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

Reflections of a New RTO Team Member

Frank Gonzales and Jen Troke putting their backs into offloading an Ashley Furniture Industries order.

Last month, APRO Vice President of Membership Jen Troke had the chance to go behind the scenes at APRO member Texas RTO Investments Inc. dba Premier Rental-Purchase. Here’s her story.

I recently had the wonderful opportunity to spend a few days working at several Premier stores in the San Antonio, Texas, area. My only other retail experience had been selling housewares in a department store, and I loved it! I enjoyed visiting with customers to find out more about their needs and then fulfilling those needs – well, maybe wants, in the case of Kitchen-Aid stand mixers! But I’d never worked in a rent-to-own store before, and had been champing at the bit to get some real hands-on experience since I started with APRO.

The award-winning Texas RTO team welcomed me warmly as I arrived at their San Antonio-based Fair Avenue store. I was immediately struck by the exuberant energy coming from the team. The very first thing they proudly showed me was their Core Values poster, which uses the acronym DIPIT: Drive, Integrity, Passion, Intensity, and Teamwork. This team loves working together because of these core values – they won’t work with anyone who doesn’t share them.

The DIPIT values are so important that they’ve become integrated into interview questions; one manager noted, “If [interviewees] have these values, we can train them on the RTO business.” The Core Values have also become a measure for team members to “check themselves” and make sure they’ve had a successful day. The benefits? Minimized staff turnover and a wildly motivated team!

And the benefits of the DIPIT strategy aren’t confined to the team; they’re applied to customer interactions, too. Premier’s philosophy for keeping customers is simple: If we treat them well and take good care of them, then why wouldn’t they come back? The approach is grounded in serving their community; customers come back because they love the products and are treated with respect.

Premier Rental-Purchase’s beautiful West Avenue store showroom floor.

My greatest impression upon entering the stores was how beautiful they were, and I loved how the customers were treated with so much care across the board. There was beautiful furniture and smiling faces all around!

This is only the first of many lessons I learned during my time at Premier, and I can’t wait to share all the skills and reflections I gained from my time working in San Antonio rent-to-own. Stay tuned for the Summer 2024 issue of RTOHQ: The Magazine for much, much more on this winning team’s secrets to success!

Jen Troke (far right) was welcomed as part of the Premier team – (left to right) Mike Lewis, Vanessa Gomez, Felipe Sauceda, Frank Gonzales, Stevie Ray Jimenez, Joe Felan, and Gabriel Zapata – over lunch.

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