As the winner of our host referral program, Atlanta-based host Alex Witherow had the opportunity to join the Getaround team for listing day on the New York Stock Exchange on Friday, December 9. We spoke with Alex about his experience at the bell ringing and his unique entrepreneurial approach to carsharing.
Hi Alex! How long have you been a host with Getaround?
I’ve been in the car rental business since 2016 and became a host on Getaround in the second half of 2019. Around that time, I was having conversations with members of the Getaround team who helped me bring cars online in New Jersey — where I was located at the time — just across from Manhattan.
Right now, I have three cars on Getaround, but next year I plan to get my fleet up to four or five.
Thanks to your success generating new host referrals for Getaround, you had the opportunity to join our team for listing day on the New York Stock Exchange earlier this month. What has been your strategy for gaining referrals?
Most of my referrals come from my consulting business and YouTube channel, Car Rental University. I’m in a unique position where I have frequent access to new and interested carshare entrepreneurs. Every day, I receive emails from people with questions about carsharing, so I do quite a bit of consulting and coaching in that space. I’m always eager to share my experience and recommend Getaround to entrepreneurs interested in carsharing.
What are the most common questions you get from potential hosts interested in Getaround?
Often, the inquiries come from new entrepreneurs who have never heard of carsharing or are considering sharing a car for the first time. People at different points in their entrepreneurial journeys: Retirees looking for additional passive income, others considering a mid-career switch, or people who just want to start a nice side hustle or pursue a second career parallel to their own. Honestly, that’s how I got into carsharing.
For many years, I was in New York City working as a stage actor and screenwriter. A colleague mentioned he had a fleet of 18 cars he shared while working simultaneously in the film business. Folks from so many different walks of life start sharing their cars on Getaround because it’s an accessible way to generate consistent passive income.
What do you think sets Getaround apart from other carsharing platforms?
The Getaround Connect® in-car technology eliminates the need to meet for in-person key exchanges. Guests can locate, unlock, and drive the car on their own, which gives both hosts and guests flexibility that isn’t always available with other apps. It’s easier for hosts to scale their businesses and list a second or third car on Getaround, thanks to the Connect®.
How was your experience with the Getaround team for NYSE listing day in New York City?
The evening before listing day, I and my fellow hosts had the chance to meet the Getaround team in person which, after a few years of phone and online interaction, was a lot of fun. I knew the team was good even before we met, just because I’ve seen changes since joining in 2019 — the claims process has improved, and our account representatives have been incredibly helpful. It was also a thrill to connect with fellow hosts from other Getaround cities, including New York, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and more.
For me, the listing day at the New York Stock Exchange was really special. Walking up to Wall Street and seeing the Getaround banner hanging on the New York Stock Exchange building was breathtaking, honestly. Seeing the team ring the opening bell was pretty amazing, too.
Being there, I felt the gravity of Getaround’s journey from start-up to publicly traded company. A funny story: At breakfast that morning in the NYSE board room, I was in the buffet line with my hands full, and Getaround cofounder Jessica Scorpio was kind enough to pour my coffee. I thanked her and congratulated her on the big day, and the moment reminded me how much work went into building Getaround to this point. As an entrepreneur myself, I know how much work it takes to get something off the ground and profitable, let alone reach the milestone of going public. So to see the Getaround team and founders realize their dream at the New York Stock Exchange, the gravity of that accomplishment really hit me in that moment. It was an honor to be part of it.
What do you like most about hosting on Getaround?
I love that Getaround offers the flexibility to build my business how I want. I’ve spoken with hosts who manage large fleets of 15 or more cars, and they have a thriving business from that. My model of sharing a few cars on the side allows me to continue pursuing acting and script writing opportunities in film and theater. I’ve always felt that, if you can build good systems while sharing five cars, you should be able to replicate that out to dozens of cars. With carsharing on Getaround, you can customize the business to fit your lifestyle and career goals.