The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop
Dear Congressional Leaders: I purchased my condo property in 2006. For the last several years I was underwater on my condo and I could not sell it because I owed more than it was worth. So many people were walking away from their properties and commitments, many telling me I should do the same. I did not want to do that. By listing my condo on AirBNB, I have been able to make my mortgage payments and get caught up financially, avoiding default on my loan. What I really appreciate about this type of sharing arrangement is the screening process within the community. I get a chance to know who I am "sharing" my property with. There is a review process in place for both the guest and host so it promotes an environment where everyone has an incentive to be on their best behavior (or they may not have future opportunities to stay somewhere or continue to host). Regarding competition, I am, in fact, able to offer guests something that is difficult to find in the local economy, a unit with a full kitchen. When people come to visit Disneyland (which is 10 minutes away) they may not be able to afford to stay at one of the big hotels and pay for restaurants for their whole stay. My condo provides a place where they can make some meals and make a trip to this area more affordable. This brings money to our whole region by encouraging more people to visit this great tourist destination. It is not taking something away from the local hotels, it is filling a need to guests that is not being offered currently. I want to encourage our congressional leaders to protect this unique type of economic activity that is changing lives, including mine, for the better.