Today’s corporate travelers want to enjoy the comforts of home, even when home is far away. With more square footage than a standard hotel room or an extended-stay facility, corporate housing has become increasingly popular — and very competitive. Business travelers want accommodations that provide them with more comfort, flexibility, and many of the same practical features as home, such as a full kitchen.
This extra space is important to business clients, regardless of whether they are staying for a couple of weeks or are using it as a temporary residence during relocation, according to the Corporate Housing Providers Association. One of the best ways for premier corporate housing providers to remain competitive is to provide a home away from home that is warm and welcoming without that sterile hotel feel. At the same time, guests still want some of the amenities of hotels, such as secure parking, housekeeping services, and an onsite workout facility.
Keeping Up Appearances
A challenge for many corporate housing providers is how to remain current. Over time, the look that was right on trend eventually becomes dated.
“It’s really important to keep up with current trends,” says Tania Odabashian, chair of the Corporate Housing Providers Association and vice president of Washington D.C.-based Corporate Apartment Specialists. “When it looks dated, you’re definitely less competitive. And that’s one of the big pluses of renting furniture for the corporate space. It’s a lot easier to stay current when you don’t own it.”
Partners by Design
Odabashian says she views her furniture provider as a partner, not a vendor. Each year comes with new design trends to follow. Right now, a mix of elegance and simplicity is on the rise, but how that trend translates from one region to the next can vary, and that’s where a good furniture partner is important.
“We really look to them to help us define the trends and then see what is a good fit for our market,” she says. “They keep us fresh and current.” Many elements dictate design themes, including region and the size and scale of the space.
“For example,” Odabashian says, “our urban market in D.C. is very different than from what people in the outer market want. And furniture that looks great in the living room of a three-bedroom house isn’t going to look right in a 460-square-foot studio apartment. So, there are a lot of considerations that go into the placement and the design choices.”
The important thing to look at is what is working in the area and what other corporate housing providers around you are doing. Stay practical by offering the conveniences and space that travelers expect while simultaneously creating an upscale, elegant vibe with the décor.
“You don’t want to be the one who is dated or worn,” she says. “We go to a conference at least annually and really look at what’s out there and what others are doing. It’s really important to be able to stay ahead of the curve.”
When it comes to furniture choices and selection, CORT Furniture Rental keeps its finger on the pulse of changing trends and can help you find the rental options you’re looking for to keep corporate clients happy.