Outpost Club Member Profile - Chris Gerrits Jans

We found a moment to catch up with one of our members, Chris Gerrits Jans. His story was interesting so we wanted to share it!


Chris, where are you from?
I came to the US from the Netherlands not too long ago!

What house do you live in?
The Knickerbocker House (the best house)

How long are you staying for?
1 month, wish I could stay longer!


Chris, what are you doing here at Outpost Club in New York City
I'm a location-independent E-commerce entrepreneur. We sell cosmetic products for men. My company is called Moquer Hairstyling & Grooming, www.moquer.com


What was your favorite event so far?
The Labor Day Barbeque was great!


What do you like about living with Outpost Club?
I like living at Outpost Club because there are like minded people and it is more fun than living alone in an apartment?

 

Why Work in Coliving?

As we Are starting to expand our operations, we thought it might be a good idea to give a breakdown of the benefits of working for Outpost Club. So here is our list of reasons to live/work in coliving:

It's a rapidly growing industry.
There seem to be new companies opening coliving spaces everyday. Nevertheless, the industry is still small, and developing skills that only a small group of people currently have gives you a great advantage when looking for jobs.

You're surrounded by motivated people.
When living and working with people who took a chance on entering this new industry, you'll be surrounded by people who get it. By "get it" we mean that they understand this: the way in which we've historically thought about our housing accommodations and our working hours is changing. These are people at the forefront of a rapid shift in the way we live our daily lives.

You can commute to your kitchen, or anywhere for that matter.
All of our employees (and members who are freelancing/working from home) use our spaces to work from home, productively. Some sit in the kitchen, some sit in the coworking space, but regardless, home becomes a place of work during the day.

You're working for a community, not an apartment building.
Work has more meaning when you are truly a part of something, that's why most of our employees both work and live in our spaces. When the work you do directly impacts your surroundings, it is obvious that your work holds importance.

If it's a startup, you can have a large impact, quickly.
When you work at a startup, it's all-hands-on-deck. If you can show that you are an integral part of the team, you will gain new responsibilities, quickly. You might be tasked with revamping the entire communications strategy and executing it, or hiring and managing the newest employees, or creating the agenda and running meetings with your supervisors. All of which are valuable skills for any job, and you can gain them quickly at a startup.

And our favorite benefit: You'll meet people from all over the world
If you live and work in our spaces for as little as six months, you are likely to live with as many as 15 nationalities at any given time, and over 50 nationalities over the duration of that stay. Some of our employees like to say "I have a home to stay at in over 30 countries, all from the friends I've made here."

 

Outpost Club Welcomes Mirena to the Team!

Though she's been with us for a while, Outpost Club would like to officially introduce Mirena to the world as one of our great house leaders! 

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What’s your name? 
Mirena!

Where are you from?
I came to NYC from San Fransisco

What house do you live in?
The Bedford House (the best house!)

How long have you lived with Outpost Club?
I have been with outpost club since April

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Other than being a house leader, who are you?When you’re not being a house leader, what do you do?
I am a former airbnb host, and like kayaking and culture. I am also an artist!

Favorite event so far?
My favorite event so far was karaoke night, everyone sang really well.

Why live at Outpost Club? What do you like about it?
What I love about living here is meeting people from all over the world.

Any additional info?
My solo show - Ingredients of a Subway Car - opens next week! Take a look! (Picture on the right)
Also, my website is mirenarhee.com
 

Labor Day Barbeque with Outpost Club!

At Outpost Club, we knew we needed to do a barbeque; all of our members asked us about our plans! So we invited all of the houses to our newest house, the Bushwick House, for some hot dogs, burgers, and beer. 

We were so happy that all of the houses came, each of them showing up in a group but mingling with everyone once they got here! Everyone was also really excited to see the new house, and many congraduated us on our fifth house in New York City

Stories From Our Members - Louis De Keyser

 

I’m Louis De Keyser, was born in Ghent Belgium, and am a proud resident of the Knickerbocker House at Outpost-club. I arrived here in April 2017 and have stayed with Outpost for the last 5 months. 

