Quest Serviced Apartments has announced plans to build 10 new properties across NSW by 2014, after revealing it is on the hunt for new franchisees to drive the brand forward across Australia, New Zealand and Fiji.
Since its inception in 1988, Quest has grown to become the largest serviced apartment chain in Australasia, with more than 140 properties.
The buildings are typically located in central business districts, business centres and key tourist destinations.
The lucrative business traveller market appears to be a major area of interest for Quest, which has announced plans to build 10 new properties across NSW by 2014.
The new apartments, aimed primarily at extended-stay business travellers, will increase Quest’s NSW room supply by more than 70%.
Quest currently operates 21 properties in NSW, providing accommodation to around 120,000 business travellers. When the new properties open, Quest will be offering a total of 2,365 rooms across the state, hosting more than 200,000 extended-stay business travelers.
According to Quest chairman Paul Constantinou, the investment follows the increasing need by business travelers for accommodation in the state’s regional and suburban areas.
“Traditional accommodation options are no longer meeting their needs,” Constantinou says.
“This year, we will commence construction at five new locations – in Albury, Shellharbour, Nowra, Orange and Liverpool.
“We will continue this expansion, with another five properties to commence in the following year.”
The news comes after Quest announced it is seeking a fresh batch of franchisees to fuel the company’s expansion across its three markets – Australia, New Zealand and Fiji.
In addition to its expansion plans in NSW, Quest will open three new properties in Queensland, one in outer Melbourne, one in regional Victoria and another in the Adelaide CBD this year.
Quest is seeking individuals to invest in and operate these businesses, as well as in a selection of existing locations. Constantinou is confident about attracting the right franchisees.
“I started the company 25 years ago with a single property in Fitzroy,” he says.
“Since then, I have built a business model that allows franchisees to benefit from the difficult lessons that I had to learn from as a small business owner, overshadowed by large operators in a very competitive market.
“Our model offers franchisees the benefit of significant infrastructure, systems, training and procedures.”
Quest is seeking franchisees with a proven track record as a successful business owner or those who have worked within a corporate enterprise, leading high-performance teams.
Franchisees must have a passion for customer service, leading people and building relationships. However, a background in the hospitality industry is not essential.
“We want people who are prepared to get involved in the community, and dedicate themselves to fostering relationships with their guests,” Constantinou says.
According to Greg Hodson, national leader of PricewaterhouseCoopers’ franchising practice, the industry outlook looks positive.
“Franchisors are certainly buoyed by their success during the last three years, and are forecasting double digit growth in revenue and profit for each of the next three years,” Hodson says.
“Quest are among these franchisors that see significant growth prospects over the coming years.”