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posted on May 8th, 2020

The perfect side gig for a stay-at-home mom 

Christie, a Denver native and stay-at-home mother of four, first heard about Turo from a close family friend. “He was making a killing by sharing his Jeep Wrangler,” she recalls, “and suggested Turo as a way for us to earn some extra money while raising the kids.”

Intrigued, Christie and her husband did the research and decided to buy a 2017 Jeep Wrangler of their own, specifically to share on Turo. “It’s a flexible, home-based business. I’m raising four kids under the age of 13, so flexibility is really important!”

Delighting the Denver market

Christine’s Jeep was in high demand from the get-go, especially among families, skiers, and mountain climbers. “Adventurous folks love taking it to the mountains, and it’s been booked most days out of the month.” 

Some guests book the Jeep just to try driving it: “I never knew this until I started on Turo, but there’s a huge Jeep community. We host a lot of Jeep nerds — people who love them, own two or three of their own, and want to test drive a newer model like ours.”

Christie in her Jeep Wrangler

Prior to the coronavirus slowing down travel, Christine also tailored her listing to the season: she offers a soft top option in the summertime, and advertises her car’s heated seats and four-wheel drive for the snowy Colorado winters.

A convenient second income

Three years later, her Wrangler has hosted 129 trips and has more than earned its keep. “It was a smart business decision,” Christie says. “Once you get your routine down, it’s really not that hard. Between drop-off, pickup, cleaning, and communicating with the guest, it takes me just one to three hours a week.”

“We almost always cover the $700 monthly payment on the car, and usually turn a profit. Our earnings usually go towards family activities — we’re big skiers and season passes are expensive! — or groceries. As you can imagine, feeding four growing boys can get a little insane!”

Christine’s brought it full circle by bringing more people into the Turo family. “I’m one of five siblings, and they all use Turo now. They were hesitant at first, but now they even promote it to other people because it’s such an amazing opportunity, especially if you have kids.”

“Once the Jeep’s paid off, we might give it to our oldest son sometime after he turns 16. But I’m not sure — as long as it’s still making money, I don’t see an end to it.”

Making an impact

As an added bonus, Christie enjoys the chance to make a positive impact on other people: “Before I had kids, I was an event coordinator, mainly for nonprofits. I love providing customer service — you get to meet new people and be a part of their story.”

“Communication is key, especially for first-time guests. If they need help, I call instead of texting — people feel secure when they hear your voice talking them through the process and creating a sense of rapport.”

Helping a guest propose to his fiancée

“Turo guests have been super friendly and respectful, and it’s been a very rewarding experience to build a sense of community,” Christie beams. “We recently chatted up a family who hosts in Dallas — it’s awesome to know that the next time we go there, they’ll be happy to let us book their Porsche.”

Christie’s most memorable Turo interaction, however, has to be the time she helped her guest curate an unforgettable marriage proposal. “This guest asked me to recommend a local hiking trail, and ended up proposing to his fiancée after driving there. She had always wanted to ride through Aspen in a red Wrangler, and said that our car made the experience just perfect.”

“It was so neat to be a part of an important life event, and they left a bottle of champagne for us when they returned the car.”

Sheltering in place with six kids

A with many people, the shelter-in-place orders have dealt a tough blow — Christine is hardly fielding any trips at all. “My heart goes out to those who’ve lost their jobs… we’re very fortunate my husband’s company hasn’t laid off anybody,” she says. “But so far, the money from hosting has mostly gone toward expenses.”

But besides the reduced income, the big impact has been in their home life. With schools closed, Christine has taken on the mighty task of overseeing the homeschooling of six kids (her sons plus her sister’s two young kids — all under 13!). Such a transition would entirely overwhelm most of us, but Christine is saying composed with a levelheaded and positive perspective.

Though things have been “chaotic” at home, Christine’s optimistic for the summer months. “We’re remaining hopeful that, as things start getting back to normal, people will want to come out here and explore again.” In the meantime, she says, “stay optimistic, supportive, and be creative where you can. It’s important to help each other out as much as we can in times like these.”

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Curious how car sharing can fit into your life? See how much you could earn and check out the Turo Carculator.