how to start corporate housing business

How to Start a Corporate Housing Business

Section 1: Introduction to Corporate Housing

In this section, we will provide you with a comprehensive introduction to the concept of corporate housing. We will explore what corporate housing is, the benefits of starting a corporate housing business, and conduct a market analysis to determine if there is a demand for this type of accommodation.

1.1 What is Corporate Housing?

Corporate housing refers to fully furnished apartments, condominiums, or houses that are rented out on a temporary basis to individuals or groups. Unlike traditional hotels, corporate housing offers a more spacious and home-like environment, making it an ideal choice for business travelers, relocating employees, and individuals seeking temporary accommodation.

The key features of corporate housing include:

  • Fully furnished units: Corporate housing units are equipped with all the necessary furniture, appliances, and amenities to ensure a comfortable stay for guests.
  • Flexible lease terms: Unlike long-term rentals, corporate housing typically offers flexible lease terms, allowing guests to stay for weeks, months, or even longer.
  • Cost-effective: Corporate housing often proves more cost-effective than staying in hotels, especially for extended stays, as rates are usually lower and additional expenses like dining out can be minimized with in-unit kitchens.
  • Additional amenities and services: Many corporate housing providers offer additional services such as housekeeping, concierge services, fitness facilities, and on-site parking.

1.2 Benefits of Starting a Corporate Housing Business

If you are considering entering the corporate housing industry, it’s essential to understand the potential benefits of starting this type of business. Some of the key advantages include:

  1. Lucrative Market: The demand for corporate housing has been steadily increasing due to factors like globalization, business travel, and the rise in temporary work assignments. This presents a significant opportunity for entrepreneurs looking to tap into this growing market.

  2. Stable Revenue Stream: Corporate housing typically offers a more stable revenue stream compared to traditional residential rentals. With companies frequently sending employees on assignments or relocating them, there is a continuous need for temporary accommodation.

  3. Higher Rental Rates: Corporate housing units often command higher rental rates compared to long-term residential rentals. This is because corporate housing provides additional amenities and services, making it a premium option for guests.

  4. Lower Vacancy Rates: Due to the consistent demand for corporate housing, vacancy rates tend to be lower than traditional rental properties. This can help ensure a more consistent cash flow and reduce the risk of prolonged vacancies.

  5. Opportunity for Expansion: With the option to scale up your business by adding more units or expanding to multiple locations, corporate housing provides an opportunity for growth and increased profitability.

1.3 Market Analysis: Is There Demand for Corporate Housing?

Before diving into the corporate housing business, it’s crucial to conduct a thorough market analysis to determine if there is sufficient demand in your target area. Consider the following factors:

  1. Location: Research the local area’s economic activity, including the presence of industries that frequently require temporary housing for employees. Look for regions with a robust business environment, corporate headquarters, or significant business travel.

  2. Competitor Analysis: Identify existing corporate housing providers in your target area and analyze their offerings, pricing, and occupancy rates. Assess the level of competition and identify any gaps or opportunities for differentiation.

  3. Demand Drivers: Consider factors that drive the demand for corporate housing, such as corporate relocations, short-term work assignments, internships, and extended business travel. Research the local market to understand the demand drivers specific to your area.

  4. Market Size and Growth: Evaluate the size and growth potential of the corporate housing market in your target area. Examine industry reports, economic forecasts, and demographic data to determine if the market is expanding or saturated.

By conducting a comprehensive market analysis, you can gain valuable insights into the demand for corporate housing and make informed decisions about starting your business.

Section 2: Getting Started with Your Corporate Housing Business

In this section, we will guide you through the essential steps of getting started with your corporate housing business. We will delve into defining your target market, developing a business plan, addressing legal considerations and permits, as well as financing your venture.

2.1 Defining Your Target Market

To build a successful corporate housing business, it’s crucial to define your target market. Consider the following factors when identifying your ideal customers:

  1. Business Travelers: Determine if you want to cater to business travelers exclusively or also target other segments like relocating employees or individuals seeking temporary housing.

  2. Industry Focus: Identify industries that frequently require corporate housing for their employees. This could include sectors such as consulting, finance, technology, or healthcare.

