Check the world
Mikhail, what is the concept of the Affluence Private Concierge and Travel Club?
This is a classic private concierge club that operates on a membership fee system. Our competencies: travel and lifestyle, events planning, other offers for all our existing and potential clients.
The main goal is a high level of service, customer privacy, their trust. We are happy to share our competencies with club members. Active use of the service not only saves time, but also money: we are focused on finding the best conditions in any transaction, and not just in closing it. As for travel, club members are offered a fixed and balanced margin relative to the market - at the end of the year, the client receives direct financial benefits that exceed the cost of membership.
What question do you hear most often in your activity?
The question is: “What are you doing from what my personal assistant cannot do?” In close contact with personal assistants, our overall efficiency is 100%; more importantly, we are creating a kind of expert group to solve any problems with maximum financial optimization.
How do you work with new locations?
We invest a lot of time and money so that employees see everything with their own eyes: for example, we recently returned from China, where, by the invitation of Bulgari, we inspected their hotels in Beijing and Shanghai, as well as the recently opened Mandarin Oriental Beijing overlooking the Forbidden City. Then we moved to Hong Kong, where we watched the new fantastic Rosewood hotel, which received the Virtuoso award as the best designer hotel in the world.
In addition, over the past six months we have visited London, Basel, Marrakesh, Bodrum, Provence and many other locations - everything by the invitation of the world's best hotel chains, independent hotels and event planning companies. In addition, we test not only trendy hotels, but also guides, restaurants, popular locations - to get acquainted with the product, to understand its pros and cons. Today everyone has beautiful sites and photos, so people don’t believe reviews on the Internet and ask us: “Have you seen this? Have you personally been there? ”
Of course, the world is huge - it is impossible to have an up-to-date idea of any single location. Therefore, if a member of the club wants to go to Peru, the Himalayas or Tanzania, we are ready to fly to the place in advance, to work out the specifics of the location in detail, in order to guarantee maximum service.
Another example of our approach to business and diversification is Mykonos Island, where the share of customers from Russia is about 5-7%, quite low indicator compared to the popularity of Crete, Cote d'Azur or Dubai. In Mykonos we have our won Villa Artisti for 6 bedrooms, which meets all the requirements of privacy and is available for our customers from the coming season. This is the first asset in our portfolio which we plan to expand.
How do you work with an affiliate network?
We also invest in its development, in b2b communication - we are visiting specialized exhibitions, in particular, the watch and jewelry Basel World, Monaco Yacht Show, and study travel trends.
We are friends with the owners of companies that can recommend the best in their locations. We communicate with colleagues in the market, share experiences and feedback - we have a healthy professional environment,
even though we are competing. Affluence's approach can be called comprehensive.
Is a good concierge service able to replace personal assistants?
These are unique people with a rare set of qualities that cannot be taught: they have inventiveness, a sense of tact, stress resistance, and rare professionalism. We do not replace personal assistants and for sure we are not competitors: we help each other.
You have been working as a personal assistant for 10 years. Did you miss such service?
I would like to express my gratitude to my leaders, who have become the best teachers for me and have shown that any, even the most daring, task is realizable. To do this, you need the best partner, as well as the effort and time to find him.
Affluence slogan - "Privacy has one attorney." We strive to be the best partner and contact chosen both for customers who are comfortable communicating directly and for those who communicate through assistants.
How did your career begin?
I worked in the hotel business for eight years. The concierge club for me is the third point of professional development, a logical step after two previous experiments. So I can evaluate the service industry from different angles.
I hope that in all these three qualities - in the hotel business, as a personal assistant
and in concierge service - I could, I can be and I am now useful for a number of people - friends, clients and partners, without whom I would not have been a professional. I appreciate and say thanks to everyone I met on my way.
What cases did you remember from the many that you organized?
As an example, I can give a couple of cases with a consent of the clients: one of the club members wanted next year to arrange a wedding ceremony in November in Venice - in the only Orthodox church in the city. We agreed on everything: a date, that the wedding will be in Russian, although the church is Greek. The client will bring his spiritual mentor, and the main priest at the time of the wedding will give service to a colleague.
In addition, just recently in Venice we organized a quest for children in an abandoned church - only five days passed from the request to the implementation. Among the cases there is a very complex bike tour with many locations in USA for a large company of businessmen - customers are satisfied; they made an hour-long movie about the trip. Now we are working on organizing a bike tour for the same company in New Zealand.
What queries do you mostly receive?
They are variable, but the more complex the task, the more passionate we work. Most of the requests concern travel: from Australia with a guided tour fromfamous Russian scientist and TV star Nikolai Drozdov to the Maldives and Bodrum. The older generation is interested in placing children to study abroad, medical tourism - which is an indicator of confidence for me personally: we, in particular, organize visits to the best spa and detox clinics in the world.
Young people are interested in adventures: to swim with killer whales in their natural habitat, to make a bungee jump from Macau Tower on height of 233 m. For all generations, traveling on supercars across Europe is popular, we provide unique routes with visits to a number of unique places.
In addition, for our clients, we are preparing a calendar of trending events for the month ahead - reviews of films and TV shows, the art market, future sports, gastronomic events in Moscow, St. Petersburg and the world. We are doing everything so that the client won't miss what is really important and can get to private events.