A classification of coliving models

  • mid-term ad-hoc
    targeting the location-independent
  • short-term retreats
    targeting all, with wide variety

Common variants

Before I get into the models, it’s important to realise that very few spaces exclusively follow a single concise model, and that each of the core duration models has its own community behaviour:

  • For operators, long-term stays give more revenue predictability, whilst short-term give higher revenue potential (if balanced against demand).

a. Long-term monthly contract

The contract model meets the needs of professionals working in a fixed location and is thus quite self-explanatory.

b. Mid-term ad-hoc

The ad-hoc model meets the needs of the location independent travelling to a new location for 10–90 days, with no specific timetable except from a space’s own availability as such users are much more flexible.

  • Higher-end—successful location-independent entrepreneurs and salaried professionals. With a more costly offering comparable to hotels (even longer stays), properties in more expensive and convenient locations become operable, and higher standards can be delivered. However the higher the positioning the more other hospitality offerings may compete. Examples: Roam, Zoku
  • Lower-end—budget constrained freelance location-independent workers. Overlaps more with the hostel or paying-guest model when operated commercially, and proving to have demand in Asian markets. Some mid-market and even higher-end spaces also offer bunkrooms to cover multiple segments. Examples: Construkt, …

c. Short-term retreats

These meet the needs of participants with a particular interest in a theme or social group, for a fixed duration of usually a week or two. These are not coliving in a wider sense, but do provide the same values and types of spaces—only as transitory communities, with little or no turnover of members during the coming together of its members for a defined period.

  • Programmed—usually led by a host, being curated or themed (even if only generically such as being for ‘entrepreneurs’) with semi-inclusive pricing, scheduled activities (e.g. morning yoga), communal meals and other events throughout.
  • Coworkations—a variation on all of the above in which users utilise a mixed-use space (coliving+coworking), but arguably can simply be classified as a programme with work as the primary activity.

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Jacob Jay

Jacob Jay

Peripatetic Brit, entrepreneur, software architect, designer, devil’s advocate; into resilience, communities, coworking/coliving, smelly cheese… jacobjay.com