Property Rental Scams: Red Flags when Screening a Corporate Housing Tenant

Nothing will cause you to lose money with your rental property than having a bad tenant or a professional scammer in the property.  I’ve been in the property management field long enough to know red flags and rental scams when I see them. You know, the tenant calls you and your gut just tells you something just doesn’t feel right.Tenant Scams in Renting  Property

In my experience, here are some red flags every corporate housing landlord should be on the look out for:

A tenant who doesn’t want to complete the rental application.

Every tenant should complete the rental application with a few core exceptions. If they tell you they are a corporation don’t just accept that, do research on the company to find out how big they are, what they do and is this individual approved to get corporate housing.

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Get Local: Toronto Executive Suites / Corporate Rentals

Toronto has thousands of corporate rentals that translate into hundreds of millions of dollars in rent according to the Corporate Housing Providers Association (CHPA) Annual Report. Across Canada corporate housing or corporate rentals are often referred to as executive suites.

Toronto Corporate Rentals

Toronto Corporate Housing is a page featuring corporate housing rentals located throughout the expansive Toronto metro area. Toronto is an amazing international city with unique communities and living experiences that differ significantly from the cosmopolitan high-rise living of central Downtown to suburban homes with trees and parks in the outer areas. When staying in a Toronto corporate rental you need to take the time to find the right style of living, in the right location, so you have more time for fun and spend less time stuck in a commute.

Toronto, Ontario Canada is the most populous city in Canada and is the 4th largest city in North America. Toronto is considered the cultural, entertainment and financial capital of Canada with more than 2.8 million people. If you are staying in Toronto don’t miss out on the summer fun and take a long weekend up North to the lakes for fun in the sun or South to Niagara on the Lake for culture and theatre.

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Investing: What to know!

6 MUST Knows before investing in a Corporate Housing Rental Property!

If you’ve decided investing in corporate housing is right for you, here are some important considerations to make before you purchase a property specifically for use as a corporate housing rental.

Evaluate Price per Square Foot

Evaluate price per bed, not price per square foot. While some people think more space or a bonus room are great perks for a home they are going to live in, keep in mind that it’s just added liability for a home you plan to rent.  Purchase the smallest square footage with the most number of bedrooms. Just like a hotel, when you rent out a corporate rental, it’s priced per bed, not by square footage.  Corporate Housing Investment Rental

Avoid First Floor Units

If you’re purchasing a condo as a rental property, avoid first floor units. People who don’t know the city may not feel as safe in a first floor unit (which can negatively affect your rental success), and often, people will use a first floor rental to advertise a business that they may conduct in the unit.

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Home Rental: Tips for Getting the Lighting Right

Have you ever walked into a rental or a hotel room and can’t figure out how to turn the lights on? There is nothing more frustrating than needing to read a report for the big meeting the next day and there is no location in the property with the right lighting to read by. At CHBO we work with a lot of property owners and it is essential that ever property have the right photos with the right lighting if they are going to attract the right renter. This week we thought sharing the ideas of a lighting and design professional would help you with your rental property.  – Kimberly

Shine On: Designer Tips for Getting the Lighting Right
by Kerrie Kelly, ASID

Interior designers love lighting. It can be an inexpensive and efficient way to bring a little life to even the most drab spaces, but with a little planning and design, it can really take your space to the next level. Whether we’re working on a room remodel or simply trying to find just the right type of illumination for a small space, our primary consideration is how the fixture directs light and what the light will be used for.

I say it all the time to clients and contractors: a great lighting scheme is a layered affair. Clients are often surprised that we start the conversation about lighting schemes by talking about bulbs, rather than light fixtures. But to get a good mix of drama and function in a room, we need to start by thinking Kitchen Lightingabout the different qualities of light we can achieve. After you decide on the type of light you want, you need to consider where and how you want to focus that light – that’s what a fixture does.

Start at the Top
Overhead fixtures exist to provide general or ambient lighting that covers the room, but may be more about creating a feeling in a space than just about lighting it. Consider the difference between the kitchen and the dining room. Both rooms are all about food and eating, but your lighting needs are very different in the kitchen than in the dining room, right?

In the kitchen, where you’re working to get food ready, you may want a brighter, whiter source of general, ambient light than you need in the dining room. I’m much more likely to Kitchen Lightinguse recessed lighting as an overhead source in the kitchen, where I can use brighter compact fluorescent lamp bulbs or halogen spot lights for general lighting, and halogen pendants that shine directly over work areas for effective and task lighting.

