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CHPA Fights for Members in Alabama

Posted by: Mary Ann Passi, CAE on Tuesday, March 29, 2016 at 12:00:00 am

Draft legislation:

Alabama legislators are proposing modifications to existing state law that would change the definition of ‘transient’ to any stay of 180 days or less (SB241). Transient stays would now be subject to a new state lodging tax of either 4-5%, over and above local municipality taxes. This could mean a potential total of 11 – 12% tax rate for members operating in Alabama.

Contacted by a member for help in addressing potential legislative changes, CHPA quickly responded with:

  • Communication to Members: The Association team coordinated a telephone briefing with the lobbyist to inform and alert members in Alabama on the proposed changes.
  • Contracted Experts: The Association hired RT Crowe & Associates, LLC to represent members as an industry instead of individual companies.
  • Coalition of Industries: CHPA’s lobbyist led a coalition of related industry associations with similar concerns and strengthened the approach to legislators. Rallying support from the Alabama Realtors Association, the Alabama Apartment Owners Association, and the Alabama Home Builders, the lobbyist drafted substitute language to put before the Alabama Department of Revenue and is being considered today.

Harness the power of your CHPA membership! If you receive notification of proposed legislation that could negatively impact your business, contact CHPA to see if they can help and take advantage of the strength of your membership.

If you operate or partner with a member in Alabama and want more information, please contact the CHPA Office.

5 Reasons Veterans Should Consider Employment and Entrepreneurship in the Corporate Housing Industry

Posted by: Jen Yick on Friday, March 4, 2016 at 12:00:00 am

Provided by guest blogger, Jen Yick of AvenueWest Corporate Housing

Since 2008, Jen Yick has been the Property Manager and a licensed Real Estate Agent for AvenueWest Corporate Housing in San Francisco. As a veteran working in the corporate housing industry, Jen is keenly aware of how military training and service is a great preparer for this non-traditional job. Jen connects people seeking short-term furnished housing with unique, privately owned properties managed exclusively by AvenueWest.

According to the Department of Labor, unemployment rates for veterans are 20 percent higher than the national average.

“This figure makes no sense to me as I believe veterans have not only made extraordinary sacrifices in their lives to serve their country, but also have received invaluable training and leadership experience that could greatly benefit the business world,” says Jen. “For a veteran trying to figure out a business to own or start or an industry for employment, I want to encourage him or her to take a close look at the corporate housing industry.”

On any given day, Jen is running from client to client, preparing homes for their next tenants, solving problems, and helping tenants and clients with various questions and concerns. This job takes organization, attention to detail, a wiliness to get the job done – especially under pressure, and great communication skills. These skills are exactly what the military prepares their men and women to do.

Jen adds that corporate housing companies should be looking to hire veterans when hiring future business leaders and employees: “Their skills will serve you and your business well and poise your business for long-term, continued success.”

Below are five reasons why veterans make great employees and successful business leaders:

1. Veterans Operate Well Under Pressure:

Working in corporate housing is very exciting but extremely demanding. Everything needs to be completed quickly and someone always needs to be available round the clock to meet the needs and demands of tenants and property owners. Generally, tenants stay an average of 30-90 days – this means every 30-90 days, the property needs to be completely cleaned and inventoried so it can be rented to a new tenant. For the past seven years, Jen has successfully managed about 30 properties at any given time! Utilizing the many skills that the military taught, Jen has been able to make quick decisions, work fast and efficiently, and is willing to help any one of their tenants and
owners on a moment’s notice; after all, when a toilet is leaking, or the refrigerator stops working, these items need to be addressed right away.

A job in corporate housing is reminiscent of the pressures faced while training in the military: operating under a lot of pressure and relying on training to make the best possible decisions as quickly as possible. There isn’t time to question what needs to be done. Such training serves Jen well every single day, and it will serve other business leaders and entrepreneurs in corporate housing too.

2. Veterans are Organized and Detail Oriented:

It’s important to be organized and pay attention to every single detail when you’re in the military. There are operating procedures to everything. Everything is inspected. A bed must be made in a certain way or it needs to be redone. Socks and underwear need to be folded in a specific way too.

This organization and attention to detail translates well in the corporate housing world as detailed inspections need to be done on properties daily, including checking every crevice for dings and damage before the next tenant arrives. Specific details about each property need to be given to every tenant to ensure they have everything they need for a successful stay. These details matter to tenants and ensure a great experience with AvenueWest.

3. Veterans Thrive at Non-Traditional Jobs

Military veterans thrive in non-traditional jobs because their training teaches them to be flexible and to work out in the field. Veterans are doers; they are the ones rolling up their sleeves to do the job, no matter how messy it may be. Veterans are not afraid to get their feet wet or hands dirty. In fact, no job is beneath them, they just do what needs to get done.

Corporate housing offers non-traditional jobs that require flexibility and a willingness to do the job at hand. Showing properties, meeting new tenants, bringing on new clients, and operating at all hours, even in the middle of the night, are just some of the daily tasks. “I had a tenant once call me at midnight asking me to come over and fix a leaky faucet…I found the task reminiscent of ‘fireguard duty’ in the military where I’d be awoken in the middle of the night and assigned to guard the barracks.” Recalls Jen.

4. Veterans Excel at Communication

Soldiers have to communicate every day with their fellow soldiers, leaders and civilians, even in the most pressure-filled of scenarios. Along with good communication, veterans have to be personable and able to interact with people with different viewpoints and cultures, just as U.S. soldiers must do today when interacting with Iraqi civilians.

