The Sharing Economy Part 1 of 3

I am simply fascinated with the concept of The Sharing Economy, and of course, how it impacts the industry of temporary housing.

Just think about it, there is so much stuff that is unused every day. Cars, driveways, parking spots, boats, apartments, second homes, primary homes, RV’s, even that tuxedo in your closet you wear twice a year. Platforms such as airbnb, Uber, Lyft and countless more or working to gain access and monetize all these partially unused items. Let your imagination run wild – we will see sharing economy platforms that help companies rent unused office space or a desk. Maybe gain access to a true private jet (with pilots of course!) without the use of a charter company, or let you rent out your private pool for a party, maybe even rent out your dogs to a lonely neighbor. The sky is the limit!

The genesis of all of this in my mind was eBay. They developed the seller/buyer star ratings, which infused “trust” into an internet transaction. Uber, and many others copied this, and it allows trust to occur between renter and the entity/person renting the item. If I owned a jet, trust me, I would be looking for five stars for any renter, and as a renter, I would only step into a 5 star rated aircraft.

The Sharing Economy has been around for a while. I started using eBay and Stubhub for concert tickets years ago, goodbye to overpriced scalpers. Now I work with scalpers that have market dynamics limit pricing, yea! Knock on wood, my tickets have always shown up and have never been fake.

In regard to housing, airbnb of course is king, for now. It amazes me a home owner with a $3 million dollar private home would rent the place for $1200/day. The homeowner leaves his clothes, art, possessions, refrigerator food, wine, spirits and oddities lying around. Conversely, what renter wants to open a fridge and see someone else’s food? Or, even peek in a nightstand of someone else’s home? Well, it is working. airbnb is valued at $17 billion. Thousands of apartments, flats, homes and villas are rented every week, worldwide. Some form of insurance is provided by the platform, so it works.

Well, does it work legally? Stay tuned for Part 2 of this series to shed some light on this.

-Gavan James

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