Texas Dealer February 2020

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In This Issue: – Tips for Working with Your Spouse – Michael W. Dunagan on 60-Per-Cent Rule – The Modern Lead for Independent Dealers – The Customer Experience



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2020 TIADA Board of Directors PRESIDENT Robert Beck/Stop N’ Drive Motors 711 N. General McMullen Dr. San Antonio, TX 78228 PRESIDENT ELECT Mark Jones/Mike Carlson Motor Company 264 Exchange Burleson, TX 76028 CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD Juan Sabillón/Mi Tierra Auto Sales 7935 Gulf Freeway Houston, TX 77017 SECRETARY Ryan Winkelmann/BJ’s Autohaus 5005 Telephone Road Houston, TX 77087 TREASURER Eddie Hale/Neighborhood Autos 1717 US 287 Decatur, TX 76234 ICE PRESIDENT, WEST TEXAS V (REGION 1) Brad Kalivoda/Fiesta Motors 2599 74th Street Lubbock, TX 79423 ICE PRESIDENT, FORT WORTH V (REGION 2) Chad Lancaster/Chacon Autos 11800 E. Northwest Hwy Dallas, TX 75218 ICE PRESIDENT, DALLAS V (REGION 3) Greg Reine/Auto Liquidators 39670 LBJ Freeway Dallas, TX 75237 ICE PRESIDENT, HOUSTON V (REGION 4) Vicki Davis/A-OK Auto Sales 23980 FM 1314 Porter, TX 77365 ICE PRESIDENT, CENTRAL TEXAS V (REGION 5) Greg Phea/Austin Rising Fast 8024 IH 35 North Austin, TX 78753 ICE PRESIDENT, SOUTH TEXAS V (REGION 6) Jose Engler/Irving Motor Corp 211 Braniff Dr. San Antonio, TX 78216 ICE PRESIDENT AT LARGE V Robert Blankenship/Texas Auto Center 6809 N IH-35 Austin, TX 78744 ICE PRESIDENT AT LARGE V Armando Villarreal/McAllen Auto Sales 4215 S. 23rd Street McAllen, TX 78503

TIADA EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Jeff Martin 9951 Anderson Mill Rd., Suite 101 Austin, TX 78750 Office Hours M-F 8:30am – 4:30pm 512.244.6060 • Fax 512.244.6218 jeff.martin@txiada.org

Vo l u m e X X / I s s u e 2 / Fe b r u a r y 2 0 2 0

TexasDealer 5 Officers’ Message


by Eddie Hale, TIADA Treasurer

7 The Modern Lead for Independent Dealers by Lindsay Shearon

11 Legal Corner: Applying the 60-Per-Cent Rule to Strict Foreclosures 13 Upcoming Events 16 TIADA Scholarship Application 17 On The Cover: Our Dealership — A Valentine's Special by TIADA staff

20 Tips for Working with Your Spouse by Nancy Friedman

24 TIADA Conference and Expo 26 TIADA Auction Directory 2020 31 The Customer Experience: What Are They Thinking? by Dacia Rivers

35 Automotive Dealer Digital Marketing Best Practices by Matthew Travers

39 Top Car Dealer Website Design Ideas by izmocars.com

41 TIADA Member Application 45 Local Chapters 45 New Members 46 Behind the Wheel by Jeff Martin

Did you know? You can find the answer to

many compliance questions on www.tiada.org www.tiada.org? ? Login to your account and under Resources choose Knowledge Base. Enter one or more keywords for the topic you are researching, and you’ll have the answers at your fingertips. It’s that easy! Notice to all members concerning services and products: TIADA was established in 1944 to develop professional standards of service and conduct for the independent auto industry. Opinions expressed herein are not necessarily those of the TIADA management, the Board of Directors or the membership. Likewise, the appearance of advertisers or their indemnifications of TIADA does not constitute endorsement of the products or services featured.

Editor: Teresa Orkun

Magazine Ad Sales: Patty Huber, 512-310-9795

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officers’ message Are You Committed to Professional Development?

by Eddie


Neighborhood Autos (Decatur) TIADA TREASURER


bout eight years ago I asked myself and our top management team if we were really committed to professional development at our dealership. This was around the time we started seeing what felt like more and more regulations from state and national regulatory agencies. Like most dealers, we could point to several national and state conferences we had attended as well as some local education programs and dealer bootcamps. We have also always been active in 20 groups, but we couldn’t say there was a concerted effort to make sure everyone on our team had access to the professional development they needed. We didn't have a defined plan in place. As a big supporter of public education, I served on the Alvord ISD School Board for 15 years and my wife Cheryl

taught in the public schools for over 30, I felt we needed to do more and not make the professional development at our dealership an afterthought. It needed to be a priority. Today, we still have key team members attend the NIADA, NABD and TIADA conferences. The

I am not making a pitch for any one program, but I am suggesting you build a foundation for professional development at your dealership. February 2020

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If you don’t build a professional development budget, it’s too easy to overlook educating your team. We budget a specific amount to be spent on professional development each year and then at the end of year we assess whether it was too much or not enough. difference is, we make sure and schedule our calendar around those events. It’s no longer an afterthought or discussion about, “who has time to go this year?” We make it a priority, we review the agenda prior to the events and discuss who should attend what sessions. We also still attend the local and regional education programs that come to our area. If TIADA or DMV is 6

putting on an education program in our area, we attend. As for the association, we give feedback about the quality of the education and what education we would like to see in our region. I suggest you do the same. This is our association; we need to be active and make sure it’s serving our needs. We also make sure all our collectors, underwriters, sales reps, etc. are certified through the National Automotive Finance Association Compliance Certification Program. We find the certification program that is applicable to the job and require our staff to take the online course. Our upper level management is certified in all five of the functions; this includes taking the continuing education every year. I am not making a pitch for any one program, but I am suggesting you build a foundation for professional development at your dealership. For us it starts with budgeting. If you don’t build a professional development budget, it’s too easy to overlook educating your team. We budget a specific amount to be spent on professional development each year and then at the end of year we assess whether it was too much or not enough. It forces us to have the conversation and ultimately make sure our needs are being met and our staff is growing professionally. After we budget, we prioritize based on the budget. The annual state association conference is a must; our key team members are expected to attend and participate in the various professional development sessions. Then we make sure we can attend local training in our area. After all, eliminating travel is the best way to stretch your professional development dollar. We then look at national conventions and make sure we have them on our calendar. We usually wait until the education agenda comes out for each convention before we decide who should attend. Last, we look at our certification programs and make sure we have the right people certified in the right areas. If that is not the case, we make sure we are budgeted to correct it as soon as possible and get them signed-up for the appropriate course. I have always said, our dealership is committed to professional development, but until we had a plan, it was all just talk. T e x a s

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The Modern Lead for Independent Dealers by Lindsay Shearon

Dealer Consultant, Dealer OMG


ou need them. Facebook can provide them. But the way we think of lead generation on social media needs a reboot. The lead on Facebook or Instagram isn’t the same lead that comes from TrueCar.com and Cars.com, so we must treat them as their own animal. When a person submits a lead through a marketplace such as one of the previously mentioned websites, they are intending to shop for a car at that time. This lead has much higher intent from the customer. Contrarily, when a person is navigating through Facebook or Instagram, they are there to see what’s up with their friends and family, but because they want to use Facebook for free, they accept that there will be ads in their newsfeed. This doesn’t necessarily mean that person was trying to shop for a car in that moment, though. So unless a person is specifically shopping on Facebook Marketplace and messages the dealership about a vehicle, we need to put ourselves in the customer’s shoes to figure out the best way to get them the info they need depending on where they are in their purchasing journey when they receive an in-newsfeed ad. Currently, the average number of dealerships visited by a person buying a car has dropped from around 7 or 8 to only 1 or 2. All the research happens online. Dealers are already on board with this way of thinking, for the most part. However, according to recent studies conducted by both Facebook and Google, less than 9% of car buyers are going to fill out a lead form prior to coming

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The tides are constantly changing online and especially with social media. The dealer that opts to ride these waves and adapt is the dealer that succeeds!


