Independently owned corporate housing options are as unique as the people who own and manage them. From the basic offerings to higher end finishes to a more diverse location, with managed corporate housing you’ll find a property that is tailored made for your needs.
So, what should you look for when searching for a corporate rental? That depends on what is important to you in your stay, but here are five elements you should evaluate a property for:
– Does the property offer the lease terms and availability you require? Check the dates that the corporate rental is available to determine if its availability corresponds with your lease start time, length of stay and lease end date. Also, if you need more flexibility, like an open departure date, is the landlord flexible with the availability schedule to allow you to extend and end your stay as necessary?
– Does the asking rent fall within your budget? Whether your company is paying for your stay, or rent is coming out of your own pocket, everybody has a budget to stick to. However, posted prices may be flexible depending on the lease terms, length of stay, etc. So don’t eliminate the property without finding out if the landlord is flexible with the rate.
– Does the property offer the amenities and conveniences you are looking for? If security is important, you’ll want to be sure the property has controlled access. And if you’ll have two vehicles with you, does the community accommodate (or even charge for) that extra parking spot. Make a list of the little things in your life that you must have and cross-reference it with the property’s attributes.
– Does the property’s location match your needs? Location should be at the top of your check list. Making sure that a property is located in close proximity to your work, grocery stores, restaurants and, overall, with a setting that you feel comfortable in.
– Does the property size fit your requirements? If you are bringing the family with you or expecting visitors during your stay, you’ll not only want to be sure the property features enough bedrooms or sleeping space for its occupants, but also you’ll want to make sure that guests are okay with your landlord. The same goes for pets. If you’re bringing your cat or dog along for the stay, you’ll need to discuss whether this is permitted with the landlord and if there are extra fees involved as well.
As covered in last week’s blog post “The Rising Costs of Business Travel and Managing Your Company’s Expenses,” the cost of business travel is increasing. Despite the rise in gas prices which ultimately affects the costs of flights, rental car rates, and other transportation services, there are still ways that you can save your company some serious dough when it comes time to book your next business trip.
The eBook 10 Ways to Cut Corporate Travel Costs has lots of great solutions to save your company money when it comes to travel.
- Create a company wide travel policy. This policy should be in writing and distributed to everyone. It needs to include booking guidelines, expense allowances, and travel budgets.
Hire a Travel Coordinator. Having one person in charge of booking all of your companies travel arrangements will allow them to find the best rates on flights, hotels, and cars since this is their primary responsibility. They will also know more ways to save money. Small business? No problem. Simply assign this task to one of your existing employees.
For longer stays, try an extended stay hotel or corporate housing. Providing your employees accommodations with kitchens will ultimately save money on meals.
Book mid-priced hotel rooms. Many 3 star hotels have been revamped to accommodate business travelers for a fraction of the cost. Many include free wi-fi, breakfast, and meeting rooms. Be sure your employees know that the company will not cover room service or mini-bar charges.
- Negotiation is always an option. Most hotels do offer corporate rates. Be sure to tell them that you are booking travel for your company. If they don’t offer a discount right off the bat, then you can always tell them you have narrowed it down between their hotel and another hotel close by and see if they offer you a discount then.
Encourage employees to stay with friends or family. If your employee has friends or family in the area and they choose to stay there (which will ultimately save you tons on accommodations) then give them an allowance for a thank you gift or dinner compliments of the company.
Book all travel arrangements in advance. The cost of airlines, hotels, and rental cars increase the closer it gets to your trip. In order to save money, be sure to book well in advance if possible.
- Save money on rental cars by booking with smaller brands. Many times, there are other rental car companies that can offer lower rates. They might not be at the airport but typically do offer complimentary shuttle service.
- Purchase coach class for domestic travel. The plane will get your employees to their destinations regardless of what type of seat they have so only splurge on business class if it’s an international flight.
Hire a Shuttle or Bus for larger group travel. Many offer free wi-fi, video, parking, and refreshments and will allow you to take the whole company for much cheaper than flying!
Hopefully these ten tips will help your company save money the next time you have to book travel arrangements for yourself and/or employees.
Our saga continues with our 10 best travel tips and 10 new smartphone/tablet applications all tailor made for the busy traveling professional.
Travel Tip of the Week – #6:
Learn the key phrases in your destination country’s language. Even if you only know four or five phrases such as “hello,” “thank you,” “please,” and “goodbye”, you will receive genuine smiles and kindness from the natives and better service for making the extra effort. It’s an added bonus if you also know how to say you don’t speak the language in their native tongue.
