Can I move my Airbnb property into long term rental?

Wednesday 15 Apr 2020

This is a question we are being asked a lot more frequently these days. Airbnb owners are finding the current circumstances very difficult, with the Federal Government closing our borders to overseas visitors and domestic travel has been all but shut down. Basically, accommodation in the ‘holiday accommodation space is at a standstill.

Many owners have already made the switch to the long-term rental market to ensure their cash flow is sustained. So, the answer to the original question is a definite yes. Here at First National Cairns Central & Cairns Beaches we have already helped a few clients make this change, and word from our network is that it is happening across the country.

We do not know how long this situation is going to last but it is my belief that internationally our borders will remain closed or at least highly restricted for at least six months. Domestically restrictions will probably not be as long or severe, but will there be an appetite for holidays as everyone just tries to get back to work and normality? I suspect the holiday and travel market will be dramatically reduced and highly competitive once we get started again. Hotels will be offering super deals to get back into the market and the already over competitive Airbnb market will suffer further.

It is no secret that we were already seeing Airbnb owners in Cairns look at long term rental again before Covid – 19. Very low vacancy rates in the long-term market were very attractive compared with an Airbnb market that was overly competitive and overpopulated showing reducing returns.

So how do you move across to long term rental? The first step is to sign a management agreement with your new managing agent at First National Cairns Central & Cairns Beaches, then we will do all the work from there.

We will conduct a property inspection, a long-term market assessment and ensure any pre tenancy maintenance is attended to. We can discuss with you the option of leasing with or without furniture and we do not charge extra to manage furnished property. We can even do an inventory list or check the contents against an existing list.

This would not be a very helpful blog if we did not tell you that our costs are very affordable. We try to cater for each of our landlord’s individual circumstances and costs vary depending on the property, its location and the services required. An indicative start would be a management fee of 7.7% inc GST of rent collected, with a letting fee equivalent to 1 weeks rent + GST. Advertising and signage are again dependant on circumstances and would be billed out at cost.

A question you may still have is, are there still people looking to rent in the long-term market? Let’s talk facts not spin. At the time of writing this blog (14/4/2020) we have received 62 applications so far this month. Whilst this is down on a normal month, it is interesting to note that the quality is higher and that it has enabled us to keep renting property at about one a day (16 so far this month) and our vacancy rate is still very low at 1.9%.

And finally, the obvious question- can we lease your property? The answer to that is yes, and we have the track record. We are the number one leasing agent in Cairns*. This has been the case for years now and it’s not us saying so. We would love to help you and show you the benefits of long-term leasing and our latest management systems. Please let us show you the way, just click below to get started.

David Forrest - Managing Director





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