“Serviced living” is a term used by the property industry to describe premium hotel-style services that are packaged up and sold to residential owners and/or tenants. Historically this has been a lifestyle concept offered in partnership with an established luxury hotel brand, and has been the exclusive preserve of ultra high-end developments such as One Hyde Park or The Knightsbridge (read more in this FT article). But not any more. This is now a segment of the market that is evolving fast and shaping the future of London’s residential property market.
IS IT FOR ME?
In our constant struggle to balance work and family life, Londoners have a seemingly insatiable appetite for hassle-free convenience. Demand for premium (nay luxury) hospitality services is now exploding across a far broader demographic; from corporate executives and ex-pats through to young professionals and affluent foreign students. Influenced by the mindset of New Yorkers and Californians, London’s ambitious “cash rich, time poor” residents are increasingly comfortable quantifying the “opportunity cost” of having zero downtime. It’s a simple equation:
Time and headspace saved doing low-value chores = time and headspace created to spend on high-yielding activities that potentially generate exponentially greater long-term health, wealth and happiness.
This value proposition is further reinforced when the services are provided by individuals who are professionally trained, equipped and materially incentivised to do them way better than you ever would/could, thus raising your overall quality of living.
HOW IT WORKS?
When renting a qualifying property (house or flat), prospective tenants have the option to subscribe to a comprehensive package of accompanying hospitality services. A single monthly payment provides access to the following core services:
- Housekeeping: hotel-style housekeeping with daily or weekly service options.
- Bedroom & bathroom linen service: fresh, clean, luxury bedroom and bathroom linen provided daily/weekly.
- Luxury toiletries: a constantly topped-up range of branded luxury toiletries.
- Home essentials: loo roll, dishwasher tablets, dishwasher salt and basic amenities.
- On-demand maintenance: free call-outs to diagnose and fix maintenance issues.
- Concierge: a personal assistant on call to help book your travel, tickets, tables at restaurants, etc.
THE FUTURE OF RESIDENTIAL LETTINGS
As a landlord, working with a managing agent who can offer premium hospitality services around your property unlocks a number of major benefits:
- Attract more applicants. Gone are the days of simply offering a “furnished” or “unfurnished” house/flat to the market. Landlords can now offer a differentiated rental proposition with optional hospitality packages around their property to enhance the range and quality of services on offer.
- Attract better quality tenants. Appeal to highly sought after corporate tenants looking to unlock personal productivity and improve the quality of their downtime with fully-serviced living.
- Reduce maintenance costs. Housekeeping staff systematically report back on any wear and tear on a weekly basis, proactively notifying the landlord of any noticeable damage, cause for concern or evidence of abusive tenants.