Lori Holst, owner of Holst Hardware in DeWitt, Iowa, joined the American Rental Association (ARA) in October, but didn’t have a chance to update her inventory, demographic information and key contacts within her organization until December. When she went online, she was surprised at how easy and fast it was.
“It was very simple to do and it just led you through every step,” Holst says. “It was all very self-explanatory.”
When Don Jones, president of Jones Rental in Ashland, Ohio, wanted to renew his ARA membership, he was impressed that it took him just a few minutes and how “user-friendly” the entire process was.
“Before, I would need to call or fill out a form, write a check and send the form and check in the mail. I like to do things once. When I renewed this time, I could quickly renew and review my demographic information all at the same time. It was really quick and easy,” he says.
Both Holst and Jones benefited from ARA’s new auto-renewal feature.
“We’ve streamlined the process, made it easier to renew your membership, update your inventory and demographics, change your password and more,” says John Sammon, ARA’s vice president of operations and technology.
Now, when members log in to ARArental.org and go to “Manage Your Membership” under the “Members” tab, they will find five different options:
- Change your password
- Manage staff logins
- Renew/update your membership info
- RentalHQ.com listing
- Website hosting
“These new listings allow you to update just what you want when you want. It makes the whole process so much easier while giving you more control,” says Debby Schaller, ARA’s director of general member services.
The “Renew/update your membership info” is where members will see the most change, Schaller says.
“This page states when your membership is due and allows you to renew your membership via a secure online portal. This section has two tabs. One is ‘Company information’ where you can update your company information, locations, demographic information, key staff contacts and inventory information,” Schaller says.
“Updating your inventory information is crucial for your RentalHQ.com listing. RentalHQ.com is the largest rental store locator available. Rental customers use this site to find the nearest rental company that offers the equipment they need. If you don’t update your listing every time you add to your inventory mix, you are turning away potential customers who need that very item. Keeping your information up to date is a smart business decision — one that will benefit you and your customers,” Schaller says.
The other tab under the “Renew/update your membership info” is “My info.” “This tab offers more personal information. You can view Rental Management and Rental Pulse, sign up for the ARA Young Professionals Network, register for The Rental Show, change your password, see how many posts you have had on the Member-to-Member Forum and even link to that forum,” she says.
“If you don’t have a viable website, turn to the ‘Website hosting’ link. ARA can help you create a strong, user-friendly website and host it for free, all as a benefit of membership,” Schaller adds.
Holst and Jones say the changes are helpful and can make updating membership information effortless. “Anyone can do it — even if you don’t have much computer experience,” says Holst, who found an extra advantage by going through the equipment lists and updating her inventory.
“As I went through the lists, I noticed there were some larger pieces of equipment listed that we should get for our inventory. We are just getting into larger equipment. I thought a few of the items listed would be a great addition,” she says.
You can learn more about this new service by going to the ARA Resource Center at The Rental Show this month in Orlando, Fla., or by calling ARA Member Services at 800-334-2177.