CoHousing Solutions has extensive experience in all phases of community development: from site search and feasibility to growing and strengthening your group, from overseeing the political process of planning approvals to outreach and marketing, structuring investments, putting together viable development budgets and construction financing packages, from facilitating options and upgrades selection, to consulting on construction management and assisting the community with move-in.
Katie has been a cohousing developer (the one that signed on the line), a project manager in the trenches, a consultant to affordable housing developers, and a resident of several communities she’s developed, giving her a broad perspective of the entire process. Working as a development consultant, CoHousing Solutions helps our clients determine what skills and professionals they need and who will be responsible for each task. Contact us to begin the process.
A sampling of the areas CoHousing Solutions consults on:
How do you find your other neighbors, and what do you do first to get a project off the ground?
Site Search & Acquisition
How do you find an appropriate property? How do you negotiate the best purchase terms?
Will this property work for your group? How much will your homes costs if you build on this property? Are there issues that you aren’t thinking about that will add costs or risks?
Building Your Development Budget
What will your homes cost? CS has built numerous development budgets, and actually seen them thorough to the end of construction, gaining a perspective to evaluate how well they performed. We can help you build a realistic budget early on, and understand what will make the most impact in holding your costs and prices.
Raising the Money (Investment Structures & Bank Loans)
We have refined a system for raising investment from your member base and others to cover development cash flow. We can help you develop an investment plan for your project, based on our tried-and-true document templates adapted to your project. We know how to package your project to find competitive construction loans, as well as mortgages for your buyers.
Finding Your Professional Team
What other professionals will you need? When should you hire them? How do you find them? We can help you with putting together a strong team, and assisting with negotiating their services and fees fairly.
Finding A Development Partner and Putting Together A Fair, Workable Partnership
Our in-depth understanding of how developers work (Katie previously partnered with cohousing groups as their development partner), will help you find an appropriate development partner. We can explain the business model in terms a developer understands, and assist the group and developer to find an appropriate sharing of risk, reward and expectations for a successful long-term partnership.
Katie is a licensed architect who worked on many cohousing communities’ designs, with a specific understanding of the how common houses are used. She no longer has the staff to provide full architectural services, but can facilitate the design programming process to define criteria and priorities for your group, working closely with your architect to make the process more efficient, while ensuring your group has the advantage of three decades of lessons learned on successful design.
Looking to build your cohousing group’s marketing presence and credibility? CoHousing Solutions’ offers marketing support services to forming communities who’ve engaged with our firm for development consulting services. We can advise on what works, how to prioritize your time and budget, and help you get it done. See below for further details on marketing services.
Setting up your Homeowners Association (HOA)
We can help you avoid pitfalls that may make it hard to get competitive mortgages, and provide sample management documents, policies, and budgets from other cohousing project’s HOA’s.
Consulting on Project Management and Construction Management
Katie has done both of these roles and is equipped to guide your group in choosing the right professionals to do the job. With years of experience, we can support your local project management and construction management teams.
By working with CoHousing Solutions, your community can benefit from the systems and processes we have refined over the last 30 years working with many different communities. These systems will assist both the community and your professional team in developing a strong collaborative relationship. We can save you time, money and headaches through a more comprehensive relationship, working on a regular basis with your community and your local professionals.
Contact us to talk specifics and pricing. References available on request.
Marketing Services Offered to Cohousing Groups
Is your forming cohousing group looking to…
Build your marketing presence and credibility?
Establish consistent branding that showcases your vision and values?
Prioritize your highest and best use for the marketing dollars in your budget?
CoHousing Solutions offers marketing support services to client communities. We can advise on what works, how to prioritize your time and budget, and help you get it done. With in-house capabilities, we can be your one-stop-shop for guidance, assistance, and design services. Utilizing us for marketing support will mean you will have more time to host events, meet potential members, and grow your forming cohousing group in only the way you can!
Our Marketing Services Include
As it’s the first online presence for most groups, you’ll want to conduct successful outreach with an eye-catching, effective, and easy-to-maintain website. Unlike most web designers, ours is equipt with the cohousing language and photos that will accurately convey the community you are marketing.
Websites Built by Cohousing Solutions:
When talking to potential cohousing members, it’s nice to be able to hand them something physical. Business cards, postcards, and brochures are a great way to get a memo up on their fridge, and generate more followup interaction. Our office has access to design programs and templates, as well as a clear sense of graphically pleasing layouts.
Logos, advertisements, announcements, graphics, and more. In the digital age, no marketing strategy is complete without elements of graphic design.
Creating an online presence builds your marketing capacity and outreach, giving potential buyers more opportunity to learn about your community and get in touch. In fact, social media platforms are often the first resource that potential community members go to when searching for forming communities.We understand what social media platforms your target demographic relates to, and how to create an effective outreach strategy.
Typically, groups send out monthly or bi-monthly emails as they’re building their database, to stay front of mind, and provide info on news and upcoming events. Having an email coordinator who understands your group’s vision, has established a clear line of communication with members, and has the creative wherewithal to drum up a diversity of new materials to include monthly is a real boon to busy groups.
Branding is more than just a logo and color selection, it is what keeps a group anchored in their messaging and outreach. Identifying your target demographic, brand pillars, and mission statement can help keep all your community members on the same page when marketing your community. If your group is struggling with a united vision, we recommend a branding workshop.