Being a healthcare traveler means you could be on the move every few months or so. While that can be an exciting adventure, finding new housing – in a place you’ve never been – can be daunting and cumbersome.
If you’ve been a traveler for a while, you know that the industry moves fast. With COVID-19 causing nursing and health-related worker shortages in many areas, hospitals don’t have the option to wait weeks for a traveler to step in once they’re hired.
So, what’s a travel professional to do when they’ve been hired to work in a strange city? The following tips will help sort out what you need to know – and do – to secure housing quickly and efficiently.
Keep a List of the Best Housing Resources
Every traveler should have a list of their top two or three resources for finding housing. Using Google or Craigslist can be daunting and sometimes scary, so it’s recommended to know which sites cater directly to travel nurses. Check out Furnished Finder or housing groups on Facebook for nurses looking for rentals that fit their requirements. Many of the landlords using these sites not only cater directly to travelers, but they may have a list of references that include other travel nurses.
Browse Housing Listings when your Recruiter Presents a Pay Package
Before you can know if an assignment is a good fit, you have to be sure you can afford to live on the pay package offered. You may want to try the travel nurse stipend calculator. This is a really helpful and free tool that allows travelers to get all the info they need for a city when they’re still in the job-decision phase.
As soon as your recruiter offers the pay package break down, use the Stipend Calculator and do a quick search to see what type of inventory is available in that area.
If You Find Something Good, Jump on It
When you’ve found something you like, don’t mull it over for days. You need to reach out to the landlord ASAP. The early bird definitely catches the worm — AND the best housing opportunity. A lot of short term landlords are familiar with how travel nurse contracts work and understand that you’ll need a week or so to find out if you’re for sure moving to a location.
One of the benefits of Furnished Finder is that you can connect with the landlord directly before booking, which affords you the back and forth conversation that a travel nurse needs when deciding on housing options.
Have Your References Ready
While travelers definitely take a risk booking sight unseen, landlords are also taking one by renting to a stranger from out of state. By alleviating some of the uncertainties, you can move to the front of the line for a housing opportunity.
Keep a record of a few landlords who can vouch for you as a tenant to present to potential landlords in the future. This is especially helpful if you’re traveling into a new town, or with pets and needing to make your new landlord feel comfortable. Having all of this ready ahead of time will make it easier to negotiate if necessary.
At Focus Staff, we understand the ins and outs of travel nursing and have access to a wide variety of excellent professional opportunities. So, if you love to travel – and love being a nurse – contact us today.