Top 9 Takeaways from Rooftalks Live on Community Building and Coliving

By Michael Steinmann

Earlier this month we brought our Rooftalks community together for Rooftalks Live — the ultimate community launch edition!

The season finale of our eponymous coliving podcast, with guests ranging from leading international operators, to the biggest coliving advisory firms and everything in between.

Curious what those movers and shakers had to say?

Watch the recording here, or read our top 9 takeaways below.

Rooftalks is created in proud partnership with The Class Foundation, Conscious Coliving, Salto Systems, SPX, the Cobana, and Coliving Hub.

1. The coliving opportunity is hot

Coliving supply is still underdeveloped in almost all markets, which provides an enormous opportunity for growth for any residential living segment, with demand outpacing supply up to a factor of 20. With the needs of the residents increasingly changing, the biggest challenge for real estate is to catch-up with that — coliving shows how that is possible, but the rest of the real estate industry is still lagging behind, at least at present.

2. The time to go big or go home is now

With lots of movement in the market, mergers and acquisitions will keep being high on the agenda as there are a lot of investors eyeing the space, and money available to be deployed. The biggest question emerges: Who can become the leaders of Europe? As more and more data points become available on the financial performance of coliving as an asset class, the space will continue to heat up.

3. Community building means lighting the fire, and then watching it burn.

How? Help your members identify the topics they care about, empower them to create their own gatherings, make your space more participatory and get them to show up in their PJs on a Sunday night. This vulnerability and authenticity will do more for your community than the shiny Linkedin profiles and Instagrams accounts.

4. The toughest thing in coliving is how to satisfy the need to connect

Foster connections and the feeling of being responsible for each other’s well-being among your members. And remember — there will be 5–10 people that will become the life of your building. Empower them and give whatever they ask for; Otherwise, you will burn out.

5. Business and community power each other

While the nature of business and community building are fundamentally different, both depend on and power each other. Keep in mind though that sometimes you also need to be shielded from each other. Otherwise, you are risking killing off your word of mouth and your brand — which is one of the reasons why you are building the community from a business point of view, to begin with.

6. Technology is critical to de-risking coliving

Coliving and serviced living is born and raised by technology. Today, technology has three big areas of impact on how to de-risk your coliving business: 1. Improve the operational efficiencies. 2. Enhance the living experience and drive human connections, and 3. provide data to improve your space, operations and concepts now and going forward.

7. Focus on your stakeholders to be successful

What are the product needs and who are the other stakeholders that you need to align with — architects, investors, city planners, etc. Make sure you know who you are and make sure everyone is on the same page.

8. Think long-term and outside of the box

What’s the future of real estate, what is the future of human beings? What do people want in 10, 20, 30 years and how can I provide it? These are the questions very worth investigating to set yourself up for long-term success.

9. Coliving is a relationship business and not a real estate play

This counts for your business, and also the wider community of coliving operators you are part of. So go out and speak to other entrepreneurs that have done it successfully. Many are very willing to share their learnings and insights. If you want to build a community, start building the community around you.

Ready for more?

You can find all our coliving podcast recordings here. Is there a guest in your mind that you think should really join us on the show? Let us know in the comments.

  • About Rooftalks — the podcast: Spirited conversation intersection of community, technology, and shared living with thought leaders and movers and shakers in the shared living space: sign-up at
  • About Michael: Michael is co-founder and CEO at Obeyo. Passionate about connecting people, he loves to explore ideas at the intersection between community, shared-living, and technology. Feel free to connect with him on LinkedIn.
  • About Obeyo: Obeyo is the first all-in-one operating system and community app for residential living built around the learnings from 100+ shared living operators.