WeWork founder Adam Neumann has shared more details about his mysterious new real estate venture Flow.
- In a video from a November conference, Neumann explained that Flow would build “an elevated experience for the resident.”
- Neumann explained that the new venture will help renters “feel ownership” of their rental spaces.
- When a person owns a living space, he takes responsibility for things like unclogging the toilet, Neumann explained. By contrast, renters contact building supervisors to handle maintenance tasks.
- Being in charge of maintenance changes apartment ownership from “being transactional to actually being part of a community” and “feeling like you own something,” according to Neumann.
- The WeWork founder says his goal is to “find a way to share, with the resident, a portion of the value that they create.” Neumann hasn’t explained how this part of Flow will work but says that the concept will be foundational to Flow’s mission.
Why it’s news
The pandemic rattled real estate. Where people live and work has been dramatically transformed, but the industry has not changed with it. As the housing market remains complicated, rental housing is increasingly tough to find—renters struggle to secure feasible prices.
With higher mortgage rates, those looking to buy homes find their budget doesn’t stretch as far as it once did. Higher rates mean higher monthly payments, something consumers already getting hit with inflated grocery prices can’t handle. This pushes some into the rental market.
There has not been a significant disruption in residential real estate recently. Innovative solutions like Flow could be the answer to the housing crisis.
In August, when Andreessen Horowitz his backing of Flow, the Marc Andreessen cofounder wrote a blog post detailing the U.S.’s housing crisis.
“Virtually no aspect of the modern housing market is ready for these changes,” Andreessen said. He called Flow a “direct strike on precisely this problem,” though his post did not explain how Flow would work.
Flow plans to launch this year.
Backing up a bit
Venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz has invested $350 million with WeWork founder Adam Neumann to create Flow—a residential real estate operation.
“We think it is natural that for his first venture since WeWork, Adam returns to the theme of connecting people through transforming their physical spaces and building communities where people spend the most time: their homes. Residential real estate—the world’s largest asset class—is ready for exactly this change,” co-founder Marc Andreessen says in his announcement.
Flow’s website doesn’t offer many details about the company except that it is expected to launch in 2023.
A New York Times article explains that Flow is “effectively a service that landlords can team up with for their properties, somewhat similar to the way an owner of a hotel might contract with a branded hotel chain to operate the property.”
Andreessen says that the company’s mission requires a “seismic shift in the way industry relationships are structured” and that they plan to “create a system where renters receive the benefits of owners.”