Relocating for work can be a stressful endeavor. You may have to leave behind friends and family, even a home, to uproot for weeks or months in a new city. While some people enjoy the breath of fresh air that this brings, relocating for work often requires pinpointed focus on your business, not pleasure. To mirror a more stable environment, many businesspeople opt for short-term rentals over hotels. Short-term rentals feel more like home and they have amenities that allow you to continue on with your routine without disruption. However, finding a good, fully furnished short-term rental can be difficult, if not overwhelming. In this article, we’ll provide you with the ultimate guide to Chicago furnished short-term rentals.
Benefits of Short-Term Rentals
Regardless of why you need to relocate to Chicago, you want to make sure that you’re focusing on your task at hand. If you’ve never been to Chicago, navigating can be stressful, and the entire process of relocating can be tedious, exhausting, and expensive. Luckily, it doesn’t have to be. Here are some of the top benefits of Chicago furnished short-term rentals.
- More Affordable
Staying in a hotel can get pricey, especially in popular cities. Due to this popularity, tourism, and the high cost of living in Chicago, your hotel bill can be astronomical. If you’re looking for a hotel with even basic amenities, this price can double. Corporate housing stays longer than 30 days are a more cost-effective choice than hotels.
- Better Consistency
Hotels prices are also often inconsistent. Weekday vs. weekend rates vary drastically and prices can skyrocket during holidays, sports games, and summer months. This causes difficulty when forecasting your expenses. Short-term rentals are transparent and much more straight-forward with pricing—many offer a fixed rate. This creates better predictability for expense forecasting and planning.
- Lower Tax Rates
When you stay in a hotel, your nightly rate doesn’t include tax. If you’re staying for longer than a week, these taxes can quickly add up to several hundred dollars. Corporate housing stays of 30 days or more are not subject to the high hotel tax rate, which makes pricing more predictable and affordable.
- Spacious and Homey
Hotel rooms are often cramped, even in many suites. This can easily make you feel claustrophobic and trapped. Short-term housing is spacious and homey providing you with a full kitchen and a furnished area that more likely resembles your own home. You’ll also experience privacy and independence without having to listen to the footsteps and slammed doors of fellow hotel guests.
- Cleanliness and Sanitization
It’s never been more important to prioritize cleanliness and sanitization. Make sure that you know what the cleaning and sanitizing process is before you book so you can be confident with your stay. Talk to the provider about apartment vacancy between guest occupancy during this uncertain time and double check to see what their sanitizing products include. Short-term rentals should be focusing on high touch points like remotes, light switches, doorknobs, etc. throughout the apartment.
- Fully Furnished Amenities
Many hotels lack substantial amenities. Short-term rental amenities in Chicago are fully furnished and include a comfortable bed with brand new pillows, plenty of extra blankets, free Wi-Fi, and a 42-inch plasma TV. You’ll also have a fully equipped kitchen in your room, which is extremely important since the pandemic makes eating out unpredictable.
In Chicago, some restaurants are currently open, but only for outdoor seating. While this works in warmer months, eating outside in Chicago winter is unappealing and extremely uncomfortable. With access to your own kitchen, you won’t have to rely on fast-food during your stay in Chicago.
- More Comfortable
With all of the added amenities in a short-term rental, you’ll feel like you’re at home. Hotel rooms can seem generic and sterile but corporate housing is homey, private, and equipped with surroundings that radiate familiarity and comfort. When you’re on the road away from loved ones, it’s nice to retire to a relaxing oasis that feels like much more than just your temporary home.
- Multiple Locations to Choose From
One of the best things about short-term rentals in Chicago is the number of locations you can choose from. Many of Chicago’s short-term rental options are located in neighborhoods with high walkability scores. This means you won’t have to rent a car, deal with city parking, or rely on transit during your stay. Chicago is a pedestrian-friendly city with plenty to offer during your time off. If you’re primarily working from home and want to escape the fast-paced life of Chicago, many suburbs have easy access to the city via train or bus.