  3. Location: Determine the geographic area you want to serve. Consider cities with a high concentration of businesses, corporate headquarters, or convention centers.

By understanding your target market, you can tailor your services and marketing efforts to meet their specific needs, ensuring a higher chance of success.

2.2 Developing a Business Plan

A well-crafted business plan is essential for guiding your corporate housing venture. It helps define your goals, strategies, and financial projections. Consider including the following sections in your business plan:

2.2.1 Executive Summary

Provide a concise overview of your corporate housing business, highlighting its unique selling proposition, target market, and growth potential.

2.2.2 Company Description

Describe your company’s mission, vision, and values. Include details about your corporate housing offerings, such as the types of units, amenities, and services you will provide.

2.2.3 Market Analysis

Conduct a detailed analysis of the corporate housing market in your target area. Identify your competitors, analyze their strengths and weaknesses, and highlight how your business will differentiate itself.

2.2.4 Marketing and Sales Strategies

Outline your marketing and sales strategies to attract and retain customers. Include details on your online presence, advertising campaigns, partnerships, and referral programs.

2.2.5 Operations and Management

Describe how your business will be structured and managed. Include information on staffing requirements, property management systems, and customer service protocols.

2.2.6 Financial Projections

Present your projected financial statements, including revenue forecasts, expense breakdowns, and cash flow projections. This section should also cover your pricing strategy and return on investment expectations.

A well-defined and comprehensive business plan not only helps you secure funding but also serves as a roadmap for successfully launching and operating your corporate housing business.

2.3 Legal Considerations and Permits

Before starting your corporate housing business, it’s essential to address the necessary legal considerations and obtain any required permits or licenses. Some key aspects to consider include:

  1. Business Structure: Decide on the legal structure for your business, such as a sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company (LLC), or corporation. Consult with a legal professional to determine the best option for your specific circumstances.

  2. Insurance: Obtain the appropriate insurance coverage to protect your business and assets. This may include liability insurance, property insurance, and business interruption insurance.

  3. Zoning and Regulations: Research local zoning laws and regulations to ensure your properties are suitable for corporate housing. Some areas may have specific requirements or restrictions for short-term rentals.

  4. Permits and Licenses: Determine if you need any permits or licenses to operate your corporate housing business. This may include rental permits, business licenses, or tax registrations.

Consult with an attorney or business advisor to ensure compliance with all legal requirements and to protect your business from potential legal issues.

2.4 Financing Your Corporate Housing Business

Financing is a crucial aspect of starting and growing your corporate housing business. Consider the following options for securing funding:

  1. Personal Savings: Utilize your personal savings to fund the initial setup costs, such as property acquisitions, renovations, and furnishing.

  2. Traditional Bank Loans: Approach banks or financial institutions for business loans. Prepare a detailed business plan and financial projections to support your loan application.

  3. Investors: Seek investment from private investors or venture capitalists who are interested in the real estate or hospitality industry.

  4. Crowdfunding: Explore crowdfunding platforms to raise funds from a large number of individuals who believe in your business concept.

  5. Partnerships: Consider forming partnerships with individuals or organizations that can provide financial support in exchange for a share in the business.

Remember to weigh the pros and cons of each financing option and choose the one that aligns with your long-term goals and financial capabilities.

By carefully considering your target market, developing a comprehensive business plan, addressing legal considerations, and securing appropriate financing, you will set a solid foundation for your corporate housing business.

Section 3: Finding and Furnishing Properties for Corporate Housing

Finding suitable properties and furnishing them appropriately are crucial steps in establishing a successful corporate housing business. In this section, we will explore strategies for locating properties, assessing their suitability, and furnishing them to meet the needs of your target market.

3.1 Locating Suitable Properties

Finding the right properties for your corporate housing business requires careful research and consideration. Consider the following strategies:

  1. Real Estate Agents: Collaborate with local real estate agents who specialize in commercial or residential properties. They can help you identify properties that meet your criteria and negotiate favorable deals.

  2. Networking: Build relationships with property owners and managers through networking events, industry conferences, and online forums. Let them know about your business and express your interest in potential partnerships or property acquisitions.

