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With big risks come big rewards

Updated: May 3, 2023

Last month's webinar we had the privilege to hear from one of the Digital Nomad pioneers, Anne, founder of Nine Coliving.

Of her own admission, she chose a triggering title "Why I invested 100k in remodeling Nine coliving".

But she quickly reassured everyone on the call:

It is not about the amount of money. 100k in Tenerife is not the same as in Bali or in Switzerland. It is more about why anyone would invest in remodeling their space.

For those who do not know Anne yet, she is originally from The Netherlands, a beautiful country, she says, but where she "never really felt at Home".

So when the opportunity presented itself in the form of an ad for a remote year, to escape and explore, she jumped in. Even if that meant doing a job she didn't particularly love at first, she fell in love with the lifestyle.

In 2018 she decided it was time to find Her Home away from home, and this time, she then fell in Love with what would soon become Nine Coliving during a 10-day scouting trip to Tenerife with her parents.


Anne encourages every coliving owner to spend time identifying what their USP is. For her, Nine's USP is two-fold:

  1. The building itself.

  2. The Community.

Indeed, a 200-year-old colonial home in the oldest town of the Island is an experience in itself. Of course, that also means there is constant maintenance work needed.

When it comes to building the Community, Anne beautifully puts it:

"What started 5 years ago with me and my dream, I have tried very hard to let go off and let it turn into everyone's dream! it was not easy, but in the end, you have to trust that the Community can make the place better. And it becomes your strength.

She must be right, after all, Nine experiences a 40% return rate.


When she launched Nine Coliving 3,5 years ago, Anne was the only coliving space on the island.

Today there are 8 or 9, so it is important for her to stay on top of things, keep innovating and make sure the value we delivered at the start is still there.

Of course, when you own a 200-year-old building, you don't really have a choice. Renovation is part of your life.


As usual, Anne turned to her beloved Community when it came time to decide what to focus on.

"As an owner, you usually hear less feedback than your staff"

That is why it was very important for Anne to check in with her team and dive into the feedback form. She asked people what made their experience and the top 3 were: Community, workspace, and location. When it came to what could be improved, the kitchen came first.

That gave us an idea of what should become the priority.

Of course, Anne also had her own agenda and constraints. The top part of the house being a "protected" building , there were some requirements, but also a small grant, and it was decided this would become a beautiful Yoga Shala.

It took a professional team of 7 builders, a Digital Nomad Architect, and the help of 12 dedicated alumni to turn the master plan into reality.


Closing for 3 months in the high season was a very big investment in itself and Anne was determined to make it worth it and fix as many things as possible.

Having community members on site turned out to be extremely helpful for that as well as they brought their own ideas and suggestions on how to improve the space.

Anne planned a weekly round table to discuss improvement both within the building and the community structure.

Working with "Niners" was also a wonderful way to make the community part of the business. By making them part of the conversation, they felt involved and excited to make Nine better together.


In the end, Anne did spend 100k. To create a gorgeous top-floor Yoga Shala, a state-of-the-art kitchen, add a beautiful ensuite bedroom, and fix a lot of other little things.

Our faces on the call discovering the before/after kitchen

On paper, her return is coming solely from the extra bedroom which might bring 1500Euro/month.

In reality, Anne sees her return as:

  • Staying ahead of the competition

  • Offering high-quality space and material

  • Consolidating relationships with returning guests

  • Increasing word-of-mouth "marketing"

  • Keeping the business healthy

"I run Nine from my heart," Anne says, and it shows through the care she put into it and the people she welcomes into her Home.

Join our membership to watch the recording!

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