What You Need to Know About Temporary Housing
Getting a long-term assignment is a mixed bag. Sometimes, our clients are overjoyed with the opportunity to live somewhere new. Other times, clients are frustrated. We’ve found that this mostly relates to where somebody is in life. There are few twenty-somethings who are not at the airport the day after they get a three-month work assignment in Austin, Texas. However, working parents face stress even if they do get an assignment in a desirable city. They’re more likely to own property and will worry about what to do with their kids – especially if their assignment is during the school year.
Regardless of how you feel about a temporary assignment, there’s a good chance you’re considering the opportunity if you’ve reached this blog. Giving one of our leasing agents a call is the best way for us to give you advice on your specific needs, but there are multiple pieces of general advice that’ll help you during your search.
1) Do NOT Underestimate the Traffic
We briefly covered this in our blog about how business travelers can keep their health, but it’s always good to reiterate. The amount of traffic we deal with has a surprisingly large effect on our mental well-being. While this isn’t a big issue for people assigned to cities with strong public transportation systems, it’s a struggle in cities that don’t have infrastructure built around daily commutes.
Penelope Trunk wrote a great article that explores this in greater detail. Just be sure to come back and look at some of our temporary housing options if you decide to give it a read!
2) It Won’t Feel Like a Vacation for Long
Our hometown, Houston, is the perfect example of this. Part of what Houston is famous for is being really big, in terms of the city’s sheer land area. As a result, you can get whatever you want out of your experience living here. There are options for people who want to live in a trendy high-rise in a walkable bar district and options for people who want to live on a ranch, surrounded by unspoiled nature.
There’s a tendency for people to view temporary housing stays as equivalents to hotels, but that’s not the case. For example, our average corporate housing stay hovers around 90 days. If you’re looking for temporary housing somewhere, you need to remember that it feels more like moving somewhere than a vacation. If you like city living, remember that the ranch may make for a great weekend getaway, but you will become miserable living there for three months.
3) Take Time to Research Your New City
Our leasing consultants can advise you on where to live, but ultimately, you’re the one living somewhere new. This helps you get excited for the move, or at least come to terms with it if you’re not happy about where you’re moving.
One of my personal anecdotes can back this up. In college, I spent a summer studying abroad in Valparaíso, a major port city in Chile. It was probably the best summer I’ve ever had, and I attribute a lot of why I enjoyed it to reading everything I could about Valparaíso before moving. While the other students I traveled with spent the first two weeks figuring out what parts of the city they liked, I already had a good idea of what neighborhoods I’d enjoy hanging out in. Because I knew this, I was able to make friends and get acclimated to the country much faster than anybody else in my student group.
While studying abroad and relocating for work or personal reasons aren’t the same, the process of acclimating to somewhere new is consistent no matter where you go. Researching your new city gets you mentally ready for that acclimation.
4) Learn What’s Near Your New City
If you’re going to live somewhere for a few weeks, you might as well explore. To use Houston as an example (again), clients that need temporary housing in Houston always ask us about how close Houston is to Austin. As much as we love our hometown, we can’t deny that at least one person from our office visits Austin every weekend. There might be a similarly popular weekend destination somewhere near where you’re looking for temporary housing. There might be something relatively unknown you’d need to do research to know about.
5) Read Up on Cultural Differences
This one mostly applies to people that are temporarily living in a new country. Being unaware of cultural differences can get you in trouble. Ask any businessperson who does international travel for work – innocent gestures in your country may be deeply offensive in others.
Additionally, cultures can differ drastically in different regions of a single country. This is immediately noticeable anytime somebody who grew up in the Southern United States visits New York City. Atlanta and NYC are both distinctly “American,” but are very different in culture. Preparing yourself for mild culture shock will help you transition to living somewhere new in your own country.
Still Have Questions About Temporary Housing?
If you’re still trying to figure out what to do about your temporary housing, then you’re on the right website. We’re one of the largest corporate housing providers in North America, and our leasing consultants are always taking calls. Contact us anytime at +1-888-899-7829, or head to our home page to learn more about us.