#SharingEconomy news & resources Thu, 21 Sep 2017 20:41:20 +0000 en-US hourly 1 32 32 The B2B sharing economy goes down under Thu, 21 Sep 2017 20:40:05 +0000

The popularity of the sharing economy is rapidly growing, undoubtedly for businesses as well. The NAB (National Australia Bank) estimates that the sharing economy in Australia is currently growing at around 140% per year. With 1 in 5 Australian firms viewing the sharing economy as positive for their business and believing the sharing economy will continue to grow, albeit gradually.

So, there is no doubt that the term “sharing economy” has become a staple in our current society, and due to less available raw materials making more efficient use of what we already have is becoming more important every day. That’s why FLOOW2 provides businesses and organisations since 2012 with a B2B Sharing Marketplace that allows them to take on a fitting new business model: sharing assets. Sharing assets is an integral part of the development towards a more circular economy, in which loops are closed.

FLOOW2 heads for Australia

After crossing boarders to the USA, Italy, Canada, Germany, Scandinavia and Georgia (Rep.), FLOOW2 is now heading for Australia. From now on it’s possible for businesses in Australia to swap, sell or share their unused assets, services, facilities and personnel through FLOOW2’s online sharing marketplace. “We are proud to present two new B2B sharing projects in Queensland and Adelaide, which we’ve set up with our local partners Jodie Bricout (Lifecycles) and Ashleigh Morris (The Circular Experiment). Two passionate women who want to accelerate the circular economy in Australia”, says Kim Tjoa – Co-Founder of FLOOW2.


For the asset sharing project in Queensland FLOOW2 has created a white-label sharing marketplace called Coastshare. This B2B Sharing Marketplace enables businesses and (healthcare) organizations in Queensland to share equipment, materials, components, services and knowledge. As a result, this will bring them financial, sustainable and social benefits. “With the incredible support of the FLOOW2 team we created a B2B sharing platform for our region in Australia to create additional revenue for businesses, reduce the purchase of new products and the landfilling of unused ones and get businesses working together“, says Ashleigh Morris, Project leader of Coastshare.

Northern Adelaid

The Northern Adelaide region is a significant contributor to the South Australian economy. Northern Adelaide is on the cusp of change and to achieve growth, industry will need to innovate and collaborate. “With the Northern Adelaide Sharing Marketplace, we propose to connect businesses in the North to make the most of their materials and assets. FLOOW2 created a personalized sharing marketplace for us in order to get Adelaide businesses share their assets locally, to reduce waste and to create a local circular economy”, says Jodie Bricout, Lifecycles. FLOOW2 will travel to Adelaide on 15-16 November to speak about sharing assets at the ‘Powering the change to a circular economy’ conference.

Want to activate the B2B Sharing Economy in a particular country, region or city?
Contact us and together we’ll make it possible. Sharing isn’t limited anymore to a select few. See for more information about how to become partner and how to get your own B2B sharing marketplace.

Courtesy Floow2

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TurtlShell has launched in Washington DC Sun, 17 Sep 2017 16:29:03 +0000

Walk into your room, closet, or garage, and count how many times you used all the items you own. Think, how much you paid for that set of tools, movie projector, bike, tent…you name it. And how many times you used any of those in the past one year? Yeah, not that many times.

Now, imagine that you can get some extra cash from all the things that you are not using. Well, you don’t have to imagine it. The young entrepreneurial duo from Washington DC, Orthi Rabbane and Boban Markovic, created TurtlShell – an online marketplace where users can rent anything from people in their area. It’s a peer-to-peer platform that allows individuals to make money off items that they rarely use and save money on anything they need.

TurtlShell makes it easy to find what you need and earn from your listings. The platform matches renters and lenders (owners) and handles transactions through the secure platform based on Stripe platform.

To ensure trust, all users can see previous reviews and have the option to display Trust Scores which pull the user reputations from previous transactions from sites like eBay, Etsy, Yelp, Uber, and Airbnb. Currently, the security is based on refundable deposits, but the founders announced that they are working on insurance system.

Rental listings vary, from simple tools and electronics, over outdoor gear, to gowns and dresses. You can rent even a tiki bar.

