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What is Coliving?

Matt Zothner · 8/1/20

What is Coliving?

Coliving (or Shared Living) refers to the organization of people around a property for purposes of affordable housing and community building.

The idea has been around for decades, evolving from dormitories to shared communal housing. In the modern world, we’ve gotten used to services like ride-sharing, short-term rentals and experiences. We like to call this the “access economy”, and it’s something that’s constantly evolving with changing behaviors, technologies and mindsets.

Behaviors like sharing housing and coliving are becoming the norm due to complex economic reasons like rising rents, student loan debt and more. With migration taking place from larger cities to more affordable smaller ones, renters young and old are looking more and more at coliving arrangements.

Coliving provides people with the freedom to choose where they want to live without the hassle that comes with moving; including the stress of finding roommates, setting up utilities and building a community or network in an unfamiliar place.

If the purpose of coliving is to create living situations that are empowering and communal, why hasn’t the market tipped toward this movement?

Why Coliving has been difficult in the past

In the past it was extremely difficult to find affordable housing in a place you want to live while also finding great roommates to share it with. Coliving can only be successful if certain preferences match up: location, timing of the lease and roommate compatibility. If these preferences line up, then roommates are able to share homes together, while having the comfort and privacy of their own rooms. But it’s a notoriously difficult problem to solve.

What about the issue of splitting the utility bill when you know there’s no way you used that much water? Or the possibility of your roommate forgetting to pay their bills on time? Problems like these have also occurred for years.

Thankfully, there is a way to ameliorate the pains that come with shared living. Because Alcove homes offer per-room rentals, everything is paid individually, meaning that utilities, internet and more are hassle-free — no more account creation or splitting bills between roommates. Besides, the per-room rental model allows more choice in leasing terms, solving the issue of timing as well.

We aim to create positive interactions through efficient use of resources and space, while also building communities around them. It’s why we also provide a roommate matching feature so that members are able to connect with potential roommates before signing a lease.

Alcove takes the concept of coliving and make it easier for everyone.

How does Coliving work?

Coliving works for both sides of the table — tenants and landlords. For tenants, things like ease-of-use, included amenities, and a sense of community are a few of the reasons why coliving is enticing. For developers and landlords in the real estate market, coliving presents the opportunity to achieve higher occupancy, guarantee rent and trust that the tenants are there for a shared purpose.

Alcove members share common spaces like the kitchen and living room, which are furnished before arrival, and each member signs a lease for a private bedroom with a lease term (anywhere from 3 to 18 months) that works best for them.

In addition, we regularly host community events to help bridge the gap for people new to the area, or for those looking to continue to build their personal and professional networks.

What is the Alcove experience like?

Our members come from all walks of life, are all professionals in various industries and came to us to help them solve a common problem. Over the years, we‘ve learned that housing is a deeply personal and complex situation for many people. At the end of the day, most professionals want to come home to a place that is safe and comfortable, with some socializing mixed in.

Because of this, the coliving experience is what you make of it. We encourage our members to get to know their roommates and join us for community events. Our aim is to create a harmonious environment for all parties involved so that coliving remains hassle-free and valuable to everyone.

What’s next for Coliving?

As behaviors change, we’ll start to see more shared living arrangements in cities both big and small. Due to the affordability and built-in community of coliving, we believe people will congregate to these kinds of living situations. We’re excited to be at the forefront of the coliving industry and we’ll soon expand to cities across the country. If you want to learn more, read our About Us page.