Hoosiers finding good deals, better living through 'share economy'
We're all taught to share in kindergarten, but now some are turning that grade school concept into a multi-billion dollar business. It's called the "Share Economy" and it's providing a way for people to exchange goods and services for a low price while having a lot of fun.
Alicia Anino is all about sharing. She and her family open up a bedroom in their home on Indianapolis east side to strangers from all over the world.
"We had this one gentleman and he was from Brazil and he stayed here a week while he was sealing a deal for something he invented and he talked non-stop," said Alicia.
Through the popular international home sharing website Airbnb.com, Alicia is one of more than 300 people in the Indianapolis metro area who share a room in their home or in some cases their entire house or apartment. Another popular site is Couch Surfing.
"I always liked meeting people from different cultures and different parts of the U.S. as well," said Alicia.
For Alicia, it's a cultural adventure for the entire family including her two young daughters. But what she's providing is a tremendous cost savings to travelers or anyone needing a temporary place to stay.
"What's better than staying in someone's home and talking to them and learning how they live instead of staying in a hotel?" said Alicia.
"People have had tenants for years. People have rented out their basement or attic. Now with the internet, they can be more formal about it," said Dr. Matt Will, a local economist.
And people aren't just renting houses either, they're renting everything - things like cars, baby clothes and if you're in the food industry and you prepare and sell a product, you can even rent kitchen space.
"It's a very convenient and economically sound way to do this," said Corey.
And that's the service Linda Gilkerson is thrilled to provide to new entrepreneurs, sharing space and sharing dreams to create the perfect match.
Every time they get a new customer and every time they get new sales they didn't think they were going to get, they come and share that with me. So, it's fun," said Linda.
The share economy is generating $26 billion annually.