As I move to the dining room, Dining Room Lightinghowever, I’m much more likely to use a chandelier for a broad and diffuse source of lighting with warm, incandescent bulbs that flatter everyone at the table. Pendants can be beautiful fixtures over a sideboard, and offer a narrower and more specific spray of light that works as task lighting or dramatic accent lighting. Keep the mood warm and cozy with smaller table lamps that throw the light downward and provide the directional lighting you want for an accent, but in a much richer tone with an incandescent bulb.

Lighting is Layering
Take this same layering approach into the other rooms in the house. In the bathroom, your priority is going to be good light, so pendant lighting is a great fixture choice in terms of style. An indulgent chandelier on a dimmer can provide a similar effect that can also be muted when you just want to slide into the tub after a long day. Light-emitting diode or LED rope lighting under the cabinets will throw a muted tone of light toward the floor that gives your bathroom a relaxing spa feel.

Bathroom LightingThese are the same kinds of choices you want to make in the bedroom. Recessed lighting overhead gives you the light you need to make sure your colors match before you leave for work in the morning, and dials down nicely for the night. Shaded lamps on the nightstand and dresser with incandescent bulbs allow you to read yourself to sleep and simultaneously create a much more intimate mood in your most intimate space.

Family Fun and Function
Family and living rooms require the most versatility in terms of lighting. They hold the greatest number of people and activities in the house, so you need function, but you also have the opportunity to display some personal style. Here again, recessed halogen or spot lighting works well for general or ambient light, but floor lamps offer the same functionality with warmer tones, and give you a chance to show off some style. Track lighting and shaded lamps on sofa and end tables create moody accent lighting and cFamily Room Lightingan highlight special, sentimental pieces in the room.

Because I realize you may not be able to make all your lighting wishes come true at the same time, I have one final piece of advice. The quickest way to get total control over your lighting scheme is to add dimmers. We recommend these for every room in the house. They allow you to transition from ambient to task to accent lighting with the slide of a switch!

Award-winning interior designer Kerrie Kelly writes on lighting designs for Home Depot. Kerrie provides advice on overhead lighting, including chandeliers and pendants. lighting and pendant lighting styles for apartment living. A collection of pendant lights available at Home Depot can be found on its website.

When you invest in a rental, should you purchase a Home or Condo?

Home or Condo? What to buy when you invest in a rental property?

5 Must Consider factors before you invest in a rental property!

is now a good time to invest in real estateWhat makes a better corporate rental: A single-family home or a condo? This is the million-dollar question in corporate housing, and it’s just one of the considerations to make when deciding the right type of corporate housing investment property for you. Obviously, there are many other factors, too, so do your homework and take a “gut” check to find out what kind of investor you are and what type of property works best for you.

Consider these factors when making your decision:


Single-family homes typically require extra upkeep and maintenance (especially if they’re older). They require regular yard maintenance, exterior painting, roof repairs, etc. On the other hand, condos only require maintenance within the unit. Generally, the upkeep of the exterior and common areas is maintained by the Homeowners Association (HOA) and is part of the monthly assessment. Condos create reserves from HOA fees to manage major exterior updates or repairs (i.e. a new roof).


Single-family homes come with monthly costs like trash, heating, water, lawn mowing, etc., and each needs to be paid separately. The good thing is that some of these costs (such as heat and water) will fluctuate depending on the season and the occupancy. Your costs will vary depending on whether your home is vacant, has one tenant, or has multiple tenants. Condos require you to pay a monthly assessment, regardless of whether someone is living in the unit or not. However, most condos include heat, exterior maintenance, trash, building insurance, and water in their monthly fees.

Receive a free property evaluation to see if your property is a match for corporate housing


Generally, single-family homes take more time to manage and require a more active, hands-on investor. There are a lot more things that require upkeep and maintenance in a home than in a condo. For investors with little time, a condo can be a great, worry-free way to go.


While resale value depends on the location, single-family homes are typically easier to resell and hold their value over the long-term. A condo building with 500 units may have 10+ units for sale at any given time, making it difficult to sell your unit at a competitive price.

Investment Goals

Is your goal to build equity in the property? Create a positive monthly cash flow? Create the biggest tax deduction? Have a property you can use from time to time?  Simply rent until the real estate market gets better? Make sure you are clear on your goals, particularly what you expect to get out of the property and why. These answers will allow you to make a better assessment of your success at the end of the year.

