Co Living providers like Common and Quarters had been thriving and expanding all over the U.S. with people who want multiple apartment mates or co tenants.
The Coronavirus Pandemic has dramatically challenged this business model and growth opportunities. Brad Hargreaves, CEO of Common says “ the people who are breaking leases and dropping are not dropping because they got skittish about co living. They're dropping because they lost their job, they decided not to move or there was some fundamental change in circumstance”. Common has been offering flexible payment plans to tenants. Most of Common's residents have 12 month leases and some with a three month leases. In this case the company has less exposure to transient renters and makes residents feel more comfortable because they have developed relationships with their apartment mates.
The coliving company Quarter, (the We Work of co living) CEO Rui Barros sees leasing demand for it's co living space slow down. Barros does not have a set policy on rent flexibility but is having conversations with residents and evaluating each situation individually.
The public health crisis of a spreading pandemic is forcing co living providers to take new precautions to keep their residents safe. Bobby Condon, Quarters North America General Manager says that “ we have changed our operations to make sure we're aligned with guidance from the health authorities. Quarters, Barros observes that until we have a better sense of what the recovery timeline looks like, there is probably going to be slowed growth. Both Hargreaves and Barros agree, that the growth prospects of co living, once the crisis has passed hasn't dimmed.
The popularity of co living is based on people wanting high quality and affordable housing in prime locations in the city. People will still want this.
Co living may be much better positioned to weather a recession than co working. There are a variety of ways you can keep your business moving forward without having the expense of office space.
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