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It’s a very interesting time to run a serviced apartment or aparthotel brand. This type of blended accommodation sits right in the sweet spot of the demand for longer, more flexible stays and the emergence of technology that enables streamlined operations.
In other words, if you’re not excited about what your properties could achieve, you should be.
One man who knows a lot about this subject is Charlie Delamare, a Solutions Architect at Mews. He spoke on the Tech Talk show about technology in the world of serviced apartments, and the whole session is well worth checking out.
If you prefer the written word (and as someone writing this blog, I don’t blame you), read on for some of the highlights from the session.
Short stay and long stay are blurring
Historically, the hospitality industry had been very siloed. Either you’re a long stay provider or a short stay provider, a destination for leisure seekers or business trips, and never the twain shall meet.
But attitudes are changing, both among guests and hoteliers. Serviced apartments, of course, typically favor long stay guests, but we’re seeing more providers look to fill occupancy gaps with shorter stays. The reverse is true, too: short stay specialists are increasingly looking for the consistent revenue you get with more reliable long-term guests.
This has only become possible (or at least, much easier) within the last decade or so, thanks to the rapid advancement of hospitality technology. There will be nuances in the experiences that you offer to different length of stays and types of guests, but there’s no reason a smart, cloud-native property management system shouldn’t be able to handle this.
Essentially, what you require is a solution that can handle two (or more) different types of business, not only with guest-facing features but also with back-end operations. Even simple things like a reservation timeline that can be viewed by month as well as day can make huge time savings. Oh, here’s a shameless plug: Mews can do exactly that, with special features designed to make long stay management even simpler.
AI will change operations – whether you like it or not
It’s everyone’s favorite two-letter combination right now: AI. Truth is, AI is more than just a trend or a buzzword. It’s really happening and affecting how we interact with the world – and serviced apartments are no different.
So many companies are already implementing AI-powered features into their products and services and the pace shows no signs of letting up. The obvious entry point for most aparthotels is AI chatbots, but you should think more broadly about how you can enable your properties and empower your teams to provide highly personalized experiences during their stay. For instance, how about an AI tour guide that serves tailored tips to guests?
A modular PMS is essential
More so than hotels, serviced apartments have a variety of operating models, not only in terms of guest type, but also down to the organizational structure and set-up of its accommodation.
Some brands own and operate entire buildings with hundreds of units, while others have a collection of single apartments dotted throughout a city. You may even have a mixture of both.
It’s an unreasonable burden to expect a serviced apartment brand to build their own guest journey and operational tech to suit each specific element of their business. It should fall on hospitality clouds to provide this service, and it can only be truly effective if the solution is built in a modular way. You shouldn’t be stuck selling every space or experience by night only. You should be able to sell by week, by month, by day or even by hour.
The cloud is no longer a question
If you’re still debating the merits of cloud vs on-premises solutions, you risk being left behind. That conversation happened over a decade ago, and in the world of serviced apartments, there’s barely anything to be said in favor of physical server rooms.
Cloud operations mean you’re able to streamline and digitalize the guest journey, whether that’s online check-in, check-in kiosks or a virtual concierge. It means easier operations for your team who can securely log in (ideally through single sign on) wherever they are without the need to be on site. As we said, a no brainer.
The New Standard of Serviced Apartments
How are leading serviced apartments and aparthotels currently operating? We spoke to eight of the world’s most innovative brands to uncover the secrets of their success, and you can find out all about it in our guide, The New Standard of Serviced Apartments.
When Tom isn't creating outstanding marketing content for Mews, he writes fiction for himself. Either way, he only uses the best words.
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