Gutsy Genius Thinker

I try to find common ground. I talk about it right at the beginning of a discussion with trying to find some common ground that we can all agree on.

JAMES FOICE – Chief Executive, Association of Serviced Apartment Providers (ASAP)

James Foice

Gloucester. UK

James Foice has made a difference. Not that long ago, the Serviced Apartment accommodation category was hiding in the basement of the Branding hierarchy. In fact, there were very few defined brands in this space. The last 10 years have seen a transformation and velocity of quality inventory entering the category and expanding beyond a “relocation niche product.” It’s now a core accommodation category and growth product for all the distribution channels from Expedia to Airbnb. James Foice played a major part in driving a key differentiation, that of “accreditation standards,” and energetically formed The Association of Serviced Apartment Providers (ASAP). He’s a GGT!

ASAP is a not-for-profit trade association representing over 100,000 apartment owners in 25 countries who offer three million bed nights per year. Accreditation was paramount to establish trust in the marketplace. Outside of niche business-to-business travel managers, general retail travelers never understood or trusted the space. Thanks to the hard work of ASAP, other trade bodies around the world, and new conferences, awareness is now universal.

It’s comparatively easy to start any business; it’s hard to grow, sustain and adapt over time. ASAP under James’ leadership has done just that, including forming international alliances to leverage awareness. You will hear in the interview his views on ”differentiation, stakeholders, agreement, professionalism, common objectives,” all of which are key terms in how “EI” + “BI” is incorporated into your business. As an advocacy group, ASAP’s voice is paramount in driving governmental awareness in the UK and beyond during C-19.

Today nearly all major hotel brands have an Extended Stay brand of some description. This has driven awareness, and more importantly, trust in accommodation that is “not a hotel room” This lens widening has enabled pure-play “Serviced Apartment” brands to attract conventional institutional investors such as Brookfield to the space. James’ leadership at ASAP shone a light on a niche industry that got credit for being accredited.

James’ Adapters Tips

  • A clear vision of helping the industry to be understood was incredibly hard; there again, this applies to any business – be clear as to why a consumer needs your product or experience
  • Find your point of differentiation and work hard to build consensus
  • Be very aware that you’re not influenced by more vocal member