Re: Cohousing App
From: Tiffany Lee Brown (
Date: Sun, 19 Jun 2016 21:39:41 -0700 (PDT)
If anyone does end up trying to run with an app --- keep in mind that many of 
the app's potential users might be what marketers would term "aspirational" 
and/or "lifestyle" customers. These are folks interested in what cohousing 
represents, regardless of whether they ever end up "buying" the ostensible 
product (e.g., joining up with others and buying land/home).  People like... 
Oh, me for example. 

The app could have tasteful, well selected advertising opportunities, and/or a 
low priced classifieds section. Ann was interested in research: I'd predict 
that market research on people interested in co-housing and other ways of 
living in community would show a small but growing demographic/ psychographic 
group that tends to skew middle class to affluent, college educated, with more 
Influencers and "Bohemian mix" members than most population segments. For many, 
a marketer's dream target. This target can be difficult to reach because 
they/we tend to be independently minded and media savvy. 

For the purposes of creating a useful housing/community app, it does not matter 
whether every user ends up becoming a co-houser. What matters is that they buy 
and use the app. 

One could create an app with a larger appeal -- say it's part 
roommate-finder-Tinder-style, part earnest-community-builder, part real 
estate/rental service focused Angie's List -ish app (filtered, so for example a 
predatory rental management company would get bad ratings and perhaps be 
prevented from posting). 

You'd get many users just there for chatting and finding a good group house 
after college. Perhaps it would be of interest to housemate matching companies, 
rental brokers, and any developers who are up for trying new, ambitious models 
for community living (such as the Millennial-focused "dorm" spaces discussed in 
the New Yorker article I linked to a few emails ago). Ideally, those folks who 
make money with the app could subsidize those who use the app strictly for 
co-housing and community efforts. 

This is pretty much how Craigslist operates: a company more focused on 
providing a service than making money, still brings in a lot of revenue in a 
small number of its online service silos, which enable Craigslist to provide 
many other services free (and support the nonprofit efforts of the Craigslist 

Again, I'm just trying to throw out ideas that might be useful, not trying to 
sell anyone a bridge or prepare their business plan. :-)  I hope I wasn't 
overly harsh in an earlier post, when I expressed that a sense of 
demanding-ness or negativity in these conversations made me want to withdraw 
instead of contributing more ideas. Thanks to those of you who emailed me with 
encouragement after that. I appreciate it. 

All my best,


Sent from the far shores of a distant land

> On Jun 19, 2016, at 2:22 PM, Crystal Farmer <crystalbyrdfarmer [at] 
>> wrote:
> As a Millenial, I'd love to see a cohousing app. It's hard to find
> cohousing if there's not already a community nearby. There are mailing
> lists and Facebook groups. Charlotte Cohousing has a Meetup group with over
> 300 members. We don't even have land yet! So many people passively
> interested in cohousing. What if there was a way for them to connect and
> start talking? With exposure from the experts on what they need to do to
> get started? With a huge list of names to show to developers and investors?
> I don't know about the real estate market, but surely people see dollar
> signs when they have access to hundreds of people who are willing to buy
> something.
> This mailing list has been the best resource so far, but it's the only
> listserv I use! There's something to be said for slick apps. I'd willing to
> help with the effort though I am not a software developer.
> Crystal
> Charlotte Cohousing Community
> _________________________________________________________________
> Cohousing-L mailing list -- Unsubscribe, archives and other info at:

Results generated by Tiger Technologies Web hosting using MHonArc.