Bunking with the business

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I’m going to graduate this year, and I have a job lined up with my friend’s dad. I’m set to move to a different state for the gig, and my friend’s dad recently told me that he has a place for me to live: a corporate apartment. I’m not so sure this is a good idea, though. After four years living on a campus, should I go right to living on my employer’s property? What are my obligations if I do? I’m not planning on throwing any wild parties or anything–I’m just a little apprehensive about why my friend’s dad wants me to live in a corporate apartment. He says it was just to make things easier on me, so maybe I’m overreacting. What do the experts think?

Though not everyone is familiar with the concept, corporate apartments are actually quite common things, the experts at HomeLink Cincinnati–a company that provides corporate housing in Ohio–told us. The corporate housing industry is big business: it takes in $2.7 billion in revenues each year. And, you will be happy to hear, this business isn’t here to keep you from having a good time or to help your boss keep an eye on you–far from it!

The real reason for corporate apartments is the increasing demand for talent. Corporate housing is now a typical part of top firms’ recruiting strategies, experts say. Giving employees a place to stay while they hunt for their apartment or work temporarily at a remote location is supposed to be a perk, not an imposition. It sounds as if your future boss is trying to make things easier on you, out of kindness and perhaps, at least partly, to make sure you really head to work for him when you graduate. Be flattered!

There’s an obvious benefit to both companies and employees when corporate housing is used during employee relocations. We spoke to SW Ohio Real Estate, the experts in homes for sale in Cincinnati–the very same place where HomeLink provides corporate apartments–and they confirmed that, even in a healthy real estate market, it takes some time to choose and buy a house. Companies want top talent working for them right away, and they don’t want to wait while prospective hires look at homes, make offers, and negotiate. Between situations like this, long-term remote work, and short-term site visits, it often makes sense for a company to own or rent corporate housing. It’s the same logic that leads companies to pay for moves in the form of relocation benefits (companies do this for both existing employees and new hires like you–you’re in the slight majority, at 52%).

So by all means, consider staying in the corporate housing your future boss says he’ll provide! Corporate apartments are designed for long-term stays–60% of tenants stay for 3 months or longer–so you’ll be comfortable sticking around. Take the perk, and consider yourself lucky to be so sought-after right out of college!

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