- Simple and Straightforward Rentals
While many booking portals may seem like they’re easy to use and straightforward, they aren’t always the best option. Since you’ll be staying somewhere for 30, 60, even 90 days, you need to make sure that you fully understand the room or apartment being advertised, which can be hard to do in advance. Many short-term rentals booked through portals have unqualified gig workers doing housekeeping and are saturated with added fees. Plus, you’ll have a harder time manipulating arrival and departure dates. Legitimate corporate housing providers help you avoid the nightmare of leasing and maintaining your unit rather than relying on a technology driven platform that’s only designed to simplify the booking process. When you’re moving into an apartment for 30+ days, you should feel confident that someone has your interests in mind.
What to Be Aware of When Looking for a Chicago Furnished Short-Term Rental
While there are plenty of great short-term rentals available in Chicago, there are still a few things you need to watch out for. Here are a few tips for finding the best Chicago short-term furnished rentals.
- Always Look for the Catch
If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Do some research on the rental market in the area to better identify possible scams. A luxury apartment listed below market rate is an instant red flag. Keep your eyes open and question anything that feels off to you.
- Confirm a Point of Contact
If you find a listing that doesn’t have basic contact information, it could be a sign that something is amiss. We are in a technology-driven age where communication via email is the norm, however, not providing a means for potential renters to speak directly with the property management team or property owner is a troubling sign.
- Ask to Take a Tour
You should be given the advantage of a tour, whether in person or virtually, before signing a lease. At the very least, current, un-edited photos should be presented to potential renters to provide a fair representation of the property. If you absolutely can’t tour the unit before signing the lease, make sure the lease you’re signing includes a clause about maintenance and repair. This way you are protected in the event of damage that was not represented in photos.
- Avoid Providers Who Aren’t Accredited
In hospitality, accreditation is a way to legitimize the provider and ensure that they operate professionally, ethically, and excellently. Look for icons on websites representing membership of such accreditation companies, like the Association of Serviced Apartment Providers (ASAP), Corporate Housing Providers Association (CHPA), and the Corporate Relocation Council (CRC).
- Be Wary of Cash Only Policies
Credit cards and debit cards can be used virtually everywhere, including to pay for your housing provider’s short-term rental payment. Don’t rent from providers or properties that demand cash.
- Look for Included Amenities
Amenities and utilities should be included in your rental price. It’s one less thing for you to worry about and your monthly expenses won’t unexpectedly shift due to seasonal changes with appliances.
- Check the Walkability Score
Stepping outside to grab a bite to eat, stop in at the pharmacy, or take a leisurely stroll is a perk of living in the city. Research your potential rental and ensure that it scores highly on the walkability scale. The Near North Side, the West Loop, and Lincoln Park neighborhoods all rate extremely highly in walkability.
- Ask About the Pet Policy
If you’re planning on bringing your pet with you, make sure that you ask prospective short-term rentals what their pet policy is. Determine how pet friendly a building is before you show up to avoid problems and always ask about pet fees in advanced.
- Prioritize Security
It’s important to feel safe in your short-term rental. Choose a unit that has a secure entry. You want to be sure that no one is entering the building or unit that should not have access. Before signing a lease, ask the property management about security protocol and find out if a security staff is on call 24/7.
- Confirm On-Call Maintenance Services
If something breaks unexpectedly in your short-term rental, it shouldn’t be your responsibility to fix it and maintenance and support should be accessible immediately. Always ask your property manager or corporate housing provider about maintenance services included in your rental agreement.
- Ask Plenty of Questions
You’re entitled to asking questions for any rental property, especially short-term rentals in other cities. Ask the following questions along with anything else you can think of:
- What is the exact address? You can then use this information to do a little sleuthing through Google Earth
- Are you accredited?
- Are the housekeeping fees included in the rent?
- What is the frequency of housekeeping visits?
- Are washer and dryer in-unit?
- Is there a dishwasher?
- Is there a minimum stay?
- Are longer stays discounted?
- Does the bathroom have both a tub and a shower?
- Are there security cameras in common areas/parking garage/etc.?
- Are linens, towels, kitchen utensils provided?
- How far is the nearest grocery store/pharmacy/bank?
With these easy tips, you’re fully equipped to tackle your Chicago furnished short-term rental. Call or email us today to learn more about Corporate Suites Network’s Chicago locations.