Workforce housing for a group of people

9 Replies

I normally deal 1 on 1 with my tenants in my STRs.  I rent to contractors working at a refinery.  Their company gives them a per diem, and they are free to choose where they stay.  I normally have no interaction with their company.

This week I'm meeting with a project manager (that lives 35 minutes away) to show him my STRs.  He is currently paying $500/week/person to house his out of state crew in a nice hotel (the kind with a pool and breakfast).  I can house his people for $200/week/person.  He's going to have between 15-25 people here for the rest of this year.  

After I show him the houses, he has to pitch the idea to the vice-presidents of his company for their approval.  His company has 90 branches with 5500 people.

I know in some industries, it's common to give a commission or finders fee to the person that helps you make sales (or rentals, in my case).  If the project manager knows that he'll get a finders fee, he is going to make a better case for my STRs in front of the vice-presidents.  

My concern is that the actual people staying in my STRs are going to grumble because nobody cleans their room every day, there's no breakfast waiting for them, no pool, etc.  And more importantly they're going to complain that the company is saving money by renting from me, and they get no share of the savings.

What would you do?  I know my STRs are hands down better than a hotel room.  Full kitchen, washer/dryer, smart tv's, wifi, outdoor grill, etc.

That size company I am not sure he would be able to accept a finders fee if you were to offer one.  

You might try to get an idea of what  their usual travel policy is. Do they use a  per diem rate or does the company use an expense reimbursement model with  prefered providers and meals up to a certain limit.   Don't assume that the occupants would not also get some other expenses paid like a food allowance. This might just replace the lodging portion and decrease some other costs like resturaunts. Also ask what barriers does he anticipate in selling the concept to management. It might be you have a solution.

My brother was placed in a situation like yours with the power company.  Cleaning was an issue.The guys worked things out as far as food. I don't recall if they got any extra compensation but people usually have to follow the policy the company establishes. The company I worked for would not rent a place for workers because they got kickbacks from certain hotel chains. 

@Colleen F.   This is how my current situation works as I understand it.

The company pays $500 a week for each guy to stay in the hotel room.  The workers never see the money, it goes from the company to the hotel.  Workers get a per diem of $35 a day, $10 for lunch and $25 for dinner, that's it.

The company tells their workers where they are going to stay, period.

The work these people do is cleaning out pressure vessels before inspectors, welders, and other people go in.  It's a nasty job.  

I don't want to stereotype people, but these workers for the company probably have a high school diploma at the most, probably a felony conviction, and neck tats.

So that sounds like it would even be better for the guys. That population likes to congregate  so your common areas will be used.  They may like that thier meal dollars will go farther and those that like to cook will and you will have some people who like to grill.   The only thing that I see potentially is the hotel has cable and you probably don't. There are a lot of upsides for them to a house though.They are probably similar to your oil worker crew. Yes you can have some felony people and not sure how you deal with that.  Also consider what happens if you have a problem tenant in the group?

@Colleen F. I have 120 channels of cable in every bedroom on an old style tv.  Every living room has a SMART TV or a Roku hooked up to an HDTV, along with cable.  Half the master bedrooms also have a Roku or SMART TV.

Cooking!!!  That's something I can stress to the project manager.  I've seen tenants in other houses where 1 person buys the groceries for dinner for that night and takes the first shower, another person cooks it, 3rd person does dishes and gets the 2nd shower, 4th person does all the laundry, everyone else keeps the house clean.  The next day they all rotate.  

Problem tenant, that is my problem right now.  I suppose I could inform the project manager and he can discipline the problem.

I'm also offering a weekly or bi-weekly cleaning option for an additional fee.  My cleaning lady is going to love this arrangement.  She's been cleaning STRs for the last 7 years for free for me.  Now she'll make a little extra money.

Great on the cable when you said smart tvs I thought that was all.  This demographic is usually still plugged in.  I think it will probably be a plus for these guys.  What is the number of tenants per house?       

@Colleen F.

A 4 bedroom house that sleeps 6.  $800

A house with 5 sleeping areas that sleeps 7.  $1000

A house with 6 sleeping areas that sleeps 8.  $1200

There is also outdoor entertainment.  Firepit, horseshoes, etc. 

Good luck.   Let us know how you make out. Sounds like a good fit.  Maybe give him some visuals to show his boss if you haven't already.