With more lenders entering the powersports market — and existing lenders revving up originations — competition is heightening.
New banks and lenders, as well as new powersports finance programs that are being offered, grew by almost threefold in 2016, National Powersport Auctions’ Chief Operating Officer Jim Woodruff previously told Powersports Finance.
As such, building a solid dealer network is top of mind for lenders, causing many dealers to scout for increased training, support, and communication from their lenders to bolster the relationship.
Powersports Finance interviewed six Freedom Powersports’ dealerships to offer an inside look into what training and support dealers are really asking for — or if they aren’t asking for training at all.
Following are edited excerpts from the southern dealers:
Powersports Finance: What specific training would you like to receive more of from your lender partners?
1. Freedom Powersports Weatherford in Hudson Oaks, Texas
“Training to understand limits of approvals, like what dollar amounts you can add to an approval for parts and backend products,” said Logan Galbreath, general manager of the dealership. “Also to have a great understanding on what it takes to get deals quickly funded.”
2. Freedom Powersports McKinney, Texas
“On training, I would certainly benefit from a breakdown of each lender and how their programs work — something like Marine One Acceptance Corp. did recently with a webinar that introduced our new rep and went over parameters, products, programs, and approvals,” said Teresa Lynch, the dealership’s F&I manager. “Although, we do have rate sheets and program parameters, they are not always as specific as needed.”
“More hands-on relationship building,” said Matt Lang, the dealership’s general manager. “It would be refreshing to see more [training webinars] from some of our bigger lenders. Back when I was with Honda, they sent out a few of the Honda Financial buyers and contract funders to explain some of the behind-the-scenes details and help with any questions or concerns we had. It was a very productive meeting.”
3. Freedom Powersports Lewisville, Texas
“Personally, being new to the marine side of financing, I’ve done a fair amount of training on the marine underwriting stips,” said Heather Addleman, an F&I manager at the dealership. “Every day there seems to be something new I am learning. More dealer visits from the reps would prevent long calls on hold with an 800 number during prime time.”
“As far as training from any lender… I [am] confused as to what training would be offered,” said John McKinney, an F&I manager at the dealership. “We are open to training but, as far as portal training or contracting/funding, I am unaware of what is offered.”
4. Freedom Powersports Fort Worth, Texas
“I don’t know of anything that I would like to see from them,” said Kyle Blackett, the dealership’s general sales manager. “We don’t really have any issues with submitting or funding of deals that would require any training from them.”
5. Freedom Powersports Huntsville, Texas
“Training courses that would walk us through the new banks and show us where each and every little form is and what they may require that is out of the ordinary, as we are always adding more all the time,” said Louis Yarborough, the dealership’s F&I manager.
6. Freedom Powersports Decatur, Texas
“Any training would be good,” said Jake Robison, the dealership’s general sales manager. “I can’t think of a lender that has provided actual training at the dealer level.”