The Corporate Housing Providers Association (CHPA) has compiled the six most frequently asked questions regarding corporate housing answered by several different corporate housing providers and they have allowed us to post these here:
“While most industries have rebounded and are making strides, the economic downturn created an entire class of new, innovative ventures – the new sharing economy. While local governments and communities continue to struggle with how this new paradigm impacts businesses and communities, business – and global mobility – moves on. Whether you need a ride, someone to care for your pets, or someplace to temporarily stay, how we get what we need, personally and professionally, is changing. In today’s ever-evolving business climate, corporate housing professionals remain a strong resource in the relocation industry.
We asked several corporate housing providers to clarify common questions of guests about what they offer in today’s marketplace…
- The industry average for temporary living is $140 per day. This equates to a $4,200 per month apartment and seems expensive. What comprises the rate?
When seeking quotes for corporate housing, guests are often tempted to compare this lodging option to extended stay hotel rates. While rates may be similar in some markets, they are vastly different in many others. Be sure to analyze that you are comparing like items. Simply comparing daily rate is comparing apples to oranges. Think beyond just a roof and a bed, and include all the items that make a house a home.
Included in the rate are housewares, linens, furniture, electronics, decor and lighting, and a single source for all utilities and customer service oversight. Other common and readily available services are cable television or satellite service, movie options, wireless internet and even local phone service and housekeeping. Corporate housing also includes many upscale amenities and services expected in how we live today as this housing is in a residential setting. Services such as grocery shopping, business centers, fitness centers, car services, and pet-friendly properties are readily available if needed in this temporary space.
When breaking down the cost of corporate housing even further to illustrate how all of the additional costs and expenses are factored into the price of the accommodation, the profit margins are very small and getting smaller as rents continue to increase. Outside of rent, the additional costs can be 50% or more of the total cost.
‘Factoring in all of the housewares and furniture plus the utilities, the net cost is more than double the base rent per month,’ Gavan James, CCHP, President and CEO of Nomad Temporary Housing explains. ‘Finally, they must have staff to administer their business, sell, set-up, clean and service the apartment and factor in vacancy cost for when the apartment is not rented. The net result is ofter a 5% profit margin on that apartment.’
With more square footage, more residential-type amenities, as well as access to all resident functions, corporate housing guests can participate in a community rather than just pass through a transient environment.
2. Why does availability change from day to day?
Availability fluctuations seem mysterious; however, the answer is simple. While there are many options when it comes to hotel choices, availability at apartment communities is at an all-time low across the country. Available inventory is often difficult to locate and once an apartment has been returned to the community, it might not be available to rent again. These communities are looking for long-term renters, so a returned apartment is often immediately re-leased.
‘Units are only offered once the guest gives a formal notice to depart. These notices are received on a daily basis, making those apartments available to the next renter,’ says Jeff Mahoney, Vice President of Global Business Development for Weichert Corporate Housing. ‘It is important to make a timely decision when an apartment is offered, or the apartment may be rented to another guest.’
3. Why can’t we get a volume discount for larger groups such as a summer intern group?
Corporate housing costs for expenses such as rent and utilities are fixed costs. They do not change regardless of the number of units a provider manages at a property. In addition, market forces can make offering discounts difficult, especially in summer months.
‘Apartment rents are higher during the busy summer months. Availability is also at a premium due to higher demand,’ explains Guy Cook, COO of SuiteAmerica. ‘Both of those forces pre-empt flexibility on price, even for large groups.’
Most corporate housing providers agree that given the length of stay and number of accommodations needed, some flexibility may apply. Proper planning and advanced notice can help inform your housing provider so they can review available apartments to offer a creative solution that could save you money.
‘Most companies would like to see their interns have housing at one location,’ says Pam Wade, CCHP, Vice President of Gables Corporate Accommodations and CHPA Chairman of the Board. ‘Strategically, it makes more sense to work with a provider that has inventory in the market the company needs and place the company associates at several locations.’
4. I need a place for a short stay for 30 or 60 days, why should I rent from a corporate housing provider instead of an online host, such as an AirBnB place? They seem cheaper and more hip.
