Association of Progressive Rental Organizations | America’s Champion for Rent-to-Own

APRO Board Keeps Eyes on the Prize: Membership Value

It was still a scorching 95°F as APRO’s board of directors began arriving in Austin in late October – unseasonably warm even for Texas. The weather cooled down a little, but board members’ sleeves stayed rolled up as they put in some valuable work for their colleagues and their industry.

“This was one of the most productive APRO board of directors meetings I’ve been involved in to date,” noted APRO President Chris Kale, Sr. “Our current board is made up of some really smart folks, and they showed up in Austin ready to get some great work done. I was especially impressed with our three new board members – Michael Bennett, Phillip Bumbry, and Chad Fosdick; they were super sharp and engaged, and contributed some great ideas over our two-day gathering.”

The first day of the annual fall meeting was dedicated to APRO’s three-year Strategic Plan, created in April 2018 and now halfway through its duration. In addition to its traditional standing committees, the board has formed five teams, responsible for ensuring progress on key goals within the plan.

“Our new Strategic Plan – APRO’s first in 14 years – has empowered us to be more proactive and to stay focused on our five key SMART [Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timebound] goals,” Kale affirms. “Each of our five workgroups is made up of three board members and charged with tackling a key focus area.”

All five of these goals were developed with a singular intent: Maximizing APRO membership value. And almost all of the SMART Goals established within the plan have already experienced substantial progress; these significant stats show the action happening behind the strategy.

Increase Membership

  • APRO staff has developed a new member benefits brochure outlining the association’s value proposition for its members. Email to request a copy.
  • The “Grow with APRO” campaign saw good response which will continue through Spring 2020. The campaign communicates the membership benefits that help businesses grow and flourish, and offers incentives to encourage new members to join.

Improve Financial Stability

  • APRO is expected to have a positive cash flow by the close of the current fiscal year [11.30] – achieving this goal 18 months ahead of schedule.
  • APRO expenses for 2019 are projected to be 15% – about $185,000 – under budget.
  • Since 2016, APRO has reduced its annual operating expenses by 33.5%.

Assess Industry Health

  • APRO is developing a simple online member survey, to measure the health of brick-and-mortar RTO stores; it will be issued annually, with the first survey expected to go out in early 2020.

Maintain a Safe and Legal Business Environment

  • APRO sent members 23 alerts over the past 12 months about potentially negative state or federal RTO legislation.
  • APRO’s 2019 Legislative Conference experienced increases in attendance across the board: 21% more attendees overall; 28% more associate-member participants; and 30% new attendees

Enhance Active Member Engagement

  • APRO Facebook engagement has increased 37% from 2018 to 2019.
  • APRO developed a new educational track for RTO World designed for store managers, producing an 86% increase in the number of store managers attending the convention.

“Everything APRO leadership is doing is about giving our members the greatest value possible for their investment in us,” emphasized APRO Executive Director Jill McClure. “We’re working very hard to be the superior stewards that this industry expects and deserves.”

“Jill and her tight, talented team are doing more with less, and with exceptional execution,” Kale concludes. “I want APRO members to know our current focus is 100% on providing the most value for all members. Great things are happening at APRO, and the best is yet to come!”

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