  3. Online Listings: Utilize online real estate platforms and listing websites to search for properties available for sale or rent in your target area. These platforms often provide advanced search filters to narrow down your options based on location, size, and price range.

  4. Direct Marketing: Develop a targeted marketing campaign to reach property owners directly. This could include sending personalized letters or emails to property owners in your desired locations, highlighting the benefits of partnering with your corporate housing business.

Remember to consider factors such as proximity to business centers, transportation links, and local amenities when evaluating potential properties.

3.2 Assessing Property Requirements

Once you have identified potential properties, it’s essential to assess their suitability for corporate housing. Consider the following factors:

  1. Location: Evaluate the neighborhood and its proximity to business districts, corporate offices, and popular attractions. Ensure that the location aligns with the preferences and needs of your target market.

  2. Size and Layout: Assess the size and layout of the property to determine how many units you can create and how they can be configured to accommodate guests comfortably.

  3. Amenities: Consider the amenities available within the property or nearby, such as gyms, swimming pools, parking facilities, or access to public transportation. These amenities can enhance the appeal of your corporate housing units.

  4. Safety and Security: Prioritize properties in safe and secure neighborhoods. Ensure that the property has appropriate security measures in place, such as surveillance cameras, secure entrances, and well-lit common areas.

Compile a list of desired property requirements to help streamline your evaluation process and ensure that the properties you choose align with the needs and preferences of your target market.

3.3 Furnishing and Equipping Your Units

Furnishing your corporate housing units plays a crucial role in creating a comfortable and inviting environment for your guests. Consider the following tips:

  1. Functional Furniture: Choose furniture that is comfortable, durable, and functional. Opt for stylish yet practical pieces that can withstand regular use and provide ample storage space.

  2. Quality Appliances: Invest in high-quality appliances, including a refrigerator, stove, microwave, dishwasher, and washer/dryer. Ensure that they are in good working condition and meet the needs of your guests.

  3. Comfortable Bedding: Provide comfortable and high-quality bedding, including mattresses, pillows, and linens. Opt for neutral colors and designs that appeal to a wide range of guests.

  4. Essential Amenities: Equip your units with essential amenities such as Wi-Fi, cable TV, air conditioning, and heating systems. Consider providing additional amenities like coffee makers, irons, and hairdryers.

  5. Decor and Accessories: Add tasteful decor elements to create a warm and inviting atmosphere. Use neutral colors and consider incorporating artwork, mirrors, and plants to enhance the ambiance.

  6. Household Supplies: Stock your units with basic household supplies such as cleaning products, toiletries, kitchen utensils, and cooking essentials. This will ensure that your guests have everything they need during their stay.

Remember to strike a balance between functionality and aesthetics when furnishing your units. Regularly inspect and maintain the furnishings and amenities to ensure a positive guest experience.

By carefully selecting properties that align with your target market’s needs, and furnishing them with quality and functional items, you will create an attractive and comfortable environment that will differentiate your corporate housing business from competitors.

Section 4: Marketing and Promoting Your Corporate Housing Business

Marketing and promoting your corporate housing business is crucial for attracting potential guests and establishing a strong brand presence. In this section, we will explore various strategies and tactics to effectively market and promote your corporate housing business.

4.1 Creating a Brand and Unique Selling Proposition

Establishing a strong brand identity and unique selling proposition (USP) is essential for differentiating your corporate housing business in a competitive market. Consider the following steps:

  1. Define Your Brand: Identify the core values, mission, and vision of your business. Develop a brand identity that resonates with your target market and reflects the unique experience you offer.

  2. Craft Your USP: Determine what sets your corporate housing business apart from others. Highlight the key features, amenities, and services that make your offerings unique and attractive to guests.

  3. Develop a Brand Voice: Create a consistent brand voice and tone that aligns with your target market. Whether it’s professional, friendly, or luxurious, ensure that your brand voice is reflected in all your marketing materials and interactions.

  4. Design a Memorable Logo and Visual Identity: Invest in professional logo design and develop a cohesive visual identity that encompasses colors, typography, and imagery. This will help create a strong and recognizable brand presence.

By establishing a strong brand and USP, you can effectively communicate the value of your corporate housing business to potential guests.

