Introducing the biggest up-and-coming commercial real estate trends: “we living” apartment buildings and co-living properties! The “we living” housing concept is a growing trend in big cities like Washington D.C. and New York City.
What is “We Living”?
The “we living” concept began in 2010 with the genesis of companies like WeWork and the popularization of co-working spaces. In 2016, WeWork launched WeLive, an apartment building with the same approach as a co-working space. At WeLive’s co-living properties, residents rent fully furnished and decorated apartments and enjoy dorm-style features like common areas and shared laundry facilities. But they also provide extra amenities, such as game rooms, hot tubs, cleaning services and happy hours with free drinks.
The amenities are a nice perk, but “we living” apartment buildings are distinct from traditional housing mainly because they are designed to intentionally foster community. They feature shared spaces and opportunities for tenants to meet and connect with their neighbors. This co-living trend has not yet taken root in the midwest, but it has the potential to become very popular and very lucrative among the commercial real estate industry. Learn more about the concept to figure out if it might be a profitable real estate investment for you.
What makes “we living” the next big commercial real estate trend?
Co-living is still a novelty, and it is relatively unheard of in the midwest. We will continue to see more co-living properties pop up as the “we living” trend grows. Below are a few key features that make the “we living” concept distinct from traditional apartment rental properties.
You’re stepping into instant community when you move into a “we living” property. These apartment buildings encourage you to mingle with your neighbors by providing comfortable common spaces and by hosting social events. The WeLive website shares, “Our mission is to transform the rigid and isolating housing model of yesterday into a flexible and community-driven experience for today.”
Anyone who has lived in a traditional apartment complex is probably used to waiting days for a property manager or maintenance technician to respond to requests and service tickets. “We living” properties advertise full-service concierge and housekeeping staff, promising prompt and exemplary customer service.
Classes & Events
Co-living properties schedule official events for members and use systems like chat threads and message boards to facilitate residents arranging their own social events. Some examples of classes and events held at co-living properties include fitness classes, happy hours, book clubs, cooking classes and crafting groups.
“We living” properties do not lock you into a traditional year-long lease. In fact, some allow short-term stays, as little as one night or one week. One company, Common, advertises seamless lease transfers between multiple properties in cities like Los Angeles, New York City, Chicago and Seattle. Imagine the ease of relocating without the hassle of apartment hunting in a new city.
Why Does Co-Living Appeal to Millennials?
Society as a whole is less concerned about collecting material possessions and more interested in travel and experiences. This is especially true with millennials. Co-living options encourage the cultural shift toward minimalism by providing fully-furnished and decorated apartments with flexible leases that allow for the “digital nomad” lifestyle popular among millennials. Millennials also crave novelty, excitement and opportunities to connect with one another. Young people are finding it increasingly difficult to make friends after college, and co-living spaces provide built-in opportunities to meet new people.
The co-living concept appeals to young adults who are seeking a similar, but elevated, dorm-style living experience after college. We living offers more privacy and more amenities than a dorm while providing the same type of convenient social space.
The idea of sharing space and socializing with neighbors may seem unappealing, but the co-living concept does not imply sharing your entire living space with strangers. Units in “we living” buildings are private, with individual bedrooms and bathrooms just like a typical apartment unit. The difference is in the common areas and events, which are available to encourage socializing but are always optional for residents.
Learn More About Commercial Real Estate Trends
We’re always doing our research on different things going on in the commercial housing markets, and you can count on us to stay on top of the latest multifamily property trends. Reach out to Jared Husmann at 515-334-4900 if you are curious about commercial property investment opportunities.