Read more about Corporate Housing Investment Trends in the CHBO Annual Report.

Rentals: Furnished Corporate Housing vs Unfurnished

What is best for your real estate investment: Corporate Housing versus a Traditional, Long-Term Rental

Top 4 things to consider when deciding if your rental is best as a corporate housing rental or traditional unfurnished rental.

While corporate housing can be quite lucrative and make your property stand out in a sea of available rentals, it’s not the right strategy for everyone. If you are an investor looking to purchase the right type of rental property, review the following information to determine whether you and your property are the right fit for corporate housing – or whether your property may be a better fit as a traditional, long-term rental property.CHBO Rental Property

The properties that people rent through CHBO often appeal to corporate tenants because they are different than the properties traditionally offered through the full-service corporate housing companies. These CHBO properties are in high demand because they are not found anywhere else.

Corporate housing thrives in urban and business areas where executives travel to often. It also does well near hospitals and universities, which tend to bring on temporary staff or relocate professors or doctors to the area. (Please note these may not be traditional rental areas.) If your property falls into one of these locations, you may want to make it a corporate housing rental and tap into these lucrative opportunities.

Cash Flow
While you will typically get a higher annual return with corporate housing, you don’t necessarily get the smooth cash flow that you would from a tenant who is signing a long-term lease. If you need money by the second of each month in order to pay your mortgage, than corporate housing is not for you. With corporate housing, your place will be rented more sporadically and less consistently than a tenant who signs a 12-month lease. In some cases, especially when you work with corporations versus private tenants, you may not get payment for 45 days.

Are you a worrier? Your rental property might sit vacant for part of the year (versus having a long-term, lease-committed tenant). Some people, by nature, worry about these kinds of details and may not have the stomach for investing in a short-term rental property. That said, if you’re more easy-going and enjoy earning higher returns overall, you may be just be the right personality fit for corporate rentals.

Do you have the time? Corporate housing can take more time than traditional rentals because you will have to deal with turnover more often. There may be anywhere from two to 12 transactions on your property per year. If you don’t want to be as active in your property’s management (i.e. you’re not cut out for “by owner” management), then hire a good property manager to handle the nitty-gritty details like prepping the home for the next tenant. AvenueWest Corporate Housing is a full service property management program for CHBO Complete™ properties that is available in some markets. Visit for more details.

Learn more about your rental as the perfect corporate housing rental in The Corporate Housing Handbook.

Travel Help: The Rental Car

Over the years of working in Corporate Housing we learn a lot of the ins and outs of the business traveler. A frequently used service of our Corporate Housing guests it the “rental car.” CHBO has worked with AutoSource to provide our members great rental car service at the best rates.  Through the ReadyDrive program you can find rental cars around the world for great monthly rates while you travel. Here are some great rental car tips from AutoSource that you can use wherever you rent…


Travel Help – Car Rentals: 7 Fees Rental Companies Don’t Want You to Know About

Don’t be fooled by the promise of a low base rate when booking your next rental vehicle. The advertised price isn’t always the price you pay. Car rental companies can bury hidden costs and fees in the fine print, leaving you owing hundreds more when you checkout.

Be a smart renter. Know which rental fees are standard, and which to avoid BEFORE you book your next vehicle.Rental Cars

7 Common Fees to Avoid:

  1. Peak Season Surcharge: An extra fee adding during the companies most popular times of the year.
  2. Insurance: On top of your rental fees you will be encouraged to purchase a collision damage waiver for the vehicle to avoid paying an extremely high insurance deductible in the event of an accident.
  3. Extra Driver: An extra fee for each additional driver of the vehicle, plus a fee to add the driver to your insurance waiver.
  4. Early Fees:  Heard of late fees? Some companies charge you a fee for breaking your contract if you return your vehicle earlier than your original contract
  5. Under 25: Many companies charge hefty fees to renters who are between 21 and 24.
  6. Out-of-State Fee: Check with your rental company before you cross state lines. Some charge extra fees for driving outside of the state where you rented.
  7. Fuel Service Charges: If you return the rental without filling your tank you can be charged well above market value for gasoline - $11 dollars per gallon in some cases.

The best way to avoid hidden fees? Find a reputable car rental company with transparent fees.

ReadyDrive offered by International AutoSource provides a full-service rental car solution for international and domestic assignees in 13 countries – with no hidden costs. The program includes comprehensive insurance, spouse and employee sharing, and a consistent yearlong base rate, all included at no extra cost. Learn more.


