Community / share housing

October 11, 2006

Here’s another idea for a business:

Set up a share housing agency. I’m sure they exist, but this could be quite revolutionary if done in the right way.

1. Startup stage.
– Simply advertise & find people who are seeking single accommodation. Link up tastes and preferences (smokers, animal lovers etc) as well as income levels.
– Interview the clients to assess needs
– Source the rental properties and find one to suit a group.
– Give people options, such as sharing their property or sharing their meals to encourage community.
– Focus on larger homes to reduce chores and build community.
– Emphasise the need for respect and cleanliness. Have a list of terms and conditions and a way to evict people easily if they become a problem.
– This would need to start in an inner city area before involving suburban areas as most demand is in the inner city.
– Include refugees: link to refugee groups

2. Later on.
– Could start intentional communities with groups of flats for example. Once you have a big enough client base, you could come to a deal with owner of a block of flats to be their agent. You could then cut out the real estate agent.
– This could resemble university accommodation but for non-students as well as students.
– Once you had enough clients you could move people around if they wanted to.
– Social justice component: Use higher income earners to subsidise lower income. Have a sliding scale of fees, offer free service to disadvantaged people.
– Link with rsvp or dating agencies.
– Have a central pool of infrequently used items, ie lawn mowers, a video libary, a library. Encourage people to share their items. Link to freecycle.

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