“Over the past several years there has been a quiet but growing trend in the market around sharing,” said Michael Heldebrandt co-founder of ShedStreet, “and we are seeing this take root in Austin.” “Europe is very far ahead of the US in terms of participation in the share economy but we are catching up,” continued Michael.
The Share Economy is an economic model based on sharing under-utilized assets including items or skills for monetary benefits.
For example, if you have gone out and bought a kayak and it sits in your storage for 99% of the year then you have an under-utilized asset. Conversely, if you don’t have a kayak but have an urge to take up kayaking, your choices are: go to the local sporting goods store and buy one or go to the only rental shop in town that is located 20 miles away. Now, with share sites like ShedStreet.com, you can find neighbors that have a kayak that they are willing to rent to you. Try it out and then decide if it is for you or not. Or best, only rent it when you feel the need to get down to the lake. This model works well for tools (a ladder to change a light bulb), party supplies (tables and chairs, a bouncy house or a large outdoor screen), and sports equipment.
For larger items, like homes and cars, there are several options that have gained tremendous traction both in Austin and around the country. HomeAway now provides over 570,000 vacation rentals around the globe and Car2Go has over 300 cars available for rent in Austin alone!
Austin is definitely proving the share economy is a real force in an ever changing society.