At first glance, it might seem like real estate brokers would simply be competitors with corporate housing providers. After all, both realtors and temporary furnished housing providers court clients in need of housing.
But upon closer examination, there are some notable ways that agents and providers can effectively collaborate rather than compete, since they ultimately serve clients at different stages along their housing journey. Here are a few ways that this type of arrangement can benefit both sides—and even more importantly, can benefit their clients by helping them to secure housing at the right time:
Benefits of Agent & Provider Collaboration
- Realtors become problem-solvers for their clients. Sometimes a real estate agent’s clients just aren’t ready to buy a house—yet. But guidance from the realtor about how to solve their clients’ current housing dilemmas can position them well for future sales. For example, realtors may be working with clients who need temporary furnished housing before a home purchase, for reasons that might include construction hold-ups, closing delays, testing out a new area, or renovations. If the agent can point such clients toward a short-term corporate housing solution through a partnership with a corporate housing provider, it becomes a win-win-win: the agent becomes a valued problem-solver in the eyes of the client, the corporate housing provider has a new customer, and the clients have a solution to their housing dilemma to help them bridge the gap in their home-buying efforts.
- Financial incentives on both sides. It’s clear that when partnering with real estate agents, corporate housing providers stand to benefit from new business leads. But realtors have something to gain as well from a close and non-competitive arrangement with housing providers: they can pocket some additional cash while helping to solidify their existing client relationships. Realtors generally can expect to receive some attractive extra fees for helping their own clients identify short-term corporate housing when these clients are in between homes. For example, realtors usually receive commission from corporate housing providers for their referrals; 5-10 percent is a good benchmark for licensed realtors. Providers might also pass along preferential rates to their realtor partners, which realtors can then pass along to their clients depending on the length of stay.
- Clients get double the service. Joining forces allows real estate agents and short-term corporate housing providers to offer added value to their customers. At the same time, there’s virtually no work involved for the agent. The temporary housing provider generally handles the booking process from start to finish, taking care of the touring and the paperwork (while linking it back to referring brokers and ensuring that they receive their referral fee). By providing a referral, agents can strengthen the relationship with their own clients who might need last minute temporary furnished housing. The agent has the option to stay closely involved in this process, but doesn’t have to since the temporary housing provider has the most relevant expertise to manage finding short-term housing for the realtor’s client. That way, each party can stay focused on doing what they do best—whether that’s helping clients with the bigger picture of buying or renting a home, or helping them arrange for their temporary housing needs. Realtors clearly benefit from the extra support when corporate housing specialists tour their clients through temporary properties on the agent’s behalf, and corporate housing providers earn new business by allying with real estate agents who have clients needing temporary housing.
- Referrals go both ways. So far we’ve only discussed the referral benefits that short-term corporate housing specialists receive by working with realtors. But the fact is that corporate housing providers often refer business back to their real estate broker partners as well. A good example of this is when temporary housing companies have international clients who are planning a move to the United States—when these clients are ready to start looking for a permanent home, providers frequently refer them to their broker partners.
Learn More About Our Real Estate Partners
To learn more about how Furnished Quarters partners with real estate brokerages by handling their clients’ headaches related to short-term corporate housing, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 617.236.4908 ext. 1005.