Fig. 1: Set Up each event according to the action you want it to indicate in your reporting.

in to make a purchase. In an increasingly volatile age of data protection and privacy concerns, people are becoming more wary than ever of just giving out their contact information unless they feel it’s necessary. While some may do it begrudgingly, the last thing we want to do as dealers is withhold information from a researching customer and put a bad taste in their mouth before they’ve ever even walked in our door. Most dealers have probably encountered the first iteration of lead generation on Facebook via lead from ads. Now, this is the time to put yourself in your customer’s shoes. Let’s say that I, your customer, have never heard of your dealership before. I am seeing your ad because I fall into Facebook’s group of people that are interested in used SUV’s because of other activity I’ve engaged in on the platform. If that ad is a lead gen ad, then all I will most likely see about that vehicle is the year, make, model, one photo of that car, and possibly the price of the vehicle. When I click on that car to get more information, a 8

lead ad will automatically pop up a form with my contact info auto-filled in it. At this point, if I want to continue to your website to see how many miles the vehicle has, whether it’s a 4WD or not, etc., I cannot do so until I give you my info. So, I, the begrudging form filler, either close out and carry on scrolling or I submit my information but send your BDC either fake info or my real contact info, but then screen their calls after the fact. Not to say that some people don’t genuinely want to be contacted about a vehicle, but we are trying to cater to the majority of social media users, not the minority. If you do want to use Facebook lead

...how do we avoid being pesky to the consumer, keep our salespeople busy, and know that our advertising is working all at the same time? The answer is simple: Facebook’s pixel event tracking. form ads, I would only do so in a retargeting campaign. That way you know the person seeing your lead ad has already been to your website and gathered the info they would need to know if they are interested enough in wanting further contact with your dealership in regards to that vehicle. So, how do we avoid being pesky to the consumer, keep our T e x a s

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...you or your agency can go through your [Facebook] pixel’s settings to Event Setup and track each button as either a lead, a contact, a find my location, and many more actions.

not interrupt the shopping of a leadaverse person that would perhaps rather go to your website to do their own research and then just call you to see if the vehicle they’re interested in is still on the lot for them to come test drive. The best part is that once this is set up, you will be able to see in your reporting metrics how many of these actions were derived from a person that originally got to your website through your Facebook or Instagram ads. The tides are constantly changing online and especially with social media. The dealer that opts to ride these waves and adapt is the dealer that succeeds!

on your website, while allowing the customer to communicate with you on their terms. So, if you do have a willing form-filler, they can do so through the forms that are natively built into your site. But you will also

Lindsay Shearon will be sharing her social media knowledge at the upcoming TIADA seminar “Facebook/Instagram Workshop: Increase Sales and Measure your ROI” in Dallas. Turn to page 14 for more information.

salespeople busy, and know that our advertising is working all at the same time? The answer is simple: Facebook’s pixel event tracking. A modern lead can be a lot more than just a form fill. It could come in the form of a phone call, a find my location search, etc. But these are all useless to us when deciding where to allocate advertising dollars if we don’t know which medium was the source. The Facebook pixel can tell us this. Once you have a Facebook pixel on your site, you or your agency can then go through your pixel’s settings to Event Setup and track each button as either a lead, a contact, a find my location, and many more actions. Fig.1 (above) illustrates what this will look like. This will allow you to track each action taken

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February 2020

legal corner

Applying the 60-Per-Cent Rule to Strict Foreclosures by Michael

Dealer Question: I’m a Buy-Here, Pay-Here dealer and I’ve been told that I’m subject to something called the “60-per-cent rule.” What is the 60-per-cent rule and how does it affect me? Answer: There are two primary methods used by car creditors to notify debtors of the repossession of vehicles and to dispose of repossessed collateral. These methods are (1) private sale and (2) strict foreclosure (sometimes called acceptance of collateral in satisfaction). For a more detailed discussion of the differences between private sale and strict foreclosure, see “Answering Repossession Questions” in the July 2019 issue of Texas Dealer.


f you use the strict foreclosure method of disposing of repossessed collateral, as do most BHPH dealers, the 60-percent rule will apply to you. If you use the private sale method, it doesn’t. One of the characteristics of strict foreclosure that is attractive to BHPH dealers is the fact that, in most cases, no post-repossession accounting has to be made. Under strict foreclosure, any deficiency that the debtor might owe the creditor is eliminated, and the creditor doesn’t have to account to the debtor for the disposition of the collateral. The process is initiated by the creditor, who sends the debtor after repossession a notice stating that the creditor intends to accept the repossessed collateral

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in satisfaction of any further indebtedness. If no written objection to the strict foreclosure is received in 20 days from the sending of the notice, then the strict foreclosure is complete, and ownership of the collateral reverts to the creditor. If, on the other hand, written objection is received in the 20-day-period, then the creditor must use the private sale method of disposal and account to the debtor upon resale of the collateral. If the resale results in a sales price that exceeds the amount of the indebtedness, then the creditor must pay the surplus to the debtor as the debtor’s equity in the collateral. The creditor also has the option of requesting that the debtor, after repossession, sign a statement that gives up the right to notice and relinquishes any interest in the vehicle. A voluntary signing of a waiver agreement by the debtor eliminates the 20-day waiting period. The so-called 60-per-cent rule forbids the use of strict foreclosure (unless the strict foreclosure comes from a signed agreement) if more than 60-per-cent of the cash price has already been paid by the debtor. If the 60-per-cent




If you use the strict foreclosure method of disposing of repossessed collateral, as do most BHPH dealers, the 60-per-cent rule will apply to you. If you use the private sale method, it doesn’t. rule applies, the creditor must dispose of the property by private sale within 90 days after he takes possession. Failure to properly dispose of the property within the 90-day period subjects the creditor to liability for actual damages or statutory damages set out in the Texas Business and Commerce Code (the Texas version of the Uniform Commercial Code). Unfortunately, the statute does not offer any specifics on how the 60-per-cent of the cash price threshold is calculated. No cases have been found where this issue has been litigated. 11

How to access the 60-per-cent rule calculator on


L og in to your account F rom the Resources tab on the top choose “Knowledge Base” C lick on red button that says “Got It – Let’s GO” I n “Keyword Search” box type in “60% rule” L ink to download the 60% Rule Calculator will be in the search results


The purpose of the provision is to protect the debtor who has paid a significant portion of the cash price and is most likely to have a positive equity position in the collateral. Involuntary acceptance of the collateral would thus thwart the debtor’s right to receive any surplus generated by resale. The formula below is a common-sense method of calculating whether the 60-per-cent threshold has been met. First, calculate 40-per-cent of the original cash price listed on the contract. If the pay-off (the figure calculated after deducting unearned interest from the balance) is less than the 40-per-cent figure, it would appear that the transaction does not qualify for involuntary strict foreclosure since more than 60-per-cent of the original cash price has been paid. For instance, if the original cash price of a vehicle was $5,000, and the pay-off is $1,000, involuntary strict foreclosure would not be available (the payoff is less than 40-per-cent of $5,000 or $2,000, and thus, more than 60-per-cent has been paid). There is also a 60-per-cent rule calculator on the TIADA website (txiada.org) which will do the math automatically. As mentioned above, a debtor’s right to have the repossessed collateral disposed of by private sale

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...a debtor’s right to have the repossessed collateral disposed of by private sale when 60 per cent of the cash price has been paid can be waived. By voluntarily signing a waiver of rights statement after repossession, the debtor can give up the right to require a private sale and the 20-day holding period.

