Long stays in the short-term rental industry seem to become a new trend in 2023. Longer stays are becoming increasingly popular among travellers, so 28+ nights bookings made up 21% of total nights booked at Airbnb and remained stable during the year 2022.
This shift in guest behaviour presents an opportunity for holiday rental hosts to capitalize on this growing demand by offering their properties as extended stay options.
In this article, we will explore how vacation rental hosts can adopt the long-term rental strategy to their business and gain additional exposure to OTAs.
How monthly stays fit into the host’s Airbnb strategy
Monthly stays on OTAs like Airbnb deserve closer attention from all property managers as this is a ‘new normal’ after-pandemic trend. In the past, monthly stays were only offered by a few property managers. Today, however, the working nomad culture and economic climate as a whole have caused an increased need for long-term accommodations.
Even if you own a non-apartment type of property monthly stays can benefit you in several ways:
- Offering long stays through Airbnb is a great way for hosts to maximize the occupancy of their rental property, especially in the low season. This can become critical in times of growing rent prices while guests cancel their trips or choose a closer or cheaper accommodation.
- Changing to a Monthly stay model can help reduce operational costs for the apartment’s maintenance (cleaning and concierge services). You just don’t need to send a cleaning person to the property after every week’s booking. You don’t need to do a lot of laundry or introduce travellers to the property.
Property managers can also benefit from exposure to alternative types of guests, such as people looking for remote working accommodation. This market has been growing immensely since Covid.
This may be a great way of boosting Airbnb presence for first-time hosts, as well as those listings that have not yet acquired reviews or do not have enough visibility.
Airbnb long-term cancellation policies
According to Airbnb rules, hosts can benefit by choosing specific Airbnb cancellation policies for longer stays (28 nights or more), namely the:
- Strict long-term policy, and
- Firm long-term policy
The strict long-term and firm long-term policies apply to all bookings of 28 days or longer and override the standard cancellation policy for those stays. They offer greater protection against cancellations and provide a longer booking commitment from guests.
With these policies, guests must cancel at least 28 or 30 days before check-in to receive a full refund. If a guest cancels after that, the host will be paid for all nights spent, plus 30 additional nights, even if the reservation was non-refundable. Hosts may also choose to offer an additional refund.
Long-term payouts are beneficial for hosts
Airbnb offers monthly payouts for all long-term reservations, easing the stress and uncertainty that comes with managing multiple payments over extended periods.
The payments start 24 hours after check-in and are released monthly. New hosts’ payouts may be held for 30 days after their first reservation.
As a property manager, you have the opportunity to receive your payment even earlier with Your.Rentals. We individually qualify each host so that you can become eligible for Advance Payout, which allows hosts to receive their payment 7 days before check-in.
Prerequisites for Longer Stay at Airbnb
Every property can get a chance to be listed in the search results page for the long-term stays (28 nights or more) at Airbnb. The listing’s requirements to be introduced on Airbnb’s ‘Monthly Stays’ category are:
- Availability: at least 28 days.
- 15% discount on long-stay bookings. Your personal preference could be varying discount rates depending on the length of the stay, but to be eligible for the Airbnb Long-Stay category the listing should be available with a 15% discount.
- Amenity: fully equipped kitchen.
- Amenity: Wi-Fi.
- Extra amenities: it’s good to have a bathroom, bedroom, dedicated workspace and features like air conditioning that enhance the guest experience.
Kitchen and Wifi are must-have amenities for long-term rentals at Airbnb.
Steps to get your listings eligible for the Longer Stay program at Airbnb
First of all, decide which listings are eligible for the program. If your kitchen is just a corner or you don’t have enough cookware, then Airbnb Long Stay may not be the best option for these listings.
Next, you need to adjust your listings’ availability and set at least a 15% discount.
If you use Your.Rentals channel manager, first check if you have Seasonal rates applied for the desired period.
Case 1. Seasonal rates exist on your listing:
- Click to Edit your listing.
- Go to Seasonal rates > Edit season > Maximum Stay and adjust the Maximum days to 28 or more.
