Turo Power Host Processes for Success
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Have you ever wondered if it would be profitable to rent your car out on Turo? The answer is generic and simple: yes, but you have to work for it. Today’s article is a guide on how to make sure you are managing your business in a way that will result in Power Host status. As long as you provide consistent quality and manage expectation with each guest, you will earn five-star Turo reviews.
The start of your Turo Journey: Good Habits
If you are a new Turo host, use this article to make sure you set up your processes correctly in the first place and don’t get caught up in bad habits. If you’re an existing Turo host don’t blindly follow the advice that this check lists provides and use your own judgement to implement the strategies in a way that will work with your system. I know every single one of you have great features in your businesses so if you notice any shortcomings in this list please leave a comment below.
As a benchmark, there are under 300 Power Hosts in the entire Turo platform. If you achieve the requirements for Power host you will be well on your way to becoming a top host in your market.
What is a Turo Power Host?
What is a Power Host? The Turo Power Host is a group of the most reliable, efficient, and customer-oriented hosts that maintain a stringent requirement list to maintain the status:
In order to qualify you must have:
- A minimum of $3,000 monthly revenue in a rolling 3-month period
- A response rate and trip commitment rate of 95% or higher in the past year
- A 5 Star review rate of 90% or higher in the past year
- And at least 50 Reviewed trips within the last year.
This Power Host checklist will guide you on your journey to becoming one of the elites. If you’re able to follow this process I have no doubt your ratings and metrics will drastically increase. As someone who has consulted multiple hosts in the Turo community, I can say that although most of the suggestions offered in this checklist seem obvious, many hosts unknowingly struggle with customer service and relationship building.
What does your customer need?
The first thing I would suggest for each host to do is identify the optimal guest and position your fleet to cater to their needs. Are you targeting the budget minded traveler or are you looking to provide comprehensive concierge service to business travelers? Once you have identified your target market, you need to acquire your fleet to suit their needs and tastes. Yes, that Afla Romeo is a cool car, but does your middle age executive need that? You like to walk around in flip flops and a white t-shirt, do you think a business traveler will have a good first impression if pick them up from LAX in that outfit?
That example may be hyperbole but you must start considering the small aspects of your business. While one small misunderstanding or disappointment won’t lead to a negative experience for your guest, it may result in the justification your guest needs in order to complain or leave you a bad review. Given that, you should start by setting expectation for your guests. Optimize your Turo listing and make sure your clients know what services and features your car has. Make sure you communicate clearly the process for car retrieval and return. If a customer books your car be sure to respond promptly to confirm that you have received their booking. Simply send a message that tells them that you are aware of their booking and will contact them as needed to arrange key hand off.
Setting up your fleet to cater to your customer
The next step is selecting the cars that will make up your fleet. Make sure the color, trim levels, and condition match your target clientele. Although in most of my articles I stress the importance of optimizing your business and reducing your bottom line, the vehicle is a part of your business that I truly believe more investment will yield long term returns. Remember, your vehicle will be the reason they book you, but your customer service will be the reason they return. In order to retain the customer, you will need to satisfy the baseline requirements before they will send you their referrals or use you for repeat trips.
The car that you select should be a car that most people will recognize. Given Turo’s emergence as a sharing economy app, most of your customers will be first time users. In fact, out of the 150+ trips I’ve hosted in 2018, I would say 90% or more of your customers will be first time users. This is great news for you if you are looking to make Turo a business – this constant stream of new users show that the app is growing exponentially. If you’re able to solidify a relationship and earn their trust, they will tell all of their friends and family to use the app. Because you will be mainly competing with the traditional car rental agencies like Hertz, Budget, and Enterprise, you will need to make sure your fleet is comparable. If you’re in a large market this is extremely important because the accessibility to rental cars is high. If you live in a smaller town with only 1 or two car rental agencies then you can fill your fleet with older cars that have a higher return.
After you have decided on a vehicle that suits your target customer and your own requirements, you will need to make sure you find the right package for the car. Each model has several trims to choose from and although it may hurt a little to invest more money now for additional features in a car you will be renting out, you have to remember your customers will appreciate the needed features in the car they will be renting. This doesn’t mean going out and buying massaging seats! This means picking the basic package that includes functionality like Apple Carplay, power seats, and dual climate control that take the car into the 21st century. In addition to increasing guest satisfaction, your choice now can translate into future returns when it comes time to sell the car. Traditionally base model cars sell for proportionally less than their higher trim counterparts! Ask youself: who wants to roll their windows up when there are self-driving cars?
Extras that add VALUE
After you have acquired your car you have to decide on what additional offerings you will provide each guest. My recommendation is providing a few simple amenities for each guest. If your car is Apple Carplay or Android Auto compatible just throw in an Amazon Basics charger. If you list your cars near mountainous areas or the beach offer Bikes or Beach chairs as an Extra via your Turo app. Small things that are otherwise out of reach for your customers will differentiate your business from the large rental agencies. Having a personal touch will build a relationship with your guest and allow them to enjoy their trip so much more (you haven’t gone through hell until you try to bring a child’s seat with you on a flight). Even though you’re charging them for the items, they will understand and be happy to pay a reasonable price.
