9 October 2021
Launched by CEO Murray Clark, Neighbourgood is a dynamic new property development and management company seeking to bring the traditional concept of a neighbourhood to life by offering opportunities for connected living. We caught up with Clark for a quick Q&A, to understand the concept and find out why he decided to launch the business in Cape Town.
Neighbourgood as a company was born out of a desire to reinvent traditional living and workspaces to create a sustainable platform for community, and to ultimately bring good to neighbourhoods. We believe that people thrive in collaborative environments. Living and workspaces that offer the opportunity to connect with others is a better and more sustainable reflection of the future, and so we are doing everything we can to bring that vision to life.
Cape Town as a city is the most pedestrian friendly city of all South African metros. We believe that the most successful cities in the world are walkable and the Cape Town CBD has all the ingredients to become one of the best in the world. We are more affordable to live in than the likes of Paris, New York and many others. We have the back drop of Table Mountain, world class beaches, a rich diverse culture and incredible people. What’s not to like? It really is an incredible opportunity for us.
Absolutely. As many as 30% of our members are digital nomads and it adds so much culture and diversity to our community. With companies across the globe adopting a more flexible approach to work, Cape Town as a city (and Neighbourgood as a brand) is well placed to pick up a lot of that business, because we have a lot to offer the digital nomad from a lifestyle perspective.
We are a multi-generational brand that creates modern homes and workspaces for all people within the City of Cape Town. Whether you are a grad student or a working professional, we have something for everyone. We reach our audience through a variety of platforms, but primarily on social media and lately through word of mouth. Our members are ultimately our best form of advertising.
Well first and foremost, it saves you money. And in today’s economy, after all the pressure we have all been through, that really important. Our spaces start from ZAR5 950 per month, which is substantially cheaper than the closest available bachelor flat. We don’t take deposits which helps a lot as well. Secondly, our spaces are synonymous for community, which is really important. To meet and socialise with other like-minded people brings sanity to a world that has been in self isolation for almost two years. When you join any of our spaces across the city, you have access to all of our workspaces as well, which is a real value add. We also offer daily events and activations which include walks up Lions Head, fitness classes, entrepreneurial talks, and much more. Becoming a member of Neighbourgood, means joining our family and so you stay with us for life (at least we hope).
We employ 25 people across our six locations, and we hope to employ a lot more over the next few years as we roll out new living and working locations. Our staff is 63% female (which we are super proud of) and is made up of a variety of different people from all walks of life. We pride ourselves as being closer to a hospitality and community company, than we are a property company, and so creating a culture of warmth is important to us. We want you to love living and working with us as much as we love having you, so we hire for warmth and a positive attitude because its infectious.
Absolutely. We are looking to both acquire new properties and partner with existing landlords who are looking to repurpose their space. Our aim is to increase our membership within Cape Town to 2 000 people within the next 36 months. Densification of the CBD is a really important part of our strategy and we are going to do everything we can to help achieve that. We have one of the best cities in the world. We think people should be living in it.
I was actually born and raised in Durban. I went to school at DHS and moved to Cape Town three years ago with my wife and business partner Kim. She is responsible for all things creative within the Neighbourgood. Ultimately, I am drawn to creative spatial solutions that leave the world a better place than we found it, for future generations.
The City of Cape Town is a blank canvass for us filled with so much opportunity. I am just really excited about doing our bit in helping create the best version of it for all Captonians and people from across the world to enjoy.
The future of work is flexible, hybrid in nature (between home and work) and very collaborative. I also believe the future of all companies will need to be driven by clearly defined purposes that inspire positive change. I see workspaces (like Neighbourgood) offering flexible lease terms, turnkey solutions underpinned by technology that offer the ability for companies to scale up or down based on demand without long term commitments as being a common theme. Most of our workspace members are companies of between 3 and 15 people across a variety of sectors, but all are looking for the same workspace solution. Affordability, flexibility, collaboration, well designed space, security, and other amenities are all very important as well.
Sustainable growth across the city will remain our core focus. Whether we build one or one hundred, quality is more important than quantity and so this will remain our objective. We see Cape Town as being our biggest value proposition as a brand. So as we continue to build new Neighbourgood locations, so we connect the dots and our value proposition as a company gets better for all members. I am excited about the integration of culture, thoughtfully designed urban planning and people who share a common goal of bringing good to the world in any way they can, and so that will continue to be the goal.