4 Reasons Why Short Term Rentals are the Future of the World Economy The power was always with people, the sharing economy has just given us - the people - a platform to kick start this economic revolution
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Reason #1: The Sharing Economy is Here to Stay
Many mass market services and products active today were a product of a bygone era. An era of pre and post-industrial ages. Think about it. Hotels and motels, drivers, cleaners, health care etc. These professions either required a lot of upfront cost or demanded exclusive access in society.
Today, anyone can access a therapist's services at home, or hire a chimney cleaner, or a taxi cab in a snap. As technologies such as the internet, web, and cloud computing have influenced economies, the way we interact and access services and products have changed. For the good.
Reason #2: Simplicity and Accessibility are the Fundamentals of the Sharing Economy
At the crux of the sharing economy is the power of creating a network effect. It is all about connecting consumers with suppliers. Easy though it may sound, but the simplicity of creating such a network and enabling people to engage, and eventually energizing local economies is a masterstroke.
Affordable smartphones, secure web and cloud computing platforms, and cheap, high-speed internet have changed the way people connect, deal with, and transact with each other. The power was always with people, the sharing economy has just given us - the people - a platform to kick start this economic revolution.
Reason #3: Airbnb, Uber, Xiaozhu, Zhu Bai Jia and Counting
The paragon of the sharing economy is Airbnb. When two roommates found it difficult to pay their rent in San Francisco, they put out a couple of air mattresses with breakfast in the living room and hosted travellers for about $80.00 per day. They immediately created a simple website and allowed travellers to book a night's stay for as low as 80 bucks when hotels were charging nearly double that.
It didn't take too long for them to bring on-board another friend and created a much better website. This time going around the city and asking people to sign up and put their underutilized rooms and homes for rent on Airbnb.com. Homeowners wanted additional income and travellers wanted cheap accommodation - Airbnb has been capitalizing on this need and is valued at $31 billion as of 2018 - Airbnb was launched in 2008.
This model of connecting service suppliers such as cab drivers and commuters, home maintenance specialists and residents has worked wonders not only in Silicon Valley but also in most major economies.
By the time Airbnb started operations in China, it was already 2016. By then, the so-called copycats Xiaozhu and Zhu Bai Jia had studied Airbnb and created China's own versions. Today, the impact of the sharing economy can be seen everywhere. Here are some notable businesses who have made a huge economic impact:
Taskrabbit - home maintenance - USA
Getaround - car rental - USA
Quirky by GE - community led invention platform - USA
Uchewei - parking space rental - China
Yi23 - clothes rental - China
Molisan, JJ Umbrella - Umbrella sharing - China
Home-cooks - kitchen sharing - China
Ola - on-demand commute - India
Deliveroo - food delivery - UK, EU
Reason #4: Businesses Will Look Inward
The act of taking a brilliant idea and implementing it in one's own backyard (local economy) and modify the business platform to suit local culture and regulations is why businesses are flourishing in the sharing economy. This is what should be called 'contextual service delivery'. Such platforms not only generate a lot of revenue through taxes for the local economy, but it also generates direct and indirect jobs in large numbers.