Trending: Minions and Property Management

Happiness is great property management, profitable real estate and cute little yellow guys called Minions.

Property Management Happiness

Did you know July 10th the Minions are back in their own feature film! Yes those little yellow dudes make me smile.

What is also back this year? According to the CHBO Annual Corporate Housing Real Estate Report so it DIY Property Management up 10% from the previous year.

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What do these Property Management Trends look like?

  • Management of a Property. 82% of respondents say they do all their property management themselves, up 10% over 2013, but consistent with 2011 and 2012. Respondents also use property managers (17%) and corporate housing management companies (7%) to manage their properties. Only 1% use friends and family.
  • Property Management Software. Similar to the past two years, the majority of respondents (51%) say they do not use any form of property management software to manage their rental properties. 24% use basic spreadsheets, followed by 19% who use accounting software, such as QuickBooks™.
  • Rental Documents. We asked respondents, where did you get your rental documents, such as leases? The most (35%) say they found their documents on the Internet, followed closely by 34% who say they wrote their own documents. Only 16% say they paid an attorney to have their documents drafted.
  • Leasing Trends. 44% of respondents say they meet potential renters before leasing their properties (down from 53% in 2013). While many property owners still rely on email as the primary method of communicating with potential renters, other forms of communication are becoming popular, including FaceTime, Skype and texting. We’ll continue to watch these trends in 2015.

What do these Corporate Housing Real Estate Properties look like?

  • Property Size / Number of Bedrooms. The highest percentage of independent corporate housing real estate rentals continues to be two-bedrooms (41%). Consistent with 2013, 29% of respondents say their rental properties have three bedrooms or more. In contrast, in the full-service corporate housing industry, 50% of the rentals are one-bedrooms. The availability of additional bedrooms makes the independent corporate housing segment an attractive option to renters.
  • Property Type. Whereas the majority of corporate rental properties in the full-service corporate housing industry are apartments, only 17% of rental properties are apartments in the independent corporate housing real estate market, according to survey results. Single-family homes continue to make up the largest percentage of properties (26%) accounted for in this survey, followed by low-rise condominiums (19%).
  • Property Locations. Consistent with previous years, independent corporate rentals are fairly even distributed between urban, business districts (46%) and suburban areas (45%).
  • What’s Included in Your Rental. This year, we saw all-time highs in respondents who offer property manuals (52%), welcome gifts (39%) and iPod docks (24%). We were surprised to find that offering high-speed Internet in corporate housing rentals hit an all-time low, while offering Netflix as a rental item débuted on the list with an 11% inclusion rate.

Find Property Inspection Forms to track all that is included in your rental by logging into your CHBO Dashboard.

City Spotlight: San Francisco Corporate Housing

The San Francisco corporate housing market is one of the brightest and most active in the country. There’s a simple reason for that—money. Due to the large number of tech firms and other corporations in the area, homeowners, landlords, and property management companies are seeing great profit potential in offering temporary lodging. Some of the short term tenants are tourists and visitors, and others are corporate executives who are transitioning to new permanent housing in the area. In any case, the San Francisco corporate housing companies are growing quickly and doing very well in a crowded market.

Because of the shortage of housing and apartments in the area, many people coming to San Francisco are looking towards temporary lodging, and that is only encouraging more homeowners to get involved. Currently there are almost 5,000 properties in San Francisco that are offered on Airbnb. When considering all of the other websites that advertise San Francisco corporate housing, the total number may approach 6,000 or 7,000 properties. In addition, over half of the properties on Airbnb are full house or full apartment rentals. The days when Airbnb users only rented a spare bedroom or living room are coming to a close, as companies and homeowners want to offer more expensive temporary lodging.

Real estate prices have been very high for a long time in San Francisco, and that allows short term rental owners to charge high prices. In the city, whole house, or apartment prices per day average over $225. Of course, the specific prices depend on the wealth and luxury of the neighborhood. North Beach and Russian Hill properties have the most expensive prices, while areas like Sunset District and Parkside are much cheaper. The area continues to be a very profitable location for temporary lodging, and if you are considering entering the San Francisco corporate housing market, you should do some research and see if it’s right for you.

