The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop #01725

Submission Number:
01725
Commenter:
Beverly Voss
State:
Texas
Initiative Name:
The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop
When I retired, I needed more income so converted my in-house office to an airbnb room with a private sunporch, entrance and bath. I checked with my neighbors first (just as when I began a psychotherapy practice out of my home) just to make certain they were comfortable with the idea. They were. Financially, it has been a huge help. I thought I was saving for travel but alas, I'm saving for dental surgery--no help from Medicare! It's also helping with my property taxes which are huge. I still have to get loans from my elderly mom to cover expenses but less, with airbnb. The best part is meeting people from all over the world. I've loved the young people who come for Austin's many festivals but it's the older people (80's) who usually end up joining us for a drink and chat. I pay 15% of my airbnb earnings to the city and state plus a yearly licensing fee. I particularly appreciate the freedom and ease airbnb offers me when I want to change my fees, limit the calendar or ask questions. They also have a great set-up for giving tips to hosts and if I wanted, I could be part of a local meet-up group to compare notes. So far, I've been too busy being retired to add this on but it's good to know it's there. As a single woman, it's important to know that anyone who stays with me has a profile and references that I can check. I've had no bad experiences although I have turned down one request because the fellow hadn't completed a profile nor given enough references for me to feel OK about him. Having that option, knowing that guests won't have my address or information until I give it to them is another way I feel secure. A great system, great community builder...and I have people to stay with when I travel as well. My experiences as an airbnb guest have been wonderful and so much better than a motel experience!