|Title:||United States number of corporate housing residences with revenue in dollars, occupancy rate, average night stay, average nightly rate, and percentage of guests indicating "relocation" as purpose of trip for 2011|
Start of full article - but without data
There were an estimated XX,XXX corporate housing
residences in 2011 that generated
$X.XX billion, a year-over-year increase of X.X%
X,XXX Total number of residences (including sub-markets) in the Los Angeles, Calif., metropolitan statistical area, the largest market in the country
XX.X Overall national occupancy percentage rate
XX Nights: Average stay in U.S. corporate housing in 2010
$ Average 2010 nightly rate XXX.XX
XX Percent of those citing "relocation" as the purpose of their trip
Source: The 2012 Corporate Housing Report, sponsored
by CHPA and in partnership with The Highland Group.
The businessman's gaze took a quick turn around the residence, alighting on the desk featured in the second bedroom.
"I love the way you laid this out," he said. "Can I just get it like this?"
Lindsay Hudek, leasing consultant for Alta at K Station, a Lincoln Property Company community in Chicago, was showing a model apartment to a prospective resident. Turns out he liked the residence--but loved its furnishings. So much so, in fact, that he requested everything duplicated.
Such are the needs of the foad-weary, the temporary, the "any bed is a good bed" set. And if business success is defined by serving unmet needs, partnering with rental furniture providers to offer furnished apartment homes can prove a unique revenue opportunity in the multifamily housing industry, according to several professionals interviewed for this article.
Alta at K Station maintains a relationship with a third-party rental furniture provider, and was able to connect the resident with the firm, who coincidentally decorated the model. Hudek says the resident was excited to have an office in the second bedroom; seems he was even more excited he didn't have to furnish it himself.
Hudek says offering furnished apartment homes is a needs-based strategy for servicing a particular segment of clients. Those who express an interest in rental furniture (or housewares, or electronics or any other assorted domestic accoutrements) are connected with the provider, who then can walk the resident through a variety of packages. Everything is set up before the resident's key unlocks the door for the first time.
"It was new to me," Hudek says of the experience, "but a hassle-free move-in is a great customer-service opportunity."
Up in the Air
The idea for Walter Kirn's 2001 novel, "Up in the Air," which follows a XX-year-old: "career transition counselor" (Ryan Bingham, played by George Clooney in the 2009 movie by the same name) as he flies around the country interacting with the recently laid-off, began with a conversation Kim had with another traveler on a shared flight. The man informed Kirn he used to have an apartment, but never used it. He now has a storage locker instead, as lie is on the mad XXX days a year.
Corporate transferees. Reality 'IV film crews. Government employees and military service members. Professional sports teams. Insurance professionals, emergency crews and catastrophe teams. These folks are out there. And they all need a place to live, even if it's only for a little while.
So says Parry Cobb, CAPS. RAM, Property Manager for GCI Residential in Charlotte, N.C., and Treasurer of the Greater Charlotte Apartment Association. "It's a nice benefit for the many people moving to the Charlotte area who are in transition; they may be living in our property while searching for a home or working temporarily on assignment for six to XX months."
Cobb says her leading use of furnished units is for the Charlotte Knights baseball team, the Triple-A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox, who for the last three years has leased XX units from March to September. The transferees and travelers account for six to seven other apartment homes a year.
Cobb provides residents with a book of furniture options to review from her furniture rental provider. Once the resident has made his or her selections, the provider then comes in and sets up the residence. They bill Cobb, who then bills the resident. "It's a one-stop shop, and we just order the furniture as needed," she says. "[The provider] really is valuable help in staging, too, which helps property to lease."
Cobb says that sometimes it's more than just travelers who need furnishings. "We had a resident whose home was damaged by fire on Christmas Eve," she says. 'We were able to move them in within a few days and have the furniture delivered just as quickly. The availability was much appreciated."
Spanning the Resident Spectrum
In the annals of famous secrets, falling somewhere between the identity of Deep-Throat and the recipe for Coca-Cola, was the name of the person selected to ceremonially begin the Games of the XXVI Olympiad.
On July XX, 1996, the world stood agape as heavyweight-boxing champion Muhammad Ali (who himself won gold as a light heavyweight in Rome in 1960) took the torch from five-time swimming medalist Janet Evans and delivered it to the Olympic Cauldron.
The whole world, that is, except for Sue Ansel and. Pam Wade, who were housing the celebrity athlete in one of their organization's furnished apartments during the lead-up to the Games.
Ansel, Chief Operating Officer for Gables Residential in Dallas, and Wade, Vice President Corporate Accommodations for Gables Corporate Accommodations in Houston, began offering furnished' apartments in 1990 based on prospect requests. "It was addressing a need," Ansel says. "Really responding to the needs of the clients."
Gables Corporate Accommodations leases unfurnished units from Gables Residential and partners with third-party management companies on the remainder of the apartment homes.
"Last year was a good year," Wade says. "We started to see companies move more employees through business travel and relocation."
Corporate transferees are a strong source of residents, but Wade and Ansel were able to rattle off many more examples of the types of prospective residents seeking furnished accommodations. Wade cited "snowbirds." who like to "fly south for the winter." Also assisted are consulting firms working on projects, conducting trainings or rotational assignments; support staff for major sporting and entertainment events; oil and gas engineering firm and service companies; long-term commuters (think Monday through Friday and home on the weekends); and, sadly, the recently divorced or otherwise displaced.
Regardless of need, all are offered customizable packages that rival hotels in quality and price. According to Wade and Ansel, the amount of space, the quality of furnishings and community amenities offered tend to be superior to hotels, especially for those desiring a more "homey" feel or who expect to be away from home longer than a typical hotel stay. Most hotels don't offer full kitchens, nor are the social opportunities as "authentic" as those you would find in communities of temporary residents. The pair says furnished apartment homes are also upward of XX percent less expensive per night. Besides, six months seems an awful long time to live in a hotel.
Wade says working with residents who request rental furnishing is "unpredictable but rewarding," recalling leasing XXX) apartments in one day in Houston for New Orleans residents who lost their housing following the devastation left by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Many of these residents staved for up to two years post-Katrina, Wade says.
Easy as One, Two, Fee
Quenim Moutselos, CAM, Fogelman Management Croup's Senior Business Manager for the Huntersville. N.C., communities of One Norman Square and The Fairways at Birkdale, says furnished apartment homes offer convenience and help to ease the stress of corporate transferees, who often already have enough on their plate given the demands of adjusting to a new work environment.
Her properties contract directly with a third-party rental furniture provider, who sets up the apartment, and the rental fee is added to the lease agreement. "It's one payment for the resident," she says. "Everyone's story [of why they love it] is the same: it removes stress from their move." One Norman Square does about XX to XX furnished apartment homes per year, with the Faiways at Birkdale adding another seven or so.
Moutselos says that she works more closely with the company than the individual, especially since the market downturn. She did share some sage advice for those property managers and owners keen on offering furnished rentals of their own.
"We've built relationships with the large corporations in our area," she says. "Who are your big corporate contacts, the Fortune XXX employers in your area? I guarantee they are moving people in and out. We contact the HR departments and ask them to send their people our Way. It's a win for us and a win for them."
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