I hope you’re well - somewhere quarantined in the world on a Saturday.
The last weeks have been crazy, I’m sure that you don’t need a reminder. On my side, I tried to put my energy into creating solutions for all of us with three key initiatives:
The Co-Liv Virtual Meetups: with the help of Co-Liv’s ambassadors, I organized virtual meetups in 12 different countries, many of them with speakers, and some in their local language. Check out below for upcoming ones.
The 24h Virtual eXstatic Dance: I hosted three weeks ago with NomadX a 24h dance party, which is going to happen again on Friday 24th. It’s a free event (voluntary donation) and you’re more than welcome to join.
While you’ll soon get news about new initiatives, I’m curious to hear how you are doing and what your focus is right now. Just drop me a line, I’d love to reconnect with many of you ✨
And now, here are a few thoughts on the whole coliving situation.
THOUGHTS ON THE FUTURE OF COLIVING —
There has been a lot of discussion around coliving post-corona, and here are some thoughts that I haven’t heard yet:
Which type of coliving will be most impacted? The residential sector remains a stable asset class and the crisis shows that the “nice-to-have” rental options (short-term, high-end, hotel) will be most impacted. My assumption is that it might lead to the term “coliving” being associated post-corona with more long-term forms of living than the currently existing “hotel-living hybrids” targeting the traveling industry.
Which urban coliving spaces are at highest risk? Urban long-term coliving spaces can be impacted if a) their locations need to be shut down because of health risks, b) their leases are flexible and enough tenants chose to leave the space, c) a significant number of tenants get laid off and forced into cancelling their lease, or d) the stage of the company is still not profitable and/or requires funding to survive the next runaway phase. Those are the major scenarios I’m currently seeing, which will lead to certain spaces struggling financially.
How many operators will stop existing? I hear a lot of fears around the bankruptcy of operators, especially short-term rental ones. Instead of assuming that many will “die”, it’s more probable for the majority to survive, yet let go of many locations. Some have already abandoned 90% of their places. We will therefore witness a reduction in the amount of beds once the crisis is over and could see operators focussing on long-term form of offerings.
Who will be the winner after the crisis? The winners during the crisis will be spaces that attracted a non-laid-off target audience and that had long-term leases with their tenants; while the long-term winner post-crisis will be spaces that are affordable or high-end, appealing to those in need (times after a crisis require more affordable housing than before) or those that were barely affected at all.
What about AirBnb? The platform is trying to reinvent itself, launching virtual experiences and onboarding long-stay rents. Nevertheless, it will not be able to compete with residential prices, and I therefore wouldn’t worry for it to become a competitor to current coliving operators.
What will be the attitude towards coliving? As in every extreme case scenario, lovers and haters are born. While we can accept a minority to react with fear and cross off coliving as a health hazard, I believe that the majority will be in favor of finding human connection after experiencing what it is like to be truly isolated and lonely. Hence, demand for communal living will rise significantly.
What about rural coliving? While rural operators are taking one of the biggest hits in the crisis, there is hope: when seeing that 24% of Paris’ population left for rural areas during the crisis, many of my friends are now experiencing living outside of cities and now ask themselves whether they even want (or have) to go back into it. And for those confined in cities, they will want to go back to nature as quickly as possible. Moreover, the rapid digitalization of the workforce will lead to more remote work, and hence a wider target audience of remote workers to tap into. I believe it will give rise to more long-term rural coliving spaces once travelling is enabled again.
How can the crisis impact our building environment? One fear I have is that new developers will learn from the closing down of shared living spaces, and will therefore build more “micro-units” than “true coliving”. I hope this reaction will not happen, and that the focus will be put on building strong, small-sized communities within buildings.
These are my thoughts. I’d love to read yours, and if you want, I’m happy to publish them (even anonymously) in my next newsletter ✍️
UPCOMING VIRTUAL CO-LIV MEETUPS — The virtual Co-Liv meetups are the opportunity for coliving operators to connect, learn and exchange. You can check out the speakers and RSVP on the links to attend.
ISRAEL (in Hebrew) - Wed April 22nd @ 8.30pm Israeli time (RSVP)
BRAZIL (in Portuguese) - Thu April 23rd @ 5pm BST (RSVP)
SPAIN (in Spanish) - Wed April 29th @ 5pm CET (RSVP)
PORTUGAL (in English) - Thu April 30th @ 5pm Lisbon (RSVP)
FRANCE (in English) - Thu April 30th @ 7pm CET (RSVP)
UK (in British English ;-) - May 7th @ 6pm UK time (RSVP)
PS: If you want to host a virtual meetup, let me know and we can set it up 🤝
AND ON A PERSONAL NOTE —
I’m currently in Madrid with a dear friend of mine, and we are (of course) not planning to move. Instead, I'm using the time to building out great stuff, trying to get a sixpack, and going back into ketogenic diet (explore in my article).
Quick hack - we contacted a $9,000/month penthouse on AirBnb and offered them to take care of the place (and plants) for $800 bucks. And it worked - we got it for 1/10th of the price, reminding me of what Rahm Emanuel, Obama's White House Chief of Staff, said in 2008:
“You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. And what I mean by that is an opportunity to do things that you think you could not do before.”
Much love to all,
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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