Julie Inglis from Parkhill Serviced Apartments speaks to us about the temporary accommodation market in Aberdeen and what draws so many people to the city.
Why do serviced apartments see so much business and high levels of occupancy in Aberdeen?
The oil industry consistently draws huge amounts of business to Aberdeen with the many oilrigs in the North Sea. Oil companies are expanding and there are a lot of construction projects being undertaken with four new business parks currently being built in the city. It’s difficult for construction companies to house their workers cheaply with the prices of hotels – midweek rates are usually double or triple the price of weekend stays due to high demand during the week. So Parkhill keeps the same fair rate, say £90, for the duration to encourage longer stays.
In a populated market, how do you stand out from the rest of the crowd?
We’re quite reasonably priced within the market and our apartments are of a high quality. The service is personal; as we meet and greet every client, provide airport pick-ups and supply every apartment with a welcome pack. We’re also part of a residential-lettings company, so with 17 long-lease properties available we can house people short-term in our apartments and then help transition into a long term-lease when they decide to relocate. We’re the only company to offer this in Aberdeen.
Do you have plans for growth?
We started the company 18 months ago with 16 serviced apartments in Aberdeen and we now have 40 apartments in great locations near the airport, in the city centre and down by the beach. We aim to increase our apartment portfolio to 50 by the end of this year. I’ve been operating the whole business on my own so far – from managing the apartments to taking bookings. This is the first time I’ve managed to visit a booking agent. I’m also travelling to Norway soon because Norway and Aberdeen share the North Sea for oil mining, so the Norwegian market in Aberdeen is huge.