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The Altos 2022: Optimise Extended Stays

The Altos 2022 panel sessions closed with a crucial topic of debate: how to optimise extended stays.Moderated by AltoVita’s COO and Co-Founder Karolina Saviova, the panel brought together best in class hospitality technologists and innovators – Andrew Kitchell, Founder and CEO of Wheelhouse, Florian Montag, Director of Business Development at Apaleo and Andy Conduit-Turner, Cartus’ Global Director of Sales and Technology Enablement.

The state of the extended stay market and the importance of data

The first question went to Andrew, whose company works on revenue management, pricing and financial intelligence for primarily short-term rentals, but increasingly more for corporate rentals as well.  Karolina wanted to get his opinion on why the extended stay market is so behind compared to leisure & travel short or mid-stay market in terms of technology. His response was that “extended stay operators are not making the best use of data in order to inform their supply pricing strategy as well as short to mid-stay are.”

Andrew advised that operators are still looking at “cost plus” pricing and other basic tools, and they are missing the opportunities of looking at the vast role of data to help inform everything from better pricing decisions, and merchandising decisions to optimising locations and more. He emphasised that there is certainly a “big opportunity to employ data now”.

The view from the software provider

At a time when the market is seeing a lack of supply, lack of staff, and an increase of bookings happening offline, our moderator Karolina asked the following question: “Taking into consideration the importance of compliance, what are the required features to manage and automate extended stays as a buyer?”. 

Andy highlighted “the importance of data validity that provides corporates with confidence when it comes to API feeds being passed on across the board, from suppliers, to RMCs to corporates. Data validity needs to be perfect so that they can be comfortable with introducing these software providers into their system, not only from a security point of view, but also the credibility of the data so that HR, Talent & Mobility professionals can present with confidence.”

Speaking from a property management system provider point of view, Florian said that, while technology such as Availability Rates and Inventory Systems will allow us to “connect to diverse booking engines through different channels to manage inventory that already exists for hotels, in the extended stay sector many systems at the moment don’t count nights, but rather months or weeks”, which makes it difficult to see certain patterns. He added that, “the reality is that the technology is there and is coming from the hotel sector and as these hybrid models continue to grow it will be able to enter the extended stay market more.”

How can corporates leverage this data?

According to Andy, the smart application and the intelligence and guidance that you can “give with good, robust, valid and diverse data is so powerful when you can use it effectively.” Imagine all the information we are gathering from the corporate housing space combined with the shipment of goods, and the onboarding of people buying houses. For Andy, if we can see this data together, we can make transformative changes to programmes and make meaningful recommendations and quantifiable changes. The wealth of this data is essential for making the right recommendations.

Flexible living and what it means for corporates

As the panel drew to a close, Karolina asked the panellists what can make the entire guest experience simpler and more welcoming to corporates. Andy pointed to anything that can make life easier, quickly. He mentioned how the pandemic provided examples of great innovation and creativity to help with this. Travel back to their home countries wasn’t readily available  so people on business assignments found they were having a lonely experience. The combination of this drove people to be more involved with local communities, learning a new language, making friends, or taking up new hobbies. Shared spaces for coworking or an on-site gym can go a long way towards making a house a home quicker. 

With this being the last session of the day, it was then time for the attendees to let their hair down and find out the winners of The Altos Awards 2022.

If you want to discover more about the 3rd annual Altos Awards and information on the sessions, speakers, and categories, click here

You can watch this session on demand here.

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