LifeHacks, Coliving & Permaculture 🌱
People don’t buy WHAT you do, they buy WHY you do it.
– Simon Sinek

4 years ago, I started HackerHouse : a desk, 8 beds, fast internet and 8 tech people living and working under the same roof.
There was no online payments, notifications...
Just an online form and an email.

"Work, live and share"

However people clearly understood the mission and what I tried to build:
They loved it or hated it.

This was one of the best indicators because I knew that there was a real market.

Start with WHY

On my HackerHouse journey, I had over 200 monthly bookings and I created connections (good and bad) with my guests, some of them :

  • left with good impressions 80%
  • left with neutral 10%
  • left on bad terms 5%
  • became close friends (Nicolas) 5%

One thing I noticed :
A Coliving space is all about people and it is the biggest challenge – bringing good like-minded people together.

You can have the best standing desk, babyfoot or coffee machine, if people just pay what you do then when someone offer a cheaper and better coliving they will just leave.

Our mission

Empower people with the minimum needed to live, work and share :

  • Like minded people in tech ( 6 - 15 people)
  • Functional living space (bed, desk, internet...)
  • Flexible stays (1 to 8 months)

Personas

As a developer this seems a bit 'marketing thing' but I realised that it is one of the most important.

Bad (too wide)
"Young professionals and students"
"Freelances"
"Between 20 to 35 yrs old"

Good
"Cooking students attending school course for a semester in Paris"
"Dassault and Thales interns coming to Bordeaux for a few months"
"Station F startups coming to Paris for an acceleration program"
"42 students coming for their year training"
"UPEC students coming for a semester"

Ofc nothing prevents you from mixing up 2 or more personas – start with one of them and as you host new people you will discover new personas.

HOW

The not-to-be list

Before taking any booking we show this introduction page :

page we show before any applications

In the beginning it is not obvious but as you get feedbacks through you first guests you will be able to write what you do and what you don't.

Clearly state what you are and what you are not. This helped us to avoid people taking our space as a party hostel, cheap place to crash or incubator where they would expect startups programs, courses, events...

Message inquiries

The first message is really important, when someone applies and writes

Hi I am looking for a room.

We refuse them. Why ?
Because they are primarily looking for a place to sleep rather than a place to share and connect.
70% those people are not a fit and their stays are short or went bad (unsatisfied).

When we are not sure about their profil we say :

Hello {{firstname}}
We have 1 availability for your dates.
We only accept entrepreneurs and tech people.
Stephane


Or we don't care about your garant or 3X rent

Hello {{firstname}}
We don't care about financial situations.
Tell us more about you and your projects – we only accept entrepreneurs and tech people.
Stephane

Branding a Coliving

Until today, I've never really hired a designer because I was short on budget and still finding my why.

I did many quotes for my re-branding: the price range is from 3k to 30k :

  • Visual identity
  • Logo
  • Wireframes
Rebranding with Camille through zoom during lockdown :)

WHEN to turn a coliving into a brand ?


I believe it is too early to hire a designer for your coliving until you have hosted 50+ people (unless you have a big budget).

Through the mistakes, feedbacks and experience you will perfect your wording, personas and design.
So you will know what you want/dont want in your future design.

I hired Camille when I was struggling to have a consistent design on :

HackerHouse (main website)

Behind the scene

HackerHouse brings the fundamentals to get started: a living space and a community. Spaces that will move your projects forward.

  • Black & White: like an Ikea assembly instructions
  • Logo : "HH" because no one writes HackerHouse on WhatsApp
  • Orange and Yellow colours:  Wood – living materials and better for the planet

The pricing in Coliving

Coliving pricing are often higher than traditional renting for 3 reasons :

  • Shorter stays
    From weekly to monthly stays
  • All inclusive
    Weekly cleaning, utilities, insurance, netflix...
  • Community
    More selective. Like Minded people

Depending on your pricing you will attract different people.
They might have more expectations when they pay a higher price.

How did I price my first HackerHouse ?
Paris : Shared bedroom on Airbnb 300€ and coworking space 300€. First HackerHouse : 560€ / month.

Hiring platform

Airbnb

Good for International profiles, come to live an experience.
Able to book remotely instead of visiting.
Make sure they understand your community based living before booking.

LeBoncoin

Good for Local profiles so looking for lower price. If you have a high pricing then you won't have much applications.

LaCarteDesColocs

Good overall you will attract both : locals and internationals.

Appartager, Roomlala

Too messy, low quality applications.

How to write a good listing ?

Use some emoji, write a short description about the tenants, activities and what are your expectations.

Conclusion

I often say : you can always build a good house with good than bad people.

Now let's talk about it join me on a live session the 3rd October 2020 :

Créer une communauté Coliving - Recruter ses futurs locataires ? - Crowdcast
Register now for Stephane Bounmy’s event on Crowdcast, scheduled to go live on Saturday October 03, 2020 at 11:00 am CEST.

Cheers,

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