How to Maximize Profits Finale – Landlord Showcase

Landlords Interview - Title photoWelcome to the finale of our 4-part series on maximizing your profits with monthly furnished rentals. We introduced the series with the goal of helping landlords maximize their profits. In the series thus far, we discussed about the importance of pricing your furnished rental. We also covered the financial cost of furnishing a property, and we showed how leasing your property monthly can recover these costs. Additionally, we compared the revenues generated from monthly and nightly rentals, and we explored how HomeSuite can help landlords make the most of their monthly furnished rentals.

Need to catch up? Read Part 1 here, Part 2 here, and Part 3 here.

Meet Kevin Kashanian

Whenever tenants are moving into new cities, they’re not just looking for a place to stay. They want to establish a strong relationship with a landlord who can deliver peace of mind. Moving is a surprisingly emotional experience for tenants, and compassionate landlords can remove the anxiety tenants may face.

Today, our four-part series on maximizing profits with monthly furnished rentals concludes with HomeSuite’s first Landlord Showcase! In this showcase, we are interviewing Kevin Kashanian from TENTEN Wilshire, a premier furnished housing complex in Downtown Los Angeles.

Kevin understands that tenants want to live in luxury, work in style, and play. More importantly, he knows tenants want flexibility and assurance regarding their choice of rentals. In today’s interview, you’ll find out why he leases his properties as monthly furnished rentals. We’ll also reveal what Kevin sees as the benefits of leasing furnished housing, and he’ll share some helpful tips for future landlords looking to lease furnished rentals.

What is your general story?

“We came up with this building model based on 3 key components;

    a.) Providing all aspects of a home lifestyle

    b.) Providing tools and amenities to be able to work effectively and efficiently in order to function like you’re at your own office or place of work

    c.) Knowing that people will have free time, leisure amenities should be easily accessible and that nobody should feel bored”

Why did you choose to lease properties as monthly furnished rentals?

“TENTEN was designed to provide happiness instantly in a seamless way for our guests. We harped on the community and inclusive vibe in order for our guests to instantly feel welcome. We also focused on eliminating the hassle of setting up utilities, managing bills, and all inclusive / monthly rentals to adapt to clients needs rather than having the client adopt to ours. People’s most valuable resource is their time – everything we do is designed to help optimize our guests time. Our units have been designed for ultimate flexibility – we can add or remove any or all items based on clients needs.”

Has your profits improved by offering monthly furnished rentals? If so, how?

“We started with this model with profitability in mind and it continues to do well – don’t see ourselves going away from monthly furnished rentals anytime soon.”

How much demand have you experienced?

“We opened in July of 2008 – we achieved 90% occupancy within the first 12 months, and have maintained the lead in our market in terms of occupancy ever since.”

Any advice for future landlords looking to lease monthly furnished rentals?

“Being furnished is just one component. Focus on the additional amenities and services that go beyond the furniture to address the everyday lives of your guests and continuously make them happier. The more you focus on what makes your guests happy, the more value you provide. We do everything from events, filming, and photo shoots to leasing residential and commercial units.”

Conclusions

We hope that you had fun reading our four-part series as we had writing it! HomeSuite wants to curb the anxiety and stress tenants face whenever they move. That’s why we are always looking for landlords who want to provide happiness to their tenants. Our platform features the best 30+ day rentals in the largest metro areas of the United States.  We are also compliant with city and state laws on short-term rentals, so you can lease as many properties as you like.

Visit our landlord website to see how you can get started. If you know landlords who are looking for a platform for their rentals, you can refer them to us via our referral program. For every landlord you refer, you earn $200. Check out our referral form here, and help fellow landlords deliver peace of mind to tenants today.

How to Maximize Profits – Nightly Rentals vs. Monthly Rentals

Nightly Rentals_blog titleHello once again to our 4-part series on maximizing your profits with monthly furnished rentals. We introduced the series with the goal of helping landlords maximize their profits. We also explained what furnished rentals are and the different types of monthly rentals the average tenant can run into.  In yesterday’s article, we discussed about the importance of pricing monthly rentals. Additionally, we tackled the financial cost of furnishing a property, and we revealed how leasing your property as a monthly furnished rental can recover these costs.  You can access Part 1 of our series here and Part 2 of our series here.

Today, we will compare the revenue generated from nightly rentals to that from monthly rentals. We’ll look into the importance of offering flexible monthly rentals, and examine how length-of-stay affects the annual revenue landlords can earn from their properties. We will also show how HomeSuite helps landlords make the most of their revenue generating opportunities.

Why should I not offer nightly rentals?

Nightly rentals vs monthly rentals

Nightly rentals might be enticing for landlords due to the high rates for stay.  The annual revenue they bring to landlords, however, is far below that of monthly rentals. This is largely due to the risks of running nightly rentals, such as un-vetted tenants, frequent turnover, and greater occupancy risk. Landlords who offer flexible monthly rentals, however, have an opportunity to maximize their annual revenue. Nightly rentals generate an annual revenue of $38,500 and carry a monthly rate over roughly $4,900. This rate is expensive for many tenants, and this could lead to vacancy for your property. Flexible monthly rentals, on the other hand, generate a little less than $42,000.  With monthly rates below $3,850, you find more tenants willing to book your property. This allows you to optimize the amount of revenue your property can generate.

Leasing furnishing your properties monthly will also save money. In comparison to amenities found in nightly rentals, amenities in monthly rentals tend to face less wear-and-tear. Because monthly furnished rentals see lower turnover in tenants than nightly rentals, furniture will last longer before needing replacement. You’ll thus not have to worry about the cost of furnishing your place as often as you otherwise would with nightly rentals. 

Which Services Should I Use for Leasing My Properties to Prospective Tenants?

Offering a place that can be rented for up to 12 months keeps monthly rates attractive for tenants and annual revenues high for landlords.  HomeSuite, in particular, is a service designed to connect rental owners with qualified tenants for stays of 30 days or longer  Moreover, all of HomeSuite’s tenants receive an enterprise-level background, credit, and financial checks to ensure that you have the highest quality tenants,regardless of the length of stay. HomeSuite also guarantees up to $50,000 in unpaid rent and up to $10,000 in property damage. By being flexible, landlords can enjoy earning the most revenue while attracting the most qualified tenants.

On Friday, we’re concluding our four-part series with an exclusive interview with Kevin Kashanian from TENTEN Wilshire. He’ll reveal why he leases his properties as monthly rentals, and he’ll share useful tips for future landlords. 

Looking to offer monthly furnished rentals in the meantime? Visit our landlord website to see how you can get started on our platform. If you’re looking for additional ways to boost your income, check out our tips to writing the best property descriptions. You can also find out what tenants want in furnished properties here, and learn more about our landlord rent guarantee here.

