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November 14, 2012

Myth #4: All Corporate Housing Companies and Leasing Agents are the Same

by AvenueWest Managed Corporate Housing

While many professionals believe that all corporate housing companies and leasing agents are the same, the truth is that there are important and unique differences between the three popular types of corporate housing companies. It is critical for relocation professionals to understand these differences when deciding on what kind of company or agent to work with.

First, there are “service companies.” These companies rent apartments, furnish and equip them, then offer the apartments as corporate housing rentals.

Second, there are “apartment companies,” which own or manage large apartment complexes. These companies use some of their inventory as furnished corporate housing units.

Third, there are “management companies,” which are real estate property management companies that manage properties owned and furnished by individual real estate investors. A relocated executive with a family and/or pet probably would appreciate a unique home in a neighborhood setting that is managed by a management company, whereas a company needing to place numerous executives in similar properties may need 20 units all the same and located within an apartment complex.

Once a relocated professional has chosen the right “kind” of company to work with, it is important to understand that each company offers different services and amenities. Asking the right questions of your corporate housing management company or agent will ensure a more pleasant experience for all. Some important questions to ask include:

Rates. What does the monthly rate include? Are there preferred rates for larger accounts? Are there additional fees? These questions will help a guest enter into a corporate housing lease agreement more knowledgeable and confident.

Location. Is there a local office or on-site contact should the guest require assistance? If the company does not have a local office, ask how the company handles client requests and property issues.

Services. What additional services does the corporate housing company provide? For example, is there 24-hour maintenance service or other amenities that will make the stay pleasant?

Accreditation. Is the company a Corporate Housing Providers Association (CHPA) member? CHPA is the trade organization for the corporate housing industry and requires specific levels of professionalism, excellence, customer service, and ethical standards. Ask whether the leasing agents are Certified Corporate Housing Professionals (CCHP). The CCHP certification means that the corporate housing professional has met clear industry standards. These accreditations will enable a relocation manager to distinguish a quality corporate housing agent from the pack.

Experience. What percentage of the corporate housing company’s business is involved in corporate relocations? Finding an experienced provider can be a bonus in this changing marketplace.

Protection. How are the company and its vendors insured? This is especially important to find out when working with management companies that manage properties offered by individual homeowners.

Policies. What is the company’s policy when a guest does not like the property? Does it have other options available to accommodate that guest?

Because not all corporate housing management companies and agents are the same, it is of the utmost importance to ask as many questions as you can think of each and every time. The experienced and quality companies will be able to address all your questions and concerns with ease.

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