The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop #01279

Submission Number:
01279
Commenter:
Josie Schneider
State:
Michigan
Initiative Name:
The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop
Hello, As an AirBnb host, my husband and I supplement our income, help our local economy, and promote trust. We have been hosts since August 2013 and are now "Super Hosts" because of our superior ratings. My husband Conrad is retired and on a fixed income. I work at the Ann Arbor Observer, a monthly publication. The money earned by hosting individuals and couples in our home helps immensely with our finances. Conrad has taken on the chores of cleaning after guests and maintaining our pretty and inviting guest bedroom and bath. He also provides free taxi service around town. I cook them breakfast. The extra income helps us to travel and to spoil our grandchildren more! We claimed $6,700 AirBnb income on our 2014 taxes. We constantly say, "Thank goodness for AirBnb!" Our guests look to us for advice on local attractions, restaurants and events in Ann Arbor. We are so excited when we can turn them on to a great park or store -- such as the unusual Brinery or Tracklements Custom Smoked Provisions. And of course all our guests go away spreading the news on Zingerman's, the local business phenom that not only runs businesses here but teaches folks all over the world how to succeed by respecting and honoring their employees. And finally we use AirBnb and our guests to cultivate trust among all people. Inviting complete strangers into your home to sleep, share food and stories is empowering for us all. Everyone gains trust and the knowledge that people are just people, and not scheming criminals. We are friends with many new people and if we ever travel to the many cities from which they come, we know a standing invitation to stay awaits us -- from Singapore, to San Francisco, to Quebec, and many more. Thank you for your consideration of our story, and we look forward to knowing what you decide. Warm regards, Josie Schneider