The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop #00815

Submission Number:
Toby Klayman
Initiative Name:
The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop
I am a retired Art Professor, and Fine Artist,Author, Mentor,a woman married to another Fine Artist, an African American Man! As He told me, when we met at age 56, I doubt I (as a Black Man) will ever live to collect my Social Security! That has not been true. We will be 80 soon! After,I,Toby, retired from City College, S.F., CA. and an adjunct Graduate School Professorship at Golden Gate University, San Francisco, we moved to Kamilari, Crete, Greece for 6 years. This is a beloved Village, I also spent several sabbatical years there! We rented a home there for many years. After 6 years, we returned to San Francisco in 2005, only to find that the expenses for living in our Home had become Sky High! At present writing we are happy to say that we found the website of airbnb and began to augment our income, in order to stay living in our home and pay the exorbitant bills which are now charged to us! Just this past year we have needed a new sewer pipe $4000 and a new roof section $16,000 and our Utility bill is $420 almost every month! We have a marvelous old Home (104 yrs) and we built a little garden shed in the back garden to hold our Library when my Husband moved in in 1992! Well, I have lived in this Home for 39 years. As airbnb Hosts,we are always at Home when our Guests are in our little Garden Cottage. The Cottage does not have a bathroom (they use our studio bathroom thru the garden) and does not really have kitchen use except for coffees/teas etc. We absolutely love airbnb. There are several reasons why. They are very easy to work with. They provide Hosts with all the tools needed to trust and verify the incoming Guests! They collect and disburse all the income and they collect and pass on all the taxes due the City for us. In addition, we have met several Teams who work at airbnb. It happens that their main headquarters are in SF. They invited us to lunch. I think they were curious as our reviews by Guests are very positive! We have met several groups of employees of airbnb in the past years and we admire and like them all. I could name at least 15 of them who have been to our home (and listing) to either help us photograph our Cottage and make it more effective for our ad, or to do a photo shoot of our Offering, showing how we Host from the moment a Guest arrives at our Front door to the Moment a Guest checks out and leaves, walking down our Front Steps! We love the cash it gives us to help us with our Life Style but we also want you to know that the Fantastic Company that some of the Guests provide is absolutely awesome! Since we are multi-lingual and have traveled extensively, we are delighted to share our knowledge of Marvelous San Francisco with our Guests and to share with them a good list of Merchants we suggest they might enjoy visiting! Perhaps you also need to know that airbnb, by our Hosting, has also brought us customers who visit our Art Studios and also become our Collectors! Not a small part of our appreciation to airbnb is the trust they have placed in me, as an Art Professor, to allow me to offer a new Experience called an Art Attack where I teach, hands on, a mixed media painting class in My Studio. Both my Husband (Joe Branchcomb) and I (Toby Klayman) would be available if you would like more information from us. Our Art is on fb fan pages, is on Pinterest and I, Toby, am also on Instagram. Our airbnb listing is easy to google as it is called "Garden Cottage Charming", we are San Francisco Hosts and at this writing you may read several reviews by the adorable Guests we have Hosted from everywhere from Singapore, Nepal to our Current Occupants from Texas! The Whole experience for us has been an absolute win-win. We are very ashamed, actually, that a few members of our local Board of Supervisors are using airbnb as a scapegoat for an election gone wrong by one of its Members! Feel free to be in touch with us. Sincerely, Toby Klayman and Joe Branchcomb airbnb "Superhosts"May 21, 2015