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

2024: A Day in the Life in RTO | Ben Pou

Name: Ben Pou

What’s your current role/title?

Multi-Unit Franchisee, Owner of TPGBHF Holdings LLC dba Buddy’s Home Furnishings.

Years in RTO:

About a year. But I’m the fifth generation of furniture retailers in my family, and proud to continue the legacy as a franchise owner with Buddy’s.

How did you find your current position?

I resigned from my prior position, and with my operating group, signed up to develop 14 locations across Central Florida by 2028. We opened up three stores last year – in Daytona Beach, Casselberry, and Orlando – just opened our fourth store, in Arcadia, and are about to open our fifth store, in Wauchula.

What did you do before you began working in RTO?

I’ve worked at a furniture retailer that did their own financing my whole adult life. I’ve worked in supply chain, sales, and collections.

What do you do in a typical day or week?

I spend a lot of time reading reports and making calls. I’d like to be doing more in the stores, but it’s tough to do it all in the day.

What are the benefits of working in RTO?

We help people who otherwise wouldn’t be able to make their house a home. And whenever a customer of ours wants something just for the short-term, we can meet those needs for as long as they can use the item.

What do you love best about your job or employer?

I’ve spent my whole life in Central Florida, so I know the region like the back of my hand. I love helping this community, and continuing to build strong relationships with my team and customers.

How do you manage work-life balance?

Ha! Work-life balance is a myth, I think. I’ve never been really great at it, but right now, as a quickly growing franchisee, the work all comes to me – day or night, weekday or weekend. So I believe my balance is going to be sort of one-sided for a while.

What do you predict will change in the rent-to-own industry over the next five years?

I think the types of products we offer and the way we lease them will change. The “old-school” way of doing RTO has already evolved how we deal with collections, and the next step is how we write up agreements.

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