Big, bigger, future

By Sylvie Konzack

What stands for the future of living and hosting is worth thinking about further. A look at the future of current trends in the serviced apartment segment - and a focus on two that bring huge potential: Co-Living and Bleisure.

The future of the segment will be decided by the numbers - together with the dynamic mega-trends, the mix of players and the new, large-scale interplay of living relevancies. Temporary living and especially the concept of serviced apartments have a huge potential to become one of the most important forms of living in the future. "Temporary living" would thus not be a bubble that threatens to burst because there could soon be too many offers for too few artificial needs. Rather, our old housing model, which is geared towards permanence, is becoming one of many. And temporary housing is becoming a phenomenon and expression of the new understanding of life, economy and work. Micro-apartments are establishing themselves as a dominant temporary form of living due to the reduced availability of space and new co-concepts - whereby guests and residents will soon signal their minimum limit, below which they will no longer feel at home. Also because business travellers want to be valued in the "war for talents", millennials are used to a certain level of comfort and the co-living concept cannot absorb everything. A new flexibility and non-commitment will define the market. Station X will quickly become station Y, communities here will be exchanged for new communities there. Possibly increasing in the process is the need to check into the same, familiar housing brand product on the other side of the world. Individual apartments with service could knit an offer with global cooperation partners that serve the same furnishing style, the same co-style and the same, data-precisely deposited services. As an Airbnb principle for the professional long-stay sector, so to speak. For housing itself, this means that wherever people are, they are looking for a "hygge" home feeling. "Where we live is becoming less important, whereas how we live is becoming more important," is how Oona Horx-Strathern describes it in her "Homereport 2019." Home is reduced to a sense of well-being. It is changing from a physical place to a mobile, flexible offering. A lot of interior design is about "breaking free from digital lifestyle dependency and always-on" - with more sensory, natural-analogue materials like wood and leather, and post-digital services that enable "mindful living". Thinking ahead, Temporary Living could develop into an architectural style of its own.


It's all about co-mindset

Be that as it may - sociologists, cultural scientists and futurologists will find many new fields of research in the world of temporary living in the coming years, revolving primarily around the big new buzzword of community. The "Future Report 2019" already calls it the "comeback of cooperation". According to it, man is no longer the rational-egoistic type, but continues to develop into a social being "who searches for meaning, emotionality and innovation by means of cooperation" in order to deal with the reality that has become so complex.

Co-living becomes a concept of life. To an analogue longing for uniqueness and haptics - in the form of the retro living room, the chicken coop or in community and proximity activities like dog sharing. Much of this is about the principle of like-minded people "joining forces" with their common interests and creating a new, inspiring "we". Apartment operators not only offer the space for this, but become moderators, animators and psychologists. The view of current concepts is already remarkable, led by big players like Ollie, Common, The Collective and Quarters or by new ones like Hmlet from Singapore. The makers of The Collective play the theme of community a lot in-house with the yoga terrace, the laundromat with disco ball and their own in-house event programme. At Quarters, the focus is also on joint activities with the residents out of home. At Ollie, the Ollie Living app connects everything and everyone with each other. Parallel to the "come together", some projects now also rely on the power of desire. At "Projects" or "Norn", for example, you have to register and more or less apply to be accepted into the circle with the same mindset. The residents join an exclusive club, so to speak, and let themselves be surprised by the life that awaits them in the coming months - always in search of the same mindset and their own "tribe. With the focus on the same mindset, mindful living is growing among like-minded people regardless of age and generation. Lifestyle communities will dominate, intervening in the entire lives of the residents. The topic of community is becoming mainstream.


It's all about bleisure

Bleisure remains for the future moment - as a travel trend instead of a living trend. Because business travellers, especially millennials, are increasingly discovering the appeal of bleisure, i.e. the private extension of a trip by two or three days for sightseeing, sports & co. According to the study "Chefsache Business Travel 2019", an initiative of travel management companies in the German Travel Association (DRV), 72 % of the business travellers surveyed have already combined work and leisure in this way. Especially those who travel more than three times a month on business are becoming Bleisure Travellers (80 %) - and to a surprisingly high degree also the executive floors: Eight out of ten managing directors combine the business trip with a (short) holiday. So far, the Bleisure scope is diverse. Be it by leaving a few hours later (approx. 30 %), by spending time with the partner or friends in the same hotel during or after the pure business trip (21 %) and most frequently by adding one or more overnight stays to make the most of the trip itself for leisure time (approx. 50 %). "When I talk to business travellers about Bleisure, most of them immediately know what it's about and start talking about their own experiences," explains travel journalist Kai Böcking, who himself spends 200 days a year travelling for business and launched Bleisure Traveller, the first online travel magazine on the topic, in 2018. "Especially for apart-hotels with many short-stay stays in business travel metropolises like Frankfurt am Main, the marketing of Bleisure offers would be an opportunity to generate even more occupancy on weekends. Cities such as Munich, Vienna or Paris stand for bleisure per se, because many people want to discover the city privately afterwards and sometimes catch up with their families. "But queuing at the Eiffel Tower or drowning in the sea of people at Piccadilly Circus is not necessarily the measure of all things, especially for Bleisure trips. On the other hand, the travel experiences and demands of many business travellers are per se high and more demanding. In the case of serviced apartments and, above all, long stays, the special principle applies that business travellers are already on site and undertake bleisure trips between work, so to speak. This is where personal excursion tips or individual tours by the team of the apartment operator come in handy. Cooperation with leisure destinations is also interesting for the future, for example, by offering the serviced apartments building as part of a mountain hut weekend. In the future, it will be more and more about different, individual offers from one house. The variety, the added value and the difference that serviced apartment operators can show even more comprehensively with Bleisure offers. As those who have always better understood the guest and their modern living, living and working needs.