Dijana Thalmann and José-Luis Hummel from Vision Apartments tell us about their history, their flagship property in Zurich and their business venture, Vision Design.
How did Vision Apartments begin?
Our CEO, Anja Graf, was a model who wanted to have her own model agency. She began renting apartments for models and when the apartments were empty she’d let them out to UBS Bank. Anja continued to rent more apartments and soon she had the whole property. That’s how the business began! Today we have apartments in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Poland.
Can you tell us more about your flagship property in Zurich?
Wolframplatz Apartments is the first property we’ve built from the ground up and this is how we’d like to continue. This is because we can create our own layout and furnish the apartments to how we want them. It’s difficult to find such projects because of the competition between companies. The flagship property in Zurich has 206 apartments and there’s a choice of five design options: St. Moritz, Ibiza, Led, Magnolia and Crazy China.
Tell us about Vision Design and how you incorporate it in to Vision Apartments
Anja Graf wanted to offer something different to all other providers and she didn’t want to use furniture that was available in the market. Following her modelling history, she wanted to incorporate fashion in to the design of the apartments. In the beginning we had companies in Italy and Asia working with us to create unique furniture, but we soon began to create our own. Guests started requesting to buy a piece of furniture after living in the apartments; whether it was a lamp, picture or a chair. We started to order more so we could sell it too! Vision Design and Vision Apartments have the same custom so both companies are profiting from each other.
What’s your opinion of online booking systems?
We don’t really like them, as we prefer to talk to people before they book to stay with us. It’s important for us to get to know guests personally, so we can find them the right apartment. We want our guests to leave with a smile on their face whilst looking forward to coming back. In the future online booking systems will become more popular and we’re always open to new ideas and technologies.
If you had the choice where would you open serviced apartments?
Personally, we’d love to open apartments in New York and somewhere in Asia! Being realistic, however, we’re planning to expand more into German speaking cities such as Hamburg and Frankfurt, as well as Amsterdam. We’re not calling it an expansion – we’re calling it an explosion!