Part of our mission is to celebrate creativity, while building inspiring co-living homes able to deliver a more convenient and fulfilling lifestyle for our communities.
Our Hives are the result of a plethora of collaborations with an eclectic mix of inquisitive artists, dreamers and crafts people in any number of fields — be they art, architecture, design or technology, which share our ethos.
In this Hive Creators series, we wish to give credit and access to the people behind the scenes whose gift and invaluable contributions make our Hive spaces what they are.
INTERVIEW WITH ANTON – COMMUNITY MANAGER HIVE UK
01. Hi Anton! We would love to know a bit more about your background, passions and what makes you tick? (i.e. nationality, passion, hobbies, etc)
Hi everyone! I am Anton, originally from one of the picturesque Baltic States called Latvia. I have been living, working and studying in the UK almost half of my life, in Oxford, Warwick and London.
My passions are lifelong learning and self-development. I enjoy wood carving, chi-gong, playing ancient persian instruments, myth busting, lifehacking, solving logic and math puzzles, creating bespoke driving routes with my family and taking them there.
02. You have worked in both the hotel industry and co-living. What do you find to be the key differences in co-living versus the hotel industry?
In both hotels and co-living customers (or Residents as we called them @B-Hive) expect comfort, personalized customer service, enhanced facilities, and great decor. But if I have to summarise the main differences I would say:
- Convenience vs. Participation: typically, in a hotel guests expect convenience, they want to be served. While in co-living residents expect participation.
- Scale vs. Intimacy: in hotels people prefer anonymity, they don’t mind not to know people around them. While in co-living intimacy is key. Residents want to know everyone.
- Transience vs. Belonging: Hotel customers come and go daily. I could hardly imagine how to achieve such a strong and fascinating community bond in a hotel type of environment, as we have been creating between our co-living residents.
03. What is it like to be a community manager at B-Hive? What’s the typical day like as a community manager?
As a community manager I am responsible to deliver the Hive experience. I am the day to day point of contact with our Residents for everything they need in the Hive, from responding to maintenance issues requests, coordinating contractors, organizing the next community social event. It is my responsibility to ensure our maintenance team respond to our Residents’ request quickly and effectively. I also enjoy spending time getting to know our Residents personally and develop a relationship with them. Our Residents comes from all walks of life. It’s fascinating and enriching for me to get to know them and their different experiences.
04. What would be your top three recommendations for someone wanting to work as a community manager?
My top three recommendations would be to learn the foundations of great customer service, become familiar with the solutions you can provide to various property maintenance issues, and create a strong team who will help you to deliver the experience. And most importantly, to be in a constant dialogue with residents: their feedback and advice is so valuable to continuously improve the experience.
05. How would you describe the B-Hive living community to someone wanting to join our Hives? What makes it special?
What I have heard on several occasions is that living in the Hive community is the best thing that happened in the lives of so many of our Residents.It starts with recruiting the right people during our vetting process. On average out of 25 online enquiries, around 7 people are selected for a viewing and only one then gets selected to join one of our Hives. Characteristics such as positive attitude, outgoing and friendly personality, desire to socialize and contribute to our community are key components of our vetting process.
But the experience is also the result of working with our partners in providing innovative smart home technology, bringing creativity and convenience in each space. And working with local artists and craftsmen enable us to add a local touch to each of the Hive.If you are looking for a vibrant community of people from all walks of life who strive for a purposeful life of unlimited possibilities we are for you!
06. Given you are a local, what are your top tips about Oxfordshire for someone moving in the area? What are the must see?
Oxford has always been a great scene for both modern, jazz and classical music, so I constantly look out for gigs and concerts in O2 and Bullingdon arms, or Sheldonian Theatre. There is a great website dailyinfo.co.uk that regularly updates these listings. For eating out, my favourite place is the rooftop terrace of the Westgate Shopping Centre with around 10 restaurants and bars of an outstanding quality to match various taste preferences. I can’t wait when my favourite Thai restaurant the Giggling Squid opens in Walton Street. For best cocktails I would definitely recommend go to Raoul’s off the Little Clarendon Street in Oxford. Apparently, they have been awarded the world’s top 50 rating of cocktail bars by Times.
My next suggestion might sound very obvious, but by all means visit the ancient campus of the famous University of Oxford, which was there before the Aztec Empire and Genghis Khan, and sign up for one of the in-depth guided 1/ 2 hours tours.
For a great day outdoors Port Meadow, Wolvercote (pop in to the historic Trout Inn or The Perch Pub when you are there), Christ Church Meadow, Blenheim Palace or the Cotswolds are stunning destinations. Don’t miss in the Cotswolds little places like Burford, Daylesford Barn, Bibury, Whitney and Worton Organic Garden, where the farm owner David often sets the classical music to the maximum volume, and serves vegetables to his customers who are standing there astonished by David’s artistic imitation as if he was conducting his symphonic orchestra with greatest passion.