A few months ago I was staying at an Airbnb overseas when the lockdown was implemented, I suddenly went from being a regular Airbnb guest to a Long Term guest. These are some of the things I learned from my own experience. I hope you find it useful 🙂
Pros and cons of LT guests:
I do have to admit, that as a long-term guest I became aware of many of the "small faults" in the place where I was staying: the screeching windows, the odd smell in the kitchen at night, the loud music the neighbors played at night. While short-term guests may not mind or even notice, keep in mind that LT guests will, if you are aware of any of these, I'd recommend acting proactively.
Since we are talking about being proactive, there are a few things a LT guest will truly appreciate, such as having a dedicated work space. The longest the guest is staying, the higher the chances that he or she will be doing some remote working. If you've had to work from home in the last few months, you'll know that there comes a moment when the kitchen table doesn't cut it any more. Having a desk, with a comfortable chair, a desk lamp, and maybe something else you decide to add, will help the guest compartmentalize while working from your Airbnb.
A fully-stocked kitchen will also make a huge difference, I know nowadays most of us have more appliances and accesories in our kitchens than we did a few years ago, but making sure to have a good strainer, a cheese grater, good knives, will make your guest's life easier since they will be cooking more at home.
These are a few of the things I barely ever find in the Airbnb's I stay in:
When it comes to the bedrooms, a few tweaks can go a long way: black-out curtains, comfortable mattress, linens, and pillows are a must, a nightstand lamp, a closet with enough hangers and drawers, and storage space to put the suitcases away.
Now, when it comes to the shower, my favorites are the ones with strong water pressure. Sometimes something as simple as changing the shower head can make a huge difference. Also, add shelving into the actual shower to store soaps, shavers, etc. The lighting in your bathroom, especially for female travelers, is super important. Make sure the mirror is bright for precision manicuring.
If you don't have a tv or flatscreen, you'll want to get one, the biggest you can afford. I love it when there's a big Smartv, that way I can just relax every now and then and watch a movie. I've been in places where there's a 32'' flat screen all the way across the room from the couch, and whilst I am not super picky, I know from experience that it is not ideal for most guests.
Be more inclusive, there's been a rise in families staying in LT rentals, and guests traveling with their pets. So, this is definitely a thing to keep in mind.
Also, think of items that families will find incredibly useful. I know from personal experience that a pack ‘n’ play is high in demand. Other items might be a stroller, toys, bottle cleaner, etc.
If you have enough room in your Airbnb, consider adding spaces, any area that can be considered a different 'setting' will give your guest the option of more places to spend their time while in your Airbnb. A simple example is: turning an armchair and a lamp into a reading nook.
Lastly, I'd like to add, some of the LT Airbnb's I've stayed in have offered weekly cleaning services, that is a great way of helping this transition to LT guests be smoother for your team!
Stunned that you would expect a host set up for short terms rentals to make substantial costly changes because you chose to continue your stay in a place not designed for a long term stay.
Most reasonable guests would have gone home to minimise the risk for spreading the virus or moved to an Airbnb or other property set up for long term rentals.
When might we expect a reply to @Debra300's query around how hosts might fund these expensive upgrades you recommend at a time when bookings are at an all time low and how they might recoup their investment when long term booking rates are way down.
Did I say I "expect" a host to accommodate me? If I did, that's not correct.
Thank you for the advice, I'll try to be more reasonable (in your eyes) next time.
Sure, let's start a brainstorm about your last point. Please, go first.
I am not the one who stated short term hosts should make these costly improvements to change their properties into long term rentals - you were @Daniel-Rusteen0
So up to you to indicate what increase in rate should they expect as a result of the changes you are stating hosts should make and how they should find them ?
Why are you expecting other hosts to provide answers for something you are advocating?
Rather than setting yourself up as some sort of Airbnb expert why not focus on addressing issues within your own listings.