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Real Estate: Profit, Vision and Stock Loss

Real Estate is better than the bull!  

Real Estate is Better than the bullWhere will real estate profit be in 2015?  What is the right investment for me?  Why should I care? What does everyone else think?

Yes, it is time to sell those stocks and start buying more real estate!  Did you know that most Bull Stock Market trends only last 4 years?  Did you know we are on year 6 of our current Bull Market?  Bummer.

No worries, just sell some stock and buy some real estate.

Yes you can buy real estate with money in your 401K and not pay taxes! Read more on investing…

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Real Estate Secrets: Details of the Successful CHBO Property Owner

The real estate secret is revealed as CHBO details what a successful Corporate Housing Property Owner looks like.

Frequently we get asked, “Can my rental be a successful corporate housing rental and how do I compare to other successful CHBO real estate property owners?”

Great questions and here at CHBO we love to know how thinks work, why they are the way they are and what other people are doing to be successful and how that information can make everyone more successful.  So a huge “Thank You” to the hundreds of real estate investors across the worSuccessful CHBO Property Ownersld who took the time to complete the annual CHBO Real Estate Corporate Housing Survey.

For years travelers needing corporate housing only had access to standard furnished apartments.  Today the qualified corporate housing renter knows the have numerous lodging solutions available the the CHBO property system.

Who took the annual CHBO Corporate Housing Real Estate Survey?

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Corporate Housing Tends: Getting Started With Real Estate Rentals

Corporate Housing Real Estate Rental Success Starts With Understanding Rental, Real Estate and Marketing Trends


Whether you’ve owned or managed a corporate housing rental for 10+ years or you’re new to the industry, we believe that success starts with understanding trends. Just because something has worked in the past doesn’t mean it will work in the future. If you pay attention to the trends and avoid getting stuck doing the same thing over and over, you greatly increase your opportunities for rental (and financial) success.

And that’s where this report becomes so valuable. It’s designed to help Corporate Housing Trendsindependent owners and property managers, like you, learn from emerging trends, so you can increase your rental success.

For example, it’s important to follow rental rate growth. We often see property owners get into the habit of not raising their rates. Yet the data in our report suggests that rental rates are going up in many markets. In high-growth markets, such as San Francisco, you may be greatly underpricing your rental property if you aren’t aware of what’s going on in your market.

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Corporate Housing Must Know: The Walking Score

What is my corporate housing property’s walking score and how can that help me get my corporate housing rental property rented? Questions and Answers!


Rental Marketing about Walking Score

Is your neighborhood walkable?

How much fun is your neighborhood?

Must I have a car?

What is the quality of life around the rental?

How can I have fun?


They call it “Walking Score” or “Walkability” and it is not only great information to know it will help you connect with your next qualified corporate housing renter. There are also “Bike Scores” and “Transit Scores” all of these are easy to find on the internet and great additional information to add to your rental property marketing description.

Definition: Walkability is a measure of how friendly an area is to walking. Walkability has many health, environmental, and economic benefits. Factors influencing walkability include the presence or absence and quality of footpaths, sidewalks or other pedestrian rights-of-way, traffic and road conditions, land use patterns, building accessibility, and safety, among others.

So how does a walk score work?

A property “Walk Score” is a number between 0 and 100 that measures the walkability of any address.

90–100 Walker’s Paradise:
Daily errands do not require a car.

70–89 Very Walkable:
Most errands can be accomplished on foot.

50–69 Somewhat Walkable:
Some errands can be accomplished on foot.

25–49 Car-Dependent:
Most errands require a car.

0–24 Car-Dependent:
Almost all errands require a car.

Learn more corporate housing rental marketing tips on the CHBO Blog. Just Search Marketing.

Corporate Housing Design: Mini, Micro Kitchen Appliances

If you have read any of the real estate news these days, especially in California, they say the Micro Apartment is all the rage. Gone are the days where space is abundant.  Now they are building 300 and 400 square foot apartments to provide housing for the next generation at affordable rates.  My first real estate investment was a 400 square foot Corporate Housing rental in San Francisco and it included everything from a washer and dryer in the unit, full kitchen and views of the city.  It really was a perfect rental for the professional corporate housing traveler who would be in the city for a few months and it had a terrific walking score.  If you own or rent real estate do you know the walking score of your property?

