Traveling Nurse Rentals

39 Replies | San Jose, California

Hi BP,

I did a general search in the forums for traveling nurse rentals, but want to get feedback from the SJ area.

I have a SFH and was thinking about renting some of the rooms to traveling nurses. Does anyone have experience with these kinds of rentals? Would appreciate any kind of feedback with how to get started, things to consider, and any other tips. Thanks!

@Jonathan C. Hey Jonathan. Did you end up making any progress with this? I also have a SFH near Kaiser that is going to be vacant and I was thinking of looking into renting to traveling nurses.

I don't have any helpful hints from the investing perspective, but I can give personal feedback as an RN that traveled for nearly 7 years all across the country. This would be a HUGE benefit to traveling RN's. It never failed that the hardest thing with any new assignment was housing. Period. At a minimum, you are at a new facility for 12 weeks. More realistically, 6-9 months. However, it is nearly impossible to find anyone willing to do lease terms that short. Think about it from investing, however. You know this tenant is going to have guaranteed income (and a lot of it), and I would argue that the vast majority are responsible and less likely to trash the place, as they are in a new area without the social connections to be throwing large parties at "their own" place.

So to recap, guaranteed income, responsible tenants, and you can charge a premium (as short lease convenience, similar to the way they do month-to-month renters). Only potential drawback would be with shorter lease cycles, potentially higher vacancy rates/times. However, you market and time correctly, I don't see this being an issue.

Market to: nurse staffing agencies specifically (as they often have to relay nurses to long term hotels for housing due to lack of options), hospitals in the area (hang info on staff break room boards), and RN travel websites.

As mentioned, I traveled for nearly eight years as a nurse. I also owned and operated a nurse traveling agency. I have seen the struggle for quality housing from both perspectives and genuinely believe someone could niche this market in appropriate sectors. Would be more than happy to help further if anyone became interested.

@Ori Skloot I ended up doing something else with the SFH. However, as Jonathan M. mentioned above, there does seem to be a demand for these short term rentals. Not sure if you've done this already, but I joined a couple of traveling nurse facebook groups to get an idea for how owners market their rentals and what RN's search for when renting. I was surprised to see the variety of rentals available (i.e. houses, boat houses, trailers). Also, you see some common asks, such as fully furnished housing and allowing pets.

I may revisit this idea in the future. 

@Jonathan Moomey From your experience as a traveling nurse, do you know if many RN's would consider staying in a tiny home / accessory dwelling unit? Thanks!

They absolutely would. The majority of travelers are single (or at least traveling as such). More often than not, they are wanting something small/convenient. They often travel SUPER light. The more furnishings provided, the more appeal to that demographic. You have to keep in mind, they often get stuck in an extended stay hotel. Anything is an upgrade to that. The more I type all this out, I am really thinking I should be doing some due diligence in this. LOL.

@Jonathan Moomey Not a bad idea! Please let me know if you do pursue this - would be great to hear your experience

Thanks, @Chris Mason ! @Arlen Chou also pointed me J's direction. I tried reaching out to him, but didn't get a response. I just assumed he was traveling around the world somewhere that doesn't have internet :) 

Originally posted by @Jonathan C. :

@Jonathan Moomey Not a bad idea! Please let me know if you do pursue this - would be great to hear your experience

Thanks, @Chris Mason! @Arlen Chou also pointed me J's direction. I tried reaching out to him, but didn't get a response. I just assumed he was traveling around the world somewhere that doesn't have internet :) 

 Ah, good catch. According to the book of faces, he is as of 3 days ago in El Salvador holding a painting of a duck.

I emailed a seeking nurse on CL to ask how furnished they like their stays to be. Everything was the answer. Basically an STR, down to spoons and Netflix.

What is the average premium to us, though?  Fully furnished with all utilities including wi fi and Netflix?  If a vacant long term house is $1500/mo, what are folks seeing from travelling nurses?  Thanks!

It would depend on hour market. You could easily run a little research to see what percent/how many travel nurses are being used by the local hospitals. Some hospitals only use them seasonally, others all year round. Your odds of success  obviously increase exponentially with the more hospitals in your area. Solano County CA for example, would do insanely well, as they have a ton of hospitals within an appropriate driving range (thats not including all the hospitals commutable to the bay and surrounding areas as well). 

As for the premium, thats really up to you. I know in my travels I was paying an additional 300+ a month just for the short term lease arrangement (which was still usually three months). That was on unfurnished places. The one that offered everything that I can recall was a downstairs unit of an up/down duplex. I was paying over $600/month the local rent. Nurses can get desperate. 

Originally posted by @Jonathan Moomey :

It would depend on hour market. You could easily run a little research to see what percent/how many travel nurses are being used by the local hospitals. Some hospitals only use them seasonally, others all year round. Your odds of success  obviously increase exponentially with the more hospitals in your area. Solano County CA for example, would do insanely well, as they have a ton of hospitals within an appropriate driving range (thats not including all the hospitals commutable to the bay and surrounding areas as well). 

As for the premium, thats really up to you. I know in my travels I was paying an additional 300+ a month just for the short term lease arrangement (which was still usually three months). That was on unfurnished places. The one that offered everything that I can recall was a downstairs unit of an up/down duplex. I was paying over $600/month the local rent. Nurses can get desperate. 

Ok gotcha.  Makes sense and thank you.

