Dealer Roundup, Part III: 6 Dealers Offer Lender Feedback

Dealers want “set contacts” for each of their lender partners to avoid speaking to different representatives every time they call about a loan or lease deal.

That is one of the key takeaways from interviews with six Freedom Powersports’ dealerships.

“For example, we found that when you are trying to get an approval amount increase with [one of our lenders], you can keep calling and talking to different people until someone gives you what you are asking for,” said Jake Robison, general sales manager of Freedom Powersports Decatur, Texas. “There is no consistency between representatives.”

Powersports Finance interviewed the six Freedom Powersports dealerships to give feedback on how lender service and communication can be improved.

Following are edited excerpts from the southern dealers:

Powersports Finance: What ways do you envision the lender-dealer relationship could be improved?

1. Freedom Powersports Weatherford in Hudson Oaks, Texas

“Possibly more communication and some follow-up on approvals not sent through,” said Logan Galbreath, general manager of the dealership. “Additionally, it would be nice to have monthly status reports showing how many deals were sent through — including approvals, turndowns, funded deals, etc.”

Freedom Powersports Weatherford’s lender partners include: Sheffield Financial, Synchrony Financial, Citi Retail Services, FreedomRoad Financial, Yamaha Motor Finance Corp., MB Financial, Roadrunner Financial, Model Finance, ThunderRoad Financial, and Marine One Acceptance Corp.

2. Freedom Powersports McKinney, Texas

“Given that we get a different person every time we call our main lenders, we just work the best that we can with the person we get!” said Teresa Lynch, the dealership’s F&I manager. “With our other lenders, I like to have a face to the name and voice when reaching out to them; seeing the rep for that lender in our store and actually chatting with them for a while helps build that relationship.”

“I think this ultimately comes down to how much effort the finance manager is willing to put into the relationship with his or her banks,” said Matt Lang, the dealership’s general manager. “If you find out that the lady at MB Financial loves M&Ms, you better be sending that lady a giant bag of M&Ms! Take care of the people that take care of you!”

Freedom Powersports McKinney’s lender partners include: Sheffield Financial, Synchrony Financial, Citi Retail Services, Performance Finance, GO Federal Credit Union, DATCU Credit Union, MB Financial, ThunderRoad Financial, Roadrunner Financial, Marine One, Model Finance, and MotoLease.

3. Freedom Powersports Lewisville, Texas

“Unfortunately, almost all my banks that offer reserve — excluding MB Financial — are closed on Saturdays,” said Heather Addleman, a F&I manager at the dealership. “Our credit unions and our boat banks either are open two to three hours on Saturdays or not at all. Within our current lineup of lenders, a majority exclude personal watercraft or sportbikes. I would like a larger variety of lines to finance within my ‘go-to’ lenders.”

For John McKinney — another F&I  manager at the dealership — the only thing he wants is to “just be able to talk to an actual person at every lender.”

Freedom Powersports Lewisville’s lender partners (including marine) are: American Honda Finance, Synchrony, Citi Retail Services, Yamaha Motor Finance, MotoLease, First Community Bank, American Cycle Finance, MB Financial, Unity One Federal Credit Union, DATCU, U.S. Bank, Sheffield, Bank of the Ozarks, Bank of the West, Blue Water Financial, ThunderRoad Financial, Model Fiance, LendMark, and Marine One.

4. Freedom Powersports Fort Worth, Texas

One of the best lender relationships Freedom Powersports Fort Worth has is with American Honda Finance Corp., said Kyle Blackett, the dealership’s general sales manager. “Many of our other lenders don’t stop by — if ever.”

Freedom Powersports Fort Worth’s lender partners include: American Honda Finance, Synchrony, Citi Retail Services (for Honda and Kawasaki revolving credit programs), Yamaha Motor Finance and Yamaha Credit Card, Marine One, MB Financial, ThunderRoad Financial, Model Finance, Sheffield, Roadrunner Financial, American Cycle Finance, MotoLease, First Community Bank, and Southside Bank.

5. Freedom Powersports Huntsville, Texas

“It might be nice to be able to talk with the same few people every time we called or maybe even were able to live chat with them online,” said Louis Yarborough, the dealership’s F&I manager. “We are striving to work with the lenders that will allow us to bump points and pay us some sort of reserve or participation.”

Freedom Powersports Huntsville’s lender partners (including marine) are: American Honda Finance, Citi Retail Services (for BRP, Honda, and Kawasaki revolving credit programs), Performance Finance, First Community Bank, Acceptance Loan Co., Roadrunner Financial, BMW Bank of North America, Sheffield, Westlake Financial Services, MotoLease, Yamaha Motor Finance and Yamaha Credit Card, Synchrony, MB Financial, Marine One, Home Loan Investment Bank, ThunderRoad Financial, Family Security Credit Union, Mariner Finance, LendMark Finance, and Springleaf Finance.

6. Freedom Powersports Decatur, Texas

“It would be very beneficial to have in-depth training on the lender process, including what lenders look for in applicants for approvals; how to properly sign, print, and complete specific contracts; how to get funded as quickly as possible (the lenders with online portals to submit contracts are much better than snail-mail lenders); what stipulations they require; and what triggers the need for stipulations for lenders who don’t require them on every deal,” said Jake Robison, the dealership’s general sales manager. “… If I really had my druthers, all lenders would offer reserve. (We always use the banks that offer reserve and kickbacks over others).”

Freedom Powersports Decatur’s lender partners (including marine) are: Synchrony, Citi Retail Services, Roadrunner Financial, Sheffield, Westlake Financial Services, MotoLease, Yamaha Motor Finance, MB Financial, Marine One Acceptance Corp., ThunderRoad Financial, and Snap Finance.

For more on lender-dealer relations, check out Part I and Part II in the “Dealer Roundup” series.

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