Co-living facilities help combat loneliness in a new city
Rohit Kapoor, CEO, New Real Estate Businesses, OYO talks to Realty+ discussing the difference between the rentals and co-living markets and the unique opportunities co-living spaces give millenials to socialise.
What is the core difference between renting v/s co sharing and how does it affect the sector?
The concept of co-living is derived from the renting philosophy that millennials ascribe to where they are willing to share living spaces, utilities etc in order to make an affordable rental decision and be part of a community. Co-living, also commonly known as community living allows residents to mingle and interact with like-minded individuals. The upcoming co-living trend is a driving force for the organised rental markets in cities which are hotspots for young people pursuing professional and academic goals.
Traditional renting however is more of a long term living solution where the tenant pays rent on a steady basis agreed upon in the lease agreement and has the entire place to himself and his family. While traditional renting ensures privacy and ownership, it does however bring its own set of woes like lock in periods, security deposits, investing in buying furniture and amenities, monthly maintenance to ensure the safety and security of the place, etc. That’s where the trend of co-living is gaining edge over traditional renting as co-living facilities attracts the young workforce as it not only gives them thefreedom and space but also eliminates the hassles of dealing with brokers, brokerage, lock-in periods,houses with little or no amenities, maintenance charges and housekeeping and security which can be a costly affair.
Hospitality brands have tugged at this opportunity to provide co-living facilities to the millennial workforce which in turn is giving a boost to the real estate sector.
As demand for long term rental housing and shared housing increases in India, we at OYO observed the hassle of finding quality, affordable accommodations in a different city and turned this into a huge opportunity with OYO LIFE.
What are the behavioural patterns that affect the co-living situation? How these co-living spaces are a great medium for young renters to ‘socialize’ in the real world?
Private accommodation with common shared spaces is the new way of living for youngsters who earlier had no ready housing options as builders catered largely to family spaces. Factors such as housing shortages, inflated prices, and daunting process of choosing a house gave a massive jump to the acceptance of co-living in India.
Apart from the tangible benefits, co-living also gives an opportunity for millennials, first jobbers and students to build a community for themselves in a new city with shared spaces like kitchens, living rooms and dining areas as well. Moreover, the design and appeal of the common space creates a perfect environment to network and socialize. In providing community-centric programmes and interaction, co-living facilities has contributed to combating loneliness to a great extent.
Choosing co-living facilities also enables millennials or young workforce to have more financial freedom with minimal deposits and gives an independence to relocate to a new place or explore a new opportunity whenever they want to. Additionally, It also gives them access to a lifestyle where everything is taken care of such as Wi-Fi connectivity, television, regular housekeeping, power backup, CCTV surveillance, and 24/7 caretaking.
Lastly, technology also plays an important role in making a decision for housing solution. e-payments, registration procedures and other documentation between buyer and seller or tenant and landlord too has become easier with digital signature facilities available which in turn has led to the generation opting for co-living facilities.
OYO LIFE properties are carefully curated keeping in mind the preferences of the young and ‘always-on’ generation, with a focus on comfort and convenience. The design of OYO LIFE’s spaces has been customised according to the needs of the millenials and is meant to encourage conversations, break-out spaces and an opportunity to be a part of a community. Additionally, we organize a lot of community activities for the residents staying at our OYO LIFE properties during festivals, organize cricket and football matches, movie screenings which helps the millennial generation to overcome loneliness in a new city and encourage conversations among themselves. We also have game zones and break-out zones as well for the residents.
How OYO LIFE is playing a big role in re-defining the way of life for people across age groups?
OYO LIFE is targeted at millennials and young professionals in search of fully managed homes on long-term rentals, at affordable prices. Under this category, OYO offers end-to-end managed, comfortable, high-quality living experience that eliminates the hassles of finding, accessing andmanaging everyday housing. While the category is targeted at first jobbers and millenials, we have seen some interesting use-cases emerge. For example, married couples and students are also seeing value in an OYO LIFE property. In fact, about 20 to 30% of the guests at OYO LIFE are students. Hence, in the future we see the potential for customers across various stages of life ranging from students, couples right up to families and senior citizens across diverse income groups, looking for such fully managed accommodations.
Staying at an OYO LIFE property starts as low as INR 7999 (in some cases, depending on the location and size of the room in terms of sharing – prices can be as low as 5999) per bed, per month for a fully managed shared living space.
We also help our residents save on brokerage, lock-in periods, and the hassle of searching house helps and support services involved while moving to a new residence. Design of OYO LIFE’s spaces has been customised according to the needs of the millenials and is meant to encourage conversations, break-out spaces and an opportunity to be a part of a community.
Within seven months since launch, OYO LIFE has more than 350 buildings, 17,000 live beds and is adding 3000+ new beds every month making it one of the largest businesses for branded fully-managed housing for millennials globally. OYO LIFE is currently witnessing nearly 85-90% occupancy (matured buildings) with 95% of the folks renewing their stay and choosing us as the preferred stay option. Currently, OYO
LIFE is present in 4 cities in India – Bengaluru, Noida, Gurgaon and Pune. We plan to enter into four new cities by the end of this quarter. Overall, we have set an ambitious target of 100,000 beds in India by the end of 2019. This will make us the largest player in the end-to-end co-living segment globally.
We are positive that co-living is going to be the next big wave in India that will alter the real estate landscape, and OYO LIFE will be a big contributing factor to that development.