One month has passed since the last Cocktail and it's been stunning how much happened!
The key highlight of today: the upcoming Co-Liv Summit, which is the main initiative I've been working out since then. On top of that, I'm also sharing some big coliving breakthroughs and discoveries.
So, as always... enjoy the coliving slurp
Join the Global Coliving Summit
On May 5/6th 2021, the worldwide community of coliving professionals will gather to exchange, learn and connect at the Co-Liv Summit.
At Co-Liv, we care about fostering the industry, tackling its main issues and gathering all coliving professionals together. This is why, over the last two months, we've been working incredibly hard to pull together the world's largest and most impactful coliving event to date
🙌 500+ Coliving Actors
🎤 70+ Live Speakers
🌍 30+ Countries Present
🤝 10+ Networking Sessions
🎟️ 2 Full days
🏆 1 Coliving Awards Ceremony
Join this virtual industry event to understand the depth of the coliving industry, exchange with its leading actors and stay up to date with the leading innovations!
I will write a detailed newsletter about it soon, but you can already go to the website (colivsummit.co) and have a look at the incredible line-up, topics, and experiences!
IMPORTANT INFO: If you haven't bought your Co-Liv Summit ticket yet - you have until tonight to get your discounted ticket price 📢
I can't wait to see you there. More info to follow soon!
The newest Coliving Insights edition is out 📰
Entitled "Coliving Insights N°5 - Co-Tech: Innovating Coliving with Technology", this edition includes 140+ pages of insights from 25+ contributors that dive deep into the significance of technology solutions that we find within the real estate industry, and explore how to integrate them to innovate and enhance your coliving space, experience, operations, profitability and sustainability.
I also wrote an article on page 28 entitled "Technology to improve human dynamics: implementing technology systems as means of group experience optimisation", where I shared my thoughts on the role of technology, coliving and IoT.
You can download Coliving Insights N5 here.
Join me today at the "Community Building Frameworks" event 📢
I'm honored to share at one of Co-Liv's most awaited event on community building entitled "Community Frameworks: Different models for coliving communities and shared experiences". I'll be sharing the stage also with Isabelle Mas, Regional Coordinator of Burning Man, and Ricardo Neves, Founder of Oka Coliving & Brazil Co-Liv Ambassador to explore:
Come and join to understand how to build communities in coliving spaces and beyond, how to balance community building vs. investment goals, and which frameworks work best and which mistakes to avoid as a coliving operator.
You can register for this event here.
Coliving Awards is entering the semi-final round 🏆
The first awards ceremony for coliving is now in the round of public voting. I personally served as lead judge for the Best Community Experience category and have also been nominated with two projects: as "best initiative fostering coliving" with Co-Liv and "best thought leadership piece" with the Community Facilitation Handbook.
Please support by upvoting and clicking on the categories above!
Surprising news: Quarters has now been acquired 😵
Remember how, a couple of weeks ago, the Quarters US branch filed bankrupcy? Since them, Quarters has been seeking to leave the coliving game and found a new host. It's now official that coliving startup Habyt acquires the European coliving brand Quarters. This acquisition is mind-blowing to me: the company that once wanted to raise 1bn dollars to build the future of coliving is now out of the radar. At the same time, coliving operator Habit gained more than 2,000 beds overnight, making it one of Europe’s largest coliving operators. 2021 definitely reserves us some more surprises…
Building your community beyond the walls 👌
In this article, which seems self-promotional (I guess they paid for it), Dash coliving (1200 units in HK and Singapore) explains how they built an online community of 13k tenants. Why am I sharing this? Because I think it’s crucial to build a community that is bigger than the housing community. Especially when you start your coliving business, it makes a lot of sense to have a large online community from which you can pull people into housing. One organization that does it well is Unsettled, a global community for remote workers. Unsettled has an online membership and online incubator program with several thousand remote workers, and on top fo that host retreats. It’s the perfect funnel: a low-price, high retention membership combined with high-ticket, short and real-life retreats. If you’re able to create your online community first, then launching a physical space will be way easier.
When access to housing is less than equal 🚫
In this investigation by the NY Times, this notion became extremely clear. Especially for people with housing vouchers, access to rental properties is almost impossible. My question would be: could coliving operators step up for that type of audience? I hope that some will.
After another great conversation with my friend Anu around (another) bonfire, I came to realize that a coliving space which is optimized for personal growth should have three different ways on how residents spend their time:
If an operator only focusses on the experience part, it can become way too heavy for residents to handle. Or, if one focusses only on personal space, then no growth will occur.
From my personal experience, very few coliving spaces actually create intentional time to share our individual experiences to one another. This is something that could definitely be implemented more in coliving environments to develop more compassion, understanding and alignment. ✨
And a final thought about why confrontation is necessary:
Growth is not about introspection, it's about running on a different frameworks. It's about shifting in perspective or entering a stage of emergency, as described in systems theory.
