The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop
I have been an airbnb host for over a year and I have had about 36 guests stay in my garage apt. I love being a host and have learned a lot from my experience. I have made many improvements since my first guest, Rene. Airbnb allows me to make some extra money. I have been let go from my job twice within the last year and it's a relief to have a little cushion. It's also nice to keep busy and not feel depressed while applying for jobs. I have paid all the hotel occupancy taxes (17.5% in Houston). I have had several long term stays. My current guest, Sara, is from Austin and she is a nurse who works with cancer patients and teaches them yoga as part of their treatment. She did not want to stay in a hotel and wanted a more "homely" feel. I do her laundry for her, which saves her the time of having to go and do laundry. She is very happy with the situation. Over Christmas, I had a chap called Richard stay. He was working as a lighting director for the Rockette's Christmas show and they are only given $60 per day to spend on accommodation. There are no hotels in Houston that cost $60 a night including taxes. He was able to negotiate with me a for a suitable rate. This also allowed him to cook his own meals and have a more relaxing experience than some of his coworkers. I have also used airbnb in Austin and Argentina and had good experiences both times.