How to Find Temporary Housing for Film Production Teams

duffel bag on an extended business tripThere are a million logistics to consider when bringing a film production to film on location, but finding temporary housing for film production teams can be one of the greatest headaches you’ll face. Depending on the city, housing availability and the size of your team, you’re facing the possible prospects of premium rates to procure limited rooms, sometimes in locations that are nowhere near your set. By the time you’re done, your nerves could be fried, your bank accounts empty and your credit cards full.

But never fear; with a bit of planning, it is possible to find comfortable temporary housing for everyone on your team with a minimal amount of effort and drama. Here’s how to go about it.

Determine Your Housing Needs and Budget

Much of the stress involved with finding housing for large groups is actually self-imposed — because people didn’t plan ahead. They didn’t know exactly how many rooms they needed for the people they have, nor had they settled on a budget. Get this step done first; figure out ahead of time how many people will stay in each room or apartment — go ahead and assign roommates, if you can. Talk with your financial team to find out how much you can afford to spend on housing. Having this information on paper goes a long way toward smoothing the process.

Research the Area

Next, do a little online or in-person reconnaissance of the area near your filming location. Where are the available hotels and apartment communities in proximity to your set? Identify a few potential neighborhoods to look at. Bear in mind that your short list doesn’t have to include only areas that are geographically close to your set; you can also look along major commute arteries. As long as your crew can get to the set fairly easily, you’re in good shape.

Work with a Corporate Housing Agent, Rather than Booking Hotels Yourself

Not only are hotels extremely expensive — they may have limited availability during your stay, and they aren’t comfortable for extended stays. Save yourself a huge amount of time and stress by working with a corporate housing company who specializes in providing temporary housing. This way, you may be able to work with one agent to procure fully furnished apartments for your entire film production team, all at a fraction of the cost of booking hotels for each of them. In addition, the burden of finding the rooms is off your shoulders!

If you’re bringing a film production team to Atlanta, TP Corporate Lodging can arrange for your team to stay in fully-furnished luxury apartments convenient to your shooting site, all at affordable rates. Call us at 800.428.9997 to speak to an agent who can help with citywide locations and share their expertise of various areas.


5 Tips for Choosing Film Crew Housing

ParksideWhen you bring in a film crew on location to shoot a film, you’ve asked them to stay on for an extended length of time — for weeks or even months while production goes on. Finding comfortable film crew housing is one of the biggest challenges facing location productions, especially for low-to mid-budget projects. How do you keep your film crew comfortable without breaking your budget? Here are 5 important tips to consider when choosing film crew housing.

1. Avoid expensive hotels if possible.

Booking hotel rooms for your gaffers, grips, PAs, production designers and other crew members might be the “easiest” choice, but expensive hotels can eat up your budget quicker than you realize — plus, extended hotel stays often cause traveler fatigue over time because it can be difficult to relax. (You may also need to allocate luxury lodgings to your actors if they’ve contracted for it.) Look for less expensive and more comfortable solutions, rather than just doing the thing that seems most convenient.

2. Look for the “home away from home.”

The more of a home-like situation you can provide for your film crew, the better off they will be. They will rest better at night because at the end of a long shoot, they have all the conveniences of home. Having a stocked kitchen can help your crew do their own cooking so they can hold to their dietary requirements and stay within their budgets, and you can even house multiple people in a roommate format more easily.

3. Take amenities into account.

A little pampering never hurt anyone. Hotels often offer amenities your crew members won’t even use, but an on-site fitness center, pool or picnic areas can also help your crew blow off steam and stay healthy. One option is to find furnished apartments in luxury communities that are available for the short term. These complexes often include amenities your crew will actually appreciate.

4. Look for convenient commutes.

When it’s easy for your film crew to get to and from the set, that’s one less headache to worry about. It may or may not be possible to house them especially close to the set, but if they are housed near main arteries of the city in which you’re shooting, that’s the next best thing. Always take location into account when securing film crew housing.

5. Consider working with a corporate housing partner.

Corporate lodging companies specialize in providing comfortable, furnished luxury apartments for extended stays — all at reasonable rates. Working with this kind of partner also helps take the legwork out of finding enough quality housing for your entire crew, shaving potentially thousands off your budget and saving you many hours of time.

