Living out of a suitcase? Three Better Options for Housing Traveling Employees

Brian Ferdinand Highlights the Benefits of Corporate Housing Rental Units

Living out of a suitcase can be a great or horrible experience. Pros and cons will vary from person to person, but the one thing both groups of people can agree on is that where you stay makes all the difference in the world. Brian Ferdinand, the managing partner of SoBeNY and its parent company, CorpHousing Group, points out that when traveling for extended periods, people find themselves not only missing home but the comforts they rely on to maintain balanced, healthy wellbeing. In today’s rental market, being away from home doesn’t mean travelers have to be away from the comforts they enjoy if they are open to considering other forms of accommodations.

Ferdinand offers a few alternative options for short and long-term stays, including furnished apartments, extended-stay hotels, and corporate housing.

Furnished Apartment

Renting a furnished apartment is an ideal choice for traveling professionals and students. This option alleviates the burden of buying or renting furniture, houseware, kitchenware, and everything you would need for standard living accommodations.  Washer and dryer units are typically available either within the unit or in the building (if in the building, they will likely be coin-operated). Ferdinand says that for travelers that need to secure inexpensive housing quickly and for a short time, furnished apartments can be a suitable option. However, Ferdinand points out that most furnished apartments do not cater to the end-user experience. Furnishings are often second-hand, meant to simply fill space and are not geared toward comfort or luxury. Don’t expect an aesthetically pleasing design or stylistic décor throughout the apartment. Most owners renting out a furnished apartment will not extend this level of investment in the unit. High-speed wi-fi, cable, and other amenities are most likely not included (but are already set up), and the renter will need to reach out to local companies to have these services turned on. Utilities are also a hassle as this is typically kept on in the owner’s name, and the renter will need to pay the owner directly outside of the rental price. Be prepared for higher rent and security deposit payments.

Extended Stay Hotel

Extended Stay Hotels are a suitable option depending on how long the stay will be. This option is a slight upgrade to a standard hotel room but doesn’t offer the comforts and amenities you would find in other options like corporate housing (continue reading). Ferdinand points out that the cons of the extended-stay hotel option are that the traveler is still in a hotel. This means they are dealing with very little space (slightly larger than a standard hotel room) and, in most cases, everything is located in one place (except the bathroom). The bed, workstation/desk, and minimal kitchen amenities are all located in the same room, much like a studio apartment. This option also requires the renter to bring, or purchase, any kitchenware they will need beyond one set of eating utensils and a bowl or plate. Other than the minimal kitchen, extended stay hotels are not meant for long-term stays and offer no measurable comforts.

Choosing this option also means you are dealing with high-foot traffic areas by other guests, increasing the risk of COVID-19 infection. Hotel lobbies, restaurants, vending areas, laundry rooms, fitness centers, elevators, and any other public spaces have a higher inherent risk that travelers may want to avoid as much as possible. The pros of the extended-stay hotel option are daily housekeeping services (if required), reasonable rates, and no lease involved. Just like the furnished apartment, luxury, and comfort are overshadowed by efficiency.

Corporate Housing

Saving the best for last, when it comes to short- or long-term rental needs, corporate housing offers high-end, luxury accommodations with all the amenities of home. Ferdinand says that corporate housing, when compared to a hotel (extended stay included) or furnished apartment, offers tremendous value and material advantages. Corporate housing units are high-end apartments, condominiums, or single-family homes, which are located in highly desirable urban and residential neighborhoods. 

Like furnished apartments, the corporate house comes furnished but fully furnished with time and consideration given to décor and comfort. These rental units come complete with all cookware, housewares, flatware, linens, towels, all utilities, security systems, cable TV, and high-speed wireless internet already activated. Companies who manage corporate housing rentals can also work with the traveler for any special needs they may require during their stay. This includes flexibility in furniture choices or adding in additional amenities such as baby cribs, or specially designed ergonomic furniture settings.

Corporate housing is an excellent choice for business travelers, students, military/government personnel, or others that require stays for an extended time. When booking a stay at a corporate housing rental unit, all the traveler needs is a suitcase. Walking into a ready-made home is the experience of corporate housing. After a few minutes of unpacking your belongings, the traveler will feel right at home surrounded by many of the same amenities they are accustomed to having, and maybe a few new ones to explore, says Ferdinand.

Corporate housing is also a good lifestyle choice. Groceries can be purchased at the local market to be cooked in a full kitchen just like the traveler would at home. Plates, silverware, pots and pans are provided. 

Unlike renting a furnished apartment, service is the main focus of corporate housing. The management staff is always available to help. Many corporate housing companies offer 24-hour concierge service, or “Greeter Programs” to help travelers navigate their new surroundings and find any outside services they may need.  Many corporate housing companies also offer cleaning services as an additional service. Pets are usually allowed at corporate housing, and businesspeople can have family stay at the apartment. 

In closing, Ferdinand says that the true benefit of corporate housing is creating an environment that feels more like a home and not like a hotel, while offering the excitement and novelty of “living “in another city, and not just visiting.