ShopRTO.com Launches Website Featuring Rent to Own as a Part of the Latest "Sharing Economy" Trend

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Recent stories from Time Magazine, Forbes and The Economist on the "Sharing Economy" puts the rent to own lifestyle in the spotlight.

Rent to own becoming part of the renter's revolution

Rent to own becoming a part of "sharing economy"

Rent to own has come a long way in its pricing and payment options.

ShopRTO.com's launch coincides with the recent and growing media attention of the "sharing economy". The transformation of American rental culture in recent years has turned the notion of America as an ownership economy on its head. The trend, still in its infancy, has been termed the "sharing" economy, one that gives access to home furnishings without the obligation to own it or, at least, the option to own as with the rent to own transaction.

Though to many, renting the basics is still about making ends meet, a shinier, more affluent cadre of renters has also emerged, and they are shifting mainstream thinking about the ideals of ownership and what we want out of the dollars we spend, according to a recent The Economist article.

In some ways, rentals offer a need for a busier, more crowded world: environmentally friendly car-sharing schemes, cloud-based apps and software to maintain and upgrade myriad home gadgets (refrigerators that alert when milk is needed, thermostats that track energy use, alarm systems that send video of the home). Those attributes save money, and parts of the economy grow as these new sharing-oriented business models are created.

A rush into rentals isn't unusual during recessions. People tend to switch from buying to renting essentials like home furniture, refrigerators and televisions when wallets are thin and credit is tight. So do corporations, which rely more on rented office space, temporary workers and rented machinery. Usually this is a temporary shift that lasts only until a recovery begins. But coming out of the Great Recession, there are signs that rentership is becoming more of a lifestyle choice.

The migration to more-flexible living has seeped into all facets of life. Which is why rent to own has seen such a surge in use in past years. No other transaction allows the flexibility than rent to own as the renter never incurs debt and can return the furnishing at any time without penalty. But, only rent to own, still gives that renter the option to own.

The trend reflects banks' tightening lending standards, especially for home loans, as well as consumers' fearing for their financial future. The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index--a measure of Americans' perceptions of the economy, their personal finances and whether it's a good time to buy goods and services--which was already negative, has fallen 41.5 points since 2007.

The age of austerity has coincided with the Facebook age, one that prioritizes impermanence and immediacy, which also breeds a renter mentality. It seems though most Americans now have less to spend, they haven't lowered their expectations. They still want nice things for their homes. This makes this idea of renting and rent to own suddenly seem more urgent and doable.

Younger consumers are also more educated, better traveled and more physically active, which heightens the appeal of spending precious dollars on new experiences rather than ownership of things, according to market studies.

The bottom line: there are rewards to reap from the rental economy, both economic and social, but they depend on how it is used. Rent to own has come a long way in its pricing and payment options. It's now, though, that consumer perception about renting has caught up. And that's where ShopRTO.com comes in to make sure consumers make the most of their renting experience.

It's easy to envision a rental culture that recasts the value of ownership, empowering consumers to share more, waste less and cherish the things they do commit to own.

About ShopRTO.com:
ShopRTO.com provides affordable home furnishings and living tips for Americans, and when rent-to-own may be right for their home shopping choices.

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Richard May
APRO
512-225-1051
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Murlin Evans
APRO
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