If you’re going on a three-day work trip, you probably just book a room at a hotel that offers business-friendly amenities and perhaps some entertainment options.
But for those with jobs that require extended stints in unfamiliar locales, hotels may not be the best choice. They never quite feel like home. And living the hotel lifestyle can get expensive – for the business traveler and for the company.
There is, however, another option: corporate housing. Read on to find out what corporate housing is, and who is taking advantage of it.
What Is Corporate Housing?
Corporate housing is fully furnished, serviced housing available to rent on a temporary basis. All you need to bring is your suitcase and food for the fridge. You might also hear corporate housing referred to as corporate apartments, executive apartments, serviced apartments, temporary housing or short-term housing.
Average stays in corporate housing are two to three months – quite a bit longer than a typical business trip. Some corporate housing providers may set minimum stays in the range of 14 days or 30 days.
Corporate housing often is located in apartments or condominiums. Still, detached, single-family homes may also be available, depending on the local market.
It’s important to note that the term “corporate housing” refers not just to the physical space being rented, but also to the suite of services included with the rental.
Who Uses Corporate Housing and Why?
Traditionally, business travelers were the main users of corporate housing. Think of someone assigned to train a remote client or a team getting a new project off the ground in a field office. However, corporate lodging has since gained popularity with a broad cross-section of people in need of medium-term accommodations.
Business travelers still use corporate housing, as do government employees on extended assignments. Corporate housing is particularly useful for relocating employees, especially corporate executives. In fact, the Corporate Housing Providers Association reports that relocation is the reason for the extended stay 40% of the time.
Relocating employees might live in corporate housing temporarily to try out a neighborhood or while selling their old house or finding a new house. There’s no pressure to buy or rent a new home immediately. And if a new city or position turns out not to be a good fit, there’s no lease to break.
Some of the most common industries for corporate housing clients include:
- Healthcare, such as travel nurses and medical researchers.
- Entertainment, such as stage performers and film crews.
- Energy, such as oil and gas exploration workers.
- Professional services, such as consultants.
- Government and military, such as reassigned service members.
- Manufacturing and construction, such as project managers.
- Finance and banking, such as auditors.
- Technology, such as contracted programmers.
Corporate housing has also become popular for interns, both medical interns and business interns. Rather than going to the trouble of arranging for utilities, furniture and housewares, they can simply pay one fee that takes care of everything.
Homeowners temporarily displaced by catastrophic events such as hurricanes or floods may also occupy corporate housing. In these situations, insurance companies shoulder the cost of putting claimants up in housing of “like kind” while their homes are being repaired.
Some adventurers even rent corporate housing for extended vacations. If you’re going to be exploring a new place for 30 days or more, why spend the extra money on a hotel suite when you can live like a local in corporate housing?
What Are the Benefits of Corporate Housing?
One might think of corporate housing as a happy medium between a hotel stay and renting a furnished apartment.
Like a house or apartment, corporate housing offers a high level of privacy and features many of the comforts of home. After all, there’s no need to dine out or order room service every night since most short-term rentals feature a full kitchen with pots, pans, dishes and utensils. And unlike many extended-stay hotels, corporate housing typically is located in a residential setting.
Unlike many long-term rentals, corporate housing comes fully furnished with utilities included. Corporate apartments are fully serviced, and the monthly fee is generally all-inclusive. Internet, television, washer/dryer, bathroom towels and bedroom linens tend to be part of the deal. You may even be able to get a housekeeping service for an additional fee.
Many corporate housing facilities offer hotel-like amenities, including swimming pools and fitness rooms. However, an extended stay in corporate housing is often less expensive than a long-term stay in a hotel. The average rate for U.S. corporate housing in 2015 was $143 a day.
Corporate Housing Has Its Perks
As you can see, corporate housing has a lot going for it. For starters, it’s homier than a hotel but generally less expensive. Everything you need is provided. It’s less of a commitment than leasing a private apartment.
For those relocating for periods of time shorter than “permanent” but longer than the usual business trip or vacation, corporate housing is a very sensible option. Start your search for corporate housing at your destination on CorporateHousing.com.