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.


Short-Term Housing Agencies Are Cheaper than Hotels

Manchester Living RoomWhen you come to a new city for an extended stay, whether for business, pleasure or a project of some kind, it’s always a challenge to find an affordable place to stay. Reserving a hotel room may be the most convenient route, but it’s also one of the most expensive options. As an alternative, consider renting a furnished apartment from a short-term housing agency. They are generally much cheaper than hotels, and for longer stays, they provide an environment that feels much more like home.

Why are hotels more expensive?

What makes a hotel stay (even at an extended-stay hotel) so much more expensive than renting short-term housing? There are several factors in play:

You’re paying for unneeded amenities and luxuries.

The cost of a hotel room is about much more than keeping the lights on; it’s also about all the extra premium amenities they make available to you, many of which you probably never use. You’re paying for the on-site restaurant and room service, for the fitness center and pool, for the concierge, and for the wages to pay all the people who provide these and other services. Meanwhile, you forfeit other things you might otherwise like to have — like a living room and an actual kitchen. You don’t have room service or door-to-door dry cleaning at home, so why pay for them at a hotel? (Most people prefer their own cooking, anyhow.)

You’re paying for convenience.

The simple fact that it’s so quick and easy to rent a hotel room drives the cost upward. Just as you pay twice as much for cough syrup at the convenience store as you would at WalMart, you’ll pay more for the same bed in a hotel than you’d pay in a furnished short-term apartment.

Hotels are catering to a different crowd.

You’re in town for an extended stay, which means you’re probably there to work. Hotels are more geared for vacationers and short-term business trips — people who expect to pay more for a quick, easy place to say, and people who want the types of amenities you get on vacation. You’re not on vacation right now, so why pay vacation rates?

Unless you have a generous expense account, you obviously don’t want your hard-earned business profits eaten up just by the cost of a hotel stay. Likewise, if you’re a business owner or corporate executive flying people in to help you with your project, you don’t want to pay for services and conveniences that really won’t benefit your employees, anyway. Not only are short-term housing agencies cheaper than hotels, but they also provide comfortable, fully furnished apartments that will make an extended stay far more pleasant and homelike.

If you need short-term housing in Atlanta or Jacksonville, we’d love to help! Give TP Corporate Lodging a call at 800.428.9997 for information on current availability.


Film Industry Raises Atlanta’s Demand for Short-Term Production Housing

The film industry’s growing interest in Atlanta as a hub for production has had a profound effect on the local economy in recent years — including raising Atlanta’s demand for short-term production housing.

A recent study from Film L.A. revealed that Georgia was the number-one location for feature films in 2016, outpacing even Hollywood. (California as a state came in fourth.) As the Atlanta Business Chronicle reports, Atlanta’s fiscal year 2017 saw a fiscal impact of $9.7 billion from film and TV production. Of that amount, direct spending accounted for $2.7 billion — a nearly four-fold increase in production spending compared to fiscal year 2007.

Why is Georgia’s film sector growing?

Aside from factors like mild weather and a diverse number of urban and rural backdrops, one of the biggest driving factors in this trend is the passing of generous incentives and other support legislation. The Georgia legislature and Governor Nathan Deal have expressed a strong commitment to make Georgia a production-friendly state, and the payoff is quite evident. Atlanta Business Chronicle quotes EUE/Screen Gems Studios Executive Vice President Kris Bagwell:

“Georgia is the new leader in TV and film production on the East Coast. There are jobs in the production business in almost every occupation, from cook to security guard to driver to construction. This job creates tens of thousands of well paying Georgia jobs. And it’s here to stay thanks to the pro-jobs agenda of Gov. Deal.”

Atlanta Skyline

The need for Atlanta production housing

One area that is seeing a direct impact in this increased production activity is the short-term housing market. Here are some of the reasons why the demand for short-term production housing is on the rise:

An increase in project-based production personnel.

While Atlanta’s permanent film production employee sector is indeed growing, thousands of other industry workers come into Atlanta for specific film and television projects every year, sometime staying on for months at a time.

