work for me & lower ratings, which impacts my overall, pretty high rating on my main platform (Airbnb). Last year around this time I had a traveling nurse reach out via Airbnb to rent one of my spaces for a 4-month period of time over the winter. This midterm rental situation worked out great for the slow season & then the property was available just as peak season started. This combination of STR & MTR seems to be the ideal way to max out profits & decrease my time investment. I listed one of my units on Furnished Finder & 3 days later I had 2 traveling nurses renting the unit for 3 months covering most of my off season & at a number that cash flows, which is not always a given over the winter months. According to my new tenants our state is in a nursing crisis. My properties are within 8 miles of 10 different hospitals making it a prime location for this type of rental. Is anyone else using this approach or only doing MTR? As we start seeing STR restrictions in more areas, I wonder if MTR is going to become more prevalent?

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It really varies by market, but I know that it is a common technique in seasonal markets to seek out MTR guests to get them through the off-season.

I have also found that certain types of units don't work as well as STR. I am giving MTR a try on a studio apartment I have that has only been marginally successful on AirBnB.

STRs all the way for me. As full as I want to be, but both houses are in year round desirable areas. If you have a STR that is not really all that desirable, I guess you could do MTR, but I'd rather sell that and get into a true vacation rental. Much more income.......

I have used MTR on our property on Cape Cod for the past 4 years. We manage STR Memorial Day thru Labor Day, with huge weekly rates and use May & Sept to do repairs and upkeep. I've successfully found mostly young families looking to buy or build in the area, who need a 6-7mo. lease. All 4 years have been great tenants, providing bonus income, paying utilities for 6 months and easing my worries about an unattended house in the winter. Proper screening and choosing the right tenant is key but I am a big proponent of the strategy in seasonal markets.

Originally posted by @Garrett Gruss:
Hey Lisa,
What type of property are you renting out for the traveling nurses?

Hi Garrett-

I have condos in an urban location that I STR. Less people visit our city in the winter so I am working on MTR for those few months.

Originally posted by @Alex S.:

It really varies by market, but I know that it is a common technique in seasonal markets to seek out MTR guests to get them through the off-season.

I have also found that certain types of units don't work as well as STR. I am giving MTR a try on a studio apartment I have that has only been marginally successful on AirBnB.

My property that sleeps the most amount of people always gets booked the fastest. I've never tried a STR that sleeps less than 6 people so I'm not as familiar with that market, but it would make sense that would be a better fit for MTR than a large property.

@Bruce Woodruff

In addition to profit, there are a number of reasons why I do STR that would only work for a local property. 9 months out of the year, it is very busy & I am happy with my overall annual numbers. No matter how good your revenue is, there's always room for improvement. In the off season, 3 months out of the year, our occupancy can be great or sometimes it's just ok. MTR eliminates that risk and the overall work involved so it seems to be a really good option for STRs that experience a slow season, but I wouldn't say that having a slow season means that a STR is not desirable.

I would agree that vacation rentals likely do provide more income, but I question whether the ROI is that much better. From what I've seen the initial investment required to get a vacation home with good revenue potential is quite high.

A vacation rental is something I may pull the trigger on down the road, but I'm interested to see what the industry looks like in the next couple of years. On the national STR groups I follow, there are hosts voicing concerns about the saturation of these areas and what that means for property prices, rates & regulation. I've also seen some discussions on what effect inflation is going to have on travel and the impact to vacation destinations.

@Lisa Loesel, I have short term rentals and I try to get tenants for at least 3 of my slowest months of January through March. I make less per month than STR rates, but I often drop to 5 to 10 nights rented during these months compared to renting 29 out of 30 days during the summer. Traveling nurses are my main mid term renters. Not all areas are able have good occupancy year round. It doesn't mean the model doesn't work there.