Reserve apartments and other new housing options you need to know about
Scott Kelly was looking for flexible accommodation when he found a ready-made apartment. In fact, make that standby Apartments.
Kelly, who is CEO of a business accelerator that helps startups, didn’t need to be anywhere in particular. That’s when he found a new program from Landing called Standby that allowed him to move between rental units in Orlando, St. Petersburg and Pinellas Park, Florida.
Landing apartments are fully furnished and equipped with the essentials needed for a long-term stay, including kitchen utensils, linens and towels. But the best part of its standby program was the price: Kelly says the subscription service saved him a bundle by going with Landing’s Standby option.
“I save an average of $2,000 a month,” he says.
Standby is at the forefront of new flexible accommodation options designed to appeal to digital nomads, retirees and location-independent entrepreneurs.
“The extended stay category is one of the fastest growing categories in the hospitality industry,” says Tim Hentschel, CEO of HotelPlanner.
How fast? Extended lodging is growing by 11% each year and will reach $132 billion by 2032, according to real estate firm CBRE.
Hentschel had a front-row seat to growth. It has seen a 19% year-over-year increase in bookings for more than a week, the traditional definition of an extended stay. In many of these cases, clients are locked into a hotel contract. But this is changing.
How does standby mode work?
The idea behind Standby is that for a lower price of $1,195 to $1,995 per month (not including the $399 annual fee), you can choose from potentially vacant apartments in one of 375 cities. It’s a bit like flying standby in the good old days of air travel.
“People today have more freedom in where they work and live than ever before, and they don’t want to be locked into one place with a long-term lease,” explains Bill Smith, CEO of The Landing. “For those with the highest level of flexibility, Landing Standby opens up the ability to take full advantage of this newfound freedom by moving around and exploring new places – at a very affordable cost.”
There are some restrictions. For example, Landing excludes some apartments in California and New York from the readiness program. There are terms and conditions that you don’t normally get with a standard lease. Reserve members may have to relocate with 72 hours notice, and may need to go to a different city where there is available stock.
Clients like Kelly are part of the category of location-independent nomadic workers who seek new experiences and don’t mind relocating. For those who want stability and certainty, Standby’s standard corporate housing membership may be a better fit.
How other extended stay options have embraced flexibility
Standby joins a crowded field of long-term options that already promise a high degree of flexibility for guests.
Blueground adds new options
Blueground, the leading operator of furnished rentals in 30 cities, is now allowing guests with a one-year rental agreement to pause their contract and move back into another fully furnished Blueground apartment of their choice. Blueground guests also have the option to move to another Blueground apartment at any time during their stay. The company offers guests a 16-day window to check in and allows them to end the rental agreement with 30 days’ notice in most cases.
Zumper, a marketplace for privately owned rentals, late this spring launched a program called FlexPass by Zumper. For an annual membership fee of $300, the service gives members access to thousands of short-term furnished rentals on the Zumper marketplace, with no security deposits, contracts, holds, or hidden fees for cleaning, applications or brokerage. “Consumers no longer see a strong distinction between vacations, month-to-month rentals and long-term rentals,” explains Anthemos Georgiades, CEO of Zumper.
Furnish your own space at WaterWalk
WaterWalk, an upscale extended-stay hotel brand, has taken flexibility a step further. The extended stay brand offers hotel-like conditions. For example, changes or cancellations to your reservation require 24 hours advance notice, and cancellations may subject you to an overnight penalty. But for longer-stay guests, WaterWalk offers the option to book an unfurnished room, an industry first. The idea is to compete with traditional and “old” apartment rental operations, according to the company.
What is the future of flexible living?
Standby options, permits, rental flexibility, unfurnished units – all light the way to the future of long-term accommodation. But what does this future look like?
I’m not a hotel consultant, and the lodging experts I spoke to for this story don’t have a clear idea. But as someone who has been living on the road for the past few years, I can tell you what it is like no It seems like.
Signing an apartment lease for 30 days at a time is over. The latest flexible options allow travelers to move between units as they need to, as their schedule changes. I’ve also noticed that many of the fees associated with renting homes are also being eliminated. But you may have to sign up for a paid membership in some cases.
Companies like Landing and Blueground have differentiated themselves between a more consistent, almost hotel-like experience and the Airbnbs and Vrbos of the world, which offer vacation rentals. It is now clear that these companies also want to compete on flexibility. Guests may be the biggest beneficiaries.
(tags for translation) Reserve Flats