Production staff in transition.

Given the increase in available work, many film professionals are coming to Atlanta to live and work full-time. Some of these employees work at one or more of Atlanta’s growing number of soundstage complexes like Atlanta Metro Studios, Tyler Perry Studios or EUE/Screen Gems Studios. Some are hired on for specific TV series productions (e.g., Stranger Things or The Walking Dead). Many times, these people are called in last-minute and must often relocate quickly, leaving little time to figure out a permanent situation. Thus, many of these workers seek short-term production housing in the interim.

Limited budgets.

Despite all the money seemingly flowing in from major film and TV studios, many indie projects still come to Georgia to shoot. These projects may hire industry professionals, but they don’t always have the budget to house them in expensive hotels. For these film productions, short-term corporate housing provides an excellent and cost-effective alternative.

The benefits of living at home.

Some transitional industry pros choose short-term housing simply because it makes them feel more at home than in a hotel. A fully furnished luxury apartment may offer a full range of amenities, including fitness facilities, security, close proximity to restaurants, etc. These apartments also offer fully equipped kitchens and well-appointed living spaces, so they can come back at the end of a long shoot and relax, just like they would at home.

As Atlanta continues to gain prominence as a major player in the film industry, we can expect the need for short-term production housing only to continue growing for the foreseeable future.

If you are a film professional coming into Atlanta for an extended stay, you have other options besides an expensive hotel with no place to spread out and relax. As an alternative, consider renting a fully-furnished corporate apartment while you’re in town, offering a full array of benefits at a fraction of the cost. To see what we have available for your needs, give TP Corporate Lodging a call at 800.428.9997.


3 Tips for Finding a Short-Term Rental During a Home Renovation

So you’re embarking on a major home renovation that leaves your home temporarily unlivable. You need temporary housing, but you want to avoid the exorbitant expense of a hotel, as you may be displaced for more than a month. Additionally, doing a basic month-to-month rental on an apartment can be a challenge because most of these are unfurnished. Fortunately, there are other options that won’t necessarily break the bank. Here are 3 helpful tips for locating a short-term rental while your home is being renovated.

1. Check with friends

Believe it or not, sometimes word-of-mouth is your best bet for finding short-term housing. Spread the word to friends, family and coworkers letting them know you’re on the hunt for temporary shelter while your house undergoes renovation, and ask if they have any leads. You might be surprised by how many people have an empty guest house or vacation rental, or know someone who has one, who might give you a great deal. The advantage, of course, is that you might get in for free or cheap, and if it’s with someone you already know and trust, all the better. The downside is that you are limited in your options to maybe one or two places, and if you don’t know the referral that well, you could be taking a risk.

2. Check with a trusted subletting site

Many people these days are subletting their vacation homes and vacant apartments through websites like Airbnb and VRBO for extra cash. These listings often have a nightly, weekly and/or monthly rate attached. You can filter your search by location, number of bedrooms, amenities, etc., you can view photos of the apartment, and you can read reviews by others. The upside is that most of the time you can get a decent furnished place fairly quickly, and most are equipped with kitchens so you can avoid the hotel lifestyle. The downside is that these rentals are often as much as a hotel, and occasionally you run across a scammer. (NOTE: We do NOT recommend finding a sublet on Craigslist, as these listings are rarely vetted and are a breeding ground for scam artists.)

3. Consider a corporate housing agency

temporary housingOne fairly reliable alternative to finding short-term rentals is to consult a corporate housing company. These agencies focus on providing fully-furnished temporary housing for people who need it — and while many of their clients are corporate travelers on extended stays or in the process of relocating for work, these units are often ideal for locals who just need a place to live for a couple of months. You can specify the amount of space and type of amenities you need, and the agency will get you into an apartment that fits the bill, for a fraction of what it costs to stay at an extended stay hotel.

If you require a short-term rental in Atlanta, Georgia or Jacksonville, Florida, TP Corporate Lodging offers a great selection of fully furnished apartments in prime locations in both of these cities. Give us a call at 800.428.9997 to see what we have available.