This week we chat with the young Katie Steele from Boutique London Lets about finding her first job and the most bizarre request she’s ever received from a client!
You’re a recent graduate. What made you want to enter the serviced apartment industry?
I’ve always been interested in property, London and sales and so I combined all these and learned about the serviced apartment industry. I actually went through a graduate company and that’s how I was formally introduced to Boutique London Lets.
How are you finding the industry so far?
I really like it. It’s very friendly, and everyone helps each other out, which enabled me to learn a lot more quickly. Plus the industry is really growing whereas not many industries are at the moment. I mean, in a year we’ve grown from a staff of 2 to 20 and it’s exciting to be part of something like this. I think operationally we’re really mature for how young we are.
Do you have any new properties in the pipeline?
Yes, we’re always working to expand so in the summer we will be taking on a few new blocks. We always take on blocks rather than separate apartments. All these will be based in London.
We noticed that you’re very active on Twitter. What do you think social media does for your business?
It’s not really my department but I think it keeps people informed. It’s not just for our ranking in Google, but more about generating awareness about our brand and creating a line of communication. We think it’s massively important.
To put you on the spot, who’s your favourite SilverDoorian?
Charlie… But also James Hood, who recently won a selection of sandwiches from us for booking the most room nights in our competition. He’s also the bluntest on the phone: he gets to the point and states what he wants.
How’s 2013 looking so far for you?
It’s looking good. We’re slightly leisure based as well so we have a lot of bookings already in place. Our leisure/corporate ratio is probably around 65:35, but we’ve been recently working at making it more corporate and it has completely turned around from previous years. We’re trying to rely less and less on leisure and focus our resources to reach a happy 50:50 ratio.
What was the most bizarre request you’ve received from a client?
I think it was a mirror above the bed – needless to say we didn’t book it!
What does SilverDoor do for your business?
You’re very friendly. We’ve only recently come back to work with SilverDoor as we started to target corporate business more, but I hope this continues and that our relationship continues to develop as we contribute to your portfolio of London serviced apartments.
Quick fire round
Twilight or Harry Potter: Twilight
Austin Powers or Charlie’s Angels: Austin Powers
Rough and ready or prim and proper: Rough and ready
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory or James and the Giant Peach: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Ryan Gosling or Ryan Reynolds: BOTH