Consumer behaviour is always in flux. This is heavily influenced by the constantly changing economic systems, financial settings, and socio-cultural norms. All these have resulted in rent culture emerging as the preferred method of consumption.
The rental economy is nothing new. However, the way it has taken over industries beyond real estate is a clear indication that the new generation of consumers has different priorities than their predecessors.
Millennials Influenced the Shift Towards Rent Culture
The millennial generation prioritises experiences. Rather than showing off their wealth and success through extravagant purchases, this new generation is choosing to spend their money immersing themselves in the world. As a result, they view traditional milestones, such as homeownership as an option instead of a necessity.
With the additional impact of digital social platforms, renting has broadened in scope. Brick and mortar stores are adapting to this socioeconomic shift by offering hire services that are geared towards creating memorable customer experiences. Now, consumers can experience the lifestyle they want at a fraction of the cost and without the intimidating permanence.
Rent Culture Beyond the Housing Market
Rent culture is no longer exclusive to the housing market. These days, almost every industry offers hire services to consumers looking for affordability and convenience.
- In the business sector, the need to always be updated has influenced companies to provide hire services for the latest laptops, tablets, and other technologies. This allows businesses to stay ahead of their competition without having to worry about the turnover rate of expensive equipment.
- These days, earth-moving equipment for hire and other similar services are common offerings in the construction industry. This service allows contractors to use state-of-the-art equipment without worrying about the maintenance and repair expenses that are included in traditional ownership.
- The interior design community has also joined in the move towards rental products. Well-known brands have shown interest in rent culture as a way to offset their carbon footprint. They want to use this trend to encourage consumers to lease their furniture and return it once they no longer have a need for it.
The Future of Rent Culture
Based on the current socio-economic climate, it is likely that rent culture will become the new norm. This is heavily supported by the advantages that it presents to consumers.
Ownership presents the issue of permanence which does not fit the millennial generation’s ethos of mobility. Rent culture enables this generation to freely relocate when personal or professional opportunities arise.
It offers convenience.
Rent culture provides consumers with several products and services that they would otherwise have no access to. Now, consumers have the option to hire a car for a trip or rent a boardroom for meetings anytime and anywhere.
It creates a sense of community.
These days, a large part of rent culture is carried out over digital platforms. These interactions create connections that can extend to the consumer’s personal or professional life. It creates a sense of community, albeit in a non-traditional way.
There is no definitive way to predict how long rent culture will last. However, as consumers continue to see the value in it, it is likely that it will continue to impact business trends in the years to come.