Upcoming Events 2020 TIADA DEALER ACADEMY Online registration available. www.txiada.org

February 1 0 Keeping Your BHPH Dealership

Legal and Compliant Hyatt Regency Houston Intercontinental Airport 425 North Sam Houston Parkway East, Houston, TX 77060

24 Facebook/Instagram Workshop: Increase Sales and Measure Your ROI Sheraton Suites Market Dallas 2101 North Simmons Freeway Dallas, TX 75207

April 6 From Inventory Acquistion to

Tracking Service Department Metrics: Getting and Selling the Right Vehicle Is The Bottom Line Arlington, TX

8 Cashflow, Budgeting, Forecasting,

Sales and Collections – Critical Topics for the Success and Continued Growth of Your Business Houston, TX

when 60-per-cent of the cash price has been paid can be waived. By voluntarily signing a waiver of rights statement after repossession, the debtor can give up the right to require a private sale and the 20-day holding period. Creditors should remember that a strict foreclosure also waives the creditor’s rights to seek a deficiency from the debtor. As such, car creditors who use strict foreclosure should make sure that no balances are reported to credit bureaus. Michael W. Dunagan is an attorney in Dallas, Texas who has represented the Texas Independent Automobile Dealers Association for over 40 years. He has written a number of books and hundreds of articles for trade journals and law reviews. His clientele includes dealers, banks, finance companies, auto auctions and credit unions. February 2020

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OTHER TIADA EVENTS April 2 0 Board of Directors Meeting Austin, TX

August 1 6 Board of Directors Meeting San Antonio, TX

1 6 - 1 8 TIADAConference and Expo J.W. Marriott Hill Country Resort and Spa San Antonio, TX


Dealer Academy


Facebook / Instagram Workshop: Increase Sales and Measure Your ROI Presented by Lindsay Shearon, Dealer Consultant, Dealer OMG Lindsay transitioned from traditional media to social media when she experienced the trackable, hyper-targeted capabilities it offers. Her focus in the automotive industry has given her a deep understanding of the needs of a dealership and how to converge them with a social media strategy that is unique to your target audience in your city. This jam-packed session will explore the finer points of Facebook and Instagram marketing for dealers and go far beyond the quest for “likes.”

8:30am - 12:00pm $149 Members, Each Additional $99 (must be from same dealership)

$299 Non-members

• Discover Facebook and Instagram’s value proposition and how it relates to your dealership • Take away free actionable steps to ensure your website and Facebook presence are easy for customers to find • Learn how to have your inventory go through car shoppers’ personal mobile newsfeed • Master the simple formula to budgeting your Facebook & Instagram ads campaigns to reach customers frequently

• Get introduced to intuitive and free apps that can make your dealership stand out in people’s newsfeed • Walk through a case-study of a BHPH store that grew from 43 cars/month to 65 /month by leveraging a specific digital strategy • Review the steps to identifying your Facebook & Instagram ROI and how to improve the return

Who Should Attend: Any dealer GM or Owner who is tired of not knowing their advertising ROI. Dealers who want to be the store that is going through people’s personal social media newsfeeds, where their customers spend an average of about an hour per day.

Monday, February 24, 2020 Dallas, Texas Sheraton Suites Market Dallas 2101 North Stemmons Freeway | Dallas, TX 75207 214.747.3000 Register online at: w w w . t x i a d a . o r g /e d u c a t i o n For more information or to register over the phone, please call the state office at 512.244.6060 Texas Independent Automobile Dealers Association

Keep inventory moving with flexible financing. Getting cars on the lot without the hassle of traditional financing. BacklotCars.com/Float



Marvin Norwood Scholarship DEADLINE

May 11, 2020 {Applications and/or any required documents received after May 11, 2020 will NOT be accepted.} Criteria and Guidelines 1. Each applicant must be entering or currently enrolled in an accredited college or a trade school. Proof of enrollment must be included with this application.

Date: Name:


Address: City:



Email: (You will received email confirmation of receipt.)

Telephone Number: High School Last Attended:

2. Each applicant must provide a letter from their TIADA member sponsor that includes the sponsor’s address and phone number.


3. Each applicant must complete the application form.

Date of Graduation:

4. A copy of high school transcripts is required for applicants who are college freshmen. If applicant is currently enrolled, provide college transcripts with official university imprint.

Other High Schools Attended (Names and Addresses):

5. Provide a detailed description of participation in any academic, honorary, civic or extracurricular activities in college. In addition, a detailed description of high school activities is required from college freshmen along with a college acceptance letter. 6. Compose an essay of no more than two typed, double-spaced 8 ½” x 11” pages. The essay should discuss the applicant’s relationship with their TIADA scholarship sponsor, current education goals and future aspirations as it relates to the applicant’s subject/training area. 7. Provide at least two (but no more than three) letters of recommendation, no older than one year, from college/high school faculty, employers or other appropriate sources (not related).






Dates of Attendance:

College(s) you are attending or plan to attend for admission:

Parents Name(s): TIADA Member Name (Sponsor): TIADA Member Company Name: TIADA Member Address: City:



Sponsor Signature Should you have any questions, please contact TIADA at 512.244.6060. Please return the completed application with all required documents to: TIADA Attention: Scholarship Applications 9951 Anderson Mill Rd. Suite 101, Austin, TX 78750

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on the cover

by TIADA Staff

p i h s r e l a e D A




eing married and having a business partner can be unbelievably rewarding and challenging. For many independent automobile dealers, their business partner is their spouse and the rewards and challenges are amplified. Texas Dealer reached out to a few couples in the business who make it work.

Mi Pueblo B.R.P. – Houston, TX

Rob and Grace Edenfield

Years in business together: 3 years His duties: All finances, pay all bills, payroll, buy all inventory, ap-

prove deals. Her duties: Office Manager—all staffing related issues, reconciliation of income reports and expenses. Best thing about working together: 2 sets of eyes & ears on the business. Two minds to solve issues. No need to explain long hours, also sharing the highs and lows of operating a business. Biggest challenge: Coverage at dealership while we are both out on vacation or attending events. Advice for other couples: Keep work issues at work and home issues at home. Clearly define responsibilities and boundaries. February 2020

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Dario Auto Sales Inc. – Grand Prairie, TX

Felix and Deyla Lazo

Years in business together: 6 years His duties: Inventory Manager. Her duties: General Manager. Best thing about working together: Spending too little time to-

gether is never an issue with us. We also get to bring our kids to work when we desire. I (Deyla) was raised in the business and was very blessed to see how it all worked very early on. We plan to show the same to our kids. Biggest challenge: Coming to agreements on big decisions. I (Deyla) am more of a softy and sometimes can get caught up with my emotions. Felix has his head very well centered around this being a business at the end of the day, and we must operate like one. It’s tough but we try to meet in the middle. Advice for other couples: Identify each other’s strengths and weaknesses and plug them into the different roles in the business and with lots of communication and trust each other in those roles. In our case, Felix has developed a total passion in the process of buying inventory. He loves waking up early and going to the auction to check his list of potential vehicles to buy and over the years has sharpened his skills. As his wife, I have done my best to trust him, support him and encourage him. I am very proud of the buyer he has become.

Brown Family Auto Sales – Houston, TX

Charles and Kendra Brown

Years in business together: 6 years His duties: Buying and selling vehicles, management of employees and daily operations, collections, and customer retention.

Her duties: Marketing and financial management, social

media and web content creator, regulatory compliance, bookkeeping, and taxes. Best thing about working together: It is easy to be empathetic to the challenges and obstacles of the job. It is a huge bonus to have your biggest supporter with you when faced with challenging situations.

Biggest challenge: It can be tempting to use our personal time as a couple to discuss important business decisions. It is an ongoing challenge to compartmentalize business time from personal time.

Advice for other couples: Have an abundance of grace and humility for each other. Disagreements, bad decisions, and mistakes will inevitably and daily occur. Having the humility to admit one is wrong or consider a different point of view as well as the grace to allow your partner to quickly rebound from their mistakes will ensure that you are both encouraged to continue taking the calculated risks necessary for this business.


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Performance Pre-Owned Sales – Livingston, TX Duane and Christie Wienecke

Years in the business together: 15 years His & Her duties: We are very lucky to be family owned and oper-

ated. We have very talented, experienced family members in place at both of our locations. We are both very involved in the day to day operations, however, our time is mostly spent on building lender, vendor, banking relationships, marketing, etc… Now, do we get out there and wash a car or jump in the finance office, or greet a customer that pulls up? You bet we do! Whatever needs to be done! Best thing about working together: Duane and I have each been in this business for 30 years. It is what we know, and it is what we love! We are both very passionate about what we do and the people we help. We love to talk about our day and bounce ideas off each other. It’s nice to have someone next to you who understands your day to day work life. Someone who can help with a challenge that may come up or knows how hard that latest accomplishment was. You know you always have someone in your corner.

Biggest challenge: Just like a car needs gas and brakes. So does an effective ownership team. For the most part,

Duane is the gas and I’m the brake. Sometimes a situation calls for those roles to be reversed. Men and women just think differently, and most times have different ways of handling things. The challenge is knowing what the situation calls for and both to be willing to adapt. After years of working together, I think we have learned to adjust without really thinking about it.

