Learning to Share.

Growing up our parents, grandparents and teachers taught us to always be kind and share our toys with others. As adults, we never anticipated that these values would be taken so literally. The rise of the sharing economy has us sharing our homes, our cars and other resources with complete strangers and feeling good about it! Or do we?

We’re seeing all kinds of these sharing economy “pioneers” popping up lately but what does this mean for traditional vendors and what are the risks involved? With companies like Airbnb, Uber and DogVacay, anyone can source out reliable services without emptying their bank account. Airbnb allows anyone with access to the internet the ability to seek out and book unique and economical accommodations in over 190 countries without the high costs of a traditional hotel.   Uber offers a service to connect drivers and passengers creating an opportunity for average commuters to make a few dollars while offering passengers a ride that costs on average 1.5x less than a taxi. And of course, there is even money saving services for dog lovers. DogVacay offers dog owners a network of local “Pet Sitters” near your home that you can browse for and book online and offering another option to a kennel. With DogVacay, your beloved pooch will be cared for in the comforts of someone’s home rather than the confines of a kennel and often at a lower price!

Millennials are a large part of this sharing economy and its acceptance in society. They are part of a “post-ownership” generation where owning something does not have the same value as it used to. They would rather utilize their funds in other ways than home or car ownership.

With all of these great benefits in mind; lower costs, ease of use and unique opportunities, why are so many people so hesitant to take advantage of these services. Well, there is something to be said about the comforts of traditional service providers and the sense of safety we associate with that established business model.

While some seem to show no discomfort with this new sharing economy. For them a raving review on a blog site holds just as much merit as a five star rating on a hotel’s name and a “thumbs up” of approval makes them feel okay about hopping into a car with a complete stranger.

Others however worry about the safety precautions in place for the consumer of these services. Were there background checks completed on the person I am about to get into a car with? Is their license current and do they possess a perfect driving record? Will the home or apartment I have rented be clean and tidy and will it be pet/smoke free as promised? Will the people taking care of my beloved dog treat him or her with the utmost kindness and love just as I would? While any of these things can go just as easily awry with a reputable service provider, we have a tendency to feel better about it when there is a large company name behind it.

These hesitant consumers are not the only ones to disapprove of these new sharing services – traditional vendors aren’t too happy about it either. There are stories of taxi drivers in Paris rioting and burning cars in protest of Uber and lobbying in New York City by the city’s hotels to have Airbnb banned. It seems that not everyone is on the same page!

The adHOME employees each had their own opinions on the rise of this new sharing economy and the services being offered and it seems that we aren’t all on the same page either. What do you think? Would you give one of these services a try?