Flexibility is the key

John Wagner George Sell Uploaded

It's clear that the businesses who will come out of the pandemic in the best shape are the those who are flexible enough to quickly adapt to meet customer needs.

And it's encouraging to see that we have many such companies in the serviced apartment sector. Recently we have seen three prominent operators flexing their offer in response to shifting pockets of demand.

In the US, AKA has cut the minimum stay at its West Hollywood property from 30 to seven nights. Going in the other direction, Amsterdam-based Yays has launched its Resident package, which offers stays of up to six months in the company's home city and in Paris. Similarly, Australian developer and operator Meriton has moved 1200 of its serviced apartments in to a residential rental pool, after seeing a 40 per cent drop in rate and occupancy.

Doing what you've always done will not be an option in 2021, and it's clear that, in most cases, our industry is making the necessary changes.

In other news, the excellent performance of serviced apartments throughout the pandemic hasn't gone unnoticed by other sectors. In recent weeks we have seen two UK boutique hotels, one in London and one in Manchester, announce plans to add serviced apartments to their offer.

Hotels with a residential element have performed better than those who haven't, and in many cases it has been the difference between remaining open or having to close the doors.

I expect this to be a growing trend over the next year.



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