Only 30% of Serviced Apartment Operators Have Closed Buildings, Says Survey
By Harvey Chipkin
Only 30% of serviced apartment operators have closed buildings, according to research by Serviced Apartment News. A survey of 36 companies of various sizes also found that 58% have not laid off staff; more than 70% have had discussions with landlords about rent reductions or rent holidays; 36% have suspended contracts with suppliers of goods and services; and 68% expect business travel to bounce back before leisure travel. Estimates of how long it will take for business to return to pre-pandemic levels vary from a month to more than 18 months. The respondents were also asked what strategies have helped their companies, and replies included: much shorter notice to vacate terms – down from 30 days to 3 days to allow for maximum flexibility; regular contact with staff, owners and investors; and using down time to roll out new cleaning procedures and try out new marketing ideas. Asked how the pandemic might permanently affect business, some said it was necessary to find a model with less risk – the traditional long-term lease with fixed rent no longer being viable.