Should You Market Your Corporate Rental to Homeowners?

Choosing the right real estate property

In one of our articles from a few years ago, we addressed the issue of whether your homeowners insurance would pay for extended stay lodging in the event your home became unlivable. The long and short if it was that not all insurers do provide this coverage, but since that time many have added such provisions.

After all, with more and more areas experiencing extremes in weather, more and more homes are damaged by flood, fire, water and wind or lightning. This can sometimes force homeowners out for lengthy periods while repairs are made (up to six months at a time).

Blocks home

So, if you rent your furnished property as a corporate rental, it makes good sense to consider a bit of niche marketing towards homeowners and even insurance agents who offer policies through companies that cover extended stays. And of course, now is the perfect time to consider this new avenue as the summer season is right around the corner, and it is unfortunately the “season for water damage”.

Weather and Your Corporate Rental

Just consider that homeowners may need access to an extended stay due to damages to their home from a severe summer storm (rain, hail, wind, lightning, etc.), due to accidental flooding issues while they were on vacation (burst pipes, plumbing issues, and so on), and ground water problems that cause flooding inside of the home. If you rent your furnished property, it could be precisely the situation a standard household needs after their own home becomes uninhabitable.

This is even more the case if your corporate rental is one that has adequate accommodations for children and families with pets. The property is “turnkey” with the appliances and setting ideally suited to a family suddenly without a home. You can rent your furnished property as a home away from home to a family rather than as a corporate rental and earn the same income since the stay is paid for by insurance coverage.

Marketing Your Corporate Rental

Of course, you may want to know how to rent your furnished property to this unique group. The good news is that it is quite easy when you rely on the CHBO site to support all of your marketing efforts. Insurance providers are already looking into a corporate rental for some policy holders, and you can also get in touch with all of your area insurance agencies to alert them to the fact that you do rent your furnished property to more than corporate clients.

It is not at all difficult to develop new potential streams of income for your corporate rental, and homeowners in need of extended stay options may be that untapped market you have been needing.

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.

TRAVEL INSURANCE

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.