Get Local: San Francisco Corporate Housing

San Francisco has thousands of corporate housing residential rentals that translate into hundreds of millions of dollars in rent according to the Corporate Housing Providers Association (CHPA) Annual Report. CHPA also reports that San Francisco has the 2nd highest corporate rental rates in the country.

san francisco corporate housing
San Francisco Corporate Housing is a page featuring corporate housing rentals located throughout the San Francisco Bay area.

There is nothing more San Francisco than sitting in the bay window of your classic Victorian home in Pacific Heights looking out at the Golden Gate Bridge.  San Francisco is one of the busiest, most diverse and fun cities in the world for Corporate Housing.  Corporations based in San Francisco are bringing in employees and temporary workers from all over the world resulting in a high-demand for month to month corporate housing rentals.  CHBO is a great resource for corporations and individuals to find those unique residential corporate housing properties. Rental tools are offered to help owners get familiar with the industry standards and requirements to satisfy the high demands and standards of the experienced corporate housing business traveler.

Corporate housing in San Francisco is nothing new and has been around for over 30 years.  New trendy share rental sights that focus on less than 30 day stays are adding extra work for property owners.  Property owners are quickly figuring out that websites like Airbnb and Homeaway can get high daily rental amounts, but that is causing problems.  Properties rented for less than 30 days are required to pay hotel taxes to the city and a lot of leg work cleaning, inspecting and flipping these rentals for each tenant.

CHBO highlights the most extraordinary and diverse style and location short-term rentals on a month to month basis for any executive looking for temporary fully furnished housing in the North Bay, South Bay and East Bay around the San Francisco area.  CHBO also makes it very easy for the Human Resource, Relocation and Travel departments to find corporate housing using the simple CHBO Housing Request Form which when completed goes out to participating property owners who can quickly reply and let these corporate housing coordinators know their property availability.

San Francisco is the 2nd most expensive city to live in the US, according to the SF Gate website  most expensive (cost of living) U.S. Cities.  So companies finding corporate housing in San Francisco are not only saving their companies a great deal of money on short-term (under 12 month stays) versus expensive hotel costs but are also getting the opportunity to “test drive” or sample some of the most desirable neighborhoods in the city.

Featured San Francisco Property:


San Francisco RentalThis furnished rental was recently listed on CHBO. The owner Sean and his wife have set up a perfect corporate rental for any professional traveler.

See more details, Mission French Renaissance Flat, 3 Bedroom – Property #11022


Featured CHBO Power Owner: Rent SF Now

Do you have multiple rental properties that need to get rented?  Take a look at Rent SF Now to see how they have developed a unique marketing tactic to rent their corporate rentals on CHBO.  Rent SF Now runs a market specific banner ad that works simultaneously with their specific 14 locations allowing interested

corporations to click over to their website with just a click which is tracked by CHBO and documented in Google analytics for their reference.  This allows Rent SF Now not only to increase their overall traffic but to gain the right type of customer surfing their website.   Rent SF Now has been advertising their corporate housing properties all over the city of San Francisco since 2009.


David Chesnoski with Rent SF Now says: “I’ve been working with CHBO for over 6 years now and we absolutely love the CHBO website for booking our properties all over the city.  CHBO continues to bring in quality companies and renters to our properties.”

Really we should all just take a month of from our regular life and enjoy the true charm of everything San Francisco has to offer.

Here is a great article and discussion about, ‘What Does It Really Cost to Live in San Francisco?‘. Leave your thoughts on our Linkedin group.

Build Value and Save Money: Property Automation

Given an easy option, I believe most of us would choose to save money.  Am I right?  The reality is whether it is you primary residence or a rental income property we would all like to save money.

I love my Nest thermostat in my mountain house and it not only save me money on my electric bill it also makes my life easier and gives me peace of mind.  Never again will I pay for a month of high heat when nobody is in the house as I can turn down the heat from my phone and as I drive up the mountain I turn it on for my arrival.  An added feature I never thought about is the motion sensor that lets me know if someone is in the house and automatically turns the temperature down if it is not activated.  So I thought you might like to know what Jennifer has to say about home automation – 

Can Home Automation Increase Your Property’s Value and Save Money?

My husband and I had very specific requirements in our quest for our forever home here in Charleston, S.C.: four bedrooms, three bathrooms, an office, at least a third-of-an-acre and a neighborhood that wasn’t cookie-cutter. Over 12 months, we viewed over 40 single-family homes.

