Dwellworks Living Global Corporate Housing Solutions - Georgian Terraced Houses

A Buyer's Guide to Corporate Housing

Are you familiar with your corporate housing provider? At first glance, it can be a challenge to differentiate the various types of providers that offer temporary housing accommodations and serviced apartments.

Many companies that provide extended-stay housing support to clients and relocation/travel management administrators have access to the same inventory.

They also tend to use similar terminology throughout the sales and service experience, so it’s not surprising that buyers may find it difficult to tell the differences among them.

However, there are various types of providers, each with specific value propositions, that you should know about.  

In this blog, we'll lay out the types of providers, their key differences, and why they matter so that you can choose the best partner to meet your needs.


Corporate Housing Operators

When the corporate housing industry was founded, it was common practice for operators, also called providers or suppliers, to run entire furnished apartment communities to meet business travelers’ extended stay and relocation needs.

Over time, these operators also began to lease individual units or blocks of apartments in a variety of communities, which they then furnish and appoint with housewares and resell as serviced apartments at daily (or monthly) extended stay rates.

This housing stock is what’s commonly called inventory, which operators sublease to clients as corporate housing for a variety of extended-stay accommodations needs.

This model is the backbone of supply in the housing industry, with regional operators offering a wide variety of furnished apartment options in their respective markets.


  • When clients have new business travel needs in the market(s) where the provider is located, these local operators can often personally visit and manage the quality of new furnished apartment inventory.
  • Most corporate housing providers are hospitality experts who take pride in their units/buildings, and the customer service for the guests in their care, with local teams on hand to meet guest needs.


  • Corporate housing providers are often regional or local, requiring clients to invest in personnel to manage a larger number of suppliers in order to gain access to all of the serviced apartments they need.
  • Due to the carrying costs of unoccupied units, booking vacant inventory must be the supplier’s main priority. In new markets, providers must try to manage risk by seeking to get client orders first, and then finding inventory to match. This can extend the time needed to fulfill booking requests and the lead time needed prior to move-in.  
  • Local suppliers do not typically invest in global sourcing and booking management software. Transactions are typically managed via phone calls and emails, which can lead to longer response times and manual reporting/updates.


Serviced Apartment Agents

As the market for temporary accommodations has grown, some Corporate Housing Operators have evolved into Serviced Apartment Agents, who represent the capabilities of a network of operators to potential clients. 

The agent effectively acts as a broker between client demand and operator supply. The agent may or may not have their own inventory, and they source operator options for their clients.

This approach allows agents to access a wider array of serviced apartments within the regions they support.


  • Agents are often regional and have personal relationships with local corporate housing providers, which helps them to keep a pulse on availability in a specific market.
  • These partners typically offer high-touch customer service within the scope of serviced apartment bookings.


  • Although they have staffing on hand to monitor 24/7 communications, Agents typically rely on web forms, email, and phone calls to complete all transactions, which can result in booking windows that take a few days to complete, rather than a few hours.
  • Although agents may be very prompt to respond in specific markets with their most reliable suppliers, they may not have the global reach needed for complex housing programs.


Marketplace Booking Platforms

In recent years, technology-based booking platform companies have entered the temporary accommodations marketplace, following on models in leisure and vacation rentals like VRBO and Airbnb.

These technology companies enroll corporate housing providers on their platforms and then provide an online database of global serviced apartment inventory to their clients. Clients can browse, compare, and click to select, although a confirmed booking is not necessarily immediate.

In many cases, the platform confirms availability with the supplier via emails and alerts, similar to the more traditional corporate housing “request and reply” model.

These platform providers market themselves as "technology companies" and do not typically focus on customer service outside of booking transactions.  


  • Clients can preview global furnished apartment inventory on a single platform or website, and select accommodations through a single source.
  • Dashboards are generally available to view the status of all housing requests and guest occupancy.


