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Rent to Traveling Nurses & Therapists: What You Need to Know

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Finding housing as a traveling nurse or therapist is a considerable challenge. As a traveler, I’ve had such a hard time finding units in the locations where I’m taking assignments. I find it surprising that I receive a lot of messages from potential landlords who complain that they find it hard to rent to traveling nurses. Renting to travelers doesn’t have to be hard.

If you are a landlord who can’t find travelers for your unit, I’m here to help you avoid some of the common mistakes I see from landlords or have difficulty hosting travel nurses.

Here are my tips for helping you rent to traveling nurses and other traveling healthcare professionals.

1. List your unit on mid-term housing websites

If you want to list your rental only by word of mouth or your own marketing, expect to put a lot of work and potentially money into getting your unit rented.

A common misconception I hear from landlords is that they believe that they can do their own marketing for their unit through Facebook and other social media sites and it really doesn’t work like that.

Travelers rent through trusted, established websites. They don’t trust Craigslist, Facebook, and social media. If they find you through those sites, they are going to be weary that you are a scammer and may not want to send a deposit or want to rent from you at all.

Save yourself time and stress and list your unit for rent on a housing website. Furnished Finder has become the #1 place for traveling healthcare professionals with over 200,000 units on their site.

Here are my top websites to rent to traveling nurses and traveling healthcare professionals:

  1. Furnished Finder
  2. Airbnb

2. Price your unit affordably

I’ll shout this one from the ceiling. Landlords who have affordable priced units rent them out.

If you got into renting to healthcare professionals because you want to charge top dollar, you’re in the wrong niche.

Overwhelmingly, travel nurses and other traveling healthcare professionals don’t want luxury and don’t want to pay luxury prices. Cheaper wins when it comes to most travelers. If there’s a cheaper unit in town, or a traveler can stay in an Extended Stay Hotel for less money, they will.

3. Fully Furnished with Basic Home goods

As I mentioned above, travelers don’t want luxury. They want solid basics. Travel nurses are looking for fully-furnished units with some basic home goods.

I once heard traveling healthcare professionals described as:

“Modern-day hippies who are looking to travel and live easily. You don’t want a lot of stuff, just the basics.”

I find this description to be helpful when thinking about design and aesthetics for travelers. We are more minimalistic and basic in our needs, wants, and travel necessities.

Here are some things I recommend travel nursing hosts have in their units:

  • Fully furnished (bed, sofa, table, etc)
  • TV with either cable or Roku access
  • Basic kitchen home goods including plates, cups, mugs, etc
  • Small appliances like a blender and coffee pot
  • Cleaning supplies such as a vacuum, dish soap, broom, sponges, etc. These tend to be things that travelers may leave in the unit when they move out and it’s fairly easy to keep fully stocked
  • Tupperware and/or a to-go cup for coffee
  • Soaps and a few rolls of toilet paper in the bathroom for when we move in
  • Some spices in the kitchen cabinet – again, can keep the same spices for multiple travelers and travelers will leave stuff when they move out.
  • A welcome book with information about the unit, house rules, recommendations for the area, and any favorite to-go restaurant menus
  • Black out blinds in the bedroom. This is for the travelers who work night shifts and need to sleep during the day.
picture of a bedroom

Travel nurses want private spaces

You may be thinking about the layout and design of your home, and how it is compatible with hosting travelers. Perhaps you are renovating a home or basement space to list.

First and foremost, most travelers tend to look for a private space. This would include a private apartment or in-law suite/casita with a separate entrance. If affordable private accommodation is not in the market, then more people branch out into looking for shared accommodations with roommates.

In a roommate situation, a private bathroom is going to be far more appealing than a shared bathroom. If you have shared accommodations and can configure your house to offer a private bathroom, that is definitely more appealing than shared.

Lastly, a shared apartment with a shared bathroom would be attractive at the right price and location. If your unit is a private room with a shared bathroom, I recommend pricing it lower to get more views and interest in it.

4. Make House Rules Concise & Clear Upfront

We don’t want a lawless society, and I understand the need for rules. Especially ones that may affect the cleanliness of your home, like smoking and pets. Make sure that you have made those rules clear upfront. Mention the house rules when you are interviewing at the potential tenant. You can also leave a copy of the house rules for your traveler when they move into the unit.

