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Corporate Housing: "Home away from home" for more than you think

“Home away from home” is the only slogan corporate housing uses as a marketing strategy. The $2.5 billion lodging segment has only been around for two decades and is steadily climbing. Like a hotel, corporate housing offers comfortable furnished temporary lodging. Unlike a hotel, it supplies almost everything an actual home would contain including Internet, cable television, long distance, personal washer and dryer, all kitchen utensils, and weekly housekeeping. “The only thing you need is your toothbrush,” said Ron Johnson, owner of Kitsap Hospitality Executive Apartments.

In Kitsap County, corporate housing is considered “nontraditional,” according to Johnson, who has been in the industry for almost 10 years. “Most have a minimum stay of 30 days. In this particular market I can have a guest stay from one day to a year,” he said. The majority of guests who occupy corporate lodging in the area are affiliated with the government, while others are construction workers, medical staff, vacationers and people who are relocating to the area.

Corporate housing is no easy first-time starter business and has many parts to keep it operating. The procedure of running such a business involves a number of different parties and includes renting or owning units. Vicky Zack, owner of Zack Corporate Housing, owns and rents apartments, houses and condos throughout Kitsap. Some challenges faced by corporate housing are the rise and fall of the economy and meeting the demands of their customers, she said. “Occupancy rates are the key,” Zack said. “The margins are very small, people have to be in it because they have an interest,” she added.

A business driven by serving people, corporate housing is comes from the desire to provide comfortable lodging with all the necessities of home. “Kill them with service. We go to the highest degree,” Johnson stated. “The best part about corporate housing is satisfied guests, that’s why we got into this business,” Zack said.

 
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