On The Level: Rent-to-Own Programs
On The Level: Rent-to-Own Programs

Big Sky Land Management Shares Tips for Rent-to-Own Programs

Rent-to-own programs can be a solid strategy for construction management businesses looking to purchase equipment. Cat® Ambassadors and Big Sky Land Management owners Justin and Danielle Miller share guidance and tips on rent-to-own programs.

CAITLIN MADDOCK-BAHR | Social Media & Digital Strategy Manager

Purchasing construction equipment can be a financial challenge for business owners. However, rent-to-own programs can prove to be a useful strategy for starting and/or growing your business. I sat down with Cat® Ambassadors Justin and Danielle Miller of Big Sky Land Management to hear their insights about the pros and cons of rent-to-own programs and how other companies might start their own.

Justin and Danielle have been in business since 2005 and, in that time, have weathered both a recession and pandemic. They’re smart about their cashflow and found that a rent-to-own program for their construction equipment has helped them get the machines they need while managing their money wisely. They’ve also experienced some other benefits:

  • Don’t need to have as much cash on-hand to rent
  • Can create equity in their rental machines
  • Can try out a machine before purchasing to see if they want to commit
  • Lets them test new technologies they might not otherwise get to use
  • Still have warranties on rental equipment, so if things break down, they're covered

“If you’re buying a machine outright and getting a loan, you must make sure your revenue supports a loan,” say Justin and Danielle. “A lot of young contractors get ahead of themselves.”

While construction rental programs have plenty of benefits, they also come with some drawbacks:

  • Renting can cost a bit more in the long run
  • Purchasing equipment with cash provides better incentives than renting or leasing, and still allows you to get a loan on your purchase through a third-party vendor or Cat Financial.

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Big Sky Land Management
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Big Sky Land Management
Big Sky Land Management
Big Sky Land Management

Even with some downsides, Justin and Danielle still find a lot of value in a construction rent-to-own program and have some words of wisdom for business owners considering purchasing equipment. Their biggest piece of advice? Plan ahead.

“Start planning for the season about six months in advance,” they say. “Think about the jobs you’re bidding on, figure out which machines work best for you and try to have enough jobs to keep the rental for at least six months. If you have enough work to keep it busy for that time, you can start to consider purchasing.”

Your local Cat dealer is a great resource when you’re in the planning phase and can help you determine how to get you into the equipment you need. Justin and Danielle recommend setting up a meeting with your dealer representative to discuss your equipment needs and timeline as soon as you’re able so you can be sure to get the machines you’re looking for.

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CAITLIN MADDOCK-BAHR

Social Media & Digital Strategy Manager

Caitlin Maddock-Bahr exercises her storytelling expertise as a social media & digital strategy manager. In this role, she not only helps Caterpillar connect with their audience, but helps customers connect with the brand.


 

 

 

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