Co-Working is so 2017—Here’s Why 2018 is All About Co-Living
Why just co-work with other founders, when you can live with them?
PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images
If you’ve ever complained about your roommates, you’re not alone. Hmlet co-founders Yoan Kamalski and Zenos Schmickrath experienced the same dilemma in Singapore when a lot of entrepreneurs in their network did not jive well with their flatmates, landlords, or both.
Hmlet, which refers to a small village or community in English, was their attempt to solve this problem.
“As entrepreneurs, our aim is to make life better and to make a real impact in people’s lives. Therefore, we decided to create co-living spaces that are responsive to the flexibility needs and stylistic preferences of today’s mobile, millennial workforce. Since then, we have been transforming buildings into dynamic environments that empower our community of innovators,” says Kamalski, Hmlet’s CEO.
In line with this mission, Kamalski says that they don’t want to just provide housing through Hmlet, but an actual community. They host everything from barbeques and bar crawls to wine sessions and dance lessons, providing their tenants with a vibrant social life. The big idea is “to make room for life,” says Kamalski.
The Art of Co-living
Hmlet is one of several co-living solutions in Southeast Asia, but Kamalski believes there are several notable differences that make them stand out.
First: the terms itself. Hmlet doesn’t require long-term contracts of its tenants, and they can move between Hmlet spaces across countries. In addition to Singapore, where it will be doubling in size in 2018, Hmlet has locations in Tokyo, Japan, and will open in Hong Kong this second quarter.
Hmlet also calls on technology to facilitate connections between tenants. During the onboarding process, tenants must take a personality matching test. This procedure ensures that there is maximum compatibility between members sharing the co-living space, which is one of the most common concerns among prospective tenants considering Hmlet.
Another differentiator? Design. “Design in real estate spaces can amplify creativity and empower people. It can change the entire experience, and that is exactly what Hmlet is trying to do. We want our customers to have a home that allows them to be innovative, creative, and to play a big part towards their happiness,” says Kamalski.
Kamalski believes that Hmlet will appeal to Singaporeans who not only want an affordable place to live, but one where they can connect with like-minded individuals.
“Many studies show that humans are happier and more fulfilled thanks to the connections and people in their lives, not so much money, success or fame. Real estate in Singapore is highly priced, and because of our demanding type of mentality, the co-living concept is a necessity. It creates a new type of real estate that allows people to match their lifestyle, finances, and their desire to connect with people whom may change their lives,” says Kamalski, pointing out that Steve Jobs started Apple from a garage. “Let’s create spaces that will enable people to change the future.”
Schmickrath, the managing director heading technology and operations, reveals that the biggest challenge facing Hmlet is in transforming from a property management company into a property technology company.
“Starting from April, every member will have a Hmlet App which will allow communication between individual members, flat mates, and entire buildings. Members will also be able to connect across interest categories such as entrepreneurship or tennis,” he says of one of these initiatives.
Yet even in its current incarnation, Hmlet is having great success in facilitating connections between tenants, both entrepreneurial and otherwise.
“We’ve had many connections created as a result of Hmlet, but a particularly memorable one is a couple that ended up meeting while they were living in the same Hmlet. They eventually ended up moving back to Europe together and are now engaged. We’re really looking forward to being invited to the first Hmlet wedding,” says Schmickrath.