With all the variables that come with relocating, it is often tempting for individuals to use an online marketplace to manage the housing portion of their relocation. As this is how most people are comfortable finding hotel accommodations, using this approach to finding longer-term housing seems like a logical next step. Individual searches for acceptable lodging can be risky and daunting; however, using a corporate housing provider can reduce the stress and liability of trusting strangers.
Corporate housing providers have a great deal of experience in providing everything a relocating individual or family needs. These professionally managed companies have a vested interest in making sure guests have a positive experience as their company’s reputation is at stake. ‘With a Code of Ethics, best practices training and a network of partners to provide a guest with what they need,’ says Samantha Elliott, CCHP, CRP, President of Preferred Corporate Housing, ‘partnering with a professional corporate housing provider alleviates risk.’ Online marketplaces come with more risk.
Security is certainly one of the major concerns for someone new to the area. This includes security of the property as it relates to the location as well as the safety and condition of the property itself. Apartments are zoned for the correct type of occupancy as well as abide by fire and safety codes. When using a personal residence found through an online marketplace, there is no guarantee the accommodation will be safe and secure.
‘Renting a small room in someone’s house or apartment might be fun for a few days,’ say Piper Ayala, CCHP, Vice President of ExecuStay Midwest. ‘But for extended stays, the comfort, convenience and spaciousness of a corporate apartment is a much better fit for corporate travelers.’
As online marketplaces do not monitor or regulate safety compliance for listings, it is the responsibility of the end user to properly assess the safety and condition of listings. This can be very difficult and time-consuming for guests. There are very few resources available that provide background information or inspection history for listing owners and their properties.
With all the variables that come with relocating, finding knowledgeable expertise to ensure a smooth transition is critical to avoiding an expensive ‘bad’ decision. The majority of individual postings on web aggregator sites do not have experienced mobility professionals to help relocate individuals and families globally. Look for professionals that hold designations from various organizations, including ERC certifications, that reflect their dedication and knowledge in the industry.
Just as relying on online marketplaces can be risky, so can expecting to use extended stay hotels for short-term stays. While there may be some availability, they may not be able to accommodate a guest for the duration of their stay.
‘When comparing corporate housing to hotels, keep in mind that hotels may not be able to offer 30 or 60 consecutive days,’ explains Wade. ‘If there are other events going on in a market (sporting events, conventions, etc.), there may already be weeks or weekends booked months in advance.’
5. Typically, the minimum length of stay in corporate housing is often 30 days, based on local and/or legal restrictions. When and why is a shorter length of stay acceptable? What is the maximum length of stay?
Corporate housing is governed at the local level. Many times, local regulations prohibit stays of less than 30 days. Shorter term stays for less than 30 days may be available where it is legal. Your professional corporate housing provider can advise on this issue on a per market basis. Conversely, guests can frequently stay in corporate housing indefinitely depending on availability, allowing for flexibility for extended assignments.
‘We consistently monitor and stay informed on the local laws and legal restrictions as it relates to the minimum stays in our markets,’ says Billy Cochran, Director of Operations for TP Corporate Lodging. ‘While there are frequently minimum stay requirements, guests can often stay in their accommodation as long as it is available and frequently can extend their stays.’
6. Why do I need to give a 30 day notice to depart a temporary apartment? A hotel does not require this.
A notable difference between hotels and corporate housing is the notice to depart. While hotels typically don’t require any type of notice that a guest is leaving, corporate housing typically requires 30 days’ notice. Corporate housing companies manage their inventory by controlling their vacant apartments. Keeping vacancy low allows them to offer competitive rates, keeping the rates reasonable for guests.
‘An extended stay hotel allows guests to depart without notice; however, they would charge significantly more per day for a comparably sized apartment alternative,’ says James. ‘Corporate housing providers ask for a 30 day notice so they have time to re-rent the apartment and avoid a vacancy.’
With more housing options today than ever before, the answers to these questions are critical to a successful temporary stay. Understanding the reality of today’s marketplace will help set expectations and ensure a smooth transition by alleviating stress. One way to do this is to partner with a qualified corporate housing provider for all of your needs.”
Technology makes everyone’s jobs a bit easier but these eight apps are specifically created for medical professionals to help while at work and also while traveling.
