New Guests – Existing guests – Partnerships
The main focus should not ONLY be on finding new guests.
If you focus on getting guests to stay LONGER and keep coming back, you need fewer guests overall.
Usually, a large part of your costs will be spent on acquiring new guests.
Sell the dream
Sell the dream of freedom of choice – Guests can choose to be around similar like-minded people – they can decide where to live – they can select fewer distractions – and most importantly, they can choose to live on their terms. Now THAT´s what I call freedom.
It needs to be experienced
Coliving is the new way to live, work and interact – it needs to be experienced. Sure, you may get your friends and family excited – and perhaps some might say that they lived like that in college, but it’s certainly not something they would consider now. That’s fine – they are not your target market.
So when you explain it to people, it can sometimes be hard to understand the concept until you are in the middle of it – and to live it.
Focus on the need for connection – of community – a sense of belonging – being in the presence of others like them. To be around people pursuing their careers whilst also having an instant social circle.
The sense of belonging when you get to a coliving space is like nothing else.
It’s instant acceptance, instant connection, and friends who will lift and inspire you.
You won’t get that from sitting in a Starbucks – that’s for sure.
So, let's focus on practical ways of getting people to move in:
Be where the guests are.
Google Maps, social media, TripAdvisor Forums, Nomad Forums, etc.
You should be participating in conversations that people get inspiration from.
Your own website/blog, where you tell about people's problems before finding you, and how you / coliving can solve this problem.
Coliving is still a new concept; many journalists will write your story if they get a glimpse behind the curtains.
Opening a new location or doing things in a new way will always attract PR.
Make a list of journalists or influencers writing about your niche, and reach out, asking what they want to write about.
This will open a dialogue, and they will get to know you before you need your PR.
Do this sooner than later.
Existing guests are your safest bet – because people trust people 7 times more than marketing directly from a company. Word-of-mouth recommendations are everything!!
If people are happy staying with you, they may refer friends, especially if you entice them with some commission – in the form of vouchers they can spend with you on their next stay – a win-win for both you and them.
Make partnerships with coworking spaces, incubators, accelerators, startup hubs, and even companies seeking accommodation for traveling employees.
Add your listing to marketplaces like Coliving.com, of course. Classifieds pages. Room-mate sites. Anywhere you can place an ad, but remember to describe which kinds of people you are looking for so that you can build the community you want.
Have competitions on social media, for example, getting people to invite friends in exchange for a chance to win a month’s free stay.