Interview about the ILove Rome Apartments Project
Interview with Valerio Sarti and Laura Scoccia, owners of ILove Rome Apartments, a project that combines hotel industry with a tour-operating philosophy.
Today we have the pleasure of meeting Valerio and Laura from Rome. They’re very passionate about travelling, and they put their knowledge and skills to the test to start a project that has already gained a fair amount of success: ILove Rome Apartments.
At first glance, ILove Rome Apartments might look like your “typical” holiday house provider in Rome, but, actually, this project offers a 360° experience when it comes to hospitality and travelling. Indeed, who chooses the ILove Rome Apartments structures has not only the chance to reside in new and well-kept spaces with any commodity at their disposal, but there’s also the possibility of taking part in a holiday experience like no other: you can have a drink in an “archaeological” fashion while visiting the Imperial Rome, or discover less known, unexplored places. This is all permeated by ILove Rome Apartments’s strong entrepreneur vibes, given by its franchising formula. Property owners can join ILove Rome and get the most out of property optimization and in terms of income.
Hi, Valerio and Laura. First of all, thank you for your time. Usually, our first question is pretty easy, since we only ask our interviewees to talk in general about their project. Do you feel like it? ILove Rome Apartments is… ?
ILove Rome Apartments is a formula born from our life and professional experiences. But, most importantly, it’s directly linked to the territory where our apartments are located. Not only do we wish to make our guests “feel at home”, but we also want to make them experience our land and its characteristics fully as if they were some sort of inn.
Who are Laura and Valerio? How did the idea of ILove Rome Apartments come to mind?
We’ve always been a travel-loving couple, we love to be around people who are passionate about what they do in life. Laura is a tourist guide who wishes to make the uncharted places of Rome known to the public by diverging from predetermined tourist pathways. Valerio is a real estate agent who specializes in lease land, and he’s always offered his customers his expertise and skills.
Is there a reason for why you chose to concentrate your holiday houses in the South-East region of the city? Do you foresee any new direct developments in other parts of Rome?
The ILove Rome Apartments formula is linked to the location, particularly to a special one: the Parco Archeologico dell’Appia Antica, which is a few steps away from our apartments. This green, unknown space of rare beauty is fascinating to all types of people, like those who are interested in history, archaeology, nature, wine and gastronomy and sports. These unique experiences will attract our guests and make them stay in our apartments. We’d like to encourage new developments to help our business grow, but on this same territory.
Not by chance, in our previous question we mentioned “direct” developments, for the ILove Rome Apartments brand started getting involved with franchising. Can you tell us about it? How does this work?
The market is increasingly pointing to the philosophy of a “travel experience” linked to a specific location. This specific location’s characteristics must be present inside the apartments, so that our guests will learn about them. Therefore, the houses are not only a place for relaxing, but a place that represents the reality of the location they reside in, as well.
The travel experience our apartments offer is possible thanks to devices, suggestions and tricks in regards to interior design and project proposals. We also offer our partners the “know how” for management softwares and virtuous practices, which are way ahead of our competitors.
This means that we will be at the service of whoever wishes to “make income” from their properties because they realized that, nowadays, setting up apartments using “grandma’s furniture” is not enough. People who want to offer customized travel experiences can join our project, which has diversified management services, such as “turnkey” or “lighter” management services.
Let’s talk about guided tours, now. After looking at your website, we were impressed with the concept of “Survey”. Can you explain to us what it is, and how are guided tours selected for your guests?
Our goal is to customize our guests’ travel experience as much as possible. Surveys that collect the guests’ input prior to the trip allows us to get to know our customers, their preferences, needs and expectations. And just like that, we’d like to suggest the best cultural, naturalistic, exciting experiences available in the location that are most fit for them. The takeaway message is that we hope to make the guests’ holiday unforgettable and enjoyable under every aspect, by also starting their journey before they even get here.
There’s also a very interesting “communication” aspect to your project. We noticed that you’re pretty focused on your Internet presence, as shown by your own well-made website. Regarding your marketing strategies, how much value do the opportunities offered by the Internet hold?
Our target audience is young, energetic and curious. These people are keen on getting around by themselves, and while doing so they go online, they check their social media, they read reviews and decide their destination based on that. Therefore, digital marketing strategies are key, just like putting on the web “differentiating” websites such as our own. It’s a fast, immediate system, which generates an extremely effective virtual “word-of-mouth” on a larger scale. It’s important to be known out there, although in the good way.