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5 Ways on How Co-living Spaces Have Redefined the Concept of a Home Away from Home Co-living housing is not just an emerging asset class but offers affordability, sustainability, flexibility, cost-savings and on-demand accessibility. Its a revolution.

By Rohit Kapoor

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As house rents skyrocket in India especially in the metropolitan cities, co-living has become increasingly mainstream and an attractive option for millennials and the working population. Today, professionals and students alike are looking for a place to stay which is not only closer to their offices and academic institutions but also offers a bunch of amenities at affordable rates.

By bringing such groups of millennials and professionals together for a hassle-free, networking and facilities rich rental experience, co-living is altering the long term rental paradigm. As a modern, shared long term rental housing option that allows residents to not only co-share their living space with one another but also interact and engage over similar professions, interests, requirements, etc, co-living focuses more on connection and circular lifestyles rather than just sharing the cost of living.

Related: Co-living Wave in the Real Estate Sector in India

Co-Working: The Future Accommodations of Choice for Millennial

With work and academic pursuits today requiring more flexibility and mobility, the demand for fully furnished, fully maintained, internet ready accommodations and innovative services have increased manifold. Tapping into this very need, co-living solution companies are using their tech-driven expertise to provide fully managed long term rental solutions along with a range of amenities at an affordable cost. Co-living companies and their teams are going above and beyond to make daily life more convenient by building on the foundation of shared experiences.

Related: Is Co-living a Better Option Over Traditional Rental?

Let's dive into what co-living is really about, debunk some common misconceptions, and learn how it has redefined the concept of a home.

Where affordability meets sustainability: Co-living is all about community and collaboration rather than just isolation and competition. One of the most tangible benefits of a co-living setting is that it encourages the adoption of a sustainable lifestyle. By making it easier to share resources, co-living facilities not only save money but also help develop a stronger environmental consciousness. Sharing cost for utilities and rent is a financially conservative idea requiring you to haggle with your roommate over bills and shared expenses at the end of the month. Instead, co-living facilities empower you to pay a fixed rate with all the key amenities from TV, fridge, furnishings, electricity, wifi, etc being factored in the monthly rent, as each person interfaces directly with the co-living company. Transparency through billings and invoices helps maintain visibility on amenities being charged for and utilized as well.

Empowering independence and greater flexibility: Having the independence to change or leave the co-living setting without having to worry about the 3-6 month long lock-in period, is another advantage that plays well for the millennials. For individuals who are just starting out and may not want to block their savings to buy or rent real estate on their own, or event those who just aren't quite ready to settle down in a single place yet, co-living offers an incredible opportunity to find fulfillment.

Where community engagement and privacy go hand-in-hand: While co-living settings involve people living under one roof from different walks of life and offer plenty of opportunities for collaboration and community bonding, it also gives enough and much-needed quiet time and privacy. The smart use of space has made co-living a perfect combination of socialization and privacy. While designing a co-living apartment/buildings, companies and their designers are mindful of optimum utilization of space, building efficiency and convenience while ensuring guest privacy. Use of colors and unique design palettes also play a major role in brightening up the place that a collective group of people can call their home.

Related: Why is Community Building Essential for the Success of a Business in the Co-Living Industry?

Technology for safety and convenience: 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 co-living provider to provide instant assistance, whenever required. These factors contribute to making co-living spaces the preferred choice for millennials and the young workforce. Security and safety are also a top priority for co-living providers, which is ensured by installing facilities such as biometric and facial recognition in addition to setting up a 24x7 concierge and hiring guards and caretakers. :

Welcoming residents from all walks of life: While the majority of the residents opting for co-living facilities are the young population, it's a myth that this lifestyle is mainly for millennials mainly since they are most likely to be attracted to something different from the norm. The truth is that with increased traffic in metropolitan cities, people across age groups are opting for co-living facilities which are near to their workplace, despite having a home in some other distant part of the city. This is primarily to avoid the daily commute and save on time for other leisurely pursuits. Co-living also allows residents to choose their place of stay without being discriminated against for their choice of food, clothing, race, caste or gender.

For example: While NCR is considered to be one city, peak office hours make commuting a very lengthy affair with most people spending hours on the road. As per a 2016 study in Delhi, a person travelling a distance of 40 km by a private vehicle during peak hours spends an average of 3.43 hours on the road, as opposed to 1.36 hours in 2011. A 2018 BCG report further indicates that On average, travellers in Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, and Kolkata spend 1.5 hours more on their daily commutes than their counterparts in other Asian cities during peak traffic times. Similarly, people with families especially the ones with transferable jobs are starting to opt for co-living facilities to enjoy a freedom-filled yet budget-friendly life focused on community and creativity.

While the concept of co-living isn't entirely new, with booming urbanization, rocketing housing prices, shrinking living spaces and increasing social disconnects, we can expect the future of rental living to be more flexible, community building oriented, and surprisingly affordable through shared spaces.

Rohit Kapoor

CEO, New Real Estate Business, OYO

Rohit is responsible for driving new real estate businesses for OYO, exploring new domains and categories and other strategic initiatives. He is growing OYO's business in India as well as across international markets, through strategic partnerships and investment opportunities.

During his 20 years' experience, Rohit has worked in various roles across sales and finance in several companies. Prior to joining OYO, Rohit was a consultant with McKinsey & Company for close to a decade. During his tenure with McKinsey, he gained extensive exposure to multiple international markets. 

Rohit also serves on the board of Antara Senior Living, Max One Distribution and Crossley Remedies. 

Rohit holds a PGD from Indian School of Business where he was ranked in the top five students in the batch and was the recipient of the Young Leader Award, which was awarded for best all-around performance in the class. Rohit has recently been featured as one of ISB's most influential alumni in the book "ISB Portraits."

In addition to the PGD, he is also a certified Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA Institute, USA). He is also a visiting faculty at SP Jain Institute of Management and Research, IMT Ghaziabad and Vedic Scholars. 

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