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Strategy is the only way to survive in Rideshare

Discussion in 'Advice' started by SurgeMasterMN, Nov 7, 2018 at 5:35 PM.

  1. SurgeMasterMN

    SurgeMasterMN

    Location:
    Mpls
    Knowing your area inside and out, the best times to work and having the right vehicle (for your target niche) is the only way to survive in the Rideshare Business going forward. A lot has changed from a few years ago when all u had to do was turn on your app. Driving less and placing yourself in strategic locations at certain times is the only way to make $$$ currently. If we as drivers do not have a daily plan we cannot survive and keep the vehicle from burning out in 1.5 years.


    Study Your Area - What are the best times to work each day of the week? What location will get you the longest ride? What are the back roads to get you back to the hotzone fast?


    Vehicle Choice - What is your market or niche? Finding a vehicle that can cross mutiple categories that pay better then X will enable you to drive less and allow you to maintain your vehicle twice or three times it’s normal life rather then just driving just X or Reg Lyft.


    Fuel Efficiency - This is key and can save you a ton of money each year just by your choice of your vehicle. Buying 3 years off new and selling in 2-3 years will give u the best return on your vehicle.


    What is everyone elses suggestions for driving going forward?
     
  2. MadTownUberD

    MadTownUberD Moderator

    Location:
    Madison, WI
    Driving:
    UberX
    Those are some good ones!

    I'd add: it's better to find a honey hole where you wait several minutes for longer trips than do back to back minimum fares in downtown driving. It's easier on your car.
     
  3. jgiun1

    jgiun1

    Location:
    Pittsburgh

    Yes....I agree to everthing you stated above.

    Thing that sucks, espically during weekday events, the new app and the 75% of drivers with no strategy, flock to the little busier here arrows Uber provides on app, but it's well before the events are letting out (usually the couple stragglers leaving events early)

    I used to be a surfer on the outside of a surge cloud and never went in to the event traffic. Even that strategy is getting bad, because there's either no surge or a very small color.

    I still think strategies from the past won't work today with all the saturation in markets and lyft/Uber tactic messages making newbies think they have to accept every ride. This by far has been the strangest year with noobs. I never seen so many dummies sitting by an event online.....lol
     
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  4. vtcomics

    vtcomics

    Location:
    New England
    What arw some examples of a honey hole?? Hotels? Airport? Something else??
     
    SurgeMasterMN likes this.
  5. SurgeMasterMN

    SurgeMasterMN

    Location:
    Mpls

    Very true...it does seem to be ever changing in our quest to find the perfect strategy. It is a lot like a puzzle finding the right elements to generate cash flow. One tip I have been picking up is when u do get a short ride to a location far from the airport. Example group of 4 people with luggage going 5 miles from their hotel to the office. Ask then if they need a ride to the airport later. Confirm a cell number then have them text you when they are ready show up do the ping in the vehicle and you are on your way. These trips usually result in a long ride (generally during rush hour) and a good tip because of the rapport you built with the customer. If it goes really well have them contact u next time they are in town for all their transportation needs.

    Ahhh yes the noobs...
     
    jgiun1 likes this.
  6. jgiun1

    jgiun1

    Location:
    Pittsburgh
    I would have to say....Ubers way to get back at the cherry pickers was this new app. I'll always be a 100% cherry picker until the day I get deactivated. There's times when the surge zones get bigger after events, then I pop online and get 3-4 reguests around surge with no surge on my end. Then 3 to 5 inside event zone and the rate is WAY lower than posted on app.....cherry picking nightmare 2018.

    One thing I never did and won't ever...call the Pax and ask where they're going too...that's total cheese ball material there.

    It's almost like Uber had a huge list of driver annoyances to them, and pretty much did em in on the app.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2018 at 6:37 PM
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  7. Christinebitg

    Christinebitg

    Location:
    Houston
    Driving:
    UberX
    I agree with that. Call it whatever you want, but it's still a slimey move in my opinion.

