Rue Hoche, in the 20th arrondissement of Paris, is a house that, at first glance, looks like any in the neighborhood. And yet, it deserves our attention. We ring. A sort of relaxation area immediately catches the eye of the visitor: two armchairs, green plants and an electric scooter take pride of place. We are inside a Colonies residence, a coliving space, Porte des Lilas, in Paris. Since mid-March, seven people have put their suitcases in this 200 square meter residence. The start-up – which raised 11 million euros at the start of the year – promises to reinvent the housing experience thanks to this concept of collective housing. A way of living from the United States, which consists of living in a private space but in community, by sharing common spaces.
This Tuesday morning, not a cat in the house: the seven tenants have deserted the premises, all work or go about their business. The order is obvious: in the living room, there is not an object lying around, the books are lined up, the sofa cushions ironed and the dust absent. It feels like an advertisement for Airbnb accommodation. Justine Aurian, “experience manager” at Colonies is there. It is she who manages the residence, the tenants and the relations between the “inhabitants”. At the time of the inauguration of the place, she had even organized “the welcome party, an evening to get to know each other and break the ice, without waiting “. With a smile, she shows the place. It is not the first time, not the last, either. Because in general, when a new tenant is ‘settles in, she comes to greet him and explain “how the house works”.
Selection of tenants
To be part of the Colonies community, tenants are selected by Justine. After receiving between 150 and 200 applications, she went through everyone’s “files”. To apply, you must complete an online questionnaire and share your Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn profile. Useful when you come from a foreign country, when you have neither a French guarantor nor a permanent contract.
The young woman then called the first interested. For about twenty minutes, Justine asked her interlocutor a few questions: what is her professional activity, where does her interest in co-living come from, why do you want to be part of the Colonies community? This is how she identified the personality of the potential tenant