Gui Perdrix is the director of Co-Liv, global association of coliving professionals, and author of Art of Coliving, a book on how to create life-enhancing coliving spaces at scale. He writes on the future of coliving, community and connection through his company Art of Co and publishes his thoughts in his Coliving Cocktail newsletter.
The topic was around the future of coliving and especially the trends that we are going to experience this year within the industry.
(LITTLE SCREENSHOT OF OUR EVENT AROUND AN HOUR AGO 🤓)
Over the last two years, I've been talking to 150+ operators, had 250+ one on one talks with coliving professionals (at least according to my scheduling link!) and hosted a ton of events with Co-Liv.
Today, I wanted to share with you the highlights from this presentation and would love to ask you something first:
👉 please let me know in the comments if you disagree with anything, and what your #1 insights is from all the below!
And with no further due, here are my thoughts and predictions for the coming year...
- Mergers and acquisitions 🤝 → more mergers between companies, such as the recent acquisition of Ollie by Starcity. Ollie was the first US brand to receive institutional investment - and it's a big move.
- Bankrupcy ⤵️ → some operators are struggling although we haven't heard of it officially. Why? They haven't been profitable before the crisis (mostly because of a growth-mindset and optimizing for scaling) and are now dealing with cash flow issues. For the ones that didn't have enough investors backing up, the options will be bankrupcy or acquisitions - which reinforces point #1. Note: those who are struggling are most probably short-term coliving spaces (impacted by covid) and high-density ones (impacted by fear of covid).
- Hospitality changes 🧳 → Because of less tourism, a lot of hotels are going to incorporate long-stay. AirBnb already offered long-stay on its platforms, and many hotels are currently exploring the path. They are often still hoping for tourism to go back, but both short-term and long-term changes from hotel to coliving will make economical sense. Moreover, the hotel industry can adapt to the mid-term travelers, like the so-called "slowmads" - digital nomads that stay one to six months in spaces.
- Professionalization of the industry ✅ → there will be new regulations coming soon. For example, some of our Co-Liv ambassadors are working with government representatives to determine laws for coliving developments. Moreover, the industry is increasingly being recognized as its own asset class, having Deutsche Bank invest into The Collective or having the first publicly traded coliving fund COLIV.
- What about COVID-19? 🧐 My answer: not much. In fact, it's driving more people into coliving - like AirBnb owners and hotels. Developers all got their permissions to develop amidst the crisis and operators are holding strong (apart of the ones with high density and short-term, or those without investment support - see above). The only ones who are truly impacted are short-term and rural coliving spaces, who are currently moving towards more long-term models.
- From urban to rural 🌄 → Because of increased remote work, rural living is more accessible to more people. This will impact real estate prices in sub-urban areas, driving them up, and also the creation of more rural coliving spaces.
- A note on the press 📝 → there is (at least personal) hope that coliving will be spelled "coliving" instead of "co-living" and adopted so by the press, especially by AP - if you want to understand why, read my article about it ☺️ Also, be ready for criticism and bad press around coliving, which is normal for new products - for example, the term coliving is equal to deep frustration in Ireland, since some developers thought it'd be a great idea to have 30 people share a 60m2 living room and price them twice as high than neighboring residences. Bad press is inevitable, hence be ready and especially, put effort into building a product and service that serves its residents and the city as a whole.
- Trainings and education 💥 → there will be more and more organizations who are going to specialize in training the coliving industry. Two of them are already doing it: with Co-Liv, we created an entire onboarding program for coliving professionals to help them integrate the coliving industry and make the most out of it. And with Art of Co, I'm going to launch several trainings for coliving operators and community builders to create state-of-the-art coliving experiences.
- Niche audiences 💁♂️ → I'm amazed by how many audiences are still underserved. Here are the main ones: baby boomers, monoparental families, multigenerational, low-income earners, startup accelerator programs and company employees. Specialize in one of these niches and you'll stand out for sure.
Point is: the coliving industry is growing.
We're entering a phase of professionalization and structuration of the industry - leading to more operational excellence and financial stability of coliving players.
The next phase will be fine-tuning the products and services, such as bringing more intentionality to the communal and environmental experience - but for this, we're going to have to wait a few more years and have only a few front-runners lead the way 😉
Cheers from Mexico,