Organization does a person well in the corporate housing industry. Jen interacts with tenants and clients on a daily basis. Creating clear contracts, articulating well, and staying positive and client-service oriented even when an owner or tenant is being unruly or unreasonable are some examples of communication skills Jen learned from the Army. “I have been trained to stay calm, collected, and communicative even when the going gets tough.”

5. Veterans are Trustworthy

Trust is a strong value instilled in military personnel charged with protecting and serving a nation. Teams must not only trust one another, but they must look out for and trust one another.

Business owners looking for excellent people to care for their business should consider hiring a veteran to lead it (or work with a veteran to franchise your business in a new market). Veterans are team players and have a strong sense of discipline, responsibility and duty to serve those who entrust them to do the job. They will not only serve any business well, but will serve clients and tenants well too. When things need to get done, trust a veteran to do it.

Overall, veterans make great business owners, franchisees and business leaders. They operate well under pressure and are organized and detail-oriented. Veterans thrive at non-traditional jobs, communicate well with others, and have a strong sense of duty and responsibility. Jen’s job within the corporate housing industry complements all military training. Other veterans should seek employment and entrepreneurial opportunities in this industry. It’s a win for the corporate housing industry and a win for veterans too!

About Jen Yick:
Jen Yick is an army veteran and Property Manager and Real Estate Agent for AvenueWest Corporate Housing in San Francisco. She says the skills she learned in the military prepared her to be a business leader in the corporate housing industry, and she wants to urge other veterans to take a close look at the corporate housing industry for employment and entrepreneurship opportunities. Contact Jen at

About AvenueWest Managed Corporate Housing
AvenueWest is a network of locally owned and operated real estate property management brokerages offering fully furnished and serviced residential properties. Since 1999, we have been delivering quality properties and service to anyone needing temporary furnished housing. We pride ourselves on finding solutions for all of our clients. Currently, AvenueWest has local offices in Atlanta, GA, Boston, MA, Colorado Springs, CO, Dallas, TX, Denver, CO, Northern Colorado (Fort
Collins/Loveland/Greeley), Phoenix, AZ, San Francisco, CA, and Seattle, WA. To find out more about the locations and services we offer our tenants and property owners, please visit or call us 1-800-928-1592.

Recent Decisions Long Term Impact

Posted by: Mary Ann Passi, CAE on Tuesday, February 2, 2016 at 12:00:00 am

CHPA leaders have met several times to ensure the Association supports member companies’ success through the following programs and services:

Protecting Your Interests

Several potential pieces of legislation afforded us the opportunity to share the recently developed Value of Corporate Housing. Using this resource with lobbyists, City Councils and NAA’s Government Affairs staff, for example, helps ensure that legislation does not prohibit your ability to do business. If you hear of a local issue that is of concern to you in any of your markets, please contact Mary Ann Passi. CHPA contacts these local government officials to support your concerns and share this resource to better educate their efforts.

Validating Your Guests’ Experiences

CHPA has announced the ISAAP Quality Assessment Program in partnership with ASAP. UK assessors will be used for continuity sake.

Accrediting Your Company’s Professionalism

Have you heard about CHPA’s new company accreditation? You may have individually earned your CCHP – now is your chance to earn recognition for your company’s excellence. Set your company apart and increase your competitive advantage – accredit your company in 2016!

For more information on these valuable member-only opportunities, check out today.

Making your elevator speech easier

Posted by: Mary Ann Passi, CAE on Friday, November 20, 2015 at 12:00:00 am

Corporate housing is often misunderstood --- from your family to your legislator! But recently CHPA invested in two resources to help you start the conversation.

CHPA invested in a professionally filmed infomercial that was developed for the In America documentary series that airs on PBS. As part of CHPA's participation, the Association gets three professionally formatted pieces to use and distribute to members for their use. One of these is a one-minute ‘commercial’ that will air up to 400 times in the US in 2016. CHPA will use the videos to promote the industry in tradeshow booths and interactions with other organizations. Members are free to download any of the media pieces and use them to promote their companies and the industry.  These videos are currently in production. Look for the release dates early in 2016! Check out

The other piece that was completed is a white paper describing what corporate housing is --- and what it isn't. Every day, we’re inundated with headlines about hotels, the sharing economy, online travel agents, vacation rentals, etc. These options confuse the hospitality and lodging space. CHPA has a new resource for you to use to educate partners, investors and legislators about the industry. Download the Value of Corporate Housing, a new white paper that articulates the differences between housing options available. Found in the Members Only Knowledge Center, please help educate stakeholders and give them the facts on these differences. CHPA uses this paper with legislators as they draft new regulations to protect the industry and your right to do business.

Board members affirmed strategic priorities

Posted by: Mary Ann Passi, CAE on Tuesday, November 10, 2015 at 12:00:00 am

The CHPA Board of Directors met in October and the Executive Committee in November. Board members affirmed strategic priorities for the Association for the remainder of 2015 and 2016. Recent leadership decisions including:

  • Purchasing event cancellation insurance to protect the annual and regional conferences.
  • Updating investment policies.
  • Approving the Value of Corporate Housing white paper differentiating corporate housing from other lodging choices.
  • Selecting the Lifetime Achievement Award winner for next year.
  • Adding the contribution of industry data as a requirement to become a CHPA Accredited Member Company.
  • To streamline and change the method in which industry data is collected.

Look for more information on the impact of these decisions on your company’s success! If you have any business to come before the Board of Directors, please contact Mary Ann Passi, CHPA CEO, at



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