Building Community & Helping Others Through The Shared Economy

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Building Community

You know that good feeling you get when you help others?  Who says you can’t get it while getting paid at the same time?

Today we’re talking about building relationships and community goodwill by renting your place on Airbnb.  This is final post in our 4 part series outlining why you should take the plunge and list your space on Airbnb.

The Shared Economy

Over the best decade a new niche community has evolved around the concept of shared experiences, goods, and services.  This has affectionately been dubbed the “shared economy.”  While the ins and outs of this phenomena can be saved for a later post, here I’ll touch briefly on some of its primary tenets.

We Have What Others Want

The idea of one person’s trash being another person’s treasure has never been more true.  Only today, we have technology at our disposal to help connect the treasure seekers and the trash givers.  No sense in going through the countless companies that are working off of this premise but here are a few: Airbnb, Lyft, RelayRides, TaskRabbit, Yerdle, ZimRide, Zaarly.

If you have a vacuum cleaner in your closet that isn’t being used, and your neighbor needs it, it makes you feel good to help someone out right?  If you catch a ride with someone on ZimRide instead of driving your gas guzzling SUV all by yourself you feel good out sparing the air right?  These are all basic feelings that are now being achieved through modern services that have been enabled by the democratization of technology!

Make Someone’s Day Through Airbnb

We’ve all experienced that feeling when traveling.  You have your heart set on certain hotel or accommodation only to learn that they have no vacancy or have nothing in your price range.  And when you do find that perfect mix of affordability and comfort, there is a rush of comfort and relief.  Well being in the position of Airbnb host gives you the power to create these feelings for your guests.

While I’ve written at great length about the monetary benefits of renting your place on Airbnb, there is something to be said for these secondary community benefits as well.  You aren’t just part of a transaction, you are giving a human being a place to sleep and live.  Not to sound too heavy, but this is one of our most basic needs and providing it to someone should not be taken lightly.

Represent Yourself

Not only are you helping someone with a place to stay, you become the default ambassador for your city.  Later we’ll get into the specifics of the guidebook and recommendations, but from your first correspondence with the guest you are representing both Airbnb and the city you’re staying in.  Think about how you’d want to be treated if you were arriving in a new city with limited knowledge.  Put yourself in the shoes of your guest every step of the way.

Possible Connections

Airbnb now offers social connections to let you know if your guest is connected to your or any of your friends through the appropriate social networks.  Your guest may have been in 3rd grade with your ex girlfriend from high school or maybe they shared a ski house one winter with your second cousin.  It’s a small world, and this feature only brings us closer together in the Shared Economy.

Shared Interests

Hell, maybe your guest could end up working in the same industry as you or have some other career connection.  Maybe they are visiting town for an event that you’ve been to before and you could provide them some tips!  For example, I just booked some upcoming renters in town for a music festival that I’ve attended for the last 5 years.  More often than not there will be some sort of common ground between the host and the guest if you look hard enough.  Who knows what kinds of relationships are possible through Airbnb connections.

Closing Thoughts

That my friends wraps up our initial 4 part segment of why you should get hosting on Airbnb.  Stay tuned as we shift gears into more of the nuts and bolts of hosting and getting the most out of the Airbnb site over the coming weeks and some other major announcements regarding Airbnb101!

Photo credit: Thomas Hawk / Foter.com / CC BY-NC

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2 comments on “Building Community & Helping Others Through The Shared Economy
  1. What a great segment on the benefits of sharing and Airbnb which is an amazing service. The sharing economy is a win-win for everyone. This is exactly why we started Fun2Rent a peer-to-peer boat rentals and powersportsmarketplace . With 13 million recreational boats in the U.S., that are only used 15 days a year or less. Fun2Rent helps owner’s earn and renters save with insurance in the U.S.. With Facebook integration many are making friends while sharing their boats.

  2. Chris says:

    Hey Shawn, thanks for visiting the site! I’m all for promoting the shared economy in any way possible. Love your site. Don’t hesitate to contact me if you every want to discuss the industry further or exchange ideas.

    Thanks,
    Chris

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  1. […] of the things that makes Airbnb so special is the human connection that each guest has with their host.  There is nothing like the feeling of connecting with a […]

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