The Wire Interview: The Roxbury Company CEO, Temil Marmon

Temil Marmon Roxbury Company

Lawrence Chambers for Metrosetter Wire

Temil Marmon is currently seeking to expand his Roxbury Brand of unique self-described “Un-Corporate” short-term accommodation. With 22 residences in the Nob Hill area of Albuquerque, and a 40 unit Hollywood property in the horizon, Mr. Marmon is bullish on the demand for appropriately priced one bedroom monthly furnished rentals.

Can you give a brief description of the Roxbury and your involvement?

I own the Roxbury brand. I started offering furnished monthly rentals in 2009. Based on the demand I saw for short term rentals, I converted a 22 unit apartment property over the course of 18 months into Roxbury residences.  My idea was to convert whole apartment properties 20-40 units in size, and create a unique environment, free of regular apartment tenants, and focus the management exclusively on the needs and requirements of short-term residents.

How much of your business is from….

1) Independent Travelers, Companies, Relocation companies, Agencies like Nomad and Travelers Haven.

I would say the majority of the tenants who stay with us fall into 5 categories:  20% medical staffing, 10% Film & TV productions crews, 30% affiliated with the University in some capacity, 20% relocations, 20% company short term work assignment.

About 25-30% of our business is through relocation agencies and temporary accommodation companies like Traveler’s Haven and Nomad.

How do you stay on top of the field? What makes the Roxbury so unique?

Roxbury works because it is properly priced and doesn’t feel too corporate.  There is very little competition in the marketplace for what we offer. Apartment owners are very conservative by nature and most owners would never think to convert their properties into short term leases because they see this as risky. In reality the vacancy rate stays the same, the tenants are better, they live lightly on the units, and you make more net income operating the property as “corporate housing.”  I use part of the extra income to maintain and improve the property which then drives more demand and better rents.

What do you think is happening to the short-term rental business? Are there many other companies like yours? What are your challenges?

In each city, you have a few companies that do what we do, that is whole apartment properties converted to short-term rentals.  Usually, these properties get into vacation rentals, which changes the living environment and adds management challenges.  We see outsized demand for affordable stylish accommodation.  I think eventually this demand will be filled by enterprising corporate housing companies.  Currently our challenges exist on the lending side, where banks see what we are doing as more risky than operating an apartment property, so we pay a little higher interest on our property loan.  An apartment loan with all short-term leases doesn’t conform to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

How cost-conscious are your clients?

Yes they are definitely cost-conscious.  Our standard units go for 1100. If we were to raise that to 1250 today, our demand would be cut by 40% I would think.

What is your cancellation policy?

They can cancel up to 14 days before arrival.  If they cancel within 14 days they pay a $250 cancellation fee.

What is the optimal experience you want your clients to have?

Quiet peaceful enjoyment while living with other residents who are also in a similar situation – relocating, or on short-term work assignment.  We want them to really enjoy their stay with us.  Simple really.  Peace and  Happiness!

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