How to Maximize Profits – The Costs and Benefits of Furnished Properties

furnished properties blog titleWelcome back to our four-part series on maximizing profits with monthly furnished rentals. Yesterday, we talked about the rise of demand for rentals and how furnished properties help reduce vacancy. We also previewed what this series will cover over the next few days and why this series can help landlords maximize profits. Click here to read Part 1.

Preventing vacancy is key for any landlord, and it’s quick and easy to lease unfurnished properties. But did you know that landlords with furnished properties make 32% more money than those with unfurnished properties?  Investing in furnished properties can often result in higher profits, and today we’ll examine why this is the case. We’re going look into the tenants who rely on furnished apartment properties and the costs of furnishing a property. We’ll then explore how rent for furnished properties is calculated, and how furnished properties can help you earn more profits than their unfurnished counterparts.

Who rents furnished properties, anyway?

Traveling Nurses - one of many that use furnished properties

Pricing is a critical element for anyone looking to maximize profits with furnished rentals. To understand how much you should charge your tenants, it is important to first know who will be staying in your properties.  Tenants who utilize monthly rental services such as HomeSuite are often young professionals, business travelers, interns, and traveling nurses among others.

Because these tenants often stay for an extended period of time, they find hotels to be prohibitively expensive and lacking in comfort. Rather than settling for a small hotel room, they often turn to furnished rentals as a larger and more comfortable option for their extended stays. Landlords thus find monthly furnished rentals to be attractive because their tenants are willing to pay a premium for the convenience of having a home away from home.

An excellent example of tenants who rely on monthly furnished rentals is Daniel and Jihee of Future Minimalists. As traveling graphic designers, they look for properties that are convenient and cost-effective. They look to bring as few things with them as possible whenever they move since their jobs require frequent travel. It is thus important to remember that furnished properties should provide the amenities your tenants need to get started. This includes bed linens, silverware, towels, internet, and a TV. Don’t be surprised if a tenant who books a furnished property brings nothing more than his or her laptop, a bag of clothes, and a toothbrush!

How much does it cost to furnish properties?

On paper, furnishing a property seems to have a high upfront cost. Tenants expect to have everything waiting for them upon arrival. As a result, landlords will need to provide the housewares, furniture and other amenities tenants need to settle in.

Graph 2

In a one-bedroom apartment, you can expect the average furnishing cost to be $2,200. For each additional bathroom, expect to pay $700 extra to ensure your property has quality linens and furniture.

screen-shot-2016-10-05-at-3-00-57-pm

Once you divide the annual furnishing cost into monthly installments, however, the cost of furnishing a 1B rental becomes reasonable.  The monthly cost of a one bedroom apartment, for example, is a manageable $183. More importantly, however, monthly costs help you establish the premium you can charge tenants for leasing your furnished property.

How much can I earn from furnished properties?

One-bedroom properties on the HomeSuite platform have an average premium of 32%. Since your one-bedroom property is now fully furnished, you can add the monthly furnishing cost to the monthly rent of an unfurnished property. To create the new furnished rent, simply multiply the combined costs by 1.32.

screen-shot-2016-10-12-at-3-01-30-pm

In the example above, a furnished one-bedroom property will rent for $3,919 per month. In comparison, a similar one-bedroom property that is unfurnished goes for $2,775 a month. After monthly furnishing costs, landlords take home an additional $961 of profit per month. In other words, furnishing your one-bedroom apartment can earn you an additional $11,532 per year!

And the more bedrooms your properties have, the more money you will make. The two-bedroom furnished property in the example with a 24% premium would rent for roughly $5,044, meaning you can take home an additional $987 per month.  The extra income you’ll receive not only makes offering tenants furnished homes affordable, it’ll also allow you to maximize your profits as a landlord.

Great! So should I lease furnished properties monthly or nightly?

Having covered the financial benefits of furnished properties, we will compare the different models for leasing them on Wednesday. We will look into nightly services like Airbnb, and we will compare the revenues generated from monthly and nightly rentals. We will also look into how our company helps landlords lease monthly furnished rentals.

Looking to offer furnished properties for your future tenants? Visit our landlord website to see how you can get started on our platform. If you’re looking for additional ways to boost your income, check out our tips to writing the best property descriptions. You can also find out what tenants want here, and learn more about our landlord rent guarantee here.

 

How to Maximize Profits with Monthly Furnished Rentals – An Introduction

Monthly Furnished Rentals - Title PhotoDemand for urban rentals has risen. By December 2015, over 180,000 apartment units were completed in the US.  During that same year, vacancy rates climbed to 4.4% from 2014’s 4.3%. A 0.1% increase in vacancy might not seem like a significant difference. However, this trend hints at the challenges landlords face as they try to make their properties profitable. If landlords don’t target the right tenants or price their properties well, they risk owning empty units.

How can I avoid vacancy?

Whether it’s for work or leisure, the demand for extensive stays without committing to annual leases has grown substantially. Given this rise of demand, many landlords find themselves figuring out ways to ensure that they can maximize profits without risking vacancy. While some landlords lease properties as nightly rentals on Airbnb, many others prefer leasing their furnished properties monthly on services like HomeSuite.

Choosing the latter helps reduce vacancy.  Because monthly rentals see less tenants than nightly rentals, landlords can ensure that their properties will provide the best amenities and cleanliness for their prospective tenants. More importantly, tenants in monthly rentals tend to stay in furnished properties longer, and they are more likely to repeat as customers. As a result, monthly furnished rentals have become popular for landlords to fill units and satisfy tenants.  

Which property is best for offering monthly furnished rentals?

Like any other property, leasing furnished rentals requires landlords to invest their time and money to provide the best experience to their tenants. One of the reasons why landlords lease monthly furnished rentals is its flexibility. Furnished rentals today exist as virtually any type of residential property. This includes traditional homes, condos, cottages, in-law apartments, regular apartments, duplexes, flats, and townhouses. Whether they own a furnished studio or a furnished duplex, landlords simply need to provide the necessities tenants need to live. Because you’re offering tenants a hassle-free monthly housing experience, you can expect to see better optimized revenues and higher returns.

Interesting. So how can I maximize profits with monthly furnished rentals?

So how can you maximize profits from furnished properties? And why should you lease them as monthly furnished rentals? Over the next three articles, we will answer these questions and more. Monday’s piece will examine how much it costs landlords to furnish their properties. We’ll compare the revenues generated from unfurnished properties to those of furnished properties, and explain how furnishing properties can help landlords maximize profits.

On January 18, we’ll reveal look into the importance of length of stay and flexible lease terms. We’ll compare the revenue landlords generate from nightly rentals to the revenue from monthly rentals. After sharing our verdict, we’ll look into how flexibility affects the annual revenue landlords can earn from properties.  Finally, on January 20, we will share an interview with a landlord who profited from offering monthly furnished rentals to tenants.

Visit our landlord website to see how you can get started. If you’re looking for additional ways to maximize profits, check out our tips to writing the best property descriptions. You can also read our landlord rent guarantee by clicking here.