Epocrates. Use this free app to help with identifying drug interactions, pill information, formulas, etc. There is one also available for $159.99/year that will also allow for diagnostic and lab tests as well as disease information.
The Merck Manual. This app can be purchased for $34.99 for Apple users and is the full manual with disease, diagnostics, and prescription information right at your fingertips.
Nursing Central can be purchased for $169.99/year and gives you access to nursing journals and detailed information about tests, procedures, and diseases.
Use Medigram while at work in the hospital or clinic setting to allow for better communication amongst all staff while adhering to HIPAA standards. This app is free.
Pill Identifier is a free app that will help identify pills that have been mislabeled/spilled as well as provides information about medications based on their identifiers.
The app, ProfiTrakr, is the perfect tool for traveling nurses. It allows you to easily record all of your travel expenses and has a specific selection for traveling nurses. It can be purchased for $1.99.
Tripomatic is a free app that will help you find the attractions at the new city you have been assigned to and will allow you to create your very own travel itinerary.
Use Waze, the free GPS navigation app that gives you real time data on where you need to go including accidents, traffic, speed traps, gas prices, etc.
These eight apps have been created especially for use by medical professionals who are on the road and traveling for work. Hopefully these fine apps will make you more productive while working and will come in handy when you are on the go. Remember, if you are ever in need of a fully furnished rental in your new city, we would love to help you find the perfect home away from home! 🙂
The decision to purchase insurance through rental car companies has been a long debated topic for travelers. No surprise, when thousands of dollars are on the line you want to get it right.
If you don’t have personal auto insurance it’s vital you purchase rental insurance, in most states it’s mandatory. While many forgo rental insurance to save a quick buck up front, they’re not aware that an accident can leave them owing thousands, even if they have personal auto insurance.
Many renters with a primary auto policy are still at risk. Personal automobile insurance plans may only cover a rental vehicle for 31 consecutive days; if plans include a long term rental vehicle it’s important to be aware of your policy parameters. In addition, some insurance companies may not extend coverage benefits to renters if the vehicle is being used for business purposes. Even a full coverage plan might not protect you from every charge the rental company can enforce, such as “loss of use” charges. These charges include loss of profit to the company while the car undergoes repairs, reduction of vehicle value, and administrative fees.
If you choose not to purchase the additional insurance offered by the rental companies, in the event of an accident, you’ll be required to meet the deductible on your personal insurance to repair damages, potentially increasing the cost of your annual insurance premium for five years or more.
If you’re sharing the driving responsibilities in a rental with someone not on your insurance policy they will not be covered. You’ll have to purchase an additional driver option, which extends the coverage to ensure everyone in the car has limited risk.
International AutoSource provides a full-service rental car solution for International and Domestic assignees in 13 countries. This program includes comprehensive insurance on all rentals at no extra cost in addition to exclusive savings and other great benefits. To learn more visit intlauto.com.
Thanks to our wonderful Account Executive, Tandice Emswiller, at the AvenueWest Dallas office, we recently received this testimony from one of our happy customers:
“Hello AvenueWest Dallas, I worked with you two years ago in finding corporate housing for two months, and really enjoyed working with you. Last year, we went with another corporate housing company but did not have the same experience. Well we are in need of a place for the summer again for two months in about a month. I wanted to know what you had available. We need a two bedroom preferably in the uptown/downtown area but are willing to go to other parts of Dallas if it’s something we really like.” -Latoya
Way to go Tandice! 🙂 If you would like to see all of our amazing properties in the Dallas metro area, click here. Contact Tandice directly for pricing and availability – (214) 754-7171 or via email Dallas@avenuewest.com.
Last week American Express Business Travel gave me a call because their client wanted to know the positive ROI / Return on Investment they would get by having their travelers stay in corporate housing vs staying in a hotel.
Great question! Of course there is never a simple answer. A year ago I served on the US Advisory Council for ERC / Employee Relocation Council the association for workforce mobility and a current study was presented that stated employees who had bad corporate relocations we 50% more likely to get divorced. As we know, corporate housing is an essential element of a successful corporate relocation. When a company invests in transferring a valuable and talented employee from one market to another the transferee must get to the new city as quickly as possible and become productive. This is accomplished through immediately having them comfortable in their new local living arrangements and corporate housing provides this. So the question is how do you calculate ROI on this?
