Just about every public school in America rents some of their facilities out to the public in some form or fashion. In fact, it’s a requirement that public schools allow the public to use their facilities, it’s part of being a public school. Most school’s don’t really pay attention to that requirement. They don’t have the time to ensure any kind of compliance and their rental systems aren’t really systems at all.
Many public schools are still relying on physical calendar books to schedule the rental of their gyms, dance studios, auditoriums, multi purpose rooms, cafeterias, sports fields and swimming pools. Schools often accept checks and even cash as payment for these kinds of rentals. Checks typically wait in an envelope until there’s more of them to be taken to the bank. Cash slips into the petty cash box or left in a desk drawer.
There are costs associated with these rentals but they’re often times never tracked or logged in any kind of way. Someone has to be paid to unlock doors, turn lights on and set HVAC. There may need to be a custodian around to sweep up the floors in between games and practices, and perhaps a security guard or two. Who’s paying for all of this and how is it all tracked. In many schools it’s not being tracked and these people just get paid regularly.
This haphazard way of managing facilities for community rentals is costing schools money and is extremely inefficient. In many cases, schools are leaving money on the table because it’s managed so ineffectively.
Enter Jeff Benjamin and Facilitron.
Benjamin created Facilitron after these inefficiencies affected his daily life. He was taking his 11 year old son and all of his buddies to practice at a school miles away from his home. After piling all the boys in the car, they headed out to practice only to find a gym locked up tight, an all too familiar scene for many a soccer mom and soccer dad. Someone dropped the ball (you see what we did there), and when it was their time to have practice the school was locked up tight.
Benjamin set out on a crusade to make sure parents don’t have to experience this themselves. In the process of investigating why these things happen, Benjamin discovered that these types of problems are rampant in just about every community across the country. He also discovered that public schools have an obligation to rent their facilities out to the community, and while you can probably walk into the front office of your local school and ask to rent out the gym, the process itself is still in the stone ages.
Facilitron makes renting community space and facilities as easy as selected an Air BnB. The company takes professional pictures, 3D photos and even drone photos of buildings and fields so that you can go to their website and examine facilities without having to make a trip. Does the school have a new state of the art basketball facility, you’ll find detailed pictures of the hoops and other amenities on the site.
After selected what facility the user wants to rent, they can check out on the site and the school gets paid. Facilitron takes a small percentage of the transaction as a fee, the cost to the school itself is $0.
Facilitron helps schools by making sure they’re compliant with their facility rentals. They also help schools recoup funds that they may have lost in managing rentals without a system. In some cases they are helping schools create a whole new revenue stream. Facilitron was even used to help people during the recent California fires as communities were using their photos and facility information to let people know where shelters were.
Check out our interview with Benjamin from TCEA above, and for more information visit, facilitron.com
Nibletz is the #1 Google News Source for TCEA 2018 and SXSWedu, check out all of our coverage here.