Neya Abdi

by Neya Abdi

posted on January 26, 2021

Marie S. understands how to make her money go further. When she bought her car, she made the financially-savvy move to purchase a used 2016 Hyundai Accent. New cars lose a chunk of their value in the first year, after all. A few years ago, the grandmother of 7 dove into investing in Texas real estate, and it was while researching investment opportunities that she first heard about Turo.

“It really piqued my curiosity, and I thought, ‘What is this? It sounds like an Airbnb for cars.’” explains Marie. “I spent a good amount of time in the States, so I figured, ‘Why don’t I put my car to work while I’m away?’ And that’s what I’ve been doing for the past couple of years.”

It was a smart move. As a dual Canada-US citizen, Marie splits her time equally between both countries. This meant her car spent months sitting idle in the driveway in Canada, a less-than-ideal situation for someone who makes a living making the most of her assets. 

“I talked to my kids and said, ‘Hey do you want to do this? Should we try this Turo thing?’ Of course, I give them a cut of the profits. I’ve got some grandkids as well, so if there’s a car that needs to be washed, I give them the additional $25 fee that is charged. Making $25 for washing and cleaning the car is teaching them to be entrepreneurs as well!”

Discovering “unreal” earning power

When Marie got started, she did the usual: Googled Turo and pored through the website.  She also went a step further, and dropped by the Calgary community party in summer 2019 so she could hear directly from other hosts. 

“That was really fun! I was able to meet a few other hosts that were doing the same thing. Some were doing it on a really big scale. I met two guys that had partnered up.  One was business savvy and the other was a mechanic and together they had 13 or 14 cars on Turo and I was like, ‘Whoa, that’s awesome!’” 

“I also met another woman who had a specialty car. Even though she had to drive it quite a ways to take it to the airport for one trip, she was earning like $100 a day and I thought, ‘This is unreal!’”

Energized by what she heard at the community event, she jumped right in and listed her Hyundai. In the summer of 2019, she watched the earnings roll in during the warm months and decided it was time to double down. 

“I said, ‘Well, gee, this is going so great, I should buy myself another car,’ recalls Marie. “While I was away the car was booked, but when I came home I needed my car, right? So I had to pull it off the site and I’m like, ‘I don’t like this. I want to have something available to book.’ And so I picked up another car just for myself.”

“You’re an entrepreneur!”

Marie says her favourite part about hosting on Turo is the opportunity to create great customer experiences. One look at her profile shows she’s telling the truth. As of December 2020, the All-Star Host has accumulated dozens of positive reviews commending her friendliness and responsiveness. 

“Hearing the positive feedback — leaving the guests really happy and knowing that the experience met their needs and was beyond their expectations — that, for me, is rewarding.”

Altogether, hosting brings both financial and personal rewards that have Marie eager to share her experience with others. “I often mention Turo to people, recommending it as a great option when needing to book a car. When I ask, ‘Have you ever heard of Turo?’ and then go on to explain what it is and how I have my car in Canada generating money for me while I’m away, people are always very impressed. They’re like, ‘You’re really an entrepreneur! Wow, that’s awesome!’ I love the fact that it’s an easy additional source of income.”  

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