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      04-28-2021, 10:14 AM   #1
AYounglove10
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Thoughts from a Turo Power Host

Hey everyone,

From my posts yesterday discussing my business as a Turo PowerHost, and my recent acquisition of a new G82 M4 Comp, I received quite a few private message asking me about my experience as a host. I figured I'd compile some of my thoughts here for you, as it seems many are interested in trying it out for themselves, but don't have much inside baseball on the topic.

First, I'd like to say my experience has been mostly positive. I've got to meet and connect with people across the globe. It's been a varied group of people that rent from me, but my cars/rates tend to attract traveling business folks, and well-to-do individuals and families on vacations. 99% of my guests are very thoughtful of my vehicles and treat my property with respect. I also work to command that respect and do my best to vet folks through conversation prior to the trips.

Like any business, it's had its challenges. COVID at first was NOT friendly to my business and there were times in the early months of the pandemic where it all almost failed. 80% of my business comes from Sky Harbor airport (I'm a 10min drive downtown Phoenix). I have had times where my vehicles have been grounded due to blown tires, some failed parts, and one unfortunate incident where a not so kind young gentleman took my 6 week old Audi Q8 off-roading and blew out both my rear shocks. That was a 6 week ordeal and, yes, Turo did pay for the damages.

That being said, there's been good runs of success as well. My recently departed Audi Q8 and newly acquired '21 Yukon AT4 were each rented for 28 consecutive days in February and March. The poor Yukon is gone so often I haven't had the opportunity to take real photos of the thing.

Income:
The all important question. Do I make profit or simply subsidize some of my cost? Most months, I make a healthy profit. I tend to look at the income per unit (car) rather than the entire outlay, simply because the business is still small (I prefer to keep it as such, which I'll explain in a bit). I need to determine the viability of each type/make/model of car I put to work. Some have done better than others, but all have been profitable.

You have to look heavily at your market and demographic. Phoenix renters are very different than those in LA or Chicago. Put in the time for research into make/model/rates.

Risks:
What's your appetite for it? Anything that can or has been done in a car is a potential risk. I thankfully (knock on wood) have had largely positive experiences with my guests. I am friends with Hosts that have had some horror stories. One gentleman had his car impounded by ICE during a seizure at the border - his guests were smuggling narcotics in a VW. It all comes with the territory. How attached are you to your vehicle? I for one have probably a healthier connection to my cars now, knowing they're depreciating assets that are income producing.

Flexibility:
What's your day look like? I have a work from home job (pre-COVID) where I mostly determine my own schedule. I'm 10 minutes from the airport where I charge handsomely for delivery. I have 3 different types of car wash within 5 min of me that offer everything from handwash/full service to traditional coin operated manual washes. I'm well setup to do this as a side business. Do you have a place to park all your cars you wish to rent? Do you want strangers showing up to your home and, if not, are you willing to pay $10-15/day for garage parking somewhere else to store the car? Can you afford the time to run out in the middle of the day to wash a car that was supposed to be brought back clean, and you have an hour turnaround time before the next renter shows up? All food for thought.

Growth:
I have chosen to keep my volume of vehicles low intentionally due to time/upkeep of my vehicles. It was always designed as a side business where I can enjoy and appreciate cars of my choosing, without the cost associated. Im a young man and I'd be wise not to invest all of my excess cash into depreciating assets.


There are a million questions to ask with a million difference answers. I do love talking about this and have a deep passion for service to this industry. I do help people create their own profiles/market their cars based on their lifestyle/goals as part of my own business.

You can find/follow me here:

Check out my car on Turo! https://turo.com/us/en/car-rental/un...-series/945953
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      04-28-2021, 12:10 PM   #2
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thanks for the writeup. I went to phoenix over this past winter and rented a z4 and R8 convertible on turo. great experiences with both. very simple and easy process.

it seems like a fun business (more fun than renting boring apartments/houses i would imagine). but as you pointed out you need to have alot of flexibility in your schedule.
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      04-28-2021, 12:48 PM   #3
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Excellent writeup! The Turo side hustle has sparked my interest off and on.