Here in Atlanta, which has become one of the world’s most popular hotspots for film, TP Corporate Lodging can arrange quality housing for you and your crew. To learn more, call us at 800.428.9997.


Film Production Housing: Corporate Lodging vs Hotels

Boulevard Bedroom SetProcuring affordable film production housing can be the bane of the producer’s existence. When you need to bring in film crew members in large numbers for a location shoot, the default option is to book them all in hotel rooms, but that can be exceptionally challenging on tight budgets. The good news is that hotels aren’t the only housing option available; you can also satisfy your crew’s housing needs with quality corporate lodging. Let’s look at some of the major differences between corporate lodging vs. hotels to see how they stack up.

Hotels are costly for what they offer.

Corporate lodging gives you more for the money.

With most hotels, the nightly rates are quite high compared to the space. The average hotel room is essentially a room with one or more beds, offered for nightly rates that are multiple times the cost of a rental apartment. In a word, hotels are sharply overpriced. By contrast, a corporate housing partner provides a fully furnished luxury apartment with a fully equipped kitchen, living space and room to relax. The cost: Typically less than a standard hotel room.

Hotels feel like traveling.

Corporate lodging feels like home.

After a few weeks in a stuffy hotel room, your film crew is likely to start showing signs of fatigue. They can be more irritable, less attentive and less productive. With extended stay corporate housing, your crew members have a comfortable place to live during film production — not just a place to sleep. They’ll be better rested, more productive and in better spirits on the set.

Hotels offer luxuries.

Corporate lodging offers convenience.

Many of the amenities offered at hotels are things your crew members don’t really need. They can get their meals on the set; they don’t need a shoe shine because they’re wearing work boots; etc. You pay for all those amenities regardless of whether they are used. Corporate apartments offer conveniences your crew will actually use — like swimming pools, fitness facilities and outdoor grills. Many corporate apartments are also situated near prime shopping and dining areas, so in the rare event of a day off, your crewmates are steps away from all the conveniences they need.

Here in Atlanta, TP Corporate Lodging can arrange for your film production crew to stay in comfortable, fully furnished apartments at surprisingly affordable rates. Give us a call at 800.428.9997 so we can discuss your film production housing needs.


Why Corporate Housing Is Safer Than a Hotel

Northpoint PoolWhen you travel somewhere for an extended stay, you generally have several options as to lodging. The two most common options? You can book a room in a hotel (even an extended stay hotel); or you can stay in a furnished apartment through a corporate housing agency. Among these options, not only is corporate housing usually less expensive than the others — it’s also a safer choice. Let’s explore the other options and see why corporate housing may be safer than a hotel.

Hotel Safety Issues

Hotels usually do their best to keep their guests as secure as possible; however, as a business open to the public, with people coming in and out for meetings and lodging, there’s only so much they can do. Specifically, here are some of the potential risks:

  • Entry to your room: Virtually all hotel staff have access to enter your room — and not all of them are honest.
  • Sanitation: Cleaning staff sometimes cut corners in sanitation practices, and bedding in particular doesn’t always get as clean as it should.
  • Predators: Even with secured entries, as a public facility, a hotel often attracts predatory people who wait in the wings to steal or to cause harm.

How Corporate Housing Is Safer

Extended-stay corporate housing resolves almost all of the safety issues that accompany the other options. For example:

  • The apartments are private. A corporate housing agency leases and furnishes actual apartments in real residential complexes, often with secure entrances — much like living in your own home or apartment.
  • Limited access. The only people with access to your unit are you and the management company — the same as if you lived in apartment.
  • Carefully vetted for location and amenities. The agency only works with the best residential communities to provide optimal, safe housing.

Whether your extended stay is personal or business-related, you deserve to stay in housing where you feel comfortable and safe. If your travels bring you to Atlanta or Jacksonville, give TP Corporate Lodging a call at 800.428.9997.


How to Choose a Certified Business Rental through Airbnb

Boulevard Nico BedroomFor business and leisure travel of any length, many people are now turning to the Airbnb platform as an alternative to hotel websites and travel platforms like Expedia. The idea of living temporarily in a fully furnished home or apartment versus a stale hotel room appeals to these travelers because they can have something like a home-away-from-home, usually for less money. A growing number of agencies are even starting to use the platform to place listings for high-quality business rentals.

