Exciting news for all you smart consumers out there, especially those looking for ways to get smarter: Sunrun just announced survey results revealing a national trend toward disownership, plus a handy guide for anyone who wants to take advantage.
What is disownership? It means sharing, renting, borrowing or making similar alternative arrangements to gain access to traditionally-owned items—without the expense or hassle of owning them. And it’s a movement gaining momentum across the country.
For example, our survey results show that more than half of Americans has rented, leased or borrowed the sorts of items people traditionally own in the last two years (52 percent), and more than 8 out of 10 Americans (83 percent) say they would rent, lease or borrow these items, instead of buying them, if they could do so easily. The survey was commissioned by Sunrun and conducted online by Harris Interactive® in February 2013 among 2,252 U.S. adults ages 18 and older.
What’s more, Americans anticipate a notable increase in disownership in the short term. While nearly one in four Americans (24 percent) is more likely to engage in disownership now than they were five years ago, nearly double that percentage (49 percent) plans to “disown” traditionally-owned items in the next two years. When asked what would make them more likely to rent, lease or borrow items people traditionally own, Americans’ leading reasons were saving money and cutting down on storage and/or maintenance (53 percent and 39 percent, respectively).
Our People’s Guide to Disownership has great tips and tricks for how to be smart about engaging in this trend, along with simple definitions of disownership terms every savvy consumer should know. It even has suggestions for cool stuff you may not have known you could “disown.”
Sunrun is one of a number of companies that have harnessed the power of technology to help people access things safely without owning them, and save money doing it. A few others include sites like RentTheRunway.com (apparel and accessories) and BagBorrowORSteal.com (handbags, shoes and other accessories) that allow you to dress like the stars without zapping your bank account or cluttering your closet with things you won’t wear again. Or platforms like VRBO.com and Airbnb.com that allow you to rent a room, a floor or a whole property for as little as a day at a time—all over the world.
In the words of our co-CEO Lynn Jurich, “These results show we’ve entered an age in which Americans recognize they can get more value by owning less. At the same time, smart companies are creating innovative business models that offer consumers more flexible choices for accessing the things they want and need.”