Get to know Getaround Power Hosts Adam and Sheri, learn how they’re helping guests get on the road across the Aloha State
When Adam and Sheri Laurich relocated from Jacksonville, Florida to Honolulu at the beginning of 2021, they had their sights set on a new adventure, a life in the sun, and the financial independence of owning their own business. Now in their eleventh month on Waikiki Beach, they’ve found all three — thanks in part to Getaround.
Adam, who serves in the U.S. Army Reserve, received word last year that he would be sent to Hawaii on a three-year assignment. His wife Sheri, formerly a property manager, flew out a couple of months ahead of Adam to help get their living situation figured out. But no sooner had she landed at Honolulu International Airport than she found herself facing a problem that had been plaguing tourists and locals alike over the past two years: a rental car shortage.
“During the COVID-19 pandemic, there was very little demand for rental cars on the island, mostly due to travel restrictions, and so a lot of companies sent most of their cars back to the mainland,” Sheri explains. “That’s when I first learned about car sharing as a necessity — it was the only way I could get the car I needed to take care of getting set up and moved into our new place.”
A short-term fix soon became a long-term solution for Sheri, as she saw car sharing (and soon Getaround) not only as a way to get a car when she needed one, but as a path toward financial independence for her family.
We caught up with Hawaii’s first Getaround hosts on the heels of the new market launch to find out how they’re making it work, what separates Hawaii from other U.S. markets, and to see what they see for the future of car sharing in the Aloha State.
How did the two of you come to launch a car sharing business in Hawaii?
Sheri: When I tried to get a rental car and it was just way too expensive and I saw that very few were available, I became curious. I spoke to locals and read a few news articles all about how there was a rental car shortage, and all of the advice was that car sharing was really the way to go. So when Adam got out here, we decided to explore listing a couple of cars on a couple of different car-sharing platforms (other than Getaround, which hadn’t launched here yet), just to see how they would do and they did quite well.
Adam: So, we discovered Getaround later in the summer and got connected with an account manager to help us build a fleet and go live as soon as Getaround officially launched the Hawaii market. We invested in a 13-car fleet, and we launched on November 1st. We’ve made $427 in our first 9 days, so far, and as we’re talking to you today (November 9th), every single one of our cars is booked and currently out making us money.
What has made Getaround your preferred platform for hosting your cars?
Adam: The primary reason we prefer to host our cars on Getaround is due to the ease of the whole booking process. We don’t have to go all the way down to where a specific car is every time to meet our guests or hand over the keys. They just book and unlock it all through the app. It’s a very easy, contactless process, which we love. We also really like the Getaround Connect technology because it will alert us if a guest left the lights on and the battery might be in danger of draining, so we can take care of that before it’s a bigger problem.
Sheri: And, from the guests’ perspective, it’s just so much easier, too. Every day, you see people lined up and waiting outside brick-and-mortar rental car facilities, waiting sometimes two or three hours just to get their car. That’s time they’re supposed to be spending out at the beach or enjoying their vacation. The quick and easy process with Getaround makes sure that each possible minute of a guest’s trip here is spent enjoying themselves, not waiting around or dealing with paperwork.
In what ways is the Hawaii market different from others in the U.S.?
Sheri: The biggest thing is that Hawaii is all about self-service. People are visiting for vacation, usually, and they’ll pay a premium for two things that Getaround offers: convenience and flexibility. Booking a Getaround car, for them, means they’re not at the mercy of having to book in advance, having to wait until an office is open to pick up or return, and being able to handle the whole process yourself, from your smartphone.
Adam: There are additional considerations we have to make here when it comes to the cleanliness and sanitization of cars after each use: we see a lot of sand and sunscreen residue in our cars, which is probably something you don’t see that often in New York or Colorado. Also, I’ve gotten used to checking the inside of the windshield for toe prints … always have to look out for those bare feet resting on the dashboard around here.
Sheri: Another thing that’s kind of interesting is that the actual cars shared on Getaround, as opposed to traditional rentals, fit in more when you see them alongside the cars that locals drive. So if you’re just visiting but don’t want to stand out a bunch, you can rent a Jeep on Getaround with a few bumper stickers on it and everyone will see that and not necessarily think you’re a tourist.
What advice would you give to people considering listing their cars in Hawaii?
Sheri: Older model Jeeps and crossover SUVs do really well here, in our experience. These are cars with a little bit more room and that really help you fit in as you're driving around the island. When we’re building our fleet that’s usually the kind of car we’re going after.
But, there are just so many different ways you can look at making income from Getaround. Adam and I, we’re looking at it as our primary income, but it can also be a great side hustle for a family with an extra car in the driveway, or you can even look at it as an additional investment and way to supplement your income. If you’re able to invest even just $7,000 in a car that will meet the requirements to be listed, you’re going to pay that car off completely within three months* … and then everything after that is 100% profit. Add five or ten cars, like we’re doing, and it can be your full-time job.
Adam: We would honestly love to see more cars listed on the platform in this area. I know it sounds a little counterintuitive to say that we want more competition, but honestly, we really do want that. Our cars are booked all of the time, and we’d love for more guests to be able to open the app and see lots of availability, even when all of ours are in use. A rising tide lifts all ships, and we are seeing more than enough demand out there, with it only continuing to rise.
Do you expect demand to continue rising in the coming months?
Adam: Well, on November 8th, the state lifted a few more international travel restrictions, and we instantly had all of our cars booked the next day. As more and more restrictions are lifted, we expect visitation to the island to continue ramping up. This also coincides with what would be the start of the typical tourist season in Hawaii: Thanksgiving weekend through the summer months, and so this is pretty much just the start of a big surge, we think. I feel pretty confident in saying that now is the time to invest in a car or fleet here.
Sheri: The return-on-investment has been a no-brainer so far, from a financial standpoint. But we’re also getting to know some of our regular guests and that’s helping us feel a bit more ingrained into the local community here as well. That’s kind of an added benefit that we didn’t necessarily see coming: make some money, make some new friends, and enjoy living in this beautiful place. You really can’t beat it.
Whether you’re in Hawaii, Florida or anywhere in between, earn extra money with your car by sharing it with Getaround.
Or if you just need a car for a quick trip, errand, or on your next vacation, see what’s available to book near you.
*Your results as a host may vary. Getaround does not guarantee earnings, and prior results may not indicative of future performance.