The one that stands out was the smart home. When we stepped inside this home, situated in a modern subdivision, with a postage stamp sized backyard, and a death-defying balcony (not ideal for a couple with two adventurous children under five-years-old), we still walked out in agreement that this was the one.  Save Money Property Automation

Why? Because it had iPads built into the walls. The owner had integrated home automation seamlessly, and in the right way. This wasn’t some $10,000 proprietary system; this was a full-on embracing of the Internet of Things. From the iPad stations (there were three, one on each floor), you could control the Philips Hue lights in each room, adjust the Nest thermostats to the perfect temperature, view footage of the Dropcam at the front door and many other incredibly cool and useful features. You could also do all of this on your smartphone or from your computer.

In the end, we chose another house, mainly because the fear of our children falling off a third floor balcony finally outweighed the benefit of built-in iPads (but only just). Mostly, however, we walked away because the realtor told us that the owner planned to take it all with him.

Rule number one about the value home automation can add to your home: it will only do so if you leave it there!

Home automation — the ability to control lighting, shading, heating, cooling and security from a smartphone or computer — adds a lot of convenience, but does it add value, beyond just the dollar for dollar swap?

According to a 2012 New York Times article, home automation does boost value, at least in very high-end homes with full-house systems, selling for over $1 million. The article specifically singles out buyers seeking second homes (the category in which corporate housing falls) as being attracted to properties equipped with home automation. The ability to light up, warm or cool, and check that everything is in place before arriving at a home that has been unoccupied for a while, appeals directly to these buyers.

However, as the technology becomes simpler and crucially, drops in price, home automation is moving out of the high-end realm and into the mainstream. It’s set to become the next “hardwood floors and granite countertops” of the real estate market.

Current conventional wisdom among realtors is that a smart home doesn’t necessarily translate to a higher asking price. “Don’t install a smart home system in hopes you’ll get more value from your home sale, because as of right now, smart homes don’t have a significant return on their investment,” writes Anne Reagan.

However, as with many industries, technology is in the midst of bucking conventional wisdom. And there is no doubt that, as in the home I saw, home automation adds a substantial ‘wow’ factor to the home viewing experience.

Additionally, sales figures show a growth projection of around $9.5 billion by 2015, and $44 billion by 2017 according to wireless industry group GSMA. That’s a clear sign that more and more people will be adopting home automation into their lifestyles, and likely looking for it when they move into a new home.

If you are considering installing a home automation system, here are a few things to consider to ensure that it adds, rather than detracts, from the salability of your home:

  • Make it simple: Install a dedicated touch-screen system, such as an iPad, in the home so that the new homeowners don’t need compatible smartphones to operate it (you don’t want to limit your pool of potential buyers to only iPhone users).
  • Build adaptability into the system: Being able to easily switch out devices will help future-proof the home.
  • Focus on money-saving home automation tools: Incorporating devices that will save a homeowner money, such as learning thermostats, Wi-Fi enabled water heaters and automatic blinds, will always add value to a home.
  • Go secure: Security systems are known to increase home values, and smart home security systems often come without monthly fees, making this a great addition for smart home salability.
  • Avoid Fees: Steer clear of installing any systems with high monthly fees that will turn off homebuyers.
  • Simple shut down: Make sure the system can be easily disconnected and that the house will still function if it is.

Remember, you will have to sell the house with the system installed if you hope to see an increase in the home’s value. But, as this trend takes off, chances are that the home you are moving into will be just as smart.

Jennifer Tuohy likes to write about the latest gadgets for The Home Depot. With her recent home renovation project, she has been researching what the best home improvement investments are for her house and is happy to share her findings. If you are thinking about investing in some smart home technology for your house, view The Home Depot’s home automation pages.

Corporate Housing Dictionary..its not Webster’s

Since we have been doing Corporate Housing for more than 20 years we take for granted that we all speak the same language:)  When we created CHBO Complete our goal was to create a tool to get renters and property owners on the same page as quickly as possible.  But every time I hire an new employee here at our Corporate Housing Management Company I am reminded how many terms we use that can be new to others.corporate housing key exchange

Here at CHBO we work hard to make both our property owners and tenants the most educated and successful Corporate Housing users possible.  So I thought this list of terms might make your life easier.  

The Corporate Housing Dictionary

Corporate Housing – Corporate housing industry is a segment of the lodging industry that provides products, services and support of furnished, temporary housing.

Corporate Housing Provider – A corporate housing provider is a business that receives direct compensation for providing corporate housing, as defined.