Please limit unnecessary rules. Too many rules will make travelers pass on your unit.

I’ve met hosts who have no alcohol rules, curfews for when travelers can enter/exit the house, and a strict no-guest policy. Also, I’ve seen time restrictions on when travelers can use shared rooms of the house, like the kitchen, during the day.

It’s your house, so obviously your rules. Just know the more rules you have, the fewer guests you’ll find who may agree to your terms.

I have kindly passed on staying with hosts who have a million rules or seemingly dumb rules. If you have too many rules listed in your ad, it sets a bad tone and I often won’t reach out at all. For example, if you scroll down on this page and read the comment section on this post, somebody commented that they don’t allow any alcohol, fragrances, guests, or smoking on their property. While personally I don’t drink, smoke, and can live without a candle, seeing that in a post would be a big turn off because too many rules make you feel like you’re always walking on egg shells in your own home.

Travel healthcare professionals are here for an extended amount of time. They want to feel as at home in your home as you do. If the rules are not clear up front, you may also have unhappy travelers who could leave potentially bad reviews. Set your rules, and expectations, clearly in your housing advertisement. Then, you can host a guest who matches your needs.

5. Introduce the travelers to your hometown

When a traveler comes to stay with you, they might be completely new to your area. Make them feel at home by introducing them to some of the “must-see” spots in your town. You could make a list, or brochure, of your favorite places to include in a welcome packet.

Or, just be available to answer questions and give them your favorite recommendations. Making a traveler feel at home can help ease the traveler’s mind about being in a new place, and it can give you a chance to help them get adjusted to their new surroundings.

Hosting traveling nurses, travel therapists, and other traveling healthcare professionals is a great way to make income off of extra space in your home. Hopefully, these tips have helped you understand how to create and market space for traveling therapists! Best of luck with your housing endeavors!

6 thoughts on “Rent to Traveling Nurses & Therapists: What You Need to Know”

  1. I am new to this process. I have a 3 bedroom and 2 bath home available to rent. I am not sure if I should rent the whole house or rent individual rooms? I would like to rent the home to a traveling nurse vs the general rental market. Can you help advise?

  2. How far around the Bay Aera is good for Traveling Nurses? Example: Berkely, Oakland, Richmond, Hayward Contra Costa County Area. Which area/s is best for housing for Traveling Nurses?

  3. My first experience with Furnished Finder, 12/22 resulted in a booking within 2 weeks. The TN was here 5 months.
    My second FF listing experience is awful from Website issues to almost every applicant a liar/scammer/miscreant, (I screen), to wanting BF/GF kids and pets.
    While I understand it is my responsibility to screen, I also believe FF should be filtering out non conforming applicants. For instance: My StudioSuite is for 1 person, no pets, alcohol/drug/fragrance free, employed outside the home. Where I live is an excellent and safe area within 10 -20 minutes of multiple hospitals and associated. For years, I have been renting out the Suite. Former occupants were secured through Craigslist, all solid, married men except for one single young man. All were respectful, paid on time, and wonderful tenants who leased under the same conditions stated in the FF ad which is primarily a clone of prior ad.
    My FF troubles may be my fault yet to me there is manipulation, lack of continuity, duplication, and scattered results. It is difficult to explain but a lot of the time, I cannot tell what is what. When I look at the ad itself after I find it, the posting seems ok. I have written to them several times about the same issues. Maybe I just don’t understand their system. No Geek here, for sure, yet to a degree much of technology efficiency operates through concrete-sequential, hit and miss. And, perhaps it is just me as FF seems to be well rated. But, I am worn out from frustration.

    1. Stick to Craigslist if it works for you. If it’s not broken don’t try to fix it. Your ad and rules are probably the problem on FF. I wouldn’t rent from you with the no pet, no alcohol, no fragrance rules. Anytime somebody has too many rules in their profile I generally pass, even if it’s things I would never break anyway. It sets a bad tone, especially when most of the ads are pretty flexible and try to work with us and our crazy schedules and lives.

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