No doubt about it, the rent-to-own industry wouldn’t be the same were it not for the state and regional associations that help unite RTO professionals and protect the business. Participation in these networks varies, with some highly energetic and enthusiastic while other groups struggle or are dormant. In the November-December issue of RTOHQ: The Magazine, the national rent-to-own association makes the case that state RTO associations are a crucial element in the success of the industry, providing legislative protection, education, community-service organization, new product options, networking and more—and all of it close to home. For those who ask “Why should I join a state association?,” read this article. Sandi Frye, an APRO board member and president of the Pennsylvania Association of Rental Dealers, hits the nail on the head: “Everyone’s got a reason why he or she is too busy to play a bigger role in the industry. But if we don’t make the time to take care of our associations, then we won’t have businesses to keep us busy.”
Also in this issue, we visit Galveston Island, the host city for Fuse 2017: APRO’s National RTO Convention & Trade Show, May 9–11. In addition to its breathtaking beauty and chilled vibe, Galveston Island is rich in history. With a past that includes pirates, organized crime, major national prestige and the deadliest natural disaster in U.S. history, the island has produced some interesting characters and culture along the way. Today, it’s a perfect family-friendly resort that will make Fuse 2017 an event to remember.
Ed Winn III, APRO’s general counsel, ponders the purpose of price controls in a free-market economy, including in rent-to-own. Spoiler alert: the industry’s expert-in-chief is not a fan of the practice.
If you attended Fuse in Cincinnati, you will recall the impassioned acceptance speech by 2016 Rental Dealer of the Year recipient Casey Pristou. In this issue’s APROfile, find out more about this Illinois-based thrill-seeking yogic master who embraces a lifelong journey of change and, in the process, finds professional and personal success in RTO.
Finally, RTOHQ: The Magazine offers a retail forecast for 2017. Economic prognosticators have crunched the numbers and offer up the key factors that will influence consumers in the coming months.