Business woman walking down porch stairs leaving home for work

Relocating for work? Here’s what you need to know about corporate housing


by Shannon Jacobs Posted on September 16, 2021

In a perfect world, all the pieces fall into place at the right time and in the right order when you get a new job. Your first day at the office coincides with your family settling into your fully unpacked and beautifully decorated home. Your kids have made friends in the neighborhood and are happy and well adjusted in their new school. And you’ve mastered your commute to work like a local pro. In the real world, though? That’s not always how things pan out. And that’s where corporate housing comes in.

For starters, your dream house in your new city might not be ready when you are. Or maybe you haven’t yet found that dream house, but your new boss needs you to be at work ASAP. Or perhaps your new house needs some TLC before you can move in.

That’s what happened to Lindsay Martin when she moved to the Tampa, Fla., area from Memphis, Tenn., for her new job on the PODS Marketing Team. “I lived in temporary housing for about four months,” Lindsay said. “The house we bought needed some renovations, so I used that time to start working on it.” With her husband back home in Tennessee taking care of the couple’s two kids, Lindsay was free to focus on making their Florida house move-in ready for her family — and getting settled in her new position at PODS. 

In any relocation situation, a place to call home in the interim can make the transition considerably less stressful and not as taxing as, say, a pricey hotel room or an Airbnb-style rental geared for vacationers. Designed with the business traveler in mind, corporate housing is more in tune with what a person relocating for work actually needs. And it’s becoming more common. In fact, national corporate housing has expanded tremendously in recent years as the workforce has become more mobile and willing to relocate for the right job. For example, according to the 2018 Corporate Housing Industry Report, room revenue for U.S. corporate housing in 2017 was $3.62 billion  — up nearly 13% from just the year before.

While we can’t promise a perfect world, we can offer some quick tips on what to look for in corporate housing. Read on for what to expect when you get to your short-term rental, what you need to take with you — and why you need to pack a certain way — and how much all of it may cost you.

Businessman ironing suit jacket

What is corporate housing? 

It goes by several different names, including temporary housing, short-term fully furnished rentals, month-to-month rentals, executive suites, and more. No matter what it’s called, however, corporate housing essentially means a turnkey experience for the tenant: a furnished apartment, condo, or house where a relocator can stay while they’re searching for a home or waiting for their home to be move-in ready. Corporate housing is also used by business travelers — government employees in town temporarily to work on a project, for instance, along with contract workers and people in town for a training program or conference. It’s also common in temporary housing to find homeowners who’ve been forced from their houses because of a fire or other tragedy. Simply put, the typical tenant is anyone who needs to stay in a home longer than a hotel visit but shorter than an actual rental lease.

Woman exercising on an elliptical with a city view

What’s included in corporate housing?

By definition, corporate housing includes pretty much everything except your clothing, toiletries, and food. The rental should provide linens, towels, kitchenware, a washer and dryer, and other necessities you would likely have in a home. In addition, your utility costs and other fees — for community amenities like a gym, for instance — are included in the rent paid by your employer. For corporate travelers and relocators in between homes, the corporate-housing option is all about convenience. Who wants to worry about utensils and pillows when you’ve got a new job to focus on? 

There are intangible benefits to corporate housing, as well. For Lindsay, they included time and the ability to get the lay of the land before her family arrived in Florida. “There are so many things to think about, you really can’t process it all at once,” she said. “Part of what I had to figure out was daycare for my youngest and school for my oldest, so spending those months here on my own gave me time to conduct interviews, make lists of the pros and cons of each to share with my husband, and make decisions — all from a comfortable space that I could call my own for a few months.” 

What amenities come with corporate housing?

If your short-term rental is in an apartment complex or condo community, you’ll likely have use of neighborhood amenities like a swimming pool, fitness center, and clubhouse. If you’re really lucky, you may even get housekeeping services as part of the deal. In general, anything long-term residents have access to, you have access to, as well. But do be sure to check with your soon-to-be boss about the available options, and don’t be shy about asking for what you want. If a gym is part of your regular daily routine, speak up. Remember: Your new company wants you healthy — and happy — when you get to the office on your first day.

Office worker holding papers with laptop and calculator on desk

What is a corporate housing package?

Whether you’ve landed a promotion or accepted a position with an entirely new company, your employer may provide financial support to help you with the costs involved in moving. And if you’re a homeowner or have a family, or both, those costs can be substantial. 

“In my case, we were moving in the middle of the pandemic, so frequent travel back and forth to house hunt and so forth wasn’t an option,” said Lindsay. “I researched the Tampa Bay area as much as I could online and decided I’d come on my own while the kids finished the school year in Memphis.” 

Many companies will foot the bill for new employees to enlist relocation services — specialists who take care of everything involved in your move, from packing and storage to arranging travel needs and transportation for your family. Some services will also help with your real estate needs, including marketing your current home to help sell it quickly. 

