Short Term Rental vs Long Term Rental For Real Estate Investors

Real estate investing can be a great way to build wealth, but it’s important for investors to understand the differences between short-term vacation rentals (often called STRs) and long-term rental investments. When choosing between short term rental options vs long term rental properties – both strategies have their benefits, so it’s up to the investor to decide which approach is best suited for them.

In this blog post we’ll discuss the pros and cons of short-term rentals versus long-term rentals for real estate investors, as well as provide strategies on how you can maximize profits, cashflow and income potential with either option. We hope that by understanding these two different approaches better you will be able make an informed decision about what type of investment strategy works best for your goals!

Note: any investment property strategy can carry risk, please consult a trusted local advisor before making real estate investments.

Table of Contents:

Short-Term Rental / Vacation Rental Investment Benefits

Short-term rentals can be a great way for real estate investors to maximize their profits. The benefits of investing in short-term rentals include higher returns, flexibility, and easier management.

Higher Returns: Short-term rental properties typically generate more income than long-term rental properties due to the increased demand from travelers looking for accommodations on a shorter time frame. This means that investors can charge higher nightly rates and make more money over the course of a year compared to long-term tenants who pay monthly rent. For example, an investor could purchase a property in an area with high tourism traffic and use it as both a short-term rental during peak season and then switch back to long term during slower months when there is less demand for short stays.

Additionally, many short-term rental hosts and property owners have the opportunity to leverage their properties for personal use. Many property owners can take a weekend getaway or even longer stay in their vacation or short-term rental home without losing much if any revenue. Many vacation property markets benefit from owners visiting the area and investing in their properties to make them more appealing to guests.

Flexibility: With short-term rentals, investors have much greater control over their investment decisions since they are not tied down by leases or contracts with tenants like they would be with long term renters. This allows them to adjust prices (daily or weekly rates) based on market conditions or seasonal trends without worrying about upsetting any existing tenants or breaking any agreements made between themselves and the guest beforehand.

Additionally, this also gives them the freedom to move quickly if needed in order to take advantage of new opportunities as they arise instead of being stuck in one place indefinitely while waiting out their lease agreement terms with their current guest(s).

Short-term rental investments can offer higher returns, more flexibility and easier management compared to long-term rentals. However, there are also advantages to long-term rental investing that should be considered.

Key Takeaway: Short-term rentals offer higher returns, flexibility, and easier management than long-term rentals. Investors can adjust prices to market conditions or seasonal trends without worrying about upsetting existing tenants and take advantage of new opportunities quickly.

Long-Term Rental Benefits

Long-term rental investments offer many benefits to real estate investors. The most obvious benefit is the more predictable cash flow that comes with long-term rentals. Since tenants are usually locked into a lease for at least one year, landlords can count on consistent income from their properties over time. This makes budgeting and forecasting much easier for property owners.

Long-term rentals also aren’t faced with the high season and low season (off-season) challenges that come with running short-term rentals. Rental rates remaining stable means that you don’t need to worry about the short term rental market heating up and slowing down (during slow months, some short term rental owners can’t generate enough cash flow to cover costs).

Another major advantage of long-term rentals is lower maintenance costs. With longer leases, landlords don’t have to worry about turnover as often or spend money on frequent repairs and upgrades between tenants. Additionally, since tenants tend to stay in the same place for an extended period of time, they are likely to take better care of the property than short-term renters who may not be as invested in keeping it up.

Finally, finding reliable tenants for long-term rentals tends to be much easier than locating short-term guests due to the longer commitment involved with leasing a property out for an extended period of time. Property owners can use online listing services such as Zillow or Craigslist or even post signs around town advertising available units without having to worry about high vacancy rates like those experienced by vacation rental hosts who must constantly find new guests each month or week depending on their business model

Overall, investing in long-term rental properties offers many advantages compared to other types of real estate investments including more predictable cash flow, lower maintenance costs and easier tenant acquisition which can all help maximize profits over time when done correctly.

Long-term rentals offer many advantages for investors, including more predictable cash flow, lower maintenance costs, less turnover, more stable occupancy, lower effort upkeep and easier tenant acquisition. However, it’s important to consider other factors such as location and market conditions, taxes and regulations, and insurance coverage before deciding whether a long or short-term rental is right for you.

Key Takeaway: Long-term rental investments offer many benefits including: more predictable cash flow, lower maintenance costs and easier tenant acquisition.

