Currently, no legislation affecting the Rent-to-Own industry is under consideration on Capitol Hill. There are no potential threats, regulations or measures to put the industry at risk and no prospective bills to help strengthen RTO, either. As a result, many in the industry might feel there is no need to meet with congressional leadership regarding RTO right now and might believe those efforts can be put on hold until a prospective bill is on the table. Some might ask, “Why visit the storm shelter if there’s no storm?” and the reality is that the best time to prepare for the storm is during times of relative calm. There is no legislative pressure coming from the RTO industry on your representatives right now—which makes it the best time to build and strengthen your relationships with them. Your members in Congress are more likely to listen to the interests and concerns of their constituents when there are no stakes involved than when they are under pressure to make decisions one way or another. One of the least understood—and underpublicized—aspects of the RTO industry is the unparalleled service dealers provide to their customers. Whether it’s picking up and fixing damaged property or adjusting a rental agreement to the specific needs of a customer, there is a level of customer service in RTO unmatched anywhere else in retail and that does not get enough attention. Now is the time to tell your story to Congressional leadership and help them understand the services you provide to your customers and to your community. Stories about how people’s lives are changed because of the service you provide need to be told to change perceptions and shift the narrative from the negative to the positive. APRO’s Legislative Conference is February 7-9 in Washington, D.C. and we want to help you tell your stories—send them our way and we can help with drafting them into a narrative to be told to representatives and to the public. APRO wants your representatives to hear your stories and understand the impact you are having on your customers and your communities and only you can tell our story! RTO legislation will be drafted and considered soon—that is inevitable. Your representatives will remember RTO constituents in their states and districts whom they have relationships with and they will feel the need to represent your interests first. When the storm arrives, those who prepare will prosper.