REAL ESTATE NEWS

OAKWOOD TURNS ATTENTION TO BRANDED HOSPITALITY SERVICES

Published on Friday, May 22, 2020

The Los Angeles-based firm plans to focus on growing its hospitality portfolio with plans to double its managed properties by 2025.

 

Los Angeles-based Oakwood, a subsidiary of Mapletree Investments, is shifting its focus to branded hospitality services and hospitality management. The firm plans to grow its hospitality portfolio aggressively, with the goal of doubling managed properties by 2025. This is a divergence for the company, which has until now focused on global housing solutions.

“Oakwood has a long tradition of servicing the accommodation needs of corporate companies globally, working with relocation companies and sourcing options for their customers,” says Dean Schreiber, CEO of Oakwood and managing director of Oakwood Asia Pacific, tells GlobeSt.com. “We have since built an exceptionally strong database of clients, and more importantly, come to identify and recognize their expectations, needs and wants. As we incorporated what we learnt from them into our own branded properties, it became apparent we were building a loyal client base that started asking when we would be opening more properties in locations we have yet to move into. They wanted the full end-to-end Oakwood experience beyond just access to a booking platform.”

This new strategy builds on the company’s current goals to grow its branded property portfolio. “In Asia Pacific, this serviced apartment model

has registered consistent growth with a strong market leadership position. We

carefully evaluated our business and identified the best areas for sustainable growth,” says Schreiber. “For us, the serviced apartment model creates new opportunities for growth across global regions and provides much needed flexibility for us to continue evolving in the hospitality market under the strength of the Oakwood brand.”

In March, Oakwood formed a strategic partnership with Dwellworks to operate and create service solutions for its properties and guests. Of course, shortly after, the pandemic changed the global travel market. “We are certainly watching everything that is going on in our industry, meeting internally and with industry leaders and guests to discuss what the future of hospitality looks like,” says Schreiber. “What we have been experiencing is an increase in demand for serviced apartments as the choice of accommodation. With social distancing being the new standard, and hygiene the new benchmark against which we will all be measured, the serviced apartment model ticks all the boxes.”

In fact, the pandemic has increased demand for serviced programs, like those that Oakwood is offering and developing. “We are being approached by many corporate companies to include our properties into their accommodation programs as well as investors who are seeing our properties remain open with healthy occupancy rates when hotels are closing amidst the pandemic,” says Schreiber. “The serviced apartment model and our room sizes offer the perfect work from home solution, allowing for self-catering when needed, yet with the option to be pampered on call.”

Oakwood has won clients with its reputation for servicing long-stay guests and providing in-demand services. “Owners like that we have a solid base business with our long-stay guests and the all-important short-stay demand that addresses the gaps between occupancies,” says Schreiber. “Of course, we are not immune to the impact of the pandemic, but we have certainly been relatively resilient and that gives us, our guests and owners confidence that we are the most stable and reliable model in the accommodation sector now and in the future.”