TurtlShell also features Nests – a more private groups intended for users who prefer sharing items within a smaller community. This is ideal for apartment buildings, community organizations, hobbyists or any other specialty group.

DC locals and co-founders, Orthi Rabbane and Boban Markovic presented the concept to the public in early August at the launch party that gathered entrepreneurs, investors and DC tech community. The event took place the International Student House, placed in historic venue IN DuPont Circle.

The quirky name comes from the fact that turtle keeps all its essentials within the shell. Accordingly, everything one needs can be found inside TurtlShell.

The entrepreneurial duo came up with the idea when they tried to find camping gear for a weekend trip. “Rental stores were far away or just too expensive and there is no point in buying something if you use it only a few times a year”, Boban explained. Seemingly mundane, but quite common problem, led these two to create TurtlShell.

Rabbane soon quit her job at Federal Reserve to lead TurtlShell from concept to functional platform, thus becoming one of the few female tech founders in growing DC tech community.

TurtlShell appears to be hitting the right spot in DC Metro Area. Living in a city like Washington DC is expensive, especially for students and interns tend to move in and out quite frequently. The expenses add up easily considering that real wages have been flat for decades, rent is increasing, and student debt skyrocketing.

The young entrepreneurs also pointed out the problem of owning numerous entertainment, hobby, and home improvement items, as they require storage space. Indeed, space is becoming an increasing challenge as millennials are less likely to own homes and more likely to rent (Pew Research Center). Furthermore, top relocation destinations are metropolitan areas where the average apartment size has been shrinking (RentCafe).

According to founders, TurtlShell can be used anywhere in the US, but the team is currently focused on growing number of listings and the user community in the Washington D.C. Metro Area and New York City.  As for the future, Boban and Orthi are looking for investors and working on closing the first seed funding round which will help company growth.

The size of the U.S. consumer rental economy, excluding homes and cars, is $14.2 billion. Americans are increasingly willing to participate in the sharing economy and utilize its benefits. Nielson’s research found that revenue gained by consumers turning personal assets into income via the sharing economy surpassed $3.5 billion in 2014, with growth exceeding 25 percent. Sentiment among consumers is very positive (PwC) as over 80% of Americans believe sharing economy makes life more convenient and efficient.

Courtesy TurtleShell

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A unique collaboration of the sharing economy’s first comms agency and media network, to benefit sharing economy businesses Wed, 13 Sep 2017 02:53:24 +0000

UK, September 8 2017RUDE Communications, the UK’s first communications agency focusing on the ‘sharing economy’, has partnered with Shareable, the first Global non-profit media network, dedicated to the ‘sharing lifestyle and economy’ – giving RUDE clients an exclusive opportunity to access the most targeted sharing economy media network in the world.

With a mission to empower everyone to share, the Shareable website is a dynamic hub delivering inspirational and compelling content about what’s possible for people and society by sharing; show-casing examples and providing practical how-to guides. And with monthly unique visits approaching 100,000 and growing… 47K Facebook fans, a 29K following on Twitter and 35K e-news subscribers – the sharing economy influencers, its participants and those with a special interest in this world, are who make up the Shareable media network.

Neal Gorenflo, Executive Director and co-founder of Shareable says “This is an exciting collaboration that not only enables organisations adopting sharing economy models to find out about our unique, solutions-oriented media outlet – it also gives them the opportunity for us to help spread the word about the good they’re doing in the world.”

Elle Tucker, CMO and co-founder of RUDE Communications says, “We are so thrilled and excited to launch this unique Shareable package, exclusive to RUDE clients. Social media shout-outs from Shareable’s channels, a mention in their e-newsletter and a power hour with Shareable themselves for advice, insights and contacts tailored to the specific needs of individual sharing economy businesses, is what RUDE clients can expect. It is a truly unqiue opportunity to target specific influencers and potential customers.”

“At RUDE, we actively pursue partnerships with like-minded sharing economy businesses, because we think that contributing to the sharing economy ecosystem through collaboration, is what will ultimately help it grow and deliver impact. And through our unique relationship with Shareable, RUDE clients now have the opportunity to connect and create some buzz about their businesses with those who have chosen to be part of Shareable’s sharing economy media network, the largest of its kind in the world.”

