What are Serviced Apartments? Fast-Track to Smart Investing



The Insider @ Houst
Last updated on
February 13, 2024

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What are Serviced Apartments? Fast-Track to Smart Investing

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Welcome to the world of serviced apartments! These unique accommodations blend the homely comfort we all cherish with the top-notch convenience of a hotel. Imagine having the best of both worlds during your travels – that's exactly what serviced apartments offer.

So, what are serviced apartments, you might wonder? In essence, they are fully furnished apartments available for both short and long stays, providing amenities that go beyond what you'd find in a standard hotel room. Picture this: your own kitchen, ready to whip up your favourite meal at any time, laundry facilities within your reach, and perhaps even a gym or pool to relax after a long day.

The appeal of serviced apartments is broad, catering to an array of needs. Whether you're in town for a quick business trip or enjoying a lengthy holiday with your family, there's a serviced apartment out there that's perfect for you. Their versatility is a key reason why they're becoming a favourite choice among travellers.

And it's not just about the convenience and comfort. The concept of serviced apartments is revolutionising the accommodation sector, offering a more homely and flexible alternative to traditional options. The trend is catching on, with business travellers and holidaymakers alike embracing the unique blend of home and hotel that serviced apartments provide.

In essence, serviced apartments stand as a testament to the evolving needs of today’s travellers, offering a smart, comfortable, and flexible accommodation solution.

Table of Contents

What Are Serviced Apartments?

Serviced apartments are the epitome of modern, flexible living, offering self-contained, fully furnished accommodations that make you feel right at home, no matter where you are. Available for both short and long stays, they bridge the gap between the traditional rental market and hotels by providing a comprehensive living solution. What sets serviced apartments apart is their ability to grant guests autonomy and the flexibility of a lifestyle that isn't confined by the typical constraints of hotel living.

Key Features of Serviced Apartments

Imagine stepping into an apartment that not only promises the comfort of your own space but also the luxury of hotel-like amenities. That's what serviced apartments bring to the table:

  1. Space Galore: With one or more bedrooms, a living area, and at least one bathroom, there's plenty of room to live, work, or play.
  2. Home Comforts: A fully equipped kitchen awaits those who love a home-cooked meal, complemented by the convenience of in-apartment laundry facilities, linen, and towels.
  3. Stay Connected: Fast internet access keeps you connected, whether for work, entertainment, or keeping in touch with loved ones.
  4. Weekly Housekeeping: The 'service' in serviced apartments includes regular housekeeping, ensuring a clean and comfortable environment throughout your stay.
  5. Amenities Plus: Many places offer hotel-style perks such as 24-hour reception, fitness centres, swimming pools, restaurants, and communal lounges.

Serviced Apartments in the UK: A Closer Look

In the UK, serviced apartments shine as a beacon of convenience and luxury. These accommodations are fully furnished, include a kitchen, and are designed for both fleeting visits and extended stays. What makes them particularly appealing is the inclusivity of utility bills and hotel-esque amenities like maid service and around-the-clock customer support. Located in the heart of cities and towns, they cater to the needs of business and leisure travellers alike, offering more space, privacy, security, and flexibility compared to traditional accommodation options. Whether you're in London, Edinburgh, or any other vibrant UK city, a serviced apartment is a perfect base to explore from.

Serviced apartments, especially in the UK, stand as a testament to modern accommodation solutions, perfectly blending the comforts of home with the luxuries of hotel services. They represent an ideal choice for those seeking a more personal and spacious living arrangement while away from home.

How Do Serviced Apartments Work?

Diving into the operational intricacies of serviced apartments reveals a model of flexibility and convenience that's hard to match. Unlike the traditional rental market, where leases can tie you down for months or even years, serviced apartments offer a liberating alternative. They are available on a nightly basis, or for any duration that suits your needs, from a short weekend getaway to longer-term stays.

Flexibility is Key: Serviced apartments break free from the constraints of regular rental contracts. Whether you need a place for one night, several weeks, or more, these accommodations adapt to your schedule, not the other way around.

A Home Away from Home: At the heart of a serviced apartment is the promise of a fully furnished home, complete with all the comforts and conveniences you're used to. This includes a fully equipped kitchen, separate living and sleeping areas, private bathrooms, and reliable internet access.

Hotel Luxuries in a Private Setting: Imagine enjoying the perks of hotel living – like laundry and cleaning services, and sometimes even a gym – all within the privacy of your own space. That's the serviced apartment experience.