I’m the founder of Tiny House Belgium. A company that builds, designs and promotes Tiny Housing. In the beginning of this year I sold the business to pursue my dream of moving to New York City. I had been here a lot before and always had a crush for this city. 

Before staying with Outpost Club, I used to stay in hostels, which is nice, but not for a long periods of time. Staying with Outpost Club, I met a lot of locals and international members and I was really able to build friendships here.  I didn’t expect that to happen when I got into this. It is so great to have all these people around you, that are all working on different jobs, studies or projects. You learn about things you would otherwise never have been exposed to. 

In the beginning of this year I decided to sell my business to pursuit my dream of working in Marketing and Branding here in New York City. I am now working on my personal blog (www.louisdekeyser.com) talking about all the innovative projects, people and businesses I get in contact with here in NYC including Outpost-Club. I love the energy in this city of people trying to make things happen and the 24/7 lifestyle, and I’m super happy having a place to call home in this city. 

My favorite event was probably the housewarming party at the Ridgewood House just a few weeks ago. It was nice getting to know people from the different houses and to all come together with some good food and drinks ;) I found Outpost Club at the very last minute, about 4 days before I flew into NYC, and I’m so lucky to have found this place. I love that we all have this personal connection with the company. There is always someone we can talk to for issues, ideas or problems. Staying with Outpost Club was the best decision I made in my America trip and it changed my life! I won't be renting an apartment anytime soon ;) I love Co-living! 

If you guys are curious about my blog you can check it out here (www.louisdekeyser.com) or on medium (www.medium.com/@louisdekeyser)

What Coliving in New York City is like - By Louis De Keyser

My experience with Coliving in New York City, and why you should do it too

For the last 4 months, I have been working towards moving from Belgium to New York City. It’s a city where you need a home, otherwise you’ll go nuts pretty fast. When looking for a place to stay, I never really thought about coliving as an option. In fact, I didn’t even know what it was before I arrived here in April this year. Four days before I left Europe, I was looking for a place to stay on Air-BnB and I found one in Brooklyn that was affordable. It mentioned that I would have a shared room, but I didn’t really think much about it at the time.

When I travel I always stay in Hostels. They’re affordable hotels in good locations where you share a room with anywhere from 2–50 people (pro tip, don’t go higher than 9 people, from there on it gets kind of crazy 😅 Simply put, I’m used to sharing rooms. But what’s different about coliving is that the people you’re staying with will be there for an extended period of time. You build up friendships, get lunch together, share the same TV remote…

With that said, I’d like to break down the pros and cons of coliving.

What I like about coliving so far:

  1. Coming from a different country, It’s nice to get to know people right away. It’s a real friendship starter; what better a a way to become friends with people than live with them?
  2. It’s a sort of relationship that’s not really comparable to anything else. They’re not your family (even though we say we are), they’re not your high school friends, and they didn’t grow up in the same city you did. We are totally random strangers who all come together with totally different backgrounds and aspirations.
  3. It’s cheap AF. Compared to a normal lease it’s relatively cheap. Also considering the fact that you don’t need to buy any furniture, utensils, plates, bowls, appliances, utilities, etc.
  4. It’s flexible. Your contract only lasts for a month, so you can leave or move-in whenever you want. Even within your city, you can move from place to place if you wanted to. In addition, you can move-in or out on any day of the month.
  5. You pay for a place to stay, not your personal square footage. What I mean by this is that in this economy, millennials do not feel very attracted to ownership. Alternatives to buying a place like renting and now coliving are way more attractive to us.
  6. You simply have more space than in a normal New York apartment. In NYC, rent prices are insane; we’re talking 2500$ for a 2 bedroom apartment. Any less than that, you’re basically living in a shoebox. With coliving, because you share space, the rooms are bigger.
  7. The company takes care of everything. If a window breaks, the toilet doesn’t flush, or the fridge is broken, you don’t need to check your savings account. It’s all been taken care of.