Generally speaking, there are three types of relocation packages, which can include corporate housing. But be sure to request a short-term rental if you need it; in today’s ultra-competitive job market, most companies provide financial support for employees who are relocating, but saving money is still a priority for profit-seeking companies. The three plans you might consider are:

  • Reimbursement: Keep all your moving-related receipts, and your company will pay you back.
  • Direct billing: All bills, including corporate housing companies’ fees, movers’ invoices, travel costs, and more, are sent directly to your new employer.
  • Lump sum: Take a one-time payment to use as you wish for your moving expenses.

Is corporate housing free?

On average, according to the Corporate Housing Providers Association, the average daily rental rate is $161, and the average stay clocks in at 78 days. But that cost may not be on you. Your new company may foot the bill for your stay in temporary housing if you’re relocating from out of state and your house isn’t ready. To be safe, do your due diligence and find out up front if it’s part of your organization’s policy for new hires. A good time to broach the topic? Ask your supervisor or the HR representative as part of your conversation about compensation. 

Homeowner opening a PODS moving and storage container in front of a suburban home

Is storage included in corporate housing?

It’s likely that you’ll have ample closet space in your temporary home — another perk of a fully furnished short-term rental. But, of course, you can’t fit a couch and dining room set in a closet, so you’ll need somewhere to store the majority of your belongings until your permanent home is ready for you. Moving with PODS means the storage is built in: You load up your container in your driveway, we pick it up and store it in our indoor storage facility for as long as you need, and then (when you’re ready!) we deliver your container right to your new driveway. 

And in the meantime, you can access your belongings from your container at our secure PODS Storage Center. It’s simple: Load the things you think you might need at some point during your corporate housing stay in your container last — shorts and tee-shirts, for instance, if there’s a chance your house takes longer than planned and the weather gets warm. Or holiday decorations, if it looks like Halloween or Thanksgiving may sneak up on you while you’re still in temporary housing. 

“As long as you call ahead, you can arrange for PODS to pull your container for you,” Lindsay said. “There’s no charge, so you can easily make several trips to get the items you need. Since I didn't know when my move-in date would be, I visited the local Storage Center several times to grab additional items and clothing I needed to hold me over until we moved into our new home.” 

After all, moving can be complicated. But that’s why we’re here.

If you’ve scored your dream job in a new city and you’re ready to relocate, don’t make a move without checking out the PODS blog. We’ve got plenty of info for you in our neighborhood guides, with details about cities all over the U.S. — from Santa Monica to sunny Sarasota to Staten Island. Find the right schools for your kids, discover communities that fit your budget, and get a taste of the local flavor that’ll help you make the right move.

Shannon Jacobs is a Tampa-based freelance writer and frequent contributor to the PODS blog. She has lived in Atlanta, the Berkshires, and Nashville, but always returns to the warmth of Florida’s Gulf Coast.

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Does anyone happen to know where I can live with a pit bull? Having troubles finding places
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I'm from Jesup Georgia and we always call Jacksonville the largest city in Southeast Georgia
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Great affordable housing in jacksonville florida and senior neighborhoods near the beach and malls and is ther great medical services and dentist and eye care? is ther adult ausitsm services /residentcy? Looking for a great place to retire with a special need adult on the spectrum.
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My husband & I would like to consider moving to Jax from the Fl. Panhandle (Santa Rosa Beach). We moved to SRB from Miami because we retired and hated all the crime and LOTS of traffic & people in the 305, so we thought that a quieter beach town would be perfect but WRONG. This place is slammed with people all summer long.....tourists from 5-6 states come here and crowd the beaches and restaurants every single day for at least 90 days in the summer and 2-3 weeks in the spring making traffic horrible too, and PS, we don't have the roadways for all of these people. Anyhow......we'd like to see if Jacksonville is a good fit for us. We love shopping, culture, movie theatres, YMCA, biking and more. The one thing that I'd like to know is if there are "seasons" in Jax? We love cool/cold weather in the winter and it does get cold here in the Panhandle but LOTS of rain :-/ Would you say it gets into the 30's or even 40's at night in Jax? :-)) Thanks!
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I'm getting ready to move to Jacksonville. What places would you recommend where the rent is cheap and the area is safe? Thanks!!
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What would you say are the safest areas to live at in Jacksonville? They don’t give safety a very high rating. Thanks for any information you can provide.
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Hello. Hello, I am 63 yrs.old. Hoping to relocate within the next couple of months while working from home so traffic won't be a problem. My 89 year old mom will accompany me. Any suggestions where to live?
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Jacksonville has long been known as the working son among Florida's playboys. It has a very strong blue collar background whereas Miami, Tampa, and Orlando have been the main tourist spots for decades. Also, it doesn't have a very glamorous name and there's a Jacksonville in about every other state so you never know which one people are referring to. If I visit North Carolina and say I'm from Jacksonville they assume I mean the one in there state.
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Thanks for all your great information everyone! I’m looking to rent an apartment for 6 months out of the year, as I live in PA and can’t stand the cold weather anymore. I too like the simple life and small town feel. If anyone has any suggestions, I’d appreciate it.
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