We Began A $2.4M/12 months Coliving Enterprise In Singapore

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Good day! Who’re you and what enterprise did you begin?

We’re Eugenio Ferrante and Ahmed Nizar, co-founders of Casa Mia Coliving.

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Casa Mia Coliving is a sustainable and fashionable coliving and property administration firm that gives inexpensive and ready-to-move-in lodging. Bringing collectively insights from the sharing economic system, know-how, and a strong tenant group, Casa Mia permits younger professionals to take pleasure in straightforward dwelling in sought-after city areas.

Right now, we’ve got 150 bedrooms in central Singapore throughout widespread neighborhoods resembling River Valley, Tiong Bahru, and Orchard. Now we have reached an annualized income of $2.5M, and we’re rising quick!

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What’s your backstory and the way did you provide you with the concept?

We each wished that coliving existed a number of years in the past. Earlier in our careers, whereas we have been in administration consulting and banking, we moved for work to locations worldwide, throughout Europe, North America, and Asia, from London to Seattle, from Toronto to New Delhi.

Once we rented our houses, we obtained caught within the “mistaken” neighborhood for too lengthy; we had combined outcomes once we sublet with “strangers”, and we had combined outcomes. We realized lots from these experiences, and we now carry these learnings into Casa Mia Coliving.

We each moved to Singapore with our jobs, and after a number of years in company positions, we have been on the lookout for different choices. Eugenio obtained excited about coliving after seeing the concept in Italy (one of many largest operators there). Ahmed arrived at an analogous idea by taking a look at how advanced the house-hunting course of was in Singapore. We met and realized that we had an analogous imaginative and prescient and complementary strengths. That’s how Casa Mia Coliving began.

Take us by means of the method of designing, prototyping, and manufacturing your first product.

We launched simply earlier than COVID-19 hit Singapore. A whole lot of our concepts in regards to the product have been nonetheless shaping up. In hindsight, we imagine this was a blessing in disguise.

In comparison with many different coliving firms in Singapore, our rooms are extra spacious and most of them appropriate for working from house. That’s just because we noticed how folks modified their lodging wants in 2020, and we didn’t have a number of stock but at that time.

We’re additionally one of many only a few operators of our dimension with our proprietary software program platform to handle coliving operations end-to-end. The “downtime” of 2020 allowed us to construct this up. We got here up with ColivHQ, a software program that can allow all of us at Casa Mia to be very environment friendly and have an excellent understanding of what’s occurring with every one in every of our houses and members.

ColivHQ is a mixture of a CRM, a buyer help system, a PMS (property administration system), a CMS (house footage, digital excursions, and many others.), and a billing system for all of us. Multi functional place. Most small coliving operators run their enterprise on a spreadsheet, after which once they develop they scramble to discover a platform that works for them. COVID-19 allowed us to plan for this.

Earlier than:

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After:

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Describe the method of launching the enterprise.

We bootstrapped at first, raised a bit from family and friends after, and we at the moment are going by means of our first actual fundraising marketing campaign. Nothing to announce, but!

Once we launched our first house, all rooms obtained booked immediately. We knew we had one thing and from then it was a matter of discovering the appropriate place to develop as quick as doable with out breaking too many issues. All through the lifetime of Casa Mia Coliving, we’ve got been pretty cautious, from a monetary perspective, ensuring that we didn’t spend greater than we have been making. All of the funds we raised went straight into new houses.

VER 1:

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VER 2:

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VER 3 / CURRENT:

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Since launch, what has labored to draw and retain prospects?

We use a mixture of social media and on-line commercial; nevertheless, at this level, greater than half of our new members discover us organically, both by means of suggestions from others or Google critiques and boards (there are a number of on Fb in Singapore).

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Most of our members are younger skilled expats of their 20s (as much as early 30s). Like the 2 of us a number of years in the past, they wish to have a world expertise overseas early of their profession. And whereas that’s nice, it may also be problematic when it comes to with the ability to afford a spot and transferring to a brand new house with no help system.

At Casa Mia Coliving, we created an inexpensive and handy product. Moreover, our houses include a group. It’s not simply that our members share comparable backgrounds and ages. We actively have interaction our members with occasions and actions that enable them to fulfill throughout our completely different houses. Even throughout the lockdowns in 2021, we have been doing on-line cocktail courses and different comparable occasions to make sure alternatives for engagement throughout the Casa Mia Coliving member group.

Because of this, our members have a tendency to stick with us for 16 months on common (though the min contract size is three months and 50% of our members initially join 12 months or much less), for much longer than most different coliving firms in Singapore.

Our month-to-month ‘First Friday’ occasion, this was at FOC Sentosa:

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Our ‘Meet The Neighbours’ occasion, the place members from close by houses meet one another at one of many Casa Mia Coliving houses:

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How are you doing at the moment and what does the longer term appear to be?

We wish to double our Singapore enterprise this yr and launch a second metropolis. We’re breaking even and intend to maintain being worthwhile as we proceed to develop, as we don’t imagine in progress in any respect prices. Coliving is a enterprise the place scale is important, however that’s not all.

Now we have robust unit economics with a 10x LTV/CAC ratio, however that’s doable solely by specializing in the appropriate actual property companions and belongings. We will run a worthwhile enterprise at our scale with our unit economics. Different coliving firms have a a lot decrease LTV as a result of their members are extra transient or as a result of their margin per room is simply too low. We see it as a standard drawback amongst firms right here in Singapore, ensuing within the want for a a lot bigger dimension room for them to interrupt even.

By means of beginning the enterprise, have you ever realized something notably useful or advantageous?

We made the perfect choice to choose a clearly outlined buyer section, way more narrowly outlined than every other coliving firm right here in Singapore. Right here, most coliving firms say that they market to “younger professionals and households, expats and locals”. How is {that a} goal market? That’s everyone! We created a product suited to our prospects as a result of we picked them first.

What platform/instruments do you utilize for what you are promoting?

We constructed our proprietary administration system, ColivHQ, to maintain all the info about our enterprise in a single place.

So far as third-party instruments, we’re on Google Workspace and use Asana for initiatives (for instance, every new house launch).

What have been probably the most influential books, podcasts, or different sources?

Coliving is a growing enterprise; there are usually not many books about it but! We wish to suppose that by means of this journey, we’re writing our guide about coliving.

Recommendation for different entrepreneurs who wish to get began or are simply beginning out?

Don’t overthink it. Simply do it!

The place can we go to study extra?


 

Eugenio Ferrante
 
Founding father of Casa Mia Coliving

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