Should I Furnish my Rental Units?

Should I Furnish my Rental Units?

The riches are in the niches. Find a need and fill it. Serve the underserved.

A growing number of residential rentals and commercial office rentals are furnished or partially furnished. The broad appeal of Airbnb and VRBO, plus the popularity of working away from the office, have created a boom in short-term rentals (STRs) and mid-term rentals (a.k.a. medium-term rentals).

A mid-term rental lasts more than one month and less than 12 months. For instance, a college student might prefer a 9-month lease that corresponds with the academic year. A traveling nurse on a 6-month contract may prefer a furnished rental for those 6 months. A project manager overseeing the construction of an apartment complex, or a union worker deployed for a multi-month job, probably want a furnished rental over a hotel room.

There are a growing number of people going on “workcations” and also enjoying “bleisure.” A workcation is performing work at a desirable locale instead of at the office or at home. The bleisure (business and leisure) trend is popular too. Bleisure involves taking a few days off at the end of a conference or training. It’s limited generally to the area where the work event was held.

A growing number of STRs are seeing stays around 2-4 weeks, which implies that there are more workcations happening. For a change of pace, people are choosing to spend a few weeks at a STR so they can work during the day and enjoy the location on evenings and weekends. Some people are even doing this several times a year, allowing themselves to casually explore a new area.

As a real estate investor, you’re looking to maximize your return on investment. People are willing to pay more for a STR or MTR. If you provide furniture, Wi-Fi, TVs, and amenities – really, an experience – your property will attract attention. If you have quality photos, solid marketing, and a punctual turnover team (cleaning service, maintenance person, and maybe a property manager), then can increase your revenue.

You don’t even need properties in exotic locations or hot vacation spots. There are STRs and MTRs in rural, suburban, and urban settings. Just check the local laws or Homeowners Association covenants and restrictions to ensure that STRs and MTRs are permitted.

If you’re a landlord with multiple units, why not furnish one of them? You might even find used furniture or discount furniture that would look unique in your unit. Include Internet, a coffee maker, pots and pans, a TV, wall decor, towels, and linens. Even if you are more comfortable with a traditional long-term rental (1 year or more), you could charge a premium.

My wife and I offer some partially or fully furnished units, for a higher rent. In business, price only becomes an issue when value is not demonstrated. When you provide people with what they want, they are fine with paying for the experience.

Tai DeSa is a graduate of The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.  He became a full-time real estate investor in 2004 after serving in the U.S. Navy.  Tai made colossal mistakes in investing (and learned some things along the way).  Tai has coached hundreds of entrepreneurs, real estate investors, and real estate agents on how to increase their income and net worth. He has helped hundreds of homeowners avoid foreclosure through successful short sales. Check out Tai’s books on Tai may be available for coaching and speaking engagements on a variety of real estate topics.  Send an email to

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