How to Create a Thriving Community
Maintaining a happy and healthy community is key to its success, but it’s easier said than done. Having a dedicated Head of Community who is committed to the betterment of the community can make all the difference. In this article, we will explore the steps that Urban Campus has taken to create a thriving community.
Understand the Nature of Communities
It’s important to understand that communities can be cyclical. Not every member will be equally driven or involved. As a community operator, you may experience down times, but it’s just part of the process. Our goal is to bring together a group of strangers who share similar values and lifestyles and help them build a home together. At Urban Campus, we strive for a self-sustaining community that relies on us for support and guidance.
At Urban Campus, we believe in creating a strong and inclusive community from the very start. Before our tenants move into their new home, our sales team takes the time to introduce them to our community during their initial interview call. They will explain our values, events, community meals, and clubs that we offer. It’s important for us to carefully curate the people who join our community to ensure that everyone has an open mindset and is willing to get involved. We understand that a vibrant community requires a mix of personalities and perspectives, both extroverts and introverts alike.
Technology at Urban Campus
At Urban Campus, we have embraced technology to enhance our community experience. Three days before moving in, new residents receive emails asking them to register for our in-house app. A few weeks later, we send out feedback forms to gain a deeper understanding of their experience.
Our app serves as a vital tool for transparency and scalability, providing a platform for both Urban Campus staff and community members to create events. Tenants can join clubs that interest them and are automatically added to group chats, encouraging them to connect with others who share similar hobbies, regardless of which building they live in. This app has become a hub for members to connect and has greatly streamlined communication and event planning. Since its introduction in September 2022, we have seen a 60% increase in club interaction.
Urban Campus Community Co-Creation Sessions
Our co-creation sessions are designed to foster open communication and gather valuable insights from our community members, known as colivers. These quarterly gatherings provide a platform for our colivers to voice their concerns, share their experiences, and offer suggestions on how we can better serve their needs.
At Urban Campus, we believe that our community is the cornerstone of our success. That’s why we encourage active participation and value their opinions in shaping the future of their living experience. Our goal is to create an environment where everyone feels heard, supported, and empowered to make positive changes.
By gathering feedback, addressing any tensions or misunderstandings, and making necessary adjustments to our spaces and processes, we strive to continuously improve and provide the best possible living experience for our colivers. We acknowledge that frustrations may arise, but together, with open and honest communication, we can overcome any challenges and create a thriving community.
Fostering Community Interests through Events
We believe in supporting and promoting the passions and interests of our community members. That’s why we make an effort to bring these projects to life and showcase them within our spaces.
For instance, Albus Burger, a company started by one of our colivers in Mellado Madrid Coliving during the pandemic, offers a unique Uruguayan recipe and brings members together for delicious meals. As a testament to our commitment to supporting our community, we are proud to announce that Albus Burger is our official burger partner. Every quarter, we host a Welcome BBQ where current and new members can enjoy their offerings and learn more about their business.
We understand that our community members have unique interests and talents, and we strive to provide opportunities for them to showcase and share these with the rest of the community. If there is a way to support and bring attention to a community member’s passion, we will do everything in our power to make it happen.
Building Strong Community Partnerships
Creating a positive impact not only within our spaces, but also in the surrounding neighborhoods is extremely important to us. Which is why we form partnerships with local businesses to enhance the value of the area and bring added benefits to our colivers.
Our focus is on supporting sustainable and local businesses, and we continually seek new and innovative ways to collaborate with them. Whether it’s through formal agreements or tailored events, our goal is to strengthen the community and promote the growth of local businesses.
By forging strong partnerships with local businesses, we aim to create a vibrant and thriving community that benefits everyone involved.
Continuous Improvement through Community Learnings
As the Head of Community at Urban Campus, I have been committed to finding ways to enhance the community experience for our colivers. One initiative I launched was the community catalyst program, from which I have gained valuable insights and lessons.
Initially, the idea was to have a designated member from each space encourage and foster community spirit for a few months. However, I soon realized that our colivers preferred not to have additional responsibilities and felt that the program added unnecessary pressure. Despite this challenge, I have learned that finding the right framework for a community catalyst role remains a work in progress.
Our community is one of the three core pillars of the company, and we are dedicated to continuously improving and adapting to meet their needs and expectations. By actively seeking feedback, refining our processes, and making necessary changes, we strive to create a happy and thriving community.