Advice for other couples: Make sure you both share this passion. Even though you may make a pact before date night that

you will not talk about work; it is inevitable that most times it will come up. Especially if you value your spouse’s business acumen, you will want and appreciate their input no matter when or where. Be open to each other’s ideas and suggestions. When we opened our second location, Duane came home and said he found a property that would be great for another lot. Although I wasn’t surprised, you know with him being the gas, it wasn’t something that had been on OUR radar. We went together to look at it and even though I was a little nervous about it, we went for it and opened a month later. That was over two years ago. We place our bets on each other and so far, the payoff has been pretty great!

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Tips S

for Working with Your


By Nancy Friedman, The Telephone Doctor

ince we’ve been married, my husband and I have had 4 successful startups. Three were his start ups and I helped him. And one was my start up and he helped me. During most interviews I’ve done, the one question that comes up consistently, is: “Nancy, you’re with Dick 24/7/365. How on earth do you do that; how does that work?” Without missing a beat, our answer is: “We didn’t know it wasn’t supposed to work.” Buy-in is crucial. We did, as you might imagine, had and yet worked through some of the tough times, and there were a few, not many, but yes, a few. Here are a few tips that made all 4 of our startups successful. And I might add these are in NO PARTICULAR ORDER. Nor did we have any of these written down ahead of time. They just ‘were!’

Successful START

UP Tips for Working with your Spouse

oney, sweetheart, darling, love of my life, etc. are for use in the kitchen – not your business. Using our first name still showed our 1 Hcustomers we’re a family friendly business. We certainly do have our pet names we use in the home (not to be given here…LOL), but not in the business world. eave your ego at the door. If you went into business ‘together,’ that’s so important. If you were brought in later down the line, it’s still critically 2 Limportant. It just could be more difficult. Getting credit is important. We all need it. Or do we and is it? Or does it simply mean ‘we got it done.’

3 4 5 6 7 8 9

That’s something only the two of you can answer. We went with the ‘we got it done’ part. Sometimes it was his idea; sometimes mine. We drank to the idea. Not the person. Did you see the word: “WE” in there? That’s a key word in working with your spouse – WE. Using it often helps maintain the idea. Even when it was one of our own ideas, we used the word “WE.” We took the applause together. Still do. Don’t ever, ever lose your sense of humor. Ever. There is humor in most everything and if you’re having trouble finding it, think of San Juan, Puerto Rico, or the Bahamas, or 9/11, or your friend with cancer. In the long run, it usually can be worse. Complainers and blamers don’t make great partners. Alone time is mandatory. Both alone, alone, and together alone. It’s back to ‘dating’ and spending time ‘together.’ Especially making the time ‘when you feel there is no time. We make time for what we feel is important. It doesn’t need to be hours and hours. Even a short dinner at a fast food restaurant can work. But a nice dinner with a glass of wine to relax and share good thoughts works well, too. Neither Dick or I have any great hobbies like golf, tennis, bridge, hiking, and so many others that often keep spouses apart too long. Most of our dinners were “alone together.” We enjoy each other. Oddly, still do. Something bothering you? Do not ‘emotionally leak’ on your spouse. Or anyone in your business. Flat tire? Gained weight? Argue with kids? Whatever. If it didn’t involve the spouse, don’t take it out on the spouse. Emotional leakage is getting mad at Peter & taking it out on Paul. Not right, not fair, not fun. Don’t take the negative situation from someone/something else and put it on your spouse. And sadly, it’s easy to do, mostly because of our unconditional love for each other. Sort of “we know we can, they’ll forgive me.” Sure we will; however, we don’t like it. And it happens all the time. We don’t enjoy it when a customer ‘leaks’ on us, do we? Something happened to them unrelated to us and they take it out on us. They leak too. But we’re just not about to say, “Hey, stop leaking on me.” Working 24/7/365 is NOT for everyone. I wouldn’t push it on others. Sometimes it sounds like a great idea. Some folks are not aware of what’s involved with working with a spouse. And since most of us are not psychiatrists, we need to stay out of that suggestion. Even the best of couples working together can have issues. It’s HOW those issues are handled that makes the success. (That’s a whole ‘nother article.) Bringing KIDS into the fold? Not able to say good, bad or indifferent on this one. I can tell you what we did. And it worked. When our son said he wanted to come into the business after graduating college we said, “Sure that’s super. However, we need you to get hired somewhere else for a year to see how working outside the family business is. It’s not always reality.” While he wasn’t thrilled with the option, he went and got a ‘real’ job at a big company and one year later came back and asked that we hire him. We did and he’s been around ‘forever.’ We did have some ground rules. I wasn’t MOM and Dick wasn’t DAD in our 9-5 working environment. We were Nancy & Dick. Then after 5 we were MOM and DAD again. Could he deal with that? “Let’s find out,” he said. Again, it worked for us. No respect was lost by calling us by our first names. In fact, it made us closer. Never, never, never go to bed angry with each other. NEVER! No more needs to be said on this.Sometimes it was his idea; sometimes mine. We drank to the idea. Not the person. Reread Number 8. Editors Note: Nancy Friedman is a professional speaker and world-renowned customer service expert who has worked with her spouse for years. Since many of our members are husband and wife teams, we thought it would be fun and educational to ask her for tips on working with your spouse.


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The Car Shack – Corpus Christi, TX

Terrie and GR Moore

Years in business together: 37 years His duties: Buying and selling, all ‘front of house’ decisions and day to day

running of the lot. Her duties: All the ‘back of house’ operations including bookkeeping, payroll, report filing and compliance. The best thing about working together: The total trust and complete confidence that your partner is doing their best for the success of the business. Biggest challenge: Making a conscious effort to leave work behind once the gates are closed and the office is locked. While the business can be all consuming and entrepreneurs are those crazy people who will work 70 hours for themselves, so they don’t have to work 40 hours for someone else, it’s important to stop working and start living. Advice for other couples: Remember to keep it professional and always, always be respectful of each other. Operations run smoother when there’s someone in charge. Too many chiefs just make it more complicated. Decide, in advance, who makes the final call.

Sport and Classic Motorcars, Inc. – Bryan, TX Jim & Charlotte Gray

Years in business together: 40 years His duties: CEO,

purchasing & sales, oversees make ready, and customer service.

Her duties:

CFO, sales, banking, and office administration. We are responsible for many more duties, but we share them.

Best thing about working together: We are blessed to

spend our days together building our business with a common goal and to know that our business is being run properly. Building our business from ground zero to celebrating Sport & Classic’s 40th anniversary is very rewarding.

Biggest challenge: There’s always going to be chal-

lenges. God’s blessings are just beyond those challenges – pray hard and don’t quit.

Advice for other couples: Our advice for couples con-

templating going into business together is to place God first in their lives. To share duties and to make it a team effort to achieve their goal. When one of you is down, do not complain — ­­ step in and fill in the gap.

February 2020

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Texas Auto Center, LLC – Austin, TX

Robert and Erika Blankenship

Years in business together: 22 years His duties: CEO/President Her duties: Chief Compliance Officer Best thing about working together: Working together has helped us to get

to know each other better. We learned to identify what we are good at, respect each other’s skills and know that our business wouldn’t have been able to grow and prosper without both of our contributions. Biggest challenge: The biggest challenge about working together is setting boundaries at work as well as home. It can be difficult to avoid discussing work at home, but it is important to do so. Advice for other couples: Building a business together means spending a lot of time together. Having clear expectations of one another, and sharing the same vision is important to your success. Set your goals together, listen to one another and remember to support one another through times of challenge and success.

Tex-Mex Auto Sales LLC – Lewisville, TX

Habacuc and Erika Castaneda

Years in the business together: 13 years His duties: Inventory, sales team, staff meetings. Management of body shop, mechanic shop and car inspections. Her duties: Office manager, daily operations, marketing, collections.

