|▲ Chairman Kim Tae-jin|
According to the KT Economic Research Institute, the Korean rental business was US$26 billion in 2016 and will reach $40 billion by 2020. While the large operators are making a steady progress, the small operators are suffering difficulties in terms of cost and manpower. It is notable that majority of operators are small or one-man business who are struggling for marketing, management and quality supply. Observing this struggling for a long time, people in the same mind finally gathered together to launch LifeRental Coop (cooperative) to promote rights and interests of small rental business owners.
Block chain-based brand marketing and networking
LifeRental Coop built block chain-based brand marketing and networking for the members and the branches. The system includes a group insurance to protect the members in case of legal disputes as well as good profit making platforms.
The LifeRental Coop Establishment Committee representative Jo Kil-jong says “The main rental goods are water purifier, bidet, audio, musical instrument, office supplies and hearing aide. Our job is to provide support for co-branding and marketing, nationwide networking, transparency of trade and data management. We also secured a way to generate 0.2% profit on the oil express app whenever our members fuel up at a gas station (NH Bank gas station).”
In order to reduce purchasing cost, LifeRental Coop helps the members get a discount bond and issues QR code to guarantee the quality of the product. LifeRental Coop also manages the record of transfer or signing over the property to make the processing smooth and clear. This can greatly help the LifeRental Coop’s 50 member companies, who are thirst for marketing strategies and effective management of their rental business, under the support and services of LifeRental Coop.
Kim Tae-jin, Chairman of LifeRental Coop and CEO of Software Make, has engaged in development and supply of rental programs for 20 years. He currently is working on apps for rental record, shopping mall, mobile voucher and gas gift voucher. The block chain-based rental record of LifeRental Coop especially secured transparency and safety of the trade. It is also notable that Kim enabled a cryptocurrency payment within the system to make the trade more convenient. The app is expected to be frequently used through its huge network that will have around 1 million member companies including their customers.
Most rental business operators are in great need of rental coordinator who can carry out maintenance alongside marketing especially when it comes to water purifier and air purifier which are the two most rented in Korea. As a solution, LifeRental Coop hires and runs rental coordinators to carry out the job. This can also contribute to creating jobs among young people and elderly and LifeRental Coop is currently working on building partnership with various organizations and welfare centers for seniors.
Spreading the value of rental economy
In fact, LifeRental Coop is not in the stage of full operation yet. But expectations of the members are already high. LifeRental Coop Establishment Committee representative Jo Kil-jong says “The Korean sharing economy, or rental economy if you like, is profitable in terms of its type. LifeRental Coop, therefore, will spread ‘value-driven’ rental economy like advanced countries while promoting the rights and interests of our members at the same time.”
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