    C
     
  8. Uber's Guber

    Uber's Guber

    Location:
    United States
    Driving:
    UberX
    Walmarts. :rolleyes:
     
  9. oldfart

    oldfart

    Location:
    Fort Myers
    Driving:
    UberXL
    For me, its the airport My life centers around the airport> My ideal day is to pick up a ride from home to the airport.. Then before the first incoming flight of the day, drive 25 miles away to sit at a lot near a luxury hotel in a neighborhood of high priced homes and high rise condos

    I may have to take a short ride or two to a golf course or restaurant or an off site meeting, but I can usually count on an airport run. Then depending on the queue at the airport Ill either sit there or return to the hotel lot


    Id agree, develop repeat or better yet, regular customers and schedule rides

    If Im at a certain 7/11 at a certain time I almost always get a $15 ride taking one of the people that live in a nearby apartment complex to work
     
    SurgeMasterMN likes this.
  10. MadTownUberD

    MadTownUberD Moderator

    Location:
    Madison, WI
    Driving:
    UberX
    Some are straightforward, some are not. One of my best honey holes is a certain gas station parking lot which gets me a lot of trips to the airport in the morning while avoiding the dreaded University students. Another one of my favorites is a McDonalds parking lot due to its proximity to several hotels. You really have to experiment with different spots at different times to see what works in your area.
     
  11. Seamus

    Seamus

    Location:
    New York
    Driving:
    UberX
    Agree 100%, Strategy is the only way left to make any money. The over saturation of ants that are willing to drive at a loss, and also willing to go 25 minutes to a pickup, has dried up surges and many past honey pots are now filled with ants.

    Strategy has always been the way to maximize your generated revenue. However, now the strategy must change very often as the environment changes rapidly. Adapt quickly or join the 96% who leave!

    The only way this ever gets any better is IF the day ever comes where they can't continue to get new ants to replace the old ants that give up.

    I need to get 2 more years out of this gig. It gets tougher to keep doing it.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2018 at 5:46 AM
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  12. Great post as always, SurgeMasterMNSurgeMasterMN.

    This is the only thing I disagree with. Using a fully depreciated vehicle until it ages out or dies is the best return on our investment, unless you're driving in a market that has strong demand for black, lux, etc.

    My suggestions:

    1. Know your numbers and track them over time. Google has a free spreadsheet that has all of the basic functionality of Excel. At minimum, have a few key performance indicators (gross & net revenue per mile, gross & net revenue per hour, total operational cost per mile, etc) that tell you how your day or week went. This helps me from getting too excited during the good times and too down during the lean times. It also tells me if experimental strategies are working or not and, based on previous year's numbers, what to expect every season.

    2. Experiment until you form a strategy that works for you, then work the heck out of that strategy. Drill down and pay attention to the tendencies of the dispatch algorithm and how people move around town during the times you are driving. People are just cattle and on the whole, they tend migrate to the same places at the same times everyday.

    3. Have a process. Once you find a working strategy, repeat it over and over again only changing it to fine tune the process or respond to changing conditions. This is how you identify the behaviors that the dispatch software rewards and punishes.

    4. The best way to maximize tips is to put on a performance. You need to entice people to tip or to tip the maximum amount. Having a clean car and giving a safe, comfortable ride is not enough to entice people to tip, but a dirty car and uncomfortable ride will keep them from tipping. You also need to give people a compelling reason to put their money in your pocket. This is always your second or third job to pay for your college, your kid's college, your/your partner's/your kid's/your parents' medical bills (kid's medical bills is the real winner here). Sure, not everyone wants to talk and you just let them go and don't waste much effort. However, whenever someone asks me "So how long have you been driving for Uber/Lyft?" I know I can launch into a scripted story that has a good chance of ending in a tip.
     
  13. MadTownUberD

    MadTownUberD Moderator

    Location:
    Madison, WI
    Driving:
    UberX
    I agree with everything except the part where it looked like you were encouraging inventing stories to get tips. I don't mind emphasizing the reality of the bill I have to pay if people ask why I do this but I'm not going to flat out lie.

    I especially agree with the spreadsheet part. My spreadsheet rocks and adjusts total cost per mile based on not only fuel economy but estimated increased wear and tear on the car due to City driving.
     
  14. I respect your position, but I don't feel it's appropriate for the passenger to ask any personal questions of the driver. It's not appropriate to do that with anyone else in life, so why with us? I don't ask my waiter how long they've been serving, why they're serving, where they live, where they grew up, if they have kids, if they have another job or any of the other inappropriate things that pax ask us.

    "So is this your full time gig?" is an insulting and completely inappropriate question to ask anyone. At that point, the passenger is asking me to entertain them while piloting a 2 ton killing machine and trying not to kill us both-- so I give them what they want and become an entertainer. I'd love to tell them to eff off, shut up and just sit their ass in the seat from point A to point B. I despise the fact that pax view us as their in-flight entertainment, but if that's the way it's gonna be, then I'll profit from it.

