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10 Ways PropTech Software Streamlines the Long-Stay Booking Application Journey

There is no set definition of ‘long-stay’; a ‘long-stay booking’ usually refers to any stay over three months in a serviced apartment, coliving or BTR property. But in 2024, there is one factor that defines long-stays: their popularity. 

In fact, longer stays have become so popular with guests that an average 87% stay in serviced apartments for longer. Meanwhile, 72% of UK coliving residents look for a year-long stay as a minimum term and 92% of BTR properties offer leases over 12 months, proving an attractive alternative to current challenging rental market conditions. 

But, to take advantage of the long-stay (or extended stay) trend, a distinct and seamless customer journey is imperative - to attract, convert and satisfy long-stay residents. Here are 10 ways that PropTech software streamlines the long-stay booking application journey.

  1. Advertise on specific long-stay channels

Long-stay ‘residents’ (or even tenants) have different profiles from short-stay ‘guests’ and look for accommodation differently as a result. Instead of scouring short-stay OTAs like or Expedia, long-stay residents prefer to use long-stay channels like Rightmove. When considering accommodation options, long-stay guests prioritise different elements of an apartment (i.e. outdoor space and a kitchen to cook their own meals) than short-stay guests, who will probably spend less time there. With a Channel Manager (preferably built into your PMS for synchronised use), you can send out long-stay focused listings (with discounted long-stay rates using dynamic pricing) to long-stay channels. 

  1. Filter long-stay enquiries

Whether a prospect is booking their stay either through a long-stay channel or your own booking portal, if they’re booking for three months or longer, a prospect is less likely to book without enquiring first. Filter these enquiries with your long-stay PMS by stay length (as well as desired property type, number of guests, and arrival/departure dates) and provide a calendar link for a consultation with the appropriate member of your reservations team to get the sales process rolling. 

  1. Send long-stay information

Long-stay prospects tend to have more questions than short-stay guests before booking. Can they bring a pet? Are long-stay units on a different floor to short-stay units? What is the inventory and deposit process? With a PMS, share the required information (i.e. video tours of the apartment, guides to building amenities, floor plans and pet policies) by sending out automated emails. The PMS also registers this communication on your management dashboard to ensure swift and efficient communication with potential guests. 

  1. Verify long-stay credentials

When a guest decides that your property is right for them, it’s now your responsibility to ensure the guest is right for you (especially if you’re cultivating a specific coliving community, for instance). Use your long-stay PMS to reserve the unit’s availability and automate verification checks to the guest via email. Using integrations like Canopy, your PMS will send the guest digital links to complete right-to-rent information, financial referencing verification (i.e. ability to pay the rent) and Know Your Customer (KYC) checks. 

  1. Sign digital contracts 

When all the checks are complete, use the same digital long-stay process to sign contracts without the manual back-and-forth of sending and chasing emails. An integrated e-signing application, such as Docusign, enables your reservations team to simply choose a contract from a pre-created list and share it with the incoming long-stay resident for their signature. The PMS then confirms the booking on the system and stores the contract, keeping all documents in one place. 

  1. Take a secure deposit

Like a traditional tenancy in the private rental sector (PRS), taking deposits is a fundamental part of the long-stay booking process - guaranteeing for the care and end-state of the rented unit. However, taking deposits without PropTech software involves fiddly processes and manual management. Simplify the process using your PMS to send incoming guests a payment portal to a secure deposit holding (or tenancy deposit protection scheme) with a long-stay PMS. 

  1. Conduct online inventory

Inventories are crucial for long-stay bookings, but thanks to PropTech, they’re no longer cumbersome manual processes fraught with resident-operator tension. Instead, digital inventory integrations, such as Inventory Hive, conduct seamless virtual inventories (with HD photos and 360° videos) before the guest arrives at your property. Both parties agree on a digital inventory report at the start of the tenancy, so you’re both on the same page from the outset (avoiding discrepancies at the end of their stay). 

  1. Generate pre-arrival activities

Be it two weeks or two days before your long-stay resident arrives, set your PMS to generate automatic pre-arrival actions to set up a seamless check-in experience, boosting resident satisfaction. Send personalised emails with general check-in advice, directions to the property and information about the local area. In addition, set cleaning activities before long-stay guests check-in with automated housekeeping software, so their booked unit is primed to make a great first impression. 

  1. Set up direct rent payments

While short-stay guests tend to pay upfront, most long-stay residents prefer to pay monthly or in regular instalments (i.e. students paying every semester). Depending on the guest’s preferences, a long-stay PMS sends payment portals for card payments every month (which automatically syncs with your property management system). Or set up a direct debit by simply sending your guest a secure link to establish the right permissions. Given some long-stay guests don’t know their end date, automating the entire payment process provides frictionless extensions. 

  1. Automate check-in

Thanks to your PMS enabling automated check-in, you can assign a digital key to your incoming resident and share this in an automated email (i.e. three hours before check-in time). The guest then arrives, skips a physical check-in and has access to all your communal and private areas straight away. Meanwhile, the PMS instantly updates your dashboard’s booking status, flagging any issues, such as no-shows. 

Multi-stay lengths in one centralised system

Whether you prioritise long-stays or offer long-stays in addition to short and medium-stays, using a centralised property management system, like res:harmonics, makes blended stays management possible and profitable. Manage multiple stay lengths across multiple properties, all from one platform. 

“Be it booking, paying or communicating, long-stay and short-stay guests have different expectations. Operators previously struggled to accommodate the varying levels of service, but modern management software now simplifies blended stay strategies while making them more lucrative”. Giles Horwitch-Smith, CEO, res:harmonics.

Download the Ultimate Guide to Long-Stay Bookings to learn how property management software supports long-stays.

Request a demo to speak to someone at res:harmonics about how our software can automate and scale up your long-stay offer. 

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