Dwellworks Blog

Expanding the Corporate Housing Horizon to China

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Since I can remember, I’ve always loved traveling. I’ve been fortunate to explore the world for leisure and as part of my job as Director of Residential Services for Dwellworks Corporate Housing. During personal trips, I’ve had the opportunity to meet new people and discover new languages and cultures. And in my work adventures, I’ve learned about local industries and best practices. During my recent trip to China, I learned so much from our teams in Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Beijing. At Dwellworks, we take pride in our expansion projects since they are a mutual collaboration — not just assimilation to US standards. We collect the best practices from around the world to create the perfect in-country customer experience.

 

In early September, our long-awaited China Corporate Housing project became a reality. Our expansion to Asia also included our ability to bill in local and foreign currencies as well as the ability to issue rental fapiaos — a Chinese invoice that serves as proof of purchase for goods and services. Meaning our clients can deduct their Corporate Housing costs as a business expense. It was an exciting time for our team, and it also meant that I needed to help kick things off in China.

I’m responsible for what I call “guarding the brand” across our global locations. I oversee our Corporate Housing product implementation in new markets and manage our global supply chain’s development and improvement. Over the years, I’ve learned that the old school saying, “you are only as good as your suppliers” is not a cliché. That is why my team and I had one mission: to implement our processes, adapt them to local requirements, train, and share our Dwellworks Corporate Housing culture with our local team and our suppliers. I was excited to see what our version of Corporate Housing in China would look like.

At Dwellworks, we like to say that we are people’s voices in the countries they relocate to, and I must say that after my experience in China, this is spot on. From the moment I landed, our local team came to pick me up and assisted me every step of the way. For relocating employees, arriving in an unknown place and not knowing the language is overwhelming. But being greeted by our local team must feel like a lifesaver — it certainly was for me!

Our local Corporate Housing team is amazing. With their help, I was able to explore China’s real estate marketplace in Hong Kong, Beijing, and Shanghai. I visited several properties that upheld our safety and quality standards and were well-suited to host our relocating customers. There were numerous properties with high-end finishes where you could see and feel the quality. All properties benefit from frequent renovations and innovative design. When it comes to the size of the units, Hong Kong is similar to New York City, small units are common. But in mainland China, the units are very big — you can get much more space than you’d expect.

I was amazed by the booming construction industry in China! Cities of cranes tower over each corner where there will be skyscrapers standing in a few months. Construction growth is very fast-paced throughout China. It’s common for new buildings to become “old” only months after they are inaugurated, simply because there is another newer and better property opening around the corner.

Our team saw how fascinated I was with the architecture, so they organized a tour for me to visit the Forbidden City and the Great Wall. It was such a nice gesture. Both sites were absolutely stunning — definitely bucket list experiences that I will treasure for years to come!

I was also able to experience our Destination Services during my leisure time. One of our Consultants, Lin, took me on a tour of Beijing. Lin showed me a local spot where I tried the most delicious garlic noodles I’ve ever had. She even taught me how to order a spoon in Mandarin. She was wonderful! She knew all kinds of fun facts about the city, culture, and architecture, and I was impressed with how she made my experience personalized and fun.

My two-week trip flew by. I was on my way home feeling a huge sense of accomplishment from crossing off all training and set up tasks on my list, but more so with knowing that our customers will be in great hands with us in China. Throughout my trip, our teams showed again and again how hospitality and kindness are ingrained in their DNA. They went above and beyond for me because I was their “guest” — which is exactly how they see our customers. So, xièxie, my China Dwellworks family, it was a true pleasure to visit with you!

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