Transforming Your Long-Term Rental into a Short-Term Rental: Strategies to Maximize ROI

July 10, 2024

Introduction: Why Consider Converting to a Short-Term Rental?

Hey Flipsters! Ever wondered if you’re maximizing the return on your rental property? Converting your long-term rental into a short-term gem may just be the investment game-changer you’re looking for! Let's dive into the benefits and see why this might be the perfect strategy for you.

Higher Income Potential:

  • Higher Nightly Rates: Short-term rentals generally command higher nightly rates compared to the monthly rate of a long-term rental. Long-term rentals are good for stability but short-term rentals can often generate more income per month.
  • Flexibility with Pricing: You can adjust your rates based on demand, charging more during peak seasons or local events. This flexibility allows you to maximize your earnings.


  • Personal Use: With a short-term rental, you have the option to block off dates for personal use. This is perfect if you want to enjoy your property occasionally or offer it to friends and family.
  • Adapt to Market Changes: If market conditions change, you can switch back to a long-term rental or even sell the property more easily compared to having a long-term tenant in place.

Lower Risk of Bad Tenants:

  • Frequent Turnover: With short-term rentals, guests stay for shorter periods, reducing the risk of having a problematic tenant for an extended time.
  • Review System: Platforms like Airbnb have a review system where both guests and hosts can leave feedback. This helps ensure that guests are on their best behavior.

By considering these points, it's clear that converting your long-term rental into a short-term rental can open up a world of opportunities.

Financial Benefits: Boosting Your Rental Income

Let's talk money! The financial benefits of switching to a short-term rental can be off the charts. Here’s a breakdown:

Comparative Income Analysis:

  • Filling Gaps with Last-Minute Bookings: Use last-minute discounts to fill vacancies and ensure a steady income stream. Even if you lower the price slightly, it’s better than leaving nights unbooked.
  • Income Flexibility: Adjust your rates according to demand, such as weekends, holidays, or local events. This dynamic pricing can significantly boost your income compared to the fixed rate of a long-term lease.

Pricing and Listing:

  • Competitive Pricing: Research similar listings in your area to set competitive rates. Look at properties with similar size, location, and amenities to determine your pricing strategy.
    • Weekday vs. Weekend Rates: Adjust rates based on demand fluctuations.
    • Peak Season Pricing: Increase rates during holidays, festivals, and peak travel seasons.
  • Optimize Your Listing: Write a captivating description, use high-quality photos, and highlight unique selling points.
    • Photos: Invest in professional photography to showcase your property in the best light.
    • Description: Write a detailed and engaging description that highlights your property’s best features and nearby attractions.
    • Guest Reviews: Encourage guests to leave positive reviews to build credibility and attract more bookings.
  • Maximizing High-Demand Periods: Charge higher rates during holidays, festivals, or major local events. People are often willing to pay a premium for convenient and comfortable accommodations during these times.
  • Dynamic Pricing Tools: Utilize dynamic pricing tools that automatically adjust your rates based on market demand, occupancy, and competitor rates. This ensures you’re always optimizing your income.
  • Special Offers and Discounts: During off-peak seasons, attract guests with special offers, such as discounted rates for longer stays or bundled deals (e.g., a discount on a week-long stay).
  • Pet Fees: If you allow pets, charge an additional fee for guests bringing their furry friends. This can cover potential additional cleaning and maintenance.
  • Extra Guest Fees: If your property can accommodate more guests than your standard rate, charge an additional fee for extra guests beyond a certain number.

Tax Advantages:

  • Deductions: Short-term rentals often come with a variety of deductible expenses, such as property management fees, maintenance, utilities, and supplies. These deductions can significantly lower your taxable income.
  • Depreciation: You can also depreciate the value of your property over time, providing another tax benefit.
  • Professional Advice: Consult with a tax professional to ensure you’re taking full advantage of all the available deductions and benefits.
Photo Credit: AIRDNA

Practical Steps: Let's Turn That Long-Term Rental into a Short-Term Gem!

Let’s dive into the practical steps to make this transformation smooth and successful.

Assess Your Property's Potential:

  • Location, Location, Location: Consider whether your property is in a desirable area for tourists or business travelers. Proximity to attractions, downtown areas, and transportation hubs can boost your property’s appeal.
  • Unique Features: Highlight any unique attributes your property has, such as a great view, a pool, or distinctive decor. These can set your rental apart from others in the area.
  • Guest Demand: Research the demand for short-term rentals in your area. Check out local listings on Airbnb or VRBO to see how similar properties are performing.