To find out more about the Shareable sharing economy media network package, only available through RUDE, visit

Courtesy RUDE Communications

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Airbnb ready to invest what’s needed in mainland tourism Sat, 09 Sep 2017 13:53:07 +0000

US company claims to have 120,000 Chinese listings, a significant boost from 80,000 in March, each with an occupation rate of ‘double-digit’

Airbnb is ramping up its commitment to China, including a plan to triple its local workforce to 300 by 2018, making it the “go-to” home-sharing website for Chinese millennials, not only for overseas travel but also for domestic trips.

The world’s fourth largest start-up by valuation said it is ready to invest “as much as it needed” in China to focus on both inbound and outbound travel as the country is not just an important market but has “ fundamental importance”.

“Global vice-president and China chief Ge Hong, said: “We started our business in China by leveraging the advantage of our global network. But we are not just going to focus on rich Chinese millennials who travel abroad.

“We want to be there for young Chinese wherever they go, in China or abroad,” Ge said in an interview with the South China Morning Post, adding Chinese travellers’ orders on Airbnb for domestic trips almost equal orders for overseas travel.

Beijing born-and-bred, Ge previously worked for Facebook and Google, and was appointed in June as the very first China head of Airbnb, as part of the US home-sharing giant’s effort to take on already brutal local competition, from firms including Tujia and Xiaozhu.

China has proved a graveyard for many ambitious Western tech giants, including ride-hailing giant Uber Technologies, which retreated from the mainland in 2016 after heavily investing billions of dollars to fend off local competition.

“We are very different from Uber,” said Ge.

“We don’t want to use discount and promotion to gain traffic. The customers you get through discounts are not going to be loyal customers. We’d rather have 100 people love Airbnb than having 10,000 people know us,” he said.

China is the one of the fastest growing market for Airbnb, which has four million listed flats on its global network.

Although that overall number of Airbnb’s listing in China lags behind its local competitors, Ge said it is focusing on active listings and active bookings, because those are the metrics that can bring true value to customers.

According to Ge, Airbnb China’s listings have reached 120,000, a significant boost from 80,000 in March and each has an occupation rate of “double-digit”.

The home-sharing firm has given itself a Chinese name, Aibiying – loosely translated into “welcome each other with love”, which is easier to pronounce for Mandarin speakers – to endear itself to Chinese customers, after researching the market for years.

Some critics claim Airbnb could have already lost the battle against local players after being too slow to get going in the market, but Ge said he is confident the company is set to enjoy rapid growth, as more Chinese customers now have a better understanding of what they do, and what quality they can offer.

He added the company is aggressively expanding its local engineering and maintenance team in China, for instance, claiming to be the only such team outside the United States, Airbnb’s home turf, and is in the process of building its first local call centre, to help with better its response to Chinese customer demands.

By Meng Jing Courtesy SCMP

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Airbnb Listings Crack 4m, Hits Booking Record Sun, 03 Sep 2017 21:11:23 +0000

Accommodation booking platform Airbnb has just recorded its busiest ever night with more than 2.5 million people staying in listed properties on Saturday, August 5.

“On any given night, 2 million people are staying in other people’s homes around the world on Airbnb,” the company added.  

It also revealed listing numbers now exceed 4 million across 191 countries and that since the company was founded in 2008 there have been more than 200 million guest arrivals at Airbnb properties.

“Of the 4 million listings, over 1.9 million are instantly bookable – no hotel chain has more rooms than Airbnb has instantly bookable listings,” it said.

The top five countries for Airbnb listings are the United State (660,000), France (485,000), Italy (340,000), Spain (245,000) and the United Kingdom (175,000).

People aged 60+ are the fastest-growing listing demographic and now number more than 200,000, or 5% of total listings.

Courtesy Travel Trends

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Opinion: China’s sharing economy needs true innovation if it wants to become a pillar industry Wed, 30 Aug 2017 20:15:03 +0000 Perhaps China is not where “sharing economy” originated, but it sure is one of the countries that has experienced its fullest development and obtained the widest acceptance. In a matter of years, the model has been truly embraced in the Middle Kingdom, growing from a fringe concept only recognized by China’s tech-savvy youth to an economic powerhouse that’s reshaping traditional industries.

