When Eddy N. showed up to a Turo community party in Montreal last December, he went with a specific purpose: to learn more about becoming a Turo host. The event came at the perfect time. He’d been thinking about starting a business for a while and car sharing was an easy way to get his feet wet.
He wound up doing more than that. He completed 200 trips in 200 days. This was an impressive achievement on its own, but it was made even more incredible by the fact that it happened during the pandemic.
Today, thanks to car sharing, Eddy can make a living and spend more quality time with his family. Above all, car sharing through Turo has helped him realize his dream of becoming an entrepreneur and saying goodbye to the hospitality industry where he used to work evenings and weekends.
Support from the Turo community
At the start of his car sharing journey, Eddy relied on the support of the Turo community.
“I found the information I needed to get started at that Turo community party in December,” he recalls. “I also met people who encouraged me to join a Turo [Canada] community Facebook group.”
Just a few days later, a host posted in the Facebook group. They needed someone to manage a car while they were away. Could anyone help? Eddy seized the opportunity and launched his Turo business as a designated custodian. Designated custodians can help other Turo hosts with their listing, so long as they fulfill certain requirements. In January 2020, he bought his first car with the goal of building his own fleet.
Only nine months later, he has eight cars listed on Turo, thanks in part to experienced hosts who didn’t hesitate to share their All-Star Host expertise with him.
“A very well-known community member gave me invaluable advice about buying cars. He even took the time to meet me in person,” Eddy recalls. “If you want to start a business on Turo, it’s very important to know which car to buy and at what price.”
A great guest experience is key
Eddy says two key factors were critical to his early success: the flexibility he offers his guests and the fact that he’s available and easy to reach. He also credits his work experience in restaurants and hospitality with teaching him how to deliver stellar customer service. Guests often praise his responsiveness when leaving reviews.
It also helps that the cars he shares are spotless. One delighted guest mentioned in his review that Eddy’s car was “the cleanest car I have had on Turo so far.”
A proactive and organized host
To some people, managing eight vehicles may be a handful, but Eddy says it’s not that time consuming. As a father, he’s a time management pro. He prepares his cars early in the morning or late at night when his two-year-old son is sleeping and uses the remote check-in feature to deliver cars to guests. Although Eddy enjoys chatting with his guests, he usually doesn’t meet with them directly.
Despite the heightened cleanliness requirements, Eddy says cleaning his cars thoroughly doesn’t take up too much time either. His secret is sending an email message to guests just before the trip ends, reminding them to bring the car back in the same condition they received it. Instead of cleaning up wrappers or other trash, Eddy can focus on cleaning and disinfecting the cars to meet the new enhanced cleaning standards.
Succeeding during COVID-19
With 200 trips in 200 days, Eddy’s proof that hosts can manage a sustainable Turo business even during a pandemic.
“Obviously, tourists aren’t booking my cars right now,” Eddy explains. “But even when confinement measures were strict, a lot of people needed a car to go grocery shopping and buy more food than usual. More recently, my cars have been booked by people who want to go on a weekend trip or visit their family.”
Would Eddy recommend Turo to his family and friends? Even if they only have one car to list?
“Yes,” says Eddy. “I would tell them, ‘By sharing your car, you could certainly cover your monthly car loan payments, pay for your insurance or even earn extra income!”