RelayRides blogger Amanda L. Grossman shares the story of one RelayRides owner who is renting her car out to help her community.
RelayRides member Chris Murphy is driven by her passion as a consumer advocate for residential care facilities reforms. Through her nonprofit organization CARR (Consumer Advocates for RCFE Reform), Executive Director Murphy, along with her husband, have mostly privately funded her advocacy work.
That is, until she learned about RelayRides. Suddenly, the third car in her driveway looked more like an opportunity than an extra vehicle.
Chris first heard of RelayRides the way that most good products and services make the rounds: through word of mouth. After learning about it through an intern at CARR, Chris became particularly interested with how the income-generating service also builds community.
She explains, “I can give directions to local renters who may not be exactly familiar with another part of town, and if the renter is out of town I can offer local suggestions for food and entertainment…we’ve had only the nicest renters…” True to Chris’s helping nature, she “likes putting unused assets to work for other people. It seems less selfish. RelayRides makes it safe to do that – the insurance is huge, having renters pre-approved is huge. And it’s a safe and affordable option for locals who just need a truck for a few hours or a couple of days.”
Making the Decision to Rent their Vehicle, with Quick Results
As mentioned previously, Chris and her husband had an extra vehicle in their driveway that they drove perhaps once a month (and only for a roundtrip of 20 miles or so at that). They wanted to keep the truck because of how handy owning one can be, but were finding it hard to justify three vehicles and two drivers.
Chris and her husband decided that instead of getting rid of their useful vehicle, they would keep it to use as an income-generating machine. She posted it for a very affordable $24/day, and figured they had made a good decision if they could make $100/month from rentals. Her truck is ideal for people looking to move, and she is also conveniently located within 10 minutes of a major airport (San Diego International Airport, Lindberg Field, Code: SAN).
Chris spent a total of an hour uploading her vehicle post on RelayRides, which included a few days to think over the information and revise as needed. Within 7 days of posting her vehicle, she received her first rental request. Not only that, but she was pleasantly surprised with how quickly RelayRides sent her payment.
Funneling the Extra Money towards her Nonprofit
Chris’s passion for consumer advocacy began because of her thesis work for a Master’s Degree in Gerontology at San Diego State University. She and Chris Selder another Gerontology Master’s Candidate, founded CARR in May 2009, with the mission to both educate and advocate meaningful reform in order to “ensure consistency in the delivery of quality care to residents, and to assure consistent and rigorous enforcement of the State’s regulations. ”
Her up-and-coming RelayRides earnings supplement the non-profit’s running budget, which is funded by both Chris’s own private money as well as consumer and organizational donations.
Chris is quick to suggest that other RelayRides car owners should think about getting a smartphone in order to never miss rental requests. While a smartphone is not required, she found that it was a good investment to make after missing several rental opportunities.