The peer-to-peer nature of the rental economy combined with fast innovation, high smartphone penetration, widespread mobile payment, and a dense population, and users who are more open to the idea of “sharing” rather than “owning” stuff, have all added to the success of the rental economy in China. In addition to average users and tech companies, the government is also engaged in the development of this sector, which is seen as a major driver for its economic growth in the future.

The sector’s transaction volume grew 103 percent YoY to RMB 3.45 trillion ($503 billion) in 2016, according to a report from China’s State Information Center. The report expects the size of this field to grow by 40 percent annually in coming years, accounting for over 10 percent of domestic GDP by 2020, and that the ratio will continue to grow to roughly 20% by 2025.

“Sharing economy” is an umbrella term that covers everything from homes to rides, but it works the best when there’s a high degree of consumer pain in their daily life that guarantees high-frequency usage. For example, the logic behind the ride-hailing boom is straightforward: China’s clogged public transportation prompted the rise of ride-hailing tools like Didi Chuxing which offers passengers are more timely and accessible traveling means and drivers a chance to increase efficiency.

But when we look at the emerging verticals, the problems they are addressing are less painful or even made up. Apart from ride- and home-sharing—which have already achieved great popularity abroad— power bank rental is among the few bubbly verticals that originated from China. Although the sector has already attracted a large amount of attention both from entrepreneurs and investors, arguments on the validity of this idea still go on. Why should I rent a power bank when I already have one? Similar arguments go for several new verticals like basketball and umbrella sharing, both of which have attracted capital flows.

While some ideas may spark skepticism, others will leave you speechless, wondering if these entrepreneurs are actually serious. By adding “sharing economy,” it seems that many either founders lack business sense or are just looking for dumb money from investors. Look at some of the latest ideas:

Image credit left to right: AI Caijing, Haixia, Renmin

Shared stool: By scanning a QR-code on the stool, users could have a rest on anywhere. (Hmm, wonder what will happen if I sit on the stools directly?)

Shared fridge: Shared refrigerators work similar to vending machines, only that there’s no lock on the fridge, meaning that anyone can easily get the food without paying.

Shared air conditioner: Guangdong-based MOB rolled out shared air conditioners earlier this month, demanding an RMB3,000 deposit and RMB 1 is charged per hour. But user doesn’t seem to buy the idea. “Why not buy one if we have to pay a deposit this high?” one netizen asked.

 It’s pretty clear that there’s a general misunderstanding of the term to an extent that people are using “sharing economy” interchangeably with rental businesses. And this misconception is one of the reasons that turns sharing economy to an over-hyped sector as it is now. “Idle” is a key word for sharing economy, which means the things people want “share” are idle stuff rather than something produced to cater to the demand. The core idea behind this term is to relocate the existing social commodities to increase efficiency.

One of the reasons that rental business tend to label themselves as sharing economy is the market size (in Chinese). Market size is a key factor that leads to the high valuation of ride-sharing companies like Uber. In 2016, there were around 60 thousand taxis in Shanghai and the fleet for China’s top car rental company totaled 30 thousand around the country. On the other hand, there are 1.3 million private cars in Shanghai alone, far exceeding the potentials of a rental business. This explains why the market valuation of ride-sharing firms is much higher than car rental startups.

Although many are engaged in the practice of glorifying rental businesses as sharing economy, it seems that the fanfare surrounding sharing economy only goes on in entrepreneur and VC circles. When it comes to actual user adoption, it’s a bit frustrating. Even among our writers, a group of tech-savvy people, few have tried beyond really painful demands such as ride-hailing, home sharing, and bikes.

Flocking to what ever is hot until the concept stinks is one of the problems of China’s tech circle. What happened to the sharing economy reminds me of what happened to the smart hardware industry when it was at its peak just a few years ago. After the initial rise brought by smart wearables, lame smart gadgets start to emerge. Smart toilet cover, smart fart tracker to track intestine movements (what?), smart waist belt, to name just a few of the weird ideas.

Although the industry is experiencing a sour turn, there is still a future in China since the country is the perhaps the most fertile of any for this type of business model. If the industry wants to maintain its development and become a pillar sector as the government report has predicted, we still need more true innovation rather than gamblers that may or may not profit through hype.

