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Sharing economy in the Real Estate: a means of empowerment for Millennials

The impact of an increasingly uncertain future on the residential market

Millennials are the most cultured and educated generation, as stated in an article by the Economist, although it is also the one that finds the most obstacles in archiving professional goals. The supply of highly educated workers is greater than the absorption capacity of the market, consequently, 39% of people under 25 years old are unemployed or underemployed. Moreover, as stated by the New York Times, people in the 18-34 group earn less than the previous generation in the same age group. Millennials are financially fragile and this is also confirmed by the Washing Post poll, which states that:

  • 63% of Millennials would have difficulty covering an unexpected expense of 500$;
  • Only 6% think to earn more than necessary to cover basic needs. For women it is 3%; 44% would use $ 5.000 in lottery winnings to pay bills and loans.
  • 44% would use $ 5.000 in lottery winnings to pay bills and loans.

However, even if Millennials are not in a good economic position, they are able to fight the uncertain and fast-changing future thanks to their creativity and their ability to think out of the box. Along with an HR survey, Millennials are prone to team working and collaboration and think that cooperation is essential to give life to better work. All this has led to the increase of the sharing-economy which consists in peer-to-peer performances that allow the access to shared goods and services (Forrester).

Not only the working perception is changed, but also the living one. The concept of “home” has been modernized and has given light to residential solutions, the most spread in Europe is the coliving. In a period characterized by increasing urban land use and sharing economy, coliving provides modern and flexible solutions, in line with the consumption habits and lifestyle of the young generation. In this way, the use of common spaces and the social cohesion between residents is optimized.

What is coliving?

The co-living modern form of living based on the idea of sharing living spaces. It has been developed in recent years in response to the rise of the rental market both in Europe and in other developed countries.

Coliving has provided to be the perfect housing solution for different age groups, both for young Millennials looking for shared experience within communities, and for elderly people looking for company.

Living in a coliving means renting a private space, like a study or a bedroom with a restroom, in a building in which the other areas are shared with other residents. It promotes the formation of a community, while allowing autonomy in the private areas, and also a reduction of the rent. In fact, just like coworking offer young entrepreneurs the spaces and tolls needed at a fraction of the cost of a traditional office coliving helps reduce the cost of living by providing access to an environment where people can benefit from the experience of sharing spaces and lifestyles.

It is a new interpretation of an old idea, thought by a generation that gives value to open-mindedness, collaboration, social networks, and the sharing economy.

Coliving in Europe and Italy

According to a study conducted by JLL the main coliving structures are based in the big capitals of the most important Countries of the old continent. In Europe, almost 40% of the market is based in London and Amsterdam, while 25% is distributed between 24 big cities. This means that the growth potential is huge not only for big capitals but also for smaller cities.

Also the Italian market sees the presence of more and more important players in the sector. HOMIZY is an example, it is the new initiative of the Abitare In Group, that, in March 2021 completed the transition to the telematic stock market (MTA) in the Star segment, becoming the only company active in the development of the real estate sector in Piazza Affari (

In the proposal of Abitare In, the family is the main focus and the house becomes an aspirational product. This phenomenon has been further emphasized by the lockdown experience, in which it has emerged the importance for families to have a house provided with spaces dedicated to study and to work, and large open spaces.

The pandemic not only has modified users’ needs, but has also accelerated changes that were already underway, and has led to a general increase in sales prices. In this context projects like HOMIZY of Abitare Inare born to launch a new product line dedicated to the young professional segment, bringing the concept of sharing economy in the world of the living, that is a market based on the coliving formula for young workers. They could live together through smart and trendy housing solutions, provided with common spaces, working ones, and entertainment ones, with the possibility of developing professional and human relationships.”

The value of the digital transformation

The technological innovation, as stated by Marco Grillo the CEO of Abitare In SPA, becomes fundamental to optimize internal processes, like the creation of new selling opportunities, the management of customer services, and the personalization of products.

Smart locking technologies become an enabling factor to increase business scalability by providing the company with digital tools that improve the complete automation of the business processes. Digital marketing enables large-scale lead search, that is then converted to client through a completely digital “in-app” customer journey, and an integrated management of contracts, payments, and invoicing. Access to digital space is then made possible through the smartphone, thanks to technologies like the one of Sofia Locks.

Millennials, sharing economy, and digital

Technological innovation and the actual economical situation have given rise to critical changes in the society. Not only the work conception has changed, but also the living one. The living environment has become flexible, founded on sharing and social cohesion, spaces are optimized and the bond creation is highlighted through coliving structures. The sharing economy becomes a tool to become autonomous and independent for a whole generation, the Millennials one, which lives uncertain times compared with the previous generations.

Technology becomes a fundamental aspect to accelerate the sharing economy and embrace digital innovation, as it allows to improve the internal processes and the management of clients, simplify the management of different seats, and personalize the products on the basis of the different customers needs. Sofia Locks is aware of this and, for this reason, offers an exclusive service, which combines the best know-how in offering comfort with the most advanced cloud technology. Managers and customers will be able to control any gate safely, following the principles of maximum control, safety, flexibility and comfort.

Understanding the market and act accordingly today

Sofia Locks is aware of the fact that to understand the market it is necessary to study the entire environment that surrounds it, for this reason, she decided to develop her own market analysis through the PropTech Perspective project. An innovative and modern company must be able to offer its customers not only a complete vision and support in strategic decisions, but also the right cutting-edge technologies. The development of a cloud-native access control system, designed to face the market of the future, must be accompanied by an understanding of structures, such as facility management, and the impact of the digital revolution in the real estate world.