Where to start with STR for traveling professional?

24 Replies

I have a duplex in for permit and will begin construction mostly likely in the spring of next year and be completed by next summer/fall so I have a little bit of time to do some proper research. I had originally looked at just LTR for both units but I am considering looking at doing semi-STR by targeting traveling professionals (still 30+ day rental but not a full year). The property is literally across the street from the main hospital in town. So it will do well as a LTR but it could do better if it was a semi-STR. The problem is I'm not sure where to start to look for info on this kind of rental. Is it that much different than the more traditional vacation STR?

I'm really just starting this process of seeing if this is something I would want to do or not. Any pointers to other resources or any tips would be much appreciated. Thanks.

Id sell it and buy something that cash flows now why wait a year? 

But to answer your question make sure it’s legal in your area. Do some quick googles and you’ll soon find out: sounds like it’s a small town so you may be an early adopter at which point the neighbors will likely be calling the cops often. 

Originally posted by @Lucas Carl:

Id sell it and buy something that cash flows now why wait a year? 

But to answer your question make sure it’s legal in your area. Do some quick googles and you’ll soon find out: sounds like it’s a small town so you may be an early adopter at which point the neighbors will likely be calling the cops often. 

Not going to sell because this is a long term hold. There is a lot of reasons why I'm keeping the land and building but don't want to take this thread off track. If your interested in the detail you can PM me and I'd be happy to share. 

STRs are legal, I would just have to get a business license. BUT if I rent for anytime that is over 30 days then its not considered a STR. So even if the tradition vacation rental does get stricter laws or even out-lawed this would not fall under it. That one of the reasons I'm looking into it. Being able to ask higher rents per month. But I know there's more to it than just that. So thats why I'm looking into what it takes as a business model to make it successful vs a LTR.

 

@Nik Moushon

What you're looking to do is really a furnished LTR, not an STR. As you mentioned, anything over 30 days is subject to Landlord/tenant laws, not hospitality laws. You'll need to have lease contracts with wording for furniture. You're leases would typically be 90 or 180 day rather than 1 year. But that would depend on your tenant's contract with their employer.

Originally posted by @Jeffery Wilen :

@Nik Moushon

What you're looking to do is really a furnished LTR, not an STR. As you mentioned, anything over 30 days is subject to Landlord/tenant laws, not hospitality laws. You'll need to have lease contracts with wording for furniture. You're leases would typically be 90 or 180 day rather than 1 year. But that would depend on your tenant's contract with their employer.

Thats true. Thats why i said "semi-STR"...more because I didnt know what else to call it. But is the marketing the same as a STR? Do people use AirBnB or are there other sites for this? I tried looking and the couple people that I know who are traveling nurses say they just use AirBnB.

Originally posted by @John Underwood :

This sounds like a perfect t location to cater to traveling nurses at 30plus day stay each time.

Thats who I'm trying to target but I'm not exactly sure how to target to just them. Really any traveling professional not just nurses but I'm sure a major draw would be for nurses and hospital staff. 

 

Originally posted by @Brian Payne :

furnished finder has a stats page that gives you the travel nurse demand in your area in case that would be helpful. Good luck all~

Thats great! Had not heard of that site before. Thank you.

 

In my mind the traveling professional work force are the best renters. They are in town not to party but work. (Yeah ok kick back on the weekends if they don't go home.) Some of my STR vacation renters seem to leave their common sense at home and do the stupidest damage. LTR renters do more wear and tear and evictions are a hassle. If they don't fit the neighborhood, you have a year's worth of complaints

Having spent 80% of my career on the road, hotels get old fast. Having a place to settle in, store my clothes, unpack once, stock the frig and cook a little is heavenly for month or longer project. 

Check in with the HR Dept or Travel Dept at the hospital and any other big employer in the area. Everybody checks Craigslist and Target your ad for traveling workers.  Check the Federal per diem rate in your area. This is a pretty good view of the nightly room rate for transient workers. Beat that rate, provide a comfortable place with some thoughtful extras for the traveling worker and you could build a winner with less risk and hassle of S/LTRs.

Hey @Nik Moushon ! I love Wenatchee! I agree with @Glenna Wood . Get some appointments with the local HR departments of the hospital, big physical therapy shops and home infusion. All of them employee traveling employees for short term stints.

Let them know you will have a great place for their contract employee's.

How many bedrooms each? You could do the Paul Sandhu method and rent by the room. I will say that I have heard that most traveling medical professionals like to have the place to themselves, but that is just me. 

