How To Design The Coliving Experience
If you search 'How To Start A Coliving Space', most likely, you'll find information on how to find the perfect architect, how to choose your location, and how to set up the physical aspects of space.
These are all very important things to consider when starting a coliving space. But, I've found that many people tend to focus their efforts on how to design the perfect coliving space, but fail to think about how to design the perfect coliving experience.
When done well, experience design can lead to powerful, transformative moments that have the ability to change people's lives for the better. It can create a sense of community, belonging, and connection.
Sounds like a pretty great coliving experience, right?
But, experience design isn't just about creating one-off, flashy events or experiences. It's about designing a holistic ecosystem of interactions that work together to create a sense of cohesion and purpose. It's about considering all the touchpoints and moments that make up someone's journey, and finding ways to make each one meaningful and impactful.
As a coliving consultant that focuses specifically on the Customer Journey, I work with coliving brands to create a solid customer experience from start to finish.
Here are 3 key areas you need to consider when designing your coliving experience:
Onboarding is an essential part of the coliving experience, as it helps new residents feel welcomed, supported, and integrated into the community culture. Effective onboarding in a co-living space involves more than just handing over keys and showing someone their room. It's an opportunity to set the tone for the rest of their time in the community, and can make all the difference in whether or not they feel like they belong.
An Onboarding System for your space can include welcoming them with a personalized gift or note, introducing them to other members of the community, and providing resources and support to help them get settled in.
Overall, the goal of onboarding in communal living is to create a smooth and seamless transition into the community, and to help new residents feel like they are an integral part of a real community from the very beginning.
Expert Tip: Set aside time to design your coliving onboarding system with intention. Walk through the Customer Journey from the time a person books your space, to the time they move in. Consider creating customer avatars to help with the process.
Designing community-led events in coliving is an effective way to foster a sense of ownership and belonging among residents, and to create a vibrant, cohesive co-living experience.
When residents have a say in the events and activities that take place in their community, they feel more invested in the community and are more likely to get involved and contribute. You are providing them with a platform to share their interests and passions with others, and to connect with like-minded individuals.
But, community-led events don't just happen by magic; you need to facilitate them. When designing your coliving experience, you need to think about how your community facilitator can facilitate community-led events instead of hosting them.
Expert Tip: Think about what your community members might like to teach or learn. How can you encourage your members to create their own community events, based on what they'd like to teach or learn?
Offboarding is an often overlooked, but important aspect of the coliving experience. It's the process of saying goodbye and transitioning out of the community. With Customer Experience Design, you want to create a positive community experience within your co-living space from beginning to end, which means you don't want to skip this step.
Effective offboarding in coliving involves more than just packing up and leaving. It's about finding ways to recognize and celebrate the departing resident's contributions to the community, and to ensure that they feel supported and connected as they transition out. This can include things like hosting a farewell party or gathering, providing resources and support to help with the transition, and staying in touch after the resident has left.
People remember how they felt when an experience ended. Make it a positive one! With a great offboarding experience, people are more likely to recommend your space to others, and think positively about coming back.
Expert Tip: Think about ways that you can keep your community members engaged with your brand, even after they've left. Consider keeping an alumni chat going or host events for previous members; even a simple e-mail newsletter is helpful.
In conclusion, the co-living concept is a unique experience that requires thoughtful design and intentional facilitation. From onboarding to offboarding, it's important to create a seamless experience across the board.
To ensure the best coliving experience, set aside time to design your coliving system with intention. Or, book a consultation and we can work through ways to enhance or build your system together.
Want to learn more about designing the coliving experience? Check out this podcast episode I recorded in partnership with Obeyo.