On this month’s panel, we turned the tables and had the owners ask us the questions. Wrapping up 2020 around our virtual, metaphorical campfire, we discussed the future of Outdoorsy and the future of your personal RV business as we move into the new year.
Topics covered include:
- Listing Your RV
- Insuring Your RV
- Moving to Wheelbase
- Trust and Safety
- Outdoorsy Systems
- 2021 on Outdoorsy
We gathered the best of the best on the Outdoorsy team to answer all your burning questions.
Outdoorsy Panelists include:
- Jen Young, Co-founder & CMO
- Jeff Cavins, Co-founder & CEO
- Ryan Quinn, Co-founder & Head of Technology
- Evan Hopkins, VP Global Sales & Customer Operations
- Andrew Cunningham, VP of Product Management
- Monique Talerico, Director of Trust & Safety
- Chris Aragon, Senior Manager of Insurance & Claims
Listing Your RV
In regards to listing your RV, we discussed:
- Our Rental Algorithm
- Off-season Renting
- Listing Coaches
- Stationary and Delivery Rentals
Our Rental Algorithm
If you look at this on your dashboard, you’ll see we take many things into account. From the number of photos to description length and uniqueness, as well as response rates and renter ratings.
More recently, we’ve hired data science experts to help adjust the algorithm to match specific renters with the most effective owners in their region. We run tests during the high and low seasons to make sure this runs smoothly and produces the best results based on the various factors.
If you live somewhere the weather limits your rental period, there are a few things you could do.
Get Your RV Winter Ready
This depends on what kind of vehicle you have, but there are certain things you can do to make your RV an all-season rig. No freezing pipes!
The other option is to go through consignment, moving your rig to be rented in a warmer location for the winter.
If you’re looking for a partner for consignment, the best place to look is the Outdoorsy Owner’s group. You can interview them, ask for references, and look at their renter reviews to find a good match.
These are Outdoorsy specialists that will partner with RV owners for a one-on-one session. The listing coaches will go through your dashboard, listing, and marketing tactics with you. You can ask any questions you have about anything during a FREE hour-long meeting. Book your session!
Stationary and Delivery Rentals
The delivery feature is a popular one on Outdoorsy. You can offer delivery as an option or as a requirement for renters! Set a delivery radius, and your RV will show up in searches within that radius.
As far as stationary rentals go, there isn’t a product feature; you can, however, still list a stationary vehicle on Outdoorsy.
We are working with RV parks and campgrounds to be able to negotiate more long-term deals with these partners or establishing a formalized protocol.
Insuring Your RV
Insurance is a crucial part of RV ownership. Our panelists broke down:
- The Claims Process
- Insurance Coverage
- Additional Insurance
The expectation for Outdoorsy is 5 days, but that wasn’t always possible in 2020. Going into the new year, we’re committed to hitting that 5-day expectation for claims.
65% of damage claims have been behind where the driver is sitting. Using this information, Outdoorsy is looking at different ways to try to prevent this damage, like effective mirror checks.
Getting Back on the Road
In 2021, you can expect more claims staff and technology to ensure we get your RV back on the road in 5 days, if not sooner!
Your vintage rig can now be covered with Outdoorsy insurance! Some upgrades are still needed on the site, but for now, email firstname.lastname@example.org to apply and have your vehicle covered with liability insurance.
You can rent just your car or SUV on Outdoorsy for car camping! There are some adjustments to be made on the backend, but you will be insured. Rooftop tent vehicles are also covered!
Expect car camping and small RV camping to be a trend this upcoming year!
As we said, you can list stationary vehicles on Outdoorsy. And if you do, we have exciting news! Insurance for stationary vehicles will cost less than that of moving vehicles. Score!
It is important to note that Outdoorsy insurance only covers your RV during the rental period. You will need whatever insurance is required in your state, as well as insurance to cover your RV when it’s not being rented.
Moving to Wheelbase
Wheelbase, if you don’t already know, is an RV fleet management software. As you start to grow your side hustle into a full-blown RV rental business, you may start to look into moving to Wheelbase to help manage your fleet and run your business.
