As we near the end of 2023, the landscape of the Florida rental market has changed, and will continue to change immensely. One of the prominent changes entering 2024 is the conversion of short-term rental properties into long-term rental properties in Tampa Bay.
There are various reasons why you may want to convert your Tampa short-term rental into a long-term rental. Long-term rentals can provide more financial stability and less time commitment than short-term rentals—two enticing aspects for those seeking a passive income.
As experienced Tampa property managers, we often encourage the conversion of short-term rentals into long-term rentals. Here are five important steps to take when doing so:
Stop Taking Bookings/Cancel Future Bookings
Prior to converting your short-term rental into a long-term rental, the first thing you want to do is check your bookings. Although it may cause an inconvenience for anyone that has already scheduled a short-term booking, you will have to cancel if you wish to immediately convert to a long-term rental.
In addition, be sure to take your property off of AirBnB or VRBO to avoid any further conflicting scheduling. Issuing refunds will depend on your refund policy, however, we would suggest issuing a refund to those affected by the conversion of your property and handle the situation ethically and considerately.
An alternative is to close out the option to book and convert your property to a long-term rental once all existing bookings are completed. This may prolong the process but will help avoid any conflict regarding refunds.
Hire a Professional Long-Term Tampa Property Manager
If you’re currently working with a vacation rental property manager, you’ll want to consider switching to a long-term rental property management company. Vacation rental managers specialize in the short-term rental process which highly differs from the long-term rental process. Each type of property manager has a certain set of responsibilities and expertise; it is essential to work with the right property manager in order to maximize your profits and ensure the smooth operation of your long-term rental property.
Vacation rental managers focus on attracting guests for short stays. With a long-term rental property, one of the most important steps is finding a reliable long-term tenant. Long-term rental property managers possess extensive experience in screening potential tenants to ensure they are a good fit for the property. At The Listing Real Estate Management, this process includes checking credit history, debt to income ratio, nationwide eviction search, background check, income and employment verification, and previous two years rental verification.
The difference between short-term and long-term tenants is significant. Short-term guests may not treat your house as their home. If guests are only staying for a short period of time, keeping your house clean and taken care of is not a top priority for them. Since short-term guests are not permanent tenants, there is little to no screening process involved when booking the property for a stay. In a long-term rental, this will not fly.
In addition, long-term rental property managers specialize in essential processes like lease agreements and collecting rent. Vacation rental managers also may not be properly educated on legal processes such as evictions, which can possibly occur in a long-term rental. Although evictions are not common, it is important to ensure you’re working with a professional who is trained in all of the legal areas of property management possible in case of conflict.
Address the Mess
Chances are, your vacation rental is fully furnished. Although short-term guests will seek out fully furnished rentals, furnishings may actually prolong the process of finding a long-term tenant.
An important aspect to consider is whether or not your investment will stay a long-term rental or if you intend to eventually convert it back to a short-term rental. If you intend to keep it a long-term rental, your best option is to remove all furnishings—the vast majority of long-term tenants have their own furniture, beds, kitchen items, towels, linens, etc. Fully furnished rentals typically take up to 60 days longer to rent than unfurnished rentals as tenants typically prefer to bring their own items into the home.
In addition to possibly prolonging the rental process, your vacation home furniture will go through more wear and tear if it is used by long-term renters. If your plan is to return to short-term renting after a year or two, consider the fact that your furniture will not be in the same condition as it was prior.
We highly recommend removing furniture to accelerate the rental process and to avoid years of wear and tear.
Secure and Rekey Your Tampa Rental Property
In today’s world, many vacation rental properties have smart locks and or lockbox combinations with keys instead of an old fashioned lock and key. Although modern smart locks or lockbox combinations are convenient and efficient for vacation rentals, we strongly advise property owners to use a lock and key with a deadbolt as you convert your property into a long-term rental. A lock and key will present fewer problems and will help avoid technology malfunctions throughout the duration of the lease. Smart locks can be easy and convenient but we all know technology is not 100% reliable.
If your property already has a lock and key, you will still need to rekey your property. When new tenants enter your property, it is essential that no previous tenants possess any keys that will allow them to enter. Although your past tenants may not seem to pose a threat, it is an important safety precaution to ensure no one else has access to the house besides you and the current tenant.
Market Your Tampa Rental Property
Once you’ve decided to convert your short-term rental into a long-term rental, your property will no longer be listed on AirBnB or VRBO. A similarity shared between short-term rentals and long-term rentals is the importance of marketing your property. The difference is that with a long-term rental you’ll be marketing your property on rental property websites like Zillow, Trulia, Rent.com, etc, instead of AirBnB or VRBO.
Your online listing will be the first impression potential tenants have of your property. With that in mind, you want to present your property in an enticing way. Make sure you are posting high quality pictures and videos along with a detailed and accurate property description. Although you want your property to come off as enticing, it’s important not to lie about any aspects of your property.
Tampa Property Management Summary
Converting your short-term vacation rental into a long-term rental property will be a prosperous and wise decision. With the help of an experienced property manager, your rental property will thrive, and earning a passive income will be easy.
Hiring a Tampa property management company can be highly beneficial, alleviate the stress of owning and renting your property, and provide you with best-in-class management services. Your property must be in the hands of a property manager who is trustworthy, transparent, and will put your needs first. Your property manager should be authentic, detail-oriented, and excel and take pride in each property they manage.
If you are interested in learning more about converting your Tampa Airbnb, VRBO, or Short-term vacation rental property into a long-term rental property, please reach out to The Listing Real Estate Management. We are the top choice for Tampa property management, here to help in any way we can!
Contact us, The Listing Real Estate Management, to learn more about our Tampa property management services. At The Listing Real Estate Management, we’re your boutique property management company, here as a resource to you and your rental property.
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