Kisean Smith has a lot to smile about these days. Newly wed to Olympic athlete and 2018 NCAA Woman of the Year, Keturah Orji, Kisean is a CPA and, in his spare time, a successful entrepreneur. Kisean is a 26-year-old black man living, working, and succeeding in Atlanta, GA. An entrepreneur at heart, Kisean became interested in Airbnb’s peer-to-peer sharing business model and the gig economy. He searched for other solutions to earn income and learned about Getaround. In the spring of 2019, when Getaround launched in Atlanta, Kisean immediately listed three cars, two of which were SmartCars.
Dan Kim, Chief Operating Officer at Getaround, understands the appeal of Getaround for anyone looking to start a business. Before joining Getaround last year, Dan worked for Airbnb, where he helped millions of hosts create successful businesses by sharing their homes. He had also founded Red Mango, a frozen yogurt and smoothie franchise, that he scaled to hundreds of locations. One of Dan’s priorities at Getaround is to connect the company with people looking to start their own business. For Dan, this means helping entrepreneurs capitalize on the many benefits of peer-to-peer sharing so that they can quickly launch and grow a successful business.
Kisean’s business approach may not be unique, but it is a winning strategy. He sources vehicles through multiple outlets but prefers vehicle marketplaces such as Craigslist or dedicated apps. While it takes longer, he enjoys having the opportunity to speak directly with the previous owners.
When choosing cars, Kisean looks for economical sedans with 50,000 miles or less because they are the most appropriate for his target market. So far, he hasn’t had to retire a car but knows that once a vehicle reaches a certain age or mileage, he will need a plan for rotating his inventory.
For the most part, his guests don’t care about the model. “My guests just want to get from point A to point B,” says Kisean. “They need a reliable car to get groceries or take a short trip.”
“Getaround is always going to be important to me, no matter how much money I make elsewhere. Getaround is not my primary source of income since I am a CPA, but it's helpful and important to my goals. I use the money I earn to buy real estate — enables me to do things I could not without it.”
“I've always had the goal of 100 cars — I'm establishing processes while I grow."
"The best advice I can give to people thinking about Getaround is focus on your systems and processes. Think through, how are you maneuvering. Learn from other peoples' mistakes. Think about how you can make your business better. Understand your market. Build processes and systems based on what other people have experienced.”
"I love the P2P sharing economy/entrepreneurship and scalable business model."
"Getaround Connect® makes it easier to scale my business while I work at my primary job."
Kisean says the business is seasonal. Not to the point where winter months have no bookings, but his cars are idle more than they would be in the summer. With zip codes now open in Athens, Kisean is planning to move a couple of his cars there to take advantage of the limited supply, less expensive real estate, and abundance of parking areas. This expansion will enable him to stay on track to grow his business with Getaround.
Pat Notti, VP Marketplace & Operations at Getaround, said, “There’s never been a better time to be a host on Getaround. Growth into new markets is the focus for 2021. We have developed and refined a superior system for car sharing, especially with contactless booking and entry, so now it’s time to scale that model to benefit our hosts and guests. In the next 12 months, we expect to expand into more than a thousand new zip codes. Hosts such as Kisean stand to benefit the most.”
Kisean was positioned to make money on day one — as soon as the shop installed the Getaround Connect® device in his cars, he was ready for reservations. He thinks it’s a great business model and has referred a few friends to Getaround. Of course, how much time he spends tending to his cars fluctuates with vehicle maintenance, but his cars are running well for now. He knows that could change at any moment.
Kisean does not have any employees but has developed relationships with mechanics and people to keep his cars clean. “YouTube is my best friend,” says Kisean, smiling. “I’ve learned a lot about maintenance and really like doing some of it myself.” He’s establishing processes now to improve his vehicle management. He sees this as an investment that will enable him to be even more successful as he continues to grow his business with Getaround.“
I hope I can inspire others to become entrepreneurs,” says Kisean. “Getaround is an amazing, easy-to-use platform, and now that they are expanding, it’s a great time to list your cars and become the business owner you’ve always wanted to be.”
Dan agrees, “Kisean is the ideal example of how Getaround is fostering entrepreneurism around the world. With thousands of hosts sharing their cars and making money — not to mention helping reduce carbon emissions and relieve traffic congestion — we’re proud to support and promote innovative and driven people. We’ve made a difference so they can make a difference.”Founded in 2009, Getaround operates in more than 800 cities across the U.S. and Europe. For more information, visit Getaround.com, or download our iPhone or Android app.
“Diversity means success, growth, and progress because it is a state of mind where we embrace our differences to drive forward a common goal to make our workplace and the community around us a better place to work and live.
Diversity is more than just ensuring representation where there is a lack of it. It is working together regardless of those differences, challenging each other to think differently, seeking alternative solutions, and getting out of one’s comfort zone.
Diversity means going beyond visible, assumed, and prevalent attributes and characteristics. It means learning about and acknowledging our differences while embracing our similarities and finding intersectionality.
Diversity is the ability to learn and share from different experiences and perspectives while finding intersectionality.”
—Tia Gordon, Getaround VP of People & Culture
We focus on doing the most important things exceptionally well, while always measuring and reporting on our progress with honesty and integrity. Decisions need to be made quickly. Quality of execution is critical.
We strive to create a global culture of positivity, inclusion, and respect, so that everyone feels safe being who they truly are. Our differences make us stronger. Our diversity inspires us to innovate.
We value our ways of working together, and care deeply about the well-being, success and continuous improvement of our colleagues. Winning as a team matters more to us than individual achievements.
We empower teams to figure out “how” we execute our Mission and Vision, and to take ownership and responsibility of solutions that support both the near-term and long-term success of our company.