The trick is finding a partner you can trust
So, you’ve been assigned to a project team in another city for the next 2 months. You’re excited, because it’s a great opportunity to build your skills and create relationships with some senior people, not to mention get to know a world-class city in a way that just isn’t possible when you just visit for a vacation. But the thought of spending all your time in a cramped hotel room – or, worse, traveling back and forth all the time – is putting a damper on your enthusiasm.
Corporate housing (also known as ‘executive suites’ or ‘extended stay suites’) is a great option for a short-term relocation – but how do you choose the right one, especially if you have to do it online, without being able to check out the space in person?
Here are 6 tips to make it easier:
- Ask around. Referrals are one of the best ways to find a great place to stay, because people who’ve been through the process can give you more detailed, relevant information (“I know you love eating out – this place is within walking distance to all kinds of great restaurants…”) – and will be honest if a particular place didn’t deliver a good experience.
- Talk to your HR or accounting department. Chances are, they’ve arranged short-term accommodations for other employees in the past, and they can steer you in the right direction.
- Make a list of the features most important to you. Do you like to be able to walk to work, shopping and entertainment, or do you need parking? Are you passionate about working out and would appreciate a fitness center in the building? Do you need a large area to set up a home office? Will you want to have a spouse or friends to stay during your assignment? The more you know about what you’re looking for, the easier it’ll be to make a shortlist of possibilities.
- Set aside some time to Google. Give yourself some time to Google ‘furnished apartments’ or ‘corporate housing’ in the neighbourhood you’d most like to live. The more you know about what’s on the market, the better equipped you’ll be to make a decision you can live with for 2 months.
- Make sure you see all the photos – and a floor plan. Photographs – especially small ones online – can be deceiving. What looks like a huge, light-filled living room in one photo angle can turn out to be a poky, privacy-free closet when seen in person. (Plus, the more photos a company provides, the more likely it is they haven’t got anything to hide about their properties.)
- Talk to a real person. It can be tempting, when you’re busy and just want to get things done, to book a suite online without talking to anyone. That’s fine for a night or two in hotel – where it doesn’t matter that much if the room turns out to be terrible – but it’s more dangerous when choosing a place to stay for an extended period. Even a 10-minute phone call will give you a good idea of what you can expect in terms of reliability and service when you’re actually in your new, temporary, home.
BONUS TIP: When you do make your arrangements, don’t forget to get all the details in writing!