March 8, 2019

TNAA Turns 20: A Look Back at Housing

TNAA turns 20 this year! Grab your Dr. Martens®, push play on your Space Jam soundtrack, and let’s take a trip down memory lane. We’re sitting down with our team to see just how much has changed in the past 20 years. 

Meet Ashley Graham, Director of Housing

Ashley started working at TNAA 17 years ago. In her almost two decades at TNAA, she’s worked at the front desk, HR, and Quality Assurance before finally settling in the housing department. She became a supervisor in a few short years right as the 2008 market crash hit. As the economy bounced back, the housing department exploded in the service-oriented department it is today.

On her department

“We’re Vegas!” Ashley said her team is a lot of fun and she credits that to our CEO, Gene Scott, for allowing her to have the creative freedom to build her department and develop resources. Of her team, they’re a cohesive group that is very collaborative and supportive.

How has housing changed for our travelers in 20 years?

“It’s night and day different. We used to do everything in-house.” And Ashley said that meant a lot of moving parts like connecting power at an apartment or getting furniture moved in. That changed with resources like Travlers Haven. In 2014, TNAA hosted a round-table at TravCon in Las Vegas. Ashley called that moment a game changer. They discovered exactly what roadblocks travelers were facing with housing — directly from travelers. This allowed our housing department to develop programs to make it as easy on travelers as possible. The focus is to make housing worry-free with our Easy Stay Program, Payment Assistance Program, and leads to vetted properties and vendors. You can read more about our housing options here!

Craigslist, Airbnb, and VRBO came into the picture.

These types of services gave travelers a lot more confidence to find their own housing, they have also created new issues — they didn’t necessarily change the game for the better. They’ve introduced a lot of scams, which has made travelers feel weary about finding housing. Check out our take on how to avoid temporary housing scams.

Have pet, will travel.

Another massive change has been the increase in pet-friendly options. It’s common now for travelers to bring their pets on assignment with them. Her biggest piece of advice over the years has been to be upfront with recruiters and housing about your pet. Check out these tips on traveling with your four-legged companion.

That’s so 90’s. 

Of all the 90’s tech we’ve seen come and go — floppy disks, portable CD players, or even pagers — Ashley said she misses novelty phones the most. Lips, hamburgers, or totally see-through, they packed a punch of personality.

Follow us on Instagram & check out what songs Ashley added to our Spotify birthday playlist, Party Like It’s 1999!