Hello from the Serviced Accommodation Company and we want to say a very big thank you for your support during 2020, and we’re looking forward to working alongside even more partners than ever.
So things have changed dramatically for us as a company. We’ve had internal changes, we’ve had external changes, there’s legislation on the horizon. What is new in the world of serviced accommodation today?
Well, there’s so much. I don’t think we could have imagined that we would be where we currently are, having been through a global pandemic and we’re hoping that we’re very close to coming out the other side of it. We’re delighted to have succeeded during the pandemic as a company. We’ve continued our engagement with local charity work. We’ve offered our accommodations out to key workers and we’ve just generally been able to give back a little bit at this period, despite the hardships that have hit the sector.
We know that in June of 2020, the occupancy and serviced accommodation had plummeted right down from the 80s, generally speaking across the country, to 14%. Now, that is not small. Any sector and any company that can survive that type of change, that can provide something new, provide something alternative to its guests, find new guests, find a new way of working to get through hardships like the bottom falling out of the market that it’s in is a very robust and hopefully, very forward-thinking company. We’re delighted to class ourselves within that category.
We’ve made lots of changes. We’ve got almost an entire new staff team within the office. I’m going to have a little chat about the team that we have because they’re fantastic. We’ve got Emily, and Emily has completed an admin apprenticeship with us last year and is very interested in finances and potentially going on to have a career within accountancy, and we’re hoping to keep her within our company for the long term. She’s been an absolute star, both in her college work and in the office. She’s got a fabulous attitude. She turns up to work. She’s on time, she works hard when she’s there but most of all, she’s a member of the team. She’s always willing to help. She’s got a can-do attitude and the amount that she’s improved over the last 12 plus months has been phenomenal. We know that she is a star in the making and we are delighted to have her, and hope that she’ll be with us for a very long time.
We also have a new apprentice. Having really successfully completed her apprenticeship, we were keen to find somebody else to emulate Emily’s success and we’re delighted to have Ryan onboard. Now, Ryan’s doing a slightly different apprenticeship this year with us. He is doing a customer services apprenticeship and the benefit of that is that we’ve now got a whole person dedicated to customer services, along with some extra support from another two members of the team.
That’s fantastic for our guests because they’ve got somebody on hand, both sorting out maintenance, any issues, any questions, getting their bookings finalised and helping them with forward bookings. We’ve chatted about that before but we’re looking to help you secure your onwards accommodation after you’ve left our properties, if you’re still travelling for work, then we’re more than happy to assist. We know you at this point, we know what’s important to you. Let us take that legwork, let us save you those hours in organising accommodation.
Finally, I can’t really close this without saying a big props to our new managing director, Ms. Sarah Heward. Sarah is a fabulous businessperson. She’s a great friend and she’s an impeccable worker. She’s full of enthusiasm. She is a brilliant presenter of all things factual and video and she’s moved into the company and taken us from occupancies, like I said, they were in our boots back in June, right up to the 80 and 90%s. We’re just so lucky to have Sarah and we’re delighted to see what she does and what the company grows into in 2021.
So that’s it. We’re very, very excited as a company to be moving forward, to be growing and to be working with you all. Thank you very much and we’ll see you soon.