This month’s Featured Company Q&A is with Steve Frey, President of Oasis Corporate Housing, who shares with us the value of the relationship between businesses, their employees, and the option of corporate housing.
Why did you start Oasis Corporate Housing?
To become the largest corporate housing provider in the country. We provide extended stay traveling employees, displaced families during a home fire or flood, and relocating families with a “home away from home”. We provide an alternative to a hotel room by providing fully furnished and all-inclusive short-term rentals throughout the US and overseas.
What do you enjoy most about what you do?
What I enjoy most is when someone tries corporate housing for the first time and then hearing the amazement in their voice when they first experience the comforts & service level that corporate housing can provide them. I love when I hear, “I’ve never stayed in corporate housing before but this so much better than living in a hotel. I will never do anything else.” That is a win in my book.
What unique quality separates Oasis from your competitors?
Oasis is different in multiple ways. First, we service the world and do it with one headquarter office and a few key employees that work from home offices. Our organizational structure gives us a tremendous leg up on the competition because we don’t have to set our price high to cover non-essential “bricks and mortar” locations. In addition, we set an internal tone that each guest and accommodation must be perfect and we do this through the use of a 100-point quality control checklist that is completed with every move-in.
How do you think businesses can benefit from using Oasis?
We benefit businesses AND their employees in different ways. For businesses, we offer a streamlined method for obtaining temporary housing with one-point of contact for all requests (we make life easy for our clients). Also, our temporary housing accommodations are typically 25-35% less than the cost a business would incur by housing their employee in a hotel. For employees, a few of the benefits include having a full kitchen to be able to cook meals in, having a washer & dryer to be able to clean your clothes, being able to leave your belongings behind if you travel home on weekends. And let’s not forget that the condos, apartments, townhomes, and single family homes are all significantly bigger than a small hotel room.
We are all coming off of a challenging year due to the economy, how has Oasis handled it?
We have been lucky. Our corporate housing saves clients significant amounts of money. The 3rd largest overhead expense for the average Fortune 500 Company is travel. In a survey we conducted, we found that 70% of those polled did not know what “corporate housing” was. As a result, this means that there is tremendous opportunity to inform people about an easy method for reducing one of their biggest costs. Therefore, it is our job to inform potential users about our industry. Once we explain the comfort that our guests enjoy and the cost savings to the business, we have a fairly high percentage of clients that begin emailing and calling us with their temporary housing needs.
What do you have planned for 4th Q 2010 and 1st Q 2011?
In the 4th Q of 2010 we expect to have a new Director of Sales (thanks to our friends at Naviga) and to finish out the year with winning at least one government contract. During Q1 of 2011, we look forward to finalizing our new proprietary web-based property management software, that will provide a centralized location for all sales and operations information while staying directly linked to our website. It will also allow us to provide a client log-in portal where our clients can access all important information about their accounts with us.
What would you like SalesJournal.com readers to know about Oasis?
Oasis Corporate Housing is here to serve as a perfect housing solution for 30+ day stays. If you are working on the road for a 30+ day project, if you lost your home in a flood or fire, or if you are relocating and need a temporary place to hang your hat, we would welcome the opportunity to present you or your company with our options and services. We service companies and individuals. So, don’t let the term “corporate housing” make you think we don’t work with plenty of individuals – we do. If you are able to direct us in contact with your travel department or HR department, we may be able to get your company signed on to receive special discounts or packages that include special upgrades.
As CEO, what specific goals within the company have you established for 2010?
During 2010, our primary goal was to develop systems and processes that create the ‘perfect move-in’. Through our focus on quality and the development of our sales team, we are looking to end 2010 with revenues in excess of 3 times that of 2009.
What current strategies are you using to encourage/influence the growth of your sales team?
Our current strategy involves a two-pronged approach. We have inside sales professionals that a wide reach and are assisting individual clients (ie, non-corporate clients that come in via the internet) with needs as well as some of our smaller corporate clients. They are responsible for presenting these clients with amazing temporary housing options while keeping a keen eye out for potential larger opportunities that may exist with these prospects. Concurrently, we have our outside national sales executives that focus on specific industry verticals and prominent companies within those verticals. By combining the inside sales function and our outside national sales executives, we are able to maintain a focus on all potential opportunities and prioritize our efforts and focus. We are excited to be working with Naviga to reach the next level in sales production with the addition of a seasoned industry veteran to serve as our Director of Sales within the next couple of months.
What is your favorite methodology in business enhancement?
I believe that if you combine having a product that provides a client with value (value being defined as a good product and service and the best possible price) & an insatiable appetite for success, the sales will come. However, each sale has the potential to be short lived without placing the proper focus on quality and efficient business processes. I feel this is best achieved through the use of technology.
Are there any leadership related books that you use as a guide and/or would recommend?
Of course! I am a big fan of Walt Disney and Robert Mondavi. After reading about each of these men, the link between the relentless pursuit of perfection and their business successes is undeniable. I also like to read Bob Parsons blog at www.bobparsons.me (the founder of GoDaddy). He has some great words of wisdom.
Do you have a mentor that you contribute your leadership success to? Do you feel it is important to have a mentor?
I have numerous mentors. I am part of an organization called “Bay Area Advisors”. As part of this organization, we have quarterly guest speakers that are all very successful local business leaders. These leaders come to speak with us about their own personal story and thoughts on leadership and success. Of all the local business leaders that I’ve met with, I connect most with one; Ron Laker, the former CEO of Trademark Metals Recycling, is unlike most business leaders. His priorities all revolve around leading a balanced life. The premise of his “balanced life” is that when four areas of life are balanced, all prove to progress more successfully. The four areas are business, family, community, and personal health. It is so easy to get all consumed with work and business but it is important to take time to put the rest of life’s pillars in balance. When we do, they all seem to do better too. I’m pretty sure I am a novice at implementing this theory but its good reminder from time to time to try and pull life back into balance. However, for now….back to work!