Re: Launching June 15:
From: Ann Zabaldo (
Date: Sat, 18 Jun 2016 07:35:08 -0700 (PDT)
Tiffany — and all — please see below.

> On Jun 17, 2016, at 12:11 PM, Tiffany Lee Brown <magdalen23 [at]> 
> wrote:
>> On Jun 16, 2016, at 7:46 PM, Ann Zabaldo <zabaldo [at]> wrote:
>>> On Jun 16, 2016, at 10:21 PM, Tiffany Lee Brown <magdalen23 [at]> 
>>> wrote:
>>> Why not make it so the same platform/with a differently branded app could 
>>> be used for developers to start for-profit housing arrangements?
>> Why would a developer or a group of developers do this unless they knew they 
>> could make a profit?  What we lack is research and reliable industry figures 
>> that current professionals are willing to share so as to draw other 
>> professionals into the biz.  
> More of that data would be great. But... Investors and, especially, real 
> estate developers are often far less risk-averse than the average person. 
> Many are drawn to the idea of building the future. They know the future 
> doesn't already have a positive P/L sheet and that their potential ROI is TBD 
> on a new venture. Show them a couple articles like this one and build a 
> killer business proposal:

Tiffany — in search of data  — How many investors and real estate developers 
have you pitched this idea of “building the future?”    I don’t think I know a 
single successful developer who knows and acts on  “the future doesn’t already 
have a positive P/L sheet” or that “their potential ROI is TBD” but if you do 
and have had this work.  Developers I know watch the bottom line like a hawk 
zeroing in on mouse for dinner.
> Connect with actual entrepreneurs and developers, possibly within current 
> coho using communities. I’m not exactly a business guru, but I could sit down 
> with someone and list at least a dozen ways to monetize tools that would also 
> end up benefiting "the rest of us," e.g. the minority fringe of people 
> genuinely interested in co-housing today, in its non-entrepreneurial state. 

This would be very very helpful.  Please give us a list.
> I feel slimy saying it, but: the way to pitch community is to say, "Here is 
> yet another way to get people to provide all the work for free while we 
> collect the profit." How do Facebook and other social media companies work? 
> They provide a conduit through which regular folks willingly make all the 
> content for free. The right cohousing tools could enable a developer to make 
> money by letting people run their own cohousing communities.

Developers are always interested in ways to trim their costs.  And marketing 
the project is one of the ones very attractive to developers. 

What do you mean by “ the right cohousing tools could enable a developer to 
make money by letting people run their own cohousing communities?”
> Cohousing could also promote entrepreneurial efforts, especially in states 
> with easier land use laws than mine (Oregon). A for-profit retirement center 
> built into and on the land with a cohousing development, for example, so that 
> residents can age in place in community. Shouldn't that idea interest 
> businesspeople in the retirement home business? Yeah, it should and it would. 
> They'd either see it as competition or opportunity or both. My own pet hope: 
> a cohousing community for artists, craft persons, makers, artisanal food and 
> drink makers — small batch entrepreneurs, with facilities and resources for 
> work-at-home studios on the same site as our homes and community center. 

You have chosen an excellent example of a strategic alliance between a 
“landowner” and a cohousing group.  Another one is places of worship that have 
land holdings and is looking to provide their seniors with a living situation.
> Anything anyone might ever want to do at our near one's home, or in 
> community, on a piece of land, could be tweaked to add value, create stable 
> revenue, and therefore attract interest beyond nonprofit community focused 
> folks. I expect there would be problems, and value conflicts, but -- this is 
> America. Here, unfortunately, things can only grow so much without cash…

Any “value add” is generally welcomed by a developer.  

I am not an expert at development.  What I have learned is that financing, 
construction, implementation and general development is very very very complex. 
It’s nothing like building a single family home which is also complex.  It’s 
exponentially complex with many pitfalls in which people can lose their shirts, 
 and their children’s’ shirts.

Developers are VERY conservative people.  They have a high tolerance for risk 
but believe me the housing market is incredibly CONSERVATIVE.  I’ve been 
pitching cohousing in the DC area market for 20 years and so far on two 
developers have been willing to take the risk:  Don Tucker who developed Takoma 
V village where I live and Don Tucker and Martin Poretsky who co-developed 
Eastern Village about 1.3 miles from us.  
> I'll stop now. I never thought I'd be cheerleading heartless profiteering! 
> :-p  But seriously: especially among Millennials and other youngish 
> Americans, there is a refreshingly earnest desire to combine moneymaking with 
> doing what's right and making the world a proverbially better place. There’s 
> plenty of data on that, and plenty of interest in the business community.

I agree.  Profit is not a four letter word.  As I said in earlier posts … when 
people can make money building cohousing we will have more cohousing.

One person on this list knows more about cohousing, development, etc. than all 
of us put together.  

Katie, I invite you to join in here because I think your EXPERIENCE will far 
outweigh the thoughts, suggestions, visions and opinings those of us posting 
here have written.  Moi included.  Please let us hear from you.  Your wisdom is 
> - Tiffany in Oregon

Best --

Ann Zabaldo
Takoma Village Cohousing
Washington, DC
Principal, Cohousing Collaborative, LLC
Falls Church, VA

My password is the last 5 digits of Pi …

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