3rd Party Client- A business (example: a relocation consulting company) that facilitates all or part of corporate transferees relocation. They are the go between the client corporation (the transferee’s employer) and the corporate housing company.

Apartment Corporate Housing Providers –  Apartment communities that offer Corporate Housing in some of their apartments.

Apartment set-up – The process that includes all of the steps required to transform a vacant unit to a corporate apartment including securing the unit with a lease, setting up utilities, delivery of furniture and housewares.

Benefit Period – A specified duration of time in which the client agrees to cover charges of goods and/or services provided by a supplier.

Bi-Monthly Service Rotation – A service that occurs on a routine basis every other month.

Bi-Weekly Service Rotation – A service that occurs on a routine basis every other week.

Corporate Housing Handbook

Branding – The process of creating and maintaining a consistent image of a product or service

Client – The contact that is securing/negotiating the lease on behalf of the occupant.

Client master agreement – An agreement with a client that encompasses one or multiple units combined with a reservation confirmation.

Close out procedures – The process that includes all of the steps required to transform a corporate apartment to a vacant unit including: giving the required notice to vacate, removal of all furniture and housewares, as well disconnecting all of the utilities.

Core Inventory – The sum of all the units leased/managed by a corporate housing provider for repetitive rental.  Not those LOD units setup for just one rental.

Credit card authorization form – A written authorization giving the corporate housing company permission to charge a credit card, from the person responsible for payment, including rent, deposits, damages, or utilities. The authorization may be recurring or one time.

Deposit – A deposit that is paid to the property to be applied towards damages beyond normal wear and tear. Corporate housing companies may also require a refundable deposit to be used in the event of damages from their clients.

Fair housing – A federal law, passed in1968 and subsequent amendments, that protects the 7 protected classes against discrimination in regards to access to housing. The seven protected classes are: race, national origin, color, religion, familial status, handicap and sex.

Final cleans – The housekeeping procedure that is performed once the corporate housing company removes all of the furnishings and is preparing to return the unit back to the property management company.

Intranet – An internal website that is only accessible by employees of the host company.

Lease Agreement – The lease document that is signed between the corporate housing provider and the property, as well as between the corporate housing provider and the client.

Lease Matrix – A report that illustrates lease expiration dates. Also known as a lease expiration report.

Linen & Towel Program  Utilized by Managed Corporate Housing Providers this is an annual fee paid by property owners that allowes the corporate housing provider to offer standardized linen & towels in all rental units and maintain items at the highest standards possible.

LOD / Lease on Demand –  A property that leased by the corporate housing provider with a fixed lease term that matchs the need and lease of a specific client.

Long Distance Block – A process that prohibits access to long distance services on the telephone.

LOR / Letter of Responsibility –  A letter signed by a corporation taking financial responsibility for their employee living in a rental and any damage they may be cause.  Used both in place of and with a security deposit.

Lump Sum Relocation Coverage – A relocation package that provides an employee with a specific dollar amount to cover the relocation needs of the employee and their family that they are free to use at their discretion. 

Maintenance Blocks – A temporary block placed on an available property to allow for maintenance to be done.

Managed Corporate Housing Providers – Real estate companies that manage properties owned and furnished by individual real estate investors.

Master Community Lease – An agreement with a community that encompasses one or multiple units.

Master Lease – A lease taken out on a property by a corporate housing company with the expectation that the majority of the lease term can be subleased for a profit.

Mirroring a Lease – The policy in which the individual who is receiving the product must sign or is obligated in writing to the same length of lease that the service provider is required to commit in order to obtain or solidify the transaction.

MSA – Metropolitan Statistical Area, a city and its areas of influence; most MSAs consist of several counties.  MSA and “market” are used interchangeably.

Notice to Vacate – A written notice to inform of intent to vacate the unit. Could be completed by the client to give notice to the corporate housing company or completed by the corporate housing company to give notice to the apartment community.

Number of Units – The number of units is the average number of available apartments in inventory, by market, for the month.

Occupancy % – Occupancy percentage is calculated by dividing the number of occupied unit nights for the month by the total number of available unit nights for the month.  A unit may not have more than 100% occupancy during a month.

Occupant – The individual or family that is occupying the unit.

Off Line – The term used to refer to a property leaving the rental inventory.

On Line – The term used to refer to a property entering the rental inventory.

Outsourcing – To obtain goods and/or services from a supplier outside of your current company’s primary function.

Owner Block –  In managed properties this is time reserved for use by the property owner.

