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Podcast; Rent One Kicks Off 2007 Managers Conference In St. Louis; Interviews With VPs Trent Agin and Mark Williams
02-07-07
RTO Online
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Our training sessions are about gaining an edge. Knowing just a little more than the next guy can be that edge.
Kris Lowe, Human Relations Manager, Rent One

photo RTO Online
Larry Carrico, owner of Rent One, welcomes attendees to the 2007 Rent One Managers Conference in St. Louis, Missouri Tuesday.
See photos from Tuesday's cocktail reception here

Rent One, one of the largest independently owned rent to own companies in the United States, kicked off its Annual Managers Conference Tuesday. This years theme is "Rentastic 2007!" The conference will run through Thursday. See photos from Tuesday's cocktail reception here. See podcast interviews below.

Rent One operates 43 locations in Missouri, Illinois, Indiana and Arkansas. 125 employees and vendors are attending the conference.

Larry Carrico, owner of Rent One, said, "We come together each year to review, reflect, reward achievements and develop skills." Carrico told attendees at Tuesday's cocktail reception that he sees tremendous opportunities for growth in 2007.

Training sessions at this year's conference include everything from leadership and account management to seminars on the most recent technology developments from companies like LG Electronics. LG's Mike Wood is on hand to train managers on all aspects of digital TV. Rent One Human Resource Manager Kris Lowe says training is key to being competitive. "It's about gaining an edge," she said. "Knowing just a little more than the next guy can be that edge."

Lyn Leach, owner of Lincoln, Nebraska based Ace Rent To Own, will keynote the 2007 Conference Wednesday. Leach opened his first rent to own store in Lincoln, Nebraska in 1982. He served as President of the Association of Progressive Rental Organizations (APRO) in 2003-04 (see story). His keynote session will continue Rent One's education focus, touching on collections, sales, hiring and how to increase repeat business. Leach said, "We can rent as much product as we can get our hands on, but can we retain [the customer]?" Referring to his Nebraska RTO stores Leach added, "We run 73% repeat clients day after day. When you compare that to big chain stores, they're lucky to be in the 40s."

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Trent Agin, Vice President for Business Systems for Rent One. Interview with Trent Agin, Vice President for Business Systems for Rent One; Running time 7:06

Trent Agin is Rent One Vice President for Business Systems. Among other duties, Agin handles much of the company's technology. A key area of concern for any company with a multi-state footprint is communications. Agin says maintaining open communication with 43 locations in 4 states without disrupting everyone's schedule is a challenge that only technology can solve. Trent told RTO Online in a podcast interview from St. Louis Tuesday, "When you can get the right information to the right people rapidly, it empowers them to perform."

Excerpt:
RTO Online: How has technology helped improve Rent One's inventory control?
Trent Agin: "Computer rentals have skyrocketed over the past few years. One of the ways we've been able to take advantage of the computer business is in managing the pricing structure of pre-rented computers. With pricing and features changing so fast, a computer that is a year old may show a higher rental rate in our POS than a new unit. To solve that issue, we have a real-time rate listing that stores can sort by model number, price etc. Managers can look up the minimum rental rate and market pre-rented computers independently of the POS system.

Listen to RTO Online's podcast interview with Trent Agin, Vice President for Business Systems for Rent One; Running time 7:06.

Mark Williams, Vice President for Sales and Marketing, Rent One. Interview with Mark Williams, Vice President for Sales and Marketing for Rent One; Running time 4:49

Mark Williams is Rent One's Vice President for Sales and Marketing. Williams is responsible for marketing Rent One to the real and the virtual world. Rent One has maintained a web presence for many years. Williams says a rental company's website should mirror their brick and mortar locations. Rent One offers web visitors a full line catalog of current merchandise with pricing and terms. Customers can complete the entire rental process from their home. Williams says they've busted the myth that rental consumers don't shop online. Website visits, and more importantly rental applications, have tripled since the online catalog was launched.

Excerpt:
RTO Online: Is it important for your website to be a reflection of Rent One's brick and mortar location?
Mark Williams: Absolutely. We see a lot of websites out there in both retail and rental that aren't a reflection of the company. They tend to be more informational sites. We wanted to give visitors a real-life story about Rent One.

Listen to RTO Online's podcast interview with mark Williams, Vice President for Sales and Marketing for Rent One; Running time 4:49.

RTO Online will file daily updates from St. Louis. Please check www.rtoonline.com for updates including podcasts interviews with Rent One execs and photo galleries.

RTO Online is the official channel for Rent-to-Own Industry News and the only independent source of news for the rent-to-own, rental-purchase, lease-purchase trade. RTO Online (Rent to Own Online) represents the choice of the entire RTO Industry for trusted information, as it happens.

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