So if you would rather look at the pennies – let’s choose Downtown Denver as an option.
According to the 2013 Corporate Housing Annual Report
1 Bedroom Corporate Housing property = $99.78 per night
2 Bedroom Corporate Housing property = $117.52 per night
3 Bedroom Corporate Housing property = $135.40 per night
I just ran a Google Search for Downtown Denver Hotels and this is what I got:
$113 per night = 3 Star, Embassy Suites
$160 per night = 4 Star, Oxford Hotel
$325 pre night = 5 Star, Four Seasons
In the corporate housing industry we spend a lot of time talking about the “soft” benefits of staying in a corporate housing property but the reality is the “hard cash” benefits are even greater. Next time you need a place to stay call you local corporate housing provider to better understand the huge ROI of staying in a corporate housing rental.
Our newest location officially opened November 21, 2013: AvenueWest Atlanta located at 5905 Atlanta Highway, Suite 101. AvenueWest Atlanta connects private landlords with business travelers, or relocated families in need of full service corporate housing.
AvenueWest Global Franchise has been tapping into the emerging trend of business executives who are finding both financial freedom and life balance through franchise ownership. Jennifer Haigler, the owner of the AvenueWest Atlanta office, along with her husband Rory, came to the realization she needed the flexibility, provided by AvenueWest, when one day she realized she didn’t even know what her young son was wearing to school that day. Jennifer, a veteran of the corporate relocation industry and a licensed Certified Relocation Professional (CRP) says: “It was a profound moment in time for me as I decided I needed to do something to bring some work/life balance back to my existence.”
AvenueWest’s approach to Managed Corporate Housing is an exciting opportunity that taps into both Jennifer’s previous relocation and corporate housing experience and Rory’s real estate experience as they look to build a long term sustainable business. The Haigler’s say Atlanta is the perfect place to set up a corporate housing shop.
Jennifer continues: “Many relocated families and professionals as well as business executives would prefer to stay in our AvenueWest properties since they provide all the amenities of home. Our properties are in real residential settings instead of the more transient environments found when staying in hotels. The cost to stay in an AvenueWest property is also typically less expensive per night than staying in a hotel.”
Rory adds: Atlanta’s real estate market is currently booming, but there is a shortage of homes available for sale in the metro area.
“There seems to be demand from every corner. As the economy continues to strengthen, more and more people are relocating to Georgia and Atlanta in particular. As of August, Atlanta’s employment grew by 57,100 (a 2.4% increase)! Atlanta’s diverse economy generates a constant flow of people moving into the area to find a new home, and short term housing presents the best solution during that time of transition for relocating families, individuals, and executives alike, especially since the homes on the market are being snagged so quickly,” stated Rory.
“Individual homeowners and investors alike who want to offer their furnished homes or condos as corporate rental properties will have the opportunity to make additional revenue in today’s economy. By partnering with us and using our proven Managed Corporate Housing system, we can both benefit from the growing need for temporary housing solutions in the area. It’s exciting to be able to help owners develop their investment properties and turn them into major profit centers,” added Jennifer.
Kimberly Smith, the CEO of AvenueWest Global Franchise, says that opening an office in Atlanta is the latest step in an aggressive expansion plan that the company initiated in July of this year.
“AvenueWest’s privately owned properties offer more choices to today’s executives or relocated individuals who want a fully furnished property with all the comforts of home, high-end furnishings, and many times, amazing amenities over standard corporate housing rentals or extended stays,” says Smith. “With the Haigler’s knowledge of the area and the local real estate, relocation, and corporate housing industries, AvenueWest Atlanta is uniquely positioned to offer the kind of rental properties required by discerning executives and individuals and families who are being relocated to the area. It also offers the opportunity for private landlords to earn greatly increased rental income on their properties.”
If you or someone you know is being relocated to the Atlanta area, you can contact AvenueWest Atlanta directly by calling 678-901-9171 or by emailing Jennifer at JHaigler@AvenueWest.com. If you are a property owner or investor who wishes to put their fully furnished home, condo, town home, or loft into AvenueWest Atlanta’s inventory, contact Rory at RHaigler@AvenueWest.com.