Best thing about working together: When one of us is not there the other can

support and replace the responsibility of the other person. Our connection is so good in our business that when we talk about an idea, we understand each other perfectly and that opens up the vision to be able to grow the business together. When our children are out of school, they are often in the office where we assign them tasks according to their age and capabilities. This way they can start getting a feel of the family businesses and responsibilities. Biggest challenge: To prevent some of our work problems from being taken home and becoming no longer just a work problem but also a problem at home. Advice for other couples: Don’t be scared to start your own family business! A successful business can provide many satisfactions if you put in hard work and effort to make it grow; and if you involve your children even better, it brings us together even more as a family. What works for us is that we don’t compete to see who’s in charge, together we contribute our ideas and choose the best for our business.

Abilene Used Car Sales, Inc – Abilene, TX

Tommy and Wanda Gregory

Years in business together: 28 years His duties: CEO, Works closest with collections and our recon shop. Her duties: Office Manager, Human Resources Manager, Accounting. Best thing about working together: Achieving goals and earning success together. Biggest challenge: Separating work from home and agreeing to disagree without argu-

ing. We don’t always agree on the same solutions to a problem that might arise. Advice to other couples: You need to set boundaries and allow each other space. Home is home and work is work. Treat each other at work as you would treat any other co-worker and play into lean on the other’s abilities and strengths. Be open to each other’s ideas. Most importantly, always be respectful to each other. 22

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NextGear Capital allows me to buy more cars and floor plan their transportation costs, which frees up my cash flow for other things, like saving for a bigger lot. Without the support of NextGear Capital, I definitely wouldn’t be where I am today.

Discover where we can take you. Visit nextgearcapital.com. *This testimonial was received via interview, audio and/or video submission. This testimonial is based on this dealer’s individual experiences, reflecting real life experiences of a NextGear Capital dealer. NextGear Capital does not claim they are typical results that dealers generally will achieve. This dealer’s experiences may not be indicative of future performance or success of any other dealers. Some of the testimonial has been shortened so the whole message is not displayed due to length and/or relevance.

The best dealers in Texas, the best education anywhere.

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August 16-18, 2020 JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa

TIADA Auction Directory 2020

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Corpus Christi







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Dallas-Ft. Worth Metroplex ADESA DALLAS

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www.americasautoauction.com 219 N. Loop 12, Irving, TX 75061 972.445.1044, Fax 972.591.2742 GM: Ruben Figueroa Tuesday, 1:00 p.m. / Thursday, 1:00 p.m. $AVE : $200


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www.iaai.com 4226 East Main Street Grand Prairie, TX 75050 972.522.5000, Fax 972.522.5090 GM: Robert Brown Tuesday, 9:00 a.m. $AVE : up to $200 Sell Fee www.iaai.com 3748 McPherson Dr. Justin, TX 76247 940.648.5541, Fax 940.648.5543 GM: Jack Panczyk Tuesday, 9:00 a.m. $AVE : up to $200 Sell Fee


www.manheim.com 5333 W. Kiest Blvd., Dallas, TX 75236 214.330.1800, Fax 214.339.6347 GM: Rich Curtis Wednesday, 9:00 a.m. $AVE : $100

MANHEIM DALLAS FORT WORTH** www.manheim.com 12101 Trinity Blvd. Fort Worth, TX 76040 817.399.4000, Fax 817.399.4251 GM: Nicole Graham-Ponce Thursday, 9:30 a.m. $AVE : $100

METRO AUTO AUCTION DALLAS www.metroaa.com 1836 Midway Road Lewisville, TX 75056 972.492.0900, Fax 972.492.0944 GM: Scott Stalder Tuesday, 9:00 a.m. $AVE : $200

TEXAS LONE STAR AUTO AUCTION www.tlsaa.com 2205 Country Club Drive Carrollton, TX 75006 214.483.3597, Fax 214.483.3814 GM: Patrick Stevens Tuesday, 1:00 p.m. / Thursday, 2:00 p.m. $AVE : $200

El Paso

EL PASO INDEPENDENT AUTO AUCTION www.epiaa.com 7930 Artcraft Rd, El Paso, TX 79932 915.587.6700, Fax 915.587.6700 GM: Luke Pidgeon Wednesday, 10:00 a.m. $AVE : $200 T e x a s

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www.iaai.com 14651 Gateway Blvd. W, El Paso, TX 79927 915.852.2489, Fax 915.852.2235 GM: Jorge Resendez Friday, 10:30 a.m. $AVE : up to $200 Sell Fee


www.manheim.com 485 Coates Drive, El Paso, TX 79932 915.833.9333, Fax 915.581.9645 GM: JD Guerrero Thursday, 10:00 a.m. $AVE : $100


Midland Odessa


www.iaai.com 701 W. 81st Street, Odessa, TX 79764 432.550.7277, Fax 432.366.8725 GM: Christopher Rogers Thursday, 11:00 a.m. $AVE : up to $200 Sell Fee

www.iaai.com 2535 West. Mt. Houston, Houston, TX 77038 281.847.4700, Fax 281.847.4799 GM: Alvin Banks Wednesday, 9:00 a.m. $AVE : up to $200 Sell Fee www.iaai.com 16602 East Hardy Rd., Houston-North, TX 77032 281.443.1300, Fax 281.443.4433 GM: Christina Nieves Thursday, 9:00 a.m. $AVE : up to $200 Sell Fee


Harlingen/McAllen IAA MCALLEN*

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www.bigvalleyaa.com 4315 N. Hutto Road, Donna, TX 78537 956.461.9000, Fax 956.461.9005 GM: Lisa Franz Thursday, 9:30 a.m. $AVE : $200

www.manheim.com 14450 West Road, Houston, TX 77041 281.924.5833, Fax 281.890.7953 GM: Brian Walker Tuesday, 9:00 a.m. / Thursday 6:30 p.m. $AVE : $100


www.manheim.com 8215 Kopman Road, Houston, TX 77061 713.649.8233, Fax 713.640.6330 GM: Darren Slack Thursday, 9:00 a.m. $AVE : $100





www.adesa.com 4526 N. Sam Houston, Houston, TX 77086 281.580.1800, Fax 281.580.8030 GM: Angela Williams Wednesday, 9:00 a.m. $AVE : $200


www.americasautoauction.com 1826 Almeda Genoa Rd, Houston, TX 77047 281.819.3600, Fax 281.819.3601 GM: John Swofford Thursday, 2:00 p.m. $AVE : $200

AMERICA’S AA NORTH HOUSTON www.americasautoauction.com 1440 FM 3083, Conroe, TX 77301 936.441.2882, Fax 936.788.2842 GM: Buddy Cheney Monday, 6:30 p.m. $AVE : $200

www.allianceautoauction.com 6000 East Loop 281, Longview, TX 75602 903.212.2955, Fax 903.212.2556 GM: Chris Barille Friday, 10:00 a.m. $AVE : $200


www.iaai.com 5577 Highway 80 East, Longview, TX 75605 903.553.9248, Fax 903.553.0210 GM: David Cooper Thursday, 9:00 a.m. $AVE : up to $200 Sell Fee



www.iaai.com 5311 N. CR 2000, Lubbock, TX 79415 806.747.5458, Fax 806.747.5472 GM: Lori Davee Tuesday, 9:00 a.m. $AVE : up to $200 Sell Fee

AUTONATION AUTO AUCTION - HOUSTON TEXAS LONE STAR AUTO AUCTION** www.autonationautoauction.com 608 W. Mitchell Road, Houston, TX 77037 822.905.2622, Fax 281.506.3866 GM: Juan Gallo Thursday, 6:00 p.m. $AVE : $200


www.houstonautoauction.com 2000 Cavalcade, Houston, TX 77009 713.644.5566, Fax 713.644.0889 GM: Tim Bowers Tuesday, 1:00 p.m. $AVE : $200

