By: Jules Schultz | AHWD, ABR, CNE, CRP, GRI

July 27, 2021

A Deeper Look at Short-Term Corporate Housing Benefits

For quick 1-3 night work trips, many companies will offer employees hotel accommodations. Simple and typically supported by business-friendly amenities, hotels are great for meetings that require traveling. But what about work assignments that last weeks or months? What about employees who accept a relocation offer to a new city or state? Are there options that the company can provide them? 

Corporate Housing options are intended for employees on extended trips or for employees who are relocating, either by themselves or with their families. Additionally, extended corporate housing benefits are being used as an option to help employees who are between homes due to the robust housing market of 2021

Corporate housing, also known as short-term housing, is a temporary living accommodations network provided by the employee’s company that offers houses, condos, or apartments for the duration of the employee’s assignment or final move. Leases on these properties are typically contracted for 30, 60, or 90 days. 

In most cases, corporate housing amenities are apartments that are fully furnished with a complete kitchen, full bathroom, and common appliances. In some less common situations, single-family homes can be made available for relocation housing purposes. Other names for corporate housing include short-term housing, business housing, executive apartments, serviced apartments, and temporary housing. 

Corporate Housing vs Rental Properties

The primary difference between short-term corporate housing options and typical rental homes or apartments is that corporate housing is provided to employees as a part of their relocation or assignment benefits package. Common rental properties are typically not covered as part of the company policy. 

For companies with a large volume of employees consistently relocating to the same location for longer than 30 days, it could be beneficial to work with a relocation services management company (RMC). An RMC can broker contracts with a landlord or apartment complex to maintain a predictable long-term rate and consistent availability. This can be more advantageous as the company can cycle relocating or traveling employees through the properties as they move or report for assignments.

Who Uses Corporate Housing Options?

Companies with employees who have a work assignment lasting 30 or more days typically take advantage of corporate housing. A primary reason is for comfortability by creating a more at-home feeling to help keep employees focused. However, with the current real estate trends in 2020-2021, more companies are shifting towards offering short-term housing options for their relocating employees that need extra time to sell or purchase a suitable home.

Corporate housing benefits provide several advantages to transferring employees as well. The first being that these benefits are commonly included within their relocation policy and paid for by their employer, reducing the financial burden on the employee. Additionally, temporary housing gives the relocators the ability to focus on exploring their new city and learn about the surrounding areas, before attempting to purchase a home of their own. Lastly, corporate housing provides relocating employees and their families a transition period to help them acclimate to the change associated with moving.

For example, an employee who has to report on a certain start date can do so while staying in corporate housing. As the employee works at their new destination, the family has the flexibility to finish the school year, prepare their property for sale, or oversee the shipment of their household goods before rejoining the spouse/partner. This transitionary period is critical in ensuring the relocation is as stress-free as possible for everyone it impacts. 

Additionally, in a hot real estate market is it common for a transferee’s home to sell quickly, only for the employee to face limited inventory and a competitive market at their destination. This can make it difficult for a buyer to secure a home in a short amount of time, leading the family to seek out temporary housing to cover the gap. In today’s real estate market, the offering of temporary housing benefits and extensions in these situations is more common than ever.

Industries & Job Types That Commonly Utilize Corporate Housing

While temporary housing is used by a broad range of organizations with relocation programs, the following are more common examples of industries and job types that utilize these benefits:

  • Healthcare – traveling nurses, doctors, and specialists 
  • Energy – oil and gas company employees
  • Military – those on temporary duty assignment (TDY) or performing a permanent change of station (PCS)
  • Finance and banking – commonly auditors on assignment
  • Technology – IT professionals on projects
  • Retail – Trainees and managers supporting store expansions
  • Entertainment – stage crew and performers

Primary Benefits of Corporate Housing

As discussed, corporate housing offers a solution to both the company and the employee when it comes to price and ease of transition. Additionally, if the company has multiple employees coming and going from a certain city, it provides peace of mind knowing that they will have living accommodations available for their employees that are relocating or are on assignment. 

Risk mitigation is an additional benefit of corporate housing. Companies who contract with corporate housing facilities know the property is safe, secure, and provides priority coverage for the employee in the event something goes wrong. 

For example, if an employee finds that an appliance is not working, that the plumbing has issues, or that there is an electrical problem; the property management team is there to handle it. Conversely, if employees are left on their own to rent temporary accommodations, the employee and the company are exposed to unnecessary risk, as there are no guarantees that the problem can be fixed in a timely manner.

How to Learn More About Short-Term Housing for Employees

Corporate housing options can benefit all parties involved when it comes to relocating a job assignment, for both the company and the transferring employee. However, it is important to note that temporary housing benefits should be specified in the company’s relocation policies. Working with a full-service global mobility solutions team, like GMS, can help assure your corporate housing policies are clear and concise. Additionally, GMS offers relocation coaching to relocating employees to guide them on their journey and maximize their relocation benefits. Contact us today with any questions about corporate housing solutions or relocation needs.

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Director, Real Estate Services Jules has over 21 years of experience as a licensed Real Estate Agent and Broker with operational experience gained from areas throughout the United States. She has held leadership positions such as Broker of Record and Real Estate Specialist, Team Leader, and Branch Manager, and as well as owned her own real estate company, working on U.S. Domestic and Government accounts. As a Team Leader, Jules taught monthly classes in contract writing, and contract negotiating to hundreds of Real Estate Agents.

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