Airbnb is a sensitive topic for many condo managers and owners renting out their units. If you’re unfamiliar, or perhaps nervous about the idea of Airbnb, this article is for you.
Here is everything you need to know about Airbnb, and how it’s paving the way to an economy of sharing.
We begin our journey with definition of Sharing Economy.
Sharing economy (also known as shareconomy or collaborative consumption) is a hybrid market model (in between owning and gift giving) which refers to peer-to-peer-based sharing of access to goods and services (coordinated through community-based online services).
The importance of sharing
More consumers are beginning to acknowledge the inherent stress that comes with full ownership. This stress is primarily attributed to the financial cost of owning property, combined with the responsibility of regular upkeep. The true costs of these can be terrifying.
So, why do we take on such a hefty financial burden alone, when it could be shared? Sharing these costs makes financial sense. But there’s another, more altruistic reason behind such an idea. Simply put, it results in less waste of our resources. This isn’t a new revelation.
Many downtown dwellers have recognized this from the moment they rejected the burbs. Why own an expensive coffee machine when there’s a barista down the street? Or, own expensive exercise equipment when your condo gym suffices? Make use of your community resources, and you’ll learn what a difference a sharing economy can really make.
Airbnb may seem like a brand new model of business. However, it is part of a family of businesses and communities taking part in the sharing economy. A few examples include:
By connecting fans to the creators of the projects they want to see made, Kickstarter allows people to bring ideas to life. It does this through crowdsourcing – the practice of sharing the costs throughout the community. This sharing economy is the reason that many movies, technology and even gaming consoles exist today.
It is Patreon’s goal to help every creator, whether they’re involved in music, content creation or even web comics, earn a sustainable income. Every time a piece of art is created, fans donate money towards the artist and his work. This has resulted in community constantly contributing to the creation of cultural art by sharing the costs.
Zipcar shares the substantial cost of owning and maintaining an automobile amongst thousands of individuals. By charging a monthly fee to book an automobile when you need it, Zipcar has created a lifestyle where making use of private transport is of minimal cost.
Turo, formally RelayRides, is a company that operates a peer-to-peer car-sharing marketplace. It allows private car owners to rent out their vehicle to others for a small cost. Thus, creating an economy where the substantial cost of private transport is shared.
Bike Share is a bike sharing system that’s located in our city. It simply charges users for the time they need the bike. This means you spend less money on expensive bike repairs and maintenance, and only pay the minimal cost for riding.
UberPool provides the same convenience and reliability of uberX, but allows you to share the ride and the cost with someone else. Uber has applied the philosophy of carpooling to their business, and made a huge stride towards a future of sharing.
Fractional cottage ownership
Often holiday homes stand empty for a good fraction of the year, only being utilised for a few weeks. Fractional cottage ownership allows people to share ownership of their holiday property – each owner paying a percentage of the cost.
5 points in defence of Airbnb
- Sharing is inevitable
With the cost of living on the rise every year, sharing expenses is inevitable. Soon, it will be the only way that we’ll be able to enjoy a comfortable life, and a sustainable future.
- Everyone involved makes and saves money
Airbnb offers comfortable living while travelling at a fraction of the cost of conventional hotels or BnBs. All the while, offering property owners the opportunity to make money by renting out the unused space in their house.
- Airbnb ensures the host
Airbnb ensures you and your property are protected against any damage or theft that might occur as a result of a booking. The Host Guarantee provides protection for up to $1,000,000 CAD in damages around the world, giving you peace of mind.
- Ratings system ensure regulation and best practices
Not only do guests get to rate hosts, but guests are rated by their hosts. This gives you some insight into the type of person you’ll be inviting into your home. If you have any reservations about them, you can simply decline their reservation request. This keeps you and your property safe.
- Hosts and Guests care
One of the highlights of Airbnb is that you get to interact with hosts and guests that really care. To them it’s not just a job or role, they are genuinely interested in providing the best experience possible.
Image courtesy of Ben Grey
We’ve been taught from an early age that sharing is an important part of getting along in life. Airbnb has simply turned this philosophy into a business. Not only bettering the life of the person renting, but the host as well. Although, it might mean sharing parking spots, lockers, and the occasional cup of sugar from thy neighbour, the benefits of sharing far outweigh the cons. The sharing economy is our future, and it’s time we start embracing it.
In the meantime, the MPP for Niagara-West-Glanbrook has begun to make great strides towards the future. He has presented a private bill, the Opportunity in the Sharing Economy Act, which looks to provide freedom for individual residential property owners to share their property for consideration. This Bill, if passed, would prevent cities from adopting by-laws prohibiting short-term leasing of real property for less than 120 days.
What are your thoughts on AirBnb and the sharing economy? Share them with us in the comment section below.