From their ethos and dedication to their clients, to their interior design and commitment to innovative technology solutions for their properties, the group strives to make their mark in the hospitality industry by pushing the boundaries of a serviced apartment stay.
“I would say that VISIONAPARTMENTS means mostly innovation and very strong growth,” says Paweł Gawor, CEO of Vision Management Services, which manages portfolios for the group. “Basically everything makes VISIONAPARTMENTS different from any other serviced apartments provider on the market.”
That very strong growth is reflected in the group’s portfolio, which is already larger than your average serviced apartment provider, and quickly expanding. “Today we have about 1800 apartments in 28 buildings,” explains Global Sales Leader, Kat Kunze. “I think we'd like to double that in about two or three years time. So we’re ambitious.” But it’s not only their own portfolio of properties that they are growing. “We have about 200 partners and it’s about, I would say, more than 130,000 apartments that we are able to give to our clients,” she continues.
Kat says that it’s the connection that they have with their guests and their brand loyalty that helps VISIONAPARTMENTS to expand their partnerships. “Corporate clients come up, saying, ‘Hey, Kat. I love your apartments in Zurich... But I need to stay somewhere else, or I need to send someone somewhere else.’ And that's mostly in the middle of nowhere, where nobody has any apartments, or on the other end of the world. And we look for apartments to get them into. These apartments which look a lot like VISIONAPARTMENTS and share the same spirit that we have.”
It’s this VISIONAPARTMENTS spirit that sees guests not only consistently returning to the brand, but sees them spending millions of Francs at the “Concept Store” on the group’s website – purchasing elements from the apartments to incorporate into the design of their own homes. The design and sense of style is also what Kat thinks defines the brand itself. “If you look at our apartment inventory,” she explains, “they are all unique in different ways, but all of them will have a stylish touch to it.”
Paweł agrees that design is one of the four factors that set the group apart, the others being price, location and technological innovation. “How important is technology for VISIONAPARTMENTS? I would say it's probably the most important,” he asserts. These innovations have included the implementation of their Concept Store, installation of electronic locks to facilitate automated check-ins and check-outs, and development of an entirely customised property management system (PMS).
“There are a lot of PMSs that do not have all the tools, or all the features, or all the components that we need,” says Kat, “and many of them are also made for hotels, not for serviced apartments. So we went and we sat down, we wrote down descriptions, requirements, and we put out a bid. And now we have been building it for a few years… And it's totally unique on the market, because it has been built for and by a serviced apartment company.”
“Of course,” Paweł adds, “we should mention about the feedback and reputation management system, which is GuestRevu, which brings a lot of value to our company so we can make a better product for our clients.”
It seems only fitting for a company that is focussed on relationships with guests and partners, that VISIONAPARTMENTS’s first interaction with GuestRevu was in person with Suzie Groves, Sales Operations Coordinator, and Mark Evans, Business Development Manager, at a conference in London.
“The way Suzie and Mark were listening to us,” says Kat, “the way they were really focussed on answering our questions, and also the way we connected that day made things suddenly unique. We were using another platform at a time, but Suzie and Mark convinced us somehow to have a test done on GuestRevu. It took us a few months to do some trials, to do some pilots. At the end of the pilot we just decided to let go of the other platform and move 100% toward GuestRevu.”
And since moving over to GuestRevu, interactions with the team, from meeting management, to training, to speaking to support, have all affirmed that the decision to change to GuestRevu was the right move.
“To adopt GuestRevu in VISIONAPARTMENTS, I must say it was really well done and quite quickly without any problems,” says Operations Director, Natalia Kupis. “The training phase was very good and well-prepared, so we didn't have any huge problems with this. It took less than two weeks that the whole team were trained, and we were able to use the tool with all its functionalities.”
“GuestRevu support was really nice and useful at the beginning to help us set up all the right questions, and to also help our support team to read some of the answers,” Kat agrees. “That was really useful for us to pinpoint what we need to send out.”
“GuestRevu is really essential for serviced apartment providers,” Natalia explains, “especially because a lot of our properties don't have front desk and reception areas anymore. So the contact with our guests is quite limited.” As a group that places high importance on their relationships with guests, GuestRevu helps VISIONAPARTMENTS to find a balance between providing guests with a seamless serviced apartment experience, and ensuring that the experience is all that they hoped for.
“As Operations Director, It's really important for me to know our client’s satisfaction of our service,” says Natalia. “That's why we're really happy that we have this tool to check and to track the feedback from our clients.”
