2018 is a special year for the team of Htel Serviced Apartments. The company celebrates its 15th anniversary. Htel was the first professional short stay provider in the Netherlands and offered expats and business travellers a home away from home. Even today, Roger Wiersma (34), account manager at Htel Serviced Apartments, is still convinced of the strength of the concept.
How did you end up at Htel?
“I was born and raised in Friesland, in Leeuwarden to be precise. I moved to Amsterdam seven years ago and have been working at Htel Serviced Apartments for three years now. Before I worked in the event industry. But the unique concept and the ambitious organization really appealed to me and I decided to apply. Succesfully.”
What exactly do you do in your position as Marketing & Account Manager?
“In this position I am the link between our clients and our internal departments. I spend a large part of my time proactively unburdening my customers and searching for opportunities for new collaborations. For companies looking for accommodation for their employees and for the leisure sector. We also work together with various partners, with whom I maintain contact. Important aspects of my work are giving guided tours, appointments on location, and visiting network events and (inter)national fairs. On a regular basis I also maintain contact with our marketing team at the headquarters about promotions for our clients and guests.”
It’s a unique concept. How do you describe Htel when you explain to friends for what company you work?
“When I just started at Htel, I soon found out in the conversations I had that our concept was even more unique than I already thought. It turned out to be unknown territory for many, despite the fact that we have been around for 15 years this year. For that reason I try to compare it with a hotel, but I explain that we distinguish ourselves in terms of space, tranquillity, accessibility and the price-quality ratio. For example, our apartments have their own kitchen and are located in quiet neighbourhoods that are easily accessible by public transport, so you can really live like a local. In addition, you can enjoy hotel services, therefore the comfort level is high. Meanwhile more players are operating on the market. However, I look at this as a positive development. It not only keeps us sharp, but makes ‘serviced apartments’ a much better known concept. And therefore more easily recognizable for our target group.”
“For that reason I try to compare it with a hotel, but I explain that we distinguish ourselves in terms of space, tranquillity, accessibility and the price-quality ratio.”
You have been working for Htel for three years now. What do you like so much about your job?
“I really like working with so many different organizations and cultures. It is a dynamic and international work environment where your creativity and service orientation are sometimes put to the test, but for every problem we find a suitable solution. That is because of our personal approach.”
What do you notice that customers find important?
“That is absolutely unburdening! Our reservation team is on standby seven days a week and we always make sure that we respond to an application the same day. That is what clients wish for. In addition, the reception is manned 24/7 at both locations and we have an in-house technical service. So we can act quickly. These services take a lot of work off our clients plate. They know that their employees are in good hands. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It is also important to maintain a warm contact with clients, so that we are aware of what is going on within their company. For example, it recently emerged from a conversation that one of our clients was looking for a good event location. We linked our client to SugarCity Events. Just like Htel, this company (event venue) is part of the Cobraspen Group. Ideally we will of course look for a combination where we can take care of the accommodation, and SugarCity Events the location for the event. A bit of extra service. That is how we distinguish ourselves.”
What do you do to support customers?
“The most important aspect is to make the reservation process as efficient as possible. That is not always easy, because every company has its own way of working. My task in such a case is to get a good understanding of the companies needs and find a suitable solution as soon as possible. A solution that works for both parties.”
Do you have a fun anecdote for us?
“Every year we organize an event to thank our clients for their trust in our collaboration. Last year the event took place in summer. It had been beautiful sunny weather all week and all preparations had been made. What could go wrong? Well, the weather completely turned around fifteen minutes after departure! Wind, rain.. the plastic sliding windows could not even withstand the gusts of wind. It was a wild ride. But our clients are still talking – and laughing – about it.”
What is the best compliment you received?
“That is actually a compliment for our entire team. The reservation team had contact with a group that had previously stayed with us. They were very satisfied with their first stay, but because we could not offer breakfast, Htel wasn’t on their list of possible accommodations for a second stay. Our solution? Since September 2017 we offer the Htel breakfast box! Jutter & Speijs, one of our partners, put us in touch with a supplier who could help us realize this concept. As a result, we were not only able to offer breakfast to this specific group, but we also reached a new target group. So you can say that we take that extra step to unburden our clients.”
Htel celebrates its 15th anniversary. What opportunities do you see for the coming years?
“New players are operating on the market, but we distinguish ourselves from the competition through our years of knowledge and experience in this market. We are aware of the challenges our clients face and keep an eye on developments in the market. In addition, our concept offers the opportunity to grow and improve our services. These opportunities and plans already exist. Because of that we can make a difference.”
Would you like to get in touch with Roger? Please fill in our contact form here attn. Roger Wiersma.