    So yeah, I lie to the pax. I do it all of the time when they make ridiculous demands of me. I do it when they ask me to make extra stops. I do it when they ask if I have an aux cord (bro). I do it when they ask me if they can vape in the car. I do it when they demand that I entertain them by asking me overly personal questions. If the livestock want to be entertained, I'll entertain them if I think they'll pay me for it.
     
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  15. MadTownUberD

    MadTownUberD Moderator

    Location:
    Madison, WI
    Driving:
    UberX
    Interesting. Maybe someday when I'm well into 4.98 territory (currently at 4.97) I'll have the guts to ask why they think "do you do this full time?" is an appropriate question.
     
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  16. Kurt Halfyard

    Kurt Halfyard Moderator Author

    Location:
    Toronto
    Driving:
    Lyft
    I do pretty well with tips. My strategy is simply to be very conversational. Living in a very, very diverse city, and being able to talk intelligently about specifics of peoples motherland-culture (holidays, events, geography, weather movie stars/films) is a surefire way to get tips. But here is the secret sauce: I don't NEED the tips, so I can be very natural about how I talk to people. I honestly like short conversations with strangers about various things, so it comes honestly/naturally.

    I do believe any savvy PAX (the passengers inclined, or with means to tip, btw) can spot a driver giving a script/lie for a tip.
     
  17. I typically earn 17-23% of my weekly gross fares in tips. My goal is to boost that to 20-25%+, but I seem to max out at my current numbers. So sure, SOME pax might see through it and if they do, then that's the cost of doing business. All I need is a decent percentage to not see through it and I'm coming out ahead.

    All things being equal (gender, age, race, attractiveness), I haven't read about too many drivers doing better 20% of gross fares in tips. Maybe you're doing better than that, and I'm always looking for practical ways to increase tips. If I find a way that gets me more than 17-23%, I adopt that way.
     
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  18. Kurt Halfyard

    Kurt Halfyard Moderator Author

    Location:
    Toronto
    Driving:
    Lyft
    Whoa. That is next level stuff. If I hit 8-10% of Gross I'm pretty Happy. Usually I hover between 6-7%.
     
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  19. vtcomics

    vtcomics

    Location:
    New England
    Buying a fully depreciated vehicle can be a huge risk; you may end up spending more in repairs than you would making car payments! If you do get lucky and buy the elderly woman's 2012 Camry or Prius with only 20k miles on it then big time kudos and it's a major home run. People just need to make sure they're not buying a literal POS.
     
  20. oldfart

    oldfart

    Location:
    Fort Myers
    Driving:
    UberXL
    There are two things you are aiming for with your strategy. 1) increasing income and 2) minimizing expenses

    So to maximize income that means aiming for the longer interstate highway rides. (We get paid more for miles than minutes so 80mph with a passenger is my target ) that’s why my airport strategy

    Now it comes to how do we minimize expenses. The two biggest expenses no matter what you drive are fuel and the car itself. So for me, at least until it’s time to buy a new car my fuel strategy is to minimize dead miles which means, with some exceptions, work where the ride takes you.

    Regarding the expenses I always thought that the cheapest car to buy is the one you already own so I will run this one until it won’t run anymore. I started with a used car with 70000 miles worth about $18000 and I hope that it goes 3 years (200000 more miles) if I get that out of it that means my car expense is $6000 a year or about 9 cents a mile. So the question becomes what to buy when I buy a new car to reduce that expense

    As I see it 3 choices (I used to think just 2 choices) 1) replace what I have, with another $18000 used car good for another 3 years or $18000 miles. 2) buy a really well used car for about $6000 and hope it lasts a year. My new #3 is what is mentioned in a post above. Buy a slightly used car and drive it a year or so and sell it for no less than $6000 less than what I paid for it. So as I see it $500 a month or 9 cents a mile is my car expense no matter what

    Bottom line with the car is to maintain that expense (call it depreciation) at less than 10 cents a mile.

    Here’s why I like the idea of buying a nearly new car and selling it within a year. I currently drive an XL and although only about 25% of my rides are XL the extra 50% I get for those rides is important to me. My thinking is that I’d like a Lux SUV for the higher fares. It dosent really make any difference what I pay for the car as long as I can sell it in a year for about $6000 less than what I paid for it. And the bonus of a car like a Black Suburban or something like it, is that I will have to get insured and permitted as a “vehicle for hire” and I’ll be able to do private cash rides. Which goes to my first goal which is to increase income


    So that’s a lot of words to try to explain what is still pretty fuzzy thinking on my part. I hope I explained myself well enough to be understood
     
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