Jul 20, 2022
In an insightful conversation with Skift, top industry leaders — Alex Chatzieleftheriou of Blueground, Jason Fudin of Placemakr (formerly WhyHotel), and Heena Patel of Travel + Leisure Co — shared their unique business models and strategies, spotlighting the innovative future of the accommodation industry.
Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash
Blueground: A Unique Solution for the Modern Nomad
Blueground focuses on flexible, long-term rentals, providing fully furnished, premium apartments for stays of a month or more. The company uniquely caters to the growing segment of “global nomads"—professionals who often relocate for work or individuals seeking an extended stay in a new location. Blueground’s model eliminates the need for multiple rental agreements, offering customers the ability to switch locations within their network seamlessly. They plan to launch a new product, promising better rates for their customers, considering the lifetime value of these customers far exceeds the acquisition cost.
Placemakr: Bridging the Gap Between Hotels and Apartments
Placemakr (formerly WhyHotel) operates in the flexible accommodation space, blending the concepts of hotels and apartments. The company focuses on four main customer segments: long-term unfurnished renters; short-term tenants often sponsored by businesses; individuals requiring interim housing; and transient renters. Placemakr competes with traditional apartments, extended-stay hotels, and vacation rentals by offering additional services such as linen, cleaning, and even dog washing. A significant differentiator is their 24/7 on-site staff, which enhances the living experience and makes it convenient for residents.
Travel + Leisure Co: Personalized Vacations for Every Customer
Travel + Leisure Co believes in putting the world on vacation. The company, known for its timeshare products, adopts a customer-centric approach, providing products based on individual preferences. They emphasize that customer acquisition in their space is about personalization. Their portfolio appeals to different customer types, from millennials to families, and acquisition strategies vary from digital outreach to relying on word-of-mouth from long-time customers.
The Evolution of Accommodation
Each of these companies is reshaping the lodging landscape with innovative business models. The shift from conventional hotel stays or apartment rentals towards more flexible, customer-centric offerings represents a significant evolution in the sector. These innovative strategies are a testament to the industry’s adaptability and commitment to serving changing consumer needs.
This conversation is a clear indication of how the accommodation industry continues to evolve and innovate, offering personalized, flexible, and convenient solutions to modern consumers. Such industry advancements present exciting opportunities for travelers, entrepreneurs, and investors, promising a future where everyone finds their ideal home away from home. See the full video of the Skift interview below.