Flow Tenants Will Feel Like Owners, Plunge Their Toilets

  • Adam Neumann said renters in Flow apartments will plunge their own toilets.
  • Neumann spoke at a conference about how Flow wants to create a sense of ownership for renters.
  • He said it would be “soul-crushing” if people lived in the homes for 20 years but felt disconnected.

Adam Neumann on Tuesday said the tenants in his Flow apartments will plunge their own toilets because they’ll feel like they own the unit.

Neumann, who cofounded WeWork in 2010, also set up Flow, a rental-housing company. He was talking about the latter company at a conference arranged by Andreessen Horowitz, which invested $350 million in the startup, according to a video uploaded on Monday by the venture capital firm.

During the conference, Neumann said the goal of Flow was to make the resident feel valued. This value makes them “feel ownership” and like they’re “part of something,” he added.

“If you’re in an apartment building and you’re a renter and your toilet gets clogged, you call the super,” Neumann said. “If you’re in your own apartment, and you bought it and you own it and your toilet gets clogged, you take the plunger.”

Neumann said that was the difference between owning an apartment and renting an apartment. His theory was that renters who felt a sense of ownership would stay in the apartments for longer, generating more profit.

He said it would be “soul-crushing” if renters move into Flow’s multi-family buildings for 20 years feeling disconnected.

The controversial businessman, who stepped down as WeWork CEO in 2019, spent more than $1 billion in 2021 on 3,000 housing units for Flow. The units are located in Atlanta, Nashville, Tennessee, Fort Lauderdale, and Miami. 

Neumann said during the conference he wanted Flow apartments to provide an “elevated experience” and a “community” to tenants.

Although details about Flow’s business model are scarce, Neumann said there were four pillars to the firm. They include a branded property management company that runs its buildings, an asset management company that owns the buildings, financial services, and a tool that plans “to take some of the value and share it with the value creators,” he said.

Neumann and Flow couldn’t be reached for comment by Insider.

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