Time to Fly the Nest

IMG_1358

You have been there for them every step of the way from first words to first steps to first days at new schools, and now it is time for that first goodbye. After a year of enduring the hormonal teenage moods induced by stressful exam periods and maybe even touring the country as you scouted all the open days known to man, the moment you may have been dreading/anticipating in equal measure is finally here as your young one flies from the nest for the first time in search of a new adventure. This is because while it is the middle of the year, August/September are actually months associated with new beginnings as many young adults across the nation embark on the exciting, enlightening journey of higher education.  They are going to make new friends, experience new things and learn new lessons (both in and out of the classroom!) and most of the time this will be away from the sanctuary that is the home they grew up in as every new beginning requires a new setting. However, before you can even say that tearful goodbye, you actually have to move them out which considering they have had 16/17/18 years to accumulate all kinds of interesting possessions as well as wardrobes which contain enough clothes to cloth a small nation, is a lot easier said than done. Therefore, it is undeniable that numerous car/train/bus journeys from A to Z transporting their entire haul will become a hard, stressful reality. Consequently, it is no surprise that moving out your offspring is a somewhat arduous, timely task which may require the assistance of a few extra pairs of hands.

Therefore, we have a suggestion which will hopefully ease some of the stress and the pain as you settle your loved one into their new home. While you are making those various treks from ASDA to their new student pad, what about renting out a serviced apartment for the family so that you could have all the space you could need during the transition? With apartments in Aberdeen, Birmingham, Glasgow and Edinburgh, we are located in some of the biggest and most-establishment student hubs in the nation. Moreover, we do not just mean we are located in the inconvenient outskirts, we mean we are literally in prime city central hotspots such as Hanover Street (Edinburgh), Merchant Quarter (Glasgow), Mannofield (Aberdeen) and even on the doorstep of the Mailbox in Birmingham. Therefore, staying with us means you could not be closer to university accommodation to help ease all the packing/unpacking woes and it also means you can take a few moments for some exploring during those tearful goodbyes. With apartments capable of holding up to six persons and the inclusion of fully-equipped lounges and kitchens as well as separate bedrooms, you can bring grandma, grandad, aunties, cousins, younger siblings – whoever wants to be a part of this exciting time. There is plenty of space for the whole family and it just means you have that extra space and comfort to say your goodbyes properly and not feel time-bound and rushed to drop your offspring off at the kerb with their 20 plus bulging suitcases.

Of course, goodbye is not really goodbye as there may be plenty of times across the four years where you want to stop by and visit (ok, spy on) your hard-working offspring to see if the ratio of partying to studying is in check. Likewise, while you can begin the higher education adventure with us during Freshers, you can also see witness its heavenly completion with us because serviced apartments are great for graduation time when the whole family pack descends and requires a place to stay (just you wait to see how many people clamour for one of those exclusive golden graduation tickets). University and college are full of so many special times from that exciting induction week to prize-givings and to all kinds of events in between. Therefore, make sure not to miss a minute of it by booking a stay at The Spires whenever the time comes to say ‘hello’ again.

For more information on our apartments, visit http://www.thespires.co.uk or email us at info@thespires.co.uk

Time for a Catch-Up

2

Going through my recent blog entries, I have noticed a distinctive lack of my own personal student work placement blogs. When I first began at The Spires the plan was initially to do a blog each week (hopefully!) chartering my rise from an inexperienced yet energised university student to a full-fledged sale administrator extraordinaire, however clearly somewhere along the way that plan went awry! The last time I had a post dedicated to my own personal development was at the three month mark so somehow the fact that I am now blogging about myself with slightly less than a month to go, is rather fitting.

Considering my blogging absence you may be wondering what havoc I must have been causing, and it has certainly been a busy few months here at The Spires! Particular news of note for The Spires itself is the continued rolling out of The Apartment Collection – By The Spires, the serviced apartment finding service element of the firm which enables us to source accommodation out with The Spires’ home locations so we can meet guest’s wider needs. As of late, I am attempting to start a “Featured Destination” of the week to get the ball rolling and to provide some travel inspiration for our social media followers so they can see all the locations we can take them. I am also doing this in conjunction with my recently discovered addiction in Infographics as even though they may be a bit old school now, I still find them to be a very attractive means of communicating information which gets the point across while being eye-catching: https://magic.piktochart.com/output/6737572-the-apartment-collection-milton-keynes. 

Similarly, other very exciting news is that the opening for the Edinburgh location keeps growing closer and closer, and as a result, we can now happily show some sneak-peeks of our newest apartments which can be found at the dedicated Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/TheSpiresEdinburgh. Having been working at The Spires as the plans have increasingly unfolded for Edinburgh, it has definitely been intriguing to witness all the hard work that goes into opening a new location. Of course, I never imagined that it would be an easy venture but looking at how the smallest details need to be thought of, from cushions to toiletries, you realise how every decision is ultimately important as everything goes to create an image of the brand in the customer’s mind.

