What does it take to be a successful serviced apartment operator? Is it a case of opening multiple properties in a number of locations, or does the answer lie in specialising in a specific area?
Celador Apartments, an independent property partner we work with, provides high-quality accommodation in Reading. Andy Malone, Director of Celador, has lived in Reading all of his life and takes great pride in operating a successful business in the city where he was born and bred.
This is his story:
Talk us through the Celador story?
Celador was born out of a simple idea to provide serviced apartments independently. The real estate company I previously worked for offered serviced apartments, but not to the extent that I wanted. They were mostly a secondary part of business, and lacked the recognition they deserved.
Spotting this gap in the market, I founded Celador Apartments. The company has now been running for three years, and continues to deliver quality accommodation in the Reading area.
How did you come to operating in Reading?
I’m from Reading - still live there - and know the town like the back of my hand. For this reason it made good business sense for me to operate there.
As a Reading resident and businessman, I’ve been able establish a strong pool of local contacts to work with who trust the service I provide implicitly.
Commercially, Reading is a great place to operate. It’s home to many multinational companies, has a thriving retail centre, and is well connected by public transport.
What makes your offering in Reading unique?
Well for starters, we’re purely Reading-based, unlike other operators who have serviced apartments in multiple locations. We have absolutely no plans to operate in other locations and this enables us to focus all our attention on providing the very highest level of service to our guests at all times.
We genuinely love what we do and we take great pride in our professional yet personal approach. We offer a meet and greet service to all our guests and take time to show them around the apartment in as much detail as they wish to ensure they are completely comfortable and settled from the moment they arrive. And, with our extensive knowledge of the local area we are always on-hand throughout their stay to offer information or advice, should they require it.
We also have our own dedicated housekeeping team which allows us to offer a much more flexible housekeeping service to our guests, whilst also ensuring our very high standards are maintained at all times.
How did your original vision for Celador compare with where the business is now?
My objective for the company is unchanged:
“To provide the very highest level of service and accommodation along with true value and a positive customer experience at all times and to develop long term mutually beneficial relationships with all our clients and guests.”
Which is your most popular property and why?
I would have to say Riverside House. It lies right in the town centre, close to lots of bars and restaurants, and is our only property offering both two and three bedroom apartments. For this reason, it’s hugely popular with families and large groups.