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

RTO World 2023 Speaker Series: Nina Shively

In this series, learn about RTO World 2023 speakers, and what you’ll take away from their education session.

Nina Shively, Vice President of Purchasing, Buddy’s Newco LLC dba Home Furnishings

Tell us more about yourself and your interest in sharing your RTO expertise with others. What motivates you to share the “secrets of your success”?

I have been in the RTO industry for over 20 years. With my background being interior design, my interest and career path have always been showroom and product-related. The first RTO company I worked for had never hired anyone with a background like mine and typically hired merchandisers whose biggest asset was the ability to move heavy, large objects. I could not only move those big bulky items, but I was also able to place these items in such a way as to teach how showroom appearance is an important factor in buying decisions. The key is, if a customer can envision it in their home, it makes it an easy sell with a better retention rate. My strongest motivation for wanting to share my success is just seeing people’s response to the final result and what a difference it makes. 

Describe your session at RTO World 2023, and what attendees can hope to walk away with, e.g., actionable advice, new ideas, etc.

Building on what I said above, I truly hope attendees will go back home and really start to think about how their showroom can impact what their customers purchase, then implement suggestions they got during the session.

What’s your favorite saying or word and why is it important to you?

My favorite saying related to merchandising is the word POP. When people talk about making a showroom POP, I don’t think they get what that really means. First you need People – without a trained, fully-staffed store you have nothing. The next key to making that showroom is the Overall look – you must have the tables, lamps, rugs, and additional accessories, like plants and decor. Again, customers envisioning items in their home makes the sale and keeps the sale. And last but certainly not least is Product – the right product mix at the right price with a focus on new, rather than used, selection. Make sure all items are refurbished to their best possible condition; no one wants to commit to product that smells like a dirty sock. 

What makes you laugh?

Living life makes me laugh. I’m fortunate to have a wonderful husband and the two cutest, sweetest, and smartest French Bulldogs). And my mom, after losing my dad, willingly chose to join our crazy household. All of us being together can lead to some comical outbursts and really fun times. This is when you have to take a step back and just smile and “laugh”. Life is better when you find your joy. 

Want to learn more from Nina? Be sure to register for RTO World 2023!

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