About AvenueWest Global Franchise
Established in 2010, AvenueWest Global Franchise grew from the desire to expand the business opportunity and corporate housing excellence achieved through the AvenueWest Managed Corporate Housing program that was founded in 1999.
According to a new Gallup Poll, Fort Collins/Loveland, CO ranked 5th in the top ten most healthiest and happiest areas in the United States with a score of 71.6 on the Well-Being index!
The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index score factors in six different categories: life evaluation, emotional health, work environment, physical health, healthy behaviors, and access to basic necessities. The scores are based off of a total of 100. The number 1 ranked city in America for 2013 is Lincoln, NE with an overall score of 72.8.
According to a recent article on Coloradoan.com, Gallup-Healthways had this to say about the recent top 5 winners: “High well-being cities such as Lincoln, Boulder, Burlington-South Burlington, Provo-Orem, and Fort Collins-Loveland provide models to emulate and goals for others to aspire to, including the many U.S. metro areas that lag far behind in health and well-being.”
This is not the only recognition that Fort Collins has received:
- Ranked 7th from Forbes Magazine as one of the “Best Places for Business and Careers” in August;
- In August, the Kaufman Foundation ranked Fort Collins 2nd as one of the “Top 10 Metro Areas for High-Tech Start-up Density;”
- Fort Collins has received the Platinum award from Bicycle Friendly America;
- Awarded the 2013 J. Robert Havlick and Thomas H. Muehlenbeck Award for Innovation in Local Government;
- In 2012, Livability.com ranked Fort Collins number 1 for “Top 10 Downtowns;”
- And so many more!
If you are planning on relocating to one of America’s healthiest and happiest cities, AvenueWest Northern Colorado would be happy to find you the perfect fully furnished rental and can even help you find a more permanent residence in the area as well. 🙂
AvenueWest Northern Colorado, a franchise of Denver-based AvenueWest Global Franchise, opened its doors on November 1, 2013 and is owned and managed by Deb Salek.
AvenueWest Northern Colorado connects private landlords with business travelers in need of full service corporate housing.
AvenueWest Global Franchise has been tapping into the emerging trend of departing business executives who are finding both financial freedom and life balance through franchise ownership. Deb Salek was a former senior level analyst with Qwest Communications and now owns her own AvenueWest franchise. Deb’s exit from corporate America is a developing national trend. Her first step was to decide to leave her office job. She built a successful residential real estate business as a broker associate with RE/MAX, which provided the flexibility she needed with her two young children. Then Deb and her husband, Todd, chose to relocate to Fort Collins, CO, a city they found as the best compliment to their quality of life vision. When looking to target the relocation market more specifically, Deb found AvenueWest Managed Corporate Housing to be an exciting opportunity which taps into both her corporate and real estate experience as she looks to build a long term sustainable business.
“Fort Collins offers this amazing quality of life and energy that is fueling growth and causing a positive relocation trend for the city. With a diverse blend of corporations, Colorado State University, state of the art hospitals, government entities and a burgeoning craft beer industry, Fort Collins economy continues to strengthen. Fort Collins is also in the midst of a hot housing market with property inventory at a premium so it may take people several months to find a new home, and short-term housing presents the best solution during that transition.”
Salek continues: “The people that stay in our AvenueWest properties prefer to have the amenities of home and appreciate that it is a less transient environment than what they would find in a hotel. The cost to stay in an AvenueWest property is also typically less expensive per night than staying in a hotel. There seems to be a demand from every corner: corporations, visiting professors, medical personnel, the oil and gas industry, tourists, and so forth. I see the real opportunity as being with the individual homeowners who want to offer their furnished homes as corporate rental properties. They will have the ability to work with us to capitalize on and profit from the growing need for temporary housing solutions in the area. It’s exciting to be able to help owners develop their investment properties.”
Kimberly Smith, the CEO of AvenueWest Global Franchise, says that opening an office in Fort Collins has been on her wish list since the day she started her managed corporate housing business in the LODO area of Denver some 14 years ago and a priority since launching AvenueWest Global Franchise in 2010. “An executive who wants a furnished property with all the creature comforts of home and high-end furnishings will have a strong preference for AvenueWest’s corporate rental properties over a transient hotel setting or other generic apartment rentals. With Deb’s knowledge of the area and industry, AvenueWest Northern Colorado now offers the kinds of rental properties required by discerning executives. It also offers the opportunity for private landlords to earn greatly increased rental income on their properties.”
