The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop #00217

Submission Number:
Bruce Bennett
Initiative Name:
The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop
Hello, I am one of the Airbnb 11 ( I have been hosting on airbnb. My husband and I own a single family home in SF and rent out a spare bedroom in our home to guests all over the world. At first we did this for fun of meeting other people and to share the great city we live in. We did not know that in Feb 2015 that I would lose my job. Having participated in the sharing economy, has helped not be as stressed out when there is 1 income paying a mortgage and high property taxes. It has allowed us to stay in our home vs sell (literally). SF is an expensive place to live and having 1 person on unemployment does not pay the bills. So we appreciate everything that the homesharing economy has done for our family. The airbnb platform is very secure and works well for us. We know that people have to be vetted first and people post reviews of previous guests give you an idea of whom is coming to stay with you (and vice versa). There is no tolerance for bad apples that abuse the platform and quickly kicked out from renting again. The site is secure and we love the aspect that guest do not necessarily know 100% our personal information until they book with us. it is secure. Also in SF, the platform pays the Transient Tax directly to the SF City Hall, which makes it a breeze for us to use. We get paid in a timely manner, which helps us pay our bills on time. Mostly on the 2nd day of a guests stay (unless there is a weekend). We are a middle class family that could not survive in SF Bay Area without the extra income that comes from this. Finally our guests spend money in our local neighborhood, which does not have a hotel. All the hotels are in the tourist areas in SF, and since we live in the southern part of the city, no tourists will really come there unless they have family. So our guests spend money at the local shops and restaurants in Glen Park (section of SF). And from my husband and I making some extra money, it allows us to spend more locally as well. Our guests and us bring jobs to sections of the city through our buying power. We are proud of our hosted airbnb and the guests that come here and see our great city. We had no idea the positive response we would have from our guests when they come to visit. Our neighbors love it, because they know that when they do not have room in their home, that their friends and family can stay close by in our neighborhood. Bruce Bennett San Francisco, CA