We’ll give you the bottom line, at the top line: It’s for the data.

Common is a startup that provides flexible housing, aka ‘Coliving’.  Skylight is a marketplace for subleases.

The problem Common faced was the fact that traditional real estate data isn’t useful for them because they are renting single rooms rather than entire apartments.  By acquiring Skylight, Common can now get a better understanding of the less formal, short-term property market.

Common is most similar to Craigslist listings where renters typically share common space and deal directly with fellow renters rather than a broker.  With Skylight’s 125,000 users Common will be be able to monitor their behavior to help decide how to price (and amenitise) spaces.

Common now has four buildings (3 in Brooklyn, and 1 in San Fransisco) and plans to add an additional four based on data from Skylight.

“By acquiring Skylight, Common now has access to aggregated, anonymized data from a large market segment that has been largely invisible to brokers and developers: those who find shared housing through Craigslist and other sublet searches,” the company said in a statement. “This data will give Common a large channel to have visibility into not only how to better market Common homes to prospective tenants, but also understand the preferences of a wider variety of people looking for roommates or a new home.”

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