Asset owners: Based on a single study in this sector, on Airbnb, people join in for the lure of supplementary income that also support and build the local economy. Homeowners appreciated the platform in offering them a choice on who they can and can’t accept in their homes. Of note is the differentiation of practices between global north and south, with clients being wary of the Global South listings.
Based on one study on Airbnb in Mexico, it was evident that money is the main motivation behind people sharing assets.
I am a piano concert player and in the summer of 2008, I did not have that many concerts to play perhaps due to the economic crisis. At that time, I read an article in the New York Times about Airbnb and decided to try sharing economy platforms. At first, I consider VRBO, which offers high-end accommodation rentals, perhaps more money, but later I decided, for several reasons, that Airbnb was a better option. (Ruiz-Correa et al. 2019, 11)
This leads to the creation of informal jobs that support and uplift the local community.
Our experience as a host is very nice because we can create few jobs for local people, who also benefit from the [Airbnb] platform. From the person that does the cleaning, the garden, and cooking and for those guests that are provided with breakfast; in this way we all grow as a community (Ruiz-Correa et al. 2019, 11)
Three critical things emerge in this segment: the effect of a platform on the cost of rentals, security of the asset, and choosing who should use the asset.
Airbnb is not good because prices tend to go up wherever it arrives. I live in a small town of 500 people that is 30 minutes north of San Francisco. Two years ago, you could rent a room in a house for 750 dollars a month. Today, people are asking for 100 dollars per night, so it is almost impossible to find an affordable room these days. This could also happen here […] I also have a tiny apartment in Paris and there is a law that allows owners to rent their accommodations through any sharing economy platform only when they are on vacation. However, this law is very difficult to enforce. Also, apartments in Paris use electronic codes for accessing the space. These codes are shared with visitors all the time, which raises security concerns (Ruiz-Correa et al. 2019, 13)
The Airbnb platform is safe […] if you want to rent your house you choose a person that has experience with the [Airbnb] platform as a traveler or tourist. You can read the profiles and the evaluations, and opinions that other hosts have about them. And you as a guest can also evaluate your host to make sure he or she provided what was promised. In this way, we can evaluate ourselves. (Ruiz-Correa et al. 2019, 14)
Differentiation of practices between the global north and south also emerged.
The Airbnb [concept] has some disadvantages that we have identified through our experience with the platform. I can think of three or four main issues. First, one cannot be sure about the actual conditions of the space advertised in the platform. Second, one cannot be sure that the space actually has the facilities offered through the platform. One has to pay and then you find out whether what is advertised is true or not. We had an experience in which a host offered a room in her house, but when we arrived we realized that the host was renting a trailer that was in extremely poor condition. In another occasion, we found out that WiFi signal was not available in a place that was advertised as having Internet services. The third problem is that hosts are not obliged to show pictures of their neighborhood, the streets, the surroundings. This is very important in places that are not safe. If you are in downtown Paris, maybe there is nothing to be worried about. But this is not the case in Mexico. I would not rent a space to go with my wife if the neighborhood is dangerous. I think this third issue is the most important in the case of Airbnb use in Mexico. (Ruiz-Correa et al. 2019, 15)
Ruiz-Correa, Salvador, Itzia Ruiz-Correa, Carlo Olmos-Carrillo, Fatima Alba Rendón-Huerta, Beatriz Ramirez-Salazar, Laurent Son Nguyen, and Daniel Gatica-Perez. 2019. “Mi Casa Es Su Casa? Examining Airbnb Hospitality Exchange Practices in a Developing Economy.” ACM Transactions on Social Computing 2 (1): 2:1–2:24. https://doi.org/10.1145/3299817.