Why Travelers Choose CHBO Over Hotels and Extended Stays

Fully furnished apartment for rent by CHBO

There are many reasons that travelers make extended stays in specific cities or regions. Though many might experience a “knee jerk reaction” of thinking about booking their stay in some sort of hotel or property designed for extended stays, many are reconsidering. Instead, the ever-increasing trend is toward booking stays in CBHO or corporate housing by owner properties. There are many reasons, and these include:

  • Hotels and extended stays are typically far more expensive.
  • Most extended stays are designed for convenience and for business travelers only, this can make them extremely cold, generic and very uncomfortable. For example, imagine eating, sleeping, and relaxing all on one big space for weeks or months on end. Imagine uncomfortable and un-homelike furnishings.
  • Essential services are not part of the rate of most extended stays and this means that, in addition to already being more expensive, there are further costs. For example, laundry means going to a Laundromat yourself or paying someone a high amount to do it. With furnished rentals, the machines are there and you can do loads as you watch TV and make a delicious home-cooked meal
  • Travelers in CHBO properties begin their stay with a friendly greeting by a property owner or local. This is much more sincere and appealing than the front desk people who may have a sort of “canned” smile and who must be polite as it is part of the job. With CBHO, you meet a host who looks after your needs and puts a much more humane face on everything from service calls to departures.
  • A CHBO property is not a “branded” property. The owner is not trying to sell anything extra, and so your weeks or months are just as they are at home, and without a constant flood of brands and products being promoted at every turn.
  • CHBO properties are often much larger and roomier. Whether on your own or with fellow travelers, an authentic home provides you with a lot more living space with both indoor and outdoor living spaces.
  • Most CHBO properties also allow you to bring pets, and this can be a tremendous advantage whether traveling alone or with a group; further ensuring it feels like a home away from home.
  • Finally, hotels and extended stays are always chosen for their convenient locations. Close to business parks or major business areas, they may not be the nicest places to remain for weeks or months at a time. CHBO properties typically appear in actual housing areas including apartments, neighborhoods and subdivisions.

Corporate rentals vs Hotel stays

Travelers have consistently proven that they like the idea of a hotel’s customer service, but on almost all other points, they would rather be in a more private, home-like environment. This is why there has been such a surge of interest in CHBO properties. They let visitors enjoy the same convenient locations but in much roomier, more comfortable and more appealing settings, ensuring a stay is as satisfying as possible.

Three Ways to Prepare Your Short Term Rental for Severe Weather

Save Download Preview flooding houses with rising water

Weather can be unpredictable. Recent hurricanes and flood events in the Caribbean, Florida, Louisiana, and Texas have shown that, as did the tragic fires in Northern California. Your corporate rental is a major investment that you want to protect. Having homeowners insurance should be a given, as well as flood insurance in low-lying areas requiring you to be covered. Beyond insurance there are other ways you can not only prepare your home but also protect yourself from income lost to severe weather that prevents a tenant’s stay. Here are three ways you can prepare your short-term rental for severe weather.

A meteorologist displaying hurricane supplies

Supply “Must Have” Items in Your Corporate Housing

Just like you would in your own home, provide basic emergency supplies for corporate tenants. Bottled water, canned food, a first-aid kit, a hand-crank radio, flashlights, and an emergency kit are important to have on hand. Secure these items in a cabinet with a combination lock. When extreme weather occurs, provide your tenants with the combination. Finally, be sure your home is well maintained both inside and out. If high winds, heavy rain or snow strike, be sure your home is up to the challenge.


Offer Travel Protection Insurance for Hurricane Rentals

In some states where vacation rentals are more common, if you do not offer your tenants a travel insurance option, and a mandatory evacuation prevents a stay, you must refund them. However, if you offer them insurance, no refund is required. In other states, no refund is required unless your lease agreement covers it. You’ll need to know the laws regarding severe weather refunds in your state and municipality, run it by the attorney drawing up your standard lease contract.

This is distinct from a security deposit because it is different than “tenant caused” damages. CHBO’s covers you in case of tenant accidental damage, a cost that can be passed on the tenant in lieu of a security deposit.

Car covered with Ice

Add a Severe Weather Clause to Your Lease Agreement

In the case of a mandatory evacuation, you could offer a refund or a rebooking at a discount. But you need clear language that only mandatory evacuations apply; guests who are simply disappointed because rain is predicted can’t get a refund, as the home is still usable.

In the case of mandatory evacuations, you could issue a refund in advance when government authorities declare the evacuation, or if the stay is in progress, partially refund for unused days, or credit guests for a future stay.

Again, be clear that this applies only in the case that your property cannot be used due to evacuation. This happens most often with severe storms or hurricane rentals, where there are a few days of advanced notice. If roads are icy but not closed, for example, this doesn’t mean a refund as your short-term rental itself is still usable and the tenant should use chains or winter tires with four-wheel drive.

You may not be able to predict when and where severe weather strikes. You can, however, prepare your corporate rental for hurricanes and your lease as best you can so that when bad weather strikes you are ready.

How to Get Tenant Reviews for your Corporate Rental (And Why You NEED Them)

Review rental property

As a landlord or a corporate rental or just as a person living life, you’re busy. Sometimes you’re too busy to sweat the details. When a tenant moves out after an enjoyable stay, you’re preparing for the next tenant, and maybe marking the departed client off your mental to-do list. Maybe you lack time, or maybe you don’t want to bother them, but if you don’t ask for a review, you’re leaving future earnings on the table. If you think photos and description speak for themselves, you’re mistaken. We’ve talked about how photos don’t always tell the full story of a home in recent blogs.

Why do I Need to Ask for Reviews?

You need to solicit reviews because they result in more bookings. Studies show that great customer reviews build customer confidence. A recent study revealed that 88% of customers trust online reviews as much as they do a personal recommendation. And tenants leave reviews for many reasons – to help others make an informed decision, to sound a complaint allowing you to improve, to praise your property, to reward great service, even simply just to be heard. Your property is competing with other furnished executive rentals in your area and reviews can give your property a leg up, because tenants trust others to guide them to properties that are “as advertised”, that provide five star service, that listen to the customer, and that stand out. Bottom line, all things being equal, properties with good reviews get booked more often.

Corporate Rental Reviews

How do I Lay the Groundwork for a Great Review?

It starts with the customer’s first impression. A well-written, grammatically correct professional property description and CHBO certified photos create that great first impression. You want to preview the high level of professionalism and service right from the start.

First, setup text alerts so that you are notified of inquiries in real-time. Once you get their inquiry, answer the lead within twenty-four hours and in a friendly manner. Don’t overpromise, treat your lead with respect and really work with them to see if your property meets their needs. That genuine approach will pay off.