New Company Bridges Gaps in Temporary Corporate Housing Market
- Jan 21, 2011
Nomad Temporary Housing, a company that provides access to the premier options and premier services in corporate apartments with just a single call, made its debut on January 13, and already the company is filling the void for those searching for temporary accommodations in the Unites States, Canada and the United Kingdom.
Nomad’s leadership describes the firm as the first independent and unbiased temporary housing company in the United States, and the first company to aggregate the highly fragmented supply of temporary corporate apartments. Gavan James, industry veteran and Nomad president and CEO, conceived the idea of creating such a company. James worked for Oakwood Worldwide, the leading global provider of furnished and serviced apartments, for 30 years, serving on its executive team and participating in the running of operations for half that time. But when Oakwood decided to make a change in his responsibilities last year, he decided to make changes in the industry.
“I realized that there is a gap in offerings in temporary corporate housing,” James tells MHN. “The supply is highly fragmented. There are a lot of employers that need housing in multiple markets but don’t want to deal with so many different apartment companies, management companies and different suppliers. Some may go with a major player like Oakwood, but there are some customers looking for better options and more options.” Most suppliers have only about 200 to 250 apartments, he says, and while they may not be able to accommodate the range clients are looking for, many of them provide high quality units. “And that is why I am comfortable having many become a part of my certified partner group.”
Nomad provides thousands of quality options–42,000 in 2,200 locations–and at various price points. Nomad does not lease apartments to make available to clients, as do many other temporary housing firms; instead, it relies on multiple high-quality suppliers, large and small, in each market to find just the right accommodations for a client–be it an individual or a company seeking 40 rooms. Because Nomad does not carry its own stock, it is free of bias. “Our only bias is to superior quality,” James says. “We can find up to 10 providers that meet a client’s criteria in a certain market; we give them six or seven times the options other temporary housing companies can.”
Nomad is not yet one month old, but it already has relationships with 140 temporary apartment companies so far. James credits his strong history in the industry for the success. “I developed a lot of contacts and a good reputation. A lot of people contacted me when I left Oakwood to wish me well. Many of the operators that I am working with may not collaborate together, but they will work with me.”
His three-decade-long presence in the temporary housing business has also allowed him to choose a cracker-jack team to work at his offices in San Diego, New York and Arizona. “I have the experience to bring in people who know how to service customers,” he notes. “We’re committed to customer service. We handle invoicing, we handle everything. We provide a single point of contact. I’m not a broker; I’m cocooning my clients.” The company even provides a star-rating system and 100 percent paperless contracts.
And business is going well. “We have several clients already due to advance marketing, but we’re being careful to not scale too quickly so the customer service remains high.”