Considerations for Both Types of Rentals

When it comes to investing in real estate, there are a few key considerations that all investors should take into account. Location and market conditions can have a major impact on the success of any rental property investment. It is important to research local markets thoroughly before making an investment decision. Tax implications and regulations vary by state and must be taken into consideration when evaluating potential investments. Additionally, insurance requirements and coverage options should also be reviewed prior to investing in order to ensure adequate protection for both landlords and tenants.

Location and Market Conditions

Location plays an important role in the success of any rental property investment. Investing in areas with strong job growth, low crime rates, good schools, access to public transportation, etc., will help maximize returns over time as these factors tend to attract more desirable tenants who are willing to pay higher rents for quality housing options. In addition, researching current market trends such as vacancy rates or rent prices can provide insight into how competitive the area is for rentals so that investors can make informed decisions about their investments accordingly.

Tax Implications & Regulations

Tax implications vary from state to state when it comes to rental properties, so it is important for investors to understand what taxes they may be responsible for paying based on where they invest in order to avoid costly penalties due to noncompliance with local laws or regulations regarding taxation of rental income or capital gains from real estate transactions. Additionally, some states offer tax incentives such as deductions or credits which could potentially reduce overall tax liability associated with owning rental properties.

Insurance Requirements & Coverage Options

Having adequate insurance coverage is essential when renting out either short-term or long-term properties since unexpected damages caused by tenants can occur at any time. Landlords need sufficient coverage to not only protect themselves financially but also to protect their tenant’s belongings while living on their premises. Different types of policies exist depending on whether you own residential, commercial, vacation homes, etc., so it is important to investigate each type carefully in order to determine which best suits your needs and budget.

Whether you choose to invest in short-term or long-term rentals, it’s important to consider the location and market conditions, tax implications and regulations, as well as insurance requirements and coverage options. Now let’s explore the pros and cons of each type of rental for real estate investors.

Key Takeaway: Investing in rental properties requires research into location, market conditions, tax implications and regulations, as well as insurance requirements and coverage options. Making an informed decision about investments can help maximize returns over time.

Pros and Cons of Short-Term Rentals vs Long-Term Rentals for Real Estate Investors

Short-term rentals offer higher returns than long-term rentals, making them an attractive option for real estate investors. With short-term rentals, you can charge more per night and often have fewer long vacancies due to the high demand of travelers looking for a place to stay. Short-term rental properties also provide flexibility in terms of length of stay and pricing structure, allowing property owners to adjust rates according to market conditions. However, there is a higher risk associated with short-term rentals as tenants are typically less reliable and require more work from the landlord or property manager.

Operationally, short-term rentals will always be a much larger investment of time if self-managing, or a loss of overall cash flow if you choose to list your property with a property manager. Typically, the commissions of a short-term rental manager or vacation rental manager may be between 20% and 40% of gross booking value.

Long-term rental investments provide more predictable cash flow since tenants usually sign leases that last at least one year or longer. This type of investment also requires less maintenance costs since repairs are generally spread out over time instead of needing immediate attention like with short term renters who may cause damage quickly when they move out after just a few days or weeks. When underwriting a short-term rental property deal, expect to have much higher contingencies around wear and tear along with property management fees from a cohost or local property manager.

Additionally, it’s easier to find tenants for long term leases because people tend to be more committed when signing a lease agreement versus booking nightly or weekly stays on vacation sites such as Airbnb or Vrbo. On the downside, long term rental investments don’t generate as much income compared to short term options due to lower nightly rates and longer vacancy periods between tenants moving in and out.

Overall, both types of rental investments have their own unique advantages and disadvantages depending on your goals as an investor so it is important that you consider all factors before deciding which route is best suited for your needs.

Understanding the pros and cons of short-term vs long-term rentals is essential for real estate investors. Knowing this information will help you decide which strategy best suits your goals, allowing you to maximize profits and minimize risk. Next, we’ll discuss strategies for maximizing profits with either type of rental.

Key Takeaway: Key takeaway: Both short-term and long-term rental investments have their own unique advantages and disadvantages. Consider factors such as cash flow, maintenance costs, ease of finding tenants, and pricing structure before deciding which route is best suited for your needs.

Strategies for Maximizing Profits with Short-term or Long-term Rentals

Investing in the right property type and location is key to maximizing profits with short-term or long-term rentals. Whether you’re looking for a single family home, condo, apartment building, or vacation rental property, it’s important to research the local real estate market and understand what types of properties are most desirable. Consider factors such as demand from potential tenants/guests, local amenities like restaurants and entertainment venues, access to public transportation and other infrastructure improvements that can add value to your investment.

