I've had several people ask me about corporate housing and whether it might be a suitable alternative for short-term housing. To answer that question, there are several things to consider that are unique to your situation. But first, let's look at what corporate housing is and how to find it.
What is Corporate Housing?
Corporate housing refers to any type of housing that offers fully furnished units for longer term stays.
Its name derives from the fact that corporate housing is often used primarily by companies to house employees for longer periods of time in order to save the cost of hotel bills. It can be used for people traveling to another city for business meetings or to house temporary employees or contract workers.
While corporate housing began as a housing option for company employees, the service has grown to include vacationers, students and people requiring short-term housing when moving. While the fees can be higher than one might first expect, the units are usually well-stocked with everything you need for a comfortable stay. Often they include parking, cleaning service and are centrally located to make commuting easier.
When to Use Corporate Housing
I've used corporate housing several times, always when we've been moving to a new city too far to commute to. I've also used it for some contract projects I've worked on that required three to four weeks of time.
I've always been happy with the service I received and would consider this option if I needed a last-minute short-term rental housing.
If you have time to find short-term housing, for instance, if you know your new home won't be ready for you to move into or, like me, you need to find a place to live and require short term housing to do that, then I suggest looking into other options, including vacation rental such as Airbnb or vbro.
Pricing and comfort are key. Do your homework and find a place that meets your moving budget needs.
If you're moving off-season in winter, it may be easier to find vacation rental deals than to use corporate housing. So compare your options or call up the short-term housing company and ask if they'll give you a deal considering it's off season or because you're staying longer than usual.
How Much is Corporate Housing?
As with any rental housing, it depends on where you'll be staying, for how long, when and how large a unit you'll need. Typically, corporate housing will be more costly than renting an unfurnished apartment long-term. Also, the longer you stay, the less you'll pay. Many corporate housing companies offer daily, weekly and monthly rates with the price decreasing as the length of stay increases. Also, you'll pay more for a one-bedroom than a studio, more for a two-bedroom than a one-bedroom, etc... You may also find that if you have special needs, such as pets or infants, you might be paying more. Make sure you ask before you book.
The location also makes a huge difference in price. While I usually suggest opting for a location further from the center of town, depending on your ability to drive or commuting options, you'll need to consider location carefully.
Also make sure the location is in a safe part of town and is close to conveniences such as restaurants, cafes and grocery stores.
How to Find Corporate Housing
I recommend using a search engine tool such as Google and entering the search terms: "corporate housing + the city name and country". Often, smaller local companies will provide the best price. Make sure you check the company's record with the Better Business Bureau.