Smartphone App of the Week
This week’s app is called ProfiTrakr and is the perfect app for any traveler to manage his or her personal and business income and expenses on the move. There are over 60 professions to choose from and the app allows for simple and quick data entry. It also features an adjustable calendar to record the correct transaction dates. You can edit or delete any entry at any time and your mileage is calculated at the most current IRS business rate. You can enter in receipt amounts or you can capture actual receipt photos that can be stored in the app. If you would like to find out more about this app or to download it to your smartphone/tablet, visit http://www.appbrain.com/app/profitrakr/com.profitrakr.src/
In this 10 week series, we will be featuring one business travel tip and one smartphone app developed primarily for the healthcare professional but that we have found can be beneficial to any kind of business traveler.
Business Travel Tip of the Week – #1
I was recently perusing Tourism-Review.com and will be referencing throughout this 10-week series business trip travel tips compiled by CarolRoth.com.
The first tip is “Be Nice.” I know this seems like a no-brainer to most but usually if you treat the staff at various tourism entities (i.e. hotels, corporate housing, restaurants/bars, etc.) with gratitude and respect, they will be more willing to reward you with extra perks. Tony Barker of Tony_Barker_Music.com claims he has “…been treated to late checkouts, after-hours private pool time, help with publicity on return trips, and forgotten stuff mailed to my home. I’ve also heard some stories of how some of those jerks get treated; NOT a category you ever want to be in!” So pay it forward with kindness and see the vast number of rewards that will befall you.
Smartphone App of the Week
A recent issue of Healthcare Traveler features an article titled, “Twenty mobile apps to check out,” and we did. I have compiled a list of my favorites to share with our readers over the next 10 weeks.
This week’s application is called “FlightBoard” and allows all smartphone or tablet users to view arrivals and departures for any airport in the world covering more than 4,000 airports and most airlines. This app is updated every five minutes allowing you to view airline arrivals and departures in real-time. There is also a search feature as well as sharing capabilities by email or on the major social media players: Facebook and Twitter. To find out more about FlightBoard or to download this amazing app, check out http://www.mobiata.com.
Remember, we will be featuring one travel tip and one app each week. Please stay tuned and keep reading for our tips next week!
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has imposed new rules for wireless 9-1-1 calls for tracking specific locations during emergencies to aid in improving response times.
Contrary to popular belief, emergency response systems cannot track your exact location when you dial 9-1-1 from cellular phones. Here are some steps to take to ensure the rescuers will be able to find you in case of an emergency:
- Be sure to give the dispatcher the city you are in and then the state of the emergency.
- Give the dispatcher your cell phone number in case you get disconnected. Otherwise, you will need to call them back as they will not have your number.
- Leave your cell phone on after disconnecting with the dispatcher in case they need to call you back.
Registering your cell phone number with your permanent residence and others you may have is a smart alternative for those without a landline. This service is completely free and only takes 5-10 minutes to complete. All of the information is confidential and will only be used by 9-1-1 dispatchers in emergencies. Adding or changing information is a breeze too – just log in to your account from any computer or wireless device.
Don’t get caught off guard in case of emergency register your cell phone today!
Whether you anticipate a move in several months, or just a few weeks, timing is everything when it comes to your corporate housing or apartment rental search.
According to an article from MyFirstApartment.com, when to start your rental search depends on the city you are planning to move to.
When moving to Chicago, apartment broker, Aaron Galvin from Luxury Living Chicago advises his clients to start their search 45-60 days out from their intended move date.
New York is another story. With a limited vacancy rate and high demand, your search should begin no earlier than 2-4 weeks prior to moving day. Apartments get rented very quickly and looking any sooner might prove fruitless.
In terms of a corporate rental, if you’re a tenant in need of housing, you don’t want to start your search for the perfect furnished rental too soon because you may not find an ideal property – as many properties turn over every 1-3 months. If you start too soon, you may miss out on a property that just came available. Also, corporate housing landlords may not want to rent out their properties too soon for fear of missing out on a tenant who can commit more immediately and for a longer stay. Remember, it’s not unusual for corporate housing landlords to construct deals just a week, maybe two, out. Their primary tenants, such as traveling business executives, may not know they need a rental property until a day prior and they want to be poised to deliver their property when needed to this attractive audience.
In any case – corporate or not – it’s good to remember that the best-priced properties rent quickly once they begin to be marketed, and availability dwindles as move dates approach.
Try to focus on where you want to live and solidify your budget. For traditional 12-month rentals, conduct your search as early as possible; however, for corporate housing, you have a bit more time to find the right rental – don’t rush it!