The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop
I am happy to share my experience with Airbnb because I am so thankful. As a home owner in sunny Southern California in the suburbs of Los Angeles called South Pasadena owning two extra units in addition to the home I live in I have benefited enormously. My career has been as a Mortgage Lender for 31 years and raised my daughters as a single mom. When the recession hit I didn't know how I was going to be able to stay in the same town where my children were in school with their friends so I started to rent out my back house and studio through Craigslist. I live in the front house so the extra money helped us a lot. I was fearful at times because I didn't have a way to pull credit and background check the renters. I also had to collect deposit money and keep it in a separate bank account. I was worried about the insurance issues as well. Then the recession got worse, especially for mortgage brokers, and most of my colleagues lost their homes and businesses. One day a friend of mine told me about Airbnb and that's when my life turned around. I am now earning twice the income that I was when I was using Craigslist. I also feel a lot safer because of the background checking that Airbnb does on it's users. It's also so much easier for me because I don't have to keep track of the money because Airbnb does it for me. It's so nice because I have met the best people from all over the world on every continent. Our town benefits from the Airbnb guests paying for street parking permits, patronizing restaurants, grocery stores and shops. They hire cabs, UBERS, pay train fees and generally are more stimulating to our local economy because they are tourists and want to spend money in town unlike a normal long term renter. Our town doesn't have any hotels, so a lot of our guests are actual guests of South Pasadena families who don't have room in their own homes. Airbnb has also enabled me to take the extra money I am earning to help put my daughter though college and furnish the Airbnb units with nice furnishings. I wouldn't have been able to do this if it weren't for Airbnb. I feel so lucky that I will be able to keep my house and my career because Airbnb changed everything for me and I cannot imagine not having Airbnb as a daily part of my life now. Thanks Airbnb!!!