Discover co-living, a shared, affordable lifestyle growing in popularity amongst professionals in Malaysia. Learn about its benefits, challenges, and opportunities. Ideal for those considering a modern, community-focused living arrangement
Co-living is an evolution of co-working, where professionals not only come together to work in one common area but also live, dine and unwind in the same place. It is a shared living space with a group of like-minded individuals. Co-living spaces were born out of the need to cater to professionals who sought a living space that offers flexibility. It is an answer to the prayers of young professionals who are struggling to save up and plan for their future amidst rising living costs.
One of the main differences between co-living and traditional rental models like, “bilik sewa” or room for rent, is the sense of community. Co-living spaces are designed to connect a group of individuals, both local and international for professional reasons. It is a networking place first and a living place second. Everything that you do here is motivated by the desire to connect with professionals of a similar or different industry.
Co-living spaces are still a relatively new concept in Malaysia that mainly appeals to younger professionals and millennials. However, several businesses have already started to capitalize on this rising trend and market it to a larger audience. Co-living in Malaysia is a growing trend that started in 2016, mainly in central locations such as Greater Kuala Lumpur. Some well-known co-living spaces in Malaysia include Damai Residence, Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA), Upstairs Downstairs, Utopia, Komune Living, JL Co-living Space and Sleepy Bear. These co-living spaces offer a flexible and economical alternative to traditional rental models for young professionals and digital nomads.
Photo from Komune Living
Photo from Utopia
Photo from Sleepy Bear
What are the Benefits of Co-living?
Co-living spaces also offer several advantages over traditional rental models. They usually have a one-bill approach towards rental, where all miscellaneous expenses are bundled into one and included within the rental fee. This means less hassle for residents and no unexpected price hikes. Co-living spaces are also fully furnished, so residents don’t have to worry about forking out additional money for furniture.
Co-living offers many benefits for residents who are looking for a more convenient, affordable, and social way of living. Some of the benefits include:
- Flexibility: Co-living spaces offer flexible lease terms that allow residents to move in and out easily without long-term commitments or hefty deposits. Residents can also choose from different types of rooms and locations that suit their needs and budgets.
- Convenience: Co-living spaces provide all-inclusive services that cover everything from furniture to utilities to cleaning. Residents do not have to worry about setting up or maintaining their living space or dealing with landlords or agents.
- Affordability: Co-living spaces offer lower rental rates than traditional apartments or houses by optimizing space utilization and sharing costs among residents. Residents also save money on transportation, food, entertainment, and other expenses by living in central locations with access to amenities and events.
- Community: Co-living spaces create a sense of community among residents who share common interests, values, and lifestyles. Residents can make new friends, network with professionals, learn new skills, and collaborate on projects with their roommates and neighbors.
- Wellness: Co-living spaces promote wellness by providing a comfortable and supportive living environment that enhances the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of residents. Residents can enjoy healthy meals, exercise facilities, meditation sessions, yoga classes, and other wellness activities.
What are the Challenges of Co-living?
However, co-living is not for everyone. Some people may find it hard to cope with the lack of privacy, the short-term solution, the rules and the potential conflicts that may arise from living with strangers. Co-living also requires a certain level of trust, respect and tolerance among the residents. Co-living is not a substitute for family or friendship, but rather a complement to them.
Co-living also comes with some challenges that need to be addressed by both residents and operators. Some of the challenges include:
- Privacy: Co-living spaces may pose privacy issues for some residents who prefer more personal space or solitude. Residents may have to compromise on their privacy preferences or boundaries when sharing common areas or facilities with other residents.
- Compatibility: Co-living spaces may cause compatibility issues for some residents who do not get along well with their roommates or neighbours. Residents may have to deal with conflicts or disagreements over personal habits, lifestyles, values, or opinions.
- Quality: Co-living spaces may vary in quality depending on the operator's standards and practices. Residents may have to face issues such as poor maintenance, inadequate services, insufficient amenities, or unsatisfactory experiences.
What are the Opportunities of Co-living?
Co-living offers many opportunities for both residents and operators who want to tap into the potential of this emerging market. Some of the opportunities include:
- Innovation: Co-living spaces can leverage technology and design to create innovative solutions that enhance the living experience of residents. For example, co-living spaces can use smart devices, apps, sensors, biometrics, artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain, and other technologies to improve security, convenience, personalization, and sustainability of their spaces.
- Diversity: Co-living spaces can embrace diversity and inclusion by catering to different segments of the market such as students, young professionals, digital nomads, families, seniors, and others. Co-living spaces can also offer different themes and styles that appeal to different tastes and preferences of residents.
- Impact: Co-living spaces can create positive social and environmental impact by fostering a culture of collaboration, learning, and giving among residents. Co-living spaces can also support local communities and causes by partnering with NGOs, social enterprises, charities, and other organisations.
See our properties along Ampang LRT line
Co-living is a new trend in urban living that offers a more flexible, convenient, affordable, and social way to rent a room in a shared apartment or house. Co-living spaces are designed to foster a sense of community among residents who share common interests, values, and lifestyles. Co-living has many benefits, challenges, and opportunities for both residents and operators who want to tap into the potential of this emerging market.
Co-living is not for everyone, but it may be for you if you are looking for a new way of living that is more flexible, convenient, affordable, and social. Co-living may also be for you if you are looking for a new way of growing that is more innovative, diverse, and impactful.
Are you ready to try co-living?