The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop
I have been an AirBnB user for about two years. Just recently, having had so many good experiences as as renter, I decided to rent my home since it will be vacant for most of the summer. I didn't anticipate much in the way of responses but was I surprised. Within 48 hours I received 5 inquiries 4 of which resulting in bookings netting us about $2500 in income we can use for home improvements and updates. The folks we are renting to are media consultants, film producers, and a family caught between selling their old home and moving into their new one. Two of these families have pets and commented on how difficult it is to find welcoming accommodations for them. We own a dog ourselves so were happy to open our home to others. What makes the AirBnB experience so unique is that you really fell as if you know the people you are renting from of renting to. Their profiles, photos and reviews give you a great sense of what to expect. I haven't been disappointed yet. There is a time and place for the predictability and convenience of hotels but when going home to visit family or attend a meeting or just traveling for pleasure, there is nothing better than jumping right into a new or even a familiar neighborhood and experiencing as a local rather than a guest. AirBnB allows immediate contact with hosts/renters to verify plans, arrival, details, problems (my hot water broke once), cancellations, etc. so you never feel as if you do not have a resource. I would be very disappointed both as a renter and rentee if municipalities were to restrict the rights of homeowners to share their available spaces. The internet can be impersonal but this is one application where it truly brings people together.