 

How to Furnish Your First Rental

First Rental Blog - Title PhotoThe phrase ‘furnished rentals’ used to bring to mind dingy couches, lumpy beds, and the very dullest of kitchen knives. However, that’s no longer the case. Today, the sharing economy and the internet have revolutionized the rental market. As a result, furnished rentals these days can feel like home, and it’s easy for a newcomer landlord or property manager to furnish his or her first rental.

It’s time to make this work in your favor.

Furnishing your rentals, even on a tight budget, dramatically increases both your property’s appeal and your rental income. Today, we’ll share 7 wallet-friendly tips to furnishing your first rental. We’ll also look into the general costs of furnishing rentals and we’ll share how landlords can save money while delivering a knockout experience.

How much more can I make?

Businessman entering a furnished rental

Internationally, with the rise of companies like HomeSuite, Airbnb, and others, the short-term rental sharing economy has grown by leaps and bounds. Where travelers once looked to hotels and corporate rentals, they now look to locals with extra space and short-to-medium term rental options. And whether they’re staying for a night or for most of a year, they aren’t bringing their bedroom set with them. Renters look to property owners and managers to provide everything from welcome mats to Cuisinarts.

In return, they’re willing to pay a significant premium.

Our research shows that furnished properties rent for an average of 32% more than comparable unfurnished units. That’s just the average, though. In high-demand markets such as Manhattan, high-end renters increasingly want to pass over designer hotel rooms in favor of cozier options. New York Magazine wrote about how one furnished New York 1-bedroom rented for $5,000 a month, for example, while its bare-bones counterparts went for closer to $3,000 a month.

It doesn’t take a degree in advanced mathematics to see how premiums like this can quickly pay off any reasonable investment in furnishings. And those numbers? That was back in 2011. Since then, the demand for furnished rentals has only grown.

Money isn’t the only reason to invest in furnishing your rental property. Another incentive is found in the types of tenants one can expect to attract. One key demographic of tenants is business travelers, or those relocated for business. This group frequently lacks the time or inclination to furnish places themselves. They may only be intending to stay a few months, or they may be renting until they can find something to buy.

Others, such as traveling nurses, consultants, creatives, and young professionals, may just be relocating temporarily for a short-term contract. They know that working from home is much easier when their home comes with Wi-Fi, a desk, and coffee maker.

What will furnishing an apartment cost?

Piggy bank for Furnished Rentals

While you can easily overspend on furnishings, you can also convert an empty apartment into a comfortable, homey space for a very reasonable investment. According to our calculations (and depending to a degree on where you live), you can furnish an entire 1-bedroom apartment for about $2,200.

That sum includes furniture, kitchen appliances, and living room housewares. You probably won’t end up with a 60-inch plasma screen or a designer couch. Even so, you’ll be able to provide everything a tenant needs to kick up his or her feet in comfort.

While this kind of investment should pay for itself relatively quickly, some landlords — especially those who are just getting started — may struggle to find the upfront cash or the time to procure a whole apartment’s worth of furnishings.

Luckily, we’re here to help with some handy advice:

1. Grasp the Essentials of Furnished Rentals

Checklist for landlord's first rental

First off, you’ll want to assess what sort of tenant your first rental is likely to attract.

Are you renting a three-bedroom in the suburbs? If so, think families. Do you own a studio apartment in a high rise? That’s more likely to appeal to a business person traveling solo.

Once you have a sense of whom you’ll be renting to, start to decipher what types of furnishings those people will be likely to appreciate. A family may want a bunkbed in one bedroom and a kitchen cut out for cooking big meals while a business traveler is more likely to seek out an inviting couch and quality bedding.

In terms of basics, most apartments will need:

  • A bed
  • Sheets and pillows
  • Towels
  • A couch
  • A kitchen table and chairs
  • Kitchen appliances, such as a microwave oven, a coffee maker, and a toaster
  • Kitchenware for preparing and eating food
  • A television

2. Know How Much Time And Space You Can Use

Empty Room waiting to be furnished

Now that you understand your audience, consider the factors that limit your possibilities: that’s how much space you have and how much time you can spend.

In terms of space, it’s critical to be efficient, especially with smaller apartments and studios. The last thing a landlord on a budget needs is to end up with a sofa too large for their living room. Before you go about buying anything, measure the dimensions of your property and sketch out what you envision going where. Decide whether it makes sense to get a twin bed or a king. Anticipate whether you’ll need a coffee table or whether a side table will serve better.

In terms of time, that’s a matter of setting your own expectations. While there are a number of ways to find bargains on furniture and other furnishings (read on!), many of them require an investment of hours — even if that’s just completing Internet searches.

Decide upfront whether you’re going to sink your time into finding the perfect items or if you’re going to content yourself with items that are good enough. Afterwards, take a moment to think how you’re going to fit them into your furnished property.

3. Make Your First Rental Matter

Furnished living Room in Luxury Home

Not all areas of your apartment are created equal. Assuming you’re working with a limited budget, you’ll be best off focusing on the most often used room in your rental. If you’ve got a studio, consider focusing on the sleeping area. For any other property, you’ll want to focus on the living room.

The living room is where most tenants spend most waking hours. Your tenants may not be totally satisfied if there isn’t a reasonable mattress on the bed. However, if the living room is unattractive, uncomfortable, or poorly furnished, they’re unlikely to rent from you in the first place.

For these reasons, we recommend apportioning a larger percentage of your budget and time on furnishing your property’s living room.

4. Create a Balanced Budget

Making a budget for first rental

While we’ve outlined how much it may cost to furnish an apartment, deciding how much to spend is up to you — and you should make that decision now. Whether you’re going to invest $2,000 or $20,000, setting a budget will allow you to make intelligent decisions about how much to spend on individual items.

According to research conducted by HomeSuite and Zumper, the general formula is to spend 45% of your budget on the living room and 32% on the bedroom. That leaves 23% for the kitchen and the bathroom — assuming both already have fixtures and major appliances such as an oven and a toilet.

With a fixed budget, and that budget broken down into percentages by room, you can then start to pull out numbers for big ticket items (furniture, for example) and assess what’s possible with what’s left. Part of the trick of budgeting, of course, is sticking with it. Working from most to least important and from most to least expensive will help you hold strong.

5. Get More for Less

Clearance Sale - Furnishing a Rental Guide

Finding quality furnishings for budget prices is easier than you might think. Often, we end up spending more because we’ve got something specific in mind — a television with a certain feature or a couch that matches our prized throw pillows.

When we can remain flexible, the deals are only a few clicks away.

One rich vein of savings can be found by investigating closeout deals. Many large retailers have special sites that feature items they’re looking to offload at a fraction of normal costs. You can find excellent deals on furniture, electronics, and appliances at places like Amazon Warehouse, Macy’s Closeout, and Bed Bath & Beyond’s Saving Center to name a few. You can also visit a CORT Clearance Center for premium furniture at discounted prices. 

