Are there more benefits that the creation of an online rental community can bring, besides, of course, the obvious? Here are some ideas I had that may be benefits for individuals renting to other individuals, besides the obvious of earning extra cash, saving money, and there being more stuff out there to rent. Benefits to Renting
1)   New contacts and new friends. You never know, but when you meet someone to exchange a rental item, you just might be making a great new friend, or a valuable contact. It seems that this could happen easily, as the item being rented will often be related to an interest or hobby you have in common, such as a musical instrument, a piece of sporting equipment, or perhaps some camera gear.
2)    Rekindle your own interests. The fact that someone else wants to rent that long put away and stored item, might renew your own interest in that item, and the hobby attached to it. The fact that you had to dig out your old sporting equipment, or musical instrument, might make you want to take it up again. You’d be surprised how that happens.
3)    Renting is better than borrowing. Rather than letting your neighbor down the block borrow your tools, or garden equipment, tell them these items are listed for rent on, and they are welcome to rent them. That may not seem neighborly, but if your neighbor is inclined to take advantage of you in a borrowing situation, perhaps the more business like transaction of renting what they want to use of yours, will keep the situation more in control.
4)    A set return time. Instead of your neighbor borrowing your stuff, and then keeping it longer than they were supposed to, a rental arrangement gives them a specific time and date to return the item.
5)    Fewer strained relations. Because there is a rental agreement, and money being exchanged, it may be that items rented between neighbors will take place more professionally than borrowing, leading to a better transaction for both sides, and the neighborly relationship not being strained over details such as the tool was used for too long, or was not returned full of gas, etc. Renting sets out all of the expectations, and most people will act appropriately during a business transaction, making the process pleasant, not strained.
6)    Less grumbling between neighbors. Because there is a specific rental arrangement, and both parties are meeting their end of the deal, there won’t be a need for neighbors to grumble about each other for, keeping the lawn mower too long, not filling it with gas, etc. because hopefully everyone is honoring their end of the agreement. If they are not, well, then they lose their rental privileges.
7)    Good Feelings. You can feel good about helping someone else out, and feel secure about it being a professional rental transaction. Many people feel better about a transaction, rather than a favor, as they don’t have that feeling that they are in your debt, as they’ve paid you fair and square. And everyone can have the good feeling that comes from consuming fewer goods, which helps the environment.
Do you agree with these ideas? If you have anything to add, or to discuss, please leave me a comment.