Transforming Furnished Apartment Rentals

Simplified Sourcing while Keeping Quality High and Driving Costs Down

 
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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

The travel group at EY had five big problems when it came to booking accommodations:

  1. They had too many vendors

  2. Vendors differed by region

  3. There was no central data or transparency

  4. There was no way to drive price down through demand aggregation

  5. Layered supply chaing; increasing costs and slowing the process

Through a recommendation, the travel team turned to Urbandoor: a global marketplace for furnished apartments built for professionals. There, individuals and agents can shop, select, and book vetted apartments, with experienced providers, easily online. There are no individual hosts or private homes. This aggregation of work-ready apartments with experienced providers made the process of finding appropriate housing much faster and often more cost-effective, while also streamlining vendor management and providing more transparency. In one example, the travel group saved $50/night by booking on Urbandoor for the same apartment quoted by previously preferred provider. The lower pricing was due to being able to book directly with the leaseholder versus paying additional broker fees. Using Urbandoor also freed up the travel team to focus on other responsibilities and ensured all lodging was Duty of Care compliant.

Urbandoor makes my job easier. I’ll have options on Urbandoor before I even have a request confirmation email from others. It’s also easier for the person staying in the apartment. I can’t recommend Urbandoor enough.”
— Travel Manager

BEFORE & THE CHALLENGE

Operationally, managing travel for thousands of consults across six continents is no small feat. The furnished apartment supply chain, additionally, is notoriously blackbox and inconsistent, especially across continents. Travelers each have unique needs and care about where they’re going to be living, even if temporarily. This makes finding apartments for each traveler time-consuming and costly. Individuals would also find apartments outside of the travel group on their own, exposing the company, and possibly team members, to unnecessary risk. To address these challenges, the travel group had centralized vendor management, which was a growing operational burden as the firm’s business grew.

The EY travel team wanted a solution where they could empower individual consultants to arrange their own lodging as well as make assisted bookings more efficient, while still meeting internal standards and reducing risk. Enter Urbandoor.

 Empowering travelers and increasing efficiency were main goals.

Empowering travelers and increasing efficiency were main goals.


 Urbandoor is a global marketplace for furnished apartments built for professionals. There are no private hosts or homes. Search, review and book with ease while remaining Duty of Care compliant.

Urbandoor is a global marketplace for furnished apartments built for professionals. There are no private hosts or homes. Search, review and book with ease while remaining Duty of Care compliant.

THE SOLUTION

As a global marketplace for professionally-managed, furnished apartments, Urbandoor (1) aggregates vendors, while allowing buyers to maintain local decisioning; (2) Provides a more intuitive digital experience employees expect for accommodations; (3) Provides a central, consistent, and transparent booking process and; (4) Leverages scale to reduce costs.

By eliminating supply chain layers, Urbandoor enables better choice and cost-savings to buyers, as well as reduces acquisition and management costs to its suppliers. Because its platform is connected to real-time pricing and availability data on the property side, it’s able to offer instant booking - just like a hotel. Being a true marketplace versus apartment provider, and offering instant booking on furnished apartment geared toward professionals is a major advantage relative to other online sources.

The EY travel team worked closely with Urbandoor to rollout the program to more than 2,000 Travel Managers, as well as their global workforce. Ongoing Account Management ensures that the travel group continues see value and is a partner in developing new features. In the words of one Travel Manager:

 

Your team created this awesome product and I am the beneficiary of that!! It’s easy to promote something when it makes my job easier and the experience has been great.”
— Travel Manager
 

AFTER & RESULTS

To date, hundreds of team members have signed up and begun booking apartments through Urbandoor. The Urbandoor Net Promoter Score for the firm is 100 and consultants have 4.5/5 Customer Satisfaction score.

The best evidence of program success is that the Mobility at the firm has also rolled Urbandoor out in its US and UK markets for it’s relocation needs.  

  • UD has book over 3000 nights across 25 US Markets; capturing 50% of their market share

  • San Francisco savings: UD apartments 47% less expensive than 4 Star Hotels

 

 

 

Rolling out Urbandoor to our mobility team makes all the sense in the world. Our travel partners are huge fans and we’re excited to see similar benefits in Mobility.”
— Global Mobility & Reward Director