Pet Deposit – A deposit that is paid to the property to be applied towards damages as a result of the pet. Pet deposits may be non refundable or refundable.

Pet Rent – Additional rent due to the property on a monthly basis as long as a pet is in the apartment.

PM Unit / Property Management – A property that is under real estate property management by the provider.

Property Profile – Description of the property and amenities.

Provider – Another name for a corporate housing company.

PTE (Permission to Enter) – Written permission from the occupant or lessee authorizing others to enter an apartment. Also called a key release.

Quality Assurance (QA) – The process of inspecting a unit prior to guest move-in to ensure that unit is ready.

Referral Fee – A sum received by the referring party for a lead that results in a booked reservation or the completion of a transaction.

Reservation Confirmation – The document used in conjunction with a client master agreement that lists the specifics regarding a particular occupant’s stay (including arrival/departure dates, apartment address, etc.)

RFI – (Request for Information) A formal document requesting general information on a company and/or its services.

RFP – (Request for Proposal) A formal document used to procure services or goods, which may or may not include pricing. An RFP can include: scope of work, service level agreements, length of agreement, company backgrounds, audited financial statements and references.

RFQ – (Request for Quotation) A formal document used to procure services or goods, which includes pricing.

Seasonal Clean – A clean done on a property in the core inventory of a provider.  A seasonal clean address items not taken care of in a departure clean: behind refrigerator, ceiling vents, baseboards, door frames and other hard to reach areas.

Security Deposit – A refundable fee collected by the provider to cover damage to the property.

Security Deposit Waiver – A monthly fee charged to a tenant in place of a security deposit that protects the tenant for accidental damaged done to a rental property up to a specified ceiling.

Service Level Agreement – An agreement used to ensure the performance of service providers.

Service Corporate Housing Providers – These companies rent apartments, furnish and equip them, then offer the apartments as corporate housing.

SODA (Statement of Deposit Account) – A written accounting of the status of a deposit once a unit is vacated. Any charges as a result of damages or unpaid rent are itemized.

TDY – (Temporary Duty Year) Government employee on assignment at more or more locations, away from the permanent duty station (PDS), under orders providing for further assignment, or pending further assignment, to return to the old PDS or to proceed to a new PDS.

Turn Clean – The housekeeping procedure that is performed between occupants.

Turnover – The process of preparing an apartment between occupants.

Unit inventory management – The process of managing unit inventory to minimize vacancy loss.

Utility Allowance – The maximum amount budgeted for utilities in a corporate unit. A utility expense larger than the utility allowance may result in additional expense for the client or occupant.

Vacancy Loss – The period in which the corporate apartment is set up and no rental income is recognized.

Vendors – Companies that provide goods and services to corporate housing providers.

Virtual Corporate Housing Providers –  Corporate Housing companies that maintain no core inventory and only setup leased properties corresponding to the needs of a specific tenant.

Wholesaling – The process of a corporate housing company renting a corporate apartment from another corporate housing company.

Work Orders – A request to the property to complete maintenance in the unit or common area of the community. May also be called a maintenance request.


ADR (Average Daily Rate) – The average daily rate is calculated by dividing the total month’s rental revenue by the total number of occupied unit nights for the month.

  • Occupied unit – A unit that is rented to a guest or client is considered occupied if there is a signed lease for it during the dates being reported. This includes all reservations at full rate, discounted rate or having a complimentary rate code. The number of guests or reservations assigned to the unit during the month is not considered.
  • Rental revenue – The revenue charged to the guest for unit rent. The rental revenue is the rate charged each guest times the number of nights the guest stayed in the unit during the month.  Rental revenue is shown in local currency (US $, Canadian $, UK £)

Gross Profit – Gross profit is calculated by subtracting all direct expenses from the total revenue billed for the month. Total revenue includes all sources of revenue, including long distance telephone calls and any other extra charge posted to a guest or client account.

  • Total revenue – Is calculated by adding all charges billed for each unit during the month. This includes all rental revenue, telephone revenue, revenue from extra services, etc. This also includes any fees paid by guests, including early departure, pet cleaning, etc. However, deposits are not to be included in this number.
  • Direct expenses – Include apartment rent paid to landlords, furniture rental, operating stock expense, housekeeping labor, housekeeping supplies, and utility expense (including electric, gas, water and sewage, local telephone, cable television). In addition, unit repairs and maintenance, and other fees (referral fees and commissions, parking expenses, key expense, auxiliary warehouse rent expense, consumable expense, welcome bag expense, etc) are included in this figure.