So what do you need to know about mico apartments and getting the kitchen ready? Kerrie Kelly is an award winning interior designer that gives us some of her tips about mini appliances and the kitchen…

Mini Appliances Can Make a Big Difference in Smaller Corporate Housing Rental Kitchens
By Kerrie Kelly

The kitchen is a major focal point for most corporate housing rental hunters, and for good reason. As U.S. News reports, the kitchen is one of the first things to catch a potential renter’s eye, and returns 66 percent of the investment for home sellers.

So much of what makes a rental a home happens in the kitchen. We cook and clean and socialize with friends and family every day in that space. So, whether you’re a property owner or a tenant, making the most of a rental kitchen is a solid investment of time, resources and effort.

Furnished Corporate Housing RentalOf course, kitchens in rental units are a little smaller than they are in single-family homes, but that really doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice comfort and efficiency. One great way to save square footage, as well as counter space, is to invest in smaller appliances.

Check out our top six corporate housing rental property mini masterpieces and see whether they work for you and your real estate.

The Not-Quite-So-Big Fridge
The first thing most people think of when they hear the phrase “mini-fridge” is that half-size refrigerator they had in the dorm at college. Most of our clients are unaware that there’s a whole line of refrigerators that exist right in between dorm model and the restaurant-sized model. A standard refrigerator is between 25 and 30 cubic feet, but you can get the same look and functionality on a smaller scale with one that comes in around 18 cubic feet. They come with gallon-drawers in the door, crispers, deli boxes, and a freezer-just like the one you grew up with, only about one-third smaller.

A Range of Ranges Rental Upgrades
Mini-ranges get a bad rap because, if you’ve seen one, chances are that it was in pretty sad shape. But today, mini ranges are available in any style or finish that you could want, with all the bells and whistles. Looking for a self-cleaning, stainless steel range and oven with convection capability? No problem. A standard range is about 28 inches across, and a mini is 24, so you’re not giving up much cook space, while gaining some crucial square footage in a tight kitchen. Add a stove top cover to maximize that counter space.

Toasting the Good Life
Toaster ovens have come a long way since your dorm days. You can now score a countertop or built-in model fit for a high-end kitchen. With up to 1800 watts of power, convection capability and digital interfaces, you kick it up several notches past your trusty pizza bagel and make everything from chocolate chip cookies to rib eyes and-oh yeah, actual pizza. If you entertain a lot, a good toaster oven makes a great companion to that mini-range.

Dishwasher In a Drawer
This is one of our favorites in the mini department. It’s exactly what it sounds like: a smaller dishwasher built into your cabinetry. You can find them in 24- or 36-inch widths, and as short as 19 inches. They also come with all the features of a full-size unit, and can hold a minimum of eight place settings-about half the size of a standard model.

The Pull-Out Microwave
The same design principle mentioned for dishwashers has been aKitchen Designpplied to microwave ovens. Microwave drawers come in the same range of sizes as standard models-the only difference is that you pull the door open and the oven slides out like a drawer. Close it up, program your cooking instructions and walk away. That top access also allows you to stir food mid-microwaving without removing it from the oven. To top it off, they give the kitchen a very custom feel.

Diminutive Dryers
Now, here’s one I wish I did have back in those dorm days. Portable clothes dryers are generally about 25 inches square and obviously take a greatly reduced load of clothes compared to a standard dryer. But this can be a great perk in a rental where laundry is either off-site or down several flights of stairs. Remember, a few loads of laundry in the washing machine takes a lot less time than drying. These dryers allow you to cut your laundromat time in half, if you don’t mind running a few extra loads in the dryer.

What are your favorite mini masterpiece appliances in your apartment?

Kerrie Kelly writes on kitchen appliances, big and small, for Home Depot. An award-winning California-based interior designer, Kerrie relishes in helping owners with small spaces think big, like when it comes to mini-refrigerators. For Home Depot’s selection of mini refrigerators, including styles referred to by Kerrie, visit the website.