Some are attracting low ratings including for value and cleanliness - you certainly aren’t including some of the amenities in your own listings which you telling hosts they should have in theirs for longer term rentals - seems a tad hypocritical 😁
You obviously do expect a host to accommodate you, based on the reviews I read that you have left for hosts. "CONS" included mentioning that the TV was old, or that there were only basic amenities, like toilet paper, soap, and towels, when there was nothing more than that offered in the first place in the listing info.
And the reviews you leave for hosts are bizarre, given that you use the reviews, which are supposed to be about the accommodation and the hosting, to promote your book and videos.
My experience may be unique. I have had 90% occupancy rate, but have still had more cancelations than reservations. I expect guest to cancel. I usually rebook within hours of the cancelation. So I don't have reservations longer than one week, as I also have flexible cancelation policy it would be harder and more stressful to rebook a month or two with a last minute cancelation. I would also get lower quality last minute guest. I'm usually booked two months out solid, but right now people are waiting to see how bad the virus will likely book two weeks in advance. People always say oh you could rent long term but that's not what I prefer right now, but could later, and after the pandemic will likely accommodate longer stays by request.
My listing is a private room+bath in my main residence and due to covid-19 I have stopped hosting completely this year. Before covid-19, I had mostly long-term stays (international exchange students) with a few shorter stays in between during school vacation months. The guest needs and expectations were usually quite different between long term vs. short term so IMO it would be up to the host to determine what they are better suited to provide and if they even WANT to host guests long-term.
A few points based on my own experience.
I don't agree about less cleaning. LT guests may do some basic cleaning up after oneself - but after a long-term stay every room/listing will require a very extensive DEEP CLEAN, and there is usually more wear&tear + potential for damage from someone who is living there vs. just visiting. Same about less consumables. It would depend on the set up and what the host agrees to provide - for my longterm guests we found it easier to provide TP/shampoo/soap for the entire stay and priced accordingly of course. I had one guest who spend most days out (at school and with friends - seemed to have a very active social life) just coming home to sleep, but surprisingly went through more TP and Kleenex than Henry and me combined.
And expecting hosts to provide guests with a fully stocked kitchen seems extreme. Even serviced residences (at least the ones I've stayed at) don't provide Tupperware or cheese graters. Furnished homes usually don't include measuring cups, strainers or aluminum foil. I honestly think it's ridiculous to expect an Airbnb host to provide all this...... of course unless one is willing to PAY for the convenience of having the host provide all these extras, which would probably make an Airbnb way more expensive than a serviced residence or furnished home.
Regarding the TV, I personally never felt the need for one and so I didn't have one before hosting..... and have no intention of providing one for guests. Everyone has their own laptop, ipad, e-book, cell phone these days - I don't see why anyone would expect me to provide them with yet another screen. Plus, I don't want to attract the type of guests who intend to stay home all day sprawled in front of the TV, so I guess not having a TV is a bit of a strategic move from my end.
As a host who started out as a guest user, I always thought that the beauty of Airbnb is that hosts can decide what they can/can't provide - as long as it is clearly stated upfront in the listing description. And it is up to the guest to look for and choose a listing that meets their specific needs. Each listing is different and unique just as each guest has different needs and expectations - so finding a good match is key.
I understand your viewpoint, but I do think that the comment, "Plus, I don't want to attract the type of guests who intend to stay home all day sprawled in front of the TV, so I guess not having a TV is a bit of a strategic move from my end." is more pertinent during non-pandemic times. The OP started this conversation, because a short-term stay morphed into a long-term stay due to a lockdown. In those situations, many people have little choice but to stay home all day. I don't know if they're watching TV all day, but probably a great deal of them are on their laptops or phones.
I totally 100% agree that guests need to find and choose properties that will fit their needs. If a current Airbnb location won't suffice for a long-term stay, it's the guests responsibility to search for another accommodation. The onus isn't on the host to modify their space for a type of guest that they weren't marketing for.
With long term rentals I am running into the problems of trash removal and mail or post office box rental. Plus package delivery and guests who fail to change their shipping addresses . I pay my cleaner to go in and clean and check out the place , but storm Windows and screens have been a problem.