Co-Liv meetup in Manchester

Manchester is the third best city in the world, according to a recent survey conducted by TimeOut, and there is growing investment in coliving, with thousands of proposed units currently under development across the city.

Coliving Events Insights

So, it was appropriate that the UK Co-Liv team - consisting of our new Head of Membership and UK Ambassador, Jackson Torchia, Head of Ambassadors, Cate Maiolini, and Head of Marketing, Lucy McInally - hosted the first in-person coliving meetup event of 2021 at Oppidan Social in Manchester two weeks ago.

The UK Co-Liv team

Offering true coliving units and coworking spaces, Oppidan is based in Manchester’s vibrant Northern Quarter. The event was supported by Co-Liv’s core tech partner, SALTO Systems, technology provider for access control systems, and interior design company LOFT, that focusses on resident well being. The core value of Co-Liv is educating, connecting and empowering the coliving ecosystem; a combination of both coliving professionals and coliving residents participated in the event and engaged in interesting roundtable talks. This blog post shares the discussions covered during the meetup. 

Group discussions at Oppidan Social. 

Coliving during and post Covid 

Has the pandemic affected the coliving industry? if so, how?

Like many industries, coliving was most severely affected at the beginning of the pandemic, but has proved its resilience from that point onwards. As people have struggled with the social isolation of lockdowns, they have seeked communal based living arrangements, which has led to high demand in coliving spaces. 

What kind of growth will coliving have in the post-Covid world?

The post-Covid world will show an increase in the amount of people who prioritise their social life above all else. This boost in coliving’s target audience will undoubtedly result in even faster growth than was expected before the pandemic. 

Coliving and technology

How important is technology in coliving?

Technology in coliving is extremely important. The further forward technology advances, the more it will help improve processes and customer journeys and community facilitation. 

What’s the most useful technology you [operators] use right now in your coliving role?

At the moment, the most useful technology solution is the one we use to communicate with our members and between members themselves. Facebook and Whatsapp groups are extremely helpful in spreading information quickly amongst the community. There are also a number of bespoke apps that do this as well, which are getting better and more comprehensive as a one stop solution.

Which technology solutions would you like to see developed in the next few years?

RESIDENT: Platforms to easily hop from one coliving space to another, where the resident has been vouched for, has identification in the system and the deposit is held centrally so it doesn’t require multiple transactions for each move. 

OPERATOR: A true coliving app that makes communication enjoyable for both members and staff. A one-stop-shop for events, notices, conversations, brainstorming, etc, everything that a large coliving building needs in order to thrive.

Discussing the importance of technology in coliving

Is Coliving for everyone?

Should there be restrictions on who can join a coliving space? e.g. only people who can show they’re interested in joining a community

There should be absolutely no restrictions for those who want to join a coliving space, from age demographics to gender to ability. An intergenerational coliving space is welcomed, to integrate older coliving residents with young. The main focus should be the community - all residents should be willing to get on with others and understand that community living tackles loneliness, changed circumstances and lack of community in urban spaces. 

Should coliving spaces be more niche? e.g. tech communities, entrepreneurs only, digital nomads only, vegetarian etc?

The issue with niche coliving spaces is that the community building might result in creating a cult-like vibe , whose members push their values onto others, thus closing the group off to others. An open niche approach could work if it considers the wider community, for example, a coliving space that focuses on wellness or fitness, but it doesn’t ostracise residents who don’t participate in these activities and it is open to include the wider community.

The result of our discussions were very interesting, we found it extremely beneficial to hear the opinions and ideas of both coliving residents and professionals, and consider future trends.

Our next UK Co-Liv event will take place in London - sign up to our newsletter if you’d like to receive updates and join in! 

Join the Co-Liv membership program to become more involved in the coliving world. 

With lots of co-lov,

The Co-Liv Team

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