From a Diploma Thesis to a Successful Company
Everything started with a diploma thesis with the subject: “Presentation and Evaluation of The Development Trends of Serviced Apartments in the German Accommodation Market on Structural and Economical Criteria.” – it may sound dry, but it isn’t! Quite the contrary – Anett Gregorius has been working on the topic of serviced apartments since 1998. Her focus is on apartments with a homely character, where guests get a sense of well-being and the feeling of being at home during business trips. During her studies, she had already realised that she is not so much interested in the food & beverage area but rather oriented towards the lodging sector. This should become her destiny.
One of the most important impulses was an accidental meeting during her studies, which strengthened her with the following words: “Girl, if you do this right, it can become big…” At this point in time the idea to make the niche segment more popular in Germany was still in its infancy.
After her successful studies she went travelling, among other countries also to Australia. There, the market of serviced apartments had already been established. After six months Anett Gregorius returned to Germany with many new impulses and great impressions. She then worked in different positions in the Berlin hotel industry to gain practical experiences. At the same time she founded her enterprise Apartmentservie Consulting as a one-woman-show – and nobody could predict how successful it would become years later.
The First Years
She actively made contact to operators of apartment houses, won them over for her newly founded concept and was the first who provided serviced apartments on an internet platform in Germany. Now the operators had a contact person in the segment and they came with specific consulting questions to Anett Gregorius. Due to this direct demand she took on the role as a consultant and therewith founded a second business division. By the way: The conclusion of the first enterprise contract didn't work out as smoothly as planned. The Hotel Purchasing Manager of Siemens AG wanted to sign the contract at her home office. Under big efforts the young entrepreneur re-designed her private flat into an office, but then just before the appointment took place he called her into a hotel lobby… After that episode she decided that a real office was required! Due to numerous consulting contracts and the successful work of the agency of serviced apartments the team grew in the following years. Everything went smoothly and very well indeed!
Through Thick and Thin
Until the global financial crisis! Due to the effects of the crisis on the business travel market Apartmentservice had to accept a heavy blow. A major reduction of travel activities incurred big losses for the intermediary business of Apartmentservice and the budget cuts also affected the consulting jobs of Apartmentservice. At this point Anett Gregorius gained many important experiences that no study can teach. Reluctantly, the team of Apartmentservice had to be reduced. For many people that would have been the point of giving up, but not for Anett Gregorius. She held on to the concept she had established over the years and kept her faith and trust in a fast recovery of the market. She was right, as soon as travelling started to increase again the enterprise got new projects and the clients came back to employ her consulting services once again.
Incidentally, the idea to give an award to the best serviced apartment was born during a business lunch. Once again Anett Gregorius had her finger on the pulse of the time. With a lot of passion and power she and her team developed the SO!APART, a meeting for the serviced apartment industry. With a lot of media attention, the best serviced apartments were honoured with an award on a glamorous evening event for the first time in 2013. Once more, she had the courage to realise an idea and to build a brand. It was a highlight for her enterprise and a statement for the segment.
Hence, Anett Gregorius, who is a mother of two, has been running Apartmentservice with ups and downs for 20 years now. The key to her success is largely based on a regular client base as well as a high recommendation rate. With quality, competence and continuity Anett Gregorius expects to stay longer…
Overview of the Company History
|Expansion. More online bookable offers. The once belittled niche has currently overtaken the hotel industry in almost all key figures.|
|The "Apartment of the Future" is officially opened as part of Apartment.Base 4.0 in Unna. One of the responsible project partners is Apartmentservice.|
|Apartmentservice launches the online bookability for long term stays in serviced apartments. The SO!APART celebrates its five-year anniversary. For more transparency: Apartmentservice and Boardinghouse Consulting merge to: "Apartmentservice. Consultant + Agent for Serviced Apartments". Rebranding according to the newly-developed Temporary Living Charter.|
|15 years ago Anett Gregorius introduced Apartmentservice as a brand. Thus, 2016 is the 15th anniversary year. The expert agent for finding serviced apartments offers more than 20,000 apartments in over 120 destinations. Also, for the fourth time, Apartmentservice invites guests to the industry meeting SO!APART and is expecting more than 200 guests at this year’s event. Apartmentservice and further partners present "Temporary Living Charter" for more structure, a consistent terminology and greater market presence.|
|Together with six renowned partners the Apartmentservice introduces "THE BEST FOR LONG STAYS" – a label with which especially serviced apartments suitable for long-term stays (from 28 nights) are marketed. The third SO!APART takes place, for the first time with simultaneous translation facilities for international guests.|
|The SO!APART takes place for the second time in Hamburg. The website www.apartmentservice.de is relaunched. The offer of Apartmentservice increases to more than 12,000 serviced apartments worldwide. The certification system of serviced apartments is handed over to the VDR. Within the first year 29 apartment houses were successfully certified as Certified Serviced Apartments.|
|The meeting for partner houses turns into the industry meeting SO!APART. In this context the first awards for the best serviced apartments in Germany were given. The website www.so-apart.de goes online.|
|The offer of Apartmentservice increases to more than 11,000 apartments worldwide.|
Apartmentservice turns 10 years old. Currently, more than 8,000 apartments are available in Germany and worldwide. The anniversary catalogue is published; the website www.apartmentservice.de is relaunched.
Apartmentservice co-operates with Excellent Business Center, a leading operator for quality-oriented business centres in Germany.
All national and international houses are centrally offered on www.apartmentservice.de.
Apartmentservice looks to its neighbours: In the current catalogue, more than 50 partners worldwide are represented. For the first time, apartments in Austria are among them.
|Start of an exclusive co-operation with DERTOUR for city apartments in German metropolises|
Apartmentservice goes international: relaunch of www.apartmentservice-international.com with about 800 apartments in 19 countries. Apartmentservice begins a co-operation with www.business-travel.de. Apartmentservice, in co-operation with TÜV Rheinland, provides the first official certification system for the classification of serviced apartments.
An extensive customer survey takes place and forms the foundation for building a system for quality rating of serviced apartments.
The first meeting for partner houses in Berlin is the beginning of a regular forum for an exchange of experiences within the niche segment. The print catalogue with 24 houses in eleven German cities is released for the first time and is updated and extended every year.
The brand Apartmentservice is introduced. Relaunch and renaming of the internet platform into www.apartmentservice.de.
Boardinghouse Consulting is founded by Anett Gregorius and the internet platform www.boardinghouse.de with about 30 serviced apartments houses is launched.