Modo for Business Interview: Martin Knowles Photo/Media
Modo for Business is a rapidly growing part of our membership. Over 400 businesses in the Lower Mainland and Victoria choose Modo to reduce their operating costs and foster a culture of sharing. In collaboration with the HiVE, Vancouver’s community hub for social impact, we’re featuring Modo and HiVE members and their carsharing experience.
Martin Knowles — Martin Knowles Photo/Media
Who are you/ what do you do?
I’m a Vancouver-based architectural photographer. I help people share and promote their design work (whether it’s architecture, interior design, real estate, renovation, or furnishing), get published, and win awards through great photography.
What’s your favourite Modo neighbourhood car?
Tie between the Capitol Residences Juke (because it’s just big enough to handle long light stands and lots of gear while still being easily maneuverable through downtown traffic), and the Capitol Residences Prius for longer trips—it’s comfy and efficient.
How long have you been a Modo Business member?
Since 2010. I’ve been a Modo Member-Owner since about 2005 (back in the days of paper trip logs), but I made the switch due to Modo Business pricing working out a lot better for the trips I tend to do.
How does Modo help your business?
Modo lets us run a fully mobile, on-location photography business without having to own a car! Since we’re not on location every day, you can get a whole lot of Modo time and car rentals for substantially less than the price of a downtown parking spot and a car to put in it. It’s also more flexible: sometimes you need a cargo van to schlep furniture and a few hundred pounds of cameras and lights to a house, and sometimes you just need a Smart for a quick (and toll-free!) dash out to Surrey to scout a job.
One thing you think all Business members should know?
If you’re doing a full-day rental, check Modo’s prices against those of your local car rental. During midsummer and around major holidays, Modo’s a lot cheaper (particularly after gas and fees), and sometimes, particularly for economy cars, a day of your local car rental place is cheaper.
What’s your favourite local business?
Atomic Bike Shop, on West 6th off Granville. As much as I love Modo, I try to bike as much as possible, and Steve does amazing service work from a wonderful little hole-in-the-wall location across from one of my other favourite local businesses, Beau Photo Supply.
Using carsharing and a shared office space, what does “access over ownership” mean to you?
It means having the things you need pretty easily available, while making maintenance, administration, and environmental impact better because everyone’s chipping in with money, time, or both. Being a HiVE founding member, it’s great to be part of a community of other small business folks doing good work, and it’s a great way to meet other like minded people, have good discussions over food or late-night coffee, and often end up being able to learn from each other’s expertise and experience—and have the flexibility to use things we only each need occasionally (like meeting room space, or, in the case of Modo, cars) without having to pay for the extra real estate all the time.
How does your business benefit from the sharing economy?
A lot! We try to use shared resources as much as possible, particularly in places where we don’t need/want to own something we only use occasionally. This makes things cheaper and easier for us, and we can pass the savings and flexibility on to our clients. You can also end up being able to do things through informal sharing that you can’t do any other way—for instance, we use medium format digital for a lot of our shoots, and that’s gear that only a few people in town have, so if you need something or your gear breaks, a quick call to a colleague might save your shoot!