Short-Term Units are Transforming into Long-Term Rentals: Here’s What Real Estate Agents Need to Know


Owning a short term rental during a global health crisis is tough. With stay-at-home orders halting hospitality and states barring short-term rentals from accepting tenants, short-term rental owners are stuck with empty units and tough choices. Owners must now decide if they should close for business entirely, keep their units open and their fingers crossed for a speedy recovery, or pivot their business models and change to long-term rentals.

Transforming short-term vacation rentals into long-term rentals is a great choice for owners who want to see their properties filled and try to keep cash-flow positive during these turbulent economic times. Scrolls down to see why real estate agents should care about this change in the real estate industry, and why long-term rentals are becoming more popular with consumers and landlords. 

Why are Short Term Owners Opting to Change Their Units to Long-Term Rentals?

The rental market is largely resistant to the dramatic peaks and troughs that the housing market experiences, and the COVID-19-induced economic crisis is no exception. While the housing market has suffered serious inventory shortages and price reductions, the rental market has remained relatively strong. Leasing transactions—with fewer steps involved than home sales transactions— lend themselves well to digitization, and real estate agents are developing their tech skills quickly to help their clients find the right home for the right price.

“Right now, there’s a lot of fear and uncertainty,” Rental Beast Founder and CEO Ishay Grinberg says. “During these times, Americans need the flexibility and affordability of rentals.”

At Rental Beast, we maintain the nation’s largest database of rental listings and syndicate our rental properties to high-traffic search portals, including Facebook Marketplace, and We’ve been monitoring the inbound leads, and have noticed a significant increase in lead quality. Their message is clear—renters are still serious about moving and are ready for a real estate agent’s help.

Why Should Agents Care About Long-Term Rentals?

Higher Commissions


This public health crisis has reminded us of an important real estate truth: agents are integral parts of their communities. Real estate agents work tirelessly to find their clients the right home and work with property owners to get leases signed and renters into homes!

Your hard-work doesn’t go unnoticed, and short-term rental owners are eager to work with agents. “We’re looking at a difficult economic future right now, and we have seen rentals provide real estate agents with a solid stream of income,” Grinberg says.

Rental Beast is closely monitoring this situation and we’ve seen an increase in property owners and landlords offering high price commissions to agents with clients ready to rent, and significant concessions to clients. 

Real estate agents can take time to connect with property owners and managers, and ask them if they’ve decided to adapt their short term rentals for long-term stays. Think local, too. Do you know an AirBnB owner struggling with lack of demand? Let them know the potential benefits of transforming their short-term stays into long-term rentals. And, let them know you’re a real estate agent with a sphere of influence and you’d be happy to help them find a long-term tenant.

When you talk with your clients, let them know that you’ll be happy to get them into a home when they’re ready.

More Inventory and Higher Concessions for Renters

The shift from short term rentals to long-term rentals signals an significant increase in available rental inventory, meaning more homes to show to hopeful clients. And, good news for hopeful renters: concessions are high. Many owners offer free months, and many former short-term rentals set up for vacationers will come already furnished and cleaned—a big bonus for clients looking to move quickly and waste no time purchasing new furniture sets. Ask the property owner and be ready to communicate this with your client. 

What Can Real Estate Agents Do Right Now?

Get ready to take advantage of new inventory and find your client a home that they’ll love—Real estate agents can network, assert themselves as local experts, and get ready to work with rentals in anticipation of this new inventory. 

Importantly, real estate agents can let their clients know about the new units ready to hit market! Communicate with your sphere of influence to let them know the trends you’re seeing, and that you’re ready to find them a home that fits their wants and needs. 

Related: Why The Rental Market Matters Right Now

How to Take Advantage of Long-Term Rentals

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Here at Rental Beast, we believe in the long-term value of rentals. The first step is education, but gaining the skillset to successfully work with rentals can be tricky to fit into a packed schedule. We also believe that agents and brokers of all levels should have accessible education during this difficult time. So, we’re opening the doors to Rental Beast University, our interactive online education platform for all agents for free. With Rental Beast University, agents of all skill levels can have access to on-demand webinars, one page resource, and quick tips and tricks full of actionable knowledge. 

Get free resources.  

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