The Three Keys to Strong Strategic Partnerships

In part one of our post, we outlined why strategic partnerships are critical to purchase decisions while highlighting the nuanced levels of experience one should look to when evaluating the merit experience brings to a strategic partnership.

In part two, let’s dive back in and discuss the second key to strong strategic partnerships, expertise.

Expertise

Did you know there are over 600 corporate housing providers and affiliate groups in the corporate housing sector? Each group carries its own mission and, in doing so, delivers its own unique value to the industry. But just as experience offers varying layers of value, so does expertise.

In looking for a good strategic partner—one with the power to elevate decision-making, influence cost savings, and create impactful consultative alliancesone must look for expertise tied to the stewardship of the industry as a whole, not the functional aspects of the product or service.

Functional expertise is necessary and will solve many problems. However, when legislative regulations (for example) shift the operational playing field, functional expertise is left fractured and adrift from the foundation that gave it relevance. When a passion for the industry drives expertise, i.e., industry stewardship, the expertise moves with the shifting landscape like two dancers working from the same beat. From this perspective, you can begin to see the compounding strength and decisive value industry expertise delivers.

The expertise of this nature is no longer isolated and specific to the function or value proposition of a product or service. No, now it’s integrated across the entire ecosystem of the industry or sector that makes that function or value proposition germane. Thus, the expertise is more resilient, abundant, and resourceful, fully capable of serving a diverse set of business needs. The best part about industry expertise; it carries forth implicit functional expertise due to the nature of acquiring said industry expertise—the best of both worlds.

As a global provider, Synergy goes to great lengths to understand and stay abreast of sector news/updates, regulations, and the latest technology and service model innovations, the very areas of industry expertise required to be a good strategic partner in the serviced accommodations sector. In order to build a team of resources with the necessary capacity to uphold these standards, Synergy hires professionals who are not only passionate ambassadors of their brand but the actual sector Synergy operates within.

In total, Synergy sits on the board of nine different global and regional organizations involved with or representing the corporate housing sector and the mobility and travel industries. That’s set against a backdrop of active participation in 20 various global and regional organizations, companywide certifications from both the Corporate Housing Providers Association (CHPA) and the Association of Service Apartment Providers (ASAP), and nearly 40 team members holding different individual travel, corporate housing and mobility professional certifications (e.g., CRP & GMS via WERC; CCHP via CHPA, and CCTE via ACTE).

Notably, president international, Stephen Hanton, was recently elected to the EMEA Global Business Travelers Association (GBTA) board. He also serves on the board for ASAP. Craig Partin, EVP of Sales and Marketing serves on the board for the Minnesota Employee Relocation Council (MERC), and recently joined the Travel and Meeting Society (TAMS) Diversity and Inclusion committee with Claire Barrie, V.P. of Sales, EMEA—who also serves as a director on the Institute of Travel Management (ITM) Supplier board. Co-Founders Jack Jensky and Henry Luebbert are both very active board members for CHPA, one of the world’s preeminent corporate housing associations.

Mary Corrales, Director of Global Business Development, goes above and beyond. She is the current President of the Arizona Relocation Alliance (ARA), the Communications Chair for the Southern California Relocation Council (SCRC) (as well as the Sponsorship Chair for the SCRC’s Young Professionals subgroup), and the Education Chair for the Puget Sound Relocation Council (PSRC). Her counterpart in San Francisco, Business Development Manager David Toledo, is the current Communication Director for the Bay Area Mobility Management (BAMM) Board of Directors, and the VP of Technology for the Bay Area Business Travel Association Chapter of GBTA. And his counterpart in L.A., Business Development Manager, Katie Bahr, sits on the Community Service Committee for PSRC. Christina Mills, Client Service Manager, just finished her two-year term as President for ARA in December of 2019 and is currently serving as the immediate past president.

