LAS VEGAS — Many powersports dealers are still “down in manpower” post-recession, which is why they need more support from their lender partners — including training and more efficient on-site dealership visits, said Chris Rice, regional general manager at RideNow Powersports.
RideNow, for example, decreased its staff from 60 to 40 after the recession, Rice told attendees at PowerSports Finance 2016 in early October. The dealership is trying to get more deals done with less staff, and “that’s where we need partners” and additional support, he added.
On-site dealer visits “that we get from most of the banks and institutions we use is really a waste of time,” Rice said. Receiving promotional gift items from lender partners “are nice, but we need training,” he added. “There’s a lot of things I do in a given day, and the last thing we want to see is a lender or financial institution come into our dealership, sit down with some donuts, and waste our time.”
Lenders need to have a better understanding of “what happens on the ground,” Rice added. “This is where your loan meets the customer, and there are some challenges when that takes place. I would say since 1995 — since I’ve been doing this — I can count on one hand how many times I’ve seen any off-site or on-site assistance from a lender, and that’s usually because there is not a clear understanding of what we are doing in the field with your loan once it’s approved.”
Lenders need to not only visit their dealers, but communicate how they want the deal structured to accommodate their bracket, as well as “try to understand the different ways we can structure deals,” added Chris Clovis, owner and operator at Freedom EuroCycle Las Vegas.
The bottom line is that training and communication is a necessity in the lender-dealer relationship, Rice said. “How we get more deals bought, who we talk to when certain things happen, just some accessibility to some answers to some of the questions we have — that’s all been a challenge for quite some time.”