Six Months Inside A Coliving House, Silicon Valley's Answer To Urban Housing Problems
J Thoendell stashed this in Tech
Rent for rooms in the house range from $1,000 per month (for a cubbie hole the size of a walk-in closet) to $1,900 per month (for an apartment-sized room with its own bathroom). Residents each pay 1/9th of the bill for commodities like Internet, electricity, gas, and a bi-monthly cleaning service and, included as part of their rent, a $150 fee to Campus. The fee covers the cost of shared items like pots and pans, furniture in the common space, toilet paper, and soap. It also covers the cost of support staff like Annelie and a facilities manager who coordinates repairs, changes light bulbs, and installs curtain rods in our bedrooms. In San Francisco, there are more frills, like hot tubs, guest rooms, and a shared vacation home in Napa.
They still aren't making money.
One option for making coliving work as a business is to offer a premium catered living situation. "We create an experience that allows them to create harmony between their mind, their body, and spirit," says Ryan Fix, the founder of Pure House, which provides amenities like meditation classes and, if requested, meal plans, to its residents for an experience that costs between $1,500 and $2,100 per month. Krash, where rooms range from $1,600 (for a shared room) and $2,000, includes in its rent a full pantry, towel service, and events. "When you’re signing up for Krash, you’re signing up for more than just a housing experience," cofounder Phil Fremont-Smith says. "You’re signing up for, really, a particle accelerator for people." In the span of a 45-minute conversation, he compares the startup to TED, TechStars, Apple, and Hogwarts.
Another business strategy is to argue that being part of a network is worth more rent than you might pay if you were to find your own four-bedroom apartment. What separates renting a desk at the Regus, which you’ve been able to do since 1989, and coworking is the same thing that could separate finding some roommates on Craigslist and coliving. It’s that nebulous term, "community."