Economic Advantages: For the property owner, the appeal is equally compelling. Moving a property into the serviced accommodation sector can significantly increase returns compared to traditional long-term rentals. The daily rates for serviced apartments far surpass those of standard 6-12 month tenancies, reflecting the added value and flexibility they provide to guests.

Serviced apartments operate on a principle of simplicity for both guests and owners. Guests enjoy the ease of booking and living in a space that feels like home, while owners benefit from the lucrative returns of short-term rentals. This model has made serviced apartments a popular choice among travellers looking for an accommodation option that combines the best of both worlds: the luxury and services of a hotel, with the space, privacy, and autonomy of a private apartment.

Making Money from Serviced Apartments

The journey into serviced apartments as a business venture is an exciting intersection of real estate and hospitality. For owners, mastering how to make money from serviced apartments hinges on a blend of strategic management and market savvy. Serviced apartments, primarily owned privately, often operate through a leasing agreement to operators. These operators then manage the day-to-day rental to guests, either on short-term or long-term bases. This model provides a flexible framework for income generation, directly influenced by the ebb and flow of the tourism industry.

The success of a serviced apartment investment is intrinsically linked to the health of the tourism sector. A vibrant travel and tourism environment translates to higher occupancy rates and, consequently, better rental returns. However, the savvy owner doesn't just rely on bed occupancy to turn a profit. Offering ancillary services such as car rentals, laundry, and airport transfers can significantly enhance revenue and profit margins. This approach not only diversifies income streams but also elevates the guest experience, making the property more attractive to potential renters.

Strategies for Profitability

Understanding your target market is the cornerstone of profitability in the serviced apartment sector. Whether catering to business travellers, tourists, or families, tailoring your marketing efforts to these specific segments can dramatically increase your property's appeal and occupancy. Modern property management systems are invaluable in this regard, automating booking processes, simplifying administrative tasks, and ensuring seamless communication with guests. By minimising vacancies, adopting flexible pricing strategies, and prioritising guest satisfaction, owners can significantly boost their serviced apartment's profitability.

Investment Considerations

The profitability of serviced accommodation is heavily influenced by its location. Properties situated in bustling tourist destinations, major business hubs, or areas with a consistently high demand for short-term accommodation are more likely to yield lucrative rental incomes. However, it's also crucial to consider the seasonality of your target market, as this can impact profitability. High-quality offerings and exceptional service can justify premium rental rates and attract a more discerning clientele, further enhancing the investment's appeal.

Market Demand

The serviced apartment sector in the UK is a burgeoning market, leading Europe in terms of size and growth potential. Predictions indicate a robust expansion of the sector, with over 27,000 units forecasted by the end of 2022. This growth is not only a testament to the sector's vitality but also highlights the increasing demand for serviced apartments beyond traditional city centres, spurred by rising city rates and the lure of more spacious accommodations in less congested areas.

In conclusion, making money from serviced apartments requires a deep understanding of the market, strategic operational management, and the ability to adapt to the changing dynamics of the tourism industry. With the right approach, serviced apartments can be a highly profitable venture, offering both financial rewards and the opportunity to meet the evolving needs of modern travellers.

Choosing the Right Serviced Apartment

Finding the perfect serviced apartment might feel like looking for a needle in a haystack, but it doesn't have to be. With the right approach, you can uncover a gem that ticks all your boxes, from location to amenities. Here’s how to make the selection process as smooth as possible.

Start with Accreditation

Before diving deep into the amenities and services, ensure the serviced apartment provider is accredited. Accreditation, such as from the International Serviced Accommodation Accreditation Process (ISAAP), is a hallmark of quality, safety, and service. It's a reassurance that the provider adheres to the highest standards in the industry.

Location Matters

The significance of location cannot be overstated. Whether you're in town for business or leisure, the right location can enhance your stay exponentially. Consider the purpose of your visit and choose an apartment that minimises your commute or is close to the main attractions. Don’t forget to check what the neighbourhood offers – supermarkets, dining options, and pharmacies add convenience to your stay.

Amenities and Services

The amenities and services provided can make a world of difference:

  • Housekeeping, maintenance, and a 24/7 concierge or reception desk are not just luxuries; they are essentials that ensure a worry-free stay.
  • Accessibility to public transportation can also be a game-changer, especially if you plan to explore the area extensively.

