I’m a Kentucky-based Airbnb ‘superhost’ who’s been renting to traveling nurses ever since the pandemic decimated my normal business


The carriage house Dana McMahan rents out to nurses

Kentucky-based Dana McMahan was worried that her Airbnb rentals would lose money during the pandemic, but discovered that renting to traveling nurses could offer a steady income while she came up with a new plan.
McMahan lowered the price of her two listings, advertised them on Facebook, and gave the property a deep sanitation before the first nurse moved in.
They were careful to check references before accepting applications, and set up electronic payments to avoid in-person contact.
Although she’d grown disenchanted with Airbnb before the pandemic, McMahan says she’s glad she decided to rent to traveling nurses, as the experience has been smooth so far.
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Like many Airbnb hosts across the country, I watched my earnings evaporate when the pandemic hit. As soon as cities started locking down, I closed the two listings I ran at the Victorian in Old Louisville my husband and I call home, canceled all incoming stays, and issued refunds to the tune of $7,000.

We rely on income from those rentals (about $30,000 a year) to keep up with the payments and upkeep on the sprawling 1887 home that we bought with the intent of Airbnb-ing from the beginning, so we couldn’t let them just sit empty indefinitely. With no way of knowing when the end would be, but not wanting to rent them out long term (and miss out if and when big events like the Kentucky Derby returned), we opted for a hybrid approach: longer short-term rentals.

To be more specific: renting to travel nurses.

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I knew not everyone was comfortable renting to frontline health workers, but both our rentals are completely self-contained spaces with their own entrances and even their own HVAC, and we have masks and gloves to use when we go in afterwards.

We’d had a bit of experience with hosting a traveling nurse here and there in our Airbnbs, but that particular guest was only ever in town for a couple of days at a time. Most travel nurses, I learned through signing up for a couple of Facebook groups where travel nurses look for housing, have contracts that last about 12 weeks.

That seemed like the optimal amount of time to have some steady income while we tried to come up with a new game plan.

It was actually something I’d considered before for our off season in the winter, when occupancy rates drop pretty …read more

Source:: Business Insider

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