What are the differences between coliving and standard apartment rental? It’s easier on the pocket and more convenient. However, another significant aspect of coliving is the people you meet. Whether new to the city or old, meeting new people is always refreshing.
Casa Mia Coliving’s community comprises young professionals in their 20s. First Fridays and, Meet the Neighbours are some of the “rituals” and events we host where members can meet members other than their housemates. Many of our members, like Yan and Matteo, say they are grateful for events like these and through them have been able to build a good network of friends. Their socialising goes beyond their home and at events; many also actively plan things outside of the Casa Mia environment. For example, this summer some of the Elizabeth Heights members and other Casa Mia members went to Tomorrowland in Belgium!
We want to continue to reinforce this great community feel and have created a tool to refine the member selection process. To do so, Zachary, a third-year psychology student at the National University of Singapore, joined us, along with a faculty member to provide guidance. During the three-month period, he helped devise a survey tool and analytical approach to gain a deeper understanding of the social and interpersonal dynamics within Casa Mia’s member landscape. This approach enables us to make informed decisions about the placement of prospective members as well as how they would fit into the existing community. To understand more about the project we have asked Zachary to take you through his time at Casa Mia as a customer insights intern!
Let’s get straight into it, shall we?
I joined Casa Mia with the intention to help the team reinforce their efforts in building a tight-knit community for their members. We created a survey and from the results developed a clearer picture of the makeup of the members.
The survey looks at four main components that are relevant to coliving:
Overall Personality looks at traits such as extrovertness, emotional stability, and openness to experiences, to understand how an individual is generally.
Dark Personality further zooms in on the more aspects of one’s personality which may negatively impact a home-sharing experience. This includes tendencies to be controlling, self-centred and calculative.
Communal Orientation measures how much an individual values others’ feelings and emotions within a relationship, and allows us to see how considerate and compassionate one may be.
Lastly, Interpersonal Trust gives us an idea of how willing and open an individual may be to trusting people, including how willing they are to share their problems or thoughts with others. These four main components give us a holistic picture of the individual, from which we can make a more informed decision as to whether they can fit in well into the Casa Mia Coliving community.
We distributed the survey to our members mainly via email. There were also multiple get-togethers over the course of my internship, where I promoted the survey. I joined the First Friday events for all members, Welcome Drink event for new members, and other gatherings. From the various outreach attempts, we received a considerable number of responses. While face-to-face sessions yielded over a 90% response rate, there was also nearly a 60% response rate from those via email, indicating that our members were definitely enthusiastic and willing to participate in our research exercise. At the end of the day, this is also beneficial for them and any future housemates who will move in!
From the results, measures of Overall Personality and Communal Orientation seem to provide us the greatest insight as to how an individual may thrive in a coliving setting. These two measures showed strong correlations with each other, indicating that their individual components have links to each other.
The results also indicated that the Openness aspect of Overall Personality positively correlated with Coliving Satisfaction. This makes sense, as at the core of coliving are new living experiences, being open to meeting new people, living in a foreign country, and broadening horizons. All these things are embodied by the individuals that score high in Openness, whose characteristics include being curious about the world, eager to learn new things, and tend to be more adventurous.
Lastly, the results also indicated that our HEXACO (Good Personality) measure was strongly correlated with other characteristics that make up a good coliving housemate. This included Communal Orientation, Interpersonal Trust, Tolerant Reactions to Housemates, as well as Tendencies to Clarify Misunderstandings. In other words, based on one’s Good Personality score, we can also infer the presence of characteristics that would make for a good member of the Casa Mia community.
All in all, these results further confirm that these are key elements within the coliving sphere, and diving deeper into them will better inform our decisions regarding member selection in the future.
Taking these results into account, we are able to further refine our member selection process. Not only did we focus on the components of the ideal Casa Mia Coliving member, but we now also have a clearer understanding of our member landscape. We will also be able to more confidently tell which households these individuals may be best suited for so that they have the best possible coliving experience while they are with us. All in all, this research has given us an even deeper understanding of our current and prospective members, strengthening the Casa Mia community even more.