In terms of the personal chaos I have been causing, as well as my usual social media management and email marketing campaigns, a particular task of note is my introduction into the world of segmentation. Recently me and my fellow Sales Administrator, have been tasked with the rather daunting task of going through our databases to segment all entries into groups which share particular common characteristics as this should be indicative of their unique requirements. When first bestowed with this task, my unsuspecting colleague and I were aware that this would be a somewhat timely task although we were quietly confident that we would manage it in three-weeks tops. However, 1.5 months later and still sifting through it, we recognise that we possibly underestimated the magnitude of the challenge that awaited us… Fortunately, it is a challenge that I am enjoying because there is something oddly addictive about it, and from an academic perspective, it is really beneficial to put something in to practise that I have learnt so much about from both high school and university. Sometimes it can feel like all the endless models and theories you encounter at university have no workplace value as no one actually implements them in practise, and that is why it is so satisfying to see them being used in action because it reinforces the value of what you are studying and that those theories do exist for a reason (other than to play mind-torture on students!).

Other things I have been getting up to have included an insight into the world of taking reservations (and therefore the use of a PMS); the scanning of business cards and the creation of promotional materials such as posters for the apartment blocks. These may not sound like the most glamorous of tasks, however I am always really eager to try new things; it is always beneficial to have new tasks to add to that repertoire! The scanning of business cards was a particularly interesting endeavour because it was quite enjoyable to learn all about the possible career options on the tourism stage as well as to gain an insight into some of the international firms that exist. Even though the smallest and most innocuous tasks like scanning business cards can seem quite inconsequential, when you consider them in relation to the sales process and how that prospect’s details could enable them to be converted into a potential lucrative business source, you do realise how it is all the small things that build up the bigger picture. Similarly, even from a learning perspective, so much can be gained. For instance, as a young university student anxiously holding on to the sides of that career ladder, teetering precariously on the first rung, it is really insightful to see all the different formatting of business cards and how an effective business card means that not only is it memorable and conveys all that it needs to, but it is also capable of being easily scanned so that the details can be stored. The same goes for the development of the promotional materials I created, because even though it does not necessarily require a high level of skill, a poster is something that will be viewed by the public and every single touch-point from a poster to a direct customer interaction communicates something about the brand and you want it to be consistent with the values upheld by the firm.

Therefore, with five months up and one month to go, you might be able to see how contemplative and reflective I have become. The university report I have to write may also have something to do with why my mind has reached the point of micro-analyzing the importance of tasks like scanning business cards. It is akin to the days back in high school when you had to explain everything down to the symbolic importance of why the author made the curtains blue; there has to be a reason behind everything. In a sense however, that is what my placement has taught me, that there is a reason for every task you complete-particularly in the hospitality industry where even the smallest of actions influences the customer journey and therefore the over-riding success of the firm.

Ultimately, unless I manage to do something utterly catastrophic in my remaining 4 weeks (I still have time to delete all the contacts in the CRM by accident or potentially sell a room for £1…), I can already say with confidence that I am exceptionally happy I signed the second semester of my third year away to The Spires. With a month of full-time work left to go, there are still so many things I want to try such as video tours of the apartments, blogging from our Birmingham & Glasgow locations and even attempting more team-related blogs. Therefore, watch this space for all the fun that is still to come!

Till next time,

Alex (Intern Sales Administrator)

Summer of Joy

boxer_graduation_hat

The sizzling of succulent sausages on a BBQ. The infectious sounds of laughter and joy coming from families frolicking on the beach. The vibrant colours decorating the little umbrella that garnishes that cheeky yet oh so needed pool side cocktail. Yes, these are all the sights, smells and sounds that we associate with the most anticipated season of the year: summer. It is irrefutable that one of the greatest reasons why we look oh so forward to this most joyous time of the year is that the holidays are near. Like all good combinations, you cannot beat the ultimate combination that is summer and vacation. However, summer brings more than just a time to explore, escape and relax; it also provides a chance for some good old fashioned family bonding. We are not just referring to those infamous family holidays, but also to the multitude of joyous occasions that tend to adorn this time of year. For instance, factor in the rapturous audience applause, the sights of black mortar boards flying through the air and the sequins, sparkles and lace embellishing an array of specially bought outfits, and you can discover another few reasons that help to enhance that summer time glow: graduations and prize-givings.

With both university and the sun out, it is the perfect time to rejoice in the high-spirited celebratory mood whether you are attending a well-deserved graduation or a heart-warming wedding. However, such occasions require the attendance of those you hold dearest, many of whom may be out of town. Therefore, to fully take advantage of these momentous occasions that forever hold a special part in our hearts and mind; of course we all want them to run as smoothly as possible. Consequently, why rush down or up for that one important day when you can make it into a small trip that helps to relieve some of the inevitable stress associated with attending large social gatherings.

