Dominique “Nika” Cagle: Providing Home Away From Home
Numerous people travel around the globe, and most of them accommodate themselves in hotels or lodges, but there is also a reliable and reasonable option in corporate housing. Not many people are aware of corporate housing which offers clients better services that are looking for staying for a more extended period. To help with this Nika Corporate Housing, a Florida based company that provides worldwide service apartment accommodations through their network of best-in-class providers.
Meet Dominique “Nika” Cagle, the President & CEO of Nika Corporate Housing promises that her friendly and professional staff will do everything in their power to make you feel truly welcome to your home away from home.
Below are the highlights of the interview conducted between Dominique Nika Cagle and Insights Success:
Give a brief overview of your background and your role in Nika Corporate Housing.
Dominique “Nika” Cagle’s career as an entrepreneur began in her early twenties by starting her Corporate Housing Company which she named “Nika Corporate Housing.” The company was founded in 2003 as a start-up with just one furnished suite. Since then, Nika has successfully grown her temporary furnished lodging company to a regional leader in the Corporate Housing industry and has an inventory of over 300 units. In addition, through her leadership, the company has enjoyed sustained growth, and has been proﬁtable each year. In 2020, Dominique has been selected by Enterprising Women’s Magazine for the Enterprising Women’s Awards. Nika Corporate Housing has also been nominated as a semi-ﬁnalist for the small business of the year in the City of Tampa.
Nika Corporate Housing is the premier Corporate Housing company in Florida, and a leader in the Southeast regional market. They provide “turn-key” short term, fully furnished units that are ready for move in, with all furniture, appliances, utilities, linens, and housewares included. They offer one-bedroom, two-bedroom, and three-bedroom options to ﬁt our guests’ needs. They utilize condo’s, town homes, and apartments, so our suites are spacious with full size kitchens — and all units also are equipped with washers and dryers. Parking, Wi-Fi and utilities are also included. Their units are located in premier locations that help our guests feel like they are “living like a local” during their stay.Dominique “Nika” Cagle is the majority share Owner/ President of Nika Corporate Housing. They are a certified woman owned business.
How do you diversify your solutions that appeal to your target audience?
We are continually evaluating new communities that are being built to add to our matrix of options for guests to choose from. Our guests enjoy being able to choose from several different options in different parts of town to suit their different tastes. Many times, we work with client companies to relocate employees. Different companies select short-term apartments through different means. Some use a booking engine like ReloQuest, some outsource the process to a relocation company to manage, while others might simply provide a “lump sum” stipend to the mobile employee for the time period — and they then select the property on their own. We have developed close relationships with many relocation companies to capture the corporate client and have various other marketing methods including a Google ad’s campaign to target the individual seekers. People love to shop from pictures, so we make sure that all our portals have a variety of pictures of the units, the community, and the amenities available at each property.
Describe some of the vital attributes that every businesswoman should possess.
All businesswomen should possess a conﬁdent attitude and a “glass is half full” mentality in any situation. Also, keep in mind that it is your job to present solutions to your client problems. This attitude will help you focus on what’s important to the client and will drive your company to success in general. The business world is changing rapidly with many consolidations, when entering a negotiation, you should ask for what you want. All businesswomen should not be afraid to delve into the details of any contract or deal they consider.
What were the past experiences, achievements or lessons that shaped your journey?
I started this company after serving as a ﬂight attendant, where I was certiﬁed as an “On Board Leader”. On 9–11, I was on a trip a in Salt Lake City, so the whole 9–11 experience really hit close to home for me and refocused my life and my priorities. After 9–11 I got laid off and had to start over from scratch. I started Nika Corporate Housing as something proactive to do to help military service members stationed temporarily at MacDill that needed a place to stay. I had never dreamed that I would still be doing this 17+ years later. My husband is a retired USAF pilot who ﬂew the B-2 Stealth Bomber and has served many times in combat — so that has given me a certain perspective and an afﬁnity for military members in general. I deeply respect the service that members in the military have served our Country. It is always and honor to take care of them in government contracts where they are temporarily assigned.
In addition, I come from a family of Entrepreneurs, and at a certain level it is in my blood. Planning for the highs and having the foresight to survive the lows takes tremendous discipline. I learned much of this from my Grandfather, who was a Pearl Harbor Survivor and created a successful food wholesale company from scratch, while being a father to 6 children through some of the toughest times our country has seen.
Where do you see yourself in the near future and how will you catalyze the change?
I see myself as a Global presence in the Corporate Housing Space in the near future. We are beginning to reach out and engage clients in Europe. As the technology expands, it creates the opportunity for us to leverage that technology into a more global footprint. There are many technology platforms that are placing our inventory on their European platforms. This opens us up to a greater client base and the ability to take care of our global accounts while leveraging our partners inventory in other countries. We are internationally certiﬁed through the ISAP — International Serviced Apartments certiﬁcation — and all of our partners have this international accreditation as well.
What is your advice for emerging women entrepreneurs?
My best advice is to start slow and watch your cash ﬂow; you might even want to keep another job on the side if you are able. Your credit is very important in the business world, and it is very important to maintain your credit rating. Cash is paramount to beginning businesses, because it will be difﬁcult or even impossible to get a loan in the beginning. Overextending yourself early on can be very dangerous and put you out of business for almost a decade. She also supports Make A Wish Foundation, Wounded Warrior’s Association, the Blinded Veteran’s Association, and The Spring (a battered women’s support network).