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Seven Questions to Ask When Searching for Corporate Housing

Companies who need housing and need it NOW don’t have time to go deep into the shopping process to determine if the property owners really understand what corporate housing is all about.  To help corporate relocation specialists find what they need quickly, we’ve put together seven simple questions you should ask when searching for corporate housing in Madison, WI.

Corporate housing has become heavily sought-after by executives and new hires in Madison, Wisconsin.  To capitalize on the growing market, some property owners will advertise “corporate housing” but really offer only short-term leases. Or, they’ll provide “furnished apartments” in old, outdated apartments—we’ve seen some of these with furniture and décor from the 1980’s!

Corporate housing is not just a short-term lease.  Yes, technically, corporate housing may include a short-term lease, but much more is usually included in a corporate housing package.  Executives or employees looking for a new home will require stays of 1-6 months, and so the leases tend to be shorter than the standard 9-12 month lease you find in Madison.

However, corporate housing is far more than a short-term lease. If you are dealing with a property owner, here is a list of seven questions you should ask to ensure you’re really dealing with a quality corporate housing provider:

1. Does your corporate housing have a flexible lease?  Like short-term leases, corporate housing leases should be flexible – ranging from 1 month on up.   A true provider of corporate housing will be negotiable on the term, understanding that everyone’s plans and needs are different.  Likewise, you can expect to pay a premium for a shorter lease. While we can’t always offer leases that are shorter than three months, we’ll certainly discuss all the options—especially if a client understands we have to increase the cost as we shorten the lease.

2. Does your corporate housing recreate the “at-home” experience? Too often property managers think a flexible lease is all that’s required for corporate housing.  However, a wide range of amenities must also be present – ones that will emulate the “at-home” experience.  Based on the needs of the individual, you should have the option to include linens, art on the wall – anything that makes a place feel like home.

3. Do I get a single point of contact?  A key requirement for corporations is to deal with one individual instead of hunting through a variety of websites and dealing with individual property owners.  Time is a premium for companies, and the onus is on the property owner to find the space that matches the corporation’s needs.

4. Do you provide added amenities?  Corporations are looking for ways to make life easier and more productive for their employees.  Concierge service, laundry, and housekeeping should be an option.

5. Are the utilities included?  Who has the time to deal with utilities?  The key to corporate housing is ease – so the less you have to worry about, the more flexible you’ll be.

6. Will our employees be living near students?  Corporate housing is not student housing.  Madison is home to a huge student population – students who may be heading abroad for a semester or need a summer subletter.

Make sure your landlord isn’t providing ”corporate housing” in a student-dominated property.  The lifestyle of professional is drastically different than a student – and it’s smart to keep the differing lifestyles in mind! Privacy is key with corporate housing.

7. Do you have a variety of corporate housing packages to choose from?  While there are basic items that should be included in every corporate housing package, a property owner should also provide you with different packages, with options in regards to furnishings and levels of service.

Corporate housing is a unique hybrid, a kind of cross between a luxury hotel and a furnished apartment. It’s the blend of services and amenities that truly set it apart. Ask these seven questions from a prospective landlord, and you’ll quickly find out if they understand, and deliver, on the promise of corporate housing.

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