Virtual Tours and Your Corporate Rental

virtual tour

Do you know how to properly photograph your fully furnished rentals to their best advantage? Most property owners are unfamiliar with the long list of tips and tricks that can make even a small room look amazing. While we don’t recommend that you ever try to use a bit of visual trickery to enhance the appearance of a corporate rental (as this could lead to a negative review), we strongly urge anyone with fully furnished rentals to do their best to photograph them effectively.

It is why CHBO offers clients access to professional photographers for their corporate rental listings, and why virtual tours are also strongly recommended. In fact, you can use the site as your one-stop resource for the best photos and YouTube and online videos that give website visitors a virtual tour of the entire property.

Is it worth the effort? In an article from a few years ago, we mentioned that “81% of U.S. tenants use Virtual Tours as a resource when they are considering a rental property. And that only 15% tour the property in-person.” In that same article, we went over the reasons that your property listings for fully furnished rentals shouldn’t really be considered complete without that sort of enhanced view of the property.

Online Open House

As we pointed out, not all potential renters have the ability to pay a real world visit. In fact, since you are offering a corporate rental, the renter may be hundreds or even thousands of miles away. The use of the virtual tour gives them a very realistic experience of a walk through, and allows them to get an accurate feel of the entire space.

This could be the key to having your fully furnished rentals booked more regularly than listings with only a few static, still shots. In the article on virtual tours, we explained that you could use a smartphone or video device to do your own walk through and then just use the YouTube site to create a link to your tour. You can also use dedicated apps that offer panoramic views.

virtual tour

The point here is that whether you choose the DIY options with apps or rely on the full services of a firm like CHBO, it is important to use virtual tours for any corporate rental. Give yourself a bit of an advantage, let your clients get a more accurate experience of the property, and see how just that little bit of time and effort can really pay off with more frequent rentals.

Trends and Changes in the Corporate Housing Industry

CHBO Certified Property

On a regular basis, we assess the trends in the corporate housing industry. In a Corporate Housing Report, we looked at the role of corporate rentals as a major player in corporate relocations. Not surprisingly, things have continued to change, and these changes have led many to enroll their rentals in the CHBO Certified program. This delivers access to the kinds of resources and marketing methods that produce the most coveted outcomes.

Let’s consider some of the data and discover if the corporate housing resources in the CHBO Certified program are of benefit to you (as the owner of one or more such premises).

Optimal Answers in Corporate Housing

Experts revealed that the “trend toward lump-sum relocations and unstable and unpredictable real estate markets” had turned corporate housing opportunities into the preferred solution for many. Citing “exhausted homeowners who cannot sell their home and…wearied travelers who desire accommodations beyond a stark hotel room,” the report went on to explain that a huge number of people dealing with corporate relocations (as well as home sellers finding a lax market) were finding relief in corporate rentals.

The reports have indicated that whether it was a transferred worker in need of temporary housing until their own home sold, or the homeowners in areas where corporate housing was most needed, there is a growing interest in extended stay situations. In fact, one report noted that most groups are “earning real income on the property and offsetting the financial burden and stress involved with today’s home selling and relocation processes.”

The CHBO annual report for 2016 also noted that relocation still comprise the majority of rentals, and that many pre-conceived ideas and even common myths about corporate rentals are coming to a swift end.

Ending Common Myths

Thanks to the emergence of dedicated networks such as the CHBO Certified program of owners, myths such as “corporate housing is just an extended stay hotel in disguise” have come to an end. Until now, it has been difficult for many people relocating for work to see the term extended stay and think of anything more than a sterile hotel. However, the resources and options in the CHBO Certified program allow potential renters to quickly recognize properties as warm, amenities-rich and ideally located for a longer term rental.

CHBO Certified Property

Another myth that recent changes in the world of corporate housing has overcome is that company owned housing is better and more cost effective. The DIY approach is never going to match the kind of attention to detail, personalization and appeal that properties in something like the CHBO Certified can provide. It is owners that assume all of the costs for management, upkeep, taxes and so on. In this way, optimal corporate housing actually comes at a premium.

Finally, a great change in the world of corporate rentals is that they are no longer seen as for the corporate traveler only. Those who use the CHBO Certified program find that the search engines identify properties to travelers who may need a lengthier rental than a hotel or other extended stay may provide, but who wish for a home-like setting.

There are ongoing changes throughout the corporate housing industry and market. It can be challenging to keep up with them all, and we hope that this ongoing review of such conditions is helpful to property owners eager to extend corporate rentals and extended stay options.

Why Remote Check-In Is Your New Best Friend in Furnished Rentals

corporate rental stays

Those who own furnished rentals know that there are many steps in the process of marketing, renting and handling such spaces. As one author recently explained, many owners “run their properties remotely, [and] the smaller details of renting – such as key handover, check-ins and check-outs – can cause headaches and stress.” Add to that the fact that whether a renter is traveling or arriving for a work-related stay, there are any number of factors that can disrupt the schedule. That can make it impossible to do “in person” greetings and check-ins for corporate rentals.

corporate rental stays

This is why remote check-in is a perfect component for those with corporate housing and furnished rentals. What is remote check-in? Well, it can actually be many things, and is often what is easiest for you to handle. Let’s look at some of the most recommended for owners of corporate housing and furnished rentals.

  • Lock Boxes – This is a traditional method for real estate professionals and it works just as nicely for corporate rentals. All you do is leave a standard lock box on or by the door, and when the renter is cleared for the rental, you just send them the combination via email or text. You have step by step instructions for the use of the box and how they should handle the keys when leaving for the last time.
  • Smart Locks – With so many furnished rentals featuring automation, it makes sense to simply add the door locks to the home network. You simply change the code for each new guest in the corporate housing and send it to them upon clearance for the rental. Once they are recognized (via their phone) in the system once, the doors will unlock automatically for them each day.
  • ELocks – A bit less high tech than smart locks, they are just electronic deadbolts fitted on the doors of the premises. The guests are supplied the codes via email or text on the date of their arrival and can then use that unique code throughout their stay.

Naturally, you can always opt for the most old-fashioned method and hire someone to do it for you. A property manager can meet with new renters in person, give them the keys and show them the property. This can enable you to live anywhere and get the check-in (as well as everything else) done remotely. However, you might find that many modern renters are really happy to use the three approaches to check-in outlined above.