Read more blog posts about the coliving industry and its key actors on the Co-Liv blog! Check it out — happy reading.
Meet Gaëtan de Dietrich — Co-Liv Ambassador for Singapore
I’m focused on creating compelling experiences that are anchored in what makes us more connected to ourselves.
A coliving entrepreneur, Gaëtan is passionate about making coliving accessible and spreading the message about the good that coliving can do for people and planet. He believes that when coliving is done well, it creates new opportunities - this is part of what makes the coliving model a sucess
How do you currently define yourself, and what drives you?
I’m a coliving entrepreneur; a passionate believer in integrated operating models that put people at the centre of everything business does.
I’m a product guy; focused on creating compelling experiences that are anchored in what makes us more connected to ourselves, our world and one another.
I’m a builder; I very much like the idea of making the world a richer place, and I’d love to make relatedness and communities an integral part of how we do that.
I believe that the next revolution isn’t technological but human,
I believe that change is now,
Led by all of us.
What makes you passionate about coliving, and why are you actively promoting the coliving scene?
In the midst of a global awakening that demands we build our cities and organisations with more considerations in mind; coliving offers the refreshing and immensely fulfilling prospect of being able to do both: well and good.
At the core of coliving are two virtuous ideas: the sharing of resources and becoming accountable for each other’s well-being.Taking care of our planet and our tribes.
As we continue to call out and refuse to tolerate the negative externalities of capitalism, we increasingly find that coliving operators who focus only on transactional experiences and leave the human and environmental aspect out, eventually struggle with retention and brand image. This is the beauty of the coliving model and the reason I’m passionate about spreading it’s values. It must do good to do well.
The coliving movement is a brilliant answer to solving some of our most important and pressing societal problems. Getting a chance to make our world a richer place, while providing fulfilling employment, creating life-long memories and reducing our footprint on our planet. What else can one ask to be part of.
What are your visions and thoughts on the future of coliving for the year to come?
Coliving is the default type of accommodation in urban centers.
I foresee that coliving continues its slow but steady shift from innovators into early majority, the offering appealing to an ever broader set of individuals and families.
People having eventually overcome the mental construct that if you can afford to live alone, then you do. Note to future-self, this was not quite so obvious yet in the beginning of the 2020s.
I also see coliving taking on more than accommodation and a sense of belonging; and offering holistic lifestyles that cater to the broadest set of essential human needs. From its origins catering to where to live, what to eat, what to wear, how to learn, how to entertain, how to heal and, most definitely, how to travel.
Finally, I see, or rather I hope, that the way we solve “pain-points’’ in coliving: making the member a co-creator of their living solution; will have become a viable path to addressing more of our needs. Our customers are ready to take on a little more “suffering” if it means living more sustainably.
Businesses of the future have understood that “pain” is the price we must sometimes pay to reach a new level of human experience.
Before we get too hung up on what the future should be though, as Garrison Keillor put it: “You get old and you realise there are no answers, just stories”. So let’s instead keep our focus on helping staff, guests, partners and ourselves write the most beautiful life stories we can.
The sum of our parts should have changed the world before we know it.
You joined Co-Liv as Singapore Ambassador — what opportunities do you want to create for the country you represent, the organization, its members, and the coliving industry?
Despite the strides we have made in the last few years, there is still room to democratise the idea of coliving with Generation X and Boomers, be it becoming an asset partner or a resident. Making sure that everybody knows to consider coliving when the circumstances are right would be a big win.
Coliving could also use some further cross-pollination between hospitality, real-estate and technology. The future of the industry lies in ideas from all three domains having (good) sex.
Finally, I’d like for us to inspire more operators into starting their space and dropping entry price-points even further.
As we continue to share best practices, join forces and expand the talent pool, creating coliving products for small budgets that don’t cut back on experience should become increasingly possible.
How did you get into coliving?
Coliving happened into my life like most good things do. Half by chance and half by design. I first got interested in alternative uses of space for work, before chancing upon living.
As a square turned human through the forging fires of entrepreneurship, I’ve explored many routes, failed my fair share of ventures and built most of my expertise through empirical analysis (i.e. crushed dreams, heart breaks and empty pockets). Back in 2016, coworking had become the mainstream, and a second wave of innovation was taking on, expanding into non-tech users and smaller independent players; I was looking for a simple, powerful idea to get into the space space.
One thing leading to another, I met two guys who’d just raised a pre-seed, had a couple of flats up and running — and happy customers. As they pitched, one question crept into my mind: how has this not been done before? So many times I’d found myself looking for flatmates and had hated every bit of the process — and sometimes staying with them. I knew I wasn’t the only one, most people I know have been there at some point in their life.
This was a problem worth solving and if anything, one that would make hundreds — thousands it turned out — of lives better and easier. That was it for me, a good problem to solve that turned into a momentous decision. One that has come to define so much of what’s important to me.
Thank you for being part of this movement! How can people reach out, and what can you mostly help them with?
Best to reach out to me on Linkedin! Happy to help with the following:
- from 0 to 1, aspiring coliving operators — find out if this is something you really want, how to get started and how to build a community of members.
- from 1 to 10, young operations — how to professionalise your offerings and find the right value proposition framework that will work for your teams and your intentions for the space.
- from 10 to 1000, established operators — how to reconcile community, business and fast growth, how to design and scale a community-centric member experience and best practices to manage resources, teams and technology in order to build resilience in your occupancy and bottom line.