The F&I office is one of the most profitable rooms in the dealership, so managing lenders and developing a personal relationship with them is a vital way to maximize profits, Chase Vance, regional operator of Freedom Powersports, told Powersports Finance.
“Being able to have a good lender relationship is key from a funding standpoint,” Vance said. “It’s important for dealers to be able to call and introduce themselves to their lender partners. If I am working with a bank and I’m like, ‘hey it’s Chase, what going on? How’s business? Let’s talk about this deal.’ If you’ve got a good relationship with your lenders, they are going to be more apt to help walk you through a deal.”
Freedom Powersports is a dealer group with 21 different stores spread across Texas, Alabama, and Georgia, and sells several different brands that include Indian, Honda, Suzuki, and Yamaha. The dealerships work with lenders that apply to their OEMs, like Synchrony with Yamaha, but all of them follow the strategy of working with their lenders and sending them applications that fit their individual programs.
Lenders don’t make it difficult for a dealer to find out what they are willing to finance and what they are not. Dealers can usually find this information on the company’s website or when they first sign on with the lender. Sticking to those guidelines helps build the dealers reputations and increase the lender relationship.
“If somebody comes in and they’ve got some less than desirable credentials or you just don’t get a good feel for it, and you just shoot it to the bank, the next thing you know you get chargebacks,” Vance said. “You get a bad rep with the lenders, and now they aren’t going to want to buy paper for you. and they are going to be very hesitant to help you out on any deal or get you to a credit manager.”
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