There’s a good chance you’ve heard the term “digital nomad” before.
With a growing percentage of the world’s workforce working remote full-time and an increase in the amount of freelancers across the globe, the term has arisen to describe those who attempt to forge a career while simultaneously globetrotting.
Though the thought of trying a career as a transient professional is tempting for many travelers (who doesn’t want to make money and indulge their wanderlust?) finding comfortable residences across the globe that can also support all the work-related needs of a wandering worker can be tough.
That’s where Roam Co-Living comes in. The company, which began in March, offers what it calls “co-living and co-working” compounds across the globe.
Currently with locations in Bali, Miami and Madrid -- and with properties opening in London, Tokyo and San Francisco soon -- Roam allows traveling freelancers the ability to live and work in all-inclusive communal compounds for however long they choose.
“Roam developed out of a couple of things,” Dane Andrews, Roam’s co-founder and head of growth told GrindTV. “Bruno Haid -- one of our co-founders -- lived nomadically for a while. Myself and Flo Lauder -- another co-founder -- had lived similar lifestyles and we all had different experiences within co-living because it’s different everywhere.”
“And that variance in experience is why we started Roam,” Andrews told GrindTV.
“It’s the idea of being able to bring a branded element to the digital nomad experience,” he continued. “To be able to move from place to place and have it be frictionless where you know you’ll have everything you need at your disposal when you arrive at a Roam property.”
And when Andrews says “frictionless” he truly means it.
If the term “nomad” conjures mental imagery of backpackers staying at spartan hostels across the globe, the reality at Roam’s compounds couldn’t be further from that: Roam’s properties include yoga rooms, libraries, meditation rooms and top-of-the-line communal kitchens, among other amenities.
“We operate boutique properties that take all the guesswork out of being a transient professional,” said Andrews. “You don’t have to wonder ‘Well, will I like the neighborhood?’ or ‘Will the connectivity there be good?’ or ‘Will there be like-minded people sharing the space with me?’ We do all that for you to make sure you’re comfortable.”
As Andrews notes, the properties are a far-cry from budget hostels.
The Bali property fits 24 people, features a spectacular courtyard and rooftop communal area and was designed by renowned architect Alexis Dornier.Roam Miami occupies Miami’s oldest continually operated hotel -- formerly known as the Miami River Inn -- a 1908 Victorian-style building that fits 38 people and oozes old Magic City style.
“We wanted to make sure that Roam’s version of co-living could never be defined as a dorm for adults,” said Andrews.
While Roam’s luxe accommodations at their locations don’t resemble college dormitories, the way the properties foster a familial environment amongst their occupants does.
“In addition to all the communal areas, we have community managers on site who help introduce occupants to one another,” said Andrews.
“And beyond that we plan out ‘family nights’ between everyone staying at a property,” Andrews continued. “Those family nights could be something simple like having everyone get together on a Wednesday night and play trivia together and order some pizza.”
Andrews says that environment is a huge part of Roam’s appeal. And to experience that environment, potential “Roamers” (what Roam calls its customers) will have to pony up: While the rates vary between locations, the going rate to live at a Roam property is roughly $500 a week or $1,800 for a month.
“When you look at where the properties are and what you get with them, you realize that’s a pretty good deal,” said Andrews. “Everything you need is taken care of by us -- even down to small things, such as making sure when you show up there are basics like eggs and butter in the fridge so you don’t have to buy from scratch.”
“Plus you’re staying in a room that -- if it was operated like a hotel -- would be selling for $150-$200 a night,” Andrews continued.
So far, it seems that Roam’s take on co-living is popular: The start-up raised $3.4 million in seed funding in May, and says it plans to continue growing to more locations globally.
“With more people working remote and looking into flexible housing, a big aspect in housing today is really bringing a community aspect into accommodations,” said Andrews. “Not to sound too corny about it, but I really think this is the future of how people will live together.”
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