The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop
Last year I lived with some roommates who weren't getting along and it became a very toxic environment but with 1 more year left on our lease we had to maintain the apartment, at that time I also experienced some financial hardship when starting my own online business so I decided to try AirBNB to help me pay for rent and allow me to take some time away from the negative environment between the roommates. I found that a lot of the people I hosted would not have been able to afford to visit New York or wouldn't have been able to stay as long had they not stayed at a place on AirBNB. I hosted mainly students and young adults. I had a few guests who were moving to New York and needed a place to stay while they searched for a new home. I provided resources and information to help those moving about the neighborhoods, where to look for rentals, how to use brokers, etc. I enjoyed meeting people from all over the world and helping guide their stay more personally (as opposed to internet research), I felt they received better insight about the city that they couldn't have gotten as quickly or easily elsewhere. When using the AirBNB site I made sure to pre-screen guests by checking their profile making sure it was verified, seeing what school or company they worked for, then I would ask them questions about their stay (since they would be staying in my personal bedroom I wanted to know as much as possible about them). If someone didn't fill out their personal profile or have verifications I would not approve them. I got a better feeling of people as we communicated through email and I feel I'm a pretty good judge of character so I never had a negative experience. I've had a wonderful experience hosting on AirBNB and wouldn't have been able to afford to pay my last years rent had I not used the site. I've also traveled and stayed at places found on AirBNB that I might not have been able to afford had I not stayed with an AirBNB host. AirBNB helps make traveling more affordable and personal for people that might not have been able to otherwise. Everyone I know has had a positive experience from it and I'm sure it will continue to grow, hopefully in a positive way for everyone.