‘Co-living’ – changing the face of rented accommodation in India
Millennials are putting an end to housing woes by opting for co-living spaces, which offer the ease of living and a vibrant community with like-minded people.Deepak Anand
Millennials are known for moving around. They job-hop for better opportunities, which is partly due to economic realities outside their control. Most millennials are known to switch jobs once in one to three years, which sometimes require switching cities, leading to changing homes. It is rare to find millennials who have not spent hours looking for that perfect house to live in, at the right price, location, and with the right people. The truth is there are hardly any ideal options in the traditional rental housing system, which is why this new trend of co-living is gaining traction.
Most people initially are hesitant about taking new accommodation on their own, given their unfamiliarity with the new place and city. The most convenient option at the time is moving in with relatives. However, that’s an option that most people only avail for a short time. Post the initial settling in, most people eventually contemplate moving out and living on their own. However, their inhibitions of whether they will be able to live on their own in a new city play heavy on their mind. Beyond safety, the sheer management of a new house and the added responsibilities of running a household independently bog them down. This is where co-living places come to the rescue, taking care of basics and helping residents feel secure and looked after.
Today, millennials are no longer sold on the idea of owning a property. Instead, they prefer investing in experiences and things that gratify them. Finding like-minded people and building a tribe is one of the critical factors that dominate most of their decisions, from their workplace to who they live with. This is where co-living as a concept fits in well and matches their priorities. Co-living is best experienced in the mega-communities that combine state-of-the-art, super aggregated, tech-enabled shared spaces for young working professionals and students.
Enabling ‘ease of living’
The concept of co-living offers residential accommodation that combines fully-furnished and managed living spaces with shared facilities. While the concept of shared living is not new, what excites the newer generation is the ‘ease of living’ provided by co-living spaces through its varied range of amenities and unparalleled facilities. Youngsters are no longer willing to deal with interfering property owners, and factors like high-deposit and rigid lock-in period are resulting in the rise of this concept.
In co-living, one can find state-of-the-art, super aggregated, tech-enabled shared spaces for young working professionals and students. Unlike other shared living arrangements, co-living encourages social contact and community building. Curated events such as open mics, cookout sessions, karaoke nights, and flea market for residents encourages social interactions and cultivates a sense of belonging in people opting for co-living places.
These spaces are designed to simplify the resident’s life with amenities and quality of life it offers. The residents living in co-living spaces like the feeling of coming back home after a long day at work, without having to take care of plumbing, electricity, or house help issues. It is relieving for them to know that no matter how stressful their day has been, their home will always be a welcoming place.
I believe co-living is a trend that is catching up fast. In a short span of time, it has found a place in an unorganised and cluttered rented housing industry.
Why co-living appeals to millennials?
Millennials are on the move and frequently travel for work and pleasure in search of newer authentic experiences. They are more invested in meeting newer people, building social connections, and creating memories. Additionally, the rise of alternative career options and purchasing power has led to an insurgence of options, resulting in millennials moving away from conventional ways of living life.
These factors have led to millennials being skewed towards brands that speak to them in their language and sell the lifestyle they best resonate with. This is where co-living spaces come at play – as housing options that have evolved to become extremely swanky apartments, designed to suit the tastes of the millennials. They boast of modern designs, consisting of simple-yet-clean colours and textures and industrial elements. The smart use of space has made co-living a perfect combination of socialisation and privacy. While designing a co-living apartment, architects are mindful of constructing the house in a manner, which best uses space, is not inconvenient and ensures privacy when required. Colours and designs play a major role in shaping up the place that a collective group of people can call their home.
The best use of technology and affordability
With our mobile phones becoming indispensable, co-living brands lay a big emphasis on the smart use of mobile apps to make the lives of the residents easier. This ensures seamless communication between the tenant and the operator whenever required to provide instant assistance. These factors contribute to making co-living spaces the preferred choice for millennials. Security and safety are of top priority to co-living property owners, which is ensured by installing facilities such as biometric and facial recognition in addition to setting up a 24x7 concierge and hiring guards and wardens.
Contrary to popular belief of co-living spaces being a costly proposition, they now come at extremely lucrative price points. On an average, co-living property rent varies between Rs 20,000 to Rs 30,000 for non-sharing studio, and Rs 10,000 to Rs 15,000 for twin-sharing studios. When compared to a per-square-foot basis, co-living may seem expensive, however, the rent includes cost for facilities such as maintenance, housekeeping, laundry, gaming room, Wi-Fi, furnishing, TV, security, CCTV surveillance, and everything you need, making it a cost-effective option. Moreover, most co-living spaces are located near major workspaces, which help bring down the commute time and give millennials more time to themselves.
Witnessing an upswing in freelancers, entrepreneurs, and remote workers and millennials thriving on networking are all the reasons, which will make co-living an indispensable concept soon. From fostering a sense of community to offering excellent amenities, co-living spaces are set to grow manifolds.