How good are the savings? One quick scan turned up a modern, attractive bed frame for $100 off, a complete comforter set for $50, a simple, suitable coffee table for just $30, and a 40” 1080p flatscreen TV with Roku built in for $220. Now can you imagine furnishing an entire apartment for $2,200?

Depending on your particular situation, it may also be reasonable to buy used items — as long as they’re in good repair. Remember, only your very first tenant will get them fresh out of the box. Each subsequent tenant, even if you bought new, is going to experience used goods anyway. That’s part of what makes an apartment homey — the lived in look! Check out Chairish or AptDeco for stylish used furniture and decor.

6. Show Off Your First Rental

Taking photo of furnished rental

Once you’ve finished furnishing your first rental, you might be tempted to go after tenants right away. Before you put it on the market, though, be sure to invest in your listing page. Spend the remainder of your furnishings budget on decorative items such as lamps, rugs, and art. Then, give your first rental a good clean and take high-quality photos before anything gets busted.

Photos, more than just about anything else, will convince a prospective tenant to become a paying tenant. Wait for the sun to be shining, get rid of any clutter, clean the windows, and use flash on your camera. Expect to spend a few hours taking pictures and making sure you have the perfect shots. It may seem like a pain, but this is the point where you’re converting all of your investment in furnishings into advertising potential.

7. “Mi Casa Es Tu Casa”

Friendly landlord with tenant

We’ve got one last piece of advice when it comes to renting your first rental: take care!

Tenants can tell whether or not a landlord cares. That sense greatly influences how they experience their stay — and then how they pass along that experience as reviews on sites such as HomeSuite.

To maximize your investment in furnishings, give your tenants a warm welcome. Make sure everything still works and looks presentable before each new tenant checks in. That may mean further investment in maintenance, but it shouldn’t mean plopping down chunks of cash on renovations. Remember: a chair with a wobbly leg can drive a tenant nuts, but the lack of new granite countertops won’t ever come as an unwelcome surprise.

In short, we suggest — for financial and human reasons — treating your tenants with respect as guests. They’ve entrusted their comfort to you and you should be worthy of that trust. Make sure they’ve got hot water for showers, comfortable pillows on the bed, and a working Wi-Fi network. They’ll appreciate all the hard work you do, especially if this is your first rental.

That appreciation is called customer satisfaction, and it’s a direct route to increased rental income.

Want to learn more? Check out https://www.yourhomesuite.com/landlords or tweet @yourhomesuite and we’ll get right back to you!

Six Ways You Can Boost Your Furnished Property’s Rental Value

Furnished Property Value - Title PhotoThe short-term rental market is growing, and we know landlords always look for convenient ways to generate income.  That’s why HomeSuite helps landlords foster a more direct connection with their tenants. Having the ability to set your own price is invaluable, but it requires research to use that knowledge effectively. It also requires keeping your property in good shape. So what can you do to ensure your furnished property has the best rental value possible?

From improving the exterior appearance to making modifications on the inside, boosting your renting value is easy. It just takes some time, a set budget, and an eye for detail. Here are six ways you can improve your property and increase your rental income.

1. Strip away old flooring

Apartment with new floors

If you’re looking to add some elegance to your furnished property, consider hiring professionals from services like Houzz and Empire Today to install hardwood or laminate flooring.  In conjunction with some of the other improvements we’ll discuss, it adds a lot to the atmosphere. In turn, better flooring makes it easier for potential tenants to feel “at home” when considering your space.

Changing up the flooring of your furnished property is not complicated. In fact, when installing laminate flooring, a bit of practice with a mallet and a good game plan can turn it into a simple DIY project. A durable new floor combined with more manageable wear and tear from 30+ day rentals means it’s a smart investment for your property overall.

2. Bring your kitchen appliances into this century

modern kitchen appliances

Having access to a functional kitchen is an absolute must for some tenants. As a result, renovating your property’s kitchen can yield substantial returns.  The key to kitchen upgrades is to create a cohesive and contemporary style. Make sure your flooring style suits the environment. Match your cabinets to the color scheme of the kitchen if possible. These little touches can do much to improve the overall quality of the property.

Additionally, consider investing in high-quality appliances. The range, fridge, and dishwasher get the most mileage in any kitchen, so look for appliances that will be visually appealing to tenants and are able to endure wear and tear. You can also look for energy efficient models to place in the home, such as Energy Star Certified products, to save on energy costs.

3. Transform the master bath into an oasis

Brand new bathroom

While you’re thinking about updating areas of the property, it can also be wise to turn your attention to the master bathroom. For some landlords, a full-scale bathroom renovation might be prohibitively expensive. Still, it’s worth giving your bathroom a lift as bathroom overhauls add plenty of value.

There are plenty of ways to make improvements without the need to gut the entire bathroom. Replacing the tiling in the master bathroom (or all the bathrooms) can contribute to a “like new” feeling for the room. You can also consider installing a modern low flush toilet. It’s not an essential upgrade, but many tenants see eco-friendly bathroom as nice additions. If you need to save space, you can consider replacing the bathtub with a modern shower stall. These all seem like small additions, but your tenants will notice your efforts to improve your property’s bathroom.

4. Make your outdoor spaces a welcoming retreat

modern balcony with outdoor space

Landscaping alone likely won’t add a ton of value to your property. That doesn’t mean you should let it turn into a wild jungle, though. There’s a balance to be struck. Spending just the right amount of effort on creating inviting outdoor spaces on your furnished properties adds new benefits. Having an “outdoor space for entertaining” has a broad appeal, and you can use it as a selling point for potential tenants.

In places with good weather like Los Angeles, a furnished property with an excellent outdoor space is a huge “must have” for tenants. Fortunately, basic landscaping maintenance and some outdoor furniture are all you need to create a beautiful outdoor space. Drop down some outdoor chairs and a table overlooking a scenic part of town or the coast to create a relaxing spot for evening drinks. You can also add a barbecue grill so your tenants can invite friends for summer BBQs. In short, spending some time improving your outdoor space nets you the ability to market effectively to more people.

5. Ensure the furniture fits the furnished property’s personality

modern dining room

The furnishing inside furnished properties shouldn’t be an eclectic mix of styles and thrift store finds. Instead, they should feel like a cohesive whole throughout the home. From the dining room table to the beds, every piece should feel like it fits in the space.

When it comes to offering furnished rentals, it’s all about making your tenants feel at home away from home. They want to feel like everything is in its proper place. Nailing down the style of your property and creating a unified feeling throughout it does much to accomplish this. Consider that it might be time to dump the older furniture for something newer and more in line with the things at which tenants examine most carefully during a property hunt.

