Bruce Waller’s Relocation MVP’s, Meet Jennifer Breen, an expert in the corporate housing space.

In today’s market, global mobility continues to be an important strategy for companies wanting to achieve business goals and growth in the US and abroad. In order to serve our clients with excellence, we must be surrounded by MVP’s that can help us deliver in this fast-paced disruptive economy. Building great partnerships not only helps us serve the customer, but also helps us create a larger platform to share our story with more people around the world. The more we share, the more we can educate the mobility community on the importance of managed mobility services and deliverables available to help make the employee relocation a better experience for both the employee and the family. Together, we can make a difference!

Today, I want you to meet Jennifer Breen, President, Suite Home Corporate Housing. I met Jennifer at WorldwideERC America’s Conference in Dallas, Texas a few years ago and have been a fan ever since. Jennifer serves not only her clients that need corporate housing support, but also serves as a volunteer leader in the mobility community. She is a genuine leader and such a great resource to have on your team when relocating talent!  I’m excited and honored to share her story with you today.

Now let’s meet our Relocation MVP, Jennifer Breen!

  • Name: Jennifer Breen
  • Company: Suite Home Corporate Housing
  • Where were you born? Dhahran, Saudi Arabia
  • How did you get in this industry? Service Partner in the industry
  • How long have you been in the industry? 22 years
  • What do you enjoy most about this industry? I enjoy the partnering & collaboration most in this industry.
  • Describe your services: Suite Home offers temporary, furnished housing for guests who will be in a location for an extended stay. We are a hotel alternative, and cater to the relocation industry, in addition to business travelers, consultants, insurance, entertainment, and any individual looking for a 30+ day stay.
  • Are there different levels of this service for different levels of employees? There are different levels of services for different levels of employees. We have “A” to “B” properties, where there may be less amenities or services to accommodate a more affordable budget. We can also limit concierge services such as maid service or look for a more economical furniture package to include in the units.
  • Do you offer this service available nationwide? Suite Home will work diligently for their clientele to provide temporary housing nationally or globally.
  • What are 5 things a corporation should know about this service?
  1. Temporary Housing is often a much more economical housing solution vs. a hotel.
  2. Temporary Housing provides a “home away from home” experience for guests who may be travelling for an extended period of time. They do not have to pack and unpack each time they come and go from a remote work location.
  3. Corporate Housing providers rent units unfurnished with properties, and provide all utilities, furniture and housewares to provided a fully functioning apartment. Suite Home includes one-rate pricing with all services included to make the process easy for our clientele.
  4. There is a different between temporary housing and temporary housing aggregators. If looking to cut costs, working with the service provider with the actual inventory is the quickest way to achieve this. 
  5. There has been a surge of AirBnB competitors enter the market recently. These companies focus on the 2-3 night vacation rental stays. With properties in major cities renting blocks of units to these companies, we are seeing apartment availability tighten and rental rates significantly increase. 
  • What is the average cost or investment in this service? What is the average cost or investment in this service? Corporate housing is a cost-effective alternative to hotel. With a 30+ day stay, the hotel taxes (a 17.4% per day savings in downtown Chicago) are waived. You can expect rentals to range from $140-175/day for a 1 bedroom downtown in a full-service amenity highrise, with a 24-hour doorman, gyms, media rooms, business centers, pools and more included with your fully furnished apartment. Plus, you have your own full size kitchen and in-unit washer/dryer to provide that home away from home experience. The investment is a 30-day minimum, and then your lease is flexible until a guest gives their notice to vacate, so the guest can pay for the actual days they are staying and not full months’ rents. It is a great solution for any client looking for flexibility.
  • How are you different than others? Suite Home distinguishes itself by its service. We are super hands on and we will work tirelessly for our clientele. We always say we want to “marry” our clientele and develop that long-term strategic partnership. 
  • Why should companies use you versus giving the employee money? When we are handling clients who have a lump sum, we see so much frustration on their part. They are basically left to figure it out on their own and there is a high degree of sticker shock and distress. It is definitely not VIP service, and we find they are often already a bit annoyed when we have to tour them in the apartments. I just do not think its a great introduction to a new job or new city. We often cannot accommodate the budget either.

MVP Final Round:

  • Favorite Book: I really loved hearing him speak two years ago, and just loved his book: John O’Leary – “On Fire”. You will never feel sorry for yourself again when hearing his story.
  • Favorite Quote: “Find a job you love, and you will never work a day in your life” Confucius
  • Something people don’t know about you: Even though I speak quite often at conferences or events, it is the thing that scares me most. I force myself to participate to overcome this fear. My five kids are learning to overcome this challenge early on by speaking at church masses, or running their scout patrols, and are such eloquent speakers. I strive to have their innate confidence. 
  • Best advice someone shared that you also share with others: It was an exercise from a Second City Training Workshop. They had us in teams of two, and you had to use the last word of your partner’s sentence to start your next sentence. It forces you to listen to your partner/client/co-worker until they are completely done speaking, rather than thinking of how you will answer. When doing this, you are truly engaged with the person you are speaking to.
  • Personal or Professional Goal you would like to achieve in next 5-10 years: I hope to send off my four older children from high school knowing they can accomplish anything with hard work. I want them to be positive and empathetic role models as they truly enter adulthood. Professionally, I hope to continue to run a company that continues to set a standard of collaboration and professionalism. We have a truly special team and clientele, and work remains fun, despite how busy we may be at times. 

Thanks so much for sharing your insights and perspective, Jennifer. There is so much to know in the corporate housing space when relocating talent. The MVP Final round of questions is always my favorite! We appreciate the service you provide around corporate housing to help elevate the experience for anyone relocating across the US. You are truly a Relocation MVP! For more information on Suite Home Corporate Housing, visit https://www.suitehomechicago.com/ or send Jennifer an email jen@suitehomechicago.com  . IF you are not connected with Jennifer, get connected to this MVP. She will make a difference in your network.

This interview is by Bruce Waller, CRP, PHR, SHRM-CP, Vice President, Armstrong Relocation and Companies in Dallas, Texas. If you have questions, or would like to recommend a Relocation Professional to be featured in Bruce Waller’s Relocation MVP’s, call 972-389-5673 or email bwaller@goarmstrong.com. You can also sign up for the weekly blog and read in “A Relocation Minute” at brucewaller.com

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