As a collective, Synergy delivers the necessary expertise required to execute a global hospitality program. It goes above and beyond the functional expertise necessary to perform a role’s responsibilities. The value of this professional involvement takes shape in the form of industry expertise and comes to life in our ability to stay at the forefront of industry regulations (e.g., the new short-term regulations in SF), best practices, and product innovations.

From board seats to industry participation to company accreditations to personal professional accreditations, this expertise brings us to our third and final component of a great strategic partner, the intelligence that comes from being ‘in the know.’

‘In the know’

Did you remember the person in school who somehow always knew who was throwing a party, who had a crush on who, and who could get the test answers before the test? This person, a somewhat mythical figure, was in the know. They knew exactly where to look, what, how, and who to ask, what was good and bad intel, and how to best distribute the good information.

This ‘in the know’ person isn’t unique to high school. This type of person is present in most social and professional dynamics. We call them thought leaders. The ones who leverage the information they have attained via their experience and expertise within that given group to drive its evolution and prosperity.

Now, while one might argue being in the know is all about popularity, especially in high school, it is essential to recognize and underscore the skill at work when someone is in the know. Those who invest themselves in networks, information sources, and relationships that produce market intelligence must know where to look, do the research, invest their time, and actually decipher the good information from the bad. Due to their experience, they know exactly where to look and who to ask. And due to their expertise, they know how and where to apply the information they get.

Arming yourself with information isn’t enough to be a strategic partner. To be a good strategic partner, one must deliver insight based on the analysis of that information and be willing to share. This process requires the critical interaction of experience and expertise to obtain the requisite understanding to put that information into action as well as a sense of stewardship for the industry as not all information updates will pan out in a return of value. Thus, a good strategic partner can see the forest amongst the trees as they care more and are deeply invested in your long-term success.

Between the nine boards Synergy professionals sit on, the numerous industry accreditations and partnerships, and our two stalwart parent organizations, The Ascott Limited and CapitaLand, Synergy pulls from a deep well of relevant industry information. We are champions of the industry and use our two decades of organizational experience to leverage the cumulative 250+ years of staff industry experience we’ve curated to form one of the most robust pools of ‘in the know’ serviced accommodation expertise available today.

Not to mention, Synergy’s industry leaders work hard to research, curate, and share industry knowledge with our many partners and colleagues in the sector to ensure we are proactively informed and abreast of the countless shifts, updates, and evolutions the serviced accommodation sector experiences. 

You may be thinking to yourself, that’s great, but what does this mean? What’s the overall value?

The answer is simple—we show up when it matters most.

We are front and center during those critical junctures when you need to prove the full value of your mobility/travel program. Those moments when the unknown is compounding with each passing day. The times the impossible is demanded, and you have no answers. That’s when Synergy steps in and proves the value of our experience, expertise, and ‘in the know’ intelligence.

This earned knowledge we pass along as your strategic partner cumulates in proactive thought leadership (e.g., Synergy Risk Assessment on the Host-style Model, and COVID-19 Industry Update) and the expert consultative consul and highly tailor housing programs we develop for our clients and partners around the globe.

Conclusion

Strategic partnerships, the melting pot of experience, expertise, and being ‘in the know,’ underpin our capacity to deliver exceptional hospitality.

Whether it’s a guest arriving at a Synergy apartment after a long red-eye, or a client contact under the gun to increase program participation, or an RMC needing to bring an apartment under budget, Synergy always shows up—like a great strategic partner—ready to deliver on the promise of hospitality.

At Synergy, we believe strategic partnerships are long-term. They see through the fog of uncertainty. They develop strength from each other. They drive levels of progress impossible to a single entity. Most of all, they act as the connective tissue bonding interconnected networks to one another, and in doing so, create a community of benefit valuable to each partner within the network. 

When you team up with Synergy, you don’t just get the value of Synergy’s strategic partnership. You get the value vested in the plethora of our strategic partnerships. And that, my patient reader, is the “X” factor in our continued account growth over the last eight months and the reason you should trust your global serviced accommodation program to Synergy.  

Are you looking for a new global serviced accommodation provider? We’d love to hear from you.