Who is Wheelbase for?
A more complex system, Wheelbase is tailored to full-time RV rental businesses. There is more depth and responsibility to it, Evan explains, so it is recommended for those looking to manage multiple RVs.
When should you move to Wheelbase?
Wheelbase, as opposed to the Outdoorsy site, is geared more towards fleet owners. A good rule of thumb is to start looking into moving over when you have five vehicles or more. It’s totally free and fully insured.
Trust and Safety
We want to build and support a safe and trustworthy community of RV owners and renters. We talk about how we do that in terms of:
- Sharing Information
- Verifying Drivers
- Avoiding Theft
The question was asked, “Why don’t you allow owners to publish their phone numbers?” This really comes down to keeping your information safe. Monique shares that one of the goals of Outdoorsy is to make sure everything is kept on the platform, from communication to payment.
This goes into creating a trusted community on the Outdoorsy platform. Keeping everything recorded on the site not only helps keep personal information safe, but also helps to monitor issues and resolve conflicts as everything is documented in one place. “When you’re calling into Outdoorsy, one of the first things we’re going to do is look at the chats,” Monique shares.
This process takes a renter takes less than 3 minutes to complete. All they have to do is take a selfie and upload a photo of their driver’s license. The Outdoorsy team then checks that the license is valid and matches the driver. This ensures that your renter is valid.
Make sure you’re handing your keys off to a verified renter! Otherwise, their trip won’t be covered by insurance.
Please note, we are not able to share any personal information, including your renter’s driver’s license should they get a ticket while on the road.
There, unfortunately, have been cases of theft. However, there have only been two occurrences this year, and both RVs were recovered. Outdoorsy has protections in place, like driver verification checks, to help avoid these events.
To further protect yourself, do three things:
- Install a GPS
- Make sure your driver is verified
- Trust your gut
“Trust your gut. If it doesn’t feel right, it’s probably not right,” Monique advises. If you have a problem, reach out to us. You don’t have to hand over your keys.
Instant Match and Smart Pricing are two systems we have in place to foster the best experience for our renters and owners. Here’s how they work.
When renters show interest in a booking, but their initial rental request couldn’t be fulfilled, that’s when INSTAmatch comes in. Owner cancellations close to the date of departure will go through this system. Potential matches are found and we reach out to those owners. From there, owners can offer the renters existing rates or discounted rates to book that last-minute trip.
Expect a smoother process for this in the future!
This is an optional system that owners can opt in to. This will optimize your listing price to get you the most traffic possible. The pricing rates are based on research and data science.
2021 on Outdoorsy
Coming 2021, Outdoorsy is rolling out some exciting features and enhancing your experience. Get ready!
The new listing page has already launched, and you’ve probably seen it! That said, it’s just one piece of the puzzle that’ll make our owners’ and renters’ lives easier. The other piece? A new search experience!
The new search experience to be launched will optimize the customer service experience and alleviate some owner concerns, like verification. Stay tuned!
Currently, we have a partnership with PartsVia to get you discounts on RV parts and accessories.
We’re always looking for new partnerships and would love to get other discount programs going for our owners. If you have any ideas, email email@example.com!
We’re expanding our staffing so that your needs can always be met and questions answered, bettering the experience for our owners and renters!
In Case You Missed It
Watch our panel discussion for more information on the above topics and insider tips on how to travel with pets!
If you missed any of our live virtual panels, you can still watch them all!
- The Future of RV Travel: Mapping the Road Ahead After COVID-19
- Mapping the Road Ahead: Post-Pandemic RV Travel Destinations
- Mapping the Road Ahead: The Next Great Side Hustle
- Mapping the Road Ahead: A New Generation of RV Travel
- Mapping the Road Ahead: Success Starts Somewhere
- Mapping the Road Ahead: An Owner-Led Q&A with Outdoorsy’s Leadership Team
From us at Outdoorsy, happy holidays and cheers to the new year!