6. Find your winning combination of upgrades

panoramic photo of modern home

Rather than mixing and matching, choose an overarching theme for your property and upgrade accordingly. For example, if you’re looking to attract young professionals with your modern studio, replace the flooring with black tile and invest in stainless steel appliances. If you want tenants to lease a suburban cottage, consider purchasing wooden furniture. Improving the rental value of your property is all about harmonizing its elements, and properties with specific themes can attract the tenants you’re after.

When you’re facing a crowded rental market, making your property stand out isn’t just the best way to boost your income — it’s the best way to generate that income in the first place. With some strategically planned upgrades, you‘ll be on your way to having that “stand-out” property. You’ll recoup the improvement costs in no time through increased rental revenues and reduced vacancy.

Once you’ve added your finishing touches, check out HomeSuite’s dedicated landlord website. Over 230,000 active prospective tenants are looking for great homes, and we’re always looking for great new homes. If you already feature homes on our service, be sure to check out our tips to writing the best property descriptions so your homes can appeal to more tenants.

Questions? Comments? Tweet @yourhomesuite and we’ll get right back to you!

How to Deal with Disruptive Neighbors

Disruptive Neighbors - Blog Title PhotoIt’s late at night. You just came home, feeling accomplished after impressing your colleagues and manager with your project. It was an awesome day, but you’ve spent more time than you expected at the office. So all you want to do now is change into your pajamas and watch The Grand Tour while eating a pint of ice cream.

Alas: your disruptive neighbors are at it again. The trap music from their apartment thuds through your furnished rental’s walls. The hooting and hollering from their rowdy guests echoes across the hallways. The loud chatter in their home can be heard as you shower in your home. In short: any hope of you having a tranquil and relaxing evening is crushed.

Having the right neighbors can make or break your experience living in a furnished rental. Unfortunately, according to a SpareFoot survey conducted for National Moving Day, 30% of Americans move out because their neighbors were too loud. If you hate noisy and disruptive neighbors with a passion, then read on. Today’s piece will hopefully help you settle your issues with disruptive neighbors. We’ll share some advice on how to handle your neighbors, and we’ll even reveal some tricks from people who have resolved their issues with rowdy neighbors.

Introduce Yourself to Your Neighbors

Couple welcoming friend at doorway

Having a healthy relationship with your neighbors is important to settling into your new home. When your neighbors act rudely, it’s tempting to forget that they exist and pray they’ll move out. We suggest otherwise.

Sometimes your neighbors might not know that they’re being rowdy. In fact, your neighbors might not even know that they’re your neighbors to begin with! As a result, consider knocking on their door and introducing yourself. Once you introduce yourself to your neighbors, they’ll likely act more considerate at night. Gayle Katz, a Relationship Consultant from Grounded Girls Guide explains further. “Getting comfortable with your neighbor allows you to open the lines of communication and talk about what’s bothering you. If you’re a bit introverted and talking to your neighbor scares you, that’s good – stretch your comfort zone!

Invite Your Neighbors Over

Diverse Neighbors Drinking Party Yard Concept

Once you’ve introduced yourself to your neighbors, you might experience more peaceful nights. If you aren’t, however, then don’t give up on them just yet. We know it’s easy to let emotions boil over when it comes to disruptive neighbors. However, nothing is worth risking a war between you and your neighbors. Rather, why not bring them over for a few fun activities? When you invite them over, you establish goodwill with your neighbors. These friendly relations will come in handy once it’s time for you to respectfully notify them of their disruptive behavior.

Brian Davis, co-founder of SparkRental, shares some ideas on how you can make it happen. “When the anger has subsided, consider friendly gestures you could make toward your neighbor to start off on the right foot. You could bake them something, or invite them over for a barbecue, or even just offer them a drink as you enjoy one yourself on the porch or patio. Make an effort to get to know them, ask about their kids, their jobs, their interests.”

Communicate With Your Disruptive Neighbors

man and woman talking at the door

If that barbecue you hosted helped your neighbors act more respectfully, perfect! Unfortunately, we know that there will always be people who will continue to be disruptive neighbors regardless of your efforts. As a result, you may want to consider finding a time and place to let your neighbors know that they’re being rude.

Sarah Brown is a home and community safety expert from SafeWise, an online safety resource. Sarah’s dealt with disruptive neighbors in the past, and she knows that tenants may have to communicate their concerns without burning bridges. She thus believes that you should come prepared if you’re planning to let your neighbors know about their behavior. “[S]uggesting a reasonable time for people to keep the noise down where you can also get your sleep (not 9 pm, but something that actually works with both of your schedules) or offering other compromises is a good way to show that you aren’t just the grumpy neighbor.”

Don’t Lose Your Cool

Two friends angry after quarrel

Communicating with your disruptive neighbors can occasionally be frustrating. Sometimes, they seem to listen to your concerns only to fall back into bad habits the next evening. Sometimes, they might be in denial and ignore you altogether. We understand that getting your message across can be frustrating, but life isn’t a competition. Remaining calm could be the difference between building a cordial relationship with your neighbors and enduring a miserable relationship with your neighbors.

As an Etiquette Consultant, Tara Woods Turner knows all too well about dealing with people accused of being disruptive. She also recognizes that staying cool and collected can prevent civil discourses from escalating into full blown arguments. “Displaying a willingness to respectfully address your concerns with your fellow dwellers may even eliminate friction upfront as many people are often unaware of the extent of their disruptive behavior until someone brings it to their attention.”

Establish Yourself as Your Landlord’s Favorite Tenant

Couple with contract for buying apartment

Good landlords work hard to ensure their tenants get the best living experience possible. If you’re having trouble with your neighbors, why not befriend your landlord?

The good news is that there are many ways to show appreciation for your landlord. You can attend their holiday parties or you can simply offer them a drink at your place. Regardless of what you do, showing that you care goes a long way to establishing good relationships with landlords. And creating that friendly relationship can help you resolve issues with your disruptive neighbors. Judah Ross from Austin Young Professional concurs. “It’s a tough job, and [landlords] put up with a lot of garbage. So if you make the effort to be friendly, they’ll pay it back when you need it.”

And there you have it. We hope that this piece will help you enjoy more relaxing evenings in your home away from home. If you trying to figure out which type of rental is right for you, our dedicated guide has you covered. We also have a guide to weekend getaways, perfect for that brief break from your rental and your disruptive neighbors.

 

Seven Ways to Liven Up Your Home for the Holidays

Holidays Blog Title PhotoAh, the holidays! Tis the season for friends, family, and neighbors to appreciate all that we share. Whether we’re kicking back with colleagues or sipping some eggnog with our loved ones, what we all need is a time to unwind. The last thing we want is to be stressing about getting our furnished rentals ready for the holidays.

Chances are, the kind folks who are renting from us feel the same way. They’ve come into town to reconnect with those they love and they may need to play host. Today, we’re going to make their lives — and ours — more jolly by facilitating the celebrating. Building on last year’s advice, here are seven more festive tips to get your furnished rental ready for the holidays.

