New York City is one of the most fascinating metropolises in the world. The “Big Apple” is not only a global financial center, it also offers a wide range of attractions, retail outlets, events, restaurants, bars and museums. It’s no wonder the story of Furnished Quarters, our partner in the United States started in New York. But now, after 20 years, they operate in a dozen locations, both on the West and East Coast.
Can you give us a brief overview of Furnished Quarters?
Furnished Quarters is an independently owned and operated furnished housing company based out of New York City. We manage apartments on the East Coast of the United States (New York City, Boston, Cambridge, Jersey City, Stamford, Hoboken, White Plains) and in Northern California (San Francisco, Sunnyvale, Mountain View, Menlo Park, Palo Alto). We also manage many large global housing programs and place our clients into furnished housing all over the globe via our vetted partnership network.
What is your professional background?
Furnished Quarters is my family’s business so I have been involved in one way or another since its inception 20 years ago. I was in middle school when my father Gary Brown, and uncle Steven Brown, founded the company so I joined officially 8 years ago. I have worked in varying roles including Operations, Sales and Guest Service. I now head Global Solutions for the company meaning I manage all of our inventory worldwide which is sourced via our partnership network. Therefore, I collaborate closely with other serviced apartment providers, property owners, etc.
What is special about the apartments from Furnished Quarters and which one is your preferred location?
My family business, going back almost 100 years to my great grandfather, was furniture sales and interior design. In turn, we have our own in-house design team at Furnished Quarters, and our flats have a true sense of style. This is untypical in the furnished apartment industry. I personally love our flats at 680 Mission Street (The Paramount) in San Francisco. It’s a new city for Furnished Quarters and the apartments are light, airy, and offer a welcoming experience – a true reflection of the local area.
How do you help your guests to experience the cities like locals?
We provide a program called FQ Perks. For each city, we have a curated list of local partners who offer our guests special benefits. Additionally, we have a weekly newsletter for each city which informs our guests of fun local events like concerts, exhibitions, happy hours, etc.
How is the split between business and leisure travelers in your target group?
We pride ourselves on working with both business and leisure travelers. The balance depends upon the specific location and time of year.
When it comes to the company, what are you most proud of?
My colleagues are what have made Furnished Quarters so successful. Everyone is invested in the growth of the company, and we in return love to promote from within and create opportunities for career advancement and personal development at FQ.
What is the greatest challenge you have faced with the company/industry?
The needs of the guest are constantly changing. We must always understand what excites our guests and know what has been sufficient in the past may not be in the future.
What is your vision of Furnished Quarters, and how will you know when the organization has achieved it?
Our vision is to continue to be a best in class, global operator of furnished apartments, recognized for creative and innovative solutions. Ultimately, if our guests and clients are happy, we know we are on the right path.
In your opinion, how will the serviced apartments sector look like in 10 years?
Just like today, those who can offer the best guest experience will be the industry leaders. The question is what will that guest 10 years from now want? Figuring that out is the fun part.