Quick Q&A: Steve Lowy, The Residence Apartments

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• After working in the hotel, youth travel and hostel sectors, what prompted you to launch a serviced apartment brand?
"I was offered the role as CEO of Anglo Educational Services to work with the board and current management team to grow the company. My previous experience across the accommodation types and different markets has proved very helpful for the apartment sector, especially with having both student apartments and The Residence, a more luxury offering, within our portfolio of over 300 apartments in London."

• What are the USPs of The Residence brand? What makes it stand out from its competition?
"I think it is the true flexibility of how we let the apartments, and adding little touches of personalised service without intruding on what is a persons' home for a short period of time. We also offer a 24-hour point of contact so even if you are staying with us on a long term basis, you have someone to call if you are locked out or have an issue changing a light bulb. When it comes to interiors, it's very much about simplicity and keeping it as local as possible with the look and feel."

• You have two locations open in London now - where is next and would you consider locations outside the capital?
"Yes, we are looking at a number of cities, both south and north of London. With Anglo, we have a very exciting partnership with a new University in Manchester called UA92, and will be opening our budget offering up there in summer 2020, so would hope a Residence branded building would follow soon after."

• Who is your typical guest and what is their average length of stay?
"On average our guests are corporate and stay on average five months. With the two locations, Marylebone and Shoreditch, the type of corporates are very different. Marylebone has far more of the creative (film/theatre) as well as traditional industries such as banking, whereas Shoreditch has more tech-based businesses and a younger demographic. The guests are often relocating permanently and wanting an interim solution, or more short-term for specific projects, and they have been from all over the world, which is both encouraging and exciting."

• Which distribution channels are proving the most effective for The Residence?
"Either direct through our own database or the traditional apartment agents that we have built up a good rapport with. I think the way a three-month-plus stay in an apartment is sold is very different from that of more hotel focused OTA platforms, and therefore for The Residence brand, those niche agencies are far more effective."

• Where do you see the brand's position five years from now?
"I would like to see us with a really loyal base of organisations that are happily placing their staff into our apartments, knowing that their every need will be catered for. I would also like us to expand across London and elsewhere, embracing the 'local' elements we have done thus far in the two locations we have, as well as making sure we keep up to date with the relevant 'mod cons'  required for guests staying for that slightly longer period."

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