1. Don’t Be Santa and Don’t Be Scrooge

Piggy Bank for the HolidaysIt can be all too easy to bleed your bank account dry come holiday season, but there’s no need to overdo it. Start out with a reasonable budget and stick with it. Consider how much you want to allocate and split that total out into sub-amounts for food, libations, decorations, gifts, and miscellaneous supplies.

That may sound a little contrary to the spirit of the season, but remember that the point of the party is your guests, not the glitz. A little money properly apportioned can do the trick nicely.

2. Give the Gift of Gleaming

Cleaning up an apartment - holiday blogIt’s the day of the party. Your guests arrive, fling about a few air kisses, grab a glass of champagne, and congregate in the kitchen. Alas: horror strikes. Your kitchen is a greasy mess. Spots of marinara sauce decorate the cooktop. Child-sized handprints streak the surface of your stainless steel fridge. Dust bunnies frolic in the corners.

Perhaps you should have cleaned house before you opened the door to guests?

We recommend you make arrangements to have your rental cleaned before the party starts. That can mean allotting a few hours of your time to tidy up, hiring a professional service to come through, or just finding a someone on TaskRabbit who could use a little extra holiday cash. Whether you’re cleaning up on your own or with help, this is also the perfect opportunity to do some tidying — wash the linens, straighten up your bookshelves, and shake out the welcome mat.

3. Consider the Small Wonders for the Holidays

Image Credit: www.proflowers.com on Flickr under Creative Commons license

Image Credit: www.proflowers.com on Flickr under Creative Commons license

You know that giant Christmas tree that towers above the outdoor ice-skating rink at 30 Rockefeller Plaza in Manhattan? Don’t get one of those. You’ll never get it up the stairs.

Most furnished rentals lack overabundant space. Keep this in mind when you’re considering decorations. If your party will feature a tree, try a potted miniature evergreen instead of a massive showpiece. Outside of being more economical, they’re easier to clean up and more environmentally friendly. Once the holidays are over, plant it outside and watch your Christmas tree grow over the coming year!

If you’re looking for something other than a tree, or for something to complement a tree, simple, inexpensive decorations like candles can do more to set the mood than a bushel of tinsel.

4. Give the Gift of Creativity

assorted jam - holiday blogYour generosity may be the stuff of legends but your available resources are likely somewhat less legendary — especially given the amped demands of the holiday season. Instead of buying a heap of presents for the holidays, consider making some tokens of your affection.

When it comes to homemade gifts for the holidays, create thoughtful takeaways that communicate your personal consideration. As an example, consider making some delicious, homemade edibles. You could bake up a medley of cookies and wrap individual assortments for guests take home. If you’re a tad craftier in the kitchen, you could make something longer lasting and more likely to keep the holiday spirit alive into the spring: homemade jam!

5. Welcome Your Guests with Open Arms

Holidays - Invitation CardWhat’s a holiday party without guests? That’s a trick question — we can’t answer, because we weren’t invited.

Do not make this mistake. Instead of casually mentioning that you might have a few people over, do your party right with customized invitations. There are plenty of online options available, but getting an invitation in the mail is more endearing and more likely to spur your friends to both RSVP and attend.

For your party invitations, try using a photo of your clean, decorated furnished rental. Make sure to include a personal message that communicates the spirit of the event. If it’s an ugly sweater party, shout it out. If you’re going to serve a meal or just nibbles, let your guests know. Don’t forget to include the pertinent details: that’s when, where, and a request to RSVP.

For bonus points, handwrite a personal note on each. Even a ‘Hope you can make it!’ lets each guest know you care that they’re there.

6. Spread Some Cheer During the Holidays

Wreath on front door - HolidaysWe’ve already discussed budgets and decorations, but there’s an angle left uncovered: spreading cheer beyond your party’s boundaries. How can you do this? Simple: decorate your front door.

Adding a festive, welcoming element to your entranceway serves two, equally noble purposes. Firstly, it sets the tone for arriving guests. Secondly, it reminds everyone who passes by to stop, take a deep breath, and let some of the season’s stress wane away.

For those celebrating Christmas, a wreath is a simple solution. In many ways, hanging up a ring of fir and flowers is more elegant and festive than a multitude of blinking lights. You could even go the extra mile by hanging stockings filled with candy canes or Holland mints. Delivery people deserve a little seasonal cheer as well!

If Christmas isn’t your reason this season, consider finding a culturally-appropriate manner of letting your guests and neighbors know you’re appreciative of their company and community. Even the non-religious among us can enjoy the days beginning to grow longer and the slow approach of spring.

7.  Give Yourself a Break

Cinema - Break from HolidaysPlanning a party is hard work. Don’t set yourself up to stress through yours! You’ll enjoy the holidays much more and be a better host if you schedule yourself a calming break pre-party. Get everything sorted early and then take some time to unwind.

Get out of the house, go see a movie (Rogue One, anyone?), catch a game with friends at the local bar, or just take the dog out for a hike. A few hours away from your furnished rental can make a massive difference in your mood.

And that makes this the perfect opportunity for all of us at HomeSuite to wish all of you a happy holiday season. We hope your parties go off without a hitch, and we wish you a happy 2017.

HomeSuite - Happy Holidays

10 Insider Tips to Enjoying San Francisco’s Mission District

DoloresPark - Mission Blog Title PhotoYou may have heard of this quaint little burg called San Francisco. It’s our hometown, and we love helping tourists, business travelers, and new locals alike settle in. While the city’s reputation, beauty, and businesses may have caused local prices to spike, it’s most definitely a must-see, must-stay, must-feast stop on any serious itinerary. And it doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg. If you swing through one of its more unique neighborhoods — like the Mission District — you’ll have a blast without breaking the bank.

The Mission, as it’s commonly known, runs roughly from Division St. south to Cesar Chavez St. (whereupon it becomes the Outer Mission) and from 101 west to about Dolores St. Its heart is Valencia St, and its heart is clogged with hipster eateries, crafty boutiques, artisan cafés, and — in between — a lot of cool, quirky, diverse culture.

So skip Fisherman’s Wharf, which is a major tourist trap, and take a spin through some of the best the Mission has to offer with these ten insider tips:

Mission Dolores

3321 16th St. at Dolores St.

Mission Dolores

The Mission is called the Mission because, surprise, there’s one of the original California missions here. The Misión San Francisco de Asís was founded in 1776 as part of the string of 21 Catholic missions that Spanish Franciscan priests built as they settled northward. And they didn’t just knock these things out — they’re gorgeous. The ‘Mission Dolores’ as it’s commonly known is San Francsico’s oldest intact building.

When you stop by, you can get a tour led by a volunteer docent (for a donation) and check out the chapel, the newer Basilica, and the adjoining cemetery and gardens. This is still an active Catholic place of worship, so if you’re so inclined you can attend mass or another event.

