Podshare or Co-living, Is anyone on BP doing this?

20 Replies

Can Podsharing really become the norm in big cities? Can Real Estate Investors capitalize on this niche market?

https://www.cnn.com/2019/07/05/success/podshare-co-living/index.html

My wife forwarded the article to me earlier today. I think it could work on a lot of places, not exclusively cities. I've been eyeing up a set of buildings nearby for studios and co-working space and this may be a better alternative in our small town area.

@John Mainwaring My initial reaction was it could only work in large, densely populated cities like New York, Chicago, Los Angeles etc. But this concept may catch on in and around mid size cities with growing economies as today's workforce is not anchored to a desk or one location anymore. The "work from anywhere" concept plays right into this model. Just like the short term rental, i.e. Airbnb niche took off, this may be the next big thing. I think it's worth considering.

I think it's an interesting concept, even though I'd rather chew broken glass than actually live like that. What I wonder about, though, is the logistics - is there some kind of on-site manager that enforces the rules, makes sure there's plenty of TP and ramen, and washes the towels? With a STR, you clean and restock things on turnovers, but there's no such clear-cut boundary here. And while I imagine people get along better than most would expect, there will be the occasional dispute, so who resolves it? (as an investor, though, I don't really care as long as that person isn't me)

This reminds me of the micro-apartment thing that's beginning to happen in LA, though at least there you get a door.  Co-living I associate more with a bunch of roommates sharing a house, vs. the hostel-style situation PodShare is working with.  

I wonder how quickly I'd get run out of Nashville if I tried something like this...  LOL 

This is huge in LA. You get to live in LA for $700. the building gets $700x30 or so.. They make a ton. The kids sleep in almost coffin like structures. But they have some perks like music studios etc. And all that matters is they pay $700 to live here instead of $2800 for a 1 bed.

I just read this article and was blown away. Kudos to the guy who came up with this idea. I always liked the idea of renting out per bedroom to college students but this takes that idea to the next level with professionals. I'm looking to move to Austin, TX and feel that a live/work pod sharing space would do really well down there. 

I can see this in the downtown areas of Nashville around colleges like Vandy, Belmont, TSU. I know several co-workers who would do this in a heartbeat if it meant they only had a 5-10 min commute. I'd rather just have private room personally instead of this but it may be an option if values continue to rise. Luckily I have my own place by myself.

Originally posted by @Wayne Woodson :

I can see this in the downtown areas of Nashville around colleges like Vandy, Belmont, TSU. I know several co-workers who would do this in a heartbeat if it meant they only had a 5-10 min commute. I'd rather just have private room personally instead of this but it may be an option if values continue to rise. Luckily I have my own place by myself.

As population grows here it gets more and more difficult to get close to downtown during peak hours, so I can definitely see this becoming an option. It's something that won't necessarily be for everyone and may not be a long-term solution, but there's definitely a niche especially as the tech sector continues to grow. 

Originally posted by @Wayne Woodson :

I can see this in the downtown areas of Nashville around colleges like Vandy, Belmont, TSU. I know several co-workers who would do this in a heartbeat if it meant they only had a 5-10 min commute. I'd rather just have private room personally instead of this but it may be an option if values continue to rise. Luckily I have my own place by myself.

I'd convert my guest rooms if I thought I could tolerate roommates, LOL, I'm so close to all those places.

I think you could run into some hiccups with STR permitting and such, though. Or do an end-around and require minimum 30-day stays. It's an intriguing idea.

We're doing co-living projects here in the Bay Area but not any pod-sharing. The fact that there is even a market for this speaks volume to the imbalance between job creation and housing production. Yikes. 

Originally posted by @Julie McCoy :

I think it's an interesting concept, even though I'd rather chew broken glass than actually live like that.  

That's hilarious. 