Your Listing Description SUCKS

Without renters, your property sits empty. Not only does that mean you’re not making any money off it, but it means that property is actually costing you. You’ve got a mortgage payment to make, insurance, utilities, and the list goes on. An untenanted property is a serious drain on your finances, and you might actually be sabotaging your results with a lackluster listing description. You’ve got one chance to grab the attention of those interested in short-term apartments – the description. If it sucks, then so will your results. Not sure how to breathe some new life into that description? Let us shed some light on the situation.

What to Describe

If there’s one thing that plagues the majority of property owners when listing short-term Writing listing Descriptionapartments, it’s the failure to describe the property adequately. Sure, you’ve got the high points covered, but that’s not enough, not by half. Here’s what you need to do.

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Get Local and Get to Know: Houston Corporate Housing

In a city the size of Houston, Texas, it’s a simple matter to locate corporate housing options and luxury apartments. There are literally thousands of options available. It’s the largest city in Texas, and that means “big”. After all, everything’s bigger in Texas, right? With 2.19 million people living within its boundaries, Houston’s actually one of the largest cities in the entire country (the fourth most populous in the US).

Houston Corporate Housing features some of the most appealing luxury apartments and other corporate housing rentals in and around Houston.

Houston is a hub for virtually every industry on the planet. It’s one of the busiest port cities on earth, and it’s also a center for technology, aeronautics, space exploration, healthcare, transportation and energy production to name just a few. Corporations in the Houston area are bringing in more and more employees, as well as hiring temporary workers. In addition to corporations and big businesses, entrepreneurs and small businesses are also gravitating to the city like never before thanks to Texas’ booming economy and business-friendly policies. Each of these individuals requires a place to live during their stay – that’s where Houston corporate housing comes in.

At CHBO, we specialize in helping connect businesses and travelers with property owners. Our rental tools help owners learn about the corporate housing industry, the growing demand, and the problems inherent with short-term rentals (under 30 days), which can leave them paying excessively high hotel taxes (just look at the situation in New York and San Francisco to see the devastating effect companies like AirBNB have had on the industry).

CHBO highlights unique, diverse and high-quality temporary housing options throughout Houston and the surrounding area. From executives to small businesses, finding corporate housing has never been simpler. Whether you’re looking for a basic option or prefer to peruse luxury apartments, CHBO connects you with the ideal owners.

There are numerous reasons why companies choose corporate housing in Houston, but one of the most common is for monetary savings. Given the high cost of living in the city and the ability to obtain luxury apartments and other forms of corporate housing through CHBO at a fraction of the cost involved with other extended stay rental options, it’s no wonder that so many business owners and decision makers choose this solution.

Featured CHBO Power Owner: Nino Properties

Founded in 1984, Nino Properties has remained true to their purpose – providing a true home for those seeking corporate housing in Houston and the surrounding area. From apartment leasing to residential real estate and even nationwide temporary executive housing, Nino Properties delivers. Nino Properties

Current listings for Nino Properties range from a luxury condo in Midtown to the Amalfi at Hermann Park, the Lofts on Post Oak, Egret Bay, Sterling Green Condominiums, a one-bedroom in the Galleria area and much more.

Nino Properties also specializes in ensuring that property owners are able to find the perfect tenants, with short-term leasing from month to month, and even multi-month agreements.

Featured Houston Property:

This gorgeous one-bedroom, one-bath property is available for just $2200 per month, with a $1500 security deposit. It’s located in Houston’s Central Galleria with shopping, dining and nightlife options jusHouston Corporate Housingt steps away.

It also has access to a resort-style pool, fitness center and a clubhouse and business center. Learn More

Featured Houston Property:

This incredible home offers four bedrooms and two baths. It’s completely furnished, from cookware to bed linens, too. And at just $2350 per month (3 month Houston Corporate Housingminimum), it’s a steal. The yard boasts four mature oak trees, and there’s even a 64-inch TV in the living room, as well as a covered patio with a grill in the back yard. Learn More


“I am a CHBO member and thanks to your website, both of our properties here in Houston are rented. I need to know what is generally accepted as a percentage increase in rent. We have kept our rental amounts per month stable because our tenants have renewed their leases. It is time to increase since it has been over 2 years. What is a fair and industry standard rental increase by percentage. Thanks, Lucy Caire” – Property Owner, Houston, Texas

Do you have a story about renting or living in Houston, Texas? Share your thoughts with us in our LinkedIn Group.

