The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop
I started opening my home through airbnb during Cochella Fest about 4 years ago. One of my friends said there were many people desperate for a place to stay as all the hotels were sold out, not to mention extremely overpriced for the event. I listed my space and it booked within 10 minutes. I've been sharing my home ever since, not as competition for the hotels (obviously since I only have one room to share), but as additional place to stay for the people who were coming to the desert anyway and couldn't find a hotel during the tourist season. Now, I list my space because I love hosting nice people for a reasonable price. It helps pay my utility bills and affords me the opportunity to heat my pool during the winter. Hosting has become a fun part of my lifestyle. My guests love it and I enjoy having them. Everybody wins! I can see that the hotels might be nervous about this personal hosting that airbnb provides. I've worked in hotels most of my life and there is no way they can offer the personal service that airbnb hosts provide. We Airbnb hosts are personally invested in assuring a wonderful stay for our guests. Hotels can't do that as, speaking from my experience, hotels pay as little as they can, raise rates but not pay, cut corners with regard to safety and well being of their employees, and make unreasonable demands of their staffs and manage by threats and intimidation leaving their employees disgruntled and diminished. Hosting through Airbnb is a joy. I enjoy doing things the way I wish they had been done when I worked for Marriott, The Ritz Carlton, Givenchy/Merv Griffin and Two Bunch Palms Resort. The boutique hotels do better as they many of them are managed by their owners and are personally invested in keeping their guests happy.