Legal Considerations and Permits:

  • Local Regulations: Research your local regulations regarding short-term rentals. Some areas have restrictions or require specific permits and licenses.
  • Homeowners Association (HOA) Rules: If your property is in a community with an HOA, check their rules on short-term rentals to ensure compliance.
  • Insurance: Update your insurance policy to cover short-term rental activities. This may include additional liability coverage to protect against guest-related incidents.

Setting Up Your Property:

  • Furnishing: Invest in comfortable and stylish furniture. Think about cozy beds, chic sofas, and functional dining areas. You don’t have to break the bank, but quality pieces can make a big difference.
    • Living Room: Comfortable seating, a coffee table, and a TV.
    • Bedrooms: Comfortable beds with quality linens, bedside tables, and good lighting.
    • Kitchen: Fully equipped with utensils, cookware, and modern appliances.
  • Amenities: Provide essentials like Wi-Fi, toiletries, and kitchen supplies. Extras such as a coffee maker, streaming services, and a washer/dryer can make your property more attractive.
    • Bathroom: Stock with towels, toiletries, and a hairdryer.
    • Tech: High-speed internet, smart TV, and keyless entry.
    • Extras: Coffee and tea supplies, board games, and local guidebooks.
  • Decor: Create an inviting atmosphere with thoughtful decor. Feature walls, trendy art, and vibrant accents can make your property stand out.
    • Art and Accents: Use local art or themed decor to add personality.
    • Lighting: Ensure plenty of natural light and add lamps for a cozy ambiance.
    • Outdoor Space: If available, furnish with comfortable seating or a dining area.

Managing Your Short-Term Rental: Best Practices to Keep Things Smooth

Managing a short-term rental might seem daunting, but we've got you covered with some pro tips to keep things running smoothly and ensure your guests have an unforgettable stay.

Tools and Automation:

  • Property Management Software: Utilize property management software like Hostaway or Tokeet to handle bookings, guest communication, and payments. These tools can save you time and streamline operations.
  • Smart Home Technology: Invest in smart locks for keyless entry, smart thermostats for energy efficiency, and security cameras for added safety. Automating these aspects can enhance guest experience and reduce your workload.
  • Automated Messaging: Set up automated messages to communicate with guests before check-in, during their stay, and after check-out. This ensures timely communication and helps address common questions
    • Check-in Instructions: Send detailed check-in instructions a day before arrival.
    • Welcome Message: Welcome guests with a friendly message and provide essential information.
    • Check-out Reminder: Remind guests of check-out time and procedures.

Guest Communication:

  • Prompt Responses: Respond promptly to guest inquiries and messages. Quick and friendly communication can lead to positive reviews and repeat bookings.
  • Welcome Guide: Create a comprehensive welcome guide that includes house rules, Wi-Fi information, local attractions, restaurant recommendations, and emergency contact numbers. This can be provided digitally or as a printed booklet.
  • Personal Touches: Personalize your communication to make guests feel valued. A simple welcome note or a small gift can go a long way in creating a memorable experience.

Maintenance and Upkeep:

  • Regular Cleanings: Schedule professional cleanings after each guest checks out to ensure the property is always in top condition. Cleanliness is a top priority for guests and can significantly impact your reviews.
  • Routine Inspections: Conduct routine inspections to identify and address any maintenance issues promptly. This can prevent small problems from becoming larger, costly repairs.
  • Stock Supplies: Keep an inventory of essential supplies like toiletries, cleaning products, and spare linens. This ensures you’re always prepared for the next guest.
  • Emergency Contacts: Have a list of reliable service providers for plumbing, electrical, and general maintenance issues. Quick access to these contacts can help resolve issues swiftly and keep guests happy.
Photo Credit: Tokeet


Turning your long-term rental into a short-term gem can unlock incredible financial benefits, boost your ROI, and offer greater flexibility. With the right strategies—from design improvements to dynamic pricing—you can maximize your rental income and create an unforgettable guest experience. And if you're excited about diving into the world of house flipping but want the support of a seasoned team, look no further than Homemade. At Homemade, we provide a turnkey house flipping service that guides you through every step of the journey. Our team will deliver investment-grade properties, help design your project to maximize ROI, oversee renovations, and connect you with a network of trusted service providers. Whether you’re selling, flipping, or holding as a rental, we’ll be with you every step of the way. And if you're ready to flip your own house with the support of a professional team, head over to to learn more and apply to work with us. Let's make your flipping dreams a reality!

Don't miss out on the full episode where we dive deeper into these tips and tricks. Watch it on YouTube and see how we bring these strategies to life. 

Lincoln is Co-Founder & CEO of Homemade. He lives in Austin, TX and is one of the faces of the "Austin Flipsters".
Lincoln Edwards
Co-Founder & CEO

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