In this week’s Inside Scoop we chat to SACO. Mark Stephens, our Account Manager and Clare Ace, Director of Corporate Sales, tell us lots about social media and the growing awareness of the industry, and slightly less about their new properties!
I know at SACO a large proportion of your business is corporate, but has there been an increase within the leisure sector in the last year?
Clare: Our business is quite varied. In Bath for example, we have one of our larger properties which is dominated by leisure and we have certainly seen that suffer, because it’s largely popular with Americans and I think that market has stayed away over the Olympic period. But we have seen an overall increase in leisure business, generally through our website as opposed to people actually phoning in and speaking to our staff about it.
Do you think people are becoming more aware about the industry and of the benefits of serviced apartments?
Mark: I think when people go on holiday overseas they always tend to book an apartment. It’s a similar concept; we just call it a serviced apartment and tailor it more to business travel. However, the principle is the same. When you go away with the family you book a two bedroom apartment in Spain because you want that sort of space and flexibility.
We have noticed that you are very active on the various social media channels. Do you feel that social media has played a part in building awareness and shaping a unique brand identity for you?
Clare: Well obviously I am very old; Mark is years younger than me! But certainly yes, I do think our potential client base has been brought up on social media. Social media is very instant, which can be good and bad really. If there is an issue then you hear about it very quickly so you can respond to it, which is very good, but the issue is also made very public which isn’t ideal.
Do you have any new properties in the pipeline for next year?
Clare: Not any that we can tell you about I’m afraid!
Haha but it’s the Inside Scoop; that’s what it is all about!
Mark: You will always be the first to know when we open a new property, don’t worry.
There will be some expansion in London, just a small property very close to one of our other locations as there is a lot of corporate demand there, but that’s all I can reveal for now.
Last question, what does SilverDoor do for your business?
Clare: You are helping us grow our business; the growth of SACO goes hand in hand with the business we get from SilverDoor. You give us steady business due to the corporate accounts you’ve got, but you also give us last minute bookings which help us in all aspects and in all locations.
Mark: We are delighted with your business; we can’t get all of it direct so you are a really great agent for us.
And now for the quick fire round…
Beer or wine: Beer
Rugby or football: Football
City break or beach holiday: Beach holiday
Ferrari or Aston Martin: Aston Martin
Blonde or brunette: Brunette
Heels or flats: Flats
Dress or jeans: Jeans
Shoes or handbags: Handbags
George Clooney or Brad Pitt: George Clooney
Galaxy or Dairy Milk: Dairy Milk
Look out for next week’s Inside Scoop with Maureen Boyle from The Apartments, in which she reveals that SilverDoor are one of her biggest bookers, and that she has a real love for both shoes and handbags.