Lean on Reviews

Reviews from previous guests are invaluable. They offer a glimpse into the actual guest experience, covering everything from the quality of service to the comfort of the accommodations. Look for consistent patterns in reviews to get an honest assessment of what to expect.

Know Before You Go

Gather as much information as possible about the serviced apartment before making a decision:

  • Size, layout, and the inclusion of a fully equipped kitchen should align with your needs.
  • Enquire about the minimum stay requirements and any available discounts for longer stays. This can be particularly beneficial for extended trips.

Unique Stays and Audience Considerations

Don’t shy away from unique accommodations that offer a different experience from the standard hotel room. Consider your own needs or those of your group. Families may need more space and cooking facilities, while business travellers might prioritise a desk and high-speed internet.

By taking these tips into account, you can confidently select a serviced apartment that not only meets your expectations but exceeds them, ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable stay.

The Benefits of Choosing Serviced Apartments

Serviced apartments have carved a niche in the accommodation sector, appealing to a wide range of travellers by offering flexibility, cost-effectiveness, and a level of comfort that feels like home. Let's explore why they're such a hit across different visitor categories.

For Business Professionals

  • Space and Functionality: The spacious living and dedicated work areas in serviced apartments ensure that business professionals can comfortably manage their work tasks without feeling cramped.
  • Cost-Effective Dining: With fully equipped kitchens at their disposal, professionals can control their dining expenses, making extended stays more economical.
  • Flexibility: The accommodating nature of serviced apartments suits the unpredictable schedules of business trips, providing a seamless experience for professionals on the move.

For Families

  • Room for Everyone: Unlike standard hotel rooms, serviced apartments offer ample space, meaning families can spread out and enjoy their own areas.
  • Home Comforts: The presence of a fully equipped kitchen is invaluable for families, particularly those with specific dietary needs or young children.
  • Routine Maintenance: The ability to maintain a normal routine brings a sense of normalcy for younger family members, easing the transition to a new environment.

For Long-term Visitors

  • A Taste of Local Life: Serviced apartments offer the unique opportunity to live like a local, providing insights into the neighbourhood and community that hotels simply can't match.
  • Economical for Groups: For teams or groups seeking accommodation, serviced apartments present a more budget-friendly solution compared to multiple hotel rooms.
  • Unmatched Flexibility: The option to do laundry, cook, and host gatherings makes serviced apartments an unbeatable choice for those preferring a more homely atmosphere during extended stays.

A Superior Accommodation Choice

Serviced apartments stand out as a superior choice for anyone looking for more than just a place to sleep. They combine the best aspects of traditional hotel amenities with the added benefits of space, privacy, and the convenience of home-like facilities such as kitchens and laundry. This unique blend not only caters to the practical needs of guests but also offers a more personalised and comfortable stay.

Whether for short business trips, family vacations, or long-term stays, serviced apartments provide a flexible, cost-effective, and comfortable alternative to traditional hotel accommodations. Their popularity among contractors, health workers, professionals, and vacationers alike underscores their appeal and versatility. With serviced apartments, guests can enjoy the freedom to live, work, and relax on their own terms, making them a smart choice for modern travellers.

Final Thoughts on Serviced Apartments

Serviced apartments emerge as a lucrative investment within the accommodation sector, offering a versatile solution that caters to the evolving needs of diverse travellers, from business professionals and families to long-term visitors. For investors, professional landlords, and realtors, this growing market segment promises not only high demand but also the opportunity for significant returns, thanks to its operational flexibility, cost-effectiveness, and comprehensive array of amenities that blend the comfort of home with the luxury of hotel services. Embracing serviced apartments as a focal point of short-term rental portfolios can unlock unparalleled profitability and growth, positioning investors at the forefront of a shifting accommodation landscape.

The Insider @ Houst

The Insider @ Houst

The Insider team at Houst is dedicated to providing up-to-date and relevant information on short-term rentals. If you have hosting inquiries, please write to us at expert@houst.com. For guest inquiries, reach out at guest@houst.com. We are here to help you navigate the world of short lets and look forward to assisting you with your needs.

The Insider @ Houst

The Insider @ Houst

The Insider team at Houst is dedicated to providing up-to-date and relevant information on short-term rentals. If you have hosting inquiries, please write to us at expert@houst.com. For guest inquiries, reach out at guest@houst.com. We are here to help you navigate the world of short lets and look forward to assisting you with your needs.

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