As a coliving operator, you’re always looking for ways to increase community happiness, right? Happy communities make for a strong business, after all!
As a consultant for coliving communities, I'm often chatting with coliving operators on ways to enhance their space. I've noticed that operators who come from more of a property management background tend to focus on enhancing the physical space itself. How can we add more amenities? How can we make this property more attractive?
And, while that's a great mindset to have, a lot of these additions are expensive, and honestly not always the best use of your resources. One of the biggest benefits of being part of a coliving community has nothing to do with the space itself, but rather, in the experience.
What I want to talk to about here is how to add value to the experience in intangible ways. Most importantly - how can you add value to your community without increasing your pricing?
Take a look at a few of my top tips for enhancing the coliving community experience, without spending a dime:
Often, when people think about having events within a coliving space, their mind immediately goes to hosting BBQs or themed parties. And while those can be great things to do, they often require a lot of time, effort and money. It also involves a member of your team having to physically attend and in most cases, guessing which activities your members want to participate in.
Rather than hosting events, you want to focus on facilitating community-led experiences, which is not only less expensive for you as an operator, it's actually much more effective at creating connection between your members. With an engaged community, members aren't just part of a group, they're involved in the creation of the community itself, which can be a very powerful experience.
Community-led experiences can benefit coliving spaces in multiple ways. They can help to create a sense of community and connection within the space, and foster a feeling of ownership and responsibility among residents. Additionally, community-led experiences can help to make the space more vibrant and engaging, and can provide a valuable outlet for residents’ creativity and energy.
2. Local Business Partnerships:
Another way to add value to your community is to work with local businesses on partnership deals. It’s one of the best opportunities to create value without spending a penny. Think about all of the resources your city/neighborhood already has available - yoga studios, gyms, coworking spaces, events, etc.
Collaborating in this way can be beneficial to both the local business itself and your coliving community. Get to know the business owners in your area and look for ways to join forces. Whether through discounts, free trials or trades, getting a little creative can allow you to not only enhance the experience for those living within your space, but also connect with the wider community.
3. Onboarding Design:
One of the most important parts of the coliving community experience happens before your members even arrive. Taking the time to map out your communication touchpoints and create templates/timeframes for each is absolutely key.
Things to think about when designing your onboarding system:
What can your members expect on move-in day?
How do they get to the space?
What do they need to bring?
Who greets them when they arrive?
How do they get integrated into the group?
What do they need to know about the space itself?
How do the appliances work?
What's expected in the shared spaces?
What is the wifi password?
How do you communicate all this information effectively?
When it comes to coliving, there is so much value in the intangibles. Well thought out communication processes are one of THE most important pieces of the puzzle. Done well, onboarding can orient new members quickly, reduce conflict and make everyone feel connected, comfortable and welcome right from the start.
If you'd like help designing your onboarding system, consider booking a Community Experience session here.
As an experience designer for coliving spaces, I could go on and on about ways to enhance your community through value-driven experiences. In the end, it's all about creating a space that makes people feel connected, engaged and welcome. By focusing on the experience, you'll be able to create a stronger and more meaningful community that is worth staying in for the long haul.
Interested in learning more about how to build a strong coliving community? Chat directly with me here!