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The CarShare Coach Has Changed Lanes
Where I've Gone, and Why
Being a Turo host and coach was a great experience for me.
I listed my first vehicle in January of 2018 and over the course of the next fifteen months scaled to a fleet of 20 vehicles. I was featured in the Detroit Free Press, Business Insider, and the Turo company blog. I hosted over 2,000 trips, with my last hosted trip being in March of 2022 before I had to leave town for a couple of months to be with my mother as her life came to an end. When I returned, I decided to sell all of my remaining vehicles at historically high prices, and bank a sizable pile of cash to parlay into my next moves.
In the summer of 2021, after being asked by several new and aspiring hosts to coach them, I formed the CarShare Academy. The coaching practice exploded and, over the next two years, grew to over 1,800 paid clients benefitting from our coaching, resources, tools, events, and online courses.
This chapter has now come to a close for three reasons.
Turo was my very first business, through which I learned that I could earn a comfortable income without a boss. For almost two decades I had envisioned myself coaching people, helping them to get to better places in their life, their work, and their financial position. The CarShare Academy finally showed me that I could do just that, build it from nothing, and successfully help many people while earning a healthy income. I’ve now turned the page to end this chapter, begin a new one, and I want to share my reasons for doing so.
I can no longer wholeheartedly advocate for Turo.
Over the years I’ve seen Turo make many changes, some in favor of guests, some in favor of hosts, balancing the scales with each change to nurture the relationship with vehicle owners while ensuring guest satisfaction to grow market share. In my view, they did this well, for the most part, during my years of hosting. I understood the changes that negatively impacted me because, for the most part, I could see the bigger picture from the vantage point of my previous corporate background, and from the perspective of the greater long-term good of the company, and host community, even the changes I personally disliked made sense.
That said, I believe in late 2022 and into 2023 Turo began making some significant moves away from the host relationship. It began with the disbanding of the Power Host support team (this may have only been temporary, I’m not sure). Then there was the tearing apart, rebuilding, and bungling of the checkin process, for no clear reason, paired with the rollout of a clumsy and ineffective automated messaging system. There was the sudden shutdown of Carsync integration, without being fully prepared to help hosts transition smoothly, leaving many in a panic, grasping for solutions to effectively manage their large fleets. A new team was assembled to scrutinize reimbursement/incidental submissions, which it appears has fallen heavily against hosts, making it more and more difficult for hosts to be compensated for dirty and smoked up vehicles, even when evidence is presented. And it appears damage claim processing has become far more challenging with long delays, pushback on supplements, and unresponsive claim reps.
For these, and other reasons, I’m not nearly as confident as I had been through my own hosting experience, that Turo will always act in the best interest of the host in valid situations where they should. I could be mistaken. I hope I am. I’ve not become anti-Turo, I’m just a little less bullish than I was through my time as a host and coach.
I can no longer wholeheartedly advocate for carsharing as a long-term, profitable business model.
Every business has its challenges, but being a Turo host can be quite difficult, and frustrating, with very slim profit margins and disruptions outside of your control. Don’t get me wrong. There are great hosts who are successful, and likely will continue to be so. However, there is a far, far greater percentage of hosts who try well, and fail, than succeed long-term. And though many hosts fail because of their own bad moves, financially and operationally, there are factors outside a host’s control that elevate the risk of failure, even for good hosts who check all the right boxes. I’m thinking of things like economic conditions, manufacturer recalls, inflated vehicle prices that decimate already slim margins, vehicles being disabled for long periods of time after accidents, while loan payments continue coming due, lending and insurance hurdles, as well as others like increasing pushes toward government regulation of the industry and double taxation.
And though I was pleased with my own profit margins while hosting, the dirty little secret is that most hosts don’t know if they are making money, losing money, or breaking even, and the ones who know that they aren’t profitable, outwardly appear as if they are. When you have some of the conversations I’ve had, you come to understand that many of the most visible and outspoken hosts on social media today, aren’t actually making money, and live in constant fear of it all falling apart at any moment, through no fault of their own. That said, there are hosts who are profitable, and are pleased with their margins. I applaud them, and respect them, but believe them to be in the minority. As a coach, I worked hard to help new and aspiring hosts beat these odds.
Aside from the profitability issue, there’s the frustration factor. There are the bad guests who disrespect hosts and trash vehicles. There are the days of dealing with impounded, stolen, and wrecked vehicles, stressful repossessions, and the never-ending worry about liability and lawsuits. And, for most hosts, taking days off, weekends away, or longer vacations is nearly impossible if they want to maintain their cash flow, make their payments, and remain profitable.
All of these things were certainly a reality when I was hosting, and coaching others, but I’ve become convinced that there are far better, easier, and more profitable and enjoyable long-term, business options out there for aspiring entrepreneurs who want to build generational wealth and create something to pass down to their children.
With the right moves, I do think carsharing is a good initiation into the world of business ownership. And, despite all I’ve said so far, I believe Turo is the best option in the carshare space to partner with. You’ll learn a lot. But I now see it as a way to learn the basics of business ownership and parlay experience and earnings into something bigger, and better.
I started a new company.
My third reason for changing lanes has nothing to do with Turo or the carsharing industry, but is purely personal. I spent most of the first half of 2023 building a new company that is far more enjoyable, far more profitable, and helps far more people with the process of viable, long-term, generational business ownership.
In early 2022 I began doing some work for a company as a Franchise Development Manager, helping aspiring business owners open franchises with that company. Though I was new to the world of franchising, I discovered I was pretty darn good at it and, to date, have helped open over 80 franchise locations (35 so far this year alone, at the time of this writing), across the United States.
Early this year I was presented with the opportunity to form my own franchise brokerage/consulting firm representing over 800 companies across 39 different industries. I went through over 200 hours of training, FTC compliance certification, made a significant financial investment, and opened my brokerage in May of this year.
I’m now doing essentially the same work I was doing as a Turo coach, but helping people in 39 different industries, and doing it all for free. Though I’m paid very well by the companies I represent, my clients pay me nothing, which is exciting for me, as I love to help people to remember who they are, why they are here, and set themselves free to successfully be and do it!
I’m happy to stay connected with you.
I’ve made many, many friends in the carshare industry and Turo community. There are over 3,000 of you who receive this newsletter. If you’d like to stay connected, and maybe even explore other business opportunities together, or even work with me as a paid referral partner, here are all of the ways you can connect.
My new Instagram account is BizCoachBill.
I’ll still be traveling around the country, but now I’ll be hosting “Discovery Days” for franchise opportunities in the industries I represent. You can keep up with the schedule as a subscriber to the email newsletter I referenced above.
To work with me as a paid referral partner, text REFERRAL to 815-885-5475. Average referral fees paid to my partners are around $5,000 per successful referral.
If you want help exploring other business possibilities, you can begin the conversation by completing the introduction form on this page.
Thank you all, sincerely, for your friendship and your support over the last couple of years. I wish you much happiness, success, and fulfillment in all of your future endeavors!