The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop
Hello, I would like to comment on the home sharing site Airbnb. We have been hosting on Airbnb and have found it to be very helpful with supplementing our income during the recent lack of work that we have experienced. My husband has had very little to none. We have been able to keep our home largely due to Airbnb. They also make it easy for us to host as they have a process of verifying guests for us and they facilitate the payments. They provide us the tax info at the end of the year. We have been able to help out occasionally with my elder father-in-law's care expenses when he has needed it as well. We have been struggling at times, and have been very grateful for the Airbnb income. We tried renting on Craig's list and were not happy with some of the people who contacted us. We have found a better quality of guest through Airbnb. Some of the contacts we had on Craig's list were pretty scary. Airbnb has been a huge help to us in keeping our house. Also, our guests who come here (mostly longer term for us) patronize the local businesses and restaurants, tour the City to see the sights of DC, and spend money in other ways in this area, so it boosts the economy, which helps generate work for us. Home sharing has been a huge benefit for us, and we highly recommend Airbnb for their professionalism in monitoring and constantly improving their services and the website, making it easier for us to use and connect with guests that are right for us, and for whom we are a good fit. We often have students and others who are not able to afford the high prices of short term housing in our area. They could be taken advantage of in other ways if there was not a service like Airbnb that maintains such high standards for those of us hosting, such as verified photos of the rental space and guest reviews that are public for anyone considering staying with us. On the other hand, Airbnb verifies passports, phone numbers, etc... for us in advance of the guest contacting us. Our exact address is not given out, nor any of our contact information, until the reservation is made based on both parties agreeing to it. There is a good level of security for both parties, as well as a resolution policy in case things don't work out for some reason. We have found Airbnb to be very helpful on the rare occasions that we have had a problem with a guest. We feel safe and well taken care of by this service and like and respect it far more than alternatives, like Craig's List.