Ever since the advent of social media in the 1970’s to it’s limelight moment by 2002, in our far reaching and globalized world, people have been seeking a deeper sense of connection and community involvement than ever before. There was once a time in which trading was the only way to get the products we needed, therefore it was through trade routes such as the silk road that guaranteed interaction between different, cultures, communities and societies. At some point in our social history, though, we began to spread out into smaller communities and centralize our goods in stores, therefore we didn’t need or have as much contact as we once did. It was through the boom of social media, then that we began to spread our arms out again and include those long lost, or others with the same interests or viewpoints back into our orbit. As we mentioned in our previous post, the problem with social media is that lacked any incentive for face to face contact, therefore these communities seemed both shallow and unfulfilling.
The sharing economy with peer to peer engagement was the most natural economic evolution from our long lost days on the trading routes. With an economic incentive for the renter and the needs of consumer, individuals began to connect face to face, so much so that based on a survey of U.S. consumers by Pricewaterhouse Coopers, 73 percent of U.S consumers agreed that the sharing economy builds stronger communities. The sharing economy became a perfect mixture of both a trading and a centralized economy and the way in which we can maintain stable neighborhoods while connecting to our peers.
By creating a product that is useful to the local residents, space owners provide more than a service to the renter; they provide a platform to grow stronger and more helpful societies. These community networks provide much more than a one time transaction to the space owner, one meeting can create a rewarding connections for future networking, personal and business opportunities.
Advantages of Community Engagement:
Companies such as Storex and Splinster have made it possible for space owners to rent out unused space or skiing equipment. People that can provide those kinds of resources to their community, receive in return much more than an economic advantage. That interaction between the space owner and the renter is a brilliant opportunity to connect with and build the tight knit community. Here are some ways that community engagement is beneficial both in the long and short term:
Connects people and resources: Since the P2P economy brings people together it improves personal connections, community associations, and businesses. This in turn creates a greater community buy in with more people investing and expanding financially.
Builds trust: It takes only one positive transaction for both parties of the sharing community to surrender their fears and build a bridge of trust. One experience in the sharing economy reinforces the fact that when we think about it logically it should be much easier to trust an individual that is providing a service in our community, then to get in a car with a taxicab driver who is a complete stranger. Or stay in a hotel with employees who have keys to our rooms.
Increase quality of life: Providing a service in the sharing economy, such as renting your available storage space, builds your quality of life by adding to your income, however it also builds a feeling of satisfaction with your community. As you build relationships and help your community members, you feel more connected, more needed, and create a better sense of belonging.
Economic Vitality: The more disposal income you garner, the more capital you have to spend in your community. This increased capital being spread into your community helps to stimulate the economy, increase the number of small businesses and builds new jobs.
How to get started:
Today the internet provides numerous opportunities to market yourself and provide a service without spending thousands of dollars, it’s an optimal platform to create income with little or no investment. Getting started just comes down to finding the right platform such as Storex, if you have even a minimal amount of storage space at your home, you can build a profile and brand your good. The more information you provide about yourself on your profile, the more you increase the chance of having potential renters connect to you and trust you. Companies such as Traity, provide services for space owners to integrate data from the social media platforms of their choice to their profile. This level of visibility gives both the space owners and renters a bounty of connection that is missing in traditional business models. The more the renter knows about you and the more you can know about your renter, the more comfortable and convenient the business transaction becomes.
Another important aspect of creating a successful business through the sharing economy is to make sure you get a better score on your user profile. Space owners that provide little perks to the renters will get higher scores on their profile and therefore will have more renters seeking them out. Lyft drivers will often stock their cars with fresh bottles of water so that their passenger can have a more personal and enjoyable experience.
Once you have your profile set and the renter satisfied it’s very beneficial to encourage the renter to give you a good rating or comment on the experience. Airbnb provides lots of reminders for renters to rate guests and guests to rate renters with the obvious goal to create a symmetry of accountability and transparency between parties.
A win win
There has never been a better time or greater opportunity to make money and connect with your community like there is today with the growth of the sharing economy. The door is wide open to make a substantial amount of money, meet new people, build connections and network. Companies such as Storex make it even easier by allowing the renter to create a profile and rent space out at no charge, this gives the space owners a no risk money making opportunity. The extra income comes with many added bonuses, most importantly it’s a chance to help members of your community. By helping your community you create bonds and trust, communities with this positive interaction are more likely to thrive and become stronger. This new found sense of belonging will increase your satisfaction both for you and the renter, feeling that through this new economic forum where everyone’s a winner.
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