When you’re here, think about all the transitions this part of the city has gone through over the centuries. The Mission District has been many things and home to many people — the Ohlone and Miwok native Californians; Spanish-Mexican rancheros; Irish, German, and other immigrant laborers; Latino and Chicano families; and today, hipsters and artists. Speaking of which — let’s go meet some of them.

Four Barrel Coffee

375 Valencia St. at 15th St.

Four Barrels - Mission Blog

Image credit: Andrew Ballantyne on Flickr under Creative Commons license

Everyone has their favorite coffee place in the Mission and there is no reason on Earth why Four Barrel shouldn’t be yours. It may turn out to be your favorite coffee place in the world. Stop by, get a perfectly prepared cup, and energize for your meander through the streets of the Mission.

Like many places in this part of town, their focus is on craft, quality, and sustainability. And as good as the joe is here, the people watching is even better. You’ll be rubbing elbows with an eclectic crowd that loves their tattoos and alternative cultures. Savor it all and go back for more — unless you want to save some caffeine intake for Ritual Coffee Roasters, further down Valencia.

Tartine Bakery

600 Guerrero St. at 18th St.

Image credit: Carl Collins on Flickr under Creative Commons license

Image credit: Carl Collins on Flickr under Creative Commons license

How do you feel about rich, buttery goodness, flaky pastry, and long lines? Well, two out of three’s not bad, and Tartine Bakery is worth the wait. This will become evidently clear when you see the size of the line and the faces of the locals who don’t mind waiting in it. If time is short; don’t worry. Just walk west down 18th Street and pop into the Bi-Rite Market — a culinary wonderland with excellent sandwiches at the deli counter.

Precita Eyes Mural Arts Center

2981 24th St at Harrison St.

Image Credit: Franco Folini on Flickr under Creative Commons license

Image Credit: Franco Folini on Flickr under Creative Commons license

Street art is a big, unmissable part of what makes the Mission more than just another hip neighborhood. While there are murals scattered all over the area — be sure to cut down Clarion Alley between Valencia and Mission, south of 17th St. — the Precita Eyes Mural Arts Center makes finding and appreciating these gems straightforward: just take a tour on Saturdays or Sundays at 1:30pm.

Murals and street art are forms of expression that imbue the Mission with character and meaning. Yes, the city is continuously changing — see some of what that means to its residents writ large on the walls.

St. Francis Soda Fountain

2801 24th St. at York St.

Image Credit: mari.francille on Flickr under Creative Commons license

Image Credit: mari.francille on Flickr under Creative Commons license

Walking is hard work. Treat yourself to a malt and a taste of how San Francisco once was at the St. Francis Soda Fountain. This is the city’s oldest ice cream parlor and there’s good reason it’s still in business. You can find a crazier set of flavors at Humphrey Slocumb and a more artisanal cone at Bi-Rite Creamery, but both of those places are missing something. That something is French fries. And table service. And a moment of calm, charming, indulgence.

Of course, you can always go to all three. You’ll certainly want to stick your nose in Slocumb for a taste of their weirder concoctions — like their Secret Breakfast flavor, which is bourbon ice cream with cornflakes.

El Techo de Lolinda

2516 Mission St. at 21st St.

Image Credit: eltechosf.com

Image Credit: eltechosf.com

After all that ice cream, you probably need a drink, and maybe some Latin American street food served up with a spectacular view. El Techo’s rooftop bar sits above its sister restaurant Lolinda, which is good — at least someone gets a seat! Show up early to score a coveted stool or accept that standing is the price one pays for great cocktails and snacks.

Roxie Cinema

3117 16th St. at Valencia St.

Image Credit: roxie.com

Image Credit: roxie.com

The second-oldest continual run cinema in the world is the claim, and off-beat, hard to find, mind-bending movies is the game at the Roxie Cinema. There’s something old school and special about this nonprofit theater, and it’s not just the popcorn. Join in a screening in the large, main theater or risk something more avant-garde in the Little Roxie theater next door. If you’re too soused from cocktails at El Techo to make it back uptown to the Roxie, you can always just stagger down the block to the Alamo Drafthouse’s New Mission theater. They’ll even bring food and drink to you at your seat there.

La Taqueria

2889 Mission St. at 25th St.

Image Credit: T.Tseng on Flickr under Creative Commons license

Image Credit: T.Tseng on Flickr under Creative Commons license

Burritos, in San Francisco, are practically a religion. That makes La Taqueria our high church.

While you can find a fancier meal, and you can certainly spend more, you’d be hard pressed to do better than a Mission-style burrito at La Taqueria. If you’ve been walking around the Mission all day, you’ll have seen an endless string of Mexican joints. Many of them are good. Many of them are not so good. This one is La Taqueria. Bring your appetite and tuck into a burrito that’s filled with succulent meats and free of rice.

Namu Gaji

499 Dolores St. at 18th St.

Image Credit: Dale Cruse on Flickr under Creative Commons license

Image Credit: Dale Cruse on Flickr under Creative Commons license

You won’t be surprised to find that there are many ‘San Francisco’ places in San Francisco. There are so many that even living here you’d be hard-pressed to find them all — so just trust us and stop in at Namu Gaji. Owned and operated by the Lee Brothers, this Korean-infused bar and eatery packs a lot of oomph into every second, so go ahead, have seconds.

If you can, make it for their killer happy hour and treat yourself to some gamja fries, served up with kewpie, teriyaki, gochujang, kimchee relish, and bulgogi beef.

Public Works

161 Erie St. at 14th St.

Image Credit: publicsf.com

Image Credit: publicsf.com

It’s late. You’re tired, full, and perhaps leaning towards intoxicated. Just one more stop before we let you go and… hey! Is it dawn already? You must have found yourself dancing at Public Works, one of the best places in the hood to dance until sunrise. Good call.

This staple of the San Francisco nightlife scene brings in excellent art, tasty cocktails, and marathon sets from world-class DJs. Who are you to say no to such an evening?

And there you have it — the perfect Mission District day. If you’re looking for additional things to do in the city, check out our relocation guide. You can also check out our top 3 things to do for summer interns, all of which can be enjoyed year-round. 

Now, all you need is to find a way to live here so you can keep exploring. Why not rent a long-term furnished rental with HomeSuite? We got lots of homes in the Mission and elsewhere in the Bay Area, all of which are available for monthly leases. 

The Seven Best Laptops for Business Travel

Laptop Blog - Final Draft of Title PhotoHitting the road on a business or consulting trip can be a brilliant experience.  However, you can totally crash and burn if you don’t prepare. You’ll need to remember to pack light. You’ll need to square away suitable lodgings, such as longer-term furnished rentals if you’re going to be away for a while. And then, to ensure all your business endeavors succeed and your boss loves you, you’ll need a proper laptop.

A new laptop is an investment that pays off in productivity and promotions. Instead of twiddling your thumbs waiting for your old beast to boot up, you’ll be charging hard. But how do you choose a new computer for business travel?

