This is an interesting topic of discussion! Some would argue Coliving a whole different level - huge 50+ bedroom monster MOs with parties etc., others would say it’s just a fancy marketing tool for HMOs which makes it sound more attractive *whispers seductively - Want to Colive with me?*
I would say - you can have both. We do this on a smaller scale. But How?
As we have scaled the business over the past year, we have achieved economies of scale. All our properties are walking distance from each other. Same locational proximity. They are all of the same profile - young professionals. Roughly want the same thing from their accommodation - they want a nice, decent place and want to meet new people. They all chat / know each other and occasionally visit each other as well. After all, they are effectively neighbours.
So does this make it Coliving? In effect, no it doesn’t. To me - what makes it Coliving is the service deliverable - events. 1) Facilitating communication between members
2) Facilitating social events between members
Both of which we do within the Alt Street Community. We offer something completely different to our competition and this is the service deliverable part of Coliving.
August Bank Holiday saw us host our first ever Coliving event for our Alt Street Community. We have been wanting to do this since the beginning of the year when we had enough members to do so, but lockdown being lockdown, we had to wait for the right time in order to pull this off.
Being the first event, there was a little hesitation - what is this? End of Summer party where my landlord throws a party? I thought landlords hate parties? But the day turned our brilliantly and majority (who weren’t working the weekend) were able to make it. We brought the food, they brought the drinks and music. I set up - and left them be to mingle and meet new friends, neighbours, people like them.
I was then asked by another investor - but why do you bother doing this? It impacts your bottom line. Maybe from a pure financial sense it does. It does cost money running events after all. However, at some stage of your investing career, it goes beyond the pennies and profit. Building our brand and community are two aspects we wanted to foster in order to build and scale the business. What better way of doing this than by ensuring our tenants are happy where they are. Not just in terms of their accommodation, but for them to look back and say - I had the best years in my 20s / 30s when I was living in Northampton! I made friends for life!
It’s too early to tell, but I dare say - we have had less turn over than we expected with majority renewing unless they were moving away for work.