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Why Your Coliving Brand NEEDS A Head of Community



When I tell people that I'm a Community Experience consultant for coliving spaces, I get a lot of questions. Things like:


"Oh, interesting. What is coliving?"
"Uh, how did you get started in that??"

And, the most common one:


"Sounds cool! But, what exactly do you DO...?"

Good question. Honestly, I've struggled with how to succinctly answer it for years.


When a person says that they do 'Sales' or 'Marketing' or 'SEO' people immediately know the value they provide to their clients.


When a person says they do 'Customer Experience Design,' it's a little less clear.


But, the outcome is EXACTLY the same.


A solid Customer Experience Strategy helps you build brand awareness. It builds word-of-mouth marketing. It builds user trust. And, most importantly, it brings more people to your space.


There's a strategy behind building a successful shared living experience for your users. And, I help spaces implement these strategies. A solid CX Strategy plays a crucial role in creating a vibrant and engaging environment for your residents, ultimately driving the success of your business.

 

If you're looking to elevate and scale your co-living brand, hiring a Head of Community isn't just a nice-to-have, it's a necessity.


In this article, we're going to cover the ROI of hiring a Head of Community Experience within your coliving space.


(AND, how to find one at a rate that's affordable - even for start-ups!)


What does a Head of Community Experience do?


A Head of Community Experience is the person who guides the overall user experience. They develop and implement a community strategy that fosters a sense of belonging, engagement, and growth.


As a result, coliving communities with a great Head of Community Experience have longer resident stays, more referrals, and a stronger reputation. Why? Because having a person on your team who is solely focused on the experience, makes for better, more consistent experiences overall.


As a coliving operator, you've got a lot of things on your plate. And because of that, the pressures of running a property business, means the community aspect can fall to the wayside. Your Head of Community makes sure that doesn't happen.

 

Roles & Responsibilities:


That all sounds great, right? But, what are the day-to-day roles and responsibilities for your Head of Community? Here are a few things your Head of Community will do:


  1. Strategic Community Planning: Your Head of Community will develop a comprehensive strategy to cultivate a sense of belonging and connectivity among residents. They'll be responsible for facilitating and assessing community-led events and initiatives, alongside your Community Managers.

  2. Feedback-Driven Improvements: They'll establish feedback loops to gather resident input and suggestions, using data-driven insights to enhance the community experience. Continuous evaluation and refinement of community programs will be integral to their role.

  3. Member Onboarding and Engagement: Your Head of Community will oversee the onboarding process for new residents, ensuring a seamless transition into the community. They'll also facilitate engagement through regular communication.

  4. Leadership and Team Development: They'll lead and mentor a team of Community Managers across multiple properties. This ensures a consistent delivery of exceptional community experiences.

  5. Partnerships and Networking: The Head of Community can act as an advocate for your brand - seeking partnership opportunities with other brands and service providers to create value-added opportunities for your community.

  6. Event Facilitation: They'll oversee a diverse calendar of events and activities tailored to the interests and preferences of your member base.


The ROI of Hiring a Head of Community Experience


So, I know what you're thinking:

"Having that person would be great. I can see how it would benefit our users. But, I've got a budget to stick to. Can I really justify the expense?"

Here's the thing - investing in a Head of Community Experience is not just an expense—it's a strategic move that can yield substantial returns for your co-living space. Here's how:


1. Increased Member Retention: A great Head of Community knows how to create a space where residents feel valued and connected. This makes residents more likely to stay longer. When residents stay longer, you save money on vacancy, turnover, and marketing costs.


2. Boosted Referrals and Word-of-Mouth Marketing: A thriving community is a magnet for referrals. Happy residents are more likely to recommend your co-living space to their networks. This organic word-of-mouth marketing is not only cost-effective but also highly influential in attracting new tenants.


3. Optimized Resource Allocation: A Head of Community who uses data can help you make better decisions about where to spend your money and resources. By understanding what residents like and don't like, they can create programs, events, and amenities that are more likely to be successful.


4. Quantifiable Community Growth: Through data analytics and feedback mechanisms, a Head of Community can provide tangible metrics on the growth and satisfaction of your community. This valuable information allows you to make informed decisions, adapt strategies, and continue to improve the living experience.


5. Enhanced Brand Reputation: A well-run community makes your co-living space stand out from the competition. When residents have a great experience, they leave positive reviews and tell their friends. This builds a strong reputation for your brand, which means you can charge higher prices overall.


How do I afford a Head of Community?

"Okay, I'm sold on the idea of a Head of Community. But, the average Head of Community makes like $80,000/year, right? We're a start-up. We just don't have the budget."

It's true that a Head of Community can be an expensive hire. But, it doesn't have to be.


If you don't have the budget for a full-time Head of Community Experience, consider working with a consultant like myself on a fractional executive basis.

A fractional executive can provide you with access to the same expertise and experience as a full-time Head of Community Experience, but on a part-time basis. This is a great option for growing coliving brands that want to tap into senior-level knowledge and experience without the hefty price tag.

If you're interested in learning more about fractional executive services, contact me today, and together, we can decide if it's a right fit.


Conclusion:


In short, hiring a Head of Community Experience is a smart investment for any coliving business. They can help you improve resident retention, satisfaction, and brand reputation, which can lead to a more profitable bottom line. By prioritizing community, you're not only providing a better living experience for your residents, but you're also creating a more successful and sustainable business.


Having a dedicated Head of Community Experience isn't just an investment in your residents, but it's an investment in the overall success and growth of your co-living brand. Ready to take your coliving space to the next level? Send a message.

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