The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop
I am writing to express my opinion on the sharing economy. My wife and I are both retired and have found that despite our best efforts we were coming up short financially on our needs. After seeing an interview with the founder of airbnb.com on TV I explored this as a means of solving our money problems. Our study on this included a trip to the southwest staying with three different airbnb hosts to get an objective opinion on the costs/benefits/risks of opening our home to strangers who have booked online. We have just completed our second year of "Hosting" for airbnb and I would like to sing the praises this endeavor. Money was certainly the main motivation for signing on with airbnb but the social satisfaction has been even more rewarding. The income earned from hosting is solving the financial shortfall of our retirement income and the benefit to guests being able rent short term accommodations at modest pricing is quite well received. We feel that this is a win/win for both host and guest. We earn money to keep us off the streets and guests save money by getting superior accommodations and service at a modest price. The social interchange is priceless. Our guests stay in a home environment that is totally different from a motel/hotel. My wife and I feel that we are developing an international network of friends. We have had repeat guests and family members of guests come to stay with us. We consider this an excellent endorsement of the airbnb world. In summary the airbnb part of the sharing economy takes under utilized housing and homeowners and converts them into profitable contributors to society and the local economy.