- In the Seasonal rates section tick On “Allow combination with Longer stay discounts”. This way you will allow the longer stay discounts to be applied over your Seasonal rates.
- Go to Discounts > Add longer stay rules and set a minimum of 15% in the ’28 nights or more’ field.
Case 2. No Seasonal rates on the listing:
- Click to Edit your listing.
- Go to Basic rates > Maximum Stay and change to 28 days or more.
- Go to Discounts > Add longer stay rules and set a minimum of 15% for the ’28 nights or more’ field.
Beware that if your seasonal rate(s) is used with other listings – their availability will also change. It could be a good idea to create a new Seasonal rate that will work with your Longer stay listings.
Long-term stay night Limits in London, Amsterdam, and Paris
If you are doing Airbnb in one of these cities – London, Amsterdam, and Paris – be aware of the maximum night limits for which you can rent out properties during the year.
90 days Airbnb rule in London
- Entire home listings on Airbnb are restricted to a maximum of 90 nights per year by default.
- You can only rent out your properties as temporary accommodation for a maximum of 90 nights in a calendar year in the Greater London Area. Make sure to contact your local planning authorities to confirm if you’re permitted to offer short-term rentals in your region, as certain places have special conditions to the 90-night rule.
- You can apply for planning permission at your local council which might allow you to rent out your property for more than 90 nights a year.
- If you get permission to host beyond the annual limit, you can request an exemption from the restriction on Airbnb as well.
Maximum night limit in Amsterdam
- You can only rent out your entire home for a maximum of 30 nights per year.
- If you have permission to host beyond the annual limit you have the option to request an exemption on Airbnb.
Maximum night limit in Paris
- You can only rent out your primary residence to a maximum limit of 120 days annually.
Different rules apply to secondary residences and non-residential spaces, you can find the rule that applies to your situation at Airbnb’s help centre.
How to start long-term rent on Airbnb?
If you are ready to go long-term with some of your listings, we’ve got some more insights for you.
1. Know your niche: guests who favour longer stays
- Since Covid more people are working remotely, and the trend goes that this number will only increase in the future.
- 55% of long-term rental guests reported they were engaging in work or studies during their stay.
- In 2021, 28% of the guests whose stay exceeded 28 nights were seniors (aged between 60 and 90) and 25% of the guests were between the ages of 18 and 24.
- According to Booking.com studies, guests often combine business trips with personal travel, making the most of their time abroad. They usually travel with their partners and children, solo travellers are rare.
- Longer stays are more likely to be international.
- Apart from reliable WiFi and a kitchen long-term business travellers value: natural light around the workspace, washing machines, and micro ovens.
- Couples and families tend to book in advance, while guests who travel alone often book longer stays last minute.
- Business travellers prefer flexible cancellation policies, which allow them to extend their stay last minute.
- Pricing your vacation rental property based on occupancy could attract last-minute long-term bookings.
2. Create a welcoming environment
To make your property more appealing for longer stays, consider creating a guidebook for your guests filled with helpful tips to make their day-to-day life more comfortable.
Tips such as best grocery stores, places to exercise, places worth visiting with family, parks, upcoming local events that might be interesting, etc. This will make your guest feel more welcomed and more at home.
One way to ensure all your guests receive the necessary information is to include it on your vacation rentals website. You can then provide a QR code with the website address somewhere in the apartment. Don’t forget to link to a listing’s review page closer to the end of the stay.
If you don’t have a website, we can help you build one including all your listings for the price of monthly hosting.
How to join Airbnb Long-term stay category
You will be eligible for Airbnb’s longer stay category if you meet the prerequisites mentioned above. However, Airbnb cannot guarantee that a specific listing will appear in the search results for long-term stays.
If you want to try Airbnb’s Long-term Stay offering but don’t have qualifying listings, the easiest way to start is to sign up with Your.Rentals (which is free). Our Business support team will guide you towards making your listings suitable for long-term rentals.
As an airbnb host myself, this had some excellent content! Especially the part about creating a welcoming enviroment. I find that travelers need a welcoming place to call home during their stay and it is the best marketing you can invest int