Natalia Pérez, Marketing and Communications Intern
If you're itching to finally invest some time into that home improvement project you've had on your list for years, a DIY project or anything that requires equipment from ladders and hammers to leaf blowers, pressure washers, lawn mowers and generators, but don't have the resources to buy or store your own equipment — Rent My Equipment was made for you.
Founded by Nick Phillips, Skip Browning and Alan Williams, the peer-to-peer rental website and app functions like an Airbnb for equipment — making the process as simple as renting a place on Airbnb.
Trend: Tell me about how Rent My Equipment got started?
Rent My Equipment: In March of 2019, we were looking at Airbnb and began thinking that an app for rental tools and equipment would be a good idea. Rent My Equipment has been referred to as the Airbnb of rentals by many people when the app was in the works.
Trend: How does the process work for someone to place their equipment for rent, or for someone to acquire an equipment rental?
RME: People list tools, equipment, recreational items, musical instruments, etc. and others can rent through the app safely with peace of mind, thanks to E.P.P. (Equipment Protection Plan) and Stripe who is our payment processing partner.
Rent My Equipment charges a commission from the listed rental price. This is based on the rental price, delivery, fuel and metered hour charges. If your total rental charge is less than $50, the commission retained by Rent My Equipment is 35%. If your total rental charge is $50 or more the commission is 25%. At the end of the day that the rental equipment is checked in, we would send your payment via debit card or ACH. ACH payments will typically show up in your bank account as soon as the next business day. With a debit card on file, you could see payment the same day.
Trend: How has Rent My Equipment grown in the past year?
RME: The app was launched and marketed in September 2020, so not a whole year under our belt yet, but the growth has been so exciting. Users have downloaded the app by the dozen daily, with only 4-5 months of marketing in Chattanooga, and have registered and downloaded the app in 43 states. We've had organic growth through our social media platforms and intend to launch marketing in Nashville (our second market) on April 1 and have very high expectations based on our success in Chattanooga. We'll be continuing to build our team and stretch our marketing efforts.
Trend: What makes you unique from other peer-to-peer sharing technology?
RME: Our partners don’t have the overhead costs that brick and mortar rental companies have so our rental rates are more competitive and our offering is substantially broader.
Trend: How do you feel your business has been beneficial for people?
RME: That leaf blower, ladder, generator, mountain bike, metal detector or drone that you bought last year but have only found time or needed to use once or twice can now be a source of income. As I mentioned before, RME’s partners don’t have the expenses that conventional rental entities have (fleet costs, employees, trucks, buildings/warehouses, etc.) so we can rent for less. Furthermore, owners of gas-powered equipment have the benefit of these motors being exercised when rented. RME is a great way to share in the community in a time when it’s most needed.
Trend: What kinds of customers have you attracted?
RME: We’ve seen trailers rented, log splitters, leaf blowers, extension ladders, skid steers, mini excavators and assume most have been home projects but the app appeals to DIY-ers, commercial and residential contractors, outdoorsy people, dads, moms, sons, daughters, brothers and sisters.
We have just begun a user outreach program to collect feedback and improve functionality based on that feedback to make it as simple to use as possible. We hope to continue working on the app's design and simplicity so that anyone can use it regardless of expertise, age, experience with technology, trade, you name it!
Trend: Anything else you'd like to share about the app?
RME: I think what makes this app attractive is the fact that this is geared toward anyone who wants to use equipment, whether it be recreational or project-based, who doesn’t want to worry about investing thousands of dollars and then having to figure out a way to store it for when the next adventure or project comes along.
For more information on Rent My Equipment, to view equipment rentals or to download the app, visit the website here.