The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop #00563

Submission Number:
Jill Lewis
Initiative Name:
The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop
I represent myself as an Airbnb host and guest. Since my mother passed away in Late 2012 I chose to have her apt attached to my home used for short stay vacation rental. The home was built with an ADU in 2008 so that I could afford to live in my community. I had lived in a larger house next door and shared the property with housemates. I knew that I wanted to have shared housing but with separate living capacity so had the house developed for such use. The use of Airbnb as the way to connect with potential guests was after looking at several different online connecting venues. The unique and wonderful part of Airbnb is the community building efforts of the company. I have been able to generate enough income to at least match what the property would bring in a long tern rental but have had the pleasure to meet people from around the world and USA. Airbnb has encouraged safety by offering carbon monoxide monitors and first aid kits to hosts. Recently I have upgraded the security, fire and CO monitoring systems to have the best early warning possible for me and guests. Whenever I make and agreement for guests to stay we communicate online to make sure our interests will be met. Usually in the spring I have inquiries from families in transition either into or out of Seattle. I feel the property use enhances the ease of these transitions for people. During the holidays guests often have family near by so their time together is more easily and conveniently managed. I live in a neighborhood with no near by hotels or motels. In addition families can prepare meals here and economize on their travel expenses. They do shop at local restaurants, markets, pharmacies and coffee houses that would not otherwise have their business. Last year I had 30 different guest groups staying 3-30 days. There is a knitting school nearby within walking distance every year a student stays here while attending the school. My place is convenient and affordable for these students who if not for this opportunity my not come to Seattle for the school. My neighbors have made no complaints in fact they are most curious about how it works and have had their families stay here. Here now is a family of 4 from Germany who have explored the city, neighborhood and near by towns. My apt is filled helpful suggestions about what is here and how to explore. They will travel by bus to the end of Yesler and take the foot ferry to Alki Beach for a stroll along the West Seattle water front. I hope this gives a sense of the value added Airbnb vacation rentals are for this community. Before I listed my house on Airbnb I tried it out. I was visiting my children's family in Newberg Or. I stayed with a family of three. The women of the house was a stay at home parent as her child was disabled and in need of continuous supervision. The second floor was for guests with use of the family kitchen. I brought my little dog with agreement from the family. It was a perfect place clean comfortable and while chatting with the hostess she shared that this way of sharing her house helped with the bills and provided her with needed social opportunities. After each stay either as guest or host there is opportunity and encouragement to provide public feedback about the experience. When I choose a place to stay that is very important and is very specifically useful to feel confident about the property, guest and hosts. I always review comments of other guests to feel confident the experience will be a good one for me. As host I take all comment seriously and when I can improve based on a suggestion I do. I've added pillows, a full length mirror, and soon will have faster internet service beca Consider Goat Hill House for your next Seattle stay