In the quake of the global pandemic, there is some good news. For many, by staying at home there is now time to do all those projects that have been on the honey-do list for years. Getting ready, however, might take a bit more equipment than is around the house.
Need a backhoe? Need an airless paint sprayer, an air chipping hammer for demoing a tile floor? How about a tent when it is time to celebrate joining the world again? The list could go on and on. There is one place you can go for all these items and much more.
Rental World, LLC has retail outlets in McAllen, Weslaco, Harlingen, Brownsville, and Corpus Christi, and a warehouse complex of four acres and 60,000 square feet of warehouse space. That warehouse is the size of over 12½ NBA basketball courts or almost an acre and a half, mostly all filled with party supplies.
“We cater to the caterers, planners, do-it-yourselfers,” said Bryan Wolf, vice-president of Rental World, LLC. “A lot of our events are big events like Border Fest, Sombrero Fest, and Poteet Strawberry Festival. We even go to Odessa to do the Permian Basin Fair. We do events in Austin and Buc Days in Corpus Christi.”
“Those recurring annual events are nice for us, but we do the day-to-day party stuff. We are not trying to compete with planners. We are trying to give them what they need to present their events. Inventory management is a big deal and that’s basically what we do.”
As a mechanical engineer, maybe it was all those years growing up in the first version of Rental World that helped Wolf in his career choice. Richard and Sherry Wolf, his parents, started the business back in 1980 and built it to five locations, and dominated the area’s rental business. By 1995, they decided to sell. The new owners managed to close everything down within the five-year non-compete timeline.
Meanwhile, Bryan worked for five years at Ford as a mechanical engineer, and then in Systems Integration, and logistics, making sure all parts came together and integrated with no conflicts. Having taken a leave of absence to obtain a business degree, on top of his master’s in engineering, in 2000 the stars aligned. He was out of school, the non-compete timeline clause expired, and he was ready to move his family from Dearborn, Michigan, back home to the Valley.
Looking at the competition around the area, including some of the national companies, the whole family determined the time was right.
“We decided there was still opportunity and we saw a door for us to open and reinvent ourselves,” Bryan smiled. “That’s what we did. Prior to my parents selling, the company was two thirds equipment rental and one third party. Now we do 50 to 60 percent party and the rest equipment rental.”
That has to be a lot of parties because if you go to the website at www.rentalworld.com, you will see there is a ton of items, from teaspoons to trenchers and everything in between, to help people solve their problems or realize their dreams.
“Our goal is to resolve people’s issues and help them come up with solutions whether we have the product or not,” he said. “We ask the question: what are you trying to solve and how can we help you with that? It’s finding a solution for whatever their issue is, even if it’s directing them somewhere else.”
Take for example Rental World’s expertise in tents. When Austin, Texas, wanted a 300-foot tent in front of the capital, Bryan used his engineering skills to design special parts. Then there was the Army project here in 2019. Within a week, Rental World had a 20,000 square foot tent up complete with walls, flooring, AC, and power. The next week, they did it all over again, adding another 20,000 square foot tent.
Prepared for hurricanes, there is also a system in place for disaster response.
“We’ve developed our tenting capability. We have everything in boxes we can load quickly so if someone calls for 50,000 square feet of tent, we can load up in a day, go on the road and get set up rapidly,” said Wolf.
Adding to the diverse line of supplies is the fact Rental World is a Honda dealer for all its power equipment from generators, pumps, and lawn mowers to trimmers. At Rental World customers can rent it, buy it, or get it fixed.
Wolf admits his favorite thing to do is solve the day-to-day queries.
“A guy in engineering is a problem solver,” he said. “If someone needs a tent to go over a tree or pool, or needs a special doohickey, they’ll call us because I can design what they require.”
If you are wondering about those tents popping up around the Valley during the quarantine, those are highly likely Rental World’s tents, continuing to supply cities, medical facilities, and other essential organizations during this time of pandemic.
“We’re here to help service the community,” Wolf said. “We’re integrated locally into this community and are proud to be a family business that’s trying to do well for the community.”