Utilizing technology is another way to maximize profits with short-term or long-term rentals. Automating processes such as tenant screening, rent collection and maintenance requests can help landlords save time while also improving efficiency across their operations. Additionally, using online booking platforms like Airbnb or VRBO can make it easier for hosts to list their properties on multiple sites at once and reach a larger audience of potential guests who may be interested in renting out their space.

Leveraging professional services when necessary is also an effective strategy for maximizing profits with short-term or long-term rentals. Hiring experienced professionals such as real estate agents, attorneys and accountants can help ensure that all legal requirements are met while helping landlords protect themselves against any liabilities associated with owning rental properties. Additionally, having a reliable property management company on hand can provide peace of mind knowing that someone else is taking care of day-to-day tasks so landlords don’t have to worry about them personally managing every aspect of their business operations.

Finally, monitoring market trends regularly will allow investors to stay ahead of the competition by understanding what renters/guests want in terms of amenities and features they look for when searching for housing options online. Keeping up with current trends will enable investors to capitalize on new opportunities before anyone else does, which could potentially lead to higher returns on investments over time.

Key Takeaway: Key takeaway: Maximize profits with short-term or long-term rentals by researching local markets, utilizing technology, leveraging professional services and monitoring market trends.

FAQs in Relation to Short Term Rental vs Long Term Rental

What is the difference between long term and short-term rental property?

Long-term rental property is a type of real estate investment where the investor leases out the property to tenants for an extended period of time, typically one year or more. Short-term rental property, on the other hand, involves renting out a home or apartment for shorter periods such as days or weeks. This type of rental is often used by vacationers and business travelers who need temporary accommodations. The primary difference between long-term and short-term rentals lies in their duration: long-term rentals are usually leased for at least one year while short-term rentals are usually rented out for less than that amount of time. Additionally, landlords may charge different rates depending on whether they’re leasing out a long term or short term rental property.

What makes more money short term or long term rentals?

The answer to this question depends on the location, market conditions, and the type of property being rented. Generally speaking, short-term rentals can be more profitable in markets with high demand for vacation rental properties or areas with a large influx of tourists. Long-term rentals tend to be more reliable sources of income as they provide consistent cash flow over time and are less susceptible to seasonal fluctuations in demand. Ultimately, it is important to do your research before investing in either option so you can make an informed decision that best suits your needs.

Is short-term rental worth it?

Short-term rental can be a great way to earn additional income and diversify your real estate portfolio. It is important to understand the local regulations, costs associated with hosting, and potential risks involved before making any decisions.

With careful planning and research, short-term rental can be an excellent opportunity for investors looking to maximize their returns on investment. However, it is not suitable for everyone so it’s important to weigh all of the pros and cons before committing.

One major consideration when considering a STR investment is that of legality of operating in that city or municipalities area over the long-term. Many markets across the US and even globally have chosen to heavily regulate and even ban short-term rentals. Most vacation destinations already have or will create laws soon to limit or restrict use of any property as a vacation or short-term rental.

What are some of the cons of long term rentals?

Long-term rentals can be a great way to generate steady income, but there are some drawbacks. First, long-term tenants may not always take care of the property as well as short-term renters do. Second, if you have multiple properties in different locations, it can be difficult to manage them all at once. Finally, when tenants move out or don’t pay rent on time, landlords may need to go through an eviction process which can be costly and time consuming. Additionally, long-term rentals can be difficult to fill if the market is slow.


In conclusion, short-term and long-term rentals both offer real estate investors and homeowners the potential to make money. However, it is important for investors to consider their goals and skills before deciding which type of rental is best for them. Short-term rentals can provide higher returns in a shorter period of time but require more effort from the investor. Long-term rentals may not be as profitable but are generally less work intensive and have fewer risks associated with them. Ultimately, understanding the pros and cons of each type of rental will help real estate investors decide whether short term rental vs long term rental is right for them.

Are you a landlord or property investor looking to get the most out of your rental business? Rentce has everything you need to know about short-term and long-term rentals. Our comprehensive resources can help you make informed decisions, maximize profits, reduce risk, and stay on top of industry trends. With our easy-to-use platform and in depth content, we’ll guide you through every step so that your investment pays off big time! Sign up today with Rentce for all the solutions needed to take control of your rental business success!

About the author

Jana Christo is a business owner, real estate investor, and property manager. She has 16 years of experience in most areas of real estate.
During the last recession, she was also the managing partner for a company that bought and rehabbed properties from the court foreclosure auctions. Today, she manages her own portfolio of rental properties and shares her experience on