Patchwork’s POV on Co-living: Are you ready for the sharing economy?

While businesses have always worked to provide solutions that simplify customers’ lives, the sharing economy is effective because it promotes prudence and social responsibility. It gives consumers a way to participate in more activities in an affordable and sustainable way. Co-living is the latest facet of this booming economy. It’s becoming a necessity for some, a way of life for others. And for entrepreneurs they’ve found a way to transform this growing trend into a booming business.


Modern co-living can be traced back to thoughts emerging from Denmark in the 1960s, which crystallized in Bodil Graae’s 1967 newspaper article ‘Children Should Have One Hundred Parents’.

Nowadays, new for-profit co-living startups are now spreading across the world. Companies such as WeLive, FounderHouse and Common are offering their property portfolios to tech-savvy young workers in major cities. For a significant price, residents have access to a private room but also shared living spaces, bathrooms, kitchens and recreation facilities such as games rooms.

“Co-living is for hipsters, not hippies.” The Economist

What’s The Genesis of Patchwork?

The founder and owner of Patchwork, Rachid Nakhle, formerly an architect and real estate project manager in NYC, first got involved in the co-living world when he was doing his MBA in INSEAD and felt the need for more efficient connections that only a modern co-living platform can address. “Every new co-living entrepreneur had to reinvent the wheel when at the very same time I wanted to spread the word about co-living as a solution to dramatically enhance the MBA experience for ambitious business students. So, he created Patchwork, a co-living platform that optimizes the MBA ROI by totally enhancing the MBA experience”.

He added that “If we are able to create a model that offers a better MBA experience, at a competitive price point to MBA students, while bringing revenues to our investors, that's great. In fact, at Patchwork, we believe—or rather we know because we've done it—that it is possible to model a project that brings financial returns to both its residents and its investors.”

Is Co-living a deep trend?

Our R&D team tells us that what people actually want, is to control who they live with themselves, and have the opportunity to have a vested interest in the community. Rather than paying rent to some invisible management.

Successful co-living brands are working with architects that apply User experience process that enhances user satisfaction. In net, co-living is putting real human being at the center to design something simple, effortless and at the same time beautiful and sustainable.

Companies like Open Door and Welive a subsidiary of coworking giant WeWork, have invested millions of euros in co-living spaces that offer all-inclusive experiences that comes with lots of perks. Residents, or "members," as they're often called, can join these communities and instantly tap into amenities like free internet, maid service, and new friends.

These companies are looking to become a member of a high energy environment that’s more like a community than a communal living space. And, what’s interesting enough about the nature of these new community living spaces is that singles and professionals often aim for these types of living situations in an effort to save money and enhance their social life.

OpenDoor has an 800+ waiting list in the Bay Area alone, as individuals are looking for a more pleasurable living experience for a similar, or lower price.

Who are championing co-living spaces?

Despite a premium to be paid and a wait list for co-living communities there’s a distinct draw, especially for millennials seeking to be a part of something. They look for a comforting atmosphere.

A co-living space is like a beehive ecosystem, where like-minded people work and live together.

Young entrepreneurs on the move who want to grow both personally and professionally are attracted to co-living for a number of reasons. Some of the most alluring benefits include:

1-Be really social, when I want

We may have more ways than ever to connect with other people but despite all our connections and social networks people are lonelier than ever before. Co-living gives people the ability to thrive in private while also providing residents to meet new people and share life experiences with one another.

2-Be on the move, feel at home

Young entrepreneurs and millennials want the flexibility to move as their work and professional situation changes — for many that can happen quickly. That makes a long-term lease less than ideal, but in areas of high demand it can be hard to find rental property with short term lease options. At the same time, young professionals don’t want to live out of a hotel room.

They’re able to leverage the living space to create strong human connections both personally and professionally and that is made easier by a space where you sit and share the same table for dinners or shred work spaces.

What is next in the co-living world?

Up until recently the co-living space owed much of its growth to entrepreneurial startups like Common, Cohabs, HubHaus, and even the WeLive co-living extension of the WeWork (coworking) brand. Today, the hospitality industry has taken note of the growth.

Accord hotel launched a brand called, Jo&Joe that aims to “blend the best of private-rental hostel and hotel formats” which it deems as a “totally reinvented and disruptive experience in terms of design approach, catering, service, and customer journey.”

The market is growing and mirroring the need of people to increase positive social interaction and be part for a moment to a community they relate to.

IKEA came out with the following insights after conducting a large survey on how people would like to live in the future 2030:

-The majority of respondents said they preferred smaller diverse communities for co-living, in the range of 4 to 10 people “because we want to socialize, but not that much”. People in co-living situations love the benefit of mingling with others while still maintaining their privacy.

-Co-living continued to win favor but with conditions: living with other singles was ideal. Coupled were acceptable but no children. Residents would rather co-live with pets than kids or teenagers.

-The largest concern among those currently in a co-living situation or desiring that in the future was and remains ‘privacy’, or a lack of it. While residents are drawn to the social and connection benefits of this kind of space they have a strong overall desire for a democratic process — which would include community voting on rules and rule enforcement, accepting new residents, etc.

At Patchwork, we see that the future of co-living spaces will be transparent, premium and community centric.