Property Management: Creating a Furnished Executive Rental

How do I get started turning my rental into a corporate / executive furnished rental? Here at CHBO we get this question every day. From a big picture perspective we always suggest reading the CHBO Real Estate Corporate Housing Report and The Corporate Housing Handbook to give the best overall details.  

But don’t get lost in all the details and how many forks are expected when your tenant arrives. Start by applying common sense. Think of yourself as the business executive who gets paid well and has a lot demanded of them. Then think of this person being asked to travel to a new city to live for months at a time with high expectations on the success of their project. What would you want your rental property to look like? What little touches would make your stay better than average. So it is simple, start by thinking about your client and then think about your rental.

Sometimes the little touches make all the difference. Today we are going to dive into paint color and what works and what will set your furnished executive rental apart from other rentals and get your property rented…

How to Get Your Furnished Executive Rental Property Exterior Paint Color Right
by Kerrie Kelly, ASID

Especially in the case of executive rentals, an exterior color palette is crucial. It’s the first thing your potential tenants see, and it welcomes them to imagine the possibilities of making a home there. To maximize the features of the surrounding area, there are many factors to consider, including the neighboring homes. With a little planning and research, you’ll find a color scheme that really makes your rental shine.

Furnished HousesWork with what you’ve got: Take a step back from your house and make note of any interesting architectural elements. First, consider the elements of the home that are not going to change: the roof, chimney, fencing, driveways, landscaping etc., and look for colors and tones that will help you to bring those elements together. How about the trim? If you don’t have much, it’s really worth considering adding window casings and exterior shutters to make the house look more like an executive home, and to make it more architecturally interesting.

Accentuate the positive: You absolutely want to find a color scheme that draws attention to what sets your house apart. Trim, door casings, exterior shutters, railings-it’s all fair game. When you find a color that makes them pop, you won’t believe how much curb appeal you add with so little cost and effort.

Keep up with the Joneses: Of course, you want your house to stand out, but you don’t want it to clash with the surrounding homes. Drive around the neighborhood to get a good sense of the parameters you’re working with in choosing a paint scheme.

Don’t forget that front door makes your executive rental: Nothing is more welcoming that a front door that makes a strong statement with color. Once you’ve picked your overall color scheme, look for contrasting colors that don’t clash. Black, red (but a pick a few shades darker than your first choice), and lime green are our current favorites, but obviously those colors won’t work everywhere.

Furnished Monthly LeasingLook at the light: With an exterior color palette, it’s especially important to buy a few quarts of paint and experiment. You want to look at the house throughout the day, as the light changes, to make sure you’ve made the right choice.

Play some tricks on your eyes: Light and color play lots of tricks with our eyes, and some of those tricks can be used to your advantage. For instance, if you’re working with a deep lot, painting the house a lighter color will bring it forward, visually. If you’re going for a greater sense of privacy and seclusion, a darker shade might work best. Make a house look taller by painting it a lighter shade near the top, or shrink it a bit for a cozier feel by going darker as you go up. If you decide to go with gradient painting, definitely hire a professional to get the job done right!

Choose! The easiest way to begin narrowing colors is to look at different shades of color on the same paint chip. Consider whether the lighter shade at the top would make a good trim or body color, and vice versa. The contrast gives the house a crisp, clean appearance, and the attention to detail makes it seem cared for and homey. Remember that the trim, casings and exterior shutters take up quite a bit of real estate on the facade, and that you want to welcome your tenants rather than overwhelm them.

What colors are you thinking of for your executive rental property? What will make the right lasting impression to find the corporate renter you want?

Kerrie Kelly is an award-winning California interior designer who writes on home styles and design for Home Depot. The author of the popular DIY style book Home Décor: A Sunset Design Guide, Kerrie seeks to provide inspiration, as well as top-notch practical advice, to homeowners. Home Depot’s wide selection of doors and windows, including styles that Kerrie writes about, can be viewed on the company’s website.