Airbnb is a platform that allows hosts to rent rooms within their homes to guests seeking temporary lodging. Coliving, on the other hand, is a business where companies rent rooms within a cohesive space to both temporary or long term residents seeking a flexible lease within a thriving community.
And Coliving.com is similar to Airbnb’s online marketplace in that they both offer a convenient platform for interested parties to scroll through verified available options.
In short, Airbnb is akin to a private property rental service and coliving companies offer an alternative to traditional rental schemes complete with advantageous amenities and networking opportunities.
Where Airbnb is more like a hotel in a private residence, coliving spaces are part hotel, part apartment, part coworking space, and part networking hub all wrapped up in one lifestyle movement.
Through both Airbnb.com and Coliving.com, people can view properties and availability, compare and contrast amenities and contact hosts to book a stay.
In this post, we’re going to take a deep dive into the similarities and differences between Airbnb and coliving communities and zoom in on a real-life side by side comparison on Airbnb’s and Coliving.com’s platforms.
Coliving vs. Airbnb: A comparison of amenities
Basic Airbnb and coliving space perks are similar to ones that hotels offer. These include furnished rooms, clean linens, toilet paper, towels, WiFi access and several charging stations.
In both scenarios, individual companies and hosts may go the extra mile to elevate the experience by providing more benefits. These supplemental extras include fully stocked kitchens, free coffee and tea, a hairdryer, shampoo and conditioner, free access to streaming services and more.
From here, coliving spaces go above and beyond to heighten both the physical environment and the group experience. Coliving companies offer a full suite of bonuses that are included in the rental fee. For example, coliving homes have professionals clean their spaces at least once a week whereas Airbnb hosts often charge for this service.
Let’s take a look at each benefit that general coliving spaces offer in comparison to Airbnb.
Coliving spaces vs. Airbnb amenities
|Fully stocked kitchen||Varies by unit||Included|
|Regular cleaning||Additional cost or DIY||Included|
|Community hosted events||Not included||Included|
|Networking opportunities||Not included||Included|
|Avenues to making local connections||Not included||Included|
|WiFi||Included but reliability and speed varies||Included with guaranteed reliability and fast speeds|
|Access to perishables (coffee, tea, salt, honey, etc.)||Often included||Often included|
|Streaming services||Often additional cost||Often included|
|Laundry services||Often additional cost or DIY using in-unit machine||Often included|
|Workspace||Rarely included||Often included|
|Gym||Additional cost||Varies by unit, but often included if available|
|Pool||Varies by unit, but often included if available||Varies by unit, but often included if available|
Coliving.com vs. Airbnb: A real-life comparison
The best way to compare these two platforms is by looking at a side-by-side, real-life example. To do this effectively, we’ve set the room type to “private” and chosen Airbnb.com and Coliving.com spaces that are both located near the Mission District in San Francisco.
You can view each of these live listings here:
Airbnb.com option: Solo Traveler Haven – Walk to BART – Fast WiFi!