And the feedback that the group is receiving from their guests is being put to good use across their departments, from marketing and sales, to housekeeping and inventory. “It has helped us identify what are the issues in our properties,” explains Kat. “What we're doing well, what we're doing wrong, so we have finally some KPIs that we're able to use to target the right people.”
“In some cities like St. Sulpice,” she explains, “we have seen a huge increase of answers coming from our guests. And St. Sulpice at that time was our newest building. So GuestRevu just came in a timely fashion and helped us bring in some reviews right away, to put ourselves nicely on the market.”
And it’s not just in new properties that VISIONAPARTMENTS are seeing an influx of feedback. Since starting with GuestRevu, the group has received over 5000 reviews, almost 2000 of which are survey responses, providing the properties with the insights that they need to direct their operations. And not only are management receiving more feedback than before, the online reviews themselves have higher ratings. On TripAdvisor, for example, GuestRevu’s Platinum Partnership with the review giant has seen VISIONAPARTMENTS as a group receiving 361% more reviews with an average rating that is 8.5% higher than the reviews that the properties receive organically through the platform.
“We have also been taking these reviews and pushing them as social images, pushing them on our brochures, and they’re helping us to spread the word," Kat continues. "And these are words coming directly from the clients. They are not words coming from ourselves, or from partners. So in a way it gives us authenticity, and it gives truth to the review.”
On a larger scale, Kat explains that the reviews that they’re getting from their guests are helping VISIONAPARTMENTS to effect changes in their properties. “We have knowledge from our clients, the reviews they're leaving us, and we are able to get insight from this to impact our business right away, and to know what to do with our guests, and what to do with our own inventory.
“Before we had some knowledge, but now we can go deep into it. We can aggregate comments from our guests about a specific building, or a specific type of apartment — what are the issues, positive or negative. So we are able to make changes based on the insight we get.”
“You can see Zurich is doing well,” Kat offers as an example, “or a specific unit in Zurich has been rated outstandingly... and it helps us even decide where to do the next renovation, where we don't have to do it right now.”
The group has also been able to improve and the services that they offer thanks to the feedback that they’ve gotten from guests through GuestRevu. “We received feedback a few times from guests that they needed a workplace,” says Natalia, “and thanks to this we were able to launch our shared office concept. So without GuestRevu, we probably would not be informed about this demand for those products or services.”
The feedback that VISIONAPARTMENTS is getting from GuestRevu is also helping with their internal processes. As Natalia explains, “we really needed a better tool to be able to track all changes, and also so that we would be able to share that information between departments, and create some reports so that we see exactly what kind of problems do we have in which properties.”
Since implementing GuestRevu, the departments are communicating about the feedback that guests provide. “For example,” says Natalia, “if we receive negative feedback about the cleaning service, then this information is passed to the cleaning department and operations departments, so we know that we have to improve this. We can always check what's happened, and then we can always come back to the client and apologise.”
“When I see that cleaning quality is going down in a certain location, or a guest does not really like the interiors in particular apartments, then we send a specialised crew to analyse if everything is okay,” Paweł adds. “And then of course we'll make proper adjustments to improve ourselves for the clients. GuestRevu is the perfect tool for that.”
With GuestRevu helping VISIONAPARTMENTS in so many ways, it could be hard for the staff to pinpoint what their favourite part of the platform is, but not for Kat. “I love the reporting part,” she says. “That's where I look at how things are. That's the part I like the most because I don't go into too much detail on things. Operations, they do that. I like to see how our properties are doing. What is our trend? Is it positive or negative? Is it going down? Up? We can see it right away on a snapshot. We don't have to send out manual surveys. We don't have to ask every single guest. We get that insight coming straight from one dashboard.”
And from the Operations side, Natalia couldn’t be happier. “I think GuestRevu, it's the best product available on the market compared with other competitors, which we all of course checked before. I must say we're really satisfied with those tools and we are very happy that we chose that one.”
“GuestRevu has enabled me to understand how good our product is,” says Paweł, and Kat agrees. “If you want to get knowledge about your own inventory,” she adds, “if you want to gain knowledge about what your clients are thinking and keep thinking of you, you need to have GuestRevu.”
Global Sales Leader, VISIONAPARTMENTS
Operations Director, VISIONAPARTMENTS
CEO, Vision Management Services
Operations Director, VISIONAPARTMENTS