How to Make Extra Money with Corporate Housing

Written on April 23, 2015 by , updated on May 13, 2016

Corporate HousingDid you know that renting your units as a typical landlord is the least profitable way to operate a landlording business?

Yes, you can make money each month but you can net up to eight and ten times more using an advanced corporate housing operating plan.

You can net 8-10x more money each month with corporate housing

What is Corporate Housing?

Corporate housing is an established concept where you rent a furnished apartment or home to a business. Typically all utilities and services are included; it’s like an all-inclusive hotel without daily housekeeping.

Traveling employees can make a strong case for corporate housing if they’re away on a business assignment that’s 20 days or longer.

You can customize your corporative housing offering to appeal to:

  • Clients that want a luxury environment
  • Typical white and blue-collar employees that prefer a home environment
  • Insurance companies that need to house displaced families for extended periods

All three of these options can be very profitable depending on how you operate and what the competition has to offer. You competition is now hotels and other corporate housing units in your town – not other landlords.

Why is Corporate Housing So Profitable?

The benchmark is a hotel room for 20 or more days not a rental for 20 days. The benefits of corporate housing manifest themselves when longer term temporary housing is an issue.

Your goal in the corporate housing arena is to create an offering that is 40% to 50% less expensive than the benchmark hotel for a month stay.

If a hotel room is $100 per night per person, then price your offering at $50 per night per person. If you’re offering a decked out 3 bedroom, 2 bath house, then you might price your offering at $150 per night or $4,500 per month.

Compare that to the $1,500 monthly rent a typical landlord might collect and you’ll see why I said typical landlording is the least profitable way to operate.

Breaking Down Corporate Housing

Let’s drop this idea into the breakdown table.

Corporate Housing
What: Increase profits by providing corporate housing.
Difficulty:●●○○○
Time Commitment:●●●○○
Why:You can get two or three times the normal long-term housing rates focusing on corporate housing.
Increase Net Income By:
  • Catering to high end clients who expect to pay extra for premium service and furnishings.

  • Catering to workers on long term assignments who would be more comfortable in a home instead of a hotel.

  • Catering to insurance companies that need to house displaced families.
Basic Components for Luxury Corporate Housing:
  • High end furnishings, luxury brands, and tasteful design

  • Art work and high end appliances

  • Large TV with premium entertainment packages

  • Fully stocked kitchens

  • Good network with the HR department of larger companies

  • Cleaning and maintenance crew
Basic Components for Mid-Level Corporate Housing:
  • Durable furnishings

  • Quality brand named appliances (Whirlpool, Kenmore, etc)

  • Midsize TV with upgraded cable options

  • Fully stocked kitchens

  • Good network with the HR department of larger companies

  • Cleaning and maintenance crew
The Extreme Version:Convert your rental house into a luxury corporate rental and include a luxury vehicle in rental package.
Possible New Income Streams:
  • Frequency of housekeeping

  • Affiliate security or body guard service

  • Affiliate chef or meal delivery service

  • Affiliate limousine service

Nontangible Benefits:
  • Branding for additional products

  • Get to know accredited investors that may serve as equity partners to fund your real estate investments.
Steps to Implement/Test:

  1. Study your market and competition.

  2. Network with HR manager and others connected to traveling executives and corporate retreats.

  3. Consider renting your furnishings to test the market before purchasing new furniture and decor.

Quick Start Tips

Write an introductory and information letter to the HR manager of largest company in your proximity. Linkedin is great for networking into HR departments.

  • Construction Teams
    Follow the progress of a large construction project that goes out to bid. This information is kept on your City or County’s website. Contact the winning contractor and pitch your housing option to them.
  • Fleet Drivers
    See who has a fleet of trucks at the hotel nearest to you. Send a letter to the company and leave an invitation on the trucks.
  • Online Listings
    List your offering on corporate housing websites like: Expedia.com, CorporateHousingByOwner.com, CorporateHousing.com

POWER TIP: Having one consolidated bill is a huge benefit to companies, and corporate housing has that edge over hotels. Be sure to figure out how to make your target company’s accounting department happy.

Don’t Overlook Blue Collar Type Clients

Construction workers and project managers take long-term assignments away from their homes. Crews working on public works type projects are typically paid per diem based on the US Government Services Administration. Check the gsa.gov website to find the current per diem rates for your area.

This group has a difference set of priorities than the high-end corporate clients.