Originally posted by @Nik Moushon :
Originally posted by @Jeffery Wilen:

@Nik Moushon

What you're looking to do is really a furnished LTR, not an STR. As you mentioned, anything over 30 days is subject to Landlord/tenant laws, not hospitality laws. You'll need to have lease contracts with wording for furniture. You're leases would typically be 90 or 180 day rather than 1 year. But that would depend on your tenant's contract with their employer.

Thats true. Thats why i said "semi-STR"...more because I didnt know what else to call it. But is the marketing the same as a STR? Do people use AirBnB or are there other sites for this? I tried looking and the couple people that I know who are traveling nurses say they just use AirBnB.

@nikmoushon 
I am a full time "traveling professional" (aka digital nomad) and rent STRs for 30-90 days at a time. I always start with AirBnB and if I have no luck I try other sites. The technology with AirBnB is just so much better than the others from the guest's perspective too. Years ago I used Homeaway/VRBO but when they changed their policy and started passing more fees onto the guest their service fees became outrageous for longer term guests like myself. Sometimes if I find a place on Homeaway I might offer doing a short term lease agreement outside of the platform. If we do that I'll book for a week in it so both of us can do reviews, etc. I've never considered myself a furnished LTR whether the law sees it that way or not. 

Now, I've rented my fair share of STRs from LTR property management companies playing in this space too and I am always disappointed. I might be staying longer as a STR-er but personally I am more aligned with STRing expectations than I am a furnished LTR. Examples, no I do not plan to mow the grass, no I do not want to put utilities in my name, no I am not traveling with my own TV, towels, pots and pans and no I would prefer to not "show the house" while I am living AND working from it. You wouldn't ask a person on vacation for 1 week to do that why would you ask someone working and staying in the house for 30 days? Some real examples from our travels. At the end of the day we are normally paying a premium to not have to deal with those things. Anyway, I think AirBnB is a good place to start. I always look for keywords in the listings like "long term stays welcome" etc. Let me know if you have any other questions on this from a traveling professionals perspective. I might not the have the opinion of all but I have the opinion of one with years of doing this. Good luck!

@Nik Moushon - I'm currently doing this with one of my SFH's. What I've learned so far

1.) Security deposits don't seem to fly in my area.  I've lost a few when trying to collect one

2.) Applications work, but full scale tenant screening has scared people away, so I stopped doing that.

3.)  Be patient. It's slow starting.  I'm going on my 3rd month and finally have 3/4 rooms filled with, a prospect on the last one.

Advertise on AIRBNB, VRBO, Craigslist, Facebook, Zillow, ect.  Just be prepared for people to message you think thinking your private room for $650 everything included is actually a full apartment.  No one seems to read anything anymore.  

I provide beds, sheets, blankets, towels, kitchen items, furniture, tv's in all rooms, wifi, utilities, and garbage collection.  I get all smart tv's and hook them up to wifi.  I don't buy cable.

It's still too early to tell if this is going to be worth it or not, but at full capacity I'm taking a $1300/m rental and making it a $2600/m.  We shall see.  Goodluck!  

@Nik Moushon

Hey Nik, I don't solely do this, but we alternate between these "mid term" type tenants and true STR guests at a condo we have in Dallas. It's near downtown and a huge hospital campus. So far we've gotten all bookings from Airbnb, but I'm showing the unit to a nurse tomorrow who found it on Furnished Finder. Longest booking we had on Airbnb was 75 days and we also had a Med student who just moved out who was there for a month while she looked for a traditional 12 month lease near the hospital.

This model seems like it'd work for you being by a hospital. You can set the pricing on Airbnb and other similar sites to offer discounts for bookings 28 days or more. Then, if you ever have a vacancy window of like two weeks, you can experiment with changing the pricing to fill that Gap with true STR guests. This is how I've been doing it for about 6 months on the condo, and it seems to work well. Cash flow is higher during periods of true STR stays but workload is way less during the 2+ month stays :)

Originally posted by @Brandi Scharrer :
Originally posted by @Nik Moushon:
Originally posted by @Jeffery Wilen:

@Nik Moushon

What you're looking to do is really a furnished LTR, not an STR. As you mentioned, anything over 30 days is subject to Landlord/tenant laws, not hospitality laws. You'll need to have lease contracts with wording for furniture. You're leases would typically be 90 or 180 day rather than 1 year. But that would depend on your tenant's contract with their employer.

