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The most common mistakes when starting a coliving business

Over the years I’ve made many mistakes, and that's why it’s easy for me to spot them now. Through listening to the stories of other coliving founders and observing their businesses, I thought it might be beneficial to write these mistakes down and share them here.

You’ll find them listed below in order of importance from greatest to least.

  1. Choosing the wrong location
  2. Negotiating bad conditions when you rent or buy the coliving property
  3. Not having enough rooms to give you the flexibility to combine different booking channels and hosts groups
  4. Trying to scale too quickly - opening new properties and launching new locations before your first space is sustainably profitable and working smoothly
  5. Copying what VC funded coliving startups are doing - investing a lot into paid customer acquisition, not playing the long-term game (e.g. working on SEO) and not caring about profits
  6. Having a lack of knowledge about the hospitality business - not learning about revenue management or talking to people who have worked in larger hotel chains, listening to coliving consultants who’ve never actually operated anything
  7. Not having a clear goal as to why you’re starting the coliving business
  8. Being too obsessed with just one concept - don't be afraid to experiment with different channels, like hosting company retreats
  9. Not providing enough info on the website (extremely common) - you should be sharing a lot of photos (or videos/3D tours) of rooms and common areas and explaining them in detail
  10. Investing too much time into social media - try to be authentic and no, you don't need to work with influencers

Nobody is perfect and you will surely make some of these mistakes yourself even after reading this article. Remember, mistakes can be amended and you can be still successful, however, some of them are critical and can change the destiny of your venture. Good luck!

This article is part of the guide where I'm sharing tips on starting a coliving business.

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Hey 👋 I'm Peter, nice to meet you.

I'm the founder of Surf Office, a one-stop shop for anyone organizing company retreats.

Little side projects I'm involved in: Epic Monday, Hoodpicker, Hotel Nuggets and Swagalogue.

Kickstart your hospitality business by reading one of my guides for: coliving, glamping and hosting offsites.

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