Is your apartment available tonight?
Most Commonly Asked Question
Last minute bookings along the line of “Is your apartment available tonight?” is currently the most commonly asked question I hear.
The pandemic is still out there and, thankfully the number of people dying from COVID-19 is significantly down.
When I hear this question so often, it makes me think that the country feels there is a sense of normality returning to our economic shores.
Shoots of Recovery
The Serviced Accommodation sector is beginning to see the shoots of recovery. I am hearing that serviced accommodation has not been hit as badly as the rest of the travel and hospitality sector and it is poised to be one of the sectors that will have a strong bounce back.
Well, my fingers are firmly crossed on that point.
And here’s why:
- a serviced apartment or house is arguably safer than a hotel (read our article here)
- there is a higher degree of privacy
- having your own place to stay gives you much more freedom to come and go as you please
- you get a real home from home feeling
Last minute bookings are a threat to business
However, when I’m asked about a last minute booking, experience tells me that there is a strong chance the caller is up to no good.
Last minute bookings have become a real risk out there, that threatens the livelihoods of many serviced accommodation providers.
Illegal parties and raves have had to find a new home and they are using last minute bookings as their “modus operandi”, so they can get in and out quickly.
The organisers have had to try to go underground and the police are on a mission to disperse these illegal gatherings.
All of this means that the industry is having to be extra vigilant when taking a last minute booking. These are a clear red flag in the sector right now.
One challenge is that callers sound very genuine and very sincere. They always have excellent reasons for needing a property tonight.
However, I know of operators, who have more experience than we do, and they have still been caught out.
One example was of a party that took place in an apartment block.
You may be thinking that if you wanted to hold an illegal gathering in an apartment you’d want to draw as little attention to yourself as possible. So, if you kept the numbers down to say, 20 people, you may get away with it.
In the example I am talking about, there were close to 200 people spilling out into the corridors. And they had brought speakers that stacked over 6 feet high.
It was a professional rave in an apartment block.
Not only is this calamitous for the residents in the block, it also threatens the business of the apartment owner, as they need permission from the building owner to operate a short-term rental business.
So if you call us and are turned down for a last minute booking, it’s not that we don’t want your business nor is it that we don’t want to work with you.
To ensure that the business is protected our online calendars prevent bookings with less than 3 days notice of a check-in.
This helps us to:
- we are protecting the property
- doing our part in reducing the number of illegal parties (and so reduce the spread of COVID-19 and its variants)
- there is a business in the future that can continue to help our future clients
How can I make a last minute booking?
It is understandable that changes take place at the last minute.
So if you need to make a last minute change of plan then we are still here to help.
The best way to get in touch is to use our Contact Us page to make your request.