Why you should not include current residents in selecting new residents
The harmony of a coliving space largely depends on the compatibility of its residents. An objective selection process is key.
Potential bias and discrimination
- Unconscious bias: Humans naturally gravitate towards familiarity. Including residents might mean choosing people who reflect their backgrounds and beliefs, inadvertently limiting diversity.
- Personal preferences: A favorite color, hobby, or even music taste can unintentionally cloud judgment, moving away from objective selection.
- Risk of discrimination: Decisions influenced by attributes like race, gender, or religion can lead to legal complications and an unhealthy living environment.
- For the applicants: Applicants trust hosts with personal information. Sharing this can breach trust and potentially legal boundaries.
- For current residents: Residents shouldn't be burdened with the private details of potential residents, ensuring a comfortable living environment.
Emotional stress and tensions
- Pressure on existing residents: Selection responsibilities might turn enjoyable coliving into a job-like duty, taking away from the communal living experience.
- Interpersonal conflicts: Different residents may champion different applicants, leading to potential arguments and disputes.
- Potential for favoritism: An old school friend or a cousin applying can unduly influence decisions, causing imbalance.
Professionalism and expertise
- Lack of training: Residents, while vital to the coliving community, typically aren't trained in applicant vetting, potentially leading to unsuitable selections.
- Misunderstanding legal implications: Legal nuances in housing and discrimination can be intricate. Missteps can result in legal actions against the host.
- Consistency: Hosts or professional managers ensure uniformity in the selection, ensuring everyone gets a fair shot.
Efficiency and streamlining
- Slower process: More opinions often mean more extended discussions, delaying decisions and possibly losing out on great residents.
- Potential for indecision: Many voices can sometimes lead to indecision, potentially stalling the entire selection process.
Maintaining a neutral environment
- Avoiding preconceived notions: If residents are part of the selection, they might create narratives about the new resident even before they've moved in, influencing first interactions.
- Ensuring a fresh start: Every resident deserves to begin their coliving experience on a clean slate, without pre-established biases or stories.
- Feedback loop: Encourage residents to communicate their preferences for a roommate without directly influencing the decision. This strikes a balance between inclusion and objectivity.
- Update marketing material: Make sure your marketing is directed toward your perfect target audience. Make them understand if they fit your coliving community.
- Integration activities: Ice-breaking sessions or community events can be excellent mediums for connecting old and potential residents.
- Clear communication: Timely updates about new residents or selection procedures ensure residents feel involved without directly influencing decisions.
A cohesive and harmonious coliving environment arises from fairness, objectivity, and a systematic approach in the selection process. Balancing resident involvement with professionalism is key.