By Courtesy TechNode

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Quebec, Airbnb reach agreement to collect lodging tax in the province Wed, 30 Aug 2017 03:18:14 +0000

Beginning Oct. 1, Airbnb will automatically collect and remit a 3.5 per cent lodging tax on bookings in Quebec.

MONTREAL—Airbnb and the Quebec government announced an agreement Tuesday that will see the home-sharing platform begin collecting a lodging tax on short-term rentals in the province as of October.

In what Airbnb is calling a first in Canada, the service will automatically collect and remit a 3.5 per cent tax on bookings for stays of under 31 days.

Tourism Minister Julie Boulet said the new rules will deal with a rapidly expanding industry.

“The government has the obligation to adjust, to adapt to this new reality and bring about changes to attain two objectives: to have competition that is fair and just for all partners and the second, to respect the laws that govern Quebec,” she told a news conference.

The amounts raised through the tax will be returned to the province’s 22 regional tourism offices.

Airbnb’s Alex Dagg said the agreement underlines just how the company and a province can work in tandem.

“As the first of its kind tax agreement in this country, this is a landmark announcement and a defining moment for Airbnb, not just in Quebec, but in all of Canada,” Dagg, Airbnb’s public policy manager for Canada, told the news conference.

The company said nearly one million people used the service in Quebec in the last year alone and it estimates the province would have recouped $3.7 million in 2016 had the tax been in place.

The province currently has 22,300 active Airbnb hosts, according to the company. On average, they rent out a listing about 38 times year and collect about $2,600.

“We think we have to pay our fair share,” Dagg said of the deal, which was welcomed by representatives of the hotel and tourist industry who’ve long complained about unfair competition.

Quebec doesn’t plan to stop with Airbnb, Boulet added, calling it a first step with the most popular platform for home-sharing.

“But eventually, there are negotiations and agreements that will be concluded with other platforms,” she said.

Quebec implemented a law in April 2016 regulating properties on Airbnb and other home-rental websites, requiring homeowners and companies to have a permit and pay a hotel tax. They risk hefty fines if they don’t comply.

Boulet said an omnibus bill will also be tabled this fall to clarify the rules and definitions.

“We have to make a distinction: draw a line between what the sharing economy is and what is a business,” she said.

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Doron Levy joins CertiStay’s Marketing Committee bringing social media and marketing expertise to the #sharingeconomy Sun, 27 Aug 2017 17:11:00 +0000 TheTopTier Digital Media is proud to announce the appointment of Doron Levy to the marketing committee of CertiStay, a new player in the shared and short term accommodation category.

The dominant trend in travel over the last few years has been demand for localized experiences and that has caused an explosion in the residential short term rental business. Platforms like Airbnb have brought shared accommodations and short term rentals to the masses via easy to use and mobile apps and interfaces. This explosion has spawned another industry that offers peace of mind to owners of properties and guests seeking out those types of localized accommodations and experiences. CertiStay is a third party platform that has established baseline criteria for safety and security for both owners and guests in the short term rental market.

Mr. Levy’s role as Operations and Content Director for TTTDM will translate well to his responsibilities on the marketing committee for CertiStay.

“A strong social media presence is important for brands now more than ever. The travel business is one of a handful of industries that really benefits from a strong social media marketing vehicle. Travellers can immediately connect ‘the sharing economy’ with social media and will easily identify with CertiStay’s mission and benefits the platform offers. Property owners who truly know the business understand the need to build rapport with existing and potential guests. CertiStay delivers that confidence and peace of mind the travel sharing economy needs.”  Doron Levy – TheTopTier Digital Media

Mr. Levy takes on his marketing role at CertiStay effective immediately and joins other experienced operators on the team.

“Doron brings a substantial amount of real world marketing technique to the table and we are looking forward to utilizing his expertise to increase CertiStay’s credibility in the business.” Wolf Worster – CertiStay

CertiStay is currently taking reservations to participate as an equity shareholder through the FrontFundr crowdfunding platform. CertiStay’s experienced management team includes travel and business veterans, Terry Jones, David Milller, Salil Munjal and Alex Clark.


Courtesy TheTopTier Digital Media

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San Diego city officials consider regulations for short-term vacation rentals Sat, 26 Aug 2017 13:01:02 +0000

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — The City of San Diego may be moving closer to regulating Airbnb and other short term vacation rentals.

