Campus CoLiving, the company that master leased large houses and then rented out individual rooms, has announced that it is closing at the end of August. The reason? The business model was not economically viable (it wasn't making money).
I wrote about them in a previous post. Let's revisit their business model: It involved:
- Master leasing houses in high priced neighborhoods
- Charging $1000-2200 for a room (less than what one would pay for a bedroom in a 3-bedroom apartment)
- Providing furniture, hot tub, other amenities, kitchen staples, cleaning services, conflict resolution and social activities.
It's the extras that probably tipped their business model into the unprofitable zone. In most communal living spaces, residents do a few hours of cleaning work every week, pool their own money for food and parties, and furniture and amenities are often from the free section of craigslist.
What is the future of these houses? It is unknown what will happen when the master leases expire. If current residents are willing to put in their own time and money to offset the cleaning goodies that Campus used to provide, one option would be for them to negotiate an extension of the lease with the building owner. On the other hand, maybe the type of people that move there would not live communally without the amenities. We'll know in a few months...