February 2020

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www.lsaalubbock.com 2706 E. Slaton Road., Lubbock, TX 79404 806.745.6606 Wednesday, 9:30 a.m $AVE : $75/Quarterly



www.lufkindealers.com 2109 N. John Reddit Dr., Lufkin, TX 75904 936.632.4299, Fax 936.632.4218 GM: Wayne Cook Thursday, 6:00 p.m. $AVE : $200




www.acvauctions.com 800.553.4070 $AVE : $250

San Antonio


www.adesa.com 200 S. Callaghan Rd San Antonio, TX 78227 210.434.4999, Fax 210.431.0645 GM: Clifton Sprenger Thursday, 10:00 a.m. $AVE : $200


www.iaai.com 11275 S. Zarzamora San Antonio, TX 78224 210.628.6770, Fax 210.628.6778 GM: Brian Sell Monday, 9:00 a.m. $AVE : up to $200 Sell Fee


www.manheim.com 2042 Ackerman Road San Antonio, TX 78219 210.661.4200, Fax 210.662.3113 GM: Mike Browning Wednesday, 9:00 a.m. $AVE : $100


www.sanantonioautoauction.com 13510 Toepperwein Rd. San Antonio, TX 78233 210.298.5477 GM: Brandon Walston Tuesday, 10:00 a.m. / Thursday, 1:30 p.m. $AVE : $200


GREATER TYLER AUTO AUCTION www.greatertyleraa.com 11654 Hwy 64W, Tyler, TX 75704 903.597.2800, Fax 903.597.3848 GM: Wayne Cook Tuesday, 5:00 p.m. $AVE : $200



www.allianceautoauction.com 15735 I-35 Frontage Road Elm Mott, TX 76640 254.829.0123, Fax 254.829.1298 GM: Carmen Robinson (Sales Manager) Friday, 10:00 a.m. $AVE : $200


Dealer Academy Presents

Keeping Your BHPH Dealership Legal & Compliant Presented by Michael W. Dunagan, TIADA General Counsel, author of Dealer Financing of Used Car Sales and Texas Automobile Repossession: A Lien Holder’s Legal Guide. One of the quickest ways to ruin a dealership’s profit margin is to be hit with a fine from a regulatory agency, or to lose a lawsuit filed by a customer. This seminar will focus on the practical side of compliance that understands you have a business to run — and you want to run it right. This seminar from TIADA attorney Michael W. Dunagan is the final answer in BHPH compliance. Mike speaks dealer, and with 40 years of experience representing hundreds of BHPH dealers, he knows your business inside and out. Attend this workshop and learn all about:

9:00am - 4:00pm TIADA MEMBERS $249 – 1st registrant $199 – each additional (must be from same dealership)


Sponsored by:

• How to prepare for (and survive) an OCCC exam • What to do when the Bankruptcy Notice arrives • Repossessions: from A to Z • TxDMV Enforcement – Title Management Issues • Most common advertising violations • Your right to insurance proceeds • Using the courts to get your car back • Procedures to stay off the CFPB’s radar • Techniques to avoid consumer lawsuits

• Properly handling financing on repairs • Real-life DTPA court cases • Body shops, mechanics, towing and storage issues • Specific lien-protection steps • Federal regulations affecting BHPH dealers • Alternatives to traditional insurance • Most common OCCC customer complaints • How to respond to an attorney demand letter • Dealer issues in Comptroller audits

Monday, February 10, 2020 Houston, Texas Hyatt Regency Houston Intercontinental Airport 425 North Sam Houston Parkway East Houston, TX 77060 281.249.1234



Register online at www.txiada.org or by phone at 512.244.6060.

Texas Independent Automobile Dealers Association

Ignorance is no defense. Know the law. Repo and financing issues are among the most common violations found by the OCCC. If you own a previous edition of these books from 2008 or earlier, it is recommended that you upgrade to the current editions.

Dealer Financing of Used Car Sales This comprehensive book covers all aspects of the complicated world of seller-financing in Texas, including Maximum Finance Rates; Retail Installment Contracts; Contract Amendments; VIT; Repair Charges; Federal Disclosures and more.

TIADA Member Price: $125 (non-members $175)

Texas Automobile Repossession: A Lien Holder’s Legal Guide Everything you need to know about repossessions is addressed in this book, including Notification Requirements, Post-Repo Procedures, Private Sale vs. Strict Foreclosure, Bankruptcy, Post-Disposition Accounting, Tracking and Shut-off Devices, the 60% Rule and more. PLUS – includes all required forms.

TIADA Member Price: $125 (non-members $175)


Now available for purchase online at www.txiada.org under “Legal Resources” or call 512.244.6060 to order by phone. When ordering online, login with your TIADA username and password to receive the discounted rate. All prices include shipping. Orders are shipped in 3-5 business days. texas independent automobile dealers association

Attorney Michael W. Dunagan is the author of the two must-have books for every Buy-Here, Pay-Here dealer in Texas. Mr. Dunagan has been General Counsel to TIADA for over 40 years. His law firm specializes in the representation of independent Texas car dealers.


TIADA texas independent automobile dealers association

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feature by Dacia Rivers Freelance Writer


Customer Experience: What Are They Thinking?


magine if you could change every one of your customers into a loyal customer. You know the type. They’re the folks who keep coming back to your dealership to purchase car after car. They’re the people who are quick to recommend your business to anyone they know who is looking to buy a used automobile. They sing your praises around town, resulting in the best marketing that money can’t even buy, bringing you multiple new referrals who walk in your door with the potential to become lifelong, loyal customers themselves. It’s a self-reproducing cycle that can grow your business through one of the most powerful and ancient forms of advertising: the word-of-mouth recommendation.

“We wanted someone who would talk to us, give us a fair price and give us a fair payment structure.”

Customer Service Is Key

So how do you turn your customers into loyal customers? How do you earn their repeat business and their steadfast recommendations? We talked to several buyers who had recently purchased automobiles from TIADA members across the state to give you some perspective on what factors are most important February 2020

to folks going through the car buying experience. There was one area where they all whole-heartedly agreed: you simply can’t overdo it when it comes to customer service. Every customer we talked to ranked customer service as the number-one determining factor that convinced them to buy a car from the dealership they chose, well above any other factors — including price and vehicle selection. Customers described excellent customer service as everything from being friendly without being pushy to helping car buyers get the deals they’re looking for. “We wanted someone who would talk to us, give us a fair price and give us a fair payment structure,” one customer recalled of his recent car-buying experience at a San Antonio dealership. “And they did all of that. We had such

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a good experience the first time that we bought our next cars from them.” Customers also appreciate honesty from salespeople when shopping for a vehicle. Another recent car buyer said he chose the dealership in New Braunfels where he purchased his latest car because he trusted the staff. “You can read when somebody’s trying to shuck and jive you and when they’re telling you the truth,” he added. Some TIADA members went above and beyond what customers

typically expect from a used car dealership, successfully earning themselves loyal customers by providing an extra bit of attention when it was most needed. When one customer’s husband was ill and had to miss work for a few weeks, she called the buy-here, pay-here dealership where she had purchased her car to tell them she would be late on a couple of payments due to her husband’s condition. The staff at the dealership told her it wouldn’t be a problem. They


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didn’t assign her any extra fees and even went so far as to send her husband a get-well card and call to check on his recovery. “They’re great people,” she affirms. “We don’t even look anywhere else when we want a car these days.” The customers we spoke to loved telling stories about the above-and-beyond care they had received from dealerships. One couple from Terrell bought a used car that was missing a sun visor, which they knew upfront and understood as part of the deal when buying a used vehicle. But they were thrilled when a staff member at the dealership tracked down a matching visor for their vehicle and gave it to them at no extra cost, even after the purchase was completed. “You can get a car from any place,” the customer shared. “But the people at this dealership were really nice. They’re warm and friendly and I consider them family now.”

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Once a potential customer walks into your dealership, providing him or her with outstanding customer service is the key to building a mutually beneficial relationship. But how do you get that potential customer to choose to come onto your lot? Besides word-of-mouth recommendations, the customers we spoke to said they visited the dealerships where they ended up buying vehicles after driving by and being impressed. “Some lots have cars outside that look like they wouldn’t run really well,” one Houston-area customer said. Other customers agreed that they visited the dealerships where they ended up purchasing because something new or nice-looking on the lot caught their eye. Some of the customers we spoke with mentioned that they were pleased to be able to go in to buy a specific car and drive it home the same day. These customers appreciated that the salespeople were eager to work with them to get the deal done in a way that made everyone happy while understanding the value of the customers’ time. T e x a s

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TIADA Auction App turns your phone into



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*Only available to current TIADA dealer members. Cash only represents redeemed discount value and does not mean actual currency.

