Dwellworks Living Global Corporate Housing Solutions - Dublin

Part 2 | Know Your Customer, Earn More Business

In the first installment of Know Your Customer, Earn More Business, we discussed how pandemic-related realities have affected clients around the globe and how they have shifted their expectations – presenting an interesting challenge to all of us in the hospitality and serviced accommodations industry. Travelers and guests now value safety above all, along with our ability to provide housing that is conducive to giving them peace of mind. In this piece, we will present best practices and key takeaways discussed in our November 5 education session sponsored by CHPA | Corporate Housing Professionals Association: “Increase your Corporate Customer Conversion”. 

Changing the Perspective 

It is no secret that the global pandemic took everyone by surprise, forcing changes across every industry in the world. Tracy Hayes, President, CWS sees these adjustments in a different light: “Let’s use this as an opportunity. There are real improvements in our industry that have come out of this. We have implemented better practices: we look at doing things now more efficiently and safer. We’re listening better to our clients and learning from each other in the industry about needs going forward. Providers and partners that are willing to be really flexible and innovative will be here in the long run.” In this same vein, Bonnie Sicora, President, Korman Communities, explained that both current conditions and the foreseeable future gave her and her team the chance to look “for new ways to do business. We got creative and began looking for industries that we had never worked with before. We asked ourselves, how do we find that new business?” This allowed Korman’s Sales and Marketing teams to become even more imaginative and innovative. 

Understanding your Client’s Need 

Jackie Charney, Director, Global Supply Chain Management, Cartus shares vital insights about what influences relocation management company (RMC) clients to convert a ‘request’ into an ‘order’: “It’s interesting how the key drivers influencing the need for temp living really vary by company, by industry, and even geographic location.” In her experience, a key factor is a company’s work from home/remote work policy, and she adds, “some companies have a very specific policy, others do not, many have had to develop it only recently. If the employer supports working remotely – does that employee need to be in the same country or state as their team? Or can they continue to support in their home country? The answer to where the employee can/must reside will definitely influence the company’s decision on short term housing or temporary living.”

In line with that, Ms. Charney continues: “there is also a greater need for office space to be set up in temp accommodations. We have seen more requests for not just a desk and a chair but, a more formal office space since people are not leaving the apartment.” Another element that mustn’t’ be overlooked is the protocol in place to support guest quarantine: “We will often look to our corporate housing providers to assist with things like stocking groceries or giving the employee/guest information about the services they can access during a mandatory 14-day quarantine.”  

Communicating Duty of Care 

Tracy Hayes, President, CWS mentioned that when the pandemic impact started, she and her team “worked so hard to have a process in place to run the business. Our focus was on understanding what the concerns were and coming up with a creative solution.” The concerns were captured under the broader heading of Duty of Care. It is now a commonly accepted practice in the industry that the duty of care elements should be prominently featured on property websites and in guest services communications. Safety and security will be the first and most important criteria in customer evaluation and selection. Independent validation from trusted sources such as, ASAP | The Association of Serviced Apartment Providers, are key indicators valued by corporate clients and business travelers alike.

For corporate housing operators, this means presenting properties at ‘consumer-grade’ quality. Professional photography and video tours, updated and contemporary furnishings, digital guides to local amenities and services (especially food delivery and other and consumer services while guests are still in conditions of quarantine or limited external mobility), embedded digital maps so guests can familiarize themselves with their destination, and an appealing message of customer services and support from digital check-in/keyless entry to ease of change management, should customer concerns arise, are all ‘plus’ factors in aligning with consumer expectations.  

What About the Cost?

It remains top of mind. Travel management companies, relocation management companies, and corporate employers are aware their supply chain partners have taken on the extra cost to upgrade their health and safety protocols in environments of lowered traveler volume, but these clients are also dealing with the need to control their internal costs, even as their businesses begin to return to ‘normal’ business travel and mobility patterns… a recovery which may take a few years to fully stabilize. 

In this cost-conscious environment, clients will be looking not only for price-competitive options but for proof points of business stability and continuity. Are suppliers able to both make the investments necessary and continue to operate their business on lowered revenues for the short term? In the face of any major impact events, whether post 9/11, the 2008-9 recession, or the coronavirus pandemic, businesses invariably have to change their course, evaluate their operating practices, and, in some instances, consider consolidation or even sale of the business. Corporate buyers of travel services will be looking with interest at the stability of their supply chain, and while pricing will be key, sustainability will be paramount.

