Airbnb invited us recently to write about our experience with Airbnb for a Federal Trade Commission workshop on the sharing economy. Here's what I wrote:
Airbnb has been of enormous benefit to my family since I began hosting in September, 2013. We are “empty-nesters” and have very comfortable, welcoming space for guests. The money earned in a year from Airbnb guests is proving to be sufficient to cover our homeowners insurance and real estate taxes. We are headed toward retirement and are very much looking to Airbnb as a supplement to our income.
My favorite thing about Airbnb is meeting folks with whom I would not otherwise have ever come in contact. To date, I have hosted 27 sets of guests (individual or couples) and it has been a delight to meet every one. I have met folks of all ages and from all over the world.
I truly appreciate and marvel at the system that Airbnb has created to make this all work so well. I’m especially grateful for the attitude of “it’s my home, I set the rules, availability, price, etc.” Airbnb personnel have been consistently responsive to my requests for help and information. The system provides the security I need to feel comfortable having folks stay in my home. The review system between hosts and guests is very much self-regulating. Airbnb is based on the philosophy that people are fundamentally good, and that matches my life view nicely.
As a traveler, I love Airbnb. I have stayed with two hosts and have already made another reservation for this summer. Staying with Airbnb hosts has been comfortable, economical and fun. Hosts provide knowledge of the local area that is extremely valuable to travelers. The variety of options available in lodging via Airbnb is outstanding.
On a practical note, guests typically support our local
Wichitarestaurants, and if staying multiple days, support local attractions, rental car companies, etc. Airbnb is a win-win for all!
I'm excited for our future as humans with examples of creativity, innovation and a win-win mentality such as Airbnb and Uber. Bold ideas put forth benefiting so many, now that's brave!