NEW YORK --
Metro-Home, based here, markets apartments as an alternative to
hotels for corporate or leisure travelers, and it pays agents 10%
Coughlin, founder, president and sole owner of the business, said
she gets only about 10% of bookings from travel agents, down from
20% to 25% a few years ago, because she has not promoted
aggressively to the trade for a long time.
She aims to turn
that around, urging agents to keep the apartment option in mind
when a client needs housing for an extended stay in New York.
Besides, clients also can rent Metro-Home apartments for a few
nights or only one night.
Based on her
per-night rates, Coughlin estimated that the apartments produce, on
average, a savings of 20% off the cost of traditional
offers specials based on a three-night minimum, starting at $99 a
night for a studio apartment; $189 for the Family Escape in a
one-bedroom with pullout sofa in the living room; and $249 for the
Luscious Lovers Escape in a one-bedroom; and $320 for a
the lease on all the apartments it markets, mostly in rental
buildings, although some are in condos. They are located on the
Upper West Side, in Midtown, in Greenwich Village and in
Coughlin said, are generally of two types. One is the A-plus
category, in new buildings, more expensive, but they are very
Metro-Home has 55 units in prewar, art deco apartment houses, which
have more character, more space -- and older bathrooms.
And there are a
few quirky ones, Coughlin added, such as those in a former factory
downtown, with big windows and circular staircases.
It is important,
she said, to gauge client preferences for apartment type, though
the more modern choices are often the preference of business
travelers. Coughlin said about 60% of her business is
she added, about 80% are domestic travelers. However, because
overseas travelers are more accustomed to staying in apartments and
homes, she said, international guests account for about 60% of the
frequently is asked to accommodate or coordinate accommodations for
groups of travelers, such as the entire cast and crew for a
Broadway show. Coughlin organized housing in March for the
production crew of The Apprentice TV show.
Agents can view
apartment choices at www.metro-home.com and use e-mail ([email protected]) or the telephone, (800) 987-1235,
Agents need to
identify themselves (generally with ARC or IATA numbers), and they
have to invoice for their commissions; this can be done
electronically, Coughlin said.
the reporter who wrote this article, send e-mail to Nadine Godwin
at [email protected].