short term rentals

Corporate housing: Definitely not a hotel

Today Living Group corporate housing

People who travel a lot for work will tell you that no matter how great the bathroom is, or how comfortable the bed, staying in hotels all the time can leave you feeling drained and stressed out. A nice bathroom just can’t compensate for the feeling of being stuck in a small box of a room night after night, eating expensive (and not all that healthy) room service or takeout food.

Furnished corporate housing can help:

  • Typical suites offer much more space than standard hotel rooms, making travellers feel more like they’re staying in an apartment rather than an anonymous hotel room
  • Having a proper living area separate from the bedroom allows guests to relax in the evenings the way they might at home, giving them an opportunity to de-stress before going back to work the next day
  • Fully-equipped kitchens mean guests can prepare their own food. More importantly, it helps them stick to whatever schedule they might have at home (i.e. having a kale smoothie for breakfast or warm milk before bed), which can also contribute to less stress
  • Suites allow for spouses or even, in some cases, pets to accompany guests, which reduces the isolation and stress that many business travellers can feel when they’re on the road alone for long periods of time
  • Suites encourage travellers to ‘settle in’ more than in a hotel
  • Suites offer many of the same amenities of good hotels, like weekly or biweekly housekeeping, linen service and thoughtful design

It’s hard for business travellers to be their most productive if they’re feeling tired, stressed or missing the people and comforts of home. Furnished corporate housing is a great way to set your employees up for success by making them as comfortable as possible.

 

SUITE SPOTLIGHT: Gorgeous 1br in Lakeview Condos in Barrie

Welcome to the most sought-after building in Barrie

Amenities at Lakeview Condos

Details of this suite:

  • 1 bedroom/1 bathroom
  • 520 square feet
  • Sub-penthouse level with 11ft ceilings (yes, in a condo!)
  • Laminate flooring and huge windows
  • Great kitchen with large island for cooking or entertaining
  • Ensuite laundry
  • Adjacent to the Farmers’ Market, and Druxy’s Deli is downstairs
  • Perfect for people who want urban living without the commute

For more details about this suite, click here.

To arrange to view this suite, contact Mary Casey at maryc@todaylivinggroup.com or call us at 416.213.8881 x228

What does a successful (temporary) relocation assignment really look like?

Relocation tips from Today Living Group

It happened again last week: We got a call from the VP Talent in the New York office of a global company, and she was in a bit of a panic. “We recruited this super-specialized manager for a huge project we’re running in Toronto for the next 4 months. He’s only been in Toronto for a week but he’s already talking about quitting the project because the transition has been a disaster. He found some place to stay on Airbnb which turned out to be totally unsuitable, his wife and young child can’t visit him, and it’s taking him 45 minutes to get to the office every day. Can you help?”

Temporary relocations – typically 2-8 months – can often seem like no big deal to employers. After all, the assignee doesn’t have to sell his/her house, is usually given time to go home on weekends or bring his/her family to visit on a regular basis, and, from the employer’s perspective, is being given a great opportunity to build their career and make new connections.

All of that is true, but it doesn’t mean that it’s not stressful. Temporary assignees often feel the pressure to work long days, they’re in unfamiliar surroundings with new colleagues, they’re separated from family and friends, their gym, their favourite lunch spot – the things that make daily life familiar and comforting.

And of course when relocated employees start to get overwhelmed, they are at greater risk of burnout. Which means that suddenly your top-performing A-lister can’t do what they’re great at, and that means that not only is the temporary project in jeopardy, but you’re at risk of actually losing your employee altogether, when they decide that maybe they’d rather work for a company that didn’t want to send them on temporary assignments that make them miserable.

How can you create a temporary relocation program that works better?

No, we’re not HR experts. But we’ve been working with temporarily relocated employees and their employers for 20 years now, and we’ve learned a few things along the way. Here’s what we know about how temporary assignments can be more successful- for everyone:

Think about it from your employee’s point of view

Employers often think that employees should jump at the chance of a temporary relocation, because it seems exciting, career-building, and sometimes even lucrative. But for an employee who’s recently had a baby, who’s getting their MBA at nights and on weekends, or is leading a team in their home office, the thought of spending 3+ months in another city may not seem so appealing. Being sensitive to these considerations – and approaching the employee accordingly – will set a more positive tone for everything that follows.

