Homes In the Know

How to Turn a Space Into a Home: QA Edition

Team members from across all departments are invited to spend time in the home to help with the QA process. Our Content Intern, Jon, had the opportunity to test Common Cornelia out before the first members moved in. So how does a team stay actually work? Jon recaps his experience below.

There are many perks working for an up-and-coming real estate startup, and there are tons of steps the company has to take before it can just start offering rooms to prospective members. During my internship this summer, I had the unique privilege of partaking in one of the preliminary stages of a home-opening: a team stay.

It’s exactly the sort of thing I love: an excuse to explore new parts of town while getting to know some of my colleagues.

Essentially, a team stay asks a number of Common employees to lodge in a new home, weeks before its opening to the public, to test out the living experience and to find, report, and fix things before members move in.

I lived in Common Cornelia in Ridgewood, Queens, for two nights, and it was quite the experience.

As I’m not from New York, I hadn’t even been to one Queen, let alone multiple, but it was similar enough to Brooklyn, my current borough of residence, for me to understand the proceedings.

The company gives each team stayer $75/day, with which they can buy food and other things they normally wouldn’t.

On the first night, the others and I walked a block or two to a nice, newly opened place called The Factory Bar, at which we (I) ordered sumptuous steaks, fine wine, and apparently quite a bit of time with the table.

Shortly after, we headed over to the local supermarket to pick up all sorts of food to cook/make at home, all on the company’s dime. 

My culinary prowess is not exactly “acceptable,” so I let the others take the reins on this one. May and Daniel, two of my colleagues, bought cookie dough and made them in Common Cornelia’s kitchen. They came out nicely and didn’t last long (the cookies, not my colleagues).

I also brought some pizza home.

After that, it was time to get down to the nitty gritty. We had some tasks to complete. And we weren’t going to let anything get in our way. We headed down to the massive lounge for our first batch. A lot of them were pretty fun, though—watch TV, play music on the Sonos speakers, hang out, etc.

We enjoyed some leisure time with drinks and conversation there, all while completing some of our more casual tasks.

While, of course, there were more menial errands, such as making sure all of the plugs worked and checking the lights, and we had quite a few things to check and test out in our private bedrooms, that didn’t mar the mood.

Several nightstands were sat wistfully, bereft of their bulbs, and several plugs without electricity, but, generally, the house looked as clean as a whistle.

When I walked into my room for the first time, there were a couple of problems, however. My night stand’s light bulb was on the floor, shattered. As was protocol, I jotted that calamity down in my handy dandy online notebook, Asana, a task app that allowed me to relay problems to the space team, who later fixed them.


To exacerbate matters yet, the electricity plug next to the air conditioner’s was seemingly just there to make up the numbers. That meant another Asana note for the space team. It’s important to catch these things before members move in, so the thoroughness with which we sifted through the home was imperative; it’s not just a two-day party.

Not all heroes wear capes—some just live in Queens for two nights.

The following morning, a few of us commuted together to Manhattan, which was nice. The overall experience was sizably positive, and I can’t wait to go on another team stay. I’m now pushing for a home-opening in Iceland or Hawaii.

Me too, Jon. Me too. 

Interested in joining our team? Head here to see our openings.

Want to learn more about the community? Check out our homes in New York, the San Francisco Bay Area, Washington, DC, and Chicago.

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