That can sometimes happen by introspection, but not always - we often have the same thoughts again and again, without having breakthroughs. The question then becomes how to get break-throughs - and the answer lies in finding new ways to deal with an already existing tension: whether talking to someone, reading something new, writing and talking out loud, joining a mastermind, going on a state-altered experience - these are experiences that are most likely to shift your perspective patterns.
The concept of opt-in exclusivity 👍
Phil and Gillian from SUPERNUCLEAR wrote a great piece on how to select residents - tackling the question on how to be specific in building up your community without being exclusive 🧐
Here are the core four pillars of how they advise coliving spaces to choose their residents - or rather, to have the resident choose the space:
1. Work: Indicate that this will require effort and describe how much effort.
2. Experimental structures: Describe the unique way that you do things.
3. Application process: Make people put in effort to apply.
4. Values: Stating an explicit set of values (especially slightly polarizing values) will force people to ask whether those values align with their own.
This is a must-read for coliving operators - read more on their latest newsletter here.
The challenges of coliving economics 📈
Peter Levels from Nomadlist (and few other projects), a well-known influencer in the digital nomad scene, created a Twitter thread on "why coliving is not profitable".
He explained how coliving needs to take into account the community management and the luxury of amenities, which makes it a high-end product and un-affordable for many.
After sitting with it, I created my first Twitter thread as a response, which goes like this:
1) Peter is making 3 main assumptions: that coliving is for short-term rental, that the price point should be affordable, and that coliving includes the same amount of private space than normal hotels.
2) I then suggested that coliving economics can work if you play with these variables: for example, you can make it high-end pricing. But let's assume that we all want coliving to be affordable, then you can still play around with the two other variables, namely
A- making coliving long-term, whereby the ROI becomes higher (as there is less switching and acquisition and onboarding costs) and whereby the community experience can be delegated to residents themselves according to the Systems Approach (see my blogpost on that)
B- and solving the problem on density in coliving, such as through pods (see my other article on that)
3) At the end of the end, Peters is making a valid point: namely, that coliving economics is hard to figure out - that many operators failed, that others still struggle, and others remain in growth mode while being heavily VC funded. But coliving does make sense economically - just not in the short-term, high-end affordable model.
You can read my full blogpost here.
A conversation on the value of coliving spaces 💸
I recently had some amazing chats including with Carlos from Coliving from the Trenches. One of the things we talked about was how to showcase the value of coliving. And here is the main thought:
The value of coliving lies in the individual value of community members.
Let me give you a concrete example: I just spent one month at a coliving space full of incredible people. While I paid around $2500 for my stay, I’ve had experiences like never before.
🌋 We did a volcano hike and hosted an exclusive DJ party with a well-known producer from Guatemala. Estimated value: $400.
📈 I had several consulting sessions with Alexandre Dana, founder of Livementor (and one of my best friends). Estimated value if he would charge me: $2500.
🏡 Then, I’ve been working with our amazing coliving architect Kelsea Crawford. Again, estimated value: $2000.
🎟 On top of that, a Google Ads expert is now taking care of our ads. Value: $1000.
💨 Then, we took some intense 4h breath work session with an expert of that field. The event would have cost in San Francisco: $80.
🔊 And, we have an entire evening where we went into a sound journey with six different facilitators. This in itself can be sold at retreats for $300 at least.
So, was my stay worth $2500?
No. It was worth at least 5x the price.
That is, if you add all the experiences I’ve been having. The base price is what I paid for the curation of the community, for living in the most luxurious villa I’ve ever stayed in, for having organizers take care of the framework and for having an amazing chef (actually, two) cook for us great food every day.
The true value of coliving lies in the interaction I had with the people and the experiences they brought me in. And I would even go further: the real value are the friendships I made.
And this, dear readers, in priceless.
After a few final trips in Guatemala, including to Lake Atitlán with my dear friend and also Co-Liv Ambassador Kelsea Crawford, I decided to move to Costa Rica to explore the country and spend 1-1 time with my partner.
My recent break-through was that I wanted to prioritize experiences over constant work desire. Which led me to a new rule: most days, I stop working at around 3pm to get on real life experiences (knowing that I start at 6am though).
In the last weeks, I've been able to pass my level one free-diving license (down to 12m), hiked some nice trails in national parks, explored the jungle at night, spent a weekend with my friends from Conscious Coliving in the mountains, and even visited a sloth sanctuary.
All of this while launching and co-leading to Co-Liv Summit, pushing my book out the last mile and fostering some great consulting initiatives.
My key learning: limiting my workload made me even more productive, allowed me to deepen my relationships and has deeply changed my relationship to work - and life.
With that, sending you my thoughts and thanks for reading,
Wishing you all a beautifull weekend,
PS: If you have any thoughts on what you just read, please share them with me. And if someone forwarded you this email, you can subscribe to my newsletter here.
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