On its website, the The Ellison Suites in Venice boasts its celebrity pedigree: Doors frontman Jim Morrison lived there, and it was originally owned by Laurel and Hardy. But the house-sharing website Airbnb shows a woman named Martha has 14 listings at The Ellison — each one going for $200 a night. That’s $6,000 a month. By comparison, a small one-bedroom unit at the nearby Waldorf building rents for $1,500 a month. Tenant advocates argue that financial incentives such as those are causing landlords and management companies to switch rental units wholesale to short-term housing faster than the city can keep up — and, in some cases, in violation of municipal law.
Up to now, Airbnb and its ilk have fallen under the ill-fitting city regulations governing hotels and motels, a sloppy arrangement that was exposed when the city’s zoning officials began responding to complaints about Airbnb hosts a month ago. It’s a tricky space, one that has created anxiety for some Airbnb hosts. They say they want to do the right thing — and pay the appropriate taxes — but there’s no clear definition of what those are. “I think the city needs to define what Airbnb is, add it to their rules and regulate us,” says Alex Davis, an attorney serving as spokesman for a group of local hosts and who is himself a host. “We want to be regulated. We want to pay our fair share. But we’re not hotels, and we’re not motels, and we’re not bed and breakfasts. We’re Uber and Lyft compared to the taxicab industry.”
It’s common knowledge that the rent in Los Angeles is high, but there’s some debate as to whether Airbnb and other roomsharing services have anything to do with it. According to an upcoming report from the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy (LAANE), Airbnb is making our rental crunch worse, L.A. Weekly reports. LAANE, a pro-labor organization, alleges that Airbnb yanks about 7,795 units that could otherwise be rented to long-term tenants off the market.
TALLAHASSEE — The cost of hailing a ride with your cellphone or booking a private-home room for the night could rise under bills pending in the Legislature this year, even as lawmakers struggle to adapt state laws to new business technologies and innovations. Ride-sharing companies such as Uber and Lyft, which use cellphone apps to connect riders to available drivers, and Airbnb, which matches homeowners with vacationers, have become the poster children for “disruption” — shorthand for a spate of new tech companies that challenge traditional modes of business.
Startups like Uber and Airbnb, which form the core of the new “sharing economy,” can have a particularly positive effect on people with lower incomes, according to a new report. The study, from New York University professor Arun Sundararajan and research scientist Samuel Fraiberger, analyzed data from two years of transactions provided by Getaround, a peer-to-peer car rental startup. While consumers across various income levels saw a positive impact, people who made less money experience a particularly big boost, the study found.
Uber is an agency for freelance minicab drivers. Its technology allows anyone with a licence to make money from driving people around. AirBnB allows anyone with a home to make money from letting people sleep in it. In both cases, the founders have got rich by providing ordinary people with opportunities to make money — and then taking a cut. These businesses operate in an increasingly freelance society.
Just like other sharing economy brands, Uber has attracted legion of customers not because it is technologically innovative. The sharing economy excels at customer experience — and that is what inspires customer love and loyalty. According to Vision Critical, more than 90% of sharing economy customers would recommend the service they most recently used. Airbnb, Lending Club , and Rent the Runway and other firms that comprise the $100+ billion sharing economy earn this extraordinary level of endorsement by obsessing over the quality of the experiences they deliver.
Airbnb is one of the success stories of the current dot-com boom. Valued at more than $10 billion, the company has rocketed its founders onto the Forbes billionaires list, even while negotiating fierce resistance from the hotel industry and the odd regulatory spat with local governments. But one Airbnb boss denies that the service is even in competition with hotels.
hat does it mean to own property? Are app-based lodging and transportation services showing the way toward an enlightened age of the Sharing Economy or simply enabling a kindler, gentler gentrification? Can I crash at your parents’ house in Boca for 70 bucks a night? As Airbnb expands its presence in Florida, such are the stakes in the looming fracas over short term rentals.
Despite the fact that Airbnb has become a leading resource for more intimate and affordable travel (not to mention a resource for earning extra income for the hosts), some of us are still hesitant. The upsides are abundant. But the questions still remain: Is it safe? Is it weird? How does the transfer of money work? Isn’t it just easier to stay in a hotel?