The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop #00332

Submission Number:
Scooter Lowrimore
Initiative Name:
The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop
I started running an Airbnb guest room from the basement of my 1902 home on Capitol Hill in Seattle on Thanksgiving Day, 2013. My first guests were 3 friends from Barcelona, and today I am hosting my 136th guest, a couple from San Diego. I would say 90% of my guests are both on a budget, and want to see life like a resident would see it... they definitely do not want a standard hotel experience. To personalize each guests stay here, I get a good idea of their itinerary, what they want to see and do while visiting Seattle. Some want to "eat their way through the city", some want to go to a Mariners game, some want to visit museums, or microbrews. They all want to experience the city like a local. And one of the coolest things for me as a host is that I get to learn a lot more about my own city. It's amazing the thing I did not even know were right in my own backyard. Like the retired couple from Serbia who wanted to learn to trapeze. There's a place right downtown called Emerald City Trapeze... I had no idea. So it's symbiotic, this Airbnb experience, and I love representing our city! I also offer a 10 minute walking tour of my neighborhood. I introduce my guests to the shop owners, the restaurant options (and how we tip in the USA), and Carolyn the shopkeeper at the florist on the next block gives every one of my guests a rose, or a peony. I also have started bus pass and explain the local transportation options. It's an wonderful way to meet the city, and just reading all my reviews, I know I've made the city proud by showing it off at its best. Safety is a huge concern for my travelers. My place is secure, has an ingress/egress, a smoke/CO2 alarm (provided by Airbnb, thanks :), and a fire extinguisher. I also have a list of all emergency contact numbers. Single women have expressed how they feel so safe and comfortable here. So that's my Airbnb, it's a very personal and local way to get to know a city, a neighborhood, and new people from around the world. I'm not even charging the city for my awesome services :)