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When booking a hotel, making the selection is relatively easy. You pick your location, check their “Star Rating” and typically select a brand or chain you're familiar with, right?
For stays of 30 nights or more, you may be looking for a more spacious and cost effective temporary housing solution. Selecting the right temporary housing company can be a daunting task. There is no “Star Rating” and most likely you won’t recognize any familiar brands.
If you want to make the right choice, here are the 10 Questions to ask any provider you are considering:
1) What does this rate include? Get in writing a complete list of services that the quote includes to avoid any surprises on your bill. Read the contract carefully. If the contract is 10 pages deep and you need a magnifying glass to read it, walk away!
2) Are you a member of the Corporate Housing Providers Association (CHPA)? All CHPA members abide by a professional Code of Ethics. You can visit their website for a complete list of all members in your desired area.
3) Do any of your staff have their CCHP designation? This is the industry’s symbol of expertise and excellence. Having this designation demonstrates a commitment to their industry and the clients they serve.
4) What other Associations are you a member of? Another good indication of their level of professionalism and commitment to their clients is the company’s involvement in the Industries that use their services (Insurance, Relocation, Corporate Travel etc.).
5) How long have you been in business? Longevity in the Industry is a good sign that you are dealing with a company you can trust. Ask for and check references before committing to contracts.
6) How can I reach you outside of regular office hours? Trust me! You definitely want to ensure the company is easily accessible. If you found them online and have only been communicating by email, try calling them as well - and try calling after hours to see how responsive they are.
7) Do you have Liability Insurance? This may seem like a silly question but you would be surprised to know that many providers do not. It’s a cost savings to the provider but a huge liability and risk for the client. If the contract doesn’t have a clause that mentions insurance coverage that is a good indication they don’t have any.
8) Are your Housekeeping and Maintenance Staff Bonded and Insured? These are the people who will have access to your home and your personal belongings. Being bonded and insured provides a company full financial coverage from damage, theft or any other issues.
9) What is your business model? There are three business models for corporate apartments: direct, third-party, and blended. “Direct” is when the suite you are offered is managed directly by the company you are booking with. “Third-party” is when the suite is essentially sub-leased from another temporary housing company. A “Blended” business model is a combination of both renting directly and 3rd Party.
10) What if I am not 100% Satisfied? If the provider does not have a Satisfaction Guarantee, chances are, there'is a reason! They must be willing to offer an alternate suite/location or refund your stay.
Take a close look at your Home-owner's Insurance Policy, specifically Coverage D (additional living expenses). ALE covers the expenses you may incur if you are not able to live in your home for a period of time due to fire or flood damages, or in the case of an evacuation order.
How long you can claim this benefit and how much you receive is based on the amount your home is insured for. So, if you have a home insured for $500,000 your monthly allowance would be approximately $3,500-$4,500. However, if your home is only insured for $150,000, your allowance would only be about $1,500-$2,000/month.
Also, the policy does cover expenses such as meals, but will only pay the amount ‘above and beyond’ your normal expenses. If you normally spend $150 a week for food, but are living in a hotel and spend $300 a week on food since you do not have a kitchen to cook in, then the insurance company will reimburse you $150, not $300.
With no place to live, policyholders often turn to a hotel for temporary accommodation because they cannot commit to a 12 month lease required to rent an apartment. Unfortunately, ALE allowances can run out long before the policyholder is able to move back into their home.
There is a solution... a temporary living arrangement that is not quite a hotel or a rented apartment. Rather, it is a hybrid of the two that has become increasingly popular: a temporary furnished residence.
ALE allowances go much farther in a serviced apartment than a traditional hotel. Fully equipped kitchens save costly restaurant bills, stays of more than 30 nights are always tax exempt and the typical in-suite laundry are just a few of the many cost saving benefits.
Having lost their home, even temporarily, a family can get to feeling displaced. A furnished residence offers all the comforts of home, for less than the cost of a hotel. In some cases, the family may even be able to remain in their neighbourhood. This sense of familiarity can be a great comfort and convenience. Children can easily attend school and parents can continue their same commute each day.
Finding a “home away from home” wherever you need it, is easy.
Simply visit the CHPA's membership directory for a complete list of all members in your desired area.
The 2015 CHPA Annual Conference was a record-breaking year! Over 230 companies were in attendance, representing 78% of the membership. Members from eight different countries came together to support the industry and each other. CHPA 2015 was designed to give each attendee countless opportunities to network and strengthen relationships with other industry professionals.
On the 2015 CHPA Annual Conference Survey, 85% of the respondents ranked Networking Opportunities as the most important reason for attending the conference. In just 2 1/2 days, CHPA 2015 offered:
While the 2015 CHPA Annual Conference was focused on educational content and networking opportunities, the CHPA Industry Event Task Force was able to plan a great closing event. The 2015 Closing Party was the CHPA Biker Bash! The Biker bash included:
CHPA has AMAZING members that are not afraid of having a little fun! Below are some of my favorite photos from the event, along with Paul Bates - our Biker Bash costume winner!
I hope to see ya'll next year at CHPA 2016 in Fort Worth, Texas!
CHPA is coming to you in 2015! Join us a bit closer to home at one of the three Regional Conferences planned this year.
*East – Washington, D.C. – April 13 & 14*
*Midwest – Chicago – June 9 & 10*
*West – San Jose – October 21 & 22*
CHPA Regional Conferences are designed to bring you valuable networking and education at an affordable price without much time away from the office.
The afternoon prior to the conference you will have the opportunity to participate in a hands-on service activity at a local agency arranged with our partner, Move For Hunger. After you’ve spent some time giving back to the local community, unwind and relax at the Welcome Reception. This is a great way to catch up with old colleagues and connect with some new ones.
The programming of these events is specifically tailored to the geographic location. You will leave with tangible knowledge to immediately implement in your company. Additionally, you’ll have the chance to see the latest and greatest your industry partners have to offer while you stop by their exhibit tables during lunch and breaks.
All of these events are led by member task forces. If you have great ideas on how to shape these programs, or would like to see one come to your market, please email Christine Saricos at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Online registration is open for all events now – sign up today! http://www.chpaonline.org/events/regional-conferences/
The first quarter has been busy for CHPA leaders. Several meetings resulted in the progress reported here. Incoming and outgoing Executive Committee members met in early January for a leadership transition meeting. CHPA leaders assessed both the Board’s effectiveness and the CHPA team’s support of the Association. Both assessments were favorable and identified continued areas for growth. Leaders approved new policies for the Lifetime Achievement Award Process and Volunteer Leader Responsibilities.
Each meeting’s discussion focused on annual and long-term goals for the Association, reviewing each in light of value to and support of member companies. Leaders prioritized the 2015 action plan and reviewed progress toward these three goals.
Goal #1: Increasing Membership – 85% Progress
Goal #2: Increasing Revenue – 90.9% Progress
Goal #3: Reserves – 72.6% Progress
Many thanks for years of thoughtful contributions and leadership to CHPA to Piper Ayala, CCHP, ExecuStay Midwest, Guy Cook, CCHP, Suite America and Mike Scrabis, CCHP, Brook Furniture Rental for their service. Welcome to new Board of Directors Maria Telfer, Suite Interiors, Jeff Brookhouser, CCHP, Premiere Suites and Julio Morales, Churchill Living, beginning their leadership terms on March 1.