I'm in the Bay Area myself. I don't see how this would work in small towns, but it could be possible for cities that are growing. I like the idea of co-living, but pod-living... Yikes. As an investor looking at this as an opportunity, maybe not so bad. But to live in a "pod"... :grimace:

Great option for someone wanting to live this lifestyle while they are getting established or gives one freedom to quit their jobs and take risks without being financially burdened. From Tiny houses to micro living to podsharing. Its great to to see how housing options have evolved. 

I'm 32 making between $160-300k/yr and would consider pod sharing depending on the area. Nobody wants to stick around in one location anymore especially with 0 job security. Even with my income suburbs of NYC across the river in NJ every single property is unaffordable due to insane property taxes. 

You literally have to think about AirBnb and your home, because paying $25K/yr property taxes + a mortgage on a $800K home makes zero economic sense.


You think this is bad, wait until we have pods on the street like scooters, and bicycles like Japan. The class divide is only going to get worst as our money inflates to nothingness. Buffet and Sam Zell aren't dumb betting on trailer parks, even trailer parks will become too expensive.

I was at a local spa that lets you sleep there overnight if you get a yearly membership or 6 months, it comes out to about $250/mo for full spa, pools, showers, saunas, plus a place to sleep 20m from NYC, with average rents of $1600 + utilities for 1 bedrooms, studios. It's a no brainer....

Also probably how you can get around tenant laws, make it a spa, people just happen to relax for a very long time overnight lol


My whole project is built around the coliving model. It makes life more affordable and less lonely. I think coliving can work anywhere.

Ironically I stayed at one of these in San Antonio Texas back in 2015! If operator lives nearby it could be a very profitable way to make some profits!! (Same setup I should say. Guy marketed through Airbnb through.)

I'm a land use consultant and I've been studying co-living for the past 6 months here in Los Angeles. The national market is pointing in the direction of this taking off in big cities and here in LA there are around a dozen co-living operators of different class and type getting their projects up and running. I was so curious I actually moved into a pod style co-living arrangement to see how it works from the inside. I chose twin size bed, large locker, shared hallway bathroom.

I signed up for six months to test the pain points and I'm just over a month in. First you have to understand that this type of living situation requires flipping a switch on how you think of your living arrangement. In co-living the bedroom is no longer recreation but purely utility - for sleeping, perhaps some private time for listening, but you're not spending much time there...this is because this type of living is not typical for someone who has a lot of time to kill - it's intended for those in transition who are working toward some goal or objective whether that being to save for an apartment or to get a new career off the ground. Girlfriend/boyfriend time has to go to their place or a hotel. 

The building I'm in is all male, has 20 beds / unit and a demographic of 19-33yo. A sample of people here are as follows: 

  1. 1. MBA from Memphis pursuing a degree at FIDM fashion design school 
  2. 2. Former Isreali non-profit political consultant with a fresh green card starting a new life
  3. 3. Multiple actors/musicians new to the city 
  4. 4. Expat from Japan here to study Japanese for a year earning an Associates Degree for a better chance at citizenship in Tokyo
  5. 5. Puerto Rican wrapping up a UX / UI training program and in LA less than 6 months 
  6. 6. Former Army intelligence here in LA studying directing at LA film school 

etc... you get the point


Price point per bed is $795 / mo with 6 month commitment for a twin bed // $895 per bed / mo with 6 mo for full sized bed - add $100 per month for either option if you opt for month to month.
 

In LA you need a minimum of 30 day stay to avoid the new short term rental ordinance into effect Nov '19. 

This particular setup I live in has by right 4 units on the property and another property down the street, with another property under construction, same street. Smart security accessible via an app on a "member's" phone allows for access to the amenity rooms of any other property the company offers. Example: one property has a recording studio, one has a home theatre, one has an enlarged gym, each have a co-working space. Essentially this amenity concept can spin off in any direction you imagine. 

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I'm new to the BP Pro community and looking forward to connecting with other professionals in LA. I'm involved in the pro housing community as well and this is one of the many necessary innovations we'll need to fight housing shortage. 

Cheers!