4.2 Building a Professional Website

In today’s digital age, a professional and user-friendly website is essential for promoting your corporate housing business. Consider the following elements when designing your website:

  1. Clear and Engaging Content: Provide detailed information about your corporate housing units, amenities, and services. Use high-quality images and videos to showcase the properties and create a captivating user experience.

  2. Online Booking System: Implement an online booking system that enables guests to check availability, view rates, and make reservations directly through your website. This enhances convenience and streamlines the booking process.

  3. Mobile Optimization: Ensure that your website is optimized for mobile devices, as a significant portion of users access websites through their smartphones or tablets. This will enhance the user experience and increase your reach.

  4. Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Implement SEO strategies to improve your website’s visibility in search engine results. Target relevant keywords, create valuable content, and optimize meta tags to attract organic traffic.

  5. Testimonials and Reviews: Display testimonials and reviews from satisfied guests to build trust and credibility. Encourage guests to leave reviews after their stay and respond to feedback in a timely and professional manner.

A well-designed website serves as a powerful marketing tool, providing potential guests with a glimpse into the quality and experience of your corporate housing business.

4.3 Utilizing Online Platforms and Listing Services

Leverage online platforms and listing services to expand your reach and attract a broader audience. Consider the following strategies:

  1. Listing Websites: List your corporate housing units on popular online platforms dedicated to short-term rentals and corporate housing. This includes websites like Airbnb, HomeAway,, and corporate housing-specific platforms like

  2. Online Travel Agencies (OTAs): Partner with OTAs that cater to business travelers, such as Expedia, Travelocity, or Kayak. These platforms attract a large number of corporate travelers and can help increase your visibility.

  3. Social Media: Utilize social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter to promote your corporate housing business. Share engaging content, showcase your properties, and interact with potential guests to build brand awareness.

  4. Email Marketing: Build an email list of past guests, industry contacts, and potential clients. Create targeted email campaigns to share updates, promotions, and special offers. Personalize your emails to strengthen customer relationships.

  5. Paid Advertising: Consider using paid advertising channels such as Google Ads, social media ads, or sponsored content to reach a wider audience. Set a budget and target specific demographics or locations to maximize your return on investment.

By utilizing online platforms and listing services, you can significantly expand your reach and attract a diverse range of potential guests.

4.4 Implementing a Marketing Strategy

Developing a comprehensive marketing strategy is crucial for effectively promoting your corporate housing business. Consider the following elements:

  1. Targeted Marketing Campaigns: Create targeted marketing campaigns to reach your ideal customers. This could include industry-specific advertisements, partnerships with local businesses, or direct mail campaigns.

  2. Content Marketing: Develop valuable and informative content related to corporate housing, business travel, and relocation. This could include blog posts, e-books, or video content that positions you as an industry expert and attracts potential guests.

  3. Social Media Engagement: Regularly engage with your audience on social media platforms. Respond to comments, address inquiries, and share relevant content to build relationships and increase brand awareness.

  4. Referral Programs: Implement a referral program that incentivizes past guests, corporate clients, or industry partners to refer new guests to your corporate housing business. Offer rewards or discounts for successful referrals.

  5. Partnerships and Collaborations: Establish partnerships with local businesses, relocation companies, or corporate travel agencies. Collaborate on joint marketing efforts, cross-promotions, or exclusive offers to tap into their networks and reach a wider audience.

  6. Analytics and Tracking: Utilize web analytics tools to track the effectiveness of your marketing efforts. Monitor website traffic, conversion rates, and bookings to identify areas for improvement and optimize your marketing strategy.

By implementing a well-defined and cohesive marketing strategy, you can effectively promote your corporate housing business and attract a steady stream of guests.

4.5 Networking and Building Relationships

Networking and building relationships within the corporate housing industry and related sectors can significantly benefit your business. Consider the following strategies:

  1. Industry Associations and Events: Join industry associations and attend conferences, trade shows, or networking events related to corporate housing, real estate, or hospitality. Connect with professionals in the field, exchange insights, and explore collaboration opportunities.

