Friday, 16. November 2018
Press Release Apartmentservice
That was SO!APART 2018: The Serviced Apartment World in Mix & Match
Hybrid hypes & walking apartment products: A summary of the 6th industry meeting
Berlin, 16 November 2018 - Where and what do serviced apartments currently stand for? What does the increasingly diverse clientele want? Have aparthotels served their time for the longstay? On 14 and 15 November 2018, the most important symposium for serviced apartments in the German-speaking region addressed and discussed the most dynamic trends in the segment. For the first time, SO!APART 2018 invited various industry players to Leipzig in the newly opened FELIX im Lebendigen Haus am Augustusplatz.
"Borders are blurring and new vendors are adapting concepts. As much as the serviced apartment market is at its peak for the time being, it is currently reinventing itself," said Anett Gregorius, owner of Apartmentservice, initiating the sixth SO!APART.
On 14 November 2018, she and moderator Kai Boecking once again welcomed around 200 expert participants and top speakers to a lively, two-day expert exchange on innovative projects, perspectives and plans in the temporary living segment. The conference started with an international market overview by Christian Strieder, Country Manager ASG of STR. "Germany and the UK are the strongest serviced apartment markets in Europe. However, the segment continues to be more strongly accepted in the UK than it is here", he underlined among other things.
Afterwards, Anett Gregorius not only presented exclusive figures on the current development of the serviced apartment market in Germany, but also analysed the reasons for the great dynamism in the segment. "Growth has resulted in a variety of products that will make it inevitable in the future to opt for a concept direction and thus a clear positioning," she recommended.
The segment is in a phase of major concept changes and new players. However, the struggle of terminology still remains a big issue. Therefore, Uwe Niemann, Head of Market Hotel Financing at Deutsche Hypothekenbank, as representative of the Serviced Apartments group in the Hotel Real Estate Working Group, presented a revised, even more differentiated version of the Temporary Housing Charter against this background.
In the panel "New Kids on the Block", Rupert Simoner, CEO of Vienna International Hotelmanagement AG, among others, spoke about what new concepts could look like with new details about the planned brand Vienna House R.evo and General Manager Kristin Oberweger from PhilsPlace, a new house in the rapidly growing Viennese market. Christian Scheuerl, Managing Director of MPC Micro Living Development GmbH, reported on new micro-living projects.
Rainer Nittka, CEO of GBI AG, in his lecture "Apartment goes Micro: Efficient use of space in serviced apartments" continued the micro trend theme and stated: "I am convinced that the guest does not notice whether a room is 19 or 22 sq. m in size. Instead, the furnishings and design must ensure that the guest feels that it is big enough."
Once again, the focus was on individual locations - this time Frankfurt/Main, "the German metropolis with the most dynamic apartment growth" as well as the five largest cities in Austria, Prague and Budapest. In addition, lawyers provided an overview of the current situation in the areas of taxes, public building law and civil law.
The second day of the symposium started with the Trend Researcher Oona Horx-Strathern. Her keynote speech "From living space to living space: lifestyles and living in the future" focused on the prospects for temporary living in the coming years. "In the future, serviced apartments will be able to offer a special way of living for different phases of life," she explained vividly. The smaller the units become, the more important it will be to provide a feel-good environment and community offers.
Afterwards Apartmentservice presented the tendencies of a guest study on the question: "Do we know what our customers really want?" According to this, guests in serviced apartments primarily appreciate the quality and generosity offered. Moreover, the majority of guests do not want to do without the kitchen and its equipment in the serviced apartment. Christiane Anstoetz, Head of Sales Marketing at Brera Serviced Apartments, and Matthias Blind, Managing Director of SMARTments business Betriebsgesellschaft mbH, were able to confirm this during the discussion on the question "What did Serviced Apartments stand for again?" The presenter, Sylvie Konzack, Editor-in-Chief of Bleisure Traveller, had previously outlined in her introductory lecture what journey the product had taken and asked whether the segment had lost its soul to some extent.
In the following panel, which was moderated by AHGZ Editor-in-Chief Rolf Westermann, Markus Beike from Staycity Group, Petra Hess from art3p and Georgios Ganitis from Adina Apartment Hotels, the question was raised whether apartment hotels have become obsolete for the longstay. Georgios Ganitis explained that shortstay ensures economic success and longstay helps to overcome weaker booking times. Petra Hess appealed to the industry in the sense of "Cobbler, stick to your trade!" to explain more precisely to the guest in future what they offer and what they don't offer.
After last year's success, the second "Flamingo's Nest" took place in the afternoon - the industry pitch for particularly innovative products that shows how much innovative spirit there is in the segment. This year MAMA STOVE, the Kitchen in the Box, convinced with its original and authentic frozen dishes for serviced apartments.
The innovative closing speech of SO!APART 2018 was under the trend theme Community: Johannes Menge, Development Manager Europe of Zoku Amsterdam, showed with the theme "Unlocking Real Estate Value: Value enhancement through community" where an exciting apartment trip can go sustainably.
Markus Lehnert, Regional Vice President Development of Marriott International, showed in his lecture "Where do we sleep tomorrow - and how?" among others, how Marriott can offer even more authentic holiday experiences by co-operating with a homesharing project in Europe. At the same time, he stressed how much air still exists in the segment: "30 per cent of all overnight stays in the hospitality sector today have extended-stay potential," he is convinced.
"We are still on the right track in our segment," concluded Anett Gregorius. "In the course of differentiation, it will be necessary in the future to know our target groups even better and to continue to create enthusiasm with a human offer, because that is the soul of the segment. Our host, the team from FELIX Suiten im Lebendigen Haus in Leipzig, showed us at his baptism of fire how this can be achieved with his impressive equipment and event concept and unbelievable cordiality".
SO!APART 2018 was supported by the renowned company PRO URBAN AG as part of an exclusive partnership.
The next SO!APART will take place on 13 and 14 November 2019.
Further press releases and images are available on request from Michaela Rosien PR at email@example.com or by telephone at +49 173-29 177 92.
About Apartmentservice and Anett Gregorius
Apartmentservice has been the expert for serviced apartments in Germany for almost 20 years and presents and mediates over 32,000 serviced apartments in around 120 destinations in Germany and worldwide on the portal of the same name. The business segment is supplemented on the one hand by strategic consulting for investors, project developers and (potential) operators in the special segment of serviced apartments. New developments and feasibility studies are the focus of the consulting assignments.
On the other hand, Anett Gregorius, as a pioneer and industry expert in the segment, is a speaker at many top-class events. An overview of her upcoming appearances can be found in the Anett Live section. Further information is available at apartmentservice.de and apartmentservice-consulting.de
About Serviced Apartments
Serviced apartments are aimed at business and private travellers for short- and long-term stays in large cities. The apartments are furnished in the style of private apartments, self-catering facilities are available. In addition, guests can individually choose from a range of hotel-like services and benefit from attractive rates that are 20 to 40 percent below the price level of comparable hotel rooms.
SO!APART is the industry meeting of the German-speaking apartment world. Every year for two days, top-class experts and industry insiders talk about exciting topics concerning the operation of special real estate as well as market developments, trends and perspectives. The presentation of the SO!APART Awards in currently six different categories is the festive highlight of the event. As an expert for serviced apartments in Germany, the apartment service is thus focusing on the best of the best and is driving the largest growth market of the local hotel industry forward. Information under so-apart.de.