Make sure everyone knows what’s involved (including expenses)

Temporary assignments work best when everyone – the employee, his/her manager, the HR department, and the office where the employee will be working – knows exactly what’s expected, in advance. Will the assignee be working four 10-hour days per week in order to have 3-day weekends to go home? Will there be a per diem for food/expenses? Is it payable on a regular basis, and does the employee have to submit receipts? Is there a firm end date, or is it tied to the completion of a given project? Will the company be paying to bring family to stay, and if so, how often? Or will the company pay for accommodations that will allow the employee to bring family with him/her?

Taking the guesswork out of this makes life less stressful for your employee, and allows better cost/deliverable management for the organization.

Don’t force – or let – your employee go rogue

Companies who don’t have large HR or relocation departments often leave it up to the employee to find housing, transportation and other services in their new city. This is both time-consuming and stressful, and – as we saw with our New York client – can end in disaster for everyone. Assigning an internal resource to find appropriate housing, transportation and support, and ensuring they dot every I and cross every T, will deliver a better ROI in the end.

Have an onboarding strategy

In our experience, temporary relocations often go off the rails right at the beginning, when a relocated employee arrives in a new city, sometimes late at night or on a weekend, to find that the expected arrangements are not in place and s/he has no one to call to help straighten it out. The employee then arrives for his/her first day or work already stressed out, tired and annoyed – which isn’t good for anyone. Ensuring that someone is on the ground to meet and assist the relocated employee upon arrival can make a huge difference in how the project moves forward.

Engage some expert help

Unless your company is a large multinational that often relocates employees around the world, chances are you don’t have a dedicated relocation department or a global mobility specialist on staff. For higher-volume and/or longer-term relocations, you may want to consider engaging a third-party relocation company like Weichert or BGRS. For short-term or smaller volumes, you can talk to your corporate housing provider – like, say, Today Living Group – you may be surprised at just how much assistance we can provide.

Temporary relocations can be great for employees and businesses

And a little advance planning can deliver both a great experience and a great ROI.

 

Family all coming to town? Executive suites may be the answer.

furnished accommodations are good for families

My aunt and uncle live just outside of New York City, but two of their children still live here in Toronto.

A couple of summers ago, their daughter got married, and my aunt wanted to be in town more often to go to dress fittings and food tastings and bridal showers. At the same time, their son had a new baby, so they wanted to be available to see the new arrival and help the new parents for the first few weeks. The distance between New York and Toronto doesn’t seem all that huge – until parents want to be able to be with their children, and grandchildren, for traditionally significant moments.

Neither of their children had a spare bedroom, so my uncle and aunt spent a fortune on hotels and on travelling back and forth between Toronto and NYC. At that time of year, even two-star hotels in downtown Toronto are easily $250/night, and of course all the airlines had bumped up their prices for the holiday season. By the time their daughter was married and the baby was a month old, they’d spent almost $10,000 on hotels and airfare.

This is where furnished corporate housing can be a lifesaver. A one-bedroom, furnished executive condo – right in the heart of the city, convenient to everything, including the island airport – could have cost them less than $3500 for a whole month. They could have saved more than $6000, between the hotel, room service, and all the extra money they spent on flights back and forth – and ended up with much more time to spend with their kids and new grandchild.

The good news? They’re expecting a second grandchild later this year, and have already booked a month at one of the TLG suites downtown!

ASK THE EXPERT: Can I rent out my condo?

Today Living Group condo rentals

 

“I just bought a condo in Toronto for investment purposes, but now I hear I may not be able to rent it out. What are my options?”

Congratulations!  Buying a condo that can generate income for you now, and become an asset or retirement home for you later can be a terrific investment – if you’ve done your homework.

