What next for the serviced apartment sector?
Serviced apartments are increasingly being seen as an option for business travel, leisure and corporate relocation because of their central locations and excellent facilities.
Business travellers really don’t want to stay in an AirBnB rental, but even high-end business travellers get sick of hotels. Often, their corporate travel section books them into the same chain wherever they go. They have the same rooms with the same corporate art on the walls and often nearly identical menus, even in different countries. Business people are beginning to consider serviced apartments where they have everything they need and can relax without having to use public rooms to eat and drink, as they do in a hotel.
Use the apartment for meetings
Conde Nast Johansens recommends serviced apartments for business travellers because they don’t need to book conference rooms for meetings; they can have meetings right in the apartment.
Many business travellers like the idea of relaxing in a temporary “home” where they can order a meal to be delivered or even cook one themselves. They do not need to go down to a dining room for breakfast, and they can avoid the temptation of the breakfast buffet.
Hotels haven’t been slow to notice this and have reacted by introducing “aparthotels” that emulate the serviced apartment model. Space in major UK cities is getting more and more expensive, and serviced apartments in Birmingham city centre, Birmingham Serviced Apartments for example, offer investors a way to increase the yield on property investments.
Corporate employers looking for flexibility
As businesses seek better deals for travel-related spending, they are increasingly looking for flexibility in the serviced apartments they use. That means that they can book an apartment for an employee on a long-term assignment or one who only needs to come in for a couple of meetings. As employee health and compliance with legislation becomes increasingly important, serviced apartments must meet all due diligence and safety requirements.
Increasingly, this includes security. If employers deem that staff are safer in apartments than they would be in hotels, they will opt for apartments. The last thing these large companies want is staff refusing to travel on business because they feel it is risky. Expect corporations to take an increasingly close interest in matters such as door and apartment security and staff vetting.