Embrace New Tech

Everyone in the value chain is subject to the balancing act of service and cost, and the most successful partners will be those who invest in operational efficiency and maximize the use of technology and data analytics to manage their response to requests for hosing and their internal needs for maximizing occupancy. Dwellworks Living manages requests from clients and opportunities for our 2300+ global housing partners through our epic™ platform. This platform is a rapid-response tool through which we source supplier responses to client-specified requirements. Suppliers increase their likelihood of earning bookings by keeping their profiles, images, content, and pricing up to date and offering appealing amenities such as pet services or family-friendly/work-friendly layouts.

Keeping this data current and ready to respond to demand is essential in this time-sensitive service sector. In the words of Debbie Woodley, Director, Global Supply Chain, Dwellworks Living, “We’ve seen guest and client expectations soar year over year and have seen challenges and innovation from competition and disruptors. At the forefront, technology and platforms have become the norm. We know these expectations are here to stay and undoubtedly, we will face new ones to come. It’s our responsibility to take the lead with new ideas and solutions, given the amount of feedback and information our clients have shared.

The Value of Partnerships

Debbie Woodley at Dwellworks Living explained: “Everyone in this industry is familiar with interdependent partnerships whether it be our clients and guests, our properties and vendors or our supply chain partners, we all depend on each other to succeed. Customers want competitive rates, resulting in cost savings, suppliers want access to buyers and demand, and ultimately, both customers and suppliers seek higher conversions, predictable revenue, guest satisfaction and of course, repeat opportunities.” 

Similarly, Bonnie Sicora, President, Korman Communities, added that “the use of partnerships is so important; now more than ever we’re relying on each other. We have to remember that if we do well together as a partnership, our clients will win. And that brings more business to everybody.” Knowing that we’re all working well together during these uncertain times is a good indicator of success, for the short and long-haul.

To sum up:

  • Make duty of care a fully embedded practice in your property management and guest experience
  • Present your properties from the perspective of a discerning customer who knows they have choices and options
  • Operate your business to strategically maximize technology and ease of doing business, and thereby control costs and pricing
  • Deliver a memorable customer experience. Fortunately, great customer care is the core competency of all great hospitality providers
  • Value and create solid partnerships in the industry


In the end, all service is local. Volume and efficiency can drive a great price, but only on the ground local expert can deliver a memorable guest experience.

At Dwellworks Living, we extend the local capabilities of our supplier partners by offering in-market service consultants in hundreds of markets worldwide.

We can offer settling-in and familiarization services for the employee-on-assignment as well as partner with local suppliers and landlords to find distinct, ‘off-market’ solutions for special needs and circumstances. Ultimately, high-quality experiences at the property, validated by the customer are the most reliable way to ensure ongoing, repeat business.

Dwellworks Living: Global Solutions for Corporate Accommodations 

Dwellworks Living is committed to providing our clients and their employees with the best possible corporate housing and serviced accommodations experience. With a global network of property partners, a tri-regional team of customer experience and supply chain professionals, and a wide range of services for global mobility and travel customers, Dwellworks Living can provide the perfect corporate housing solution for any need or budget.

Dwellworks Living is the global corporate housing solution of Dwellworks, an award-winning, business-to-business provider of global mobility and business travel services. As a global leader in corporate housing and serviced accommodations solutions, Dwellworks Living is uniquely positioned to meet the temporary living needs of businesses and their employees who are relocating or traveling on short-, medium- or extended-stays. With 60,000 high-quality professionally managed properties in over 125 countries worldwide, Dwellworks Living is the preferred housing solutions partner of many Fortune 1000 and leading relocation management companies.

Dwellworks Living's corporate housing and serviced accommodations solutions are designed to help businesses attract and retain top talent, support employee productivity, and ensure a smooth and successful relocation or business travel experience. In addition to our core global accommodations management services, Dwellworks Living, through our worldwide network of local experts, is uniquely capable of offering our clients expanded and related services, such as area orientations, group move assistance, destination services and intercultural training.

Whether you have corporate housing needs for an individual employee or a large team, Dwellworks Living can provide the serviced accommodations solutions you need anywhere in the world to ensure a safe and successful stay. Please contact us to learn more or visit our Properties page to begin your search for global corporate housing accommodations.

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