  • At this level, many workers are willing to share a bathroom. A company may be able to place three or more people in a 3 bedroom, 2 bath house.
  • Have laundry on site.
  • Offer weekly housekeeping.
  • Consider making your rental into a man-cave.

Executive Clients Want Premier Housing

Take a look at Corporate Housing By Owner. They have been providing corporate housing in major cities since 2005.

Their operation focuses on providing housing for large companies and pride themselves on offering high-end homes intended to delight their clients.

Corporate Housing By Owner uses their website, word of mouth, Zillow, Trulia, Hotpads and other travel agencies to book their residential homes. Many of their clientele are out-of-town visitors.

Corporate Housing By Owner is also able to benchmark their offering off of high-end hotels and adjust their prices accordingly. Yes, this means big money.

The Downside

  1. VIP Treatment
    Luxury rental clientele are very demanding. Executives expect to receive the VIP treatment they are paying for. It’s critical that there are no mechanical break downs or inconvenience during their bookings. This business model is lucrative but it is not passive.
  2. Higher Cleaning Costs
    Blue collar types work in non-office environments, therefore they bring in more dirt. Your housing offering needs to be able to withstand dirtier clothing and foot traffic.
  3. Increased Marketing Expenses
    You will need to maintain a decent website to operate in corporate housing and to be considered a serious player. Do what you can not to appear as a Ma and Pa type operator.

Cost / Projected Revenue

In the Silicon Valley, housing prices and rents are astronomical, and the rates a corporate housing provider can charge are sky-high as well.

Rent for a corporate home will vary seasonally and spike up to three times as much during festivals and times of high demand.

A good rule of thumb is to expect an all-inclusive furnished corporate unit to rent for two times the unfurnished market rent.

Although you never want vacancy, when dealing with luxury corporate housing, the number of days of lost rent is not as meaningful a factor as it is in the traditional landlord world. Catching the times of highest demand may more than exceed a year’s worth of market rate rents.

Final Thoughts

There are at least five different ways to be a buy and hold landlord. And you don’t have to ask permission to change your style.

There is a financial benefit for solving every problem. The bigger the problem, the bigger the reward. Consider positioning your rental to be a housing solution for a group within your network or a hotel alternative for a business within your proximity.

photo credit: Staying Classy via (license)
Get our free newsletter

Join 200,000+ landlords

  • ​Tips to increase income
  • Time-saving techniques
  • ​Powerful tools & resources

51 CommentsLeave a Comment

  • Kevin Dickson

    Al,

    I recently found this company that will take a house and turnkey it for corporate or vacation housing:
    http://www.stayalfred.com/company/aboutus/

    I’m pretty sure you will come out ahead even after buying furniture and giving them their cut.

    Since Airbnb can have variable quality, I love this business model.

    One caveat:
    Corporate housing evaporates quickly when the economy goes south. Right after the dotcom crash, there was zero demand.

    • Al Williamson

      Kevin,
      Way to add value Bruh! Thanks for listing that resource.

    • Barbara Housley

      I running a Airbnb , I am signed up for business class I would like to get into coorporate housing?
      I use o be a property manager for fifteen years, and use to rent our to business class in many building, but i have never done for my properties!
      I don’t quite know how to get in touch with coorporate housing, any ideas?
      you can reach me at bh.paragonre.ms@comcast.net
      thank you

      Barbara

      • Youlanda Whitfield

        I’m the owner of North American Contruction Company and I would like if you could give help with a few questions I has about trying to start using corporate housing for my employees any advice.

        • Gina Biancardi

          I have a luxury, furnished apartment available for rent, minimum of 1 year rental. Perfect for employees relocating in New York City. The apartment is 1550 square feet and is located on 59th Street, between 10th and 11th Ave. This is a luxury bldg with every imaginable Amenity. Feel free to contAct me if your interested. Thx! Gina

        • Latasha Hott

          I have a 3/2 brick home centrally located in Orangeburg, South Carolina between Charleston and Columbia .

          House sits on almost 4 acres , but is less than 5 minutes from all grocery stores and the mall!
          Psuedo country living minutes from freeway access in most directions!

        • Jamie

          Hello Youlanda!! Hope this finds you well and ready to tackle this next year. We have a home we offer for corporate housing if you would like please email me or contact me at jamieterjaar@yahoo.com. We are centrally located in between Indy, Dayton and Cincinnati.
          Have a great day!

