When you find yourself relocating for work, you can expect to spend anywhere from weeks to months in your new digs. On top of that, you’re there for business, so your mind is already preoccupied.
You want to make sure your short-term rental feels like home, that it provides the amenities you’re looking for, and that the location makes your commute a breeze while also offering you an impressive array of downtime activities.
This is the ultimate guide to Chicago furnished short-term rentals: what the benefits of corporate short-term rentals are, what to look for in a furnished short-term rental, and resources to help get you started.
The benefits of Chicago furnished short-term rentals
When business brings you to Chicago, you want to focus on what you’re there for: your job. Navigating a new city is stressful, and securing a place to live for the duration of your stay can be tedious, exhausting, and expensive.
There are many benefits to staying in corporate housing, from transparency in expenses to comfort and privacy that mimics home.
Here are the top benefits of Chicago furnished short-term rentals:
Short-term rentals are cheaper than a hotel
Hotels can be pricey, especially in a city in such great demand as Chicago. Popularity, tourism, and a high cost of living put Chicago hotels on the higher end of the spectrum. When you factor in a long stay, hotel prices can quickly become astronomical.
Fortunately, corporate housing stays longer than 30 days are a more cost-effective choice than hotels. Their rates are also much more straight-forward.
Corporate housing stays longer than 30 days in Chicago are not subject to the high hotel tax rate
Hotel rates may seem cheap, but always remember that the advertised rate doesn’t include hotel tax. Taxes alone can add an additional several hundred dollars a month on top of the exorbitant rate you are likely already paying.
Corporate housing stays of 30 days or more are not subject to the high hotel tax rate, which makes the pricing more predictable as well as more affordable.
Short-term rentals add transparency to long-term travel expense forecasting
In addition to the wildcard of hotel taxes, hotel prices can also vary nightly, often with markedly higher rates on weekends or during certain times of year. This can make expense forecasting a challenging sport.
Short-term rentals are more transparent. Many times, short-term rentals can offer a fixed rate for guests. This makes it much easier to provide predictable price quotes that are friendly to the working professional that needs to predict and justify long-term travel expenses.
Short-term rentals are more spacious
Hotel rooms typically offer minimal space, even suites, which can make you feel claustrophobic–especially during long-term stays. Short-term housing is more homey and spacious, providing a full kitchen rather than a tiny kitchenette, and the fully-furnished space is more like your own individual apartment than a generic hotel room. You can stretch your legs and put your feet up after a long day’s work!
Even though your short-term housing stay will feel private and homey, you still get to reap the benefits of housekeeping. This is excellent for a busy professional who may not have much time to devote to upkeep.
Bi-weekly housekeeping is a coveted perk of corporate housing. In addition, each new guest can expect a unit that has been fully shampooed, painted, and deep-cleaned using a 48-point checklist prior to their move-in date. All bed and bath linens, as well as all blankets and comforters, are professionally laundered at a temperature of 150 degrees.
You have flexibility and independence, just like home
Because housekeeping is bi-weekly, you don’t have to worry about being up and out of your unit at a certain time every day. Relaxing and sleeping in is encouraged! Because short-term rentals are more like an apartment than a hotel room, you have privacy and independence. Gone are the days of listening to the footsteps and slammed doors of fellow hotel guests coming and going throughout the night.
Apartments come furnished with all the amenities you’ll need
Short-term rental amenities tend to be superior to hotel amenities, and all utilities and amenities are already included in your monthly rent. No unpredictable bills makes for a financially stress-free stay!
You can expect a fully-furnished apartment including a comfortable bed with brand new pillows. The unit comes stocked with plenty of extra blankets and pillows in the closet, to boot. You can also depend on a fully-equipped kitchen, wi-fi access at no additional charge, and a 42-inch plasma TV.
The comfort level is awesome
Short-term rental units feel like home. Hotel rooms can feel generic and sterile, and the walls can be paper thin. On the flip side, corporate housing is homey, private, and provides surroundings that feel familiar and comforting. When you’re on the road and miss your family and friends, or you’ve had a particularly stressful day at the office, it’s nice to retire to a relaxing oasis that feels like much more than just your temporary home.
You can choose a location with a great walkability score
There’s nothing worse than feeling stranded in an unfamiliar city. Fortunately, many of Chicago’s short-term rental options are located in neighborhoods with high walkability scores. Many Chicago neighborhoods have walkability scores in the 90s, which may mean that you don’t have to rent a car, deal with city parking, or rely on transit during your stay.
There is no better way to explore a city than on foot–and hitting the street for a leisurely stroll or a jog to blow off some steam couldn’t be easier than in these pedestrian-friendly areas.
Short-term rental providers handle all the complexities of leasing and maintenance
When choosing short-term housing, working directly with a corporate housing provider can help you avoid the nightmare of leasing and maintenance of your unit. Corporate housing providers handle the details for you while you live, work, and play. The staff is entirely comprised of fully-trained hospitality professionals that are on staff to make your stay a worry-free experience.
What to watch out for in pursuit of your Chicago furnished short term rental
Relocation can test your patience. Moving can be a stressful and costly endeavor, and short-term relocation can provide a unique set of challenges, especially in a highly-populated city like Chicago.
Procuring short-term living arrangements in an unfamiliar city doesn’t have to be a thorn in your side, and we have a few essential tips to help you navigate the short-term rental market in Chicago.