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purchased. vehicle being the motor interest in NT(S ) a security NPA YME Due I give you Date ED DOW owe you, DEF ERR or in the future charge of owe you Amount a late debt I now I will pay any other it is due, ses in it and days after my promi ct and all within 15 payment Charge. on this contra ce sts, owe entire I all ve my of the Finan lt, security intere p this To secure d of part do not recei Security: defau (1)Kee writing. get a refun t nonpayment, ge: If you ises in paym ent. so, I can NO.: Late Char n abou $ all prom sched uled . If I do ds. STOCK put....... informatio % of the er to........ I owe early yment refun ment for deal........ the ........ and prepa pay all that refer to this docu Ask........ rce. ........ nt: I can uled date, I will ............... DATE: to enfo Prepayme l Information: e the sched cult........ REDITOR: diffi........ full befor are........ SELLER/C ises........ Additiona repayment in .$ D prom........ ER : red ................ ................ 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Automotive Dealer Digital Marketing Best Practices by Matthew Travers

Executive VP, Lead to Conversion


igital media has opened up a whole new world of possibilities for car dealers to effectively and efficiently market to their target audience. Competition is stiff in the automotive industry, but you can set yourself apart with the right tools and strategic car dealership marketing campaigns. There are many ways you can customize digital marketing best practices to sell cars, and here are five tips to get you started.


Employ the Simple and Effective Call to Action

When it comes to cars, people love browsing, and your website and other online pages provide them with a perfect opportunity to explore their options and dream about their ideal cars. But when you add effective calls to action to your site, you can convert more of those browsers into potential customers. Make sure you have a call to action on your home page, landing pages,

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social media sites, and other auto dealer marketing materials. And the call to action doesn’t have to be just to buy a car—here are some other car dealership marketing ideas for your call to action: Downloading a car comparison chart Reading a car buying guide Getting special promotions or offers Contacting the dealership about trade-in options You can gather sales leads by offering these items to visitors when they sign up.


Take Advantage of Social Media

Social media is an extremely underused tool for many car dealerships, and there are plenty of ways you can work Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and other sites to find new customers and engage previous ones. Social sites are a great place to share 35

information about the automotive industry, keep customers updated on what’s in your lot, engage readers with interesting and shareable content and fun videos, and for customer service. And just as importantly, social signals in the form of likes and retweets are used in Google’s algorithm when ranking websites, so the more you share and the wider your audience, the better your website will rank.


Personalize Your Marketing

In this day and age, there are so many analytics tools available that you can customize your automotive dealership marketing based on the individual needs and likes of each customer. For example, say you send out a monthly e-newsletter, and three customers immediately click the link to your truck catalog page. In the future, you can customize your car dealer



digital marketing campaigns for those customers by focusing on all things truck. That’s just one example of how car dealer online marketing tactics can be personalized for visitors.


Make Sure All Content Is Responsive and Mobile-Friendly


Establish Yourself as an Authority

Did you know that nearly half of all consumers use smartphones when shopping for cars? This means if your website isn’t responsive and mobile-friendly, then your potential customers will find a dealership’s that is. You can also consider creating an app just for your dealership so customers can easily browse your current selection and compare pricing.

For most people, buying a car is a big deal. But if you establish yourself as an authority on the subject, then customers will come to you for help and will trust what you have to say over your competitors. So how do you build authority for a car dealership? Keep your website fresh and updated. Create engaging content that will be of interest to your customers. Provide resources and useful information through all your contact points (at the dealership, on your website, on social media), publish well-written white papers and ebooks about the auto industry, and have greatw customer service representatives as the face of your company. Digital marketing can be a hugely beneficial tool for automotive dealers—in fact, it’s the only way to stay competitive in the digital age. There are lots of ways you can use digital marketing best practices and tailor them to your customers, and these five tips will help get you started, help you find new customers right away, and help you retain loyal customers for years to come. T e x a s

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Dealer Academy On-demand Education Offerings

Online Courses You can quickly create an account, register and purchase these courses at our eLearning site.

How to Become An Independent Auto Dealer An On-Demand eLearning course

Independent dealers across the U.S. average gross profits of about $250,000 annually, according to NIADA. But how do you get started in the business? Just what do you need to know? Available Anytime • At Your Convenience • On Demand

AVOID COSTLY MISTAKES The topics covered in this course will help position you to make better business decisions toward a more profitable car dealership business in Texas. This course will help prepare you for all aspects of the business and will save you the time, money and stress that comes with learning these things on your own. Our online course is divided into four parts and can easily be taken at your own pace in about 6 hours total. $149 TIADA Members AT YOUR CONVENIENCE • ONLINE COURSE • ON DEMAND


Register and/or Login at w w w . d e a l e r t r a i n i n g . t x i a d a . o r g . Contact us at the TIADA office at 512.244.6060 independent automobile or email ustexas if you need assistance. dealers association

TIADA texas independent automobile dealers association

Texas Independent Automobile Dealers Association


Top Car Dealer Website Design Ideas This article first appeared on izmocars.com on 27 May 2019

car dealer website Research has also shown that nearly 40% of interested new car shoppers think that an auto dealership website is very influential in their purchasing process.



decade ago, buyers visited an average of five dealerships while car shopping. Now, they only drop in at 2 dealerships on average before deciding. Research has also shown that nearly 40% of interested new car shoppers think that an auto dealership website is very influential in their purchasing process. The bulk of their research is done online before they ever see you in person, which points to just how important it is to have a top-class car dealer website if you want to stand out from the crowd.

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In this article, we give you a few effective ideas on how to improve your car dealer website.


Prioritize High Quality Images and Searchability

Potential customers want to initially explore their options in a virtual setting, and they shortlist dealers after browsing car dealer websites. User-friendly website design and top notch vehicle images in your auto dealership’s inventory pages can certainly make a difference at this initial stage. 39

The option to quickly search through a car dealer website is a must-have these days, since over a third of potential buyers know exactly what they want. In order to nudge them into the sales funnel, make it easy for them to find what they’re looking for.


635 Fritz Dr. Ste 210 Coppell, TX 75019 469-637-0150

Include Contact Forms and Testimonials

If it’s good to get as many people as possible to visit your car dealer website, it’s even better to have them visit your brickand-mortar showroom. In order to maximize your chances to make this happen, add brief contact forms on every page of your dealership website. If they are thinking about reaching out to your dealership after having seen something they like, a contact form should be readily available for them to fill out. While customer reviews are becoming more important for prospective car buyers in their decision-making process, many of them may not take the trouble to look up your auto dealership on review sites. In order to not miss out on potential opportunities, gather up some of your best testimonials and feature them prominently on your car dealer website, as they help immensely in building trust.


Less is More

A classy, sleek, user-friendly website design will certainly be much more beneficial for

your car dealer website than packing in details about so many vehicles, promotions, offers and general information all at once on the home page. The first impression is the foundation of your relationship with the customer, and you have to get it right. Use a website layout that is free of distractions and clutter, and instead include clear calls-to-action (CTAs) and eye-catching navigation that guides the customer to their next stage in the buying process. Most importantly, being spoilt for choice may not be the best idea to increase sales. The fact that it becomes more difficult to make a decision could actually drive your car dealer website visitors elsewhere.


