How to prepare for long term guests

Dear hosts, let's talk about long-term guests. These longer-term guests have different needs, expectations, and your short term rental needs to be ready for it. In today's episode, we talk all about How to Prepare Your Airbnb for Long-Term Guests with Michelle Himden from Cityamy.

Please Note:

I'm not talking about someone who is a long-term tenant staying for a year. When you host that type of long-term tenant, you usually don't need to provide a furnished apartment. No, I'm talking now about guests who come to your town for a work or study project, a  travel nurse, or a grandparent visiting a new grandchild. 

In many places, guests are staying longer than the usual four days or even 10 days. Remember when you had a 10-day reservation and you thought, “Wow — that is a long time for a guest!” Now, it's 15 days, or in my case 30-days or more.

Why long-term stays:

Because of all the changes during this COVID time, a lot of folks are working and studying remotely. People want to do it in different countries, learn a new language, or have a new experience. 

One inquiry I had from a medical student was “Hey, I always wanted to learn Spanish so I want to go to Puerto Rico. I'll be studying during the day. Can I stay at your place?” I’ll let you know what went through my head.

How to Prepare Your Airbnb for Long-Term Guests

I talked with Michelle Himden, founder of Cityami. 

Cityami is a short term rental management and consulting company. Whether you’re looking to launch your first short term rental, convert from a boutique hotel to an apartment hotel, or simply optimize your earning potential, Cityami has it covered. Their clients are primarily real estate investors interested in non-traditional management.

Michelle’s New York clients transitioned from tourists to longer-term guests when Airbnb made a deal with New York City. 

If you want to find out about New York legalities you can listen to  Episode 109 Airbnb & NY 2020 New Law Update w/Brandon Mckenzie where Brandon and I go deep about this important issue.

But before you go, lend me your ears and learn How to Prepare Your Airbnb for Long-Term Guests where  Michelle and I discuss:

  • How to manage guests expectations before they arrive
  • Offering additional cleaning services 
  • No cleaning service, additional security deposits 
  • How to set-up your space for your long-term guest
  • Utility bills for those monthly stays
  • Pest control issues: How to prevent them and how to manage them.
  • Direct bookings versus Airbnb 
  • Pricing for monthly stays
  • and much more.

This episode is full of valuable information to help you welcome your brand new monthly guests. 

Evelyn: 13:17 I asked you Natalie, to come onto the Hosting Journey one more time, besides that everybody loves your episode.

