Published on Friday, October 1st, 2010 by

Savvy Extended Stay Travelers Choose Corporate Housing for Optimal Accommodations

Megan Torrance of Sarasota,
Florida, loved life as a
consultant despite being on the road 4-5 days each week for months on end. 

“I enjoyed traveling for business. I could get a ton of work done without the distractions of being
home,” she says, “Plus, I’m from a small town, so being in a big city like Chicago was pretty cool.”

Rather than staying in an extended stay hotel, Torrance’s company placed
her in a furnished apartment known as corporate housing.

Corporate housing is defined as a furnished residential apartment,
house or condominium made available for rent on a temporary basis, primarily
for 30 days or more. Corporate housing is typically located within residential
communities and includes furniture, a full kitchen, a private bath, linens,
housewares, electronics and utilities.

Adam Sherer, president of the Corporate
Housing Provider’s Association (CHPA), the professional association for the
corporate housing industry, says a corporate rental is like a home away from

“People can move right into a corporate
apartment. The utilities are on, the dishes are stacked neatly in the
cabinets, the towels are ready for use, and the beds are ready to go,” says
Sherer. Phone service and high-speed Internet are generally included as well.

Highland Group, an independent hospitality research firm, estimates that corporate housing is a $2.4
billion dollar industry and that more than 60,000 people on any given night
could be staying in a furnished apartment. The research firm also reports that
corporate housing comprises about 24 percent of occupied units in the
extended stay industry.

Sherer says that corporate housing is “good
news” for the average traveler, who used to be limited in their lodging options. 

“Travelers could either pay for nightly
hotel rooms or sign long-term obligations to rent an unfurnished apartment,” he says. “While corporate housing has
always been around for business travelers, today any savvy traveler can enjoy
the unique advantages furnished, short-term housing offers.”

Benefits of Corporate Housing

Sherer says one of the top benefits of
corporate housing is truly “living” in the host city rather than simply

“Visitors can live in a residential
neighborhood, go to a local farmer’s markets and then prepare the food in their
kitchen that night. Corporate housing is appealing to anyone who wants to make
the most of their travels,” he says.

Another bonus to corporate housing, adds Torrance, is that you
have a place to leave your clothes and essentials when you return home for the

“I loved that I didn’t have to schlep my stuff on an
airplane every week; rather I securely stored my clothes and essentials in my
corporate apartment and only traveled back and forth with a carry-on bag for
the weekends,” she says.

She adds that another benefit is the ability
to eat healthy, like she normally would at home.

“I put on a lot of weight living in hotels over the years… and small hotel
rooms do not encourage a healthy lifestyle,” she says.

Dan Nainan, a Los Angeles comedian/actor, says he, too,
prefers corporate rentals over hotels. He lived in corporate housing for nearly
two years as a consultant and most recently stayed in a corporate rental in Philadelphia while
filming The Last Airbender, the latest movie from M. Night Shyamalan.

also stayed in temporary furnished housing when I first moved to Los Angeles,”
he says, “I had a chance to get to know the city as more of a resident instead
of just as a tourist.”

Sherer says getting to know a city is of the
utmost importance in a relocation situation.

“More people being relocated should consider
corporate housing rather than rush to buy a house. There is no better way to
get to know a pocket of a city before committing to a place to live
permanently,” he says.

Corporate Housing Not
Just for Executives

Martha Greenlee, the director of marketing and PR for a real
estate company in Miami, says that corporate housing helped her father, who was
fighting pancreatic cancer, find comfort while undergoing treatment at a medical
facility 750 miles away from his Florida home.

“Corporate housing is the most comfortable option for
someone with a very serious illness. It made all the difference in the
world to my father and family,” she says. “I recall the time [in corporate
housing] as particularly wonderful, despite the difficult circumstances. My
father was even able to bring his dog. It felt like home.”

Mary Ann Passi, Executive Director for CHPA, contends that
people don’t need to put their lives on hold when traveling.

“Long-term stays can take its toll on a traveler’s psyche –
especially living in a transient environment,” Passi says. “Having a corporate
apartment affords the guest more space, more comfort, more peace and quiet, and
more possibilities. It’s the savvy way to travel for extended periods of time.”