Are your benefits parked 95 percent of the time?

Written by Sheri Jacobs, FASAE, CAE

(Image: Adobe Stock)

Most cars are parked 95 percent of the time, and car-sharing services like Turo and Getaround are enabling car owners to earn revenue when their cars would otherwise be parked in their garages. Other peer-to-peer marketplace companies like Tradesy provide an easy online platform for people to sell and buy luxury items. On Tradesy, people get access to brand name shoes, clothing, bags, etc. that they may otherwise not be able to afford. While resale shops are nothing new, the sharing economy makes it easier than ever to have access to luxury cars, shoes, and other items, even if only for a short period of time.

The success of companies like Airbnb have signaled the emergence of a sharing economy, which capitalizes on the desire for access over ownership and allows owners to maximize their return on investment.

Does Your Association Have “Parked” Benefits?
The concept of “parked” benefits is applicable to many associations. Think about your assets that required a significant investment but are used infrequently; you may identify the next wave in peer-to-peer access. One example is your annual meeting. For organizations that provide most of their membership value through member discounts to an annual meeting, the annual meeting may be a “parked” benefit for those unable to attend every year, and some members choose to drop their membership for the years when they cannot attend. By offering flexible access options to the annual meeting (e.g., recordings of sessions available online, opportunities to engage remotely), associations enable members who are unable to attend the meeting in person to take advantage of a benefit that would otherwise be “parked.”

What Drives the Sharing Economy?
There are many drivers behind the prevalence and success of the sharing economy. One driver is the technological advances that enable frictionless transactions. A frictionless transaction makes it easy for an individual to make a purchase without pulling out their credit card. Amazon’s one-click ordering feature is perhaps the most common example of a frictionless transaction. Even in-person transactions are becoming more frictionless with digital payment options, like Starbucks’ mobile payment app. When convenience is a driving factor in the purchase decision, making the transaction frictionless can mean the difference between closing the sale and losing a customer.

Learn more about frictionless transactions and other drivers behind the sharing economy in my new book, Pivot Point, which will be released this weekend at the ASAE Annual Meeting.


This article is adapted from Sheri Jacobs’ book Pivot Point: Reshaping Your Business When It Matters Most (to be published August 18, 2018), which is now available for pre-order. ASAE member and quantity-purchase discounts are available.

Posted on August 17, 2018