Thats true. Thats why i said "semi-STR"...more because I didnt know what else to call it. But is the marketing the same as a STR? Do people use AirBnB or are there other sites for this? I tried looking and the couple people that I know who are traveling nurses say they just use AirBnB.

@nikmoushon 
I am a full time "traveling professional" (aka digital nomad) and rent STRs for 30-90 days at a time. I always start with AirBnB and if I have no luck I try other sites. The technology with AirBnB is just so much better than the others from the guest's perspective too. Years ago I used Homeaway/VRBO but when they changed their policy and started passing more fees onto the guest their service fees became outrageous for longer term guests like myself. Sometimes if I find a place on Homeaway I might offer doing a short term lease agreement outside of the platform. If we do that I'll book for a week in it so both of us can do reviews, etc. I've never considered myself a furnished LTR whether the law sees it that way or not. 

Now, I've rented my fair share of STRs from LTR property management companies playing in this space too and I am always disappointed. I might be staying longer as a STR-er but personally I am more aligned with STRing expectations than I am a furnished LTR. Examples, no I do not plan to mow the grass, no I do not want to put utilities in my name, no I am not traveling with my own TV, towels, pots and pans and no I would prefer to not "show the house" while I am living AND working from it. You wouldn't ask a person on vacation for 1 week to do that why would you ask someone working and staying in the house for 30 days? Some real examples from our travels. At the end of the day we are normally paying a premium to not have to deal with those things. Anyway, I think AirBnB is a good place to start. I always look for keywords in the listings like "long term stays welcome" etc. Let me know if you have any other questions on this from a traveling professionals perspective. I might not the have the opinion of all but I have the opinion of one with years of doing this. Good luck!

 Thank you for your perspective. Its much appreciated. Lots to think about. 

I definitely intended to lean more towards a STR than just a furnished LTR. Thats why I was calling it a "semi_STR"...that and not sure what else you would call it.

Do you personally prefer renting a whole house/unit or by the room? Thats one thing I have to decide is how I exactly do I rent it.

Originally posted by @Michael Ablan :

@Nik Moushon - I'm currently doing this with one of my SFH's. What I've learned so far

1.) Security deposits don't seem to fly in my area.  I've lost a few when trying to collect one

2.) Applications work, but full scale tenant screening has scared people away, so I stopped doing that.

3.)  Be patient. It's slow starting.  I'm going on my 3rd month and finally have 3/4 rooms filled with, a prospect on the last one.

Advertise on AIRBNB, VRBO, Craigslist, Facebook, Zillow, ect.  Just be prepared for people to message you think thinking your private room for $650 everything included is actually a full apartment.  No one seems to read anything anymore.  

I provide beds, sheets, blankets, towels, kitchen items, furniture, tv's in all rooms, wifi, utilities, and garbage collection.  I get all smart tv's and hook them up to wifi.  I don't buy cable.

It's still too early to tell if this is going to be worth it or not, but at full capacity I'm taking a $1300/m rental and making it a $2600/m.  We shall see.  Goodluck!  

Thank you for sharing your story. Getting rooms filled is one thing that I worry about. It will be a tight budget with the new construction and have several months of no rent at the beginning could be an issue. I know the market for LTR in my area very well and know I wont have trouble at all having it rented before they are even finished but STR is something else and I'm just not familiar with it at all. Thats why I'm doing my research now.

Originally posted by @Nik Moushon :
Originally posted by @Brandi Scharrer:
Originally posted by @Nik Moushon:
Originally posted by @Jeffery Wilen:

@Nik Moushon

What you're looking to do is really a furnished LTR, not an STR. As you mentioned, anything over 30 days is subject to Landlord/tenant laws, not hospitality laws. You'll need to have lease contracts with wording for furniture. You're leases would typically be 90 or 180 day rather than 1 year. But that would depend on your tenant's contract with their employer.

Thats true. Thats why i said "semi-STR"...more because I didnt know what else to call it. But is the marketing the same as a STR? Do people use AirBnB or are there other sites for this? I tried looking and the couple people that I know who are traveling nurses say they just use AirBnB.

@nikmoushon 
I am a full time "traveling professional" (aka digital nomad) and rent STRs for 30-90 days at a time. I always start with AirBnB and if I have no luck I try other sites. The technology with AirBnB is just so much better than the others from the guest's perspective too. Years ago I used Homeaway/VRBO but when they changed their policy and started passing more fees onto the guest their service fees became outrageous for longer term guests like myself. Sometimes if I find a place on Homeaway I might offer doing a short term lease agreement outside of the platform. If we do that I'll book for a week in it so both of us can do reviews, etc. I've never considered myself a furnished LTR whether the law sees it that way or not. 

