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On the road for business? Corporate housing can provide the comforts of home
Megan Torrance of Sarasota, Fla., loved life as a consultant despite being on the road four to five days each week for months on end.
“I enjoyed traveling for business. I could get a ton of work done without the distractions of being home,” she says, “Plus, I’m from a small town, so being in a big city like Chicago was pretty cool.”
Rather than staying in an extended stay hotel, Torrance’s company placed her in a furnished apartment known as corporate housing.
Corporate housing is defined as a furnished residential apartment, house or condominium made available for rent on a temporary basis, primarily for 30 days or more. Corporate housing is typically located within residential communities and includes furniture, a full kitchen, a private bath, linens, house wares, electronics and utilities.
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Adam Sherer, president of the Corporate Housing Provider’s Association www.chpaonline.org the professional association for the corporate housing industry, says a corporate rental is like a home away from home.
“People can move right into a corporate apartment. The utilities are on, the dishes are stacked neatly in the cabinets, the towels are ready for use, and the beds are ready to go,” says Sherer. Phone service and high-speed Internet are generally included as well.
The Highland Group, an independent hospitality research firm, estimates that corporate housing is a $2.4 billion dollar industry and more than 60,000 people on any given night could be staying in a furnished apartment. The research firm also reports that corporate housing comprises about 24 percent of occupied units in the extended stay industry.
The benefits of corporate housing
Sherer says one of the top benefits of corporate housing is truly living in the host city rather than simply visiting.
“Visitors can live in a residential neighborhood, go to a local farmers markets and then prepare the food in their kitchen that night. Corporate housing is appealing to anyone who wants to make the most of their travels,” he says.
Another bonus to corporate housing, adds Torrance, is that you have a place to leave your clothes and essentials when you return home for the weekends.
“I loved that I didn’t have to schlep my stuff on an airplane every week; rather I securely stored my clothes and essentials in my corporate apartment and only traveled back and forth with a carry-on bag for the weekends,” she says.
She adds that another benefit is the ability to eat healthy, like she normally would at home.
“I put on a lot of weight living in hotels over the years. Small hotel rooms do not encourage a healthy lifestyle,” she says.
Dan Nainan, a Los Angeles comedian/actor, says he, too, prefers corporate rentals over hotels. He lived in corporate housing for nearly two years as a consultant and most recently stayed in a corporate rental in Philadelphia while filming “The Last Airbender,” the latest movie from M. Night Shyamalan.
“I also stayed in temporary furnished housing when I first moved to Los Angeles,” he says, “I had a chance to get to know the city as more of a resident instead of just as a tourist.”
Corporate housing not just for executives
Martha Greenlee, the director of marketing and PR for a real estate company in Miami, says corporate housing helped her father, who was fighting pancreatic cancer, find comfort while undergoing treatment at a medical facility 750 miles away from his Florida home.
“Corporate housing is the most comfortable option for someone with a very serious illness. It made all the difference in the world to my father and family,” she says. “I recall the time [in corporate housing] as particularly wonderful, despite the difficult circumstances. My father was even able to bring his dog. It felt like home.”
Mary Ann Passi, executive director for CHPA, contends that people don’t need to put their lives on hold when traveling.
“Long-term stays can take a toll on a traveler’s psyche – especially living in a transient environment,” Passi says. “Having a corporate apartment affords the guest more space, more comfort, more peace and quiet, and more possibilities. It’s the savvy way to travel for extended periods of time.”
This article highlights the vacation home miami and miami furnished apartments continued evolution as a business model and its drive to become a larger industry. Most travelers are not aware of corporate housing as viable option but with more awareness we can work towards a larger share of the travel industry.