  2. Local Business Community: Engage with local businesses, chambers of commerce, and other community organizations. Attend business networking events, sponsor local events, and build relationships with key stakeholders in your area.

  3. Corporate Clients and Relocation Companies: Establish relationships with corporate clients and relocation companies that frequently require corporate housing. Provide exceptional service and foster mutually beneficial partnerships.

  4. Online Forums and Groups: Participate in online forums, LinkedIn groups, and social media communities related to corporate housing. Contribute valuable insights, answer questions, and connect with industry professionals.

Building a strong network and fostering relationships within the industry can lead to referrals, collaborations, and valuable insights that contribute to the growth of your corporate housing business.

4.6 Tracking and Analyzing Marketing Efforts

To ensure the effectiveness of your marketing efforts, it’s crucial to track and analyze the results. Consider the following metrics:

  1. Website Analytics: Monitor website traffic, bounce rates, and conversion rates to understand how visitors interact with your website. Identify areas for improvement and optimize your website accordingly.

  2. Booking and Reservation Data: Analyze booking and reservation data to identify trends, patterns, and customer preferences. Adjust your marketing strategies based on the insights gained from this data.

  3. Customer Feedback: Regularly collect feedback from guests to gauge their satisfaction levels and identify areas for improvement. Address any issues promptly and use feedback to enhance the guest experience.

  4. Marketing ROI: Evaluate the return on investment (ROI) of your marketing campaigns. Measure the cost of acquiring new guests against the revenue generated to determine the effectiveness of your marketing efforts.

By tracking and analyzing your marketing efforts, you can make data-driven decisions, optimize your strategies, and allocate your resources more effectively.

By implementing a comprehensive marketing and promotion strategy, building a strong brand presence, and leveraging various online platforms, you can effectively attract guests, establish a competitive edge, and drive the success of your corporate housing business.

Section 5: Operations and Management of Your Corporate Housing Business

Efficient operations and effective management are essential for running a successful corporate housing business. In this section, we will explore key aspects of operations and management, including setting rental rates and policies, screening and selecting tenants, managing bookings and reservations, maintaining and cleaning properties, handling tenant issues and complaints, and keeping financial records.

5.1 Setting Rental Rates and Policies

Setting competitive and profitable rental rates is crucial for maximizing revenue while attracting guests. Consider the following factors when determining rental rates:

  1. Market Analysis: Conduct thorough market research to understand the rental rates of similar corporate housing units in your target area. Consider factors such as location, amenities, and demand-supply dynamics.

  2. Operating Expenses: Calculate your operating expenses, including property maintenance, utilities, insurance, and property management fees. Ensure that your rental rates cover these costs while allowing for a reasonable profit margin.

  3. Seasonal Demand: Consider seasonal fluctuations in demand and adjust your rates accordingly. Increase rates during peak seasons or high-demand periods and offer discounts or promotions during slower periods.

  4. Length of Stay: Offer different rates based on the length of stay. Provide discounted rates for longer stays to attract guests who require extended accommodation.

Establish clear and transparent rental policies, including minimum stay requirements, cancellation policies, and rules regarding pets, smoking, and noise. Communicate these policies clearly to potential guests to avoid any misunderstandings.

5.2 Screening and Selecting Tenants

Effective tenant screening is crucial for ensuring a positive experience for both guests and property owners. Consider the following steps when screening and selecting tenants:

  1. Application Process: Develop a standard tenant application form that collects necessary information such as contact details, employment history, and references. Require potential tenants to provide identification documents and proof of income.

  2. Background Checks: Conduct thorough background checks on potential tenants, including credit checks, criminal history checks, and employment verification. This helps ensure that tenants are financially responsible and trustworthy.

  3. Reference Checks: Contact references provided by potential tenants, such as previous landlords or employers, to gain insights into their rental history and character.

  4. Tenant Communication: Maintain open and clear communication with potential tenants throughout the screening process. Address any questions or concerns promptly and provide them with information about the property and rental terms.

By implementing a thorough tenant screening process, you can minimize the risk of problematic tenants and create a safe and harmonious living environment for all guests.

