Save the date for the next SO!APART
11 and 12 November 2020
Review of the industry meeting
13 and 14 November 2019
Felix im Lebendigen Haus am Augustusplatz, Leipzig (Germany)
SO!APART 2019 industry meeting: The serviced apartment world in Germany is growing even faster than previously predicted - and the concepts are growing with it
Big, bigger, visions: the seventh German industry meeting in retrospect
"We will already reach the 100,000-unit-mark in 2026 instead of 2030, as predicted so far," announced initiator and organiser Anett Gregorius at the start of SO!APART 2019, "Even if the hotel industry should possibly experience an economic downturn, the serviced apartment segment will continue to grow as a problem solver and temporary form of living - especially with a view to the long-stay. The SO!APART 2019 took place under the motto "Big, bigger, visions" in Leipzig. More than 200 participants attended the most important symposium for the serviced apartment segment in German-speaking countries at “Felix im Lebendigen Haus am Augustusplatz”.
"The market is on fire", Christian Strieder quoted his colleagues at the London STR headquarters at SO!APART 2019. According to STR's Country Manager DACH, the serviced apartment segment performs better than the classic hotel sector worldwide. In an international comparison, Germany currently has the highest occupancy rate. "The segment in this country will again grow by 60 percent until 2021 and will already break through the 100,000-unit-mark in 2026. And this despite the fact that since 2019 we have only been counting commercial units," added Anett Gregorius, founder and owner of Apartmentservice.
With a view to the new forecast, she and moderator Kai Böcking greeted more than 200 expert participants and top speakers on November 13, 2019 for a two-day expert exchange on market developments, trends, perspectives and projects in the temporary living segment. Four "New Kids on the Block", Stay Koook, Stayery, Limehome and the capsule concept Area24/7, presented themselves with a lot of dynamism at the sold-out Felix in the Living House on Augustusplatz in Leipzig. "We are a product from Millennials for Millennials", Hannibal DuMont Schütte, co-founder of Stayery, made very clear in terms of marketing. Dr. Josef Vollmayr, co-founder of Limehome, emphasised how they want to grow into the operator with the most locations with extremely short implementation times.
In addition to many other topics, one of the presentations once again focused on a single location - this time Berlin with its large pipeline of international players and the new variety of concepts. In addition, attorneys Marc P. Werner and Dr. Mathias Schönhaus of Hogan Lovalls talked about investable operator contracts and tax bases in terms of FF&E. Matthias Rincón from iPartment and Hauke Fischbeck from the Cresco Capital Group then discussed to what extent the distinction between commercial and residential housing is still relevant. "Due to the lack of legal certainty, this question will continue to occupy us for the next ten years," said moderator Marc P. Werner.
The second day of SO!APART, which has developed more and more into one of the most important network platforms, was held under the motto "Mindset, Brand and Community". Keynote speaker Dr. Marc Schumacher, Managing Partner at Liganova, made it vividly clear that the future will be about "competition between business models" and an experience economy. The serviced apartment sector as an analogous, "traffic"-strong "location" is an answer to life and work trends as well as to the future.
Petra Heß from Solopreneur Art 3P presented the apartment service survey on the significance of serviced apartment brands and, together with Henrik von Bothmer from Union Investment Real Estate and Matthias Niemeyer from Adina Apartment Hotels, identified a clear need to sharpen profiles in the segment. In the subsequent co-living panel, journalist Sylvie Konzack discussed with Niels Berl of The Collective, Rosa Höhn of Vonder and Anja Mueller of Adagio the growth potential of co-living through extended age groups, to which everyone was open. The main focus of the sustainability panel was on how crucial overall concepts from construction to guest and employee communication will be in the future. At the investment panel, Uwe Niemann, head of the Deutsche/Hypo hotel financing market, finally worked with representatives of GBI, The Collective and Sauer Real Estate AG to highlight the diversity of current financing channels in the segment.
For the third time, the "Flamingo's Nest" took place, the industry pitch for new, innovative products in the segment, in which WeWash and Mama Stove emerged as winners in previous years. In 2019, the jury chose the RefresherBoxx, which neutralises unpleasant odours from clothing without washing.
"Once again during the industry meeting we could see how sustainable the expansion mood in the segment is, because people not only stay here overnight but also stay longer and are picked up with other needs. Should there be an economic downturn in the hotel industry and in general, the serviced apartment segment will nevertheless continue to grow, because the demand generators are based on evolutionary social changes," market expert Anett Gregorius is convinced. At the end of the event, she invited to the next SO!APART on November 11 and 12, 2020.
SO!APART 2019 was supported by the renowned companies PRO URBAN AG, ADAPT APARTMENTS and Adina Apartment Hotels as part of an exclusive partnership. With their product portfolio, they represent the wide variety of concepts in temporary living and underline the rapid development in the sense of the conference motto "Big, bigger, visions!”
The SO!APART is meanwhile THE industry meeting in the German-speaking area. The decision makers of the segment meet there to network and international brands sound out the market. The conference program therefore not only addresses the most important topics of temporary living, but also provides many opportunities for interactive exchange.