This side income idea is really similar to Nick Sidoti’s concept of creating a niche product for a niche market. We’ve already covered veteran housing and special needs housing, but this is one of the residual income ideas that typically dismissed.

You’ve got to clear your mind to catch it.

Residual Income Ideas Can Be Simple

residual income ideas

Let’s consider the upper half of the idea envelope. “Special Needs” housing is a much bigger idea than housing government-funded people with disabilities.

It also includes well-qualified people that need custom lease arrangements. If you’re willing to serve them, they will happily pay above market rates to rent a room from you.

You should NOT make the mistake of classifying this residual income idea as:

*  A typical boarding house available to the general population.

*  An option for people staying up to one year. They can find normal market rate options. I’m not talking typical student housing

*  An alternative for people who wouldn’t qualify for a normal rental

Instead, you should center your thoughts on renting rooms to an exclusive population that benefits from networking together.  These people are well qualified to make rent payments.

Take a look at the following idea breakdown table:


What Convert multi bedroom apartment/house into a housing solution for desirable short term renters.
Difficulty: ○○●○○ Time Commitment: ○○○●○
Why There is likely a desirable population near your rental that, for business reasons, needs a fully furnished place for only a month or two. You may be able to double your residual income by providing a housing solution for them.
Increase Net Income By Renting furnished rooms for an amount equivalent to an unfurnished one bedroom apartment.
Basic Components 1. Multiple bedroom unit with at least one bathroom for every two bedrooms

2. Nearby Company/Hospital/Hotel

3. Check out and check in procedure

4. Potential to contract directly with business

5. Lock on each bedroom

The Extreme Version Create a web kiosk that allows users to book themselves in, pay for room in advance, get their keycode, schedule cleaner at move out, and collect testimonials.
Possible New Income Streams 1. Car and/or bicycle rental

2. Franchise opportunities

3. Advertisement via web traffic

Nontangible Benefits May become a “trusted advisor” that refers short term renters to other businesses
Steps to Implement/Test
  1. Check your own network for short term housing opportunities
  2. Stage your offering, take pictures, and pitch idea
  3. Make the phone ring before fully implementing



Right Target – Right Price

As a consulting engineer, I travel a lot for business. I’m always happy to find a nice housing option that is less than my per diem, because I’m able to pocket the difference.

To exploit this, you could find the largest company in town, find out if they have regular out of town workers/visitors , then price your room so they’ll want to stay at your property. Aim for a $10 – $20 delta, so monthly users can save over $300.

Compete with Hotels

I’ve notice many companies have their blue collar workers share hotel rooms. Those workers would gladly stay at your place that was priced at the same rate and allowed them to have more privacy.

If you have a hotel nearby:

1 – Drive the parking lot around 9:00 PM and see which company trucks are in the parking lot.

2 – Contact those companies and strike a deal.

3 – Leave a flyer on the company trucks and make a direct pitch.


DocDorm Experiment

If your unit is near a hospital, network with their traveling nursing staff and fourth year med students on rotation. These people need short term housing; they need month to month leases. They don’t have time to deal with finding furnishings – they are super busy. I’m finding that I can rent each room in my 2 bedroom 1 bath apartment for the price I was getting for an entire unit.

This should make you lift your eyebrow. Yep, I’ve doubled the income from this one unit!

I’ve essentially turned my 8-unit complex into a 9-unit complex.

A commercial appraiser is going to have to give me credit for this unusually high income stream. So I’m going into this short stay housing business with the idea that I will sell it with my apartment building.

Is there a teaching hospital near you?

The Downside

You may have to eat a month of vacancies as you get your unit in shape, and you do need to spend some money up front. This is why it is important to gauge interest before spending a lot to build out this idea.

So measure first. Place your ad, and see if the phone rings.

Cost / Projected Revenue

Currently, local hotels charge $90 – 150 per night for a room with two beds.

I know, via trial and error on pricing, that in my area medical student is simply looking for a bed and Wi-Fi for around $500 – $600 per month. My $625 pricing is the upper limit for them. So would you be surprised to know that’s exactly what I charge?

There are sponsorship opportunities that I still need to explore. After all, I do have a platform for a pharmaceutical company to reach a future doctor.

But be aware that startup expenses add up fast. Nicely furnishing a room is flat out expensive.

Again, it’s best to measure first and know that your business model will work before shelling out money. So post a few test ads and see if your phone rings.

For more residual income ideas click HERE to learn about my book: 40 Ways to Increase the Net Income of your Rental Property