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Here's Why it Pays to Position Your Vacation Home for Longer-Term Rentals Right Now

Aug 27, 2020 by Maurie Backman
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Many vacation property owners have success finding short-term renters under normal circumstances. But these aren't normal circumstances. Since March, we've had a pandemic to deal with, which has made travel a lot more difficult, and less desirable, than usual.

In fact, many vacation property owners have had no choice but to refund guests who had to cancel their travel plans earlier in the year due to quarantine constraints and safety concerns. But now, as we head past summer (which, for many property owners, is peak rental season), there's a new approach you may want to take to marketing your vacation home: a long-term rental approach.

Why it pays to target long-term renters right now

Many people have been cooped up in their homes for months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and those who are exceptionally stir crazy may be itching for a change of scenery. Enter your vacation home.

Folks who are working from home can do so from anywhere these days, so as long as your vacation property has a reliable internet connection, you can market it as an office escape of sorts. This especially works if your home features a nice view that makes remote work a lot more pleasant and has an office area with a desk and great lighting.

But it's not just restless workers you can market to. Many families have children who will be learning remotely this fall instead of returning to in-person classes. For some, that's by choice, but for others, it's the only choice, as many schools are going all virtual for the foreseeable future. Some families might, therefore, choose to pack up their things and tackle the upcoming semester from a more desirable location -- someplace that offers a more scenic setting than your traditional suburban backyard (or, later on in the year, someplace that offers a milder climate). And since remote students can learn from anywhere, there's nothing stopping families from getting that much-desired change of pace.

Finally, a lot of colleges aren't opening in person as the COVID-19 outbreak continues to pose a threat. As such, you may be able to market your home to students looking for the college housing experience they're being deprived of. Granted, you may need to prepare to ask for a larger security deposit than normal to rent to students, but it's still an avenue to pursue.

Make up for lost income

If your vacation rental hasn't been generating income for you the way it normally would, it pays to see about positioning it as a longer-term rental. Doing so also solves the quarantine issue. Some states, for example, are still requiring visitors from other states to hunker down at home for 14 days upon arrival. With a long-term rental, this becomes a lot more feasible.

All told, there are plenty of reasons to cater to long-term renters in the coming months. And even though you might make less money than you would with shorter-term stints, some rental income is better than no rental income at all.

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