The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop
I have hosted my home on Airbnb and have also had stays using this service. I consider myself to not only be a small business owner but also a person who gives back by providing an experience a hotel cannot match. My guests get to experience New Orleans from a unique neighborhood perspective and we form bonds that extend outside of the country. They leave here having a better understanding of what really makes New Orleans special. So, I consider that I'm also building Ambassadors for better understanding. Regarding the economics, services such as Airbnb allow people to fully benefit from the investment they are making in their homes. My property taxes and insurance now exceed $11,000 per year and are likely to continue a stratospheric rise. Using the resources I've put into my home allows me to retain and reinvest in my home and community rather than sell out to newcomers who may not have the character of New Orleanians. I've heard of retirees on fixed incomes who use the sharing economy as a way of staying in their homes as well. I also pay Federal income taxes and my guests spend money here that stays in the community. Being a user myself I truly believe that there's no competition with the hotel community as the two experiences are very different. Having said that I am not in favor of non-resident owners using Airbnb to act as a hotel. They do dry up the supply of housing and don't always manage the properties to the benefit of the neighbors. Airbnb is one of the more responsible sharing economy businesses. They've worked hard to make sure that their application facilitates the best outcomes for all. They're an example of responsible sharing. Thanks for listening.