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How to run a successful serviced apartment with a property management system

The landscape for the serviced apartment industry is both tough and promising. On one hand, serviced apartment operators face increasing competition from traditional hotels, aparthotels, short-stay lets and other innovative living models. On the other hand, the serviced apartment sector is one of the fastest-growing hospitality segments with serviced apartment stock set to rise by 21.2% over the next three years. 

Operators that use a serviced apartment property management system to run their portfolio are best-placed to rise above the challenges and take advantage of the opportunities, especially when focusing on these four areas. 

Automation

Automation makes management simpler, freeing up operators’ time to focus on customer needs and value-enhancing activities. From automatically sending marketing emails and personalised quotes to robust accounting and taking payments for invoices, a serviced apartment property management system has it all, and can synchronise various parts of your business, increasing efficiency and minimising human error. 

Yet, automation doesn’t just apply to administrative tasks. Take housekeeping, for example. Effective cleaning and maintenance of units is essential to any successful serviced apartment business. Management software can automate most of the operations. Operators can assign staff rotas and provide temporary door access remotely, while cleaners can follow online checklists, upload photos and log cleaning times digitally; providing proof of cleanliness and reams of helpful management data in the process. What’s more, customers can control housekeeping preferences using an app, to select the frequency and thoroughness of a clean, which automatically updates management and the housekeeping team. 

(Zero) Friction

Automation isn’t just a management benefit, it also provides what the modern serviced apartment guest craves: a frictionless experience. Like the Netflix of entertainment and Alexa of home living, today’s guest wants a seamless serviced apartment stay from booking to check-out. That’s a frictionless reservation process with automated quotes and a simple booking portal. That’s a frictionless arrival with online check-in and keyless access. That’s a frictionless stay with smart appliances and a responsive guest app. That’s a frictionless departure with digital check-out and automatically-generated invoices. 

What’s more, frictionless serviced apartment operations can also bolster a company’s ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) credentials. According to Savills 2022 European Serviced Apartment report, 42% of operators think ESG will be an important driver for demand, and frictionless services - i.e. automatic thermostats and light sensors - will be another boon for operators.

Optimisation

What’s the best price to maximise revenue and occupancy? How should I encourage extended stays? Which site is the best channel for different units? These are questions that all operators face, but finding the answers can be tricky and time-consuming. A serviced apartment property management system makes working out your ‘optimums’ minimal effort. 

A real-time availability calendar increases occupancies, reduces gaps and boosts revenue. Dynamic pricing automatically updates your unit prices according to demand, competitor pricing and availability. Using features like ‘stop-sells’ remove booking clashes, while features like PriceLabs Orphan Gap Filler enables operators to reduce stay durations and rates for ‘in between’ bookings to minimise voids. What’s more, an effective channel manager for serviced apartments not only spreads multiple units across multiple sites, but also synchronises bookings to ensure that you’re maximising revenue. Operating a mix of serviced apartment units is one thing, optimising their use makes for a successful operator. 

Information 

The most successful serviced apartment businesses make smart, calculated decisions based on data, not gut feeling. In the past, gathering this data was almost as cumbersome as analysing it, but serviced apartment property management systems have made the process a simple click of a button. Now, serviced apartment software not only gathers detail on everything a serviced apartment operator needs to run their business more effectively, such as average length of stay, average lead time, revenue by channel and seasonal occupancy, but it also displays these findings on an easy-to-manage dashboard

In addition, operators can use in-built CRM software to capture customer information, such as demographics, preferences and channels, that makes for efficient marketing efforts, great guest experience and repeat custom. From choosing the right metrics and devising key KPIs, to analysing and applying data frequently, a property management system can transform operations for serviced apartments. 

Designed with you in mind

There’s a range of property management systems on the market, but res:harmonics is the only  specifically-designed  serviced apartment software. Combining industry knowledge with tech know-how, the res:harmonics all-in-one customisable platform caters for serviced apartment operators’ needs today and tomorrow.

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