Hospitality tech is powering the growth of the global serviced apartment industry. In the last year, serviced apartment usage, rates and average length of stay have all increased with hospitality tech driving efficiency. In particular, 74% of serviced apartment operators use a PMS as they regard it as essential for the efficient running of operations.
The findings come from Ariosi Group Limited’s recently-launched 2023 Global Serviced Apartment Industry Report - a thought leadership guide for the serviced apartment sector. Ariosi Group Limited invited res:harmonics CEO and founder, Giles Horwitch-Smith, to contribute his insights on hospitality tech in the serviced apartment sector and participate in a panel discussion to market the launch of the report. Here are our key takeaways.
Serviced apartment efficiency powered by a PMS
Corporate travel is the bread and butter of serviced apartments, accounting for 80% of business with leisure travel taking up the remaining fifth of bookings. Over the past year, corporations have increased their serviced apartment usage by 53% for business travel, 38% for assignment work and 89% for relocation. Meanwhile, 89% of corporates expect to increase or retain their average length of stay in 2023.
When your largest customer segment is booking more often and staying for longer, you know that you’re doing something right. The difference maker? Automation powered by a serviced apartment property management systems (PMS).
According to the report, the most cited PMS benefits are improved guest experience (30%), improvements in process efficiency (23%) and enhanced cost efficiency (10%).
Or in the words of Dr Josef Vollmayr, Co-Founder and MD of Limehome, a Munich-based serviced apartment operator, the PMS can ‘digitise interactions, reduce manual processes and operating costs, and generate higher revenues whilst providing a seamless, more convenient customer experience.’
Serviced apartment software leading the digital revolution
Every industry is undergoing a digital transformation, but hospitality has embraced tech with open arms. What we now might consider ‘normal’ serviced apartment offerings - i.e. self-check-in (used by 50% of operators), mobile apps (used by 31% of operators) and digital access control systems (used 27% of operators) - have all been made possible by the implementation of serviced apartment software.
The sector’s digital revolution has been influenced by tech-savvy guests who now expect “to book serviced apartments instantly, seamlessly, and with more control,” says SilverDoor CITO Hanish Vithal. He added that many providers “are now talking to us about APIs and seeking collaborative solutions to integrate their platforms effectively.”
From automated processes boosting customer experience at booking to automated customer service provided by next generation AI chatbots impressing guests during their stay, integrating the latest hospitality technology is essential to guest experience.
With res:harmonics being an all-in-one centralised system consolidating the latest integration tools into one platform, Giles Horwitch-Smith explains that “machine learning can identify trends such as increased maintenance issues or predict revenues over the next month or even further ahead, freeing property managers up to focus on delivering an enhanced customer experience.”
The most impactful PMS features for operators today
But before tomorrow comes today. The report highlighted that companies with digital-first strategies are more likely to achieve their business goals than competitors with a predicted $6.8 trillion to be spent on digital transformation worldwide in 2023.
Serviced apartment property management software is now essential for operational efficiency. Here are five of the most impactful features for serviced apartment operators today.
Housekeeping & Maintenance Automation
It’s unavoidable to clean and maintain serviced apartments, but any housekeeping and maintenance management issues are avoidable with a PMS. No matter their location or your location, you can schedule housekeeping tasks across your portfolio with automated housekeeping software. Automatically assign daily to-do-lists for housekeepers according to bookings and customer preferences, update these schedules with priority tasks in real-time and use the chat function to stay in direct contact with housekeepers. The same goes for maintenance. Be it proactively checking a building’s fire alarms or responding to an emergency flood, use a serviced apartment property management software to allocate tasks, send digital keys and await for digital confirmation of the completed assignment, resolving issues instantly.
A serviced apartment booking portal doesn’t just take bookings, it provides a set menu of incredible benefits. For starters, a slick booking portal is full of SEO-enhancing content and customised branding - impressing customers from the outset. It automatically sends personalised quotes and dazzling property photos to customers depending on their search query. Combined with the simple pricing and secure payments system, booking software encourages customers to ‘book now, not later,’ boosting conversion. All booking data is then immediately synchronised with the rest of the system, so you don’t have to manually update anything.
Can you remember manually checking availability in a ledger and updating bookings by hand? It was tedious, time-consuming and a one-way ticket to ‘double bookings’. Now, the multi-calendar feature sets off a chain reaction when a new booking comes in. Synced with your PMS, a new booking updates calendars, sales channels (i.e. other OTAs where the units are listed) and your dashboard, while also triggering preset actions, such as scheduling a housekeeping task for the chosen unit. All that and you don’t need to lift a finger.
Creating, updating, sending and chasing invoices is a thing of the past. With automated billing, a serviced apartment PMS will auto-generate invoices based on the initial booking and update with extras during a guest’s stay, send them to the appropriate financial team (i.e. the corporate guest’s accounts department) and provide friendly reminders for late invoices. It’s so efficient at eliminating mistakes and saving time that as a result, one res:harmonics client, EasyFlat, didn’t need to hire an assistant CFO (saving them even more money).
Digital access and locks
According to the 2023 Global Serviced Apartment Industry Report, serviced apartment customers want a ‘tech-enabled low-touch experience coupled with a high-spec physical product.’ It doesn’t get much more ‘low-touch’ than digital access control. Be it seamlessly entering apartments with a digital key or using a virtual token to access amenities, such as the gym and spa, digital access control systems provide corporate travellers with the slick, ‘low-touch’ experience they crave (not to mention the ‘low-touch’ management for operators by avoiding physical keys and check-in). It’s no wonder that over a quarter (27%) of serviced apartment operators already use them. All available in one unified system. Just let that sink in. From customer-facing functions to back-office tasks, with res:harmonics’ serviced apartment property management software, you can release the shackles of inefficiency and grow your business without limitations. What’s more, as our software is created specifically for serviced apartment providers, we’re constantly adding new serviced apartment-focused features and innovative integrations to future-proof your business. Curious to learn more about our all-in-one PMS? Get in touch with res:harmonics and sign up to receive our upcoming Serviced Apartment White Paper direct to your inbox.
Release the shackles
All available in one unified system. Just let that sink in.
From customer-facing functions to back-office tasks, with res:harmonics’ serviced apartment property management software, you can release the shackles of inefficiency and grow your business without limitations. What’s more, as our software is created specifically for serviced apartment providers, we’re constantly adding new serviced apartment-focused features and innovative integrations to future-proof your business.
Download the Ultimate Guide to Serviced Apartment Property Management Software 2023 to learn how property management software supports serviced apartment operators.
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