Although temporary accommodation comes with benefits, managing temporary accommodation is not without its challenges. In our previous article, we highlighted the advantages of serviced apartments over hotel accommodation. Serviced apartments are more cost-effective, have more space, even more flexibility versus traditional accommodation, have more facilities, and also more amenities available. Not to mention, My Residence is strict concerning the vetting of these apartments, only partnering with property partners that have passed their comprehensive five vetting stages.
The challenges arising with managing and providing temporary accommodation and serviced apartments are often untold by managers of these rentals. My Residence welcomes expatriates from all countries and backgrounds, settling them in Africa. Client Service Coordinator, Tanja Glatz speaks to some of the challenges My Residence faces in managing and providing temporary serviced accommodation in Africa.
Language Barrier: Language-related barriers are common in the global mobility and relocation business as many service providers like My Residence are often met with multiple languages and a multinational workforce. Documentation, especially when written in jargon-filled terms, may often prove difficult to translate. With the help of our multilingual field agents, My Residence effectively works to communicate with all properties.
Misrepresentation of Africa: For centuries Africa has been misrepresented and painted as this dark, backward, disease and poverty-ridden place with no future. In this business, cross-culture communication is important and acknowledging both differences and similarities to effectively communicate is important. My Residence’s sister company Relocation Africa offers a Power of Difference, a cultural training workshop on dealing with differences constructively, diversity management, intercultural skills and many more.
Fluctuation of Exchange Rates: A weak or strong currency can contribute to the business trade deficit or trade surplus over time.
Lack of Urgency: Often corporate companies and their respective departments are overwhelmed with the extensive processes of relocating to Africa, that they neglect the important aspect of communication. This delays the process of finding the perfect accommodation in Africa. Further, the concept of rushing to provide quotes is a foreign concept to many properties in Africa.
Payment Terms: Temporary accommodation providers in Africa expect full payment upfront as opposed to European and American providers which give the option to pay when you leave or at the end of every 30 days. Furthermore, the African rentals expect a damage deposit which is unusual to many expatriates coming from the West. The damage deposit is the landlord’s security against any damage a tenant may cause to the property during the term of their lease.
Lack of proper resources and poor conditions: Often in African countries, the area or location may be sub-par (in terms of quality of amenities and services), not to the standard of European and American cities and metros. This largely affects the delivery of services to the expatriate. There are occurrences beyond the property owners’ control such as power cuts, water cuts, unstable WiFi etc.
It is important to be aware of the challenges property owners’ have in providing temporary serviced accommodation. Communication is an important aspect in managing expectations and avoiding arguments between parties. My Residence is perfectly set to be the best in Africa, offering quality serviced apartments throughout Africa.