Simpler, clearer and highly topical - this is how the new "Temporary Housing Charter" can be summed up. Developed by the specialist group Serviced Apartments of the Working Group Hotel Real Estate under the leadership and initiative of Anett Gregorius, it is now freely available to all players in the segment, associations, municipalities and authorities. In an interview, Apartmentservice owner Anett Gregorius reports on a new allocation of serviced apartments and an expansion in the DACH region.
Ms Gregorius, you had already developed a market matrix with your Apartmentservice team a few years ago. Why the new charter now? What are the differences to the previous overview?
In view of the large growth and various new concept mixtures in the market, we had set ourselves the goal within the so diverse serviced apartments expert group to make the new charter less complex and at the same time more uniform in the use of terms in order to make the segment better known across borders and easier for newcomers. We also wanted to position serviced apartments more clearly than ever. I think we have succeeded in both. In the general new overview of terminology, the classification of concepts and types of establishments is simple and clear via the degree of service and the length of stay. We have removed the apartment size factor here because it is no longer a criterion for the classification of certain concepts due to the general trend towards space efficiency. On the other pages of the charter, we take up more in-depth aspects in separate tables and definitions of terms so that everyone can gain a comprehensive view of the segment. But above all, we have established a new fundamental demarcation in the Charter: For the first time, serviced apartments are exclusively classified as commercial concepts. They always have cooking facilities and are designed for longer stays. This includes typical hotel services, which vary in scope depending on the concept and can be found in the self-catering "apartments with service", formerly "classic apartment house", or in the service-rich "aparthotel".
How can you use it to proactively approach cities and municipalities?
Anyone can request the charter, and as a specialist group we make it available for download to all interested associations, institutions and authorities. We want to enter into dialogue with the cities - where are their problems, where are ours. With the Charter, we want to give them an instrument with which they can better understand our segment, recognise how we should be understood today with all our differentiations and thus offer solutions for strained housing markets - for example, modern, lively neighbourhood projects that also integrate serviced apartments as contemporary housing and hotel alternatives. Our goal is to have the term serviced apartments included in the Building Use Ordinance. In this way, we can eventually stimulate further growth.
Der Markt internationalisiert sich stetig mehr. Inwiefern hat die Charta auch über Deutschland hinaus Relevanz?
In diesem und in den nächsten Jahren feiern zahlreiche internationale Brands in Deutschland Premiere. Mit der Charta soll es ihnen leichter fallen, die Marktbesonderheiten hierzulande im Blick zu haben und so bestmöglich auch bei uns durchzustarten. Aktuell ist die neue Charta auf den deutschen Markt zugeschnitten. Die Fachgruppe arbeitet aber bereits mit Partnern im DACH-Raum an einer Adaption für Österreich und die Schweiz, vor allem hinsichtlich der lokalen baurechtlichen Gegebenheiten. Greifen noch mehr Länder diesen Gedanken auf, so könnten wir auf europäischer und weltweiter Ebene mit einheitlichen Begriffsdefinitionen das Segment noch viel bekannter machen und im Wachstum fördern.
The market is becoming more and more international. To what extent is the Charter also relevant beyond Germany?
This year and in the coming years, numerous international brands will celebrate their premiere in Germany. The Charter should make it easier for them to keep an eye on the market peculiarities in this country and thus to get off to the best possible start here. Currently, the new charter is tailored to the German market. However, the expert group is already working with partners in DACH region on an adaptation for Austria and Switzerland, especially with regard to local building law conditions. If more countries take up this idea, we could make the segment much better known and promote its growth on a European and global level with uniform definitions of terms.
The questions were asked by Sylvie Konzack.