        • Mary Rivera

          Hi Youlanda Whitfield, I have a luxury 3bed/ 2.1baths/ 2 car garage town home with a loft that can be used as a study or 4 th bedroom. Located in a gated secured community adjacent to The Four Seasons Resort in Irving/Las Colinas The property is approx 3,100 Sq Ft. Beautifully furnished with quality & warmth. Only 10 min from DFW Airport, Love Field Airport & Downtown Dallas. Please contact me for additional info… MaryIsMyRealtor@yahoo.com

  • Terri

    I live in a college community and have a nicely furnished apartment I rent to visiting parents, and professors – some on sabbatical here. It works out nicely and I meet such wonderful people. I have nick named it “Owl’s Landing” just for that purpose. We actually do have owls here from time to time hooting at night.

    • Al Williamson

      Terri,
      You, my friend, are operating fully furnished temp housing, which is quite profitable – but it’s not corporate housing. Corporate housing is about renting to a business that then places a designee in the dwelling.

      There are a lot of flavors in this furnished housing idea. There is a lot to tease out.

      I’m glad we’re having the discussion because Millennials are quite mobile – furnished boutique rental housing will be the rage. Sounds like you’re already living in our future.

    • Kourtney

      Terri, how do you go about your marketing and booking to your target group?

  • Jason

    Al

    I’m picking up what your laying down, but I have a few follow up questions.

    1. What is are some start up cost a new person should consider?
    2. What are some legal challenges someone may encounter?
    3. Is there a property type that corporate housing works better with: SFH vs apartments vs condos etc?

    Thanks. Just became a subscriber.

    • Al Williamson

      Good questions Jason,
      1. Regarding start up costs: furnishings, kitchenware, appliances, etc. You’ll need everything you would expect to find in a hotel room.
      2. Legal challenges: I’m not able to think well in that realm. Maybe some HOAs would have restrictions.
      3. Regarding property types: I’m suggesting you work with what you have. Pick the type of client that would best fit.

  • Guy

    1) if this is a long-term rental, who is the lease thorough – the tenants or the corporation?
    2) if this is a basement apartment, how do I do background checks on someone the corporation has decided on living in May house?
    3) if there’s damage to the unit, is tenant or corporation responsible?
    4) if corp is holding the apartment for the next long term tenant for a month, who is on the lease?

    • Al Williamson

      1 – Lease is typically directly with corporate tenant, but there are acceptations.
      2 – If you lease to a corporation, you would not do background checks on their affiliates.
      3 – Whoever signs the lease is responsible for damage.
      4 – Take this on a case by case basis.

      • Dan

        I have a potential tenant who is CEO of his own company and he wants a 2 year lease on my condo for his personal use. He wants his company to lease the apartment. My question is liability for non payment of rent and or damage to the unit. Do I run a credit check on the tenant and or Dun and Bradstreet on the corporation.

  • Mary

    How do I find corporations and executives interested in my high end fully furnished condo in
    Washington DC?

  • Ericka Williams

    Great article. especially big in the 16 boom towns mention in Forbes. Living in Austin texas corporate apartments were a big commodity

  • Jennifer newman

    Hello, can someone contact me. I have a beautiful condo in south beach near Lincoln road in Miami florida. 561-409-7749

    Jennifer Newman

  • Salvatore

    I have a 2600 sq. Foot 4 bdrm 3.5 bath house with a full finished basement with a full bath that has a walkout. It’s tge fully upgraded Florence model from Ryan Homes. Was thinking of doing corporate renting instead of traditional renting. Just wondering just how much I could ask for ??

  • Ty

    So we are planning to move from Houston to San Francisco, we have put our condo up for rental and we have action from a corporation. We listed it through homeaway.com. I have created a lease agreement and looks like they will pay month to month for a commitment of 5 months with possible month to month extensions.

    The company brought in 2.7B in revenue last year so I am not too worried. the client is coming from Switzerland.
    What should I provide? Or what is custom?
    We have the place fully furnished, but do we need to have groceries or anything like that?
    We are not offering a cleaning service during the stay, but I guess we could add one for a price.
    We are excited to build a relationship with a corporation on our first rental!

  • Laurine

    I have a beautiful 3 bedroom, 3 baths house in a beautiful area of Marietta, Georgia, and I am interested in Corporations leasing.

    I am new to this and would like your help.

    • Al Williamson

      I offer personalized consulting as part of my Airbnb for Landlords course which you can learn more about at http://www.airbnblandlord.com

      I help rental owners step from traditional landlording to short-term rentals or STRs to corporate housing.

