The sharing economy is continuing to disrupt traditional brick and mortar industries. AirBnB is the obvious example, creating alternative income streams for anyone with a spare bedroom. Now, Roam is attempting to use global architecture to appeal to those wanting to continually work and travel all over the world.
The idea is simple enough – open hostel-like buildings in various cities all over the world, linked by a common parents company that allows subscribers to pay a fee which allows them to change locations as they choose. If you’re able to work from a phone or a laptop, you can spend a month or two in Miami in the summer, then change your base to Europe for a few months when the cooler weather sets in. Then vacation in Asia for a few weeks, all under the same umbrella description.
In simplified terms, its like having a continuous and transferable reservation at a hotel with locations all over the world. Its freedom to move, as required.
At the moment, Roam boasts boasts locations in Miami, Tokyo, Bali, London and soon in San Francisco – each with their own unique feel and features. Think along the lines of a pool and rooftop yoga in Bali, private balconies in Tokyo, and a grass courtyard in Miami for movie screenings.
I like this idea – using communal kitchens and eating areas to lower costs by sharing utilities and common areas, then providing private living quarters akin to hotel room for each guest. This would be a great way to spend a sabbatical year travelling and working with the comfort of having a reliable network of home-bases and support around the world. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a bunch more of these building networks start to pop up, and then perhaps get scooped up by a larger established hospitality chain. The major barrier to entry seems to be the capital needed to get each location off the ground, which places the business model somewhere between a traditional hotel chain and a user-owned AirBnB situation. Check out Roam’s website here.