Here are a few tips for finding the best Chicago short-term furnished rentals:
If it’s too good to be true, it probably is
When perusing rental listings, knowing a little bit about the area and its rental market can go a long way. This can be easily accomplished by simply glancing through the available rental listings and noticing the average list price. If one-bedroom apartments in the neighborhood are renting at an average of $2k, but you come across a palatial two-bedroom listed at $1500 with two parking spaces, original hardwood, walk-in closets, stainless steel appliances…renter beware, this is probably a scam.
A luxury apartment listed below market rate is an instant red flag. Helping individuals that were scammed for fake units is an unfortunate part of the business, but it is preventable. Keep your eyes open and question any detail that feels off to you.
Beware of individuals that will not disclose a phone number as a point of contact
Along the same vein, be choosy about which rental listings, property managers, and corporate housing providers you respond to. If basic contact information like the property management team’s phone number is not revealed in the listing, this 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.
Avoid companies that refuse to give you a tour of the unit
Renters know that signing a lease sight unseen can be scary. It is not always possible to tour the unit prior to signing, especially when moving from out of town. The property management should always offer the tour, though, even if you can’t take it. At the very least, current, undoctored 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 corporate housing providers that are not accredited
Accreditation for corporate housing providers is not to be taken lightly. Accreditation legitimizes the provider and ensures 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).
Avoid providers insisting on cash payments; credit card payments are secure
We live in the age of plastic. Credit and debit cards can be used virtually everywhere, including paying your housing provider’s short-term rental payment. Don’t rent from providers or properties that demand cash. Credit payments are convenient, secure, and are also logistically easier from the business end, as asking for a receipt for a cash payment is quite an uncommon practice.
Make sure all of your amenities and utilities are included in the monthly rent price
Avoid unpredictable bills by ensuring that the amenities and utilities for your unit are included in your monthly rent price.
Moving typically entails cancelling, transferring, or starting new services for cable, internet, electricity, gas, water, and more, but if your stay is short-term, it’s easiest and most convenient to condense all amenities and utilities to one easy rent payment. It’s one less thing for you to worry about, and your monthly expenses won’t unexpectedly shift due to seasonal changes like heavy use of the air conditioning in the summer, or gas heat in the winter.
Make sure the walkability score is high for the unit you’re renting
Many neighborhoods in Chicago have a walkability score in the mid-90s. 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. Parking downtown can be a hassle, but avoid the need to circle the block just to run into the store for dinner–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.
Make sure there’s on-call maintenance 24/7, and also guarantee regular housekeeping of your unit
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. How long do you want to suffer with a broken water heater in the winter, or broken air conditioning in the sweltering hot Chicago summer?
Avoid the nightmare by making sure your property manager or corporate housing provider has guaranteed maintenance and support 24/7 as part of your rental agreement.
Make sure the unit is secure
Living in a safe and secure location is incredibly important, especially in a city you’re unfamiliar with. When choosing your short-term rental, you’ll want to 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. Ensuring your safety and the safety of your guests will help you rest easy in your temporary home!
Must-ask questions before signing
You want to make sure you are signing a lease that provides exactly the things you are looking for, is reasonable and fair, and doesn’t contain any suspicious fine print. Especially when you are renting a short-term rental in another city, sight unseen, you’ll want to know the answers to the following questions:
- 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.
Resources for finding your Chicago furnished short-term rental
Corporate Suites Network is your main resource and one-stop-shop for securing your Chicago furnished short-term rental.
Corporate Suites Network has over 30 years as a successful extended stay housing provider. Not an app, or a booking portal, Corporate Suites Network is a team of friendly corporate housing experts who make it easy for you to book and use extended-stay apartments throughout the Chicago area.
Corporate Suites Network rents hundreds of corporate apartments at various locations throughout downtown Chicago and the Chicago suburbs. Finding a convenient location for your stay is easy when you contact Corporate Suites Network.
Corporate Suites Network delivers more value to residents than competitor companies. With a combination of exceptional service and affordable prices, Corporate Suites Network has become a leader in the corporate housing industry in Chicago.
Unlike other corporate suite companies, bi-weekly housekeeping is included in Chicago furnished short-term rentals. This ensures the exceptional quality of each corporate suite. Each apartment goes through a thorough 48-point inspection checklist before the resident arrives, to ensure a clean and comfortable stay.
You can expect your Chicago furnished short-term rental to:
- Have brand new bed pillows
- Items (like remotes, clock radios, door knobs, etc.) will be disinfected
- Rental will have been swept with a UV light wand
- Rental will be deep-cleaned before arrival
- Carpets will be freshly shampooed
- Bedspreads will be dry cleaned
- Linens and towels will be professionally laundered
Consistently Exceptional Service
Corporate Suites Network’s entire management staff is comprised of hospitality professionals. By maintaining core management staff, a certain consistency exists that ultimately leads to higher standards of customer service.
Corporate Suites Network’s apartments come fully-furnished for maximum convenience to residents.
Best Local Recommendations
Not only is the team at Corporate Suites Network a tight-knit group of hospitality professionals, but the team also excels on the best ways to enjoy Chicago and the Chicago suburbs. The team confidently steers guests away from the tourist traps and instead to the best local recommendations.
Human Resources Love
Corporate Suites Network appreciates all the work human resource professionals do, and aim to help your company make smart, informed decisions about short-term rentals, as well as make your job easier.
These resources might be useful to you during your extended stay in Chicago:
- Windy City Guide – Covering the Suburbs and Chicago
- Temporary Housing Chicago