      • Celeste

        Hi Terri
        I have an airbnb apartment but according to my lease I’m not allowed to rent it out. How to I open a corporate lease agreement so I do not get in trouble ?

  • Ida Siri

    I own a second home in a gated prestigious community that I turned into an occasional short term rental thru homeaway and Airbnb to keep up with house maintenance expenses.
    It is fully furnished with high end furnishings , 3 BR with 3 bathrooms, library,etc.
    Considering corporate housing.
    Help! Thanks

  • Shanna

    So true, Erick. It continues to amaze me how so many seemingly &#e&t0;ess8n2ial2#8221; things lose that title (and their time-sink status) once we have more important tasks at the top of our priority lists.

  • Sky Cornell

    Hi Al, i recently rented out one of my rentals to a corporate housing firm that found me..i loved it. I was looking to continue that with 4 out of my 5 rentals. I’m interested in your service and would like to learn more.

    Thanks!
    Sky Cornell
    714-720-4282

    • Al

      Sky, I’m happy to help you through my coaching program. Check out AirbnbLanflord.com

      I customize the interactive course to help you achieve your goal. Give it a shot.

  • Muralidhar

    I have a property [Flat] in Chennai-India. Do you deal with Indian requirements as well?

  • Dorula

    Hi,
    I own a 4 bedroom, 3 bath, two story home, close to the beach in Ventura, CA. We are remodeling and thinking to rent it out to corporations. The home will be fully furnished. Can you advise how to best market it?

  • demorris banks

    Need to learn moore about home rebting options

    • Mariana Perez

      Hello all ..I am a property manager at Fairway Vista Luxury Apartments and we are working with Corporate accounts with as low as a 90 day in ; 30 day out claw in the lease. Luxury Apartments available immediately.

  • Mariana Perez

    Hello all ..I am a property manager at Fairway Vista Luxury Apartments and we are working with Corporate accounts with as low as a 90 day in ; 30 day out claw in the lease. Luxury Apartments available immediately.

  • Andre

    Hello Al, looking to possibly rent to a corporation also. 4400 sq ft 5/3 3 car garage. Would you have any leads or information i could use here in Charlotte? Thanks…

    • Al W

      Hi,
      Using your personal network to find a corporate renter is best. Your place is quite large so all the Easy ways to find a business traveler don’t apply. But Charlotte has a bustling economy, Che k with your local corporate housing listing sites and agencies for quick tips.

  • Marchalle

    Hello Al,

    I do Airbnb in two properties. One in Columbus, OH., and one in Joliet, IL. The home in Columbus, OH., does very well. On the other hand the home in IL. not so well. The home is far from most activities in the area. The home is in a great neighborhood, plenty of restaurant, shopping and parks in the area. Do you think this home would be good for cooperate rental?

    • Al W

      If your unit is surround my companies that has a work force in need of temp housing, then you’ll do fine as a corporate rental. Also check if you have any local competition.

      If you need farther assistance, sign up for my course at https://airbnblandlord.com

  • Rob

    We have house in Raleigh in very hot neighborhood. Very tempting to “corporately” rent it, but:
    -Concerned about upgrade costs and costs of maintaining it as tenants come and go
    -Can’t rent it for more than 3 yrs. without losing the up-to-$500K waiver of capital gains for married couples who sell their principal residence and have lived in it at least 2 of the last 5 yrs.
    Thoughts?

  • Meg

    This article is so well written and informative (I’m a long-time editor … and landlord). The author also gives helpful replies to comments and questions. I just wanted to say that I’m impressed and I’m grateful for the solid information provided. Based on this, I’m going to contact corporations directly to inquire about renting out my furnished Buckhead (Atlanta) home.

  • Felicia Lumar

    I’m in Anna Texas and have a 3 bedroom two bath home for rent.

  • Maribeth

    Hello Al,
    I am a retired Hotel GM with a large home on 15 beautiful wooded acres, 10 mins N. of Grand Rapids, MI. Attached to my home is a 1250 sqft – 2 bedroom /1 office, ‘mother-in-law’ apartment with all the amenities, private entrance, and garage parking. I miss the hospitality industry and this concept just fits me perfectly. I would appreciate any advice you are willing to offer to assist me in this endeavor. Thank you for such an informative and well-written article! You have helped me creatively think about turning my retirement back into something I love to do!

Join the Discussion

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 characters available. Be short, sweet and to the point.