The coliving industry isn’t sitting still. With the pandemic having accelerated remote working and alternative living trends, the coliving industry is preparing for the future by embracing new markets, locations, demographics and technologies. Here are 10 coliving trends we expect to hear more about this year.
- Specialised coliving offerings
Coliving is not simply ‘people living together’: it’s a way of living that’s based on community and shared values. Operators are increasingly looking to bring together like-minded people through specialised offerings, for example, a blended work and adventure coliving experience in the French Alps (i.e. Cloud Citadel) and an urban coliving space in London that focuses on wellbeing (i.e. Mason & Fifth). As coliving grows this year, expect to see more niche offerings emerge.
- Simplified booking processes
With more competition on the horizon, offering a frictionless booking process will bolster your chances to stand out. OTAs are popular interfaces for potential guests to search for coliving spaces, but they’ll almost certainly use your website to understand the space, price, community and amenities before booking. Having a direct booking portal on your website with photos, floor plans, clear pricing and secure deposits will encourage more people to book from a global audience (and also save you money on commission).
- Seamless welcome
Smart locks and keyless access control signal the death knell of the check-in desk, but the welcome experience happens before arrival. With automated emails, you can set weekly, bi-weekly or monthly (depending on the booking lead time) communications that make your future residents excited about their stay, and highlight nearby attractions or upcoming events for them to start planning. What’s more, if they’re returning guests, you can log their preferences for a more personalised experience.
- Smart security
Security is important no matter where you live, but even more so when living with other people. However, locked doors, keys and access control are not usually what springs to mind when picturing a vibrant community. The fix? Smart locks and keyless access control - be it via an app or sensor recognition - enables residents to move seamlessly around a space and use amenities, while also securing their personal units. The codes or apps can also be easily added to coliving management software and updated remotely for added security.
- Slick housekeeping operations
Most coliving operators provide the basics - clean linen and towels - but how about using technology for additional housekeeping services, like dry-cleaning via an app? Using tech, residents can control the housekeeping rota to fit around their working hours, so the sound of a vacuum doesn’t interrupt their video calls. Whether scheduling housekeeping tasks or issuing a reactive request following a breakage or spillage, both coliving operators and residents benefit when operations are as smooth as the surfaces. That’s why more operators are investing in coliving softwares that allows a two-way oversight of housekeeping and maintenance duties.
Across the customer journey, support is a key contributor to great guest experience. One of the main developments in this space is a human-led chatbot: a quick, direct, responsive means of communication. Top-of-the-range chatbots also have auto-translate, so they can communicate in multiple languages, and the ability to send photos and documents so issues are resolved in real-time.
- Energy efficiency
Sustainability is at the heart of coliving. Sharing spaces and bills cuts each individual's carbon footprint and in coliving spaces, eco-credentials should extend from communal areas to personal spaces too. For example, adding motion sensors to rooms ensures that lights are never left on while the space is empty. Automated thermostats that kick-in and turn-off at set temperatures ensure less waste. Even smart meters improve energy efficiency which benefits you, your guests and the planet.
- Community app
Guest apps that can be used to arrange maintenance, book amenities, update contracts and contact operators directly are fast becoming the norm across innovative living spaces. When it comes to coliving software, the interactive nature of a guest app is crucial to community-building. This enables residents to not only view which events are taking place and register for them, but also set up their own, such as Sunday supper clubs, Wednesday walking clubs, Friday film nights and Tuesday tango evenings.
- Intergenerational coliving spaces
When you think about coliving residents, you probably imagine that they’re millennials, digital nomads and young professionals. With the popularity of the coliving industry increasing, it has also expanded the demographic focus. Now, coliving concepts might cater for the senior market, women, students and families. Intergenerational living is on the rise.
- Local integration
Community, location and space are likely the three main draws for coliving residents. After cultivating a specific coliving concept, operators can enhance your offering by embedding your community within the local neighbourhood. That’s by creating exclusive deals with the local restaurants and cafes, partnering with the coworking space down the road, providing 50% discounts at the gym or nearby attractions. Even fresh milk and fruit delivery from local farms is an important touch.
Although it might not seem like it, all of the above trends are made easier, and in some cases possible, through developments in coliving software. From remote operations management to resident communication, the biggest coliving trend for 2022 will be continued adoption of technology.