Now, I've rented my fair share of STRs from LTR property management companies playing in this space too and I am always disappointed. I might be staying longer as a STR-er but personally I am more aligned with STRing expectations than I am a furnished LTR. Examples, no I do not plan to mow the grass, no I do not want to put utilities in my name, no I am not traveling with my own TV, towels, pots and pans and no I would prefer to not "show the house" while I am living AND working from it. You wouldn't ask a person on vacation for 1 week to do that why would you ask someone working and staying in the house for 30 days? Some real examples from our travels. At the end of the day we are normally paying a premium to not have to deal with those things. Anyway, I think AirBnB is a good place to start. I always look for keywords in the listings like "long term stays welcome" etc. Let me know if you have any other questions on this from a traveling professionals perspective. I might not the have the opinion of all but I have the opinion of one with years of doing this. Good luck!

 Thank you for your perspective. Its much appreciated. Lots to think about. 

I definitely intended to lean more towards a STR than just a furnished LTR. Thats why I was calling it a "semi_STR"...that and not sure what else you would call it.

Do you personally prefer renting a whole house/unit or by the room? Thats one thing I have to decide is how I exactly do I rent it.

Whole house. Personally, renting a room only isn't really my thing but it might work for others. Plus, my husband and I travel together and we work from the house remotely. 

 

Originally posted by @Michael Ablan :

@Nik Moushon - I'm currently doing this with one of my SFH's. What I've learned so far

1.) Security deposits don't seem to fly in my area.  I've lost a few when trying to collect one

2.) Applications work, but full scale tenant screening has scared people away, so I stopped doing that.

3.)  Be patient. It's slow starting.  I'm going on my 3rd month and finally have 3/4 rooms filled with, a prospect on the last one.

Advertise on AIRBNB, VRBO, Craigslist, Facebook, Zillow, ect.  Just be prepared for people to message you think thinking your private room for $650 everything included is actually a full apartment.  No one seems to read anything anymore.  

I provide beds, sheets, blankets, towels, kitchen items, furniture, tv's in all rooms, wifi, utilities, and garbage collection.  I get all smart tv's and hook them up to wifi.  I don't buy cable.

It's still too early to tell if this is going to be worth it or not, but at full capacity I'm taking a $1300/m rental and making it a $2600/m.  We shall see.  Goodluck!  

Yep, slow starting is right.  I fell into furnishing a shorter term furnished arrangement and it sucked.  Glad I didn't have to purchase the furniture and start from scratch.

I finally found a good match with a travelling executive for a month, then a school professional for 9.  But I was vacant for 4 months.

Most people have furniture and the premium for being fully furnished with wifi and all utilities for me was only 20%.  I now require 6 month mins amd power be in their name. An exception may be a summer person, followed by a school person. HR at CVCH is absolutely no help and my experience with docs/nurses hasnt been good in general.  Picky whiners. I'd rent regular, Nik, but that's just me and I don't have brand-new builds. 

Originally posted by @Brandi Scharrer :

Whole house. Personally, renting a room only isn't really my thing but it might work for others. Plus, my husband and I travel together and we work from the house remotely. 

 

Well if you and your husband travel together then that makes sense. Thanks again.

 

Originally posted by @Steve Vaughan :
Originally posted by @Michael Ablan:

@Nik Moushon - I'm currently doing this with one of my SFH's. What I've learned so far

1.) Security deposits don't seem to fly in my area.  I've lost a few when trying to collect one

2.) Applications work, but full scale tenant screening has scared people away, so I stopped doing that.

3.)  Be patient. It's slow starting.  I'm going on my 3rd month and finally have 3/4 rooms filled with, a prospect on the last one.

Advertise on AIRBNB, VRBO, Craigslist, Facebook, Zillow, ect.  Just be prepared for people to message you think thinking your private room for $650 everything included is actually a full apartment.  No one seems to read anything anymore.  

I provide beds, sheets, blankets, towels, kitchen items, furniture, tv's in all rooms, wifi, utilities, and garbage collection.  I get all smart tv's and hook them up to wifi.  I don't buy cable.

It's still too early to tell if this is going to be worth it or not, but at full capacity I'm taking a $1300/m rental and making it a $2600/m.  We shall see.  Goodluck!  

Yep, slow starting is right.  I fell into furnishing a shorter term furnished arrangement and it sucked.  Glad I didn't have to purchase the furniture and start from scratch.

