Started in 1981, The Apartment Service was one of the first companies to create a global network of corporate serviced apartments and today we are the largest European booking agent for serviced apartments offering solutions worldwide to clients requiring an efficient cost effective solution to their temporary accommodation requirements.
We started purely as an agency, sourcing and booking apartments and set up a network of sales agents across the globe to help market the service to the corporate market as well as to locally source and inspect suitable property options.
As a result of an apparent lack of corporate housing options in 1996 The Apartment Service launched the first UK branded Corporate housing product "Executive Roomspace" catering for serviced accommodation requirements of 28 nights plus. "Roomspace Serviced apartments" was then added to the portfolio in January 2006 with minimum stays of one week plus. This upgraded use of residential accommodation greatly reduces the cost of longer stays and significantly improves guest comfort. This product is available throughout various locations in the UK and has recently expanded into Lisbon and Madrid.
We pride ourselves in working with a broad, satisfied client base including relocation companies, blue chip organisations, banking and financial institutions, major multinational corporations as well as private individuals.
We have accumulated a wealth of knowledge and experience over the years, however in order to ensure we remain fully conversant in key industry trends, changes in legislation and the challenges faced by our clients, we are active members in a number of key industry organisations and associations including The Association of Serviced Apartment providers for which Charlie McCrow our Director is a founder member and sits as treasurer, The Association of Relocation Professionals, Employees Relocation Council, European Relocation Association and Forum for Expatriate Management, ITM (Institute of Travel and Meetings) and the HBAA (Hotel booking Agents Association).
The first publication illustrating the trends spends and makeup of The Serviced Accommodation sector was initiated by our Director Charlie McCrow with the first ever Global Serviced Industry Report being published in September 2008 and there has been one published yearly ever since. This has proved to be an incredibly valuable and informative first update within the industry for clients and suppliers alike.
We believe that our business is based on our people and recognise the importance of investing in our staff in training and development deeming this is vital for the progression of our organisation. The Apartment Service involves its staff in the future developments of the company. With an open door policy staff are encouraged to air opinions on ideas and feedback which is taken into consideration by Management when implementing new systems etc. This has proven to be an empowering exercise for staff which has a knock on effect with regards to motivation within the team. By breeding this culture across the company, our clients receive the best possible level of service that is required.
Our overall objective is offer a consultative service with regards to clients’ accommodation requirements offering bespoke solutions to all our clients in the form of Payment and Account management.
- Information of properties or services that The Apartment Service is able to offer in the clients desired locations or in line with the client’s needs including amenities, photos, location maps and case studies of clients that have used relevant services in the past.
- Any preferred rates that have been set based on volume of business.
- Booking methods available to the client and contact details of members of the Reservations team who will be assigned to assist with the clients’ requirements.
- Contact details of the clients allocated Account Manager who will organise regular performance review meetings with the client to ensure that expectations and needs are being met.
- Sample of the Management Information report available to the client at a required frequency that will be regularly analysed by the Account Manager in order to recognise any spend trends that can assist with further rate negotiations on the clients’ behalf.
- Booking terms and conditions which will include the booking process in adherence with the SLA of the client.
- Payment terms and conditions to include options that are available to the client based on their company terms and conditions and the nature of the clients requirements.
- Any other information in response to clients’ specifications.
This proposal will be available in a hard copy or can be sent electronically dependent on the clients’ preference.
The Apartment service will then arrange for a:
Follow up meeting which will be used to discuss any points featured in the proposal and to take care of any formalities required in order to set the relevant services into place. This will include details of any dedicated members of staff that will be allocated to the client such as specialised Reservations Consultants to deal with the day to day enquiries and an Account Manager who will ensure that Management information is arranged at the times required by the client and will remain proactive in response to the analysing of spend trends. This will then be discussed at...
Regular review meetings which will be an opportunity to review all aspects of the working relationship such as operational procedures and personnel. This is also an opportunity to discuss forthcoming projects and requirements that the client is aware of in order for The Apartment Service to continue to offer appropriate solutions.
Extended Stay Hotels and Aparthotels
This type of serviced apartment grew rapidly in the 80's at a time when costs for both operators and guests were a major consideration and the concept delivered the required results for both.
Typically these apartments will be in urban locations, range in standard from budget to deluxe and offer hotel services such as 24hr reception desks, many are run by major players in the hotel market.
