A R Rental Center has had a website for several years now. In fact, the general rental store, located in York, PA, has gone through three generations of websites, according to company Operations Manager John Makrias. “We developed the first one ourselves. It was adequate at the time, but we wanted something better, so we outsourced the design for our second one to an advertising agency. Their version looked slightly better on layout, but it was worse on functionality and imagery because they did not understand our industry.
“Then we brought in my sister Kayla Dizio to develop a new site. She’s not only very knowledgeable about websites and social media, but she also understands the industry and is a professional photographer.”
Kayla and John were both raised in the business. Their grandfather started the company 50 years ago, and their father currently owns it. “Being a general rental store, we provide both party and equipment rentals,” John explained. “During the recession, we started to focus more on the party side. Customers weren’t renting tools and equipment, but they were getting married. Since then, we’ve gradually been building our equipment side. Still, party represents nearly 80 percent of our rental sales.
“I believe having a web presence with excellent graphics and images offers more value to our party customers than our equipment customers. Images are very important for people staging events whereas contractors and DIY’ers looking for a specific piece of equipment are more interested in a general description of what’s in your inventory.”
Kayla agrees. “Currently the special events and party side of our website has more images than the equipment side, but we’re working on the latter, as well,” she said. “We completely redid the website two years ago, adding more images, more products, and making sure there’s a call to action and contact information throughout.”
She continued, “We’re also on Facebook and Google Plus and try to post something at least once a week. Currently, we’re gearing up for the busy season and doing some hiring, so it’s difficult to devote as much time as we would like to social media.”
Both sides of A R Rental’s business, equipment and party, look to benefit from a revitalization going on in York. “Older neighborhoods are being renovated and there’s just a lot of energy in town created by a younger generation,” John noted. “Construction is up and so are new venues and events that help the party side, enough work to be sure to keep our 11 employees busy.”