In this edition of our continuing series of interviews with players in the corporate-housing industry, we spoke with the President & CEO of Northeast Relocation, Inc., Patrick Flynn. Mr. Flynn is an industry veteran and a Certified Corporate Housing Professional (CCHP) as awarded by the Corporate Housing Providers Association. Northeast Relocation, Inc. provides relocation services in Boston, MA.
Can you give a brief description of what your company does and why it is unique in the marketplace?
We are a provider of luxury furnished housing throughout the country, with a focus in the Northeast. We are big on quality and attention to detail — high-end furnishings, electronics, linens, and housewares. 42” HDTVs are standard in all of our apartments, along with Keurig Coffee machines. In addition to that, we offer a more personalized experience, with custom welcome boxes, meet & greet services, and more.
What do you think is happening to the furnished rental business? Challenges?
There is growth in select markets, the Northeast market being one of them. One of the challenges is educating clients on the differences between renting from a trusted provider like us, and renting from a private owner where scams are happening on a more frequent basis. We’ve heard many horror stories this year alone from guests that arrive to find that the apartment they rented is either non-existent, or doesn’t look at all like what they were promised. We pride ourselves on showing our guests high-quality photos of their actual apartment suite, not just a stock photo image.
How cost-conscious are your clients?
Clients are very cost-conscious these days, so we’re about providing a valuable service at a competitive price without sacrificing any attention to detail and customer service.
How much of your business is from (1) independent travelers, (2) corporations and other companies, (3) relocation companies or services, and (4) booking agencies like Nomad and Travelers Haven?
We receive business from a variety of companies, from Fortune 500 companies, to small businesses, to individuals visiting our cities.
What is the optimal experience you want your clients to have?
We want a seamless booking process, with a smooth check-in experience as well. When our clients and guests arrive, we want them to be able to find their building easily, pick up their keys, and be settled in their apartment without issue — and on top of that, we want them to be “wowed” when they open the door and find their apartment just as described, with custom welcome boxes awaiting them (hopefully putting a smile on their face).
Any future plans or developments for the business?
We are always looking to grow in new and innovative ways.
What is the average stay of your renters? Do your renters stay less than 30 days?
Our average stay this year is around 60-70 days. We do not rent for less than 30 days.
What do you like to call your short-term renters/corporate housing clients?
How do you refer to your units? Do you refer to them as corporate rentals or furnished residences?
Depending on who we’re talking to, we refer to our units as (1) temporary housing, (2) furnished apartments, (3) corporate housing, (4) furnished suites, or (5) furnished flats; they all mean the same thing.