If we do say so ourselves, serviced apartments are the perfect accommodation type for when you are travelling in groups; such as with extended family. Graduation, weddings and special occasions all require the presence of more than just mum and dad; often grandparents, uncles, aunts, siblings and significant others are all in tow particularly considering just how large and blended modern families can be. Therefore, why pack everyone in someone’s flat/house with the inevitable bed-sharing and sofa-sharing angst or the expense of shelling out on multiple hotel rooms when you can simply book an apartment to share. Ranging from one-bedrooms up to two-bedroom deluxes, our apartments can fit up to 6 persons and to make it an even more cost-effective option, we charge based on the apartment size, not on the number of persons in the party. With en-suite bedrooms, there is lots of room to get all gussied up in for that special occasion and less fighting over the bathroom.

It is not just the extra sleeping space that is of benefit however. Serviced apartments such as at The Spires also offer modern, stylish and spacious lounges complete with sofas and TVs as well as fully-equipped kitchens that are kitted out with essential amenities such as dishwashers and dryers. When we say we want to create a home away from home atmosphere, we mean it. Therefore, with larger groups consisting of various age brackets, the extra space provided is much needed as no one is treading on anyone’s toes and everyone can be kept amused. Similarly, the inclusion of kitchens also helps to cut down on those mammoth food bills that can be so easily accrued by dining out as a group. Being your own chef means you have plenty of room to make that delectable meal that satisfies all the taste buds as well as the wide array of dietary requirements that tend to run in groups. Similarly, happen to spot a mark on that glamorous outfit you have been lusting over and are so eager to wear? With our washing machines and dryers, you need not worrying about anxiously tracking down the local dry-cleaners or incurring massive laundry charges as you can nip the problem in the bud right there and then.

It is not just all an issue of space and cost-effectiveness however, the city central location of our apartments also provide the further benefit of convenience-you are just minutes away from the main attraction. In our respective locations of Aberdeen, Birmingham, Glasgow and Edinburgh, you are only ever minutes away from all the entertainment and culture that these dynamic, cosmopolitan cities have to offer whether you are seeking supermarkets, banks, shops, transport links or even just a decent local coffee shop. Moreover, why travel all the way just for the special occasion itself? Any time is an opportune moment to discover all the treasures and hidden gems that our major city centre locations have to offer. Therefore, why not go visit a local castle such as Dunottar when you stay with us in Aberdeen, the Kelvingrove Museum when you stay in Glasgow or even Cadbury World when you stay in Birmingham? All the fun and action is right on your doorstep meaning you need not worry about the co-ordination or the military precision strategizing of taxis.

To all those celebrating this summer, whether it is your own personal well-deserved graduation or you are sharing in the glory of a loved one’s, we wish you a beautiful, happy day full of heart- warming memories which will stay with you forever; hopefully The Spires can play even the smallest of parts in making that joyous day as special as it can be.

Image: www.kpc.alaska.edu 

The Sands of Time

the_sands_of_time_6_by_uktara-d4c7n1z

Where does the time go? I swear it was January 26th only a few days ago  when I hesitantly  approached The Spires, a quaking bag of nerves that was daunted yet exhilarated by the thought of encroaching ever so closer into the real adult world of work. However, somehow my calendar is informing me that it is the 27th of April which means I must have been working for 3 months and am therefore at the half-way point through my placement. Consequently, I feel it is a very fitting time to start blogging again and to reflect on what has been a thoroughly enjoyable experience thus far.

So much has been going on at the firm in recent weeks and I expect the action is only set to heighten as important developments like the launching of the new location and “The Apartment Collection-By The Spires” get increasingly underway. One of the things I have enjoyed the most at The Spires is how I get to carry out tasks that are in relation to these projects, such as helping to design the web content for the new website or looking for potential business prospects, as it makes me feel like I am playing even the smallest of parts in helping these important tasks come to fruition. I am really pleased that I joined an organisation that is so focused on expansion, and in such diverse ways, because it is really beneficial to be in a fast-paced dynamic environment that is pro-active and embraces change. I definitely feel there is a lot I can take away from being a witness to this, even if it is just realising the smallest details that have to be considered when opening a new business location.

In the past few weeks, my main tasks have consisted of helping to design the new website, from a content perspective, as well as creating new dedicated social media channels for “The Apartment Collection-By The Spires”. As a result, my social media workload has increased as I have to post as two different accounts on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. I am genuinely worried there is a chance I may get a split-personality disorder! I am really excited getting to start the social media from scratch, as opposed to building on to the established channels that existed when I started, because it gives me a chance to see how strong I really am at social media. This makes this endeavour equally daunting because obviously if the follower numbers are not what I hoped, I may have to take a subtle hint from that! I do have to remember that it will be a struggle for the first few months as it will take a while for awareness and interest to grow, but that is what makes the challenge exciting and it will be really engrossing to see how things progress.

Overall, I do feel I have grown a lot from Day 1 in terms of skill and confidence. It really does feel like I have worked here longer than 3 months so when the day comes in 3 months that I no longer walk here bleary eyed and yawning at 8.30am, it will be a weird day. Let’s not get ahead however, 3 months complete still means 3 months to go and I am exceptionally excited to see what they bring.

Till next time,

 Alex

P.S. Help a desperate intern out by liking and following us on Facebook  and Twitter. Thank you 🙂

Image: www.siddarthwrites.com