The challenge is that Airbnb hosts all sorts of accommodations, including many privately-owned facilities with little regulation or vetting. How does one separate the professionally managed properties from the informal arrangements with very little regulatory oversight? How do you secure reliable temporary housing while avoiding the more questionable listings? Let’s discuss how you can locate and identify a certified business rental through Airbnb.

Research the Owner or Property Manager

When you’re looking at places on Airbnb, don’t just look at the location and photos — they may not be accurate to the unit, anyway. Rather, look at the person or agency listing the property. How many reviews do they have? Are the reviews mostly positive? What negative feedback, if any, has been left? How accessible is the owner or property manager for questions or problems? You can often tell even by the language whether you’re dealing with an individual renting out their extra space, or a professional company that offers corporate-style housing.

Check out Airbnb Plus

In an attempt to answer some of the complaints from people who have had negative experience with Airbnb listings, the platform has begun a new category called Airbnb Plus — a verified service in which the unit is professionally inspected before rental to ensure it meets top-tier standards. This new category may cost a bit more per night on average, but many travelers find it offers greater peace of mind. As Airbnb opens its platforms to more and more boutique hotels and lodging companies, you can expect to find many of their listings under the Plus Verified category.

Look for “Superhosts”

If you don’t care who rents the unit as long as it’s top-notch, the next best thing to do with Airbnb is to look for those listings rented by “Superhosts” — those whom the platform has identified as offering superior service and generating stellar ratings over an extended period of time. This category also provides a greater level of confidence among travelers that they are working with someone whom Airbnb recognizes and trusts more than most.

Whether you book through Airbnb or some other platform, if you’re traveling on business and need comfortable lodging for an extended stay in Atlanta or Jacksonville, TP Corporate offers a variety of fully-furnished luxury apartments with plenty of amenities and all the comforts of home — for remarkably affordable rates. To learn more, call us at 800.428.9997.


5 Tips for Staying Healthy on an Extended Business Trip

Northpoint Fitness CenterWhen you travel on business, especially if you’re away from home for weeks at a time, you probably already know staying healthy can be a challenge. Not only can the disruption in your schedule cause you to cut corners on healthy practices, but at this time of year during a particularly dangerous flu season, you definitely want to keep your immune system at its best. Thankfully, you can boost your health by taking a few proactive steps. Here are five common-sense tips for staying healthy on an extended business trip.

1. Get plenty of sleep.

Yes, you may be under pressure to meet deadlines or to make your business trip as productive as possible, but if you get sick, all of that goes out the window. Sleep helps your body reset, restores energy and stamina, and boosts your immune system. Know when to call it a day, and maybe skip the karaoke bar with your colleagues and go to bed early when you’re tired.

2. Eat right.

Eating healthy can be a challenge during business trips, but it can be done. Try to grab fruits and veggies for snacks instead of reaching for the candy bar. If you must eat on the go, skip the hot dog stand and find a to-go salad bar. Better yet, take 30 minutes for yourself and sit down for a healthy meal. You’ll have more energy and more stamina if you do.

3. Exercise.

On a busy trip, who has time to work out? You do, if you make time for it. Avail yourself of your hotel’s fitness center, or ask your work place if they offer access to a gym close by. Even an occasional brisk walk to clear your head will help.

4. Wash hands frequently.

When you travel to a new city, you likely have less resistance to the specific viruses that breed there. Since most illnesses are transmitted through touching, make a point of washing hands regularly, especially after touching public surfaces and before you eat.

5. Establish a routine.

Many of the points listed above (especially eat, sleep and exercise) can be accomplished more easily if you set up a daily routine for yourself while on your extended trip. It may be challenging, and sometimes work demands may disrupt it; if so, just return to your routine whenever possible. It makes healthy habits easier to maintain.

6. Consider short-term corporate housing over hotel stays.

Another tip that makes healthy habits easier is to stay in a furnished corporate apartment during your extended business trip, rather than a hotel. Not only is it usually a cheaper option, but it provides a home-away-from-home environment that enables you to set up healthy routines more easily. You can prepare healthy food in your fully equipped kitchen rather than heading to the restaurant, and many corporate apartments include gym access for exercise. Best of all, you have a private retreat where you can truly relax and get the rest you need.

