No one can do it alone. No one. If you think you can, you are a bona fide Superman. Finding others with complementary skills can decrease your blood pressure and save you a lot of grey hair. If you find certain aspects harder than others, e.g. marketing, social media, sales, simply hire someone who is an expert in that field.
In the early days, you can test out your team’s motivation and mindset by asking them to move in to the space. Let them stay and just pay them a lower salary during this time – this will give them the chance to experience the concept and fully understand the mission of your business. Let them live and breathe it.
If you cannot live with them and they don’t get on with the other staff members, then you can quickly see that they are not the right fit.
When you open your second space, you may distribute your tried and tested team amongst the two buildings, with two of them taking on the host role in both places. Saving money on employees in the beginning and getting them to learn another role which they might not have previously considered.
Here are some skills / people you need to succeed with a coliving-space:
Host – to nurture the community and organise events. Depending on how big your space is, they may also need to do maintenance and turn-around rooms and beds between guests. They need to be a phenomenal “people person” with some experience of the service industry. They need to be professional, friendly, understanding, insightful, polite and driven.
Sales – this can be a part-time role, doing marketing/sales to acquire new guests. Follow up with previous guests, motivating them to come back. It’s not enough to register your space to Airbnb and Coliving.com – you need someone specifically working on this.
Business Developer – the Salesperson can also do this part. Setting up new spaces takes a vast amount of effort, including discussions with space owners and investors. Setting up the space with furniture and even a vase of flowers before taking photos.
Legal – On demand. Before you set up houses in a specific area, you should get a legal advisor that check if you will run into problems with your scheme. It’s imperative that you have someone checking the rules and regulations regarding coliving in your specific location as it’s different for each area. Also, as some guests may be rotten apples and need to leave the premises, you should have a legal advisor that can deal with the person, should the matter arise.