What I don’t like:

  1. Sometimes it’s too busy. There are 15 people staying in my coliving space divided over 2 floors, and sometimes that’s too much. You don’t always feel the need to be around other people. I solve this by taking the subway somewhere, put my headphones in and close my eyes. But it’s just something to be aware of.
  2. If you don’t like your roommate you're f*cked. Sometimes it just happens and you’ll just have to wait it out or ask for a room change. It’s important to have open communication with your roommate about concepts of cleanliness, quiet time, etc.

In despite some minor concerns, I love the trend of sharing. It’s the only way younger people can afford living in cities, and it’s actually quiet fun! I hope you enjoyed this article and I hope you found it useful!

Also, if you want to know more about the coliving space I’m currently staying with, check out this website! www.outpost-club.com

If you liked it please give this article a big Applause! 🙌 what do you think about Coliving, would you try it? Have a great day everyone! For more articles and more information on what I do go check out my Website www.louisdekeyser.com

Breaking the Preconceived Notions of Coliving

I've been working in the coliving industry for about half a year, and though this is a relatively short period of time, it's been a whirlwind. Outpost Club has expanded to five houses and continues to grow in members, staff, alumni, and locations month-over-month. But in my short time here, I've noticed something when speaking with people who know nothing about coliving: they have a lot of preconceived notions, and they are usually always negative. I want to use this article clear up some misconceptions of what coliving is, specifically for Outpost Club (I can't speak on behalf of other coliving operators). Here are some things I hear people say:

"Oh, It's a dorm!"
No, it's not a dorm. Dorms usually don't have kitchens, and sometimes don't have common rooms. In most dorms, you don't get to pick your room accommodation, you're almost always sharing a room, and only sometimes do you get to choose your location. At Outpost Club, you can pick whatever style room you want (shared or private), and move around after you've arrived.

"If it's not a dorm, it's still only for college students"
Incorrect. Yes, we have members who are students, but we also have members who are professionals in their field, entrepreneurs, travelers, freelancers, and from all other walks of life.

"Oh, well then it must be a hostel!"
Still, not the case. Hostels are places for short stays. You might make some friends at a hostel, but it is lacking community. At Outpost Club the minimum stay is a month, allowing members to get to know each other and become a part of our community. We provide common areas you'd actually want to hang out in, hold events, and have a house leader at each location to facilitate this community. 

You guys share things, so it's gotta be a commune!
Yeah... that's a large oversimplification. Sure, we share essentials (see what included in membership) but other than that we share only space. We cook our own meals (other than at potlucks) work independently, and take our own showers (you'd be surprised what some people assume about our members).

"There's no way it stays clean"
Each house has a cleaner that comes once a week. The cleaner "resets" the house by cleaning all common rooms, changing the sheets on your bed, and restocking all the essential items we provide. The cleanliness of your room, like always, is up to you.

"It must be loud all the time."
Quiet hours start at 10pm, and they are observed.

"If I lived there, I'd never get any privacy."
You can alway find a place to be alone in any of our houses. If you work from home, the only other people who will be at home will most likely also be working. If you share a room, roommates take vacations, and sometimes sleepover at friends houses. You can also communicate with roommates about privacy, it's up to you to make those accommodations.

"I've never done coliving before so I don't know what it would be like"
The thing is, you've probably done coliving before and just don't know it. Outpost Club's definition of coliving is "A shared housing model with mid-to-long-term stays" that's it. Have you ever shared a house with someone? If so, you're already halfway there.

As I mentioned at the beginning, most of the preconceived notions that people have about coliving are negative. But there is a bright side to this: almost all of these negative assumptions evaporate the moment someone holding these assumptions walk into a coliving space. My advice to anyone interested in coliving is this: go see a coliving space in person. There have been so many times where I show someone an Outpost Club space, and they say something like "Oh, it's just an apartment with people in it." I'm not sure what these people were imagining beforehand, but showing them the physical space removes all doubts they had about living in these spaces.