To offer your property for rent through AvenueWest Northern Colorado, or to find a property during your temporary stay in the area, contact Deb Salek at 970-797-3099 or via email at: DSalek@AvenueWest.com. AvenueWest Northern Colorado connects private landlords with those in need of corporate housing. Corporate housing is defined as fully furnished rental apartments, homes or condominiums offered for rent on a short-term basis, usually for one month or more.
About AvenueWest Global Franchise
Established in 2010, AvenueWest Global Franchise grew from the desire to expand the business opportunity and corporate housing excellence achieved through the AvenueWest Corporate Housing Managed Corporate Housing program that was founded in 1999.
Currently AvenueWest Global Franchise has offices in Boston MA, Colorado Springs CO, Dallas TX, Denver CO, Fort Collins CO, Phoenix AZ and San Francisco CA, and has recently embarked on an aggressive expansion plan with expectations to open an office before year’s end in Atlanta GA.
Whether you are planning to take a trip for business or pleasure, these ten applications are sure to make your life easier.
Search for everything travel related (flights, rental cars, hotels, etc.) all in one place! This application is available for the iPhone, Android, Windows, and Amazon’s Kindle Fire.
- Lonely Planet Travel Guides.
Download this free app to have access to hundreds of Guide Books right at your fingertips. You can download the app from the Apple Store and can also download ebooks as well.
- UNESCO World Heritage App.
This app is $2.99 and available from the Apple Store for iPhone and iPad. The cost is worthwhile since you get access to location maps for all sites; over 650 photos; the ability to search by country, classification, or name; create your favorites and plot them onto Google Maps; links back to the UNESCO site for more information.
Another travel guide app that acts as your personal, mobile tour guide around most world cities. You can download this app on iPhone, iPad, and Android devices. Create a unique travel itinerary with the sites that you want to see. mTrip has a nice offline map feature that allows you to view maps and navigate around the city when you don’t have an internet connection. You can even send your friends and family members virtual postcards via email or Facebook.
This app is available for the iPhone, iPod, iPad, Android phones and tablets and provides you with travel guides, reviews from other users, and you can even download offline city guides which you do not need an internet connection for and they won’t charge your phone for roaming.
Is a free app that allows you to view and book hotels worldwide, access your reservations even when you are offline, and track and redeem points. Available for iPhone, iPad, Android, and Windows.
A new way to search for flights and hotels is by using the cute app Hipmunk (which appropriately features a chipmunk as it’s mascot). The search results are easy to see and easy to book. You can filter the flight searchs by “agony” which will show you flights by the least amount of fly time, layovers, and price. The hotel search results shows at a glance if the hotel provides parking, wifi, fees, etc.
This is another free app that allows you to search for flights. It is available for iPod, iPad, Android, Blackberry, Windows Phone, and Windows 8. You can filter it by showing the cheapest days to fly (if your dates are flexible), it also shows you the cheapest times to fly. Filter searches by take off/landing times, prices, and airlines. It is available in over 28 languages and 68 currencies too!
The name says it all – use this free app to keep yourself organized and on track when you are getting ready to pack for your next upcoming trip. Features include: unlimited list building and you can reuse past lists; a catalog of over 300 items to choose from; add any item to any category; you can enter quantities and notes for each item; and email the list to anyone when you are done, etc. Available for Apple and Android.
- JetLag Genie.
The perfect companion for a long trip oversees to help you beat jetlag. Available for iPhone or iPod touch, this app prepares you for your upcoming trip by allowing you to create customized daily plans before, during, and after you arrive at your final destination. Input your normal sleep patterns and flight information to get customized results. There is a melatonin guide too.
Planning any vacation or business trip can be a headache but with these top travel applications at your fingertips, your next trip is just a click away. If you are traveling with in the United States and prefer to stay in a fully furnished residential property rather than a hotel, then check out AvenueWest Managed Corporate Housing now in Boston, Colorado Springs, Dallas, Denver, Fort Collins, Phoenix, and San Francisco.