Rent It Today Featured In Business Courier

Jason Glass wants nothing less than to build www.RentItToday.com into the eBay of the rental world.
He’s got a heck of a head start.

With listings for everything from houses to helicopters to high chairs, Rent It Today is a one-stop Internet site for anything anyone wants to rent across the country. Want to rent an inflatable Hose Hockey game? It’s on there. A funnel cake fryer? The site has that, too. Dream of going to Miami and driving a Lamborghini for the day? Rent It Today has a link to make that happen.
The searchable site lists hundreds of items for rent across the country and is gaining traction with local rental property owners who can list rental homes, condos and apartments on the site for as little as $4.99 per month per unit, said Glass, who launched the business with former mortgage broker Matt Stephenson.

“We take the Wal-Mart approach – low cost and lots of inventory,” Glass said. “Our market share just keeps growing.”As does the company itself. RentItToday now employs between seven and 10 people at its office in Cold Spring, including some part-time contract workers, Glass said. Glass and his partner want to grow that number to between 25 and 50 employees in the next year or so, he said.

After all, there are roughly 35 million residential rental properties in the U.S., Glass said. If Rent It Today can get just one-half of 1 percent of those listings, Glass figures the company could earn $930,000 a month in recurring revenue. That’s not counting vacation properties and the many other categories on the site, he said.

Turning to internet first The business earns nowhere near that, but it’s growing. Glass said Rent It Today used to struggle for sales of $4,000 per month. Now it has revenue of $4,000 per week, he said. That’s thanks to customers such as Uptown Rental Properties, which has about 20 properties listed with www.RentItToday.com and aims to increase that to 100 by month’s end, said Marketing Director Jessica Pfeifer.

“Today’s generation turns to the Internet as its first source of information for anything,” Pfeifer said. Sam Thompson, owner of the Real Property Management’s Cincinnati franchise, said his company gets more leads from its Rent It Today listings all the time.

“He’s got a good national presence,” Thomp­son said. “He’s probably got the most unique product out there on the Internet because he’s renting everything.”

The company started in January 2006 as a magazine listing properties for rent. After 18 months, the partners decided to build a Web-only model, although Glass said they might bring back the magazine in vacation-oriented markets in the future. Now, though, the challenge is search engine optimization. Glass and Stephenson want their site to pop up on search engines whenever anyone looks to rent something.

Another site – for agents At the same time, they’re building a sister site, AgentRentalResource.com. Real estate agents who pay a membership fee can use it to access listings for rental properties across the U.S. that pay commissions. Glass calls it the “MLS for the rental world.” The site also can help agents link clients with credit repair programs, and they can earn commissions for that work, too, Glass said.

“In Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati, we probably have 1,500 properties that would pay a commission,” he said. Huff Realty real estate agent Larry Wallace said he has earned commissions through the site, although he views it more as a marketing tool. “I’m looking to build up my clientele of folks who are loyal to me as a result of this and will buy later on.”
Plus, he said, “The idea of getting even a small check in between normal sales is appealing to me.”

Glass and Stephenson are working with Hamilton County Development Corp. business coach Brenda Collins on the best way to grow their company, which Collins called full of potential.
“It’s conceivable that it could get a lot busier than it already is,” Collins said. “It’s just a matter of getting additional manpower to propel it forward.”

Glass is confident they have a winning concept. “The economy’s tough right now,” Glass said. “But our business is prospering week in and week out.”

Written By Lucy May
lmay@bizjournals.com (513) 337-9437
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