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Tips on Selecting the Right Corporate Housing Company

With the demand for corporate or temporary housing as high as ever before, making sure that you are getting a good deal on your home away from home is very important. Whether you are an organization looking for employee housing or an individual traveler looking for an extended stay, corporate housing is likely an excellent option for you.

Corporate housing companies (CHCs) usually provide fully furnished apartments that are much larger and often less expensive than standard hotel rooms. Some of the main groups of people who stay at a corporate housing unit are those who are in an area for a temporary work assignment, have an internship, in town for a disaster relief program, or are temporarily relocated for medical care.

In addition, corporate housing serves many individuals who are visiting the area for an extended period or need temporary housing while they look for a more permanent option. CHCs like ours take great pride in giving affordable housing to families who have been recently displaced due to disasters like flooding or fire and need time to get back on their feet.

Benefits of Corporate Housing

corporate housing benefits

There are many advantages to corporate housing. Here are a few of the best benefits:

  1. Price

    The most prominent reason that an individual or organization may choose corporate housing is price. Generally, short term rentals are significantly cheaper than staying at a comparable hotel. In fact, staying at a Hilled Land furnished apartment could come at a price half the cost of an average hotel stay. Along with saving money on rental expenses, corporate housing usually comes with all of the costs up front, without any unexpected utility costs or hidden fees.

  2. All-Inclusive

    Related to price, another advantage of corporate housing is that it is typically all-inclusive. Due to it being all-inclusive, most CHCs will bundle all of your utilities, cable and Internet into your rent, so you never have to worry about extra bills. This feature ultimately saves money and is convenient.

  3. Fully Furnished

    Most corporate housing units come fully furnished, with furniture, televisions, appliances, houseware and more waiting for residents the day they move in. If you are only in town for a temporary stay, having all of what you're used to in your everyday life waiting for you at your temporary home will be of great relief. Instead of having to worry about how to go about daily tasks — like finding a place to do your laundry or figuring out how to cook a meal on a hot plate — your short term rental will have everything that you could need to slip back into a comfortable daily routine.

  4. Amenities

    Along with being fully furnished, many temporary housing units will come with amenities like a swimming pool, grills and an exercise room — especially important if you like going to the gym, but don't want to open up a membership somewhere for only a month. Some CHCs will even offer housekeeping services, spa access and a clubhouse or business center.

  5. Feel at Home

    Instead of coming back from a long day to a sparsely furnished hotel room with a mini fridge and a microwave for all of your meals, you can come back to a place that feels like home. The fully stocked kitchen, in-unit laundry, spacious living area and stylishly decorated rooms will give you a sense of comfort and home that hotels simply can't offer.

How to Select a Corporate Housing Company

Even though are lots of benefits to corporate housing, it can be challenging to know how to find temporary housing.

When you are searching for a hotel room, you probably are already familiar with the reputation of the hotel brand, can find the star rating quickly and see many reviews of the hotel that you are considering. Unfortunately, these indicators of quality will generally not be available when selecting a CHC to work with, so use these tips for choosing a corporate housing company to find the right option for you.

  1. Check Their Online Presence

    Some things to look for that may tip you off to the quality of their company is looking at their website. If a CHC doesn’t have the resources to invest in a website that looks professional, then there is a very good chance that they don’t have the resources to operate successfully.

    Another indicator is online reviews. Though there may not be as many reviews as there would be about a hotel, still check what past residents have had to say. We all know that every review isn’t fair, but you should be able to get a sense of past residents' experiences if there are enough reviews to go off of. Their online presence should be one of the first indicators of who to weed out when you are deciding who to even engage with to discuss pricing and availability.

  2. Beware of Stacking

    After you’ve done your searching and have identified the companies you want to talk with, it’s time to reach out and see if there is availability that you’re looking for and find out pricing.

    But before you do make any calls or send any emails, make sure that you've looked through more than just the first few results that popped up through the search engine. Often, the best options won't be the top search results. There are several reasons for this, but we're going focus on one reason that most people aren’t aware of — stacking.

    What is stacking? When you contact a CHC, they may not have what you need in their inventory. They may be booked up, or it may not be in an area of town that they keep a lot of inventory.

    So when you reach out to them for an area where they don’t keep inventory, that CHC sends out an email blast to the other CHCs that they work with — it isn’t uncommon for most CHCs in a particular city to know each other and work with each other. In their email, they ask who has inventory in the area of your request. They then get a quote from the other CHCs and add a markup on top of that quote — hence the term "stacking." Finally, they quote that apartment to you as if it was their own.

