Costco talks Corporate Housing is it right for you?
By John Morell
DID YOU MOVE recently? Can’t sell your home? You may have considered renting your property; however, finding traditional renters who want long-term leases is often as difficult as putting a house up for sale. That’s how Kimberly Smith got her business started in 2005. “I was working with companies to help them find corporate housing for traveling employees,” she explains. “People would tell me they couldn’t find a buyer for their own home and ask if I knew someone who wanted to rent it. I decided there had to be a way to connect these individual homeowners with corporate housing clients and we went from there.” Her Denver-based CorporateHousingBy Owner.com (www.MyCHBO.com) has picked up on the trend toward short-term living. “Corporate housing is a $2.5 billion industry in the U.S., but it’s traditionally flown under the radar,” says Smith. “When most people think about renting out their home they’d prefer to do so with a tenant who signs a long-term lease, but there can be a lot of competition for those renters. However, there’s often a market for homes and condos that are available on a month-to-month basis or short-term lease.” Smith points out that there are countless well-paid professionals such as traveling nurses, business consultants, university professors and others who seek out short-term housing. She says, “These are people who need a place for one or more months that’s more comfortable and cost effective than a long stay at a hotel.” While traditionally corporate housing has been high-end condos and apartments located in metropolitan areas, Smith says that in today’s market almost anything goes. “If you have a single-family home in a suburban or rural area, you may find that there’s a need for short-term rentals,” she notes. “It could be a nearby company that has to accommodate employees for training sessions, or if you’re anywhere close to a performing arts center that has traveling shows doing engagements that are a month long or more, they’re also looking for housing.” Rates for corporate housing can be 25 percent or more higher than the regular rental market rates, but there are also higher costs for the owner. Besides regularly marketing the property to keep it occupied, the owner needs to keep it well furnished and up to market standards. To get a premium price, the home needs to be equipped with modern amenities, including high-speed Internet, cable/satellite TV and an alarm system. http://www.costcoconnection.com/connection/201201/u1=issues#pg33