Next Wednesday, council member Barbara Bry will hold a town hall meeting to discuss a draft ordinance that proposes new rules for short term stays of 30 days or less.

Bry’s proposal would allow a property owner to rent out a room or house if it is a primary residence and only for a limited time; no more than 90 days a year.

Little Italy resident Cliff Gonshery said short term rentals have changed the character of his rental building. “Well, it makes it feel like a hotel, not an apartment. It doesn’t create a community feel if you’re living here.” Gonshery said.

He pointed to close to a dozen lock boxes affixed to a back entrance, indicating the tenants who are renting out their units on Airbnb and other websites for short terms stays.

Gonshery said the vacation rentals also reduce the number of units on the rental market and drive up prices for people like himself who want a year-round home in San Diego.

There are fewer units available now in neighborhoods like downtown and Little Italy, he observed, “because people who have them or are leasing them are renting them out on Airbnb.”

Council member Bry says she is not opposed to the sharing economy.

“I’m fine with homeowners renting out their own homes up to 90 days per year when they go on vacation or Comic-Con comes along. What I’m against is investors buying homes in single family neighborhoods and turning them into de facto mini-hotels,” she said.

Other council members have said they don’t want to enact more regulations.

If short term rental properties become noisy neighborhood nuisances, council member Scott Sherman suggested, “Let’s put a fine system in place that after two or three of those incidents, the fine is so high that the financial incentive to run that type of operation just disappeared.”

In a March 15, 2017 memo, City Attorney Mara Elliot issued an opinion, that maintained short-term rentals are illegal under the current city zoning laws. According to Bry, the city is waiting for more regulatory guidance from San Diego’s city council before deciding what action it will take to enforce the city attorney’s memo.

A draft ordinance of the proposed regulations will be discussed in a public town hall meeting next Wednesday from 6-7:30 p.m. at the La Jolla Community Center.

By Sasha Foo Courtesy KUSI News

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How Airbnb is helping older Aussies earn a living Wed, 23 Aug 2017 14:41:05 +0000
Rental prices in Sydney could be skyrocketing thanks to home-sharing sites.

Is home-sharing site Airbnb to blame for Sydney’s rising rental costs? It seems like a simple-enough question, but the answer is a little more complicated.

Airbnb allows users to list and rent out entire properties or a select number of rooms on a short-term basis, usually as a cheaper alternative to a hotel for anyone on holiday. In many instances, short-term Airbnb listings will be more profitable than if a house or room were rented out to long-term tenants.

Some older Australians are taking full advantage of the ability to rent out empty rooms and boost their retirement funds. Lynne Segal, interviewed for The Sydney Morning Heraldrents out two rooms for $70 and $80 a night, with the income allowing her to remain in her Newtown home.

“Half of my neighbours are doing it,” Segal says in the article. “Everyone’s very tolerant of it.”

But there have been growing concerns about whether Airbnb is making rental prices unaffordable, especially in a booming property market like Sydney.

Based on data from University of Sydney’s Urban Housing Lab, approximately 28 per cent of Sydney Airbnb listings were for entire houses, whereas 70 per cent were for smaller areas, such as rooms or shared rooms.

“This equates to around 6,000 homes taken out of the permanent rental market,” Professor Nicole Gurran says.

While this figure indicates that droves of Sydney home-owners are eschewing long-term rentals, an Airbnb spokesperson quoted in The Sydney Morning Herald states that those whole-house listings are, realistically, only available for 30 nights a year.

So it seems that, rather than renting out their houses year-round on Airbnb, people are choosing to get some extra cash and keep their property occupied while away on an annual four-week holiday.

The Airbnb spokesperson also points out that Sydney rental costs were soaring long before the home-share website appeared on the scene.

“In Sydney, which has the most listings of any Australian city and double the number of listings of Melbourne, our community still only represents a tiny fraction – around one per cent – of the local market,” the spokesperson says.

However small the percentage of the Sydney market affected by short-term holiday letting, it’s likely that New South Wales will see some reform in the coming months; an Options Paper was released in July as part of a three-month consultation process to “implement a whole of Government framework, addressing land use and planning concerns, strata managed buildings and the amenity of existing residents”.

Courtesy StartsAt60