Debra Christopher, Irvine Company Apartment Communities vice president of furnished housing, has spent years making executives, vacationers and homeowners in transition feel at home, even for a short-term stay. Christopher heads up the Irvine Company’s furnished apartment division, which provides short-term furnished apartments at the company’s communities across coastal California.
Who are your main customers?
Fortunately, we have the product and amenities to support a diverse client base from corporate interns to executives, relocation companies, insurance companies, the government and consultants for short- and long-term stays. We also support vacationers and homeowners in need of temporary housing during a remodel or as a bridge between buying and selling a home. We offer customized solutions and best in class customer service to support the needs of our clients, who may be relocating from across the country or internationally.
What’s the advantage of staying in one of your properties vs. a hotel?
There are many advantages. Many of our properties feature the same amenities as top-rated hotels, including pools, fitness centers, and concierge-level customer service. We even have Starbucks onsite at a few locations! Our pricing is also very competitive and our apartment homes are much larger than hotel rooms, and include full kitchens and washers and dryers in the units. Parking is generally more convenient and comes with no extra fee. Just pack your bags and you are ready to move in to a community where people love where they live and enjoy the conveniences of a home.
How is the experience different than a traditional apartment?
The apartments are fully furnished and accessorized. We include high-end housewares such as linens, dishes, pots and pans. Utilities, phone, cable and Internet are also included. There are no set-up fees, taxes, application fees, parking fees or security deposits.
Who else offers this kind of housing?
There are many companies that specialize in the temporary housing industry, but what makes us unique in the industry is that we own and operate our furnished apartment homes as part of our existing communities in Silicon Valley, San Diego and Orange County. Furnished housing residents enjoy the same level of service and amenities as longer-term residents. Companies with offices in those markets have a unique opportunity to provide their employees with outstanding furnished housing near their offices as they transition into new roles or into new communities.
How long does the average person stay in a furnished apartment?
It really varies. We have some residents who love our communities so much they end up renting a traditional apartment. In Orange County, some end up buying a new home on the Irvine Ranch. Others will spend a month with us in the summer every year for decades because they enjoy the location, amenities and customer service.