~ Posted by Carol Tallon
Last week our ‘go-to’ co-living guru Ed Burke, together with his innovative team at Sroomm, introduced international housing disruptor Node to Dublin and I was delighted to moderate an interactive chat on the future of housing.
Firstly, it was great to see so many people turn up to celebrate two innovative businesses that are already having an impact on housing trends globally. The event was over-subscribed so apologies to those who missed out.
It was great opportunity to get people together who are interested in shared living and it was good to learn from others who had already experienced this outside of Ireland.
We know there is a global movement towards shared living and Ireland is perhaps behind the curve in embracing this trend beyond student living.
Anyone familiar with my media work over the past decade will know that I am a vocal advocate of alternative forms of housing and different approaches to living. The need for this was made clear to me through my work with frustrated buyers, investors and tenants for almost a decade and now I am in the lucky position that I get to spend my days with such forward-thinking companies that are genuinely revolutionising the property market, in Ireland and globally.
I was particularly proud to introduce both Sroomm and Node at the event last week.
First up, Sroomm connects compatible housemates based on their interests and lifestyle choices. It is a welcome person-centric approach to the rental market and has been described as Tinder for housemates!
I have been following the progress of Ed and the Sroomm team with interest since their start-up. They were remarkable from the start due to their strong community across Facebook groups (now in 23 cities, across 14 countries, with almost 20,000 members in Dublin alone!). This is exceptional by any standards and I am sure that I do not need to point out that these 20,000 (and growing) people represent a chunk of the next generation of Dublin property buyers…
Next up, Max Pattar walked us through the Node vision and ethos. Node is a collection of thoughtfully-designed, boutique communities in some of the most vibrant cities around the world, helping creatives, entrepreneurs and professionals enjoy a more authentic and higher quality shared living experience.
The combination of tech-enabled and fully furnished residences with a community focus brings a whole new way of convenient living to Dublin.
Node is a company that we actually studied as an example of best practice for shared living when they opened in New York and then London. They are truly reimagining how people are living. They understand that we are living increasingly global lives and, at its core, the company is bringing back lost community values.
There were a number of questions from the floor asking about the past successes and challenges of Node’s buildings in New York and London. Practical topics that arose focused on the community aspect and, of course, the all important facilities. As Node specialises in high-end design in superb, central locations (honestly, I’m not on commission, I just really love the concept!), they tend to cater to the mobile, millennial workforce but this is not temporary accommodation, most people tend to stay for 6 months to two years.
Max explained that the success of Node is in direct response to increasing urbanisation, the rising cost of city living and the tendency of young people to seek out a like-minded, sociable community.
Technology is a key feature of both.
Sroomm founder Ed Burke explained how his platform puts the people at the heart of the rental process. As he rightfully pointed out:
“The online rental industry has failed to evolve to provide a solution for the co-living space. As lifestyle trends are shifting and people are renting shared accommodation for longer, finding a suitable housemate has become a much more important factor.”
As he put it, Sroomm was born out of necessity! It provides a peer-to-peer platform to help people looking for housemates match with the right people based on price, location and compatibility, such as lifestyle choices and interests.
The platform works by the user creating a profile containing information about themselves, the property and the type of housemate sought. Sroomm then matches people based on interests and lifestyle choices, enabling them to chat.
It was an interesting and engaging event, and this is really only the start of the conversation… Email your thoughts about this to firstname.lastname@example.org