If you are in professional production and post production today, you know one thing: This business is tough. There are so many pressures out there bearing down on your ability to turn ideas into dollars. We’re all in the business of “moving pictures” and yet that business is slowly being chopped up into tinier pieces of the pie. How can you keep more of your money? Is it possible to generate revenue from resources I already have?
That was the goal at Honey Badger Software when we wrote “Rent Me”–an app that uncovers the secrets of one of the biggest industries: the equipment rental trade.
Rent Me is the “app that pays you back” and its described like that for very specific reasons.
Ask yourself a question: what did you pay on that last camera rental? That set of lighting that was more expensive than you though? The great looking–but expensive–set of lenses you used on your project?
Now ask yourself this: how did they come up with that price? Was there a scientific method for determining the price? Are prices fixed? Are they setting pricing according to wild guesses?
The answer is frustrating and simple at the same time. There is absolutely a consistent and solid way to determine short term rental pricing. And your rental facility will never tell you the method. Its that simple. The less you know about pricing methodology, the more they can charge. The rental trade provides a very valuable service for the production community. But its hard on everyone in this industry, so people keep as many competitive advantages to themselves as they can–including the secret of how rental items are priced.
Honey Badger puts the power of knowledge back into the hands of the film industry. Simply download a copy of Rent Me and you’ll possess the exact algorithm that rental houses use to price out their gear for the market. You’ll never be in the dark again about a price that seemed to be too high.
You can also use Rent Me to generate revenue back from gear you already have, such as:
- DaVinci Resolve Panel
- RED ONE Camera System
- Assimilate SCRATCH Grading System
- Autodesk Smoke System
- NewTek TCXD850 Live Switching System
- Zeiss Master Primes
People come to find out relatively quickly “who has the good gear” in town. And then they come calling with all sorts of offers:
- Can you do me a favor…
- Can I give you a backend of our project?
- Will you donate your gear usage to our non-profit’s shoot?
It goes on and on. People simply DO NOT understand the value of your gear. Now, you can let them know PRECISELY what your gear is worth on a daily basis. You no longer have to worry about people trying to reduce the impact of them using your gear for free. Use Rent Me and you can show them exactly what your gear costs per day to use.
There are all times we participate in the backend of a project here or there–we all want to help each other out. However, when it comes to fairly measuring what that contribution is worth–that’s where things can get sticky. You can take the mystery out of the conversation and replace it with facts. Just use Rent Me to determine the fair value of your gear and you can go into negotiations that your kit will be treated MUCH more fairly and with a greater respect for its true cost.
Using Rent Me couldn’t be easier. Interested in finding a daily rental range? Just give the item you are pricing out a name for reference (i.e. RED EPIC Camera System) and then put in the total retail cost of the item or items. That’s it! Rent Me will generate a daily rental rate based on the price of the item and the rental house algorithm that’s applied to it.
There are also a couple of handy modifiers you can use. Is the item current? Or is it a generation behind the new gear? That will affect the final price. Also–you can also set a modifier based on if the item’s demand in the market is normal or if its “soft.” Items like a Canon 5D or a set of inexpensive lights might be classified as “soft” whereas more rare items like a Phantom camera would never be classified as “soft.”
Once you’ve checked out the daily rates, simply add the item to your quick reference list and open the item from within the list. You’ll get additional rates listed in this window–including weekly, multi-weekly, and monthly rental charges.
Honey Badger Software developed Rent Me in cooperation with Silverado Systems, Inc. of Folsom, California. As a rental facility, Silverado have used this secret algorithm to price rental items for years and rarely shared it outside with anyone else. Silverado was one of the original RED owners and have developed a proficiency for deploying full feature film cinema kits based on RED equipment. This includes such diverse things like extra lenses, batteries, matte boxes, and media. When you use Rent Me, you’ll now know exactly how these rental items should be priced. In fact, as a matter of facility policy–Silverado will be using Rent Me going forward to determine pricing on all new rental items.
“I literally thought it would be a while before I used Rent Me on an active rental, but I used it within just hours of downloading it,” said Torrey Loomis, CEO of Silverado “I had a customer come in and request an item that we normally don’t unbundle from a larger package. UsingRent Me, I instantly calculated the rental price and the customer paid for it on the spot. This app paid for itself tenfold the very first day I used it and I can’t say that about any other app in my toolkit. The usability of this app is extraordinary and I’ll be using Rent Me on a daily basis. I’ve never had an app make us money this fast.”
Kevin Beck of Red Barn Films also commented “We’re always getting requests for different gear packages when we go on location and its one of the more challenging aspects of doing our bids.” He added “We’ll use Rent Me from now on as our baseline tool for valuation. There is nothing else even remotely close to this tool available anywhere. Very few of my apps gets regular use, but I can guarantee that Rent Me will be used weekly for Red Barn productions.”
Rent Me also defends you against rental prices that seem “too good to be true.” There is a major hidden danger for going with ultra low priced gear packages. The price might be nice, but you need to remember that all gear requires service and maintenance as well as regular updates. If an owner is not quoting enough for the rental, you could be getting an item with some serious neglect!
The rental ranges provided by Rent Me allow for owners to add enough profit into their pricing for servicing and maintaining the gear in excellent working order. You won’t get stuck with a gear package that seems “too good to be true.” Use can use Rent Me to make sure you’re in the safe zone.
Apple just recently made version 1.0 of Rent Me available for immediate purchase and download. Rent Me is available everywhere and is on sale for $6.99
Link to Rent Me on iTunes App Store: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/rent-me/id474410648?ls=1&mt=8
Future versions of Rent Me will include “Multi Item Bundles” and we’re also creating a module that will allow you to determine facility rentals as well as equipment rentals.
Rent Me is currently scheduled to go up to $14.99 later in 2011. Get Rent Me now for a reduced price and possess one of the most powerful tools for any media professional. Rent Me truly is “the app that pays you back.”
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