The tiny house movement is growing incredibly fast. More and more people are moving towards sustainable living, either for moral reasons or economic ones.
The housing market is ballooning out of reach for many Americans, and statistics prove that millennial cannot afford housing with the same ease baby boomers did.
Tiny living has provided a loophole for this conundrum, because not only is it cheap, but also attractive.
Many good things have been said about downsizing, but humans are social creatures. We want to live close to other humans for many reasons.
Tiny living however presents a challenge. Simply put, many communities are not built for miniature homes. Not just that, but many communities will not even accept a tiny house.
Therefore, the most logical thing to do for anyone serious about sustainable living, is to bring together a bunch of like minded people, and create a community of tiny houses. Alternatively, they can accept the challenge and start their own tiny house community, and hope to attract others to join in.
So how do you do it?
How to start a tiny house community.
1. Do you research
The first step in starting a tiny home community is gathering information. Well, it goes without saying that this should be the first step of starting anything.
Once you figure out that you have enough passion and drive, go looking for information online and even offline. The internet is the easiest place to start, and blogs like iDownsized.com and others are here to provide you with the information you may seek.
There are tonnes of other forums and websites that can give you the information you need.
Among some of the things you should be on the lookout for include:
Local zoning laws.
Building code regulations.
Whether there already exists other communities there.
This first step will also guide you in choosing the location. Some areas are more welcoming than others, and this will be your most important decision.
If you are a developer, you should consider areas which attract tiny house movement members. These include close to lakes, mountains.. simply areas away from all the noise and commotion.
2. Start small
Unless you are a well monied corporation, you will do yourself a huge favor by starting small.
Let’s admit it, tiny living is still a niche thing, and one rookie mistake would be overestimating the demand. Whether you are buying the houses or building them from scratch, you need to analyze the demand. The last thing you need is to end up having lots of empty units eating away your money.
Lucky for you, if you scout for good locations, you are very likely to have the community filled up in no time. According to Laura M. LaVoie, a member of Asheville Small Home Advocacy Committee in North Carolina, “A lot of people who come to the tiny house movement are specifically looking for that community experience.”
3. Choose your construction material wisely
This one is key. You need to choose what materials best suit the location. Just because a house is tiny doesn’t mean customers want it to fall apart in just weeks.
Don’t compromise on quality, and if you do, price it accordingly. It is however a tough balancing act between building great tiny houses, and not going over budget. Do a lot of research on the best materials.
4. Market your tiny community
This is a no-brainer. You have built your beautiful community of 10, 20 or even 50 tiny homes. The fact that they are tiny houses means that the turn-around time was extremely quick. Instead of the months or years it takes to build normal houses, you can have your tiny community in a matter of weeks.
So what do you do now. Will they come because you have built?
One of the most critical step in any business operation is to get the word out to potential customers. Tiny houses are no different.
The good news for you is that tiny house lovers are extremely passionate and have segmented themselves in various Facebook groups, online forums, subreddits, Instagram pages etc. They are also regular readers of blogs like this one dedicated to Tiny House news.
This makes your work as a developer quite easy, because you know where to target them.
Wise developers should start the marketing stage before the ground is broken; continue during the construction phase and hopefully have the houses occupied from the first day they are ready.
5. Keep your clients happy
Now that you have built, they have come and the tiny community is up and running, how do you make sure everyone is happy?
Whether the house were for rent or for sale, you need to keep taking customer feedback and implementing whatever is reasonable.
You also need to keep your staff happy and motivated, as they are the ones who in turn will keep the tiny homes families happy.
And that is how you start a successful tiny house community.
Now read: How Much Does a Tiny House Weigh?