How many cars total in your fleet?
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      04-28-2021, 12:51 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Humdizzle View Post
thanks for the writeup. I went to phoenix over this past winter and rented a z4 and R8 convertible on turo. great experiences with both. very simple and easy process.

it seems like a fun business (more fun than renting boring apartments/houses i would imagine). but as you pointed out you need to have alot of flexibility in your schedule.
Thank you for the response.

Yes it's very enjoyable and light hearted (mostly). I will say after a few years in business, homes/apartments would have paid me back significantly more in appreciation then I have made in monthly cash flow on any of my cars.

I'm a young guy (in my 20s still), so room to learn/grow. Goal is to do both types of business and cash flow all my assets, depreciating or not.
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      04-28-2021, 12:53 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpacegrayMe90 View Post
Excellent writeup! The Turo side hustle has sparked my interest off and on.

How many cars total in your fleet?
Just two at the moment. I've had up to 5 at a time before. The new G82 M4 Comp and a '21 Yukon AT4. I just sold off my '18 A5 sportback, a '17 991.2 base carrera, and a '20 Q8 s-line/black optics. I go through cars often. My neighbors think I sell drugs lol.
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      04-28-2021, 01:58 PM   #6
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I travel a lot.. well used to, and I always end up renting from the usual big rental companies. But being able to rent a BMW instead of the plain Jane fair, is very appealing.
As long as the car doesn't break down on me...
Same with airbnb, I always ended up with the big hotels and my perks.

Time to try something new when the world will start to open.
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      04-28-2021, 03:43 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frchdragon View Post
I travel a lot.. well used to, and I always end up renting from the usual big rental companies. But being able to rent a BMW instead of the plain Jane fair, is very appealing.
As long as the car doesn't break down on me...
Same with airbnb, I always ended up with the big hotels and my perks.

Time to try something new when the world will start to open.
As a Power Host, which is the top tier designation for a host on the platform, our cars must be a in good running condition at all times. Sure there are less than stellar hosts on the platform, as with Airbnb and VRBO. And then are those that are set apart. Look for All-Star and Power Hosts when you look at Turo. It's a seamless rental experience, and most of my guests really enjoy the personal touches working directly with the owner of the business. I do provide the car, but am very much an makeshift travel agent as well. I make suggestions for restaurants, bars, hotels, travel destinations, etc. I try to be as full-service as possible. There are a lot of repeat customers as a result.
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      04-29-2021, 11:17 PM   #8
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This is cool, thanks for making the post!

My question is, what is the best method to determine the vehicles in a certain market that would rent well?
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      04-30-2021, 02:25 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by x3sm View Post
This is cool, thanks for making the post!

My question is, what is the best method to determine the vehicles in a certain market that would rent well?
i'd say for sunny / hot places people are traveling there to soak up the sun... so a convertible is probably something they'd want. i think most people on turo just want something fun with some charm that is different from the typical hertz/enterprise rental fleet of boring stuff.
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      05-06-2021, 08:08 AM   #10
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I have been looking into it, but I am worried about the liability. Using personally owned cars seems like a bad idea, even if you can get insurance. Setting up an LLC and using fleet insurance is also a challenge unless you have a track record renting and a certain number of cars. I would imagine it is quite expensive as well and limit your ability to drive them personally.
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      05-06-2021, 08:32 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AYounglove10 View Post
As a Power Host, which is the top tier designation for a host on the platform, our cars must be a in good running condition at all times. Sure there are less than stellar hosts on the platform, as with Airbnb and VRBO. And then are those that are set apart. Look for All-Star and Power Hosts when you look at Turo. It's a seamless rental experience, and most of my guests really enjoy the personal touches working directly with the owner of the business. I do provide the car, but am very much an makeshift travel agent as well. I make suggestions for restaurants, bars, hotels, travel destinations, etc. I try to be as full-service as possible. There are a lot of repeat customers as a result.
Very interesting thread, thank you for taking the time to write it. I don't think I could ever do it with my personal cars, but if I had a few others I didn't care about, then this would work out good (say a Miata RF for example).

Question for you:
- How do you become a Powerhost? Is it a combination of ratings and how many times you've rented?
- For you, when do you decide it's time to sell?
- Do you use any of these cars, or are they pretty much all for rentals?
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