Since Dealer Direct extended its dealer and customer service hours, the company has seen a significant rise in business, Powersports Finance has learned.
The lender is now open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Central Time, Monday through Saturday. Previously, Dealer Direct was only available from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the week, and to 1 .m. on the weekends, Jon Vestal, national sales director for Dealer Direct, told Powersports Finance.
Lender hours has become a hot-button topic among dealers — particularly for those who are seeking more lender availability on the weekends to increase sales. However, fewer weekend hours could combat dealership finance manager turnover, Forrest Flinn, managing partner at Powersports Management Concepts, previously said.
“We’ve seen definitely seen some growth [with extended hours], and we are still working with dealers to make sure we get into their traffic pattern to remind them that we are in fact open,” Dealer Direct’s Vestal said. “We’ve seen an uptick in business because our hours reflect more of the hours the dealers that we are working with are asking for, and that’s very important to us.”
Additionally, Dealer Direct has refined its underwriting process enough to push down a response and closing time. Vestal declined to offer specifics of the change, but added that it has “considerably improved” response time.
Dealer Direct — the powersports lending subsidiary of First Community Bank — funded $73 million in powersports loans in 2016, with a goal of reaching $150 million in volume for 2017. The company makes loans for more than 1,800 dealers in 48 states.
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