Serviced apartments and build-to-rent (BTR) are hospitality cousins that share much of the same DNA, but require distinct management approaches - especially when housed under the same roof.
From guiding different customers through bespoke booking journeys to catering for diverse in-stay preferences, managing two asset classes in one building used to be an operational nightmare. But with res:harmonics’ unified property management software, our clients can seamlessly manage their mixed-use BTR and serviced apartment development from one system.
Client Case Study
Hamilton Apartments is a brand new mixed-use development (at launch there was a 80% BTR, 20% serviced apartment split) in Hemel Hempstead, set up by leading serviced apartment operator Viridian Apartments (formerly known as Flying Butler), which has around 500 serviced apartments across London and south east England.
Both asset classes are managed by the same res:harmonics platform under two distinct brands (Viridian Apartments and Mura Living). Specific apartments are allocated to each brand on the res:harmonics PMS with system users able to access the whole portfolio. As such both assets can be managed by exception, but also provide one overarching set of data for senior leaders.
“Expectations of today’s renters are high and with our 25 years’ experience in residential services, we are well-positioned to deliver a cohesive, quality rental service for both BTR and serviced apartment guests with the support of res:harmonics,” Bala Balasubramaniam, COO, Viridian Apartments and Mura Living.
Here’s how it works in practice.
Bespoke customer booking journey
Enquiry and application process
Potential customers browsing the Viridian site for short-stay serviced apartments or the Mura Living site for long-stay BTR can make an enquiry via the online forms. Mura Living applicants can also book an apartment tour directly via email. During the sales call, the salesperson will ask for key details (i.e. move-in date, duration, apartment type) to determine the type of guest and calculate a personalised quote. The customer quote is automatically emailed from the res:harmonics PMS with links to either the short-stay or long-stay application process.
During the application process, short-stay and long-stay guests require different levels of verification and due diligence. While short-stay guests can book directly via OTAs and Viridian’s website (as well as via serviced apartment agents and Viridian’s sales team), longer stay guests need to undergo financial checks and legal compliance before they check-in.
Thanks to the integration with res:harmonics, Mura Living sends BTR applicants a branded digital application process that includes a Know Your Customer (KYC) verification and right-to-rent check (powered by Canopy), digital contract signing for both individual and corporate clients with DocuSign and an online inventory process (through integration with HIVE). The result? A slick process for customers and an even slicker process for management.
“Thanks to res:harmonics PMS and valued tech integrations such as HubSpot, Canopy, HIVE and DocuSign, we’ve been able to support the onboarding and operational requirements for this mixed use business model. The team at res:harmonics played an integral role in planning the integrations necessary and this expertise was hugely valued,” Bala Balasubramaniam, COO, Viridian Apartments and Mura Living.
In-stay operational demands
Dedicated in-stay service
One of Mura Living’s USPs is a “dedicated service team” to ensure its guests enjoy a stress-free stay. Catering to this, res:harmonics has in-built PMS features for in-stay guest needs across BTR and serviced apartments.
Take housekeeping, for example. res:harmonics PMS provides Mura Living with the operational flexibility to provide a range of housekeeping services in its mixed-use development, such as daily cleans for serviced apartments and weekly cleans for BTR units.
What’s more, the easy-to-use nature of the res:harmonics system frees up management’s time to focus on guest experience, such as running the shared amenities available at Mura Living’s Hamilton Apartments, which includes a wellness suite, gym, media room, coworking space and resident lounge.
Stress-free financial management
Automated payments & accounting
Whilst short-stay guests are likely to pay upfront at the time of booking, year-long BTR contracts are unlikely to pay 12 months in advance. With res:harmonics, all our clients using the system can use separate accounts integrated within the PMS so that short-stay customers don’t need to pay a deposit and can book directly - either paying upfront or after their stay - through a simple, secure payments process. After a long-stay guest has passed verification checks, the res:harmonics system automatically sends an invoice for the first month’s rent via credit card or direct debit. After full contract signing, the customer will sign up for Direct Debit that collects rent every month. The system also sets up automated activities for the reservations team to renew contracts before the term ends.
Two brands with different models under one roof could be an accounting headache, but thanks to the res:harmonics finance integration, our clients’ accounts can be handled error-free and stress-free. Meanwhile, using the digital inventory (signed at booking) software, res:harmonics property management system also minimises any friction at the end of a guest’s stay over potential breakages or replacements.
Effortless and connected
Mura Living’s mixed-used development is specifically designed to offer ‘effortless and connected places where attention to detail meets homely comfort’. Thanks to the res:harmonics all-in-one PMS, the management team was able to put this design firmly into practice.
Download the Ultimate Guide to Serviced Apartment Property Management Software 2023 to learn how res:harmonics property management software supports mixed-used residential operators like Mura Living.
Request a demo to find out how res:harmonics can help you deliver an effortless and connected service.