Re: Launching June 15: CohousingMap.net
From: Tiffany Lee Brown (magdalen23gmail.com)
Date: Sat, 18 Jun 2016 09:43:36 -0700 (PDT)
Hi Ann -

Like I said, I have no data. Just ideas and observations. Your email sounds 
frustrated and negative to me. I'm sure you have good reason to be. It doesn't 
make me feel like spending a lot of time on brainstorming on command, though. 

Good luck.

Tiffany 


Sent from the far shores of a distant land

> On Jun 18, 2016, at 7:35 AM, Ann Zabaldo <zabaldo [at] earthlink.net> wrote:
> 
> 
> Tiffany — and all — please see below.
> 
> 
> 
>> On Jun 17, 2016, at 12:11 PM, Tiffany Lee Brown <magdalen23 [at] gmail.com> 
>> wrote:
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>>> On Jun 16, 2016, at 7:46 PM, Ann Zabaldo <zabaldo [at] earthlink.net> wrote:
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>>> On Jun 16, 2016, at 10:21 PM, Tiffany Lee Brown <magdalen23 [at] 
>>>> gmail.com> 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:
>> 
>> http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/05/16/the-rise-of-the-co-living-startup
> 
> 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 needed.
>> 
>> - Tiffany in Oregon
> 
> Best --
> 
> Ann Zabaldo
> Takoma Village Cohousing
> Washington, DC
> Principal, Cohousing Collaborative, LLC
> Falls Church, VA
> 202.546.4654
> 
> My password is the last 5 digits of Pi …
> 
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