by Justin Lai
posted on December 16th, 2019
The self-made car sharing queen
Born and bred in Orange County, CA, Saimah grew up with an entrepreneurial spirit and an enthusiasm for cool cars. “I started my first business when I was 21, and I’ve always been self-employed,” she says.
Saimah, now 29, has spent the past four years using Turo to be her own boss. Turo allows her to earn a stable income, own a rotating cast of amazing cars, and work from the comfort of her own home.
“I love cars, I’m good with people, and I make good money,” she explains. “As an entrepreneur, you’re always looking for the most viable opportunity. Turo is obviously the leader in the car sharing industry, and they’re growing faster than everyone else.”
From a single Smart car to multiple Corvettes
Saimah first heard about Turo when one of her international business clients flew in from Peru, and pulled up to a meeting in a luxury BMW. “In the car ride home from that meeting, I did some research, and ended up listing my Smart car on Turo in 30 minutes. A few days later, I had my first booking… and then it snowballed from there!”
The Smart car made solid returns, so she decided to buy a second one to double her income and build her credit. A few months later, she added a Mini Cooper, which performed even better. “My credit score was stellar at that point, so I started looking for a car that I really wanted.”
Saimah’s 2017 Chevrolet Corvette
Saimah sprang for a Chevrolet Corvette Stingray. “It was a gigantic upgrade, my first big ‘wow’ moment.” As she watched the money roll in, she crunched the numbers and realized that she could turn her Turo business into a full-time gig.
“I enjoy competing in the marketplace,” Saimah says. “I’m really aggressive with my listing and pricing, so my cars usually don’t sit for more than a day or two. And the best part is meeting guests and seeing the expression on their faces when they come to pick up a cool car — they really flip out!
Collecting cars and breaking stereotypes
Today, Saimah’s a top-performing All-Star Host, with 2,100 completed trips and an impressive stable of vehicles, including multiple BMWs, a Tesla Model S, and a pair of three-wheelers. “People love my Polaris Slingshot and Vanderhall Venice because they’re so unique. The Venice is a real head-turner: it looks classic, but drives like a modern car. I love seeing the expressions on people’s faces when they come to pick it up — they really flip out!”
But Saimah’s crown jewel is, of course, one of her newer Corvettes, a white 2017 Stingray. The car’s hosted a whopping 180 trips, and continues to be her most-booked vehicle, with a diverse set of guests. “As of late, I get a lot of women booking this car. Me being female helps them know that they can drive it too!”
“It’s usually men that drive Corvettes, but I swear, they’re made for women,” she attests. “I’ve sat in countless cars, all different types, and I’ve never been in one that fits a woman so well. It’s so snug, and the line of sight and visibility are perfect for me.”
It’s all about the experience
You don’t need the hottest cars to find success on Turo, however. Saimah’s biggest piece of advice for aspiring hosts is to focus on the guest experience. “It doesn’t matter what kind of car you have. You have to understand that people are willing to pay for a good travel experience.”
And she would know! With years of experience under her belt, Saimah’s become an elder stateswoman for the car sharing community. She regularly posts vlogs and in-depth Q&As on her YouTube channel Saimah’s Experience, which has over 7,000 subscribers. It’s a real insider’s look into the life of a full-time Turo host, and a great resource for anyone trying to get into the car sharing game.
“The most exciting part about Turo is getting to lead the way in a new market. The marketplace changes often and you have to adapt, adjust your business model, and move forward.”
Saving for the future
Saimah plans on being with Turo for the foreseeable future. “I use Turo to fund pretty much everything,” she says. But in addition to day-to-day expenses, new cars, and vacations around the world, she’s also saving up for her next big venture.
“I’ll always have my own businesses — it’s what I was made to do. I’ve had some business ideas kicking around for a long time, and Turo’s definitely helping me get to where I need to be.”
Check out my Car Rental Business on Turo