Clear Communication is KEY
Now that you have prepared your vehicle to be successful on Turo, you now need to work on your communication strategy. Since we’ve already established that most of your clientele will be first time users, you need to start the interaction off on a good note. Make sure you present yourself as a resource. Include your phone number (or Google Voice) on your Turo profile to answer any prebooking questions. Confirm their booking once they book through the app. Keep communication alive even on the day of arrival. Most travelers will be stressed as is so offering yourself as an assuring guide when they arrive will facilitate their journey in an intangible way. If you’re having them pick up a car at the Turo Valet Lot give them detailed instructions on how to get there (and tell them why you are not picking them up from the curb). As long as they are aware of what is going on, your guest will be significantly more patient than if they are wondering what is going to happen.
One feature that really helps with communication is the Turo Location Sharing feature that can be found in your app. Whenever I deliver a car I always tell my customer to track my location using this feature. Since they can see my location in realtime, they don’t get worried and blow up my phone wondering if they are at the right place. I strongly recommend this feature if you’re late. Studies show that people are more patient when they know how long they have to wait. By showing your customer their rental car is in the process of getting to them will help alleviate fears that they have.
That’s going to wrap up today’s guide on how a Turo Power Host runs his business. As always, if there’s a topic that you want me to elaborate on or if you have any specific questions, don’t hesitate to contact me directly. I’ll include a list of items I feel like every host should have to effectively run their fleet. If you have any suggestions on how I can improve my process or items that you have found useful in your business I am more than happy to add it onto the list. I want everyone to know – the better each host takes care of their customers, the more customers we will all have the opportunity to earn.
Here are the top 10 items every Turo host needs
- High Quality Car Washing Equipment – even if you plan to wash your cars via a service, I recommend every host have access to equipment to clean their cars effectively. While you won’t be a professional detailer (well, maybe you might consider becoming one :D) these affordable washing supplies will help minimize cost and save you during times where you need it the most.
- Spare USB cables– make sure you provide USB cables for all of your cars. Many travelers will forget their chargers at home and will be relieved to find a charger right when they get off the plane. Side note: if you’re the entrepreneurial type, you can sell cords your guests that left them at home at a fair price.
- A strong vacuum – if you’re a handy guy or gal, you most likely will already have one of these at home. The Ridgid shop vac that I use is extremely handy when it comes to making sure the interior of your car rental fleet is sparkling. The cost is low but the difference one of these can make in your cars is huge. If you’ve ever wondered how to get into the little crevices between your seats, there are accessories that you can attach to your shop vac!
- Geographic locator – if you are worried about having your rental car go missing, you can consider installing a GPS locator in your car. This will help notify you when your renters are going too fast with your car or the location of your car if the car isn’t returned on time. A simple install can reduce the stress you have as a host.
- Accounting software- one of the biggest mistakes that I made when I first started my Turo fleet was not using proper accounting software to keep track of all of my deductible miles. The amount of money you can deduct from your operating income each year from your delivery miles quickly adds up. This software can increase your income by thousands every year. I personally use Quickbooks since it can be downloaded on my phone and automatically tracks all of the miles that I drive (make sure you don’t accidentally count personal miles
- External battery for your phone – being connected to your clients is extremely important in this time sensitive business. A guest will be very worried if they are unable to get in contact with you. Make sure you always have ample charge for your phone when making deliveries. A cheap external power source can be a lifesaver when making a delivery at a busy airport.
- Extras for your listing – earlier this year, Turo announced the addition of the “Extras” feature on their website. You can easily add ways to make more money on Turo by offering market specific items. If you live near the beach, offer beach chairs. If you live by the mountains, offer camping gear. General use items like mounted GPS and child seats can also increase the value of your business to each guest. Make sure you leave no stone unturned when finding ways to make more money for your business.
- Business cards – if you want to scale your business and build a client book, make sure you connect with each one of your guests. Find out what their needs are and see how you can accommodate future trips. You never know how much business one of your guests can bring. If you offer other services like Airbnb housing you can also cross cell for their next trip. Who wouldn’t want to satisfy all of their travel needs at one provider? You just have to build the trust and value and the business will follow.
- Lockboxes for remote key hand off – as your business grows and you start to see overlaps in deliveries, you may need to purchase a lockbox to facilitate key hand off. If a customer is unable to adjust their schedule, you will need to find a way to provide them with access to their rental car. Keep a lockbox hidden near your car storage area and give the guest instructions to open it. This will save you from the possibility of canceling a booking!
- Quality Flashlight – lastly, you should invest in a bright lighting source. If you store your cars at a location without overhead lights, you will need to have your own flashlight when performing the walkaround when your guest returns the car. This way you are both on the same page when it comes to damage. Your guest will be much more open to paying for damages if they believe they caused it. Don’t risk finding it the next morning and then opening a claim.
You made it!
If you’ve made it to this point, great job! You really have what it takes to become successful on Turo. Now that you know the Turo Power Host Checklist and the top 10 items every Turo host needs, get ready to tackle all of that business that is going to come your way. If you need more help, feel free to check out our other articles or consider enrolling in our A to Z Turo course. As always, thanks for reading and I hope you have enjoyed today’s article.
I see you’re dipping into the sports/luxury market on Turo. Which one is giving you more profits on Turo? Sports/Luxury cars or the affordable cars?
Thank you for the articles. They are very helpful.
Thanks for the comment. It all depends on your risk tolerance/transaction costs. If you live far away and need to make up for time spent delivering cars high end vehicles will be your best bet. If you are centrally located with lot space and a team (and also don’t mind providing passable vehicles to customers) owning a fleet of economy cars valued at 8-12k will be most profitable. For my fleet, the higher end vehicles have proven themselves to be great revenue drivers.
All of the above is very important, thanks for all recommendations.