The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop
Airbnb helps me pay the mortgage and make ends meet. At first I was a little freaked out about becoming a Host and letting strangers into my house, but with Airbnb's trust and safety messaging process it helps me as a Hosts get to know the people I choose to share my space with. I can see other Host's reviews on potential Guests. I have the choice to only let females stay at my house. I live with my Sister, so we need to feel very secure with who we host. One recurring guest I have is a Traveling Nurse. She stays at my house 4 to 5 days a month. She doesn't have to pay "Hotel" rates of $70 to $100 dollars a night, she can spend that income she saves on other stuff. I want you to know why Airbnb is an important option for middle class families in America to earn extra money... we need to think outside the box. I don't want to be chained to a desk, working at a job that does not fulfill me. Airbnb is like running any Bed & Breakfast, without the "Breakfast". I find it fun and life changing to be able to essentially have my own business. I love fixing up my guest room and communicating with each guest. The reviews the guest write are so fun too read. Here is my back story; I bought a big house to share with my family. My idea was to have my ailing father and two sisters come live with me. My Dad had terminal prostrate cancer. I had him move in with me, he lived with me until he passed away in 2013. The plan was to have my two sisters move in too. Only one of them wanted too, my older sister is very Independent and wants to live alone. So I had an extra bedroom. Why not utilize my resources? Airbnb is a WIN WIN... Guests don't have to be gouged by the high price of Hotels. They can spend more money on other aspects of their vacation feeding more into the overall economy by spending on restaurants, events, entertainment. It really helps to spread the vacationers money around ALOT MORE. I want to remind you that the guests who stay at my Airbnb listing generate sustainable, local economic activity that supports the small businesses in communities across the country. We need your help to protect and strengthen the sharing economy for everyone. I see this "sharing economy" as a huge benefit to retiring Boomers like me. I'm 52 years old and am living my dream of retiring 15 years earlier than previously planned. I feel free and am full of happiness that I don't have to work at a job I HATE just to pay the bills. I have a pep in my step. I'm already a positive person... but this Airbnb opportunity has made me confident I can make it in retirement. I love the idea of meeting new people. In reality I'm somewhat of an introvert. This business encourages me to meet and interact with new people. I learn something new from each guest. Its very energizing. So in closing, please help in anyway you can, to strengthen this new shared economy business model.