Web-based, rental enquiry services provider erento said it delivered enquiries worth €505 million to rental companies in 2008, an annual rise of 170%.
Erento said 2000 rental companies signed up with the company in 2008, taking the total number of companies using the service to 9200 in 26 countries, offering more than one million items for rent.
The company, headquartered in Germany, has been expanding steadily in Europe and launched in the UK in March 2008, signing up since HSS, Andrews Sykes and Hire Station, among others. Erento said its UK rental enquires in January this year were 92% higher than in December.
Erento said it provides a "product-based, proximity-focused" service. "We fill up the rental company's pipeline with qualified equiries. We let the rental company close the deal," Clinton Patterson, erento's director of international operations, told IRN. "We are not a directory."
Over 2000 rental companies became an erento customer in 2008 - taking the number of companies using the service to 9200 across 26 countries.
As economic conditions force both businesses and consumers to consider renting instead of buying, erento has enjoyed a huge growth in demand across an increasingly diverse range of rental services. erento has also seen a dramatic uplift in interest from hire companies looking for cost effective ways to drive sales.
"Due to their success with the erento sales channel, existing customers are now reporting that they've been able to reduce their online marketing budgets while achieving revenue growth. Increasing our customers' revenue while also reducing their cost lines has made us a very attractive partner. Our performance-based billing model also makes erento a very low risk marketing option," comments Mr Patterson.
Erento is so confident in its sophisticated online marketing expertise that it guarantees to return at least double in customer enquiries the value of a customer's initial marketing investment.
The Internet is seen as a low-cost way for rental companies to market, particularly among small trademen and homeowners. In addition to erento, French-Belgian site Zilok - which describes itself as a kind of ‘rental eBay' - has been expanding internationally, with operations in France, Belgium, The Netherlands, the US and, most recently, the UK.