Why we organized a Cohabs retreat

By Charlotte Deprez Published 10/11/2021

Since Cohabs was born, we have had that strong conviction that building a community is the most important part of the coliving experience. It’s in our DNA. It was 5 years ago, and since then, our community has evolved and grown tremendously.

We couldn’t be happier, but we want to keep that Cohabs family spirit more than anything. That’s why last year, as the world was stopping, we thought it was time for us to take a good look at ourselves.

Cohabs is seen as a big real estate developer. The thing is: we do way more than that! Basically, we do everything from the acquisition to the renovation and design, and most importantly we take care of our members after the opening.” explains Xavier, our creative director.

That’s a hard, frustrating fact for us: people just see the tip of the Cohabs iceberg. But how do we make people change their minds about us? It’s not something you can throw into the universe then expect people to go along with it overnight.

In Xavier’s words: “It’s how we make you feel every day that will make you stay with us everywhere. You’ll remember Cohabs through the stories, the memories, and the relationships you’ve made here.

What makes Cohabs today is not the houses, but the people living together and sharing part of their journey within the community.

That’s why we organize a lot of events and activities throughout the year, but we wanted to do something extra…

And that’s why the idea of an annual retreat came to life.

Not only did we want our Brussels members to spend quality time together, but we also wanted our international community to meet up. So that’s exactly what we did!

On October 8th, three of our New York members flew in, visited Brussels with us, stayed at a Brussels Cohabs house their first night, and then went straight to our retreat at Domaine de Ronchinne with 60 other Cohabs members.

Raquel was one of those lucky New York members: “I didn’t know what to expect honestly, but Dan texted us asking if we wanted to join the Cohabs retreat in Belgium and I was just like I’m in, I don’t know what it is but I’m all in! Now I have all these new connections, I’ve met so many amazing people through the retreat!

Our Brussels Community Manager Camille explains: “The retreat was a way for our community to meet, learn and grow together. We wanted to offer an event that represented all of our values at once!

To achieve this, we had rented a beautiful estate in the Namur province and arrived in the afternoon. After a quick introduction from our Community team, we immediately jumped in the pool and hot tub then enjoyed an amazing dinner and a cocktail party together.

After a crazy night showing off our dance moves (and mixology “skills”), we woke up the next day to take part in activities such as a self-defense class, vineyard planting in the Domaine, and inspiring workshops. We ended the day together in the pool and hot tub again (oops) and then it was already time to go back to Brussels with new memories and good stories to tell.

Throughout the weekend, we were amazed to see how quickly and easily everyone would talk to each other! Our members mingled and shared as if they had all been living together before. That’s precisely why we had organized the retreat.

Cohabs without its members is not Cohabs. Cohabs is actually run by the communityconcludes Laure, our VP of customer experience.

About the author Hello there! I'm Charlotte, based in beautiful Brussels and passionate about traveling, food and photography. Follow me @thetinynomad!

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