There are a few key factors you’ll want to consider. The first is battery life. Listed in hours, a computer’s battery life indicates how long you can expect to use the machine before it turns into an attractive paperweight. Careful, though! Battery life figures assume ideal conditions — spending an hour compiling hi-def animations will eat power a lot faster than editing a document.

You also should take your new laptop’s weight seriously. While modern machines tend towards the slim and sleek, even half a pound can send you to the masseuse’s if you’re slinging it in a bag over your shoulder all day. Other considerations high on the list for business laptops are durability, security, and performance. Your investment won’t pay off if your computer gets hacked or can’t hack it.

Lucky for you, this Friday is Black Friday! More importantly, we’ve done a lot of the new laptop research for you already. Here are our seven recommendations for the best new laptops for business travelers. And don’t worry — all are perfectly suitable for booking properties on HomeSuite.

Acer Chromebook 14

Acer Chromebook

Image credit: Maurizio Pesce on Flickr under Creative Commons license

If you’re just getting started in the big time, it makes sense to keep your expenditures to a minimum. Let the executive VPs spend a fortune on their hardware while you opt for something reliable, solid, and economical — such as the Acer Chromebook 14.

Cast out of aluminum like other, vastly more expensive options, this Chromebook boasts solid 12-hour battery life and the sort of functionality that will keep your head well above water. For only $299, you’ll get built-in antivirus and security software plus a suite of software tools for making short work of work, online or off. Moreover, you’ll get Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides on a vivid 14” screen that’s good enough for some streaming video when the workday is done.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon

lenovo_thinkpad_x1_carbon

Image credit: Elroygoh on Wikimedia Commons under Creative Commons license

Towards the other end of the spectrum, you’ll find the sleek, ultrathin, ultralight, ultratough Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon. This tiger is perfect for people who consider security non-negotiable. While it costs more than an entry-level laptop, you’re getting what you pay for.

Priced at $1,142.10, the X1 Carbon is built like something the Air Force would commission. It’s made of military-grade carbon fiber, protected by a fingerprint scanner, weighs a meagre 2.6 pounds, and probably can stop bullets. (Please do not try to use a Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon to try and stop a bullet; we’re just being illustrative.)

In terms of display, you get a 2K, antiglare screen and its battery lasts longer than you’re likely to. All in all, it’s one of the lightest, thinnest business laptops on the face of the Earth or off. It would probably look good in a briefcase handcuffed to your wrist.

HP Spectre

HP Spectre - business laptop

Image credit: Aaron Yoo on Flickr under Creative Commons license

Did we say the X1 Carbon was one of the thinnest laptops on the planet? Well then: meet the HP Spectre — the actual thinnest, measuring in at a scant 0.41 inches. If the X1 is made for top secret, red-phone-answering ninjas, the Spectre is made for high-powered, deal-dishing business wizards.

In terms of specs, the Spectre doesn’t disappoint: it’s got three USB-C ports to jack you into the matrix, a Gorilla glass display to keep your outlook bright, Bang & Olufsen speakers, and enough battery life to last you through a trans-Atlantic flight. At $1,019.99, it’s certainly not the cheapest laptop you could opt for, but if you’re a multi-tasker who needs to work on the way, this one could be worth it.

Apple MacBook (2016)

Macbook - business Laptop

Image credit: Maurizio Pesce on Flickr under Creative Commons license

Chance are you started reading this article waiting for someone to mention Apple’s latest MacBook. We are happy to oblige. While we’re not going to wade into the PC vs Mac debate, we’d be negligent to omit this beauty from our list of best business laptops.

If you’re in a Mac-positive office, the 2016 MacBook could be your best and only choice. This model comes in two base versions, depending on how much storage you want and how fast a processor you select. From there, you can bump it all up until your wallet cries dry tears — or keep it elegantly simple for far less. The base price for the entry level model is high at $1,299, but that gets you a 2K Retina screen, a full-size keyboard, the iWork office suite, a 10-hour battery, and a weight of just 2 pounds.

The MacBook, naturally, also runs MacOS as opposed to Windows. If you’re familiar with one and not the other, that could make your choice here much easier.

Dell Inspiron 13 7000 Series

Dell Inspiron

Image credit: Vernon Chan on Flickr under Creative Commons license

Bringing it back down to Earth for a minute, Dell’s new Inspiron 13 7000 series 2-in-1 notebooks are friendly to your wallet. They also double as tablets. Just rotate the screen all the way back and you’ve got a touch-screen tablet ready to rock — no need to bring a second device.

Inspirons come in a range of configurations, but the entry-level model only runs $749.99. It comes with a solid state drive, three USB ports (one each in 2.0, 3.0, and USB-C) and an infra-red camera and facial recognition software that saves you from typing in endless passwords. It does weigh a bit more than some more expensive models, but in exchange you get both a tablet and a laptop without breaking the bank.

Razer Blade Stealth

Image credit: thoroughlyreviewed.com under Creative Commons license

All work and no play makes Jill a dull girl. If you’re shelling out for a new work laptop, there’s no reason why it can’t also help you unwind after work, right? The Razer Blade Stealth comes with enough power, graphics, and speed to support a healthy gaming habit, particularly if you upgrade with a Razer Core external graphics card amplifier.

But we were talking about business travel. This laptop comes standard with a 2K screen and an Intel Core i7 processor (both upgradable). It weighs 2.84 pounds and its battery lasts 9 hours. Plus, get this: its keyboard can be backlit with any of a range of 16.8 million color options. Maybe you’ll turn that feature off during your business presentation? Nah. We wouldn’t either.

The base-level Razer Blade Stealth sells for $999. Not bad if you’re looking to both work hard and play hard.

Samsung Notebook 9

Samsung Notebook 9

Image credit: Samsung Belgium on Flickr under Creative Commons license

The Samsung Notebook 9 is light, but it’s no lightweight. It’s a 15” laptop — that’s bigger than the others on our list — while weighing 2.9 pounds and measuring under a quarter of an inch thick. It also suffers from no lack of power; its battery lasts a whopping 12 hours.

For those tuned into specs, the Notebook 9 packs an Intel Core i7 processor with fast charging capabilities. Its display is Full HD, plus it reclines a full 180º so you can share your work more easily. The drive is also solid state, so you won’t worry if you drop it on the floor. All in all, this is a no-nonsense choice, ideal for those looking to survive long-haul flights.

And there you have it: HomeSuite’s recommendations for business travel laptops. We’re confident one of these seven will be right for you when it’s time to get in line for Black Friday shopping. If you’re wondering how you’ll survive your first business trip, our first-timer’s guide is here to help. It’s also important to stay fit during your business trips, so check out our fitness guide as well.

Corporate partners

We’ve also launched our new business travel manager. Companies like AT&T, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Nvidia trust us to give their employees the best homes away from home, and we want to help your company help you as well. If your company is looking for long-term furnished rentals for business, feel free to share our program with your boss!

Happy travels!