Instead of leaving you with all the things coliving is not, here is what coliving with Outpost Club looks like: 

WHO WE ARE

Outpost Club is a network of coliving locations throughout New York. Our goal is to make it super easy to move to New York, and to provide interesting and convenient places for affordable prices. But at Outpost Club, you receive more than just a place to live and work. The Outpost Club platform creates a coliving community that offers both general and professional networking, which personally benefits all members.

WHAT WE DO

Outpost Club provides end-to-end co-living services to tech startups, entrepreneurs, digital nomads, freelancers, remote workers, professionals, students, and anyone looking to move to a new city and meet new people. Coliving is a shared housing model. Members share kitchens, living rooms, and other common spaces with all members, and have a private or shared bedrooms of your choice. Everything is included in our flat fee: utilities, wifi, furniture, appliances, kitchen supplies, and anything else you would need upon moving into a new place. All you need to bring is your suitcase. Fill in the application, have a brief interview, grab your suitcase and move in! You’ll meet new people who will become your friends for life.

WHY WE DO IT

Even though New York houses millions of people, many of us feel lonely due to their housing arrangement and the individualistic nature of urban American culture. Despite this, at Outpost Club’s co-living locations, you’ll never come home to an empty house, and you will never feel alone.

Why Choose Outpost Club?

There are probably hundreds of housing options for any one person in a city, and thousands of vacant apartments waiting to be filled by you, so why live at Outpost Club. To answer this question we must first answer another: why chose coliving? 

Modern coliving has emerged from many factors that influence how people live. The first reason is the obvious financial benefit of coliving: the more you share, the more you save. Our members share kitchens, living rooms, bathrooms, coworking spaces, and sometimes even bedrooms. But the benefits of coliving are not only financial. Moving to a new city might seem like moving to a whole new group of friends, but that's not always the case. Ironically, in dense urban areas, rates of loneliness are usually higher than tight-knit, smaller communities. Coliving can be used as a way to avoid this loneliness and to make friends.

Coliving also makes the process of moving to a new city easier. This is actually the reason the founders of Outpost Club decided to start providing coliving spaces. As international tenants in the US, finding housing was tough. Credit checks, background checks, language barriers, buying furniture, setting up utilities, and all other move-in difficulties. They saw a void in the housing market that desperately needed a solution.

So why Outpost Club? Because we know what it's like to move to a new city, we've done it ourselves. Our mission is to make housing easy, and we achieve this by removing the pain points of moving, both logistically and socially.

See what we provide, and come live with us.

 

When member's get motivated: Karaoke

Coliving tip: never hold an event no one wants to go to! The best way to avoid this? Let members hold events that they want to hold, and facilitate. That is exactly what happened last weekend at the Bedford House. 

Before the event, a couple members felt that they they really wanted to have a Karaoke night. After asking the rest of the house about it, others seemed to want to sing till they pass out too. Mirena, the house leader for the Bedford and Flatbush House's got everything ready, but couldn't have prepared for the excitement she was about to encounter.

The event went all night, and luckily we got some great shots of our pro-singers. Take a look!

Mirena's Event - Drink and Draw!

This past week one of our lovely House Leaders, Mirena, felt motivated to hold an event at our Bedford House. After taking some time to think of what she would do, she finally decided on something I'd never heard of before: Drink and Draw!

I could tell you all about it, but let's hear it from the Mirena herself!

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"Bedford house has always been filled with very nice and fun people, I call it the FUN HAUS. One weekend on a Saturday, we did a drink and draw event. I brought a giant roll of paper and drawing markers (not to mention, beer), and we did full body drawings of members as they walked in the door.  The full body drawings were done by laying the paper on the floor, and we asked participants to lay down on the paper. We drew the outlines of their bodies, like a line-drawing portrait of each member.

"Then we hung the life-sized full-body portraits around the house and members continued to draw on them throughout the week. Members continued to draw, adding details and comments as the portraits hung around the house! We had a wonderful time, not only during the event but throughout the week as the event continued."

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