The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop
As a host and guest via AirBnb, it's my opinion that Washington, D.C. and legislators should do everything possible to STAY OUT of the AirBnb "type" business in our country, but specifically Airbnb. As technologies continue to evolve, it's imperative that the lawmakers do not destroy the unique ingenuities of creative and entrepreneurial Americans in our society. As a host, I am able to rent my mom's townhouse rooms as an added source of income for her in times which are extremely difficult. The small amounts of monies we recoup via the renting of her space helps tremendously to offset the cost of her mortgage for the property which originally started as a place for my sister to live in during college at USF. Through the AirBnb space, we are able to provide guests a comfortable, cozy, positive, clean, and spacious living space for the stay of their choosing. Ultimately, the prices Hotels and Lodges, Etc. are often too high and not only does our townhouse provide superior spaces, but also a COMPLETELY unique experience. We average 4.5 star ratings in our reviews, and ultimately the system devised by AirBnb creates a TRANSPARENT way to both eliminate bad hosts and promote good ones. After all, is that not what an open market in which consumers dictate the business that thrive and those that don't? As a AirBnb guest, I've enjoyed several terrific experiences in my travels. Whether internationally or domestically, hosts have been more helpful than any 5-star resort concierge or hotel managers. The space rented have always lived up to my expectation and in the event it did not, I would have easily placed a bad review, thereby discouraging others from using the offered space from that given host. For many of the same reasons I've enjoyed being a host, the similarities in being a guest are great. Furthermore, it's important to recognize that sometimes, certain travelers, prefer exactly what it is AirBnb and even mediums such as UBER provide, which is a unique, cultural, or personal consumer experience not tied with the systematic "older" methods that are more widely held as, well "customary". In summary whether a guest or host, my experience with AirBnb and UBER has been a pleasurable one. In the event members of Congress and/or the President is considering legislation to alter, change, prevent, discontinue, or harm any of the new mediums of travel such as AirBnb; it would be a terrible decision. May this letter serve as proof from a guest and host that uses AirBnb that also pays taxes on the incomes from the hosting dollars that come in, as an effort to preserve the enjoyable AirBnb service.