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fev 15, 2017
Innovation and technology

New Age Business creates a sharing economy among renters in the same apartment complexes

In the city of Curitiba in Southeastern Brazil, New Age Condominium is the typical Brazilian apartment building complex. With about 1,500 people living across several buildings, the complex is like a universe unto itself. Despite living in such close proximity, the majority of renters don't actually know one another – and exchanging goods or collaborating on economic initiatives seemed out of the question.

But that all changed in 2013, when a series of group emails transformed into a Facebook page dedicated to nurturing a sharing economy among renters in the apartment complex. Called "New Age Business,” renters initially posted announcements for the belongings - clothes, instruments, furniture, appliances - that they wanted to get rid of, sell, rent, or exchange. 

The page quickly evolved as renters announced different skills or goods they could sell, from private language or music classes to meals and baked goods. Currently, the page boasts about 800 members, over half of the entire population living in the apartment complex. 
The page also connects members to talk about the condominium’s maintenance, leading to the construction of a collaborative multiuse space in one of the buildings. 

Nearby, in the same upper-middle class neighborhood of Curitiba, the UpDate Residential Complex also launched a Facebook page dedicated to a sharing economy among its renters. Launched the following year, Update's page today has 500 members of the condominium's total population of 900. Members can contract strangers within the same complex to wash their cars, babysit their kids, or rent out their parking space.

Brazil's apartment complex sharing economy initiatives do follow certain rules, such as prohibiting renters from turning their apartments into commercial spaces. Following this regulation, renters are not allowed to sell to or serve clients who are not residents of the same condominium. 

In addition, prices within the condominium's sharing economy must be kept below market value. In this way, the sharing economy is beneficial to both the buyer and the seller. Furthermore, because both parties live within the same building, questions of security and transportation costs are eliminated.

Finally, the best benefit of all is that these sharing economy initiatives are bringing neighbors together who otherwise wouldn't have spoken, and much less have become friends, in such a large apartment complex. Neighborhood safety, social fraternization, and everyone's wallets are all better off.