If your business travels bring you to Atlanta or Jacksonville, TP Corporate Lodging can put you in a fully furnished apartment with plenty of amenities and conveniences to make your extended stay as comfortable and restful as possible. To learn more, call us at 800.428.9997.


The Employer Tax Benefits of Booking Corporate Housing

Cappuccino Living RoomIf you are an employer who needs to send employees to another city for an assignment, working with a corporate lodging company for temporary housing can create a significant tax benefit for you. In fact, by working directly with the company, your business is better able to track the accounting without having to deal with employee reimbursements, etc. Let’s take a quick look at how the tax laws affect employers who cover their employee’s living expenses for extended stays.

What Qualifies as Tax Deductible?

The government allows businesses to write off temporary employee housing as non-taxable business expenses. To qualify for this write-off, the situation basically must meet three criteria:

  1. The housing must be outside of the employee’s “tax home” — in other words, outside the city where he/she lives.
  2. The housing must be for business-related purposes. (In other words, you can’t send an employee to corporate housing on vacation and count it as a business expense. Also, it must be necessary to have the employee in close proximity to the business location for the work to be done.)
  3. The intended time frame for the temporary stay must be one year or less.

What Business Expenses May Be Deducted?

Any expenses you pay on behalf of the employee as necessary to doing business may be considered a valid deduction, the same as if you were a sole proprietor deducting those expenses for your own business travel. These may include:

  • The full cost of living expenses, including lodging and cost of utilities. (In the case of a corporate lodging agency, the utilities are frequently included with the cost of the unit.)
  • Transportation expenses — the cost of getting the employee to and from the work site.
  • One-half the cost of meals while the employee is away from home.

An Important Note

How and where you report these expenses on your company tax returns depends on how you cover the employee’s costs. If you pay for the cost of temporary housing directly on behalf your employees, you deduct it as a business expense. If the employee pays out-of-pocket and you reimburse him/her, you must include that amount as income on the employee’s W-2 form (which means he/she will also pay taxes on it).

To learn more about how working with TP Corporate Lodging can provide safe, temporary housing for your employees and significant tax benefits for your company, give us a call at 800.428.9997.


6 Benefits of Working with a Certified Corporate Housing Provider

Northpoint PoolWhen your company requires you to send employees to out-of-town locations for extended stays, you have numerous options available. You have the standard hotel stay, which can be convenient but quite costly (and not very comfortable for extended periods of time). You also have the option nowadays of utilizing platforms like Airbnb to provide more home-like environments — but due to quality control inconsistencies, these platforms require lots of research and a little luck to find the right place. However, when you work with a corporate housing company, a lot of these problems and risks are eliminated for you. Let’s look at 5 specific benefits your company can receive by using a certified corporate housing provider.

1. Quality control

One of the first and most important benefits of working with a corporate housing agency is consistency and quality in the housing itself. It’s the provider’s job to make sure all its units meet certain quality standards — not yours — and when you find a provider you trust, you can leave the details the agency’s hands knowing your employees will be comfortable.

2. Clean, homelike environment

When you choose corporate housing, your team members stay in fully furnished apartments with full kitchen and all the basics of a home-away-from-home — not to mention possible amenities on-site they might not even get at home (such as fitness facilities, pool, recreation areas, etc.). This homelike environment makes it easier for your employees to get the rest they need, meaning they come to work fresh and more productive.

3. Convenience

Booking individual rooms in hotels or Airbnb for employees can quickly escalate into a full-time job, taking away quality productive time from other tasks. Working with a certified agency enables you to work with one central provider who handles the booking details for all your employees, freeing up valuable time.

4. Economical

Corporate housing is consistently much cheaper than putting up your employees in a hotel, especially considering the employee gets to stay in a fully furnished apartment rather than a small room or suite.

5. Tax benefits

In most cases, temporary corporate housing for your employees counts as a business expense, which you can easily track and write off on taxes.

6. Peace of mind

One of the best reasons to work with a certified corporate housing provider is that once you’ve found one you trust, you can leave the details to them! You can rest easy knowing that your employees will have comfortable and convenient accommodations so that you can turn your attention to the work at hand.

If you’re considering whether to choose corporate housing or Airbnb, we recommend giving us a try. To see what we have available in Atlanta or Jacksonville, call TP Corporate Lodging today at 800.428.9997.