Natalie: 13:25 Oh, that's so great.
Evelyn: 13:26 I know! Did you see that? from that host who was like, “Oh no, that was one of my favorites” So, but that wasn't it. I'm actually going to do a whole podcast episode all about the Instagram challenge. I'm hoping for it to come out today's Thursday. So I'm going to record it either today or tomorrow for it to come out by this weekend. So people can start this for Wednesdays. Tell us.
Natalie: 13:55 Yes, you know, what we've been getting so many DMS of people — host! thanking us for putting it together. Because it really is not only fun, but it also gives you so much direction in what to do for your social media. Yes, yes.
Evelyn: 14:15 Yeah! Yeah, because we don't, we don't do much on social media for Instagram, especially because we're like, “Well, what do I post about what do I write?” So this is great. And I love it that now this time around you guys decided to do it as like a weekly assignment and not a daily thing, because that was intense.
Natalie: 14:32 Yeah. That's what we got to. That's what we got. We got that. It was pretty intense, you know, 10 days in a row, especially if you're a host that doesn't post, you know, even the day or two days in a row. But, I think that was just a test to see if people would respond if people would participate, and we got a huge, “YES!” So, we figured this could be really fun if we finish it off the rest of the year,. There's 22 weeks left in the year. If we do 22 prompts, you know. Hosts will have seven days to post that theme to picture. I think seven days is enough time. Yes. And then, on Wednesdays, we can get nine Co-host that can share these pictures on their accounts. And that's how it gains a little bit more exposure to those smaller accounts or there's so many Airbnbs that I discovered every day. Stays that are out there that you just don't know.
Evelyn: 15:36 Yeah. And I think individually, we could also promote. Look, I'm not part of you guys host collective and I'm promoting this event.
Natalie: 15:47 Yeah, we are like open and we want to invite anybody who wants to participate and jump on. It doesn't have to be starting this Wednesday. If you want to jump in on just one theme, do it! Go ahead and post your picture participate. And we will definitely share that picture to other hosts.
Evelyn: 16:10 Yes. Thank you so much. So let's talk about how was it that this whole started? What made you guys like, how did you girls? Oh, I imagine it's all women, right? was there?
Natalie: 16:22 No. Okay. So it's kind funny how it started.
Evelyn: 16:25 I went to old nine accounts. I've written all about the old nine accounts. We don't have to mention them now because I'm going to mention them on the, on this episode. But, I saw that they were all women.
Natalie: 16:37 You know, that was not on purpose because I was the one who actually had this idea for a while. I follow a farming challenge. So I followed and I participated in a, I think it was like a March month. It was a whole month of photo ideas and prompts for homestead and farming. And, I was just thinking, how can I work out the social media for my actual business, my Airbnb. And I thought, what if I take the same concept of this calendar of 31 days for farming. I can do it for hosting. And I thought it'll help me because there are days when I go through dry spells and not posting. And it's not because I don't have pictures and it's not because I don't have content it's because I don't know how to organize it and put it together where it makes sense. And I always feel like, “Ooh, what if I put it out there? And nobody really cares for this information”. So I thought, why don't I make up this calendar a challenge where I put a hashtag together and invite other cohost that would want to participate. And then at the end of the day, we can show those pictures on our stories and to speak to them. And so that's kind of where the idea came from. It originated from a homesteading farming challenge that I did. And I just started reaching out. I reached out first to Diana from the Rock Ridge Caseta, and she's just always been a very inspiring host to me. And right off the bat, she said, “Yes, let's do it!” So I felt, “Wow, okay, this, this could be really good”. And then I reached out to Kenzie from our social space. And again, she's amazing, if you see her count, she actually already gives host prompts, picture prompts. You know, she tells them do this post this, and that's where it all came together. The three of us. And then we just started reaching out to the other accounts that we enjoyed and wanted to see if they were part of it. So the original nine is from hosts that we knew closely on Instagram or related closely on Instagram. That's how we formed all nine. And some of them, I got to meet during this challenge. I didn't know about for example, the Wilson house. So that's how it started! I put together this calendar, we make the list of prompts and we said, “Let's just do it”. It took us about a week for us to put it together and put it out there.
Evelyn: 19:29 And it's a lot of work. I know, I, I know this is work. People don't realize, because you guys not only do you have to do the challenge and do the questions and everything else, but you guys are also scouting through the Instagram and then you feature people.
Natalie: 19:47 Well, it was working in the sense that I asked each co-host. One of the rules obviously was that we were going to, at the end of the day feature, the pictures that were uploaded through the hashtag. And so for 10 days they separated about an hour. It was really more like two hours to go through the pictures and repost them on the story, read the captions, engage with the host. And so they did do that. They, separated those two hours at the end of each day. And for that, we're so grateful that they were willing to do that.
Evelyn: 20:24 Yes, I think it's great. So I want to say, thank you. Thank you, Natalie, for taking the initiative because it's about community and engagement and one of the things that that hosts sometimes think about is like, “Oh, but it's competition and there's enough for all of us”.
Natalie: 20:46 No, and I set up from the beginning. It is not about competition. It is about community always. Because there is space for everybody. Everybody has a different stay, a different kind of stay. And I think we all realized through this competition that we have the same photo prompt, but we are so unique and creative in our own styles that we create completely different posts around that one prompt. Yes. And so I think that's what motivated other hosts to say, Oh, I can appreciate and value, what this other host is doing. And that's the same time feel great about my space. So it's not like the grass is greener on the other side, but it's “Wow, your place is amazing. Mine is too, this is, this is great! We can engage with each other without feeling competitive”.
Evelyn: 21:38 Yes. Well, and not only that, but also like what we also have to remember is like, there are 30 days in the calendar. Once you're booked, you're booked! Right? All the many places. And you know, for me, it's like, it's great to know, like this, I could recommend Lacasita in the desert. I could recommend all the places, you know, dissolve back as in Atlanta with Decatur. So, there's different places in different hosts that I could recommend and say, “Oh yeah, no, if you're thinking about going here, this is other ones”. Or even in Puerto Rico, there's some hosts that I follow that I'm like, “Oh, Hey, my space is not perfect for you, but go here”.
Natalie: 22:20 Totally. We actually did have for example, I had a friend who's traveling to Lake Tahoe and she asked me “Do you know, anybody from Lake Tahoe” Well, through the challenge I met about six or seven different Tahoe stays. And I just went on their accounts and I started tagging her, dropping her in their accounts. This is a great place! And that was the host turned to reach out and engage with that potential client. That potential stay.
Evelyn: 22:48 Yeah, exactly! So dear host, Natalie, the host challenge on Instagram, I hope to see you there. And you know, this is the episode, just all about — this is not an Instagram strategy episode. It's all about this challenge. Anything else that you want to say, Natalie?
Natalie: 23:08 I would just encourage anybody who sometimes feels adding lost with social media. It's such a huge engine to drive. If you ever feel like you're all over the place, then just join us! We have been putting together this calendar for the rest of the year where you know exactly what to post and not only that, but you will have other hosts engage with your content. And if you're not familiar with the algorithm of Instagram, the more engagement, the more exposure you get in front of the eyes of potential clients, that's just how it works. It's a community. And like Evelyn said, it is, it is community over competition. We're lifting each other up. That is the sole purpose of the host collaborative hashtag.
Evelyn: 23:57 Yes. Perfect. Thank you so much, Natalie.

Natalie: 24:00 Yeah, you're very welcome.

Remember, we’re not alone, we’re a community of hosts and it’s great to learn from all of us.

Get the Ultimate Room-to-Room Checklist

Get the Ultimate Room-to-Room Checklist

We hate SPAM and promise to keep your email address safe. 

You have Successfully Subscribed!