The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop
As a newly single mother of 3, Airbnb has allowed me to stay in our family home of 11 years. I was nervous at first having strangers in my home but because of the process of verifying identities that Airbnb provides I was able to rest assured that the individuals coming into my home were quality people whom I should feel safe trusting. The messaging tools that Airbnb has set up allows me the opportunity to get to know my potential guests before I confirm their request to stay in my home and the entire time up until they arrive. My community has also benefited from my participation in Airbnb, as the small family owned businesses in my neighborhood have been frequented by all of my guests and in fact my guests have introduced me to business I had yet to visit. Without the additional income that it has brought in I would not have been able to provide this stability for my children during a difficult time in our lives. The extra few hundred dollars each month I have been able to bring in has made a huge difference in our lives. Not only has there been a financial impact but my children have also been exposed to other cultures as we have had guests from all over the world. This has opened their eyes and ears to a much larger world than the one that I am able to expose them to in our everyday lives in a suburb of Salt Lake City. Through hosting a room on Airbnb my entire family has learned how to respect others that are different from us and how to embrace these differences. They have also learned the importance of hospitality. These kinds of experiences cannot be learned in the school environment but only through exposure. As a bonus I will be able to take my family on a small vacation because of the affordability that Airbnb provides. Airbnb has opened the doors of homeowners around the world and is allowing families who might otherwise not get the opportunity to travel by providing cost effective lodging. Our Airbnb involvement has been an amazing experience for my entire family. As Mahatma Gandhi said "You must be the change you wish to see in the world." Through Airbnb it is possible to change the world.