ARTICLE: Best Practices For Selecting A Corporate Housing Partner

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HR and procurement professionals are some of the busiest people in most companies…that much is no secret. With all of their usual duties as they take care of employees or incoming interns in a myriad of ways, many HR and procurement are also often saddled with the additional duty of finding furnished, temporary corporate housing for employees who are relocating and need to live somewhere before their new home purchase closes, during an internship, or for those who are being placed on assignment in another location.

Outsourcing the management of temporary corporate housing has become a popular alternative for already-stretched-to-the-limit HR/procurement teams – and with good reason. Corporate housing management companies reduce a heavy load for organizations whose program is handled in-house or is given to the employees to figure out.

There are many obstacles of businesses handling temp living in-house for their employees and interns. Searching for short- or long-term temporary housing, whether it’s handled in-house or given to the employee/intern to handle, can be extremely time-consuming, and not as efficient as outsourcing the work to companies who exist to provide searching and securing services on behalf of corporate clients. Bear in mind, these instances do not even address the issue of keeping up with all the rental paperwork, or arranging for the set-up or take-down of the furnishings for apartments, condos, University-style housing or vacant vacation rentals, if furnished hotels are not used.

For these and many other reasons, outsourcing your company’s temporary housing needs on behalf of your employees has the potential of protecting your bottom line, finding meaningful savings, streamline the process to bring better control of your program, and improving the employee’s overall experience.

 

What To Look For In A Temp Living Partner

Having to find a temporary place to live while either relocating or accepting an assignment, whether domestically or internationally, is a guaranteed stressor. However, making the decision to outsource your corporate housing needs can simplify the process, reducing the stress for your team and the organization’s interns, and/or relocating or newly assigned employees.

So, you’re ready to turn your temp living management over to a 3rd party. What should you look for? The following suggestions can help you find a corporate housing provider that will be a good fit for your company.

EXPERIENCE

Part one of your fact-gathering mission is to look for a corporate housing provider that has many years, if not decades, of experience in the temp living industry. Like any other business, corporate housing organizations are always popping up, but not all of them have the institutional knowledge base to effectively manage your program.

AGILITY

You will be best served if your corporate living management company can be flexible, and one that can tailor their services to suit your organization’s needs. Additionally, and as we have certainly experienced with the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic, the unexpected can happen at any time. Find a temp living partner who will have the resources and network deep enough to be able to pivot, should any last-minute surprises arise.

SERVICES AND REVIEWS

Make sure that the provider you select offers the kinds of services you want. Not every corporate housing company is built the same. Before your search, list out the areas of your program that need the most support, or offer the kind of reporting that your company requires, and only consider providers who can match your needs. Pay close attention to the ratings online – find out what clients are saying about the service delivery of any corporate housing provider under consideration; checking the comments on Yelp or Facebook is also a good idea.

PRICING

The secret to cutting costs rests in the housing provider’s price points. Do they offer multiple options? Signing on with a corporate housing provider that only provides a few kinds of temporary living solutions is not the kind of partnership that will serve your company’s needs well in the long run. Don’t be fooled by low price points on limited options. In corporate housing, you do get what you pay for.

PROACTIVE PRACTICES

Find out what each temp living provider does for its clients on the front-end. You want to know how your selected partner operates. Pay attention to their respective search process, and ask questions: Do their services include preferred neighborhood requests or school district searches for families? How many properties are there to choose from?

SHARED CORPORATE CULTURE

Selecting a housing partner should be akin to hiring new people to handle your company’s temp living needs; in other words, you will be adding more than a vendor – you’re adding a partner that will work in tandem with your team. Do their business practices align with your organization’s standards? Make sure that whatever provider you choose is a good fit for your team, and your company. Additionally, find out about their availability and ability to respond to any kind of emergency your interns or employees might have. Whether short- or long-term, you want to make sure that your housing partner will be there when your staff needs them.

TECHNOLOGY

Ask specific questions regarding a potential corporate housing partner’s technology: How old is the platform/software? What reports can be run? Is the technology accessible to your company, or employees? Will your account be cloud-based, secure and password-protected? What kind of personal information is stored? Will you be able to track housing spends in real time?

ACCOUNTING:  (AUDITING / FUNDING / BILLING)

One important topic to discuss is the physical location and supporting file systems of the accounting department: Is it isolated from all other offices with locked access points? Is the information systems with access to accounting data located only in segregated areas? Are all accounting documents located behind locked access points? Does the potential partner’s reconciliation process maintain source integrity? For Rental Relocation, we ensure accurate processing controls via a combination of batch, document matching, and general ledger code-checking controls; additionally, RRI utilizes reconciliation controls at the end of every month, including reconciling accounts receivable, accounts payable and property ledgers.

 

We hope these suggestions help you determine which partner is best suited for your corporate or intern housing needs. Rental Relocation provides the practices and services listed here, and we will be happy to custom-build your short- or long-term temp living program to fit your company’s needs. Give us a call at 1-844-737-0611, or send an email to info@rentalrelocation.com to get started.