Gross Profit% – The gross profit percentage (%) is calculated by subtracting direct expenses from the total revenue, then dividing number by the total revenue.

Net Profit - The Net Profit is calculated by subtracting Total Expenses (including overhead) from Total Revenue

Net Profit % – The Net Profit percentage is calculated by dividing the Net Profit by Total Revenue.

Net Profit Variance – The net profit variance is calculated by subtracting the budgeted net profit from the actual net profit, then dividing that amount by the budgeted net profit.

RevPar – Revenue per available unit. RevPar is calculated as “Gross Revenue divided by number of units rented.” It is a component of rate and occupancy.

Relocation Terms 

BMA    Broker Market Analysis/BMA – A standard relocation industry format used by an agent to establish the most likely sales price and suggested list price of a property.

BPO    Broker’s Market Analysis (BMA)/Broker’s Price Opinion (BPO): A written market analysis of recent comparable sales and listings with suggestions for marketing strategies.

BVO    Buyer Value Option (BVO) – A home sale program in which the value for the home is established by a bona fide offer from an outside buyer, and not by an appraised value offer from the employer or relocation service company.

Home Purchase Programs Definitions: Buyer Value Option (BVO) 

The Buyer Value Option, which is a variation of the Amended Value program, is in wide use in relocation home purchase programs.

In a “standard” BVO, the employer does not obtain appraisals of the home nor does it make an initial or guaranteed offer to purchase the home, although it is always understood that the employer intends to purchase the home once the employee has tested the market and, in doing so, received a purchase offer. The employee proceeds to market the home. Broker selection, marketing assistance, home marketing advice, and so forth, are specified in the company policy, and generally would not be different for this home purchase option than for any other option. When the employee selects a broker, the employee’s listing agreement with the broker must include the standard exclusion clause to avoid triggering income to the employee in the amount of the broker commission when the home is sold to the employer.

Once the employee has obtained an offer, that offer establishes the value (the “buyer value”), and that is what the employer offers the employee for the home. Clearly, that value, established by an actual offer from an unrelated buyer, will be respected as fair market value. Thereafter, the process proceeds just as it would in an Amended Value purchase: An unconditional, non-contingent offer is made by the employer to the employee; the employer then attempts to negotiate and close its own sale to the buyer who made the outside offer.

If the employee does not obtain an outside offer within the initial marketing period (which may vary in duration-some programs do not specify a marketing period at all), procedures vary. In some programs, a new marketing period is established, and the process simply is repeated until an outside offer is obtained. In others, at some specified time, the company will convert the transaction to a regular purchase, obtain one or more appraisals, and buy the home from the employee. The latter procedure, sometimes called a “delayed Amended Value,” is much to be preferred from a tax standpoint.

CMA    The best method available to home sellers to learn their home’s current value so they can select the best sale price is a CMA, or Comparative Market Analysis. CMA is the term real estate agents use when they conduct an in-depth analysis of a home’s worth in today’s market.

GBO    guaranteed buyout program  At the same time, only 25% of companies offer a traditional guaranteed buyout program (GBO) exclusively— down from 34% in 2008. The majority of companies that tier home sale benefits reserve the GBO program for senior-level current employees and new hires, and provide the buyer value option (BVO) to new hires and mid-management.

Home Marketing Controls Among companies that use a GBO program, the vast majority (43%) order appraisals immediately. This shows that companies increasingly understand how crucial the objective, qualified opinion of an appraisal is to developing a marketing plan and establishing realistic expectations among transferees. The fact that the vast majority of companies (75%) now require a minimum amount of time to market the home before employees can accept the guaranteed offer is another sign of employers taking greater control of the home marketing process to minimize relocation costs.

RC    Relocation Consultant Usually refers to the manager of a relocation process, can be an individual, a relocation company or freelance specialist

RFI    Commonly used phrase describing a potential client’s ‘Request for Information’. Usually a preliminary to receiving a RFP

RFP    Commonly used phrase for a ‘Request for Proposal or Pricing’. A form of tendering out proposed business in order to identify and choose suitable providers

RFQ    Request for Quote – this is essentially the same as an RFP

RMC    Relocation Management Company (RMC) These are large specialist companies who advise and manage global moves for multinational companies

TCO    Total Cost of Ownership

Corporate Housing Dictionary – We will work to keep our on-line Corporate Housing Dictionary up to date. Please book this page for later reference.