  • Platform operators are not responsible for guests’ service experience, so clients and customers can expect to take on more direct service coordination and issue resolution for their traveling employees.
  • Some platform services allow corporate housing providers to pay for preferred placement in search results, which can make it more difficult for buyers to objectively evaluate choices that best meet their needs.
  • Many platform operators do not offer consolidated billing, requiring clients to receive and manage separate invoices and payment terms from multiple housing providers.


End-to-End Solutions Providers

In the midst of a growing need for spacious, apartment-style, extended-stay business travel accommodations, many travel buyers have expressed a need for a solution that combines the best attributes of every type of provider listed above.

Clients need reliable, local expertise with high-touch service, as well as access to an easy booking platform.

They also need additional services to help business travelers settle into their accommodations while meeting the cost and reporting requirements of their business.


  • Clients may have access to a fully vetted, continuously expanding global network of the world’s most trusted corporate housing providers.
  • Providers may offer award-winning 24/7 client and guest support, with in-market experts around the world.
  • Clients have access to a single application to browse, request, confirm, and manage serviced apartment stays globally.
  • They're also able to review additional services such as area orientation, intercultural training, school searches, settling-in services, and more.
  • End-to-end solutions providers may implement global account management, which includes cost reporting, consolidated, multi-currency billing, and analytics-led improvements.


  • To take full advantage of the scale and cost savings of the solutions model, clients need to evaluate their comfort with outsourced expertise versus in-house management of their extended stay accommodations programs.
  • Since solutions models are focused on the total cost of operations, savings are realized through leveraged volume buying, more choice, managed cap options, global coverage, simplified selection, and on-demand customer service – rather than single transaction savings. Therefore, the management of the program must shift to a more holistic, strategic approach to realize all benefits.

What We Do

Of the various types of housing providers listed, Dwellworks Living follows an end-to-end solutions model to meet all our client's needs.

Based on our reputation as the world’s largest and most trusted destination services provider, and with our global team of service-oriented, in-market experts, Dwellworks Living is the only partner able to combine all the benefits of working with a network of 3000+ award-winning corporate housing providers, a leading-edge sourcing and selection technology, and the additional support that extended-stay travel and relocating employees need when managing the complexities of their assignments.

As the corporate housing and serviced apartment industry has evolved, so too have the types of providers.

Today, we at Dwellworks Living are proud to be able to leverage our strong global relationships and decades of experience in destination services to offer our clients the most complete solution – with simplified sourcing and total ownership for customer care.

Be sure to read our blogs to learn more about Dwellworks Living 

Contact us to learn more about how the Dwellworks Living solution can help you.


Dwellworks Living: Global Solutions for Corporate Accommodations 

Dwellworks Living is committed to providing our clients and their employees with the best possible corporate housing and serviced accommodations experience. With a global network of property partners, a tri-regional team of customer experience and supply chain professionals, and a wide range of services for global mobility and travel customers, Dwellworks Living can provide the perfect corporate housing solution for any need or budget.

Dwellworks Living is the global corporate housing solution of Dwellworks, an award-winning, business-to-business provider of global mobility and business travel services. As a global leader in corporate housing and serviced accommodations solutions, Dwellworks Living is uniquely positioned to meet the temporary living needs of businesses and their employees who are relocating or traveling on short-, medium- or extended-stays. With 60,000 high-quality professionally managed properties in over 125 countries worldwide, Dwellworks Living is the preferred housing solutions partner of many Fortune 1000 and leading relocation management companies.

Dwellworks Living's corporate housing and serviced accommodations solutions are designed to help businesses attract and retain top talent, support employee productivity, and ensure a smooth and successful relocation or business travel experience. In addition to our core global accommodations management services, Dwellworks Living, through our worldwide network of local experts, is uniquely capable of offering our clients expanded and related services, such as area orientations, group move assistance, destination services and intercultural training.

Whether you have corporate housing needs for an individual employee or a large team, Dwellworks Living can provide the serviced accommodations solutions you need anywhere in the world to ensure a safe and successful stay. Please contact us to learn more or visit our Properties page to begin your search for global corporate housing accommodations.

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