How to Choose a Short-Term Military Housing Partner

duffel bag on an extended business tripWhen you need to accommodate a unit of military personnel on a temporary basis (e.g., for training exercises), finding affordable yet comfortable short-term housing can be a challenge. Not only is there the issue of finding lodging that meets government rules, regulations and standards, but typical short-term solutions like hotels or Airbnb can be both inconsistent and expensive. In many cases, a better solution is to work with a short-term housing partner, like a corporate housing agency, who can provide fully furnished apartments to suit the needs of your personnel. Here are some tips for choosing such a partner.

Seek out a company local to the area

When partnering with a housing agency, it’s important to select one that operates in that local area. If you need to bring a group to Jacksonville for training, for example, you want a company that is local to Jacksonville. The reason for this is that finding appropriate housing is not just about the accommodations themselves; it’s also about location. A local agency will have a better working knowledge of neighborhoods convenient to local bases, as well as a thorough understanding of traffic patterns in the city, so personnel spend more time being productive and less time in transit.

Choose a company that understands military requirements

Since housing requirements for military personnel and other government employees are subject to a specific set of rules and regulations, you should look for a short-term housing company that is familiar with these requirements and can arrange enough accommodations to meet them. This step alone could save a lot of time and money that could otherwise be wasted.

Choose a company that has prior experience with military contracts

The more familiar an agency is with the workings of the military, the more efficiently they will work to meet your unit’s short-term housing needs. Arranging housing for a large group of people can be stressful enough as it is, and the last thing you need is to have to instruct the agency about your processes and procedures. A good military partner will already know the ropes so the process of procuring housing can occur seamlessly and stress-free.

If you need to find temporary lodging for military personnel in Jacksonville or Atlanta, TP Corporate Lodging would love to be your short-term housing partner. We have a deep understanding of these local areas, and we are well versed in the ins and outs of military housing protocols. We can provide high-quality, fully furnished apartments that will help your people be more comfortable, and therefore more productive. For more information, call us at 800.428.9997.


How to Find Short-Term Rentals for Atlanta Film Professionals

Given the recent quick rise of the Atlanta film scene and the sheer number of productions that now occur here on a regular basis, it should come as little surprise that short-term housing is a commodity for film professionals coming in for a shoot. Whether you are a filmmaker trying to bring your team into town for a project, or whether you’re a film professional trying to find somewhere to stay while you work on set for the next several months — finding affordable, comfortable housing can definitely be a challenge. Here are a few tips for Atlanta film professionals looking for short-term rentals in the area.

OPTION 1: Rent a hotel room

While this is your most convenient option, it’s also by far the most expensive. Even extended stay hotels can be pricey, and they usually don’t offer the comforts of home. Unless your shoot is less than 10 days, chances are this option isn’t worth the cost, especially if it eats up your budget.

OPTION 2: Use a vacation rental portal

Another quick way to land short-term rentals is to utilize one of several online platforms that have made it easy to locate and rent vacation rentals — sites like Airbnb and VRBO. The advantage here is that you can often find a decent fully-furnished apartment, rather than just a room with a bed. The disadvantages are that these often cost as much per night as a hotel, plus there is the challenge of finding a unit that is available for the length of time you need. (Many popular units book up months in advance.) Not to mention if you’re a filmmaker bringing a team to Atlanta, you’ll have to repeat the process for each teammate.

OPTION 3: Hunt for furnished month-to-month rentals

This option might get you more into your budget range, but in a market where most rentals come unfurnished, this task is tantamount to looking for a needle in a haystack. Finding an apartment for yourself or for several teammates should become your full-time job — film is your job. What’s more, on a production schedule, time is money. You probably can’t afford either.

OPTION 4: Work with a short-term housing agency

Aurelia Living RoomOne of the easiest and most affordable ways to land a short-term rental is to work with an agency dedicated to doing the legwork for you. A short-term or corporate housing agency specializes in providing comfortable, high-quality, fully furnished apartments for extended stays, many of which come with resort-like amenities. However, you won’t be paying hospitality industry prices for this convenience — in fact, you’ll usually pay far less per month than if you rented a hotel room.

TP Corporate Lodging offers fully furnished apartments in some of Atlanta’s finest complexes, and we’re dedicated to meeting the ongoing needs of the local film industry. If you’re an Atlanta film professional on the hunt for a short-term rental, give us a call at 800.428.9997.