Texas is popular on this rental platform for digital nomads
The pandemic redefined many aspects of our lives: some of us worked from home for the first time and stayed remote, giving many others a chance to relocate as easily and as often as wanted. Although living as a digital nomad (someone who works remotely while traveling the world) is not a completely new concept, it did gain much more traction during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a report by independent talent provider MBO Partners, the percentage of Americans who described themselves as digital nomads increased to 131 percent between 2019 and 2022. San Antonio felt the trend with about three times as many remote workers holding strong "after" the pandemic as before it, according to a report by Axios.
Embracing this new lifestyle is what gave way to Landing, a flexible living network that provides digital nomads — or those looking to relocate — an easier, more affordable, and hassle-free option to explore new cities while still enjoying the same perks of a traditional long-term lease.
Landing uses a subscription-based model to rent fully-furnished homes with options in over 375 cities. That means users don't have to worry about deposits, signing contracts, or hauling furniture from one place to the other.
“It’s a different, more flexible way to rent and live that unlocks experiences that you wouldn't otherwise have with traditional renting and staying in one place,” says Landing spokesperson Emily McMahon. “Their model has seen so much growth and demand over the past few years as people continue to embrace this work from anywhere world that we're in.”
Austin has become a hotspot at Landing, claiming the top place in the country in terms of total reservation. Just this year, Landing has seen a 25% increase in new Austin reservations from Q3 to Q4. In the same hypothetical period in January, Landing lists 128 apartments in Austin, 85 in Houston, 79 in Dallas, 55 in San Antonio, and 36 in Fort Worth — not to mention all the suburbs around them. Users can also search by state, revealing that Texas has the second most available locales (26 compared to California's 38, and Florida's 22).
Leona Marlene is among those keeping Austin at the top of the list. She came across the rental network last year while researching affordable alternatives to short-term rentals. Although at first she thought it sounded too good to be true, she decided to give it a try and has been a member ever since. Marlene coming back to the city in a few weeks to stay at a Landing property.
“It’s been really tricky to find affordable places to be in the U.S.," says Marlene. "For me, [Landing] gives me access to these cities I wouldn't otherwise have access to. I think the ones that I frequent most are Chicago and Austin, just because we have family in those locations, and we don't necessarily want to live in either of those full time. It’s really nice to have the flexibility to be in the cities when we choose to be and check out different cities that we enjoy."
The application process is easy and straightforward, with a response as fast as 15 minutes. The standard subscription requires a minimum 30 days, but earlier this year the company introduced an even more flexible and affordable option called Standby.
Standby is its own monthly subscription that gives member access to Landing’s properties for a monthly rent price ($1,295-1,995 depending on the city) with a surprising twist: They could be “bumped” at any time, meaning a standard rate member could rent that apartment and the Standby member would have to move — to another property in the same city or elsewhere — within a short frame. Sometimes the notice can be as short as 3 days.
Although thrilling for some, it may sound stressful and scary to others. Therein lies the charm of Landing and Standby. It is not meant to be for everyone, but it could be a great opportunity for those who crave adventure and the thrills of a new city every few months or so. It could also be a way to test the waters of a new potential home before fully committing to it.
Online reviews vary — a common phenomenon for rental platforms — from gushing to giving up. If a lesson can be learned from combing through reviews, new renters should consider how flexible they're willing to be before committing. A common complaint was that particular apartments that appeared to be available could not be nailed down, forcing users to compromise from their original vision. Positive reviews state that Landing is accommodating, but requires flexibility and attention.
As for Marlene, who is on track to live in 10 cities in 12 months; She keeps coming back for not only the price, but the sense of normalcy that Landing provides from one city to the other.
“At Landing, you really know what you're getting," she says. "I'm pretty sure the mattress is the same in every apartment. It feels like home. I have the same plates, I have the same silverware. I really love making smoothies in the morning. I know I'm going to have a blender. Whereas, with any other platform, you kind of don't really know what you're getting.”
Browse Denver, Seattle, Chicago, and other apartments at hellolanding.com.