5.3 Managing Bookings and Reservations

Efficient management of bookings and reservations is crucial for maintaining occupancy rates and ensuring a smooth guest experience. Consider implementing the following strategies:

  1. Online Booking System: Utilize an online booking system that allows guests to check availability, view rates, and make reservations directly through your website. Automate the process as much as possible to minimize manual handling.

  2. Reservation Management Software: Implement a reservation management software that helps you track bookings, manage availability, and generate invoices and rental agreements.

  3. Clear Communication: Maintain consistent and clear communication with guests throughout the booking process. Confirm reservations promptly, provide necessary information, and address any questions or concerns they may have.

  4. Calendar Management: Keep an updated and synchronized calendar to manage bookings and avoid double bookings. Regularly review the calendar to identify any gaps or opportunities for maximizing occupancy.

By streamlining the booking and reservation process, you can ensure a seamless experience for guests and optimize the utilization of your corporate housing units.

5.4 Maintaining and Cleaning Your Properties

Maintaining clean and well-maintained properties is essential for guest satisfaction and the overall success of your corporate housing business. Consider the following strategies for property maintenance:

  1. Regular Inspections: Conduct regular inspections of your properties to identify any maintenance issues or repairs that need to be addressed. Inspect common areas, appliances, plumbing, and electrical systems.

  2. Scheduled Maintenance: Develop a maintenance schedule to ensure that routine tasks such as HVAC filter replacements, pest control, and landscaping are carried out regularly.

  3. Prompt Repairs: Address maintenance and repair requests from guests promptly. Maintain a network of reliable contractors or maintenance personnel who can respond quickly to resolve issues.

  4. Cleaning Services: Hire professional cleaning services to regularly clean and maintain the properties. Ensure that the cleaning schedule is aligned with guest check-ins and check-outs.

Implementing a proactive approach to property maintenance and cleanliness not only enhances the guest experience but also protects the value of your properties in the long run.

5.5 Dealing with Tenant Issues and Complaints

Addressing tenant issues and complaints promptly and professionally is crucial for maintaining positive tenant relationships and resolving conflicts. Consider the following steps when handling tenant issues:

  1. Open Communication: Encourage tenants to communicate any issues or concerns they may have. Establish an open line of communication through which they can reach out to you easily.

  2. Active Listening: Actively listen to tenants’ concerns and empathize with their perspective. Understand the issue from their point of view and work towards finding a mutually satisfactory resolution.

  3. Timely Response: Respond to tenant issues promptly, acknowledging their concerns and providing updates on the progress of resolving the issue. Keep tenants informed throughout the process.

  4. Problem Resolution: Take necessary actions to resolve the issue effectively. Coordinate repairs, mediate conflicts, or provide alternatives if required.

By addressing tenant issues and complaints in a proactive and timely manner, you can foster positive tenant relationships and maintain a harmonious living environment for all guests.

5.6 Keeping Financial Records and Managing Finances

Maintaining accurate financial records and effectively managing finances is essential for the success of your corporate housing business. Consider the following practices:

  1. Accounting System: Implement an accounting system or software to track income, expenses, and cash flow. Maintain detailed records of rental payments, utility bills, maintenance expenses, and other financial transactions.

  2. Bookkeeping: Keep detailed records of all financial transactions, including invoices, receipts, and bank statements. Regularly reconcile accounts to ensure accuracy.

  3. Budgeting: Develop a comprehensive budget that includes all operating expenses, such as property maintenance, utilities, marketing, and administrative costs. Regularly review and adjust the budget as needed.

  4. Tax Compliance: Stay updated on tax regulations and ensure compliance with local, state, and federal tax requirements. Keep track of tax deadlines, document deductions, and consult with a tax professional if needed.

  5. Financial Analysis: Regularly analyze financial statements and key performance indicators to assess the financial health of your business. Identify areas for improvement and make informed decisions based on financial insights.

By maintaining accurate financial records and effectively managing your finances, you can make informed business decisions, track profitability, and ensure compliance with financial obligations.

Efficient operations and effective management are critical for the success and growth of your corporate housing business. By setting rental rates and policies, screening and selecting tenants, managing bookings and reservations, maintaining properties, addressing tenant issues, and keeping financial records, you can provide a high-quality experience for guests and establish a strong foundation for your business.