In an extended stay hotel the guest can expect a no frills approach - compared to mainstream hotels. There are usually no restaurants, large lounge areas or room services, although some operators serving the luxury end of the market and highend hotels which have apartments annexed to their buildings make a full range of services available to their clients.
Extended stay hotels are urban products, offering a high standard of accommodation in configurations of one, two, and/or three bedrooms. They tend to have a higher level of hotel services than mainstream serviced apartments and Aparthotels which - usually a leisure or resort based product, also come in standards of accommodation and range of services from budget to deluxe.
Serviced apartments in extended stay hotels vary in style and standard, however most are fully furnished with en suite bathrooms, a fitted kitchen/kitchenette & lounge/dining area sometimes including a sofa bed or 'bed in a cupboard'/pull down bed.
Apartments serving the business market usually provide a working area, a desk & an office chair, internet access & direct telephone and/or fax lines. Public areas are usually limited to a hall and the communal lounge/dining area and urban locations may provide a small meeting room or meeting rooms. The services provided include once or twice-weekly (sometimes more in the higher end product) cleaning, laundry and reception. High end properties may provide laundry equipment in each apartment, whereas properties of a lower standard may provide access to shared laundry facilities.
These are residential apartments which are up-graded for shorter term rental and packaged together with services such as cleaning, utility charges, local taxes telephone and TV for stays of 30 days or more. This type of product also works as company apartments for either regular visitors or those on extended projects. The term corporate housing was coined in, and is still used mostly in the US.
There are two types of corporate housing; apartments let and maintained by the operator on an on-going basis, and those rented specifically for a particular housing requirement and length of time, after which they are handed back to the owner. The latter category is also referred to as virtual housing.
The Apartment Service recognises the importance and value of offering bespoke packages tailor made to clients specific requests. CAS (Complete Accommodation Solutions) offers a facility to source and manage bespoke temporary serviced accommodation programmes with agreed operational terms and conditions. Aimed at clients with requirements of six months plus in areas where providers do not currently operate and opportunity to benefit from even further cost savings, this has proved to be a unique selling point for The Apartment Service and one we are very proud of. SLAs are currently in place with 21 partners throughout the UK and Europe. The Apartment Service negotiates , tailor makes and manages corporate apartment programmes to optimise the resources available from all nominated and seleced providers, giving online access to this negotiated inventory.
Full Management of the properties offered is the responsibility of The Apartment Service and can even assume responsibility for a company’s existing temporary accommodation.
With our 30 years of experience in the serviced apartment industry, during which time we have gained an outstanding reputation we are proud of our length of service to clients and have the financial stability you would expect of a mature company with our business model providing for stability and sustainability. Whilst we have tremendous experience we continue to be innovative, continuously striving to offer the best possible service to our clients and always stay at the forefront of the industry. Linked in to the Global Distribution System (GDS), we have a global capability with access in excess of 300,000 properties, in over 270 cities, yet we are still small enough to be flexible and responsive. As a result of the long term relationships we have built within the industry we are able to offer exceptionally competitive rates with our banded long stay discount structure and negotiated corporate rates, along with the cost saving benefits that can be enjoyed through our bespoke accommodation solutions.
With our flexible partnering approach we appreciate that our clients all have unique requirements. We tailor our service, procedures and terms accordingly ensuring our clients receive the best possible level of service and reducing any associated risks therefore affording our clients peace of mind. The quality and timeliness of the services we provide would be governed by the mutually agreed Service Level Agreement (SLA). We will tailor this to include Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) which align with your own business standards for review on a regular basis.
We believe in partnering with our customers, seeking to understand our client’s objectives so as to align our services to their needs. We are passionate about our clients and the service we offer them which is reflected in the fact that 80% of our clients are repeat business.
Understanding the importance and benefits of systems and technology The Apartment Service is able to adapt bespoke booking tools ranging from information of preferred properties to online booking facilities in certain locations depending on clients specific needs.
We appreciate the importance of delivering added value to our customers and we ensure this is met through a designated Account Manager whose focus will be to develop and maintain an honest and transparent working relationship between the companies we work with and ourselves. All our clients are unique, with different requirements; therefore we focus on your specific needs and tailor our Account Management accordingly.