I finally found a good match with a travelling executive for a month, then a school professional for 9.  But I was vacant for 4 months.

Most people have furniture and the premium for being fully furnished with wifi and all utilities for me was only 20%.  I now require 6 month mins amd power be in their name. An exception may be a summer person, followed by a school person. HR at CVCH is absolutely no help and my experience with docs/nurses hasnt been good in general.  Picky whiners. I'd rent regular, Nik, but that's just me and I don't have brand-new builds. 

As always Steve I appreciate your opinion. I'm not set on anything yet. LTR pencils out pretty well on its own and we probably will end up doing that at the beginning anyways. It wasnt designed specifically for a STR so its kind of on the large side for traveling professionals IMO.

Originally posted by @Nik Moushon :

Most people have furniture and the premium for being fully furnished with wifi and all utilities for me was only 20%.  I now require 6 month mins amd power be in their name. An exception may be a summer person, followed by a school person. HR at CVCH is absolutely no help and my experience with docs/nurses hasnt been good in general.  Picky whiners. I'd rent regular, Nik, but that's just me and I don't have brand-new builds. 

As always Steve I appreciate your opinion. I'm not set on anything yet. LTR pencils out pretty well on its own and we probably will end up doing that at the beginning anyways. It wasnt designed specifically for a STR so its kind of on the large side for traveling professionals IMO.

Sure, Nik.  I would start with LTR unless you happen to already have nice furniture, linens, full kitchen, tv, etc lying around.

Mine specifically normally rents for $1000 as an empty LTR.  We tried for $1295 furnished.  It's not a good fit for roommates, but we had a lor of roommate requests.  Forest service and wildfire summer temps.  We could have rented ealry and easily to roommates/ co-workers for the summer at $1295. 

We dropped the price to $1195 and were just getting regular family applicants.   Do you have storage on-site?  We need to store our stuff since its furnished.   We almost just sold the furniture and went to a normal vacant LTR.   But we only advertised on Craigslist and Zillow.  That may have been the problem.  We eventually found a local school professional tired of commuting from the base of Stevens pass thankfully. 

Someday you will have acquired enough stuff to furnish.  I'd wait till  then unless you buy a whole household cheaply at an estate sale or something.  Then there's the questions of what type of lease, how to do the furnished inventory list, deposits, etc.  Confusing for a first-timer like me. 

Originally posted by @Steve Vaughan :
Originally posted by @Nik Moushon:

Most people have furniture and the premium for being fully furnished with wifi and all utilities for me was only 20%.  I now require 6 month mins amd power be in their name. An exception may be a summer person, followed by a school person. HR at CVCH is absolutely no help and my experience with docs/nurses hasnt been good in general.  Picky whiners. I'd rent regular, Nik, but that's just me and I don't have brand-new builds. 

As always Steve I appreciate your opinion. I'm not set on anything yet. LTR pencils out pretty well on its own and we probably will end up doing that at the beginning anyways. It wasnt designed specifically for a STR so its kind of on the large side for traveling professionals IMO.

Sure, Nik.  I would start with LTR unless you happen to already have nice furniture, linens, full kitchen, tv, etc lying around.

Mine specifically normally rents for $1000 as an empty LTR.  We tried for $1295 furnished.  It's not a good fit for roommates, but we had a lor of roommate requests.  Forest service and wildfire summer temps.  We could have rented ealry and easily to roommates/ co-workers for the summer at $1295. 

We dropped the price to $1195 and now we're just getting regular family applicants.   Do you have storage on-site?  We need to store our stuff since its furnished.   We almost just sold the furniture and went to a normal vacant LTR.   But we only advertised on Craigslist and Zillow.  That may have been the problem.  

Someday you will have acquired enough stuff to furnish.  I'd wait till  then unless you buy a whole household cheaply at an estate sale or something.  Then there's the questions of what type of lease, how to do the furnished inventory list, deposits, etc.  Confusing for a first-timer like me. 

 Theres a TON of stuff to consider for sure. The cost of furnishing it is a major one for sure. Thats one thing we are trying to figure out. Since this will be a new build, cash will be tight so we might not have an option but to stick with LTR at first. 

@Nik Moushon You can thank me for removing that aweful jointed rail going through town 7-8 years ago on the train tracks when I used to have a day job 😁

Try Birmingham, Atlanta, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Memphis, Little Rock, Jacksonville, Ohio, or other secondary or tertiary markets.