Entrepreneur Ethan Duran: The One Thing That Sets Me Apart From the Competition is Impeccable Service
When your clients appreciate the finer things in life, they expect their patronage to be rewarded with excellent service. Ethan Duran, a 22-year-old entrepreneur and the CEO of Corsa Auto Rental, understands this and says top-notch service sets him apart from the competition.
Born in the Dominican Republic and raised in New York, Duran stumbled upon the exotic car rentals industry by mere chance. When he relocated to Los Angeles with the intention of getting into investment banking, he recognized the potential of exotic car rentals. And with it came the realization that he could do it better than were the people already in the industry. Getting into the sector proved to be a great career decision as he made USD 2.7 million in year one and was able to provide for his family in ways that he wasn’t able to previously.
“Build trust, with your clients, with your friends, with everyone you meet,” says Duran. “It’ll pay off. Karma might not be real, but reputation definitely is. You want to be someone everyone can trust, especially if you’re young. When all odds are against you, you want to be able to show that you’re responsible and trustworthy.”
Duran, who earned an associate’s degree in Business Administration from Seminole State, knows what sacrifice is all about. In fact, he worked 18-hour days and seven days a week in year one of running his company. This meant missing out on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year celebrations with family. But those sacrifices later allowed him to make it up to his hard-working mom. He has paid off her debt, bought her a house and car, and even assisted her in establishing a local business that now generates USD 400,000 annually. Duran has managed to do just fine for someone who used to get stressed out over how to achieve success. And this is just the beginning because he’s currently working on Corsa Auto Rental Miami, Corsa Models, Corsa Water Sports, and Corsa Media. Another successful business he’s investing time and energy into is his Exotic Car Rental Academy, where he teaches people how to succeed in the industry. Students from all over the world take his course, and he’s been able to grow Corsa Auto Rental with his top students’ help. Together, they’re offering customers the best service in the industry.
“I treat my customers like family,” says Duran. “Eight out of 10 times my customers become my friends, and we hang out either the same day they rent or sometime in the future. My customers come to me for all their needs in and out of the automotive industry.”
SamBoat Makes Waves in the US
The sharing economy’s massive popularity has led to the creation of blockbuster companies like Airbnb, VRBO, eBay, Uber, and Lyft, to name just a few. According to a report by Proficient Market Insights, the size of the sharing economy was $113 billion in 2021 and is predicted to reach $600 billion by 2027.
One of the newest companies to enter this space, SamBoat, now enables the owners of sailboats and motorboats to offer their vessels for rent. Because yachts are expensive to buyand maintain — in many cases, more expensive than purchasing and maintaining a home — yacht owners can offset some of their costs by listing their craft on the platform.
Those who may not be able to afford their own boat can still experience life on the water, however. No knowledge of boating is required, as many charters include the possibility of hiring a skipper.
When young French entrepreneurs Laurent Calando and Nicolas Cargou met, a friendship, as well as a new venture, was born. Cargou was an avid Airbnb user, and Calando had grown up sailing with his family. Throughout the course of their conversation, they realized that the sharing economy covered a lot of bases, but it didn’t include boating, which they were both passionate about.
The pair sensed an opportunity, which quickly led to action. In April 2014, they officially launched SamBoat in the Bordeaux region of France.
“SamBoat’s marketplace exploded in Europe over the next few years,” explains Robert Harrington, SamBoat’s US Country Manager. The company offers yachts throughout the Mediterranean, Aegean, and other popular travel destinations.
As evidence of the popularity of the boat-sharing model, SamBoat grew by over 70 percent in 2022. Since its founding, the company has enabled more than a million people to take to the seas. Now, the platform is rapidly expanding its listings throughout the US.
Where SamBoat operates in the US
SamBoat has already — albeit indirectly — served its American customers for quite some time, as American vacationers have often rented boats in Greece, France, Italy, or Spain through its platform. But now, the company is beginning to serve Americans on the other side of the Atlantic, right here at home.
SamBoat rentals are currently available in many American ports. The marketplace currently offers hundreds of boats just in the state of Florida, where the fleet extends up the Keys to West Palm Beach, and throughout the west coast, including Tampa, Clearwater, Naples, and Ft. Myers. SamBoat also has many boats in Chicago and Seattle, as well as throughout New England.
In the near future, the company will expand its offerings in San Diego and Los Angeles. SamBoat also plans to open in Lake Tahoe, Lake of the Ozarks, Lake Havasu, and Lake Champlain by mid-summer 2023. It also aims to have fleets available in Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket by the same time.
“Our goal is to offer thousands of boats to rent throughout the United States by the end of the year,” Harrington says.
SamBoat operates anywhere boat owners choose to list their craft for rent. “Just because the marketplace might not already have a whole regatta in a given port doesn’t mean it can’t or doesn’t operate there,” Harrington says. “Listings grow organically, cropping up wherever opportunity calls boat owners to take advantage of existing demand.”
For instance, while SamBoat only officially launched in the United States this past year, the platform was open to US-based boat owners and renters last year. From January 2022 compared to January 2023, the platform experienced a 500% increase in US-based business.
This means that, if you own a boat, you can bring SamBoat to your home port. All you have to do is go to SamBoat’s website, follow a few simple steps, upload photos of your boat along with its relevant details, and respond to rental inquiries.
“Now is the right time for boat owners to get in early and beat the rush,” Harrington says.
The secret to SamBoat’s success
American consumers have responded enthusiastically to SamBoat’s arrival for a number of reasons. First and foremost, the platform offers the very same boats as other companies, yet their prices are on average 10 percent cheaper.
The reason for this is simple: unlike most other yacht and boat rental services, SamBoat doesn’t charge its customers inflated “junk” fees.
In addition, SamBoat makes renting a yacht simple and easy. Generally speaking, other boat-sharing websites outsource customer service to the owners of the listed yachts. They will only answer the phone or attend to you if you are booking something of a high dollar amount, while the average boat rental costs under $1,000. This can lead to a very frustrating process for someone who has questions but can’t seem to get a response from a boat’s owner.
At SamBoat, however, a real human being answers every inquiry. “Sometimes, that person is me,” Harrington says. This makes it much easier for people to rent the perfect boat that will meet their individual needs.
SamBoat fulfills a long-awaited need for sailing and boating enthusiasts worldwide. With the arrival of SamBoat in the US, it’s an even more exciting time for Americans to participate in the sharing economy.
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