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ROAD TO A SUSTAINABLE
FUTURE POWERED
BY MICRO.

By David Michael, Founder + CEO | March 19, 2024

Background: I’m almost a decade into the real estate industry gaining insights from New York City to Taipei.

 

My sole focus is Beacon.

 

My ambition is to build this multinational company with a long-term view, spending my time and resources on maximizing my contribution to humanity in an industry where humans need relief the most.

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OUR MISSION

Enable humanity to transcend ownership through global access to home.

THE COMPANY

I believe that we are living through an era filled with great triumphs and great failures. Our greatest triumph being the advancement of technology and our greatest failure being the lack of affordable homes globally for our young working professionals.

 

In the coming age, we will see rapid advancements in both AI and Robotics, that we believe will place homeownership further out of reach for most of humanity.

 

Hence the goal of Beacon: to provide global micro-coliving as a service that frees us from chasing unsustainable ownership to enjoying frictionless and sustainable access to home. Micro-coliving can allow us to live more autonomous and purposeful lives, while collectively lowering our carbon footprints to not only save our planet, but to provide much needed housing globally.

 

At Beacon, we believe in providing the spaces and places for humanity to find home,

wherever we are.

 

Our journey will take decades but is a necessary one. It will require a team not with the most accolades or that looks the best on paper, but one that is dedicated to the mission and truly understands what is at stake. It will require investors who invest for impact and are looking for more than “the next best thing” centered around greater consumption, but rather looking to make fundamental change. It will require a deep mindset shift in how we live together and in turn, how we view each other as humans.

 

The concept of private ownership being the holy grail of our existence has ruled our society for generations. So, challenging our fellow humans to embrace access to living together over exclusivity to private ownership is high risk with a low chance of quick success. Yet, if we are successful, we have the potential to eradicate housing poverty, classism and the deep yearning for consumption at all costs, while building the largest impact driven company on the planet.

THE PRESENT

Today, we are seeing unprecedented housing shortages. In America alone, we are facing a deficit of 5-7 million affordable housing units with no meaningful signs of closing that gap. Close to 70% of the global population will live in urban cities by 2050 and we need to build 96,000 housing units daily, right now, to even begin to meet that demand.

 

We are far behind, and as a result, it is only a matter of time before we collectively realize that had we acted sooner, the suffering that we see could have been avoided. If we want to avoid a future of more poverty and more scarcity, we need more housing now - and this means more sharing, now.

THE POSSIBILITIES

Thankfully, the world is starting to pay attention to the benefits of living in community over isolation as the Boomer generation retires in place and both Millenials and Gen-Z feel lonelier than ever in their private urban dwellings. This presents a unique opportunity to substantially change our standards of living and increase the amount of shared living communities. 

 

As technology continues to integrate with human life at scale, we can predict that the way we interact with housing as we know it will transform. Housing that is sustainable, flexible and provides a sense of community, will eventually replace our current housing stock. Today, private housing is the primary driver of labor and consumption, accounting for over 46% of global net worth, as of 2020. However, as more people move to urban cities for opportunities and automation takes over jobs from factories to farmland, the cost of labor will decrease, yet the cost of housing in its current forms will not balance out, due to a large supply deficit in the face of unmet demand.

 

Over time, housing ownership will become a distant memory of the American Dream and renting will become the norm for the majority of the human population. 

 

Because of this, we will have the chance to create a future with a significantly higher standard of living, where people can live anywhere they want in or near the city and move how they want, by providing access to shared housing anywhere in the world. 

 

We believe micro-coliving will revolutionize the way a variety of people live, such as young professionals in urban cities (~429 million), college students in campus housing (~235 million), the facilities that are built for elderly care (~770 million), and ultimately the spaces we live in on other planets. However, our first applications will be focused on young professionals and workforce housing in general, where housing shortages are severe and are preventing the formation of the new middle class.

 

In early development, the spaces we build will be structured and repetitive due to current zoning and building codes, but over time, with advancements in building technologies, materials and city ordinances, we will expand our capabilities to build more complex and dense shared housing. We will not build our facilities or micro-units for military or defense entities that require inflicting harm on humans, regardless of political or social affiliation. Our focus is on providing housing for humans that embrace autonomy of movement, community and sustainable living.

THE SOLUTION

There are two schools of thought on how to solve the housing shortage: build more housing for private ownership via mortgages or build more housing with private ownership via leases. This way of thinking  leads to a focus on using sustainable building materials and building faster while disregarding the need to lower our collective consumption due to the consequences of climate change now and in the future, as well as the politics of global human migration forcing more humans to live together on less land.

 

At Beacon, we believe that access to global micro-coliving is the desired route to have the largest overall impact. For that reason, we offer the best of both worlds – access to a consistent, sustainable place to call home with no mortgages or leases, and a sustainable way to increase the amount of workforce housing available. With our product, we can greatly simplify the housing needs of a complex human environment across a variety of previous living circumstances.

HOW WE CAN DO IT

In the decade of studying and experiencing real estate around the world, this is the first time I’ve seen a way to change how we think about housing fundamentally and create a world where housing truly knows no borders. As long as we continue to embrace private ownership of housing over shared access, this world cannot become a reality. Today, whether living locally or globally, it is expensive and time consuming for the majority of young professionals who are spending over ⅓ of their income on housing. We’re focused on making substantive progress in advancement in those areas. They include:

 

  • System Software: Our team is designing a shared living system that makes living together rewarding and frictionless. The goal is to develop a software that is fully integrated with our global living spaces and our strategic partners in food, beverage and entertainment. We will measure this in terms of seamless integration from membership signup to arrival at a beacon location and subsequent member in app behavior throughout the membership period. As we scale, additional metrics will be added through cycles of development as part of a continuum.

 

  • Unit Cost: We’re aiming to reduce individual micro-unit costs through unit size and material types and reduce the building costs of our spaces through upcycling of vacant and/or distressed properties, working towards a sustainable economy of scale. We are measuring our costs against both current coliving and traditional housing costs. I am optimistic that we can offer more affordable housing at scale, by combining adaptive reuse and micro-units.

  • Safety: I have seen firsthand how unsafe shared housing can be when the responsibility of safety is left to the “good behavior” of residents or policing solely by overworked and underpaid community staff. At Beacon, we will enhance safety through the use of AI based systems – Biometric identification upon membership signup will be used for identification and background checks, as well as for entry into members only areas. AI based CCTV surveillance will be implemented throughout our spaces to ensure safety at all times, allowing only members and registered visitors access to our spaces. 

  • Sustainable Volume Manufacturing: As access to housing over private ownership becomes the new normal, in order to deliver a high quality product at scale, we will need to deliver it at an exceptionally high volume. We anticipate a steep learning curve as we exit traditional ways of building and move towards offsite manufacturing (OSM) of our micro-coliving buildings. We are preparing for this now by gaining expertise in commercial modular construction, and staying up to date on current OSM companies that we believe will no longer be in business in the next decade. We believe that most will be forced to either consolidate, sell or shut down operations due to lack of housing ownership demand, which in turn will allow us to acquire assets to support our operations. 

CONCLUSION

In summary here is the first phase of our Master Plan:

 

  1. Build sustainable microunits and microstudios.

  2. Use vacant or distressed properties and upcycle into micro-coliving spaces.


 

Humans have the potential to eradicate housing poverty.

Humans have the potential to reduce our resource consumption rate.

Humans have the potential to change how we live with and view other humans.

But will that potential be reached? 

 

The dreams have been dreamed, it’s time to live different.

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David Michael

Founder, CEO

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