We do have the premier medical facilities in our whole section of the state so it could be an option.  I have 8 places that could work that rent from $900-$1000 per month normally and that I already pay w/s/g for. If the premium is 40%, it might work for me. I've reached out to HR at the hospital twice and they never emailed me back, yet the housing shortage even for regular nurses was on the front page of the paper.  #corporate apathy 

@Steve Vaughan yeah you aren’t going to get much from the hospital itself, as they bring in travelers on contract and are very hands off. The specific travel company the nurse is working for are the ones in charge of providing housing. However, it’s so difficult to find they generally offer the nurse the housing stipend and tell them to find themselves. I’m telling you though, word of mouth once inside the hospital is the secret. 

A nurse comes in on short notice, usually within 4 weeks or so. They rely heavily on asking around once in the hospital to find placement. I’m not saying this would be super easy, but I would venture it to pay off once established. 

As I look more into it, I will probably give it a shot. I have an advantage as I still work as a nurse and have numerous contacts within the travel nurse company’s I have acquired over the years. 

Originally posted by @Jonathan Moomey :

@Steve Vaughan yeah you aren’t going to get much from the hospital itself, as they bring in travelers on contract and are very hands off. The specific travel company the nurse is working for are the ones in charge of providing housing. However, it’s so difficult to find they generally offer the nurse the housing stipend and tell them to find themselves. I’m telling you though, word of mouth once inside the hospital is the secret. 

A nurse comes in on short notice, usually within 4 weeks or so. They rely heavily on asking around once in the hospital to find placement. I’m not saying this would be super easy, but I would venture it to pay off once established. 

As I look more into it, I will probably give it a shot. I have an advantage as I still work as a nurse and have numerous contacts within the travel nurse company’s I have acquired over the years. 

Thanks, Jonathan. This may not tip the effort/reward scale enough on my nap correlation index.  I'll probably just take a nap, but thank you for the food for thought! 

Hi all, I am a traveling physical therapist in the Bay Area. I think it'd be easy to have consistent travel healthcare professionals as renters. There are more than just traveling nurses out there looking for short-term housing. When I am looking for housing, I use Airbnb, FurnishedFinder, and Facebook groups mostly. 

We Airbnb our extra rooms but have thought about actually doing it for Travel Nurses because we already provide everything (beds, towels, etc.) only reason we haven't is because it's kind of nice to not have guests all the time.

@Jonathan Moomey

What kind of investing are you thinking about doing?

@Travis Rasmussen

I am looking to house hack a multi-family to get foot in the door and some momentum. Down the road, I plan on doing a vacation home in the Tahoe region (as it is close enough to self-manage). En route to that, I expect to focus primarily multi-family, however, I really think I could nail down the travel nurse (healthcare market) if an exceptional deal came along on a SFH that fit the bill. Travel nursing is a specialty of mine with a significant amount of insight and contacts, so if I could incorporate it into my new venture, that would be a double win.

Originally posted by @Chris Mason :

@J. Martin is the man to talk to about this!

 @Jonathan C. , travel nurses are happy to rent rooms to keep their costs down.
Some things that help to rent rooms are a lockable bedroom door (so they have their own locked, private space for them and their things). I recommend an electronic keypad lock w/ a code of their choice. 

Install some true black-out curtains, so they can have a dark place to sleep, regardless of what shift they work. 

Comfortable bed. Desk in room to sit and do work or laptop stuff is great, if there is room for it. 

Put it on Airbnb and post on the Gypsy Travel Nurse site on FB. 
Typical travel nurse contract is 13 weeks. So if you're targeting them specifically, you can adjust your minimum nights accordingly if that's what your looking for. You may want to start w/ 30 day min, because some search for one month at first, then book the whole stay then or later.. (if you set minimum at 12 weeks and they first search for 30 days, you won't show up in search results.)

I'm heading out to Medellin, Colombia tomorrow. But find me and tag me on FB and I'll do my best to respond! (J Thomas Martin). Best of luck Jonathan!

Hi Jonathan,

Renting to traveling nurses is actually a great way to maximize your property's earning potential.  

Here's a few reasons why:

  • Travel nurses already go through background checks and drug tests so you know you're getting a reliable tenant.
  • They get paid really well AND get a housing stipend so getting rent paid on time is never a problem.
  • The demand for travel nurses is only increasing with baby boomers retiring, so you'll always have a stream of tenants.
  • For a furnished home (or room) you generally can charge a higher premium
  • Travel nurses generally work 12 hour shifts and love to sleep as a result... no noise complaints from neighbors.
  • Their contracts are typically 13 weeks.  So they're out a lot of the time trying to enjoy your town in the short amount of time that they have = your property gets very little wear and tear.
  • Rather than reaching out to hospitals or craigslist trying to find travel nurses to rent to, I'd suggest listing your property on FurnishedFinder.com.  It's like the hub of travel nurse housing.

Hey, this is brilliant.  That said, wouldn't it, in general be the same concept as executive rentals?

We are looking hard at using Med Travelers as a house hacking strategy. My wife, daughter and son all work in hospitals so they get it.  The short term housing that the agencies use can be pretty sketchy so we can leverage clean quiet housing in a beautiful house in a great neighborhood.

My daughter is house hacking a 4 BR in Sparks NV and my son is planning on buying  a 4 BR in Phoenix.  

I think this strategy has good potential due to the reliable nature of the professionals and the growth in this field.  These days, hospitals live and die on travelers so it is a good niche to target.  Toughest part will be managing the turnover but the market is definitely there.

@Jonathan Moomey , @Daron Payne , @Alexander Ohmes - thanks for the great info! I plan to house hack my twins large room/bath here in Napa when they leave for college next year (just got SAT scores this am - they did great and no bribes required! lol!) I have lots of medical contacts, but good to know more details about what nurses are looking for (and physical therapists - didn't know they traveled too!) 

@J. Martin - hope you're loving Marrakesh as much as I did and that you made it to Le Jardin Secret today!!