GetMyBoat, is a startup that calls itself the “Airbnb of Boats.” This app lets interested people rent boats in many different countries. Small Business Trends contacted Val Streif, marketing manager for GetMyBoat, to find out what makes this enterprise successful.
He started by making some big claims.
“GetMyBoat is the world’s largest marketplace for boat rentals and all types of bookable experiences on the water,” he writes. “It is a platform with a mobile app so boats can be rented on-the-go while you’re traveling, all over the world. We have 130,000 boats/water experiences in 184 countries.”
The idea for the app started with Sascha Mornell and Rafael Collado. They were out on the water one day and saw hundreds of boats sitting unused in dock and marina slips. The lightbulb moment came when they wondered how more people could get access to great boating experiences for less.
A few years later with some help from the sharing economy, Sascha and Rafael brought GetMyBoat to life.
Rent Your Boat Out
Streif says the app is two-sided. You can use it to rent a boat or other kind of water experience like diving trips, snorkeling and fishing charters. If you own a boat or are the captain of one, you can rent your boat out too.
“Think Airbnb, but for boat rentals,” he says.
The idea behind the app is simple. It was designed to make boating more affordable and accessible for folks that might not have the money for their own vessel. It’s also great for people who didn’t know which channels to go through to rent.
How It Works
Renters can download the app. After that, they can search through the area they are looking to visit. Boats and experiences are categorized by type, price and the number of guests. Best of all, it’s interactive. And everything can be done online. Streif explains.
“Once you find a boat or experience you would like to book you can select the dates and pay for the rental. Or you can send the owner an inquiry to answer any questions you might have.”
Owners can easily list their boats by setting a number of factors like availability, price and requirements. They can add videos and photos and even vet the guests once they book. Owners can also quote each guest and facilitate the payments. It’s a business within a business and one the GetMyBoat team are proud to have created.
Run Their Business
“We give an owner the tools they need to run their business and also turn their boat into a profit,” Streif says.
The company deserves to boast about their accomplishments.
There were challenges to overcome nailing down a unique niche in this online marketplace. First the industry was all over the map when they started.
“A big reason why we started GetMyBoat was due to the fragmented nature of the boat rental industry,” Streif says. “We soon realized that the boating industry was in need of standardization. From different cities to states to countries, nothing was done. Communication expectations, transparency, pricing, customer service, reviews, payment – nothing had been put together that allowed a person to easily rent a boat anywhere in the world.”
The platform they created addressed all of the problems they found. GetMyBoat put together a solution for each issue. The app has easy communication, prices listed for transparency and added tools for customer service.
The team has some solid advice for startups and other SMBs.
“The biggest piece of advice we could give any business would be to always be looking at the data,” Streif says. “Measure what is happening with each strategy you try. If something isn’t working, don’t continue to put time and effort into it. Move onto something else.”
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