Corporate Housing Got Smarter in 2016, Occupied Attention of Global Mobility Specialists

Corporate housing got smarter in 2016. On top of customized luxury amenities meant to pamper and personalize accommodations and offering these in our top locations, California Corporate Housing went as far as upend corporate apartment living. We did it by equipping residences with smart home devices and internet of things (IoT).

Doing so caught the attention of global mobility specialists and companies in 2016, some learning about us from our California Corporate Housing blog section, while others heard about us through other channels like meetup groups.

Our writeup on Amazon Echo, which is part of our housing ecosystem, pulled in the most readers. It’s not surprising as the digital, virtual assistant has evolved from being a novelty to becoming a vital tool in enhancing a hard-driving professional’s work and personal life. You’ve seen the TV spots. It works to remind you of special meetings, prepare you for the next day’s weather, give you critical information about the stock exchange, and read you an e-book or an e-publication that you can add to your next presentation. At the same time, Amazon Echo lets you unwind and chill after a hard day’s work by playing you favorite music, all with a simple voice command.

No wonder unit sales of Amazon Echo reached 5.2 million by the end of 2016, according to Tech News Inc.

Technology has indeed become part of our daily lives, and — unless you’re a hermit on a self-imposed exile — there is no escaping digital communications, smart devices, IoTs, and other tech disruptions that can be both a source of pressure and delight. Global mobility specialists have adapted 21st-century technology, especially the social media sites, in sourcing and recruiting top talent like never before.

Many of the millennials to whom creating an online portfolio and placing a myriad of their digital footprint on the web have become second nature. And while the advent of the IoTs  to the global mobility specialist’s world is still slow and steady, he is finding new ways to make the latest and most popular gadgets work for him and his assignee.

Assignees don’t just work hard, they play hard. And they do like to be pampered, or at least experience the rewards and privileges that their long day’s grind has given them. And while a trip to the spa or the nearest beauty and wellness center remains a favorite weekend delight, enjoying that same kind of luxurious body care right in their own home goes a long way in helping them de-stress. Natural oils that hydrate their bodies, remove toxins, and rejuvenate their bodies make them feel younger and more energetic which, in turn, can help raise their performance to a whole new level.

Housing units all over the U.S. are experiencing a rebirth as they move away from classic but impersonal elegance to more personalized designs. Assignees, and every other tenant and potential home owner, want to feel that their living space is theirs, in a way that no other individual can own.

One trendsetter in today’s corporate housing sector accommodates refitting the living space according to the new denizen’s tastes, furnishing it with his own preferred combination of accessories and main set pieces that give a bedroom, kitchen, and living room an entirely new look. Any visitor upon first entry can see that this particular unit is different from the rest of the building’s.

And this penchant for personalization can go a long way. Cultural and ethnic roots, homegrown adaptations of childhood homes, and homage to world-shaking events like the Wimbledon — can now be redesigned to make them more vicarious for the assignee who might be a tennis buff or who just wants to reconnect with his country of origin.

If a luxurious pampering home is par for the course for assignees, where would they want to relocate, given a choice? It’s safe to say that they will apply that same kind of rejuvenating experience to the community where they will live.

This makes Northern California a top choice for those who value openness to diversity, a healthy lifestyle, and a family-friendly environment, along with professional advancement. Still, the state is huge and select cities to relocate to garner the most inquiries.

As of 2016, the top three places in Northern California that are most conducive to assignees are Berkeley with its cultural, culinary, and artistic hotspots; Sacramento, and its affinity for the environmentally-conscious and literary-minded; and Clovis, which offers good schools and a strong community spirit. Palo Alto could easily be the most preferred area if not for its steep rental fees and expensive properties.

Interestingly, our piece on Carmel Village was one of our most popular and widely read. Perhaps it is the combination of high-tech luxury apartments that are proximate to nature trails, artistic and theatrical performances, and gastronomic delights that met assignees’ requirements for living spaces.

Finally, and not surprisingly, places to recruit the cream of the crop of assignees remains an important issue to global mobility specialists. Many of them placed Latin America, the Middle East, South Asia, and Southeast Asia on their search-and-recruit radar in 2016. Bogota in Colombia  is a melting pot for finance, engineering, and accounting graduates and professionals. The building sprees in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have drawn in executives and specialists in design, engineering, construction, and property development. Young Pakistanis are making their mark in telecommunications. Indonesia’s manufacturing specialists have attracted recruiters, and so do Filipino professionals with their English-language fluency and cultural flexibility..

These are the issues that affected and impacted global mobility specialists in 2016. This early in the year, the topics that are at their top of mind are showing up in responses to articles and posts in social media and community fora. How will the new government impact industry-sensitive issues like immigration and international trade? Will short-term assignments given to eager millennials replace the long-term and more expensive traditional expatriate stints? How can technology accelerate our creation of a dynamic talent pool while maximizing our resources?

Those are the questions and we are on our way to finding the answers. More will come up over time. Stay tuned as we welcome 2017. From relocation requirements, travel taxes, to regional socio-economic transformations, global mobility specialists will want to stay on top of their game, and our content will always be ready to assist them.