As we are now back in California I’m reflecting on a great week in Atlanta and our third ERC conference.
Our team was excited to speak with so many RMCs, Corporate Housing Providers, Mobility managers and fellow technology vendors. The one conversation that kept coming up was: “Where is our industry headed in the future?”. The exciting part to me is that the future is now - and this is what drives us at Urbandoor. Our focus on making it easy for corporate housing providers to offer and operate serviced apartments for relocation isn’t just digitizing a bid process. We’re making finding and experiencing a serviced apartment as easy as booking a hotel on Booking.com or Expedia. Essentially, we are doing for apartments what Opentable did for booking a table at a restaurant: Make it so accessible that you make serviced apartments your first choice. Many corporate housing providers today are spending meaningful time integrating with platforms to offload their vacancy on leisure travel sites that require updating price and availability daily. We’re excited that providers on Urbandoor are instead investing their time in Urbandoor to deliver this real-time booking experience for relocation companies and their clients versus a few leisure travel stays. No need to wait, the future is here today.
We hosted a panel on Wednesday with a great dialogue between Robyn Joliat from ABODA and Andrew Livingstone from Greystar. What really came out during this conversation, was how the demand for alternative accommodations is growing and progressive multifamily owners and operators, like Greystar, are working to make it easier to open access to their inventory. Today the process is complicated and cumbersome and even the best providers like ABODA, put large amounts of resources into acquiring inventory every year. One of the providers in the audience even stated that “they felt like a vendor versus a customer” in many cases even though they were the one writing the check. This is a challenge when Corporate Housing Providers sign tens of thousands of leases every year and they aren’t getting the relationship they need. If, through the introduction of new tools and technology, this process can be simplified, then providers can streamline the supply chain and put more time into delivering great experiences, not chasing leases around. We’re excited about the opportunities to contribute to the growth of relocation and we have a lot planned for the summer to make it easier to offer and operate serviced apartments.
I can’t end without thanking the ERC team and while I’m sure I’ll leave people out, a big thanks to Micki, Cici, Shab and everyone else who helped us with our booth, panel preparation and everything else they did to make our week smooth and productive. We’re excited. The future is now.