The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop
We had been thinking about doing a bed and breakfast for a while, and heard about Air Bnb from a friend a few years ago. Last year we had the misfortune of a pipe burst, causing extensive damage at a house that we rent out. We couldn't afford repairmen, and we couldn't afford to loose the rental income, so we opened a Bnb in our own home. For the past year, we made repairs at the rental house on the weekends, while we hosted Bnb guests at our permanent residence. It was a lot of work, but we actually improved both properties. The rental was originally part of our retirement plans. Selling it however, paid for repair costs and a room addition to our house so we could continue our Bnb business, and not have to drive 50 miles as before. My husband lost his job 3 years ago and to date has only been able to find a part time job for half the pay. The Bnb helps us make up for the difference in pay and keeps our retirement goals hopeful. Weekly we are meeting nice people from many different countries. They are attending weddings, graduations, and family reunions. Because we live between LA and San Francisco, we are a convenient meeting place for family and friends. Grand parents are traveling to the West Coast to see their grand baby for the first time. Here they have a home to sit around a table to enjoy Grandma's cooking. College room mates are getting together, after being separated by jobs, and enjoying movie night at home with delivered pizza, like their school days. What we love most is that our simple country home is attracting people who live in big city apartments. Their families are enjoying our cats and chickens, tire swing and quiet nights. They are exploring our beaches, enjoying our wineries, and eating at our restaurants. You call it the "sharing" economy, it's that and much, much more. We are sharing our lives and culture, and making a different kind of "rich" community.