Belonging to a genuine, enduring, and captivating community plays a vital role in human existence and the overall well-being we strive for. It provides us with a profound sense of inclusion and direction, combats the pangs of isolation, and promotes mutual support and personal growth. This, in turn, has a positive impact on both our individual well-being and the overall health of society. It enables us to explore hobbies, common interests, and exchange ideas with peers, all while nurturing our unique identities. Embracing and excelling on this idea is what led B-Hive Living to win another important award in recent weeks, the Coliving Awards 2023 in the category of Best User and Community Experience.
Community building has become a new strongly sought-after value in the modern world, at the same time constituting a serious challenge. It takes not only know-how, but also purpose and diligent nurturing, application, and intuition to build a real community that is also what you should be seeking in a coliving service. Below, B-Hive Living shares a few key lessons learned from their journey to create an award-winning user and community experience. We hope they become useful tools for developing and strengthening your own community.
Do it for the right reasons
At B-Hive Living, we have made building community a core component of our purpose and mission. It is essential to make community part of your culture and be intentional about creating it. It’s by connecting with something larger than ourselves – a community – that we achieve our best life. The purpose of driving change in society by responding to the two great challenges we currently face: the shortage of affordable quality housing and loneliness, is very close to our hearts, personally and professionally.
We believe coliving homes should not simply be a place to rest your head. It should be an experience that elevates human condition through community and wellbeing-led design and build. We endeavour to create an empowering space for residents to lead a healthier, more connected and fulfilling lifestyle, and everything we do is designed for that goal. Building a great community is top priority to achieve those goals. Meaningful relationships can only be built through genuineness.
“Living in B-Hive has transformed my life for the better. It’s not just a place to live; it’s a tight-knit family that supports, uplifts, and shares in the joys and challenges of life. The garden serves as our gathering spot, where we bond over barbecues, picnics, and heartfelt conversations, fostering a deep sense of togetherness. I’ve found a network of friends who have become my extended family.” Sophia, Interior Designer from Italy
Make it personal
We are social species, hence one of our most basic human needs is to connect with other people. That’s why we have devised a wide range of community-building tools that we use daily and that make the experience of Hivers a wholesome and authentic one.
The first of our resident’s experiences is our community members’ curation and vetting process. It makes sure a prospective resident is the right fit for our community and vice-versa. It also provides a very personal and smooth experience from first contact, through referencing, to check-in. The entire user journey through our coliving experience is a personal and engaging one, including a customised calendar of social events and even our internal celebration of members through B-Hive Living Awards.
“After being disappointed by a few shared-living spaces, I’ve been blown away by the B-Hive Living experience. They’ve such a stringent vetting process and this really pays off since I really felt I had a lot in common with my Hive mates from day one.” Iva, Store Manager from Czech republic
Set the tone from the outset
The first impression is a lasting one, and we do believe it’s important to our residents’ well-being. Our designed onboarding process helps them integrate well into our community culture, and become effective members of our community. Each newcomer is also welcomed with dinner cooked by the founder Williams Johnson. It sets the right example and culture within the Hives, and is a part of laying a strong foundation for an authentic and purposeful community.
Put community values and culture in action
When nurturing community is your purpose, you are naturally prepared to go beyond the call of duty to support your community. These efforts are reflected in its attitudes. We know that our purpose and values have become a unique culture when you see them so clearly displayed in the discretionary actions and attitudes of our team and residents. Here are a few heartwarming examples:
Testimonial from applicant on Women’s Day
“Hi Anton, thank you very much for showing me around today. What impressed me the most was your approach to the B-Hive community and your calendar of social events. I was particularly impressed with the roses you left on the girl’s doors, it shows thoughtfulness and true care for the community from B-Hive and not just thinking about the bottom line, which is amazing.” – Frankie, Resident
Have the right people
This is an area that is easily overlooked but crucial. Our carefully selected team goes the extra mile on the experience aspect of coliving, because they’re passionate about our mission, their jobs, and having an impact on people’s lives. This is emulated by the founders who constantly emphasise a culture of service via their own example of servant leadership. We are here to serve our residents and each other. Residents who volunteer as Hive ambassadors also play a crucial role in engaging and connecting our residents in the spirit of shared community values.
“Making a positive contribution to the wellness of our residents and creating meaningful experiences brings me immense fulfilment. B- Hive Living is a place where our work genuinely makes a difference.” Jon Hormaetxe, B-Hive’s Head of Experience
Elevate the experience with technology
We are also committed to exploring and using technology as a way of connecting people. For example, our custom-designed B-Hive app not only simplified the life of residents through access to support and unique membership benefits, but also allows them to be aware of each other’s professions, talents, and hobbies, encouraging bonding.
“I love the fact that anything you need is within arms reach. There’s an app where you can communicate with other tenants and get live events notifications so you know what events are going at what time and who’s going. You can also control your temperature in your room between the kitchen and you know is very easy and um it is a very good environment to be in. I find it very comforting.” Tolu, Radiographer from Nigeria
You improve what you measure
As dedicated as we are to building the incredible experience for the community, we do go beyond that as a brand. On the business side of things, B-Hive Living is also a leading operator and asset manager, and works on numbers too. Measuring our user experience metrics meticulously is the key to our business success and our ability to deliver above the average. Performance metrics such as the NPS score, occupation rates, and achieving higher rents and renewal rates are some of our most valued ones that we use to learn from the past towards an even better future.
The community experience we design and implement is also a big secret to how we are able to achieve higher rents than peers, retain residents for longer, and have one of the highest NPS scores in the industry. It’s also one of the secrets to what coliving awards judges say about B-Hive Living as a coliving operator:
“They really go above and beyond when it comes to facilitating a strong community and creating a positive experience. They believe in actively supporting their housemate’s health and well-being through experiences, activities, technology and wellness-led design. They place a big emphasis on housemate compatibility and have a carefully curated vetting process. An incredibly solid onboarding process.” Leah Ziliak – Lead Judge for Community Experience at HMO Awards
As the first coliving operator to hold simultaneously the best community experience in the UK and in the world, we feel strong to move forward inviting more and ambitious investors to support our mission.We are happy and proud to hold awards in this particular demanding category. It is an achievement we work towards every day and an advantage we offer to partners working with us. Are you looking for a partner to help you build and manage a vibrant coliving community? Contact us today and our team is here to help.