Blog

Stay in the Loop. Read the Orbit

Written by on 28th July 2020
Category: SilverDoor news

The newsletter from SilverDoor’s Partner Relationships team.

Alex Neale – Group Head of Partner Relationships

It’s at times like these where you take stock of what really matters. Our thoughts and best wishes are with all of you, and your families, and hope that you continue to remain safe and well.

Rewind to February; we were kicking off SilverDoor’s 20th birthday year, we were already seeing a record-breaking start to 2020 after a very strong 2019 and we were all hopeful that upward trajectory would continue. We had six months of celebrations planned to mark our 20th year in business, had recently secured several large new clients and were generally feeling positive and unstoppable. Of course, Covid-19 threw a bucket of cold water over our excitement but we are grateful to have gone into the crisis in a strong position. That stability will help us safely carry the business out of the other side.

Right now, there seems to be a general move towards a gradual resumption of economic activity, business and leisure travel. While this will inevitably look different across the EMEA region, and we may see stops and starts, barring any major new waves of infections, we are hopeful that some return to normality may be on the horizon. However, even as restrictions ease, we recognise that 2020 will continue to be challenging for the travel industry, and a more concerning time for travellers themselves.

We continue to be encouraged by our sector as shining light in the travel industry in the months ahead. We applaud the measures taken by accrediting bodies and of course you – our property partners- to respond quickly and effectively to these new challenges.

We absolutely expect that travellers will increasingly favour the safety and privacy of serviced apartments over hotels – where social distancing is much more difficult. We have clients talking about their pent-up demand and wanting to make sure we’re ready to receive it, as well as new markets opening up which we are well placed to take advantage of.

We remain, as always, eager to hear your feedback, thoughts and are on hand to support you in any way we can.”

SilverDoor Company News

In March, we announced some changes to the leadership at SilverDoor; most notably the appointment of Stuart Winstone as Group CEO and, after twenty successful years as Managing Director, Marcus Angell became Founder and Chairman.

Since we announced this news, we have been overwhelmed by the messages of support and positivity we have received from you all, and Stuart had this message to share.

“I would like to express, on behalf of the entire SilverDoor family, our gratitude for your continued support and commendable service, enabling our Account Management teams to secure safe, clean accommodation for our clients in these difficult times. Needless to say, our clients are more mindful than ever of hygiene practices within the serviced accommodation we recommend, and your hard work in addressing these concerns has been vital in ensuring serviced apartments remain the most viable accommodation option.

“With the outstanding team we have here at SilverDoor, I believe we will come out of it, and more resilient than before. I’m really encouraged when I see that many of our global regions are already starting to show signs of recovery. I want to reassure all our partners and clients that we are still here for them, and will be here and even better equipped to hit the ground running when widespread global travel resumes.”

Updated guidelines for the serviced apartment sector

SilverDoor has formally endorsed an updated set of guidelines for the serviced apartment industry to help property partners respond effectively in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Prior to the pandemic, we were working closely with two leading health and safety accreditation bodies – Quality in Tourism and Common Sense Compliance – to better inform health and safety policies in the serviced accommodation sector. In light of the COVID-19 threat, both have formulated modified safety policies specifically designed to minimise the risk COVID-19 presents to guests within serviced accommodation. Having conducted extensive research, we strongly recommend building-level annual accreditations available from QiT and CSC as the most comprehensive and appropriate choices for our sector.

Although the implementation of these measures may represent additional cost, the service enhancements brought about as a consequence of your investment will further evidence the benefits of serviced accommodation, not only at this time but permanently, as large-scale travel resumes and we adjust to a new normality in which hygiene will be crucial.

Recognising that committing to additional expenditure is difficult for all businesses at this time, SilverDoor has negotiated a 20% discount with both accrediting bodies to be passed on to our partners; simply mention your referral by SilverDoor when making your enquiry. To be clear, we do not receive any financial incentives from either body, as a result of successful referrals.

While we have formally recommended both Quality in Tourism and Common Sense Compliance you will see on Orbital One’s Accreditations section that we recognise a number of other schemes for serviced apartments, including ISAAP. Please do ensure to update your Orbital One profiles when you are accredited with any of these bodies.

Updating your profiles with this information has become increasingly important as clients will now have the ability to search for apartments on this basis. We have prioritised independent assessment from recognised accreditation providers over self-assessment, so we haven’t made provision to feature reopening marques such as ‘We’re good to go’ and ‘AA Covid-19 Confident’.

This article explains the issue well.

We encourage all partners to begin the review process and implementing these procedures as soon as possible, if you haven’t already. With that being said, we are also keen to receive your feedback as to optimise the process. Should you wish to share other examples of good practice, please get in touch with our team who will gladly talk this through with you.

Technology updates

Despite the additional work our technology team has had to ensure that our business continued to operate smoothly during the pandemic, we have kept working on our technology offering, continually developing our technology to make booking your serviced apartments faster, easier, and more secure and integrated for our clients as possible.

More channel manager integrations

As you probably know we have been working over the last few years on a programme of channel manager integrations to give our clients more real-time availability and more distribution capability. We have successfully integrated with seven channel managers to date, and we thank you for your support to have made this possible. We currently have a number in the pipeline and the next two we expect to go live are Rentals United and New Book.

If you are linked with either of these platforms, please contact: [email protected]

Keeping everyone’s data safe

Information security is never far from the headlines with recent data breaches widely reported in the travel industry.  It remains a top priority for us and we are working constantly to ensure we are the most compliant, secure and privacy-conscious agent in the industry. In addition to being ISO 27001 certified, we have also recently secured Privacy Shield and Cyber Essentials Plus certification meaning we are doing absolutely everything we can to keep your – and your guests’ – data totally secure. Head over to our website’s compliance section for full details of our compliance certifications, regulations and standards.

We’re all in it together

In these crazy times, we have loved being able to stay in touch with you all via Zoom, Teams, email, telephone and social media. Your positivity and collective support has lifted our spirits every day. Here is a tiny selection of some of your photos that have made us smile when we’ve needed it.

Our 2020 Video

We created this video at the beginning of the year to mark our 20th year in business, if you haven’t already, have a watch here:

All of your feedback on the video has been sincerely touching, and we’re looking forward to embracing the challenges ahead of us when we come out of this difficult time. We’re proud of how far we’ve come and we’ve got a whole host of exciting plans in the works!