Oakwood Worldwide® is the world’s leading provider of corporate housing and serviced apartment solutions. Covering a range of accommodations, Oakwood Worldwide’s well-known brands, Oakwood® and ExecuStay®, focus on the unique needs of extended stay travellers, offering short-term leases in apartment locations around the globe.
Since 1960, Oakwood Worldwide has grown to offer more than 25,000 apartment locations in 55 countries, giving individuals and business travellers the full spectrum of corporate housing solutions across a global network of properties.
Specializing in furnished temporary apartments, Oakwood Worldwide offers high quality move-in-ready accommodations, responsive customer service, varied locations, and flexible lease terms. As a business services provider in an industry historically dominated by hotels, corporate housing has proven to be a major global growth segment, particularly in the United States, where Oakwood Worldwide is represented across all 50 states.
That growth has expanded into Canada with the opening of a Toronto-based office and the hiring of Elle Crane, an Ontario native with more than 20 years’ experience in the hospitality industry. As the supply chain manager for Canada, Crane manages the company’s corporate housing partners and continues to grow Oakwood Worldwide’s already established footprint in Canada.
“Corporate housing provides guests with the comforts of home,” Crane told The American Business Journal. “When staying in corporate housing, with the surroundings, the overall feel and the accommodation itself, you immediately feel like a resident in your new location from the moment you first arrive. A hotel environment is more transient—a constant reminder that you’re away from home and your life, in a new location that is only temporary.”
Last year, Oakwood Worldwide acquired the ExecuStay brand from Marriott International, further expanding its corporate housing portfolio in the United States.
As Marriott International’s preferred corporate housing provider, ExecuStay is the only corporate housing brand to offer the Marriott Rewards® frequent guest program, available at any ExecuStay location in the United States and select international locations.
Headquartered in Los Angeles and with more than 3,500 employees, Oakwood Worldwide also maintains three global service centres in Phoenix, London, and Singapore. The company recently announced a global realignment designed to give customers strategic, on-the-ground resources for extended stays in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. The company continues to pursue worldwide growth opportunities, as evidenced by its focus on emerging markets and responsiveness toward increasing demand, particularly across Canada.
Corporate housing has been in Canada since the 1970s, but the industry as a whole has only been viewed as mainstream in the past five to 10 years, led by organizations like Oakwood Worldwide. Recognizing an increasing demand for corporate housing in more remote locations like Cold Lake, Alta., Oakwood Worldwide has expanded into the Western Canadian market, where the booming energy sector means a significant presence of companies with workers in need of short-term corporate accommodations.
“We have a global perspective and a regional presence that helps serve clients in all areas. Highly skilled workers have become more mobile, internationally,” Crane described. “And as long as there is the movement of people, there will always be the need for corporate housing and an opportunity for industry growth.”
Most recently, Oakwood Worldwide expanded its global corporate housing portfolio with property additions in Chicago (Oakwood 200 Squared) and London (Oakwood Farringdon). Clients of Oakwood Worldwide extend across business segments, with a major focus on serving the travel, insurance, relocation, government, military, entertainment, and consulting industries. According to the Corporate Housing Providers Association, the relocation, government, and military sectors most often use corporate housing. In 2011, the industry generated nearly $2.5 billion in annual revenue, with the average guest staying 83 nights and the typical accommodation reporting an 89 percent occupancy rate.
“Globally, Oakwood Worldwide is committed to growing sustainably and delivering profitable revenue in addition to improving our operational effectiveness throughout the company,” Crane concluded. “We continue to evolve our strategy for 2013 and beyond.”