Working from home is becoming mainstream, but I never expected that I could have done my old job from the comfort of my own home. Yet that's what Hertz recently announced openings for.
Hertz is hiring home-based video call center specialists. It's a pretty innovative solution to the problem of staffing for on-and-off cycles of rushes: rather than hiring extra agents that would sit around doing nothing after the line dies down, someone at another location can step in and help virtually. It actually works pretty well, though I think Hertz needs to do a better job putting it in front of people—I often see 50 people standing in a 30-minute line when there's an entire bank of kiosks waiting to be used just to the side.
I've used the kiosks myself, and while it's a little stilted at first, it's more or less the same thing as talking to someone in the flesh. I've always wondered where Hertz operated these kiosks out of. I didn't realize until I saw this job posting is that these agents are actually home-based agents.
So if you're looking for a work-at-home opportunity that could actually be quite lucrative, this might be your gig.
Let me back up a second, here. Rental car sales agents might be one of the most underestimated jobs in the service industry. (It doesn't help that most of the ones I've encountered in my travels are not exactly shining stars.) Yet as a former rental sales agent and manager, let me tell you that it can be an extremely lucrative position.
Think about it: rental companies charge you an average of perhaps $30 a day on a product they lease for $750 a month. Add in overhead and it's not hard to see that rental rates are pretty much a break-even thing.
So where do they make their money? It's all in the "incremental options"—upgrading to a fancier vehicle, protecting that vehicle, and adding on extra services. (All the stuff we at AutoSlash generally recommend avoiding.)
How much can that add? It depends—but the answer might surprise you. For better or for worse, most rental offices around the country are relatively poorly managed, and staff range from unmotivated automatons to clueless order-takers to unethical shysters who lie their way into a couple extra bucks on their paycheck at customers' expense.
But get a good management team in place and then hire and train for a sales focus, and it's a different ballgame. With a laser-sharp focus on sales training and hiring those people who are good at building rapport and then consistently recommending top-dollar products, a well-managed office can go from adding an average of $5 per rental day in incremental sales options to $25 a day—or more.
That translates into a six-figure paycheck for a good sales agent. Surprised? (And hint: it's a lot less stressful of a job than selling cars.)
Now, I wouldn't expect to make six figures as a home-based agent. For one, it's a lot harder to warmly and naturally greet and build rapport with someone over a 6-inch video screen and a telephone handset—and as anyone who's worked in sales can tell you, rapport is the primary key to closing a sale.
And while home-based work can be freeing and independent, it also makes it harder to feed off of the energy of a good working environment, not to mention swapping tips and ideas with experienced and motivated coworkers. Having a good working relationship with your supervisors is also much harder, and so much of good coaching and feedback comes from an engaged and positive management. Without those tools, it can be hard to pull down the pay that a top agent at a well-run location can.
But the lack of a commute might make up for some of the diminished payout, and there's still plenty of earning potential for a good, motivated sales professional.
Just don't forget to slip the Hertz-branded polo shirt over your pajamas before you log on.
For more details on the Hertz opportunity, click here to apply, and if you'd rather stay on the other side of the counter and want the best rates when renting with Hertz or other companies, don't forget to click here to check out the discounted rates we can find you—and you might want to decline that insurance, too.