Why the Future of Corporate Housing is Not Just About the Accommodation

It’s been nearly a year since millennial travel professionals converged at the Onyx Room at the Park Hyatt New York to talk about the future of travel. It was the inaugural Young Travel Professionals Future Travel Lab conference and the topic was the future of travel.

As we head the corner and head to 2016, these young travelers’ group may also want to tackle the future of corporate housing, especially after banding together to trade stories and share insights about their travels. They may hone in on improving the outgrowth of travel–and that is providing just the right type of accommodation that suits their needs.

For instance, the younger set finds hotels not as flexible or innovative. This puts corporate housing in a unique position to outdo other types of accommodation the way it offers a complete home experience. Corporate housing constantly surprises these days as it usually adds one accommodation feature after another: an en suite laundry room, a fully loaded kitchen, a backyard with grill, great espresso machines, even a slew of smart connected home devices. That you don’t necessarily get in a hotel!

Who doesn’t enjoy luxury and great service, right? However, fine living has to be redefined for millennials. Stately palace-like accommodations may be good to experience once, but frequent business travelers, even recreation travelers would trade faster Wi-Fi for opulence.

The young travelers at the conference consisted of hoteliers, tour operators, travel agents and the travel disruptors themselves–startup founders making their mark in the world as managers or self-titled CEOs. As disruptors, they are certainly used to seeing change and innovation–and many of them have money to make special requests.

Below then are five observations that corporate housing should look into and what a global mobility professional must aspire to offer if they want to get younger guests in their corporate rentals. Would you believe their average age is 29?

  1. Marketing campaigns of several products and services need to be personalized to their tastes and style. For now, many claim they have to endure blanket advertising for things they do not need or are not interested in purchasing.
  2. They prefer to establish long-term relationships with one or two specific housing providers they can rely on when they are in a particular city. This takes out the stress of thinking of accommodation when they know someone they can rely on know what they need and it can be provided to them as requested.  
  3. As hotels are perceived as isolated places, they would like to see accommodations that serve as a forum for culture and locality, contributing to the fabric of the community. Millennials have a strong sense of community, thanks to the power of social media and how it helps strangers easily connect.
  4. More than price, distance or rating, these millennials would choose accommodation where most of their friends stay. Again, the question of money is inconsequential when it comes to the power of friendships.
  5. Accommodations must work like digital interactive spaces. These days, a room with a phone is not enough when many of these millennials run startups, if not work online outside of a corporate environment. Having accommodations that function as offices can help them save from steep coworking space rentals. Some actually consider living together to form startups. Even just a way for them to have everything in their space that allows them to interact with someone from out of town would be sufficient.  

Republished from the Linkedin post of California Corporate Housing CEO Ray Madronio