Cohousing outreach lesson for the day: Be reachable
From: Raines Cohen (
Date: Tue, 5 Jan 2010 00:05:19 -0800 (PST)
I was distressed to see someone in the Fayetteville (North Carolina)
area struggling to connect to cohousing neighborhoods in the "Live
Wire" (answers/citizen advocate) column in the Fay Observer today. The
challenge the reader faced illustrates the importance of making sure
that websites and communities/cohousing directory entries are kept up
to date and that we all work together to make sure that our community
contacts are responsive.

A frustrated reader wrote:
We're seniors who are interested in cohousing. In August, we wrote
three cohousing communities but didn't hear back from any of them. Can
you tell us why? - T.R., Fayetteville

I posted on the Coho/US website a blog entry with links and commentary
on the article and some best practices for updating websites and
responding to inquiries:
"Could you be missing hot leads? Make sure prospective members can
reach your group"

So many communities I visit fail to update their websites or points of
contact once the units are sold or they move in. I heartily encourage
groups to keep up the engagement with interested prospects, to build
the pool of future members, facilitate resales, and prevent bad press
such as the piece running today.

Some of the tips in the piece include little bits on how to:
* Stay Reachable
* Stay In Touch
* Keep Up-To-Date
* Focus on People, Not Property

I welcome your further suggestions and comments over there (free login
required to post comments).

Raines Cohen, Cohousing Coach
Planning for Sustainable Communities (at Berkeley (CA) Cohousing)
Where an impromptu showing of "Lawrence of Arabia" kept us up late in
the Common House last weekend, and where a seven-year-old neighbor led
the way in reconfiguring the furniture for the astronomy club meeting,
which continues despite a rapid loss of sight by its leader. And
visiting Fresno cohousers with family from Colombia got to help us
help a mathematically-inclined neighbor celebrate a prime-numbered
birthday over a soup-and-quiche common dinner that miraculously
stretched to handle everybody eating PLUS nine guests -- perhaps the
irrational power of pi(e) was invoked.

Community Organizer, East Bay Cohousing
Where an orientation/potluck last week had more than two dozen
attendees, plus a waiting list, and pitches on many prospective
"mini-cohousing" sites in Alameda, Oakland, and Berkeley. And our
MeetUp group is about to get its lucky thousandth member! And two
communities have had resales to DC-area cohousing couples in our

P.S. Happy New Year, all. Based on activity levels so far, it's gonna
be a great year for cohousing. Congratulations to Stony Brook
Cohousing on optioning a site in Hyde Square in Jamaica Plain (Boston,
MA), not far from the established Jamaica Plain cohousing. And to the
multiple Pittsburgh (PA) cohousing groups coming out of the woodwork
and cooperating since our visit there last July. And to Mid-Atlantic
Cohousing on its ambitious plans for a regional conference this

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