Co-living is a huge boost for Millennials
Realty+ discusses with Viraal Chhajer is the CEO and Co-Founder at StayAbode the ideology behind the entire Co-living trend. He shares his insights and his business strategy and explains how technology has helped facilitate the co-living industry among the youth.
What is the potential of Co-Living model in India, given the traditional mindset of Indians?
The market has currently been assessed at $93b totalling in available assets that will be developed for Co-living, which gives players like us a huge boost considering we have been focussing on both Brownfield and Greenfield projects in this space. With the number of urban centres and rate of migration increasing for young millennials, the space seems set to explode.
Which are the cities/regions that have shown high demand for Co-living concept & why?
The cities seeing the highest migration for skilled professionals such as Bengaluru, Gurgaon, Pune, Hyderabad and Chennai are seeing the largest growth and also space available to develop such projects.
The business model for co-living provider companies.
There are multiple players with different models. At StayAbode, we operate and design the spaces with the asset owners. The owners continue to own the space while we operate and give them a guaranteed yield. There are other operators who are purely marketplace players too.
Are the Co-living providers tying up with developers?
We recently tied up with CP Developers for a Greenfield project which will be Asia’s largest Co-living space when we go live in 2020. Here we are working ground up on design and operations as it will be completely different from the projects we have on hand now. We intend to sign on a few more such projects in the coming months.
What are the challenges facing this niche segment?
The challenges are of education of the space beyond just the residents too to also land owners. Selling the story of what the offering is and how it is different from existing rental options, is what needs to be managed in this space at this point of time. We have seen that once a customer buys into it, they find very few alternatives that match up.
Does co-living have similar growth opportunities as co-working spaces in India?
Potentially the space is larger. At this point the co-working space is really focussing on fairly large inventory sizes to make the model work. In co-living the experiment is happening with smaller inventory buildings and the expansion into the larger asset classes are happening now. With the current rate of migration into the major hubs, the growth around this space will only continue. Filling up a $93b market that is consistently growing and seeing new consumer segments adopting it, can only be a bigger story in the coming years.
How technology has been an enabler for these new asset models?
Technology has solved for the resident experience in a huge way for us. Residents are able to manage their entire on-boarding and issue management through it while staying in touch with all our community events. Tech also helps us provide a gateway for our asset owners to be able to oversee the performance of the property with access to all the key metrics of the business.