Renting

Rentals and other destination services


Rental Assistance is one of three core services offered under our menu of Destination Services, area tours and international services rounding out the ensemble. These services are most often connected to the relocation industry, although we offer them universally to everyone. Each service is billed at a flat rate and described in more detail below.


Rental Assistance

We help prospective renters find the right rental without the hassle and anxiety generally associated with rental finding. The key to our success is thoroughly researching rentals that fit the parameters that fit our client’s profile. A trained tour specialist then accompanies the client to as many properties possible during the tour. A general outline of the service is as follows:

1. Consultation or Needs Analysis (perhaps the most important step since it dictates our success in finding the right rental).

2. Rental Research to insure that the properties we visit during tour are available and match our client’s parameters.

3. Preliminary Property List provided to our client to make sure we are on the right track.

4. Rental Tour provided by a trained specialist at the appointed day and time. We pick the client up at their hotel or temporary housing.

5. Post-Tour Research provided on a case-by-case basis at no additional charge.


Area Tours

Our area tours are most commonly used to introduce a job candidate to a new area. Some companies call this a “sell trip”. Again, although related to relocation, our area tours can be used by anyone interested in getting a better idea of an area or neighborhood. We typically include at least 2-3 sample properties to preview during the tour. These tours are also billed at a flat rate (see Services & Fees). A general outline of the service is as follows:

1. Consultation or Needs Analysis (still very important but not as detailed as the rental tour).

2. Rental Research to insure that the properties we visit during tour are available and match our client’s parameters.

3. Preliminary Property List provided to our client to make sure we are on the right track.

4. Area Tour provided by a trained specialist at the appointed day and time. We pick the client up at their hotel or temporary housing.


International Services

Or Settling-In Services as they are commonly referred to are designed to help foreign nationals assimilate into life in the United States. Often these services are combined with rental assistance and/or area tours. A general outline of the service is as follows:

1. Consultation or Needs Analysis (perhaps the most important step since it dictates our success in finding the right rental). Often this step occurs over email.

2. Research to insure that the services provided match the client’s needs.

3. Settling-In Tour provided by a trained specialist at the appointed day and time. We pick our client up at their hotel or temporary housing.

4. The three most basic services include:

a. Social Security Number application.
b. Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) application.
c. Setting up Banking accounts, e.g. checking, savings, credit card.


History of Rental Services

The Seattle rental relocation industry began to take shape in the early 1990’s. The rental tour developed because corporations wanted to provide a personalized rental service for new hires and transferees. Home buyers enjoyed the luxury of working one-on-one with real estate agents, while renters were too often left to fend for themselves. The lack of rental assistance programs only added to the rising popularity of publications like For Rent, Apartment Guide and the like.

As competition grew to attract qualified employees, corporations began to offer more attractive relocation benefit packages. Because approximately 60% of relocated employees are renters, companies quickly realized that rental relocation services were a viable and necessary benefit.

In the beginning, touring was only used to take prospective renters to properties that paid a referral fee. This meant the prospective renter’s “market” was reduced but, at least, the renter was escorted. Usually the tour was based on a computer-generated list of rental properties with very little human interaction.

Tour “specialists” were not expected to know the intricacies of the rental market, nor were they expected to manage the tour process. They were mere “taxis” required to follow an itinerary without change or input. Once the specialist received the tour itinerary, they were on their own. As you might guess this created a number of problems:

  • The tours were often lacking preparation and forethought. Generally the specialist wasn’t even involved in the process, so was basing the tour entirely on work performed by another.
  • There was no in-office support (we call it ground control) so if a tour specialist experienced problems during tour they had no relief plan, no back up.
  • The ability of a tour specialist to improve was undermined by the lack of training, resources and interaction with “ground control”.
  • Finally, rental properties and property management firms were not able to develop effective working relationships because tour specialists did not know, nor did they appreciate the significance, of the rental industry. Strong property relationships are critical to effective touring.

Surprisingly many of the rental services available today still function under this services model. The Home Destination service model, in contrast, is a culmination of years of exploring ways to improve the delivery of rental services.

  • First and foremost, our service is not restricted or limited to properties that pay a referral fee. If we can find the property we will introduce our client to the property, whether a fee can be obtained or not.
  • We understand the significance of the work necessary to deliver a quality rental tour. The needs analysis and rental research are critical to the success of a client’s search. As a result we spend a great deal of energy and resources promoting quality consultations and research.
  • At any given time during the rental search process, there are at least two HD representatives working on behalf of a client. The in-office Consultant works with the tour Specialist to make sure the service we deliver is top-notch in every way.
  • And finally, the fact that we are now in our 15th year of helping people find their new rental tells you we believe in quality … we care!

Leave a Reply