    You are probably going to spend $500 to $1,000 more per month on that apartment than if you had leased directly from the CHC that had the inventory themselves.

    Some people might go ahead with that higher quote thinking that higher prices mean that you’ve found the best CHC with better quality or service — they did show up on the top of the rankings after all. But in fact, they’re probably just more expensive because they stacked your apartment by adding a markup on top of another company's apartment.

    So, to pour salt on the wound, not only are you paying more to stay with what you thought was a superior CHC, you aren’t even staying in their apartment but staying in the less expensive CHC’s apartment that you would have stayed in and paid less for if you would have continued your search. So call around. Talk to five or six CHCs and get quotes from them.

  3. Call the Apartment Community

    You should also try to find an apartment that you want to stay in and call the apartment community. Ask them if they work with any CHCs that they can refer you to. Getting their references is the best way to avoid getting "stacked" because the apartment community is going to direct you to a CHC that they know has inventory at that location, so your pricing won’t get marked up.

    It’s still possible that this CHC is fully booked at that location, but the CHC probably has something else nearby that they can quote you that works for you. When you ask for a referral from the apartment community, ask for several CHCs and talk to each of them. Also, reach out to a few other apartment communities nearby that you are open to staying at, because a CHC may have inventory there, but not at your first choice.

    You will probably start hearing the same names from these apartment communities, which is a good indication that you are on the right track to find a reputable CHC — apartment communities aren’t going to refer you to someone who isn’t paying rent on time. Additionally, if you keep hearing the same names, you will know that the CHC holds inventory in that area, reducing your likelihood of getting stacked.

  4. Preview the Apartment

    Once you’ve narrowed your search down to the CHC that you feel comfortable with, ask to preview the apartment. If the unit you’re looking at is available, they should be able to accommodate this request. If it is currently occupied, ask if they have anything else available that you can tour. After touring one of their units, you will get a sense of how they furnish the apartment and the quality of furniture, housewares and décor that they use.

    If you’re not able to tour one of their apartments, ask to see pictures of the unit. Not all CHCs have pictures of their units, but they should, and you certainly want to ask before booking something to increase your comfort level. Also, ask about the dimensions and floor plan of the unit if you can't see it in person to ensure that the unit and company will be able to meet your needs.

  5. Verify the Details

    Though most units rented out by CHCs come with the benefits listed previously in this article, you don't want to assume that they do. Verify with the CHC that their units will be furnished, come with amenities, have an all-inclusive price, or whatever else you know that you will need. Some less credible CHCs might let you assume that they have all of the standard features of temporary housing, so make sure you double check.

  6. Ask About Their Track Record

    Whether you're an organization looking to move a group of employees to your new headquarters or trying to find housing for your summer interns, you want to be in contact with a company that has met needs similar to yours in the past.

    Companies with a long track record of success can meet and even anticipate your needs. Ask the CHCs that you are considering to rent from for success stories, testimonials or even referrals. If they've helped organizations or people with the same needs that you have, they are more likely to set you up with the best housing unit.

  7. Location

    Even if you can preview the apartment and get a good sense of the area, you should still take the time to research the location to make sure that it's safe, close to your workplace or wherever you will be traveling to in your day-to-day and in an area you will enjoy. You don't want to get stuck making an hour-long commute every day if you could have gotten a place to stay that was only a five-minute walk away. In addition to searching online, when you are speaking with a CHC, ask them about their locations. Many of them will have housing all around the area and can try to set you up with a place that is most convenient for you.location-walkability score

    Along with making sure you are in a safe area close to your workplace, you should also research the walkability score of the neighborhood. A good walkability score means the location is in walking distance of places where you can finish up errands, get some exercise and get food or coffee.

    All of these tips may sound like a lot of work, but it pays off to spend a little time on the front end of a trip to find the best accommodations and potentially save thousands over the time of your stay. Good CHCs will take the time to work with you and try to answer all of your questions in a friendly and timely manner.

Interested in Corporate Housing in the Houston Area?

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As one of the top corporate housing companies in Houston, we have customer service agents in the area committed to making these initial arrangements and your stay as enjoyable as possible. Our customer service is unmatched, and our dedicated professional team will make sure to help you find a place that will feel like home.

Our prices are all-inclusive, and our apartment complexes feature resort-style pools, spas, state-of-the-art fitness centers, business rooms, community spaces, outdoor kitchens and more.

If you or your organization is looking for corporate housing in the Houston or the Woodlands, Texas, area, we'd be happy to speak with you about what we can offer. If you'd like to talk with a representative now, give us a call at 800-314-7018.