Coliving.com option: 11 Members | Lafayette St | Soma | Spacious Renovated House provided by Outpost Club
Coliving.com vs. Airbnb Real-Life Comparison
|Airbnb (Jeff’s home)||Coliving (Outpost)|
|Starting Price||$89/night or $2,670/month||$42/night or $1,250/month|
|Minimum stay||2 nights||1 month|
|Roommates||Jeff the homeowner (2-bed apartment)||Driven entrepreneurs, young professionals, remote works and students (4 room house)|
|Fully stocked kitchen||Included||Included|
|Regular cleaning||$40 total cleaning fee charged by host (does not specify how often cleaning takes place)||$0 Fee (professional cleaning included in private rooms and common areas)|
|Service fee||Approx $18/night or $540/month||$0 service fee charged to guests|
|Occupancy taxes and fees (in San Francisco)||Approx $16.5/night or $495||$0 occupancy fee charged to guests|
|WiFi||Included||Included (high speed internet)|
|Amenity essentials (toilet paper, towels, bedsheets, soap, coffee machine)||Included||Included + shampoo and body wash|
|Access to perishables (coffee, tea, salt, honey, etc.)||Not included||Included (coffee grounds, salt, pepper, sugar, olive oil)|
|Laundry services||DIY on-site free or coin-operated machines||DIY on site for free|
|Individual workspaces||One table or desk with space for a laptop and a chair that’s comfortable to work in||Most rooms have comfortable desks and chairs for people to work at|
|Parking||Free street parking or paid off-premises||Free street parking|
|Security||Not included||Included (24/7)|
|Chill out areas||Access to living room||Several throughout the house|
|Amenities in chill-out areas||TV (potential access to free streaming services)||TV + free streaming services|
|Bathroom||One shared||Three shared throughout the house|
|Community hosted events||Not included||Included (hosted dinners, activities and events)|
|Networking opportunities||Not included||Included and arranged via the coliving community|
|Avenues to making local connections||Not included||The coliving community will host events with locals in the community|
|Entertainment options||Jeff is happy to provide local recommendations for things to do by yourself around the city||The coliving home will provide tons of local entertainment recommendations and activities to do alone or with the community|
|Coworking space||Not included||Included (with complimentary access to a printer)|
|Gym||Not included||Not included|
|Pool||Not included||Not included|
|Final Price||$143.5/night or $3,745/month||$42/night or $1,250/month|
As you can see, Airbnb locations tack on cleaning fees, service fees and occupancy taxes and fees that significantly hike up the bill.
On the other hand, coliving spaces include everything in their fixed monthly fee and never add hidden surprises to that price.
Plus, with coliving spaces, you gain an influential community, networking opportunities, and profound friendships. That’s a lot of extras included in one fixed fee.
Coliving is a lifestyle choice
Coliving is about so much more than simply a nice place to stay. People who choose to live in coliving spaces often do so to gain access to a vibrant community comprised of motivated individuals.
The Coliving.com example we just looked at focuses on building a community full of entrepreneurs, remote workers, freelancers and students.. Therefore, their events, activities, and meetups will likely consist of chances to co-mingle with those same types of people. This allows the residents to share experiences and learn from each other in order to augment their journeys.
As noted in the above example, it also includes a coworking space inside the unit to elicit productivity and focus. Many coliving companies that build spaces with remote workers in mind will also host networking events comprised of local investors or successful startup founders to give residents the opportunity to build valuable business relationships.
And yet, many other coliving spaces welcome a myriad of people regardless of professions or aspirations. These communities focus less on career development and more on community advancement. Their main goals are to provide a comfortable, social and vibrant atmosphere for people from all walks of life to form meaningful connections.
Instant friends and a lifelong family
When you move to a new place, it can take time to make new companions and friends, which may bring about feelings of loneliness or boredom.
Coliving communities completely squash this problem. From the moment you move in, they welcome you into their home with open arms. You’ll immediately meet your community host and roommates and begin forming friendships.
Shortly thereafter, you’ll have a chance to attend your first community-sponsored event where you’ll get to know your housemates better and start to form deeper bonds.
By the time you leave, you’ll have formed close bonds with the people you lived, adventured, and (if you’re a remote worker/entrepreneur) worked with.
Locations around the world
Many coliving companies have homes all over the world.
Outsite, for example, has several coliving spaces throughout North, Central and South America, Europe and Indonesia. They welcome every type of person to join their community and enhance each location with “the right amenities and design to make each stay as productive, restorative, social, or fun as you desire.”
This makes it incredibly easy, comfortable and reliable to move from one Outsite location to another. Because their standards are the same no matter which site you stay in, you’ll know exactly what to expect and what types of people you’ll meet when you arrive.
And the winner is…
There’s no winner because these companies represent intrinsically different ideas. They may look similar on the surface, but they quickly bisect.
Airbnb is a platform that promotes short-term travel stays. Coliving.com is a platform that promotes both short- and long-term coliving experiences within shared accommodations.
People choose to stay in Airbnb’s because they are often cheaper than hotels and provide a homier feel for longer stays. And people choose to stay in coliving spaces because they’re often cheaper and easier than renting and furnishing an apartment and they provide access to an eccentric community with invaluable networking opportunities.
Airbnb and Coliving.com are both gateways for people to explore verified places to stay. But the places on offer exist to fulfill different purposes. That’s the true divide.