First, don’t rely on comments from neighbours, real estate agents you don’t know, or even that guy from the condo board you met in the lobby for accurate information about what you can and cannot do with your condo.

If you’re in any doubt about any aspect of how you can or can’t use your condo, your first step should be to re-read your condo agreement. Terms pertaining to the renting of units are found under the ‘Use of Units’ heading.

(If your condominium building isn’t brand-new, there may be a condo board in place which may have established additional rules about what you can do in and around your unit. These are unlikely to affect whether you can rent it out or not, but it’s a good idea to give them another read as well.)

 

You can’t be prohibited from renting your unit

No condo corporation in Ontario can prevent an owner from renting out their unit.

What they can do, however, is set minimum rental periods: In some buildings, rental periods may be no less than 30 days; in others, the rental periods may be no less than one year.

In some ways, these rules are a good idea: They promote stability in the building, and help ensure that you know who your neighbours are from one week to the next. They also reduce the chances that the unit next to you will become an Airbnb unit constantly occupied by a rotating cast of partying tourists.

 

So what are your options?

If your building requires that rental periods be no less than a year, you may choose to keep your suite unfurnished and rent it out in the traditional way.  Keep in mind renting the suite on your own can bring nightmares that you are not ready for.  Maintenance requests at all hours, problems with your tenant in the community, etc.     Today Living Group offers you a better option.  They have a team that will fully vet your tenant, ensure your tenant follows the community rules and regulations, take care of maintenance calls 24 hours and all while you enjoy time with your family, go on vacations, etc.

If your building allows rental periods of as little as 30 days, you have more options. You can go the long-term, unfurnished route – or you can consider offering a furnished unit as corporate housing (also known as ‘executive suites’).

Either way, you can choose to manage the process yourself, but as we’ve said before, this model is often a lot more work than people realize, especially if they’ve never been a landlord before.

For many owners of investment condos, the best option is to engage a property management company. They handle the attraction and vetting of tenants; they look after the collection of monies; and, probably most importantly, they’re the ones on call when something goes wrong, like a leaky faucet. A property management company will also deal with the condo board in the event one of your neighbours complained about a tenant in your unit.

Sure, we’re biased. But we also know that property management companies that specialize in corporate housing – both for short and longer-term stays – tend to work directly with employers looking for good-quality housing for their employees. That generally means better tenants, bills paid on time, and much less wear and tear on the unit (because the employees end up spending most of their time working anyway).

Want to know more? Don’t hesitate to get in touch.

 

You bought – or are building – the house of your dreams. What happens when there’s a 3-month delay?

What do you do when you have construction delays

 

It happens more often than you think: You buy a new-build house or condo, and do your research. The builder is reputable with a track record of delivering projects on-time and on-budget. But then something happens – a colder-than-usual winter that prevents work, a transportation strike in the US that causes a shortage of materials, a subcontractor disaster – and suddenly the move-in date for your new home is 3 months later than you anticipated.

Which is a bit of a problem, since you’ve given notice to your landlord or have sold your existing home and have a hard-and-fast closing date. You have no family nearby and none of your friends really want you and your toddler crashing on their couch for 12 weeks.

What do you do?

This is the kind of situation that furnished apartments are designed to solve.

A furnished corporate apartment or suite can be rented on a month-to-month basis without a big commitment (in case the builder can’t be specific about a move-in date), and in most cases, extending your stay is as easy as making a phone call.

Another advantage is that when your new home is finally ready, you don’t have to rush in – you can spend another week or two at the suite while you move in, paint, decorate and unpack in your new place. Instead of sleeping amidst the chaos, you can return to a like-home environment until your new place is perfect.

Not buying a new home, just doing a big renovation of your current one? A furnished apartment can be a perfect solution to the month or two that your kitchen and electrical systems are out of order.

Don’t forget, it’s a lot easier to be productive at work if you get a decent meal in the evening and a good night’s sleep – a furnished apartment could be the best thing you’ve ever done for your sanity during times of big moves and renovations.