WellesleyWeston Magazine


Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

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Page 119 of 219

since "they are still a little weirded out about sleep- ing in other people's beds." Asked for his definition of the sharing economy, Matthew says, "Convenience is the number one thing, but it also means flexibility and affordability." Superhost with the Most Wellesley designer Valerie Gates has become a devotee of the home-sharing service Airbnb as both a host and guest over the past year or so. "I don't even use hotels anymore," she says, not- ing that she has scheduled a handful of Airbnb reservations related to college visits with her daughter this year. Gates began on Airbnb as a host, renting out a house on Cape Cod, often to honeymooners. She has now risen to the level of a "Superhost" at Airbnb, which rewards those who score high ratings from guests with this designation. Once you're a Superhost you get special privileges, such as having your listings appear on a short list of highly-recommended locations. Gates was also able to score a sweet deal on a place to stay in a winery in upstate New York. Gates used to put the Cape property on a traditional listing site, but says Airbnb renters are preferable because "you get to vet people... then you get to review them and they get to review you. Everyone's on their best behavior." Whereas the first year Gates used Airbnb she got about 50 percent of her renters through the service, now it's closer to 90 percent. She says Airbnb and similar services are especially popular among younger people who expect to be able to go to a website or app and book a place using a credit card. While Gates hasn't used Airbnb to rent out space in her Wellesley home, plenty of others are doing so with their area houses. Many prefer to keep low profiles while doing so, try- ing not to call too much attention to them- selves among neighbors and local authorities. Town officials haven't had too many issues with such home-sharing hosts, but a bylaw amendment could be in the offing in Weston. Ride sharing services are also used fre- quently by residents, often more when they're in Boston or another city, but sometimes to bridge the gap between a train station and 118 W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e | s u m m e r 2 0 1 7 Getting Their Fair Share

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