You read enough blogs about passive income and under-utilization of your car. So, you decide to jump on the car-sharing bandwagon by becoming a host. By now, you have decided on the platform, created your account, added photos of your car and decided on pricing.

What next? Sit and watch tons of requests flow in and then take a dip in the pile of money like Scrooge McDuck?

In an ideal world where you rule:

In reality:

Given that car-sharing platforms have thousands of members and car listings, you can’t simply sit and hope that renters will always find and chose your car. In order to make sure that your listing gets noticed and picked by renters, there are a few things that you should do.

Following them will help you become a super-host and keep the moolah flowing your way. So, let’s look at things that hosts can do to improve their prospects on car-sharing platforms:

1) Car Details

List all the information of your car accurately. Starting with the year, make and model of the car to registration number and license plate. Fill in all the details that are required by the platform as it is important in case of any insurance claims. Having updated and complete details of your car will ensure that your car is visible to users as incomplete listings will not be shown to users.

2) Unique Listing

Think of your car listing as a resume for your car. Don’t copy and paste someone else’s and don’t lie! Make a catchy title for your car. Instead of listing, ‘Toyota Corolla 1.5L Diesel’ (which sounds meh), why not list it as ‘City friendly Corolla with great mileage’ or if you are renting out an electric car, title your listing as ‘Environment friendly Electric Car with custom leather seats’. Highlight what makes your car

unique and try to capture renter’s attention so that they remember your listing and identify their needs with it. Click photos from different angle (just like your Instagram selfies, add a bit of dazzle) and fill in all details requested by the platform.

3) Response Time

Renters expect hosts to reply fast and be within reach whenever they have a question related to renting

the car. So, ensure that your response time is fast. Be proactive in reaching out to renters. For example, if someone has booked your car, send them a quick message like:

“Hey! Thanks for renting my car for (specify date and time). If you have any questions related to the trip or the car, feel free to reach out.”

Such proactive communication and fast response time will assure renters of great service and will translate in repeat bookings. As these platforms usually have a mobile app version, you can easily chat with your renters.

4) Specify Do’s and Don’ts

Be very clear in how far the renters can go, are pets allowed in the car or is smoking permitted. For example, on Drive lah, you can mention whether a user can drive the car to Malaysia or not. Having rules mentioned clearly will help ensure that there are no misunderstandings between you and the renters. So, specify the maximum mileage and any particular rules that need to be followed to ensure a smooth

experience for you and the renter.

5) Update pricing frequently

Pricing is typically the make or break factor for decision making in renting a car. A good host should update the pricing regularly. For example, if you own a convertible, people would be willing to pay a higher price when they take a road trips during summer and hence you can charge higher. In monsoon, having a high price for a convertible with low demand is not ideal. Keeping a competitive price is important as renters have a lot of options and hence as a host you should check the pricing of similar cars and adjust your listing accordingly.

6) Maintain a pleasant experience for renters

Renters typically like opting for the same hosts if they have a good experience. So, hosts need to strive to make sure that renters have a positive experience. Recommend them some scenic places to travel. Tell them about local restaurants where they can get amazing food. Leave a couple of chocolates or energy bars in your car for the renters (who doesn’t like a sweet munch on a

long drive?)

Make sure to leave a positive review for a good renter so that they feel like reaching back to you when they need a car. Offer a discount for returning renters. The more personal and friendly experience you create for the renters, the more they will rent with you. On top of that you can be sure that they will spread the word within their circles that you are a great host!

So, why should you follow all these steps? It’s as simple as 1-2-3

1) The algorithms of these platforms arrange the listings based on location of car, customer ratings & reviews, host response times and number of successful bookings. The better you are on these parameters, the more prominent will be your listing.

2) Car-sharing as a community is built on trust. Hence, when you upload the correct car data and set the correct expectations, there is little scope for misunderstanding between parties and that leads to a positive experience overall.

3) And finally, renters tend to rent with hosts who provide a positive experience. Repeat users make a healthy chunk of a host’s earnings. In a lot of cases, regular users and hosts become good friends. Focus on building relationships and the bookings will flow effortlessly!

So follow the steps and make sure that you build a positive experience for your renters and they will keep coming back!

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