Figure Out Your Pricing Tactics

The ability to shop by vehicle price is commonly stated as one of the top benefits of purchasing online, and it is make-orbreak in terms of trust. Keep the vehicle pricing on your car dealer website transparent by displaying the vehicle MSRP, all savings, and additional deals or incentives that apply. How the final price was arrived at should be quite clear, in order to avoid any confusion or doubt. izmocars is the largest international provider for dealer websites and reputation management. We offer Spanish language websites and Buyerater, an In-Dealership review app to dealers in USA. More info at www.izmocars.com



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Dealer Academy Education Offerings for Winter/Spring 2020

Instructor-Led Courses Keeping Your BHPH Dealership Legal and Compliant Presented by Michael W. Dunagan, TIADA General Counsel and author of the standard-setting books, “Dealer Financing of Used Car Sales” and “Texas Automobile Repossession: A Lien Holder’s Legal Guide.” This seminar is the final answer in BHPH compliance. Mike speaks dealer, and with 40 years of experience representing hundreds of BHPH dealers, he knows your business inside and out. He will focus on the practical side of compliance that understands you have a business to run -and you want to run it right. 9:00am - 4:00pm

$249 TIADA Members, Each Additional $199 (must be from same dealership), $499 Non-members MONDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 2020, HOUSTON • MONDAY, MAY 18, 2020, CORPUS CHRISTI

Facebook/Instagram Workshop: Increase Sales and Measure Your ROI Presented by Lindsay Shearon, Dealer Consultant with Dealer OMG. This jam-packed session will explore the finer points of Facebook and Instagram marketing for dealers and go far beyond the quest for likes. Ideal for any dealer GM or Owner who is tired of not knowing their advertising ROI. 8:30am - 12:00pm

$149 TIADA Members, Each Additional $99 (must be from same dealership), $299 Non-members MONDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2020, DALLAS

From Inventory Acquisition to Tracking Service Department Metrics: Getting and Selling the Right Vehicle Is the Bottom Line Presented by Brent Carmichael, Executive Conference Moderator, 20 Groups. NCM Associates. This workshop is uniquely designed to cover the service department essentials that will increase your bottom line. It will also include hands-on, interactive training that will allow you to inspect vehicles and learn exactly how to spot the most commonly overlooked types of vehicle damage. Wrap up the day with an interactive Q & A session with a panel of top dealers in Texas that will share how these practices are being implemented at their dealerships and walk you through their process of getting vehicles from the auction to the frontline. 9:00am - 4:00pm

$249 TIADA Members, Each Additional $199 (must be from same dealership), $499 Non-members MONDAY, APRIL 6, 2020, ARLINGTON

Cashflow, Budgeting, Forecasting, Sales and Collections – Critical Topics for the Success and Continued Growth of your Businesses Presented by Bill Elizondo, Chief Operating Officer, AFS Dealers, LLC BHPH/LHPH Web Based Software, Training and Consulting.

Choose Full Day or Half Day 9:00am - 4:00pm

The morning session will cover cashflow (Where are you now?) budgeting (Where do you want to go?), and forecasting (Where have you been?) and will focus on strategies around these areas. In the afternoon, dive into the Selling System and best practices and find out how your collection practices will empower your business as “The Real Money Maker.” Come for the whole day or just the half that works for you!

Full Day: $249 TIADA Members, Each Additional $199 (must be from same dealership), $499 Non-members Half Day (a.m. OR p.m.): $149 TIADA Members, Each Add’l $99 (must be from same dealership), $299 Non-members


Register online at www.txiada.org or by phone at 512.244.6060. Texas Independent Automobile Dealers Association


www.autoraptor.com 888.421.6533

Lead Prioritization


Customized Workflows Automated Email & Texts Decision-Making Insights

AutoRaptor is the single most valuable tool we have in our toolbox! Raptor is super easy to use, packed with features, and its integration with all of our other platforms is seamless. Rob A. Lake City Exports

Please Welcome Our Newest TIADA Members DEALER MEMBERS A2 Autos Arick Wray . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1612 S. Washington, Amarillo, TX 79102 Barrett Motors - Garland Stephen Barrett . . . . . . . . . . 3941 Forest Lane, Garland, TX 75042 Barrett Motors - Greenville Stephen Barrett . . . 11 Joe Ramsey Blvd, Greenville, TX 75402 Barrett Motors - Sachse Stephen Barrett . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6306 TX - 78, Sachse, TX 75048 Direct Car Company Jerome Francis . . . . . . . 8914 Pagewood Ln. Suite A, Houston, TX 77063 Grand Dallas Auto Inc Ansar Lakhani . . . . 2945 Walnute Hill Ln Suite 104, Dallas, TX 75229 Gtown Auto Sales Lindsey Rogers . . . . . . 2302 N Austin Ave., Suite B, Georgetown, TX 78626 Lalo’s Best Dealer dba Outlet Cars & Trucks Ana Johnson Mayer . . . . 2104 Cutting Horse Trl, Frisco, TX 75036 Los Mavs Auto Sales Mari Banda . . . . . . . . 6451 S Great Trinity Forest Way, Dallas, TX 75217 ReliaCars LLC Saeid Taghvaei . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2626 Manana Dr. Ste. B, Dallas, TX 75220 San Juan Auto Loans Eric Curran . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 700 E. IH 2, San Juan, TX 78589 Texas Auto Dealer LLC Grant Edlund 21260 Gathering Oak STE 106, San Antonio, TX 78260 Tommy’s Used Cars Mersadies Jordan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1002 N Main St., Cleburne, TX 76033 Tunham Integrated Limited LLC Jimoh Babatunde11111 Bissonnet St., Houston, TX 77099

ASSOCIATE MEMBERS Dealer Prodigy Robert McKie . . . . . . . . . . 500 E. Whitestone Blvd. #3577, Cedar Park, TX 78613 O’Reilly Auto Parts Integrated Parts Operations Heath Johnson . . . 230 S Barnes Ave, Springfield, MO 65802

resource guide The TIADA Website: www.txiada.org Members can log in with their username/password and access our Dealer Member Directory, Legislative Action Center, Compliance Consultation Service and much more. Register for all upcoming TIADA events online through the Calendar of Events, access our online membership application, find contact information for all our Local Chapters, and access many additional resources through our Knowledge Base. Texas Department of Motor Vehicles 888.368.4689 www.txdmv.gov Office of Consumer Credit Commissioner 800.538.1579 occc.texas.gov February 2020

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Texas Comptroller 800.252.1382 www.window.state.tx.us

Local Chapters CORPUS CHRISTI G.R. Moore The Car Shack (dates announced at www.txiada.org)

EL PASO Ricardo Gardea Cars Plus Meeting – 3rd Friday (Monthly)

FORT WORTH Chris Templin Auto Land Meeting – 4th Thursday of Jan–May and Sep–Oct

HOUSTON Rudy Roudbari Sarco Enterprise Meeting – 2nd Tuesday (Monthly)


NIADA 800.682.3837 www.niada.com

Jose Engler Irving Motors Corp (dates announced at www.txiada.org)



American Recovery Association 972.755.4755 www.repo.org or contact TIADA state office

Dennis Schroller Victoria Autos Direct Meeting – 1st Monday (Monthly)

FORMS Burrell Printing 800.252.9154 www.burrellprinting.com


behind the wheel


Could Your Dealership Use a SWOT?


ost people who own or run a business have heard of a SWOT Analysis, but few have ever actually preformed a SWOT Analysis on their own business. It’s usually the first step in developing a strategic plan and that’s why most people don’t walk through the exercise. There is some fear that it will result in a long drawn out process that ends with a bunch of flowery language that isn’t going to help your business. There is also a misconception that only a professional moderator can perform a SWOT Analysis and that will only end up costing more money. While a SWOT is usually the first step in developing a strategic plan, it doesn’t have to be a long and expensive process. A SWOT Analysis can serve as a standalone exercise that will help you assess specific areas of your business. SWOT stands for Strength, Weakness, Opportunity and Threats and will allow you to have an honest conversation about how your dealership can make the most out of its advantages and do your best to eliminate or address any issues that you developed within your operation. I’m not going to discuss how to draw up a SWOT matrix or discuss the definition of each word that makes up the acronym; there is plenty of information and templates available online to assist you with that. However, I am going to encourage you to take some time to do a SWOT Analysis for your dealership and I am going to strongly encourage you to include a wide cross-section of people to participate. I have participated in numerous SWOTs, some that


by Jeff


were very basic and only took about three or four total hours and some that took over four months to complete, obviously not all at one time. Think of it as brainstorming on steroids. I have always come away from the exercise with a fresh look at new and old ideas. I have always found the most successful analysis includes the most diverse population of people you can find from within or even outside your organization. Depending on the input you’re looking to collect might depend on who you may be able to invite to participate. However, during a SWOT Analysis you shouldn’t be talking about sensitive dealership information so invite your new employees, including the detail guy or your banker or a vendor you use from time to time. Anyone who has a vested interest in your dealership being successful makes a great participant. Once you have collected the information you can decide what to do with it. It may confirm that what you are doing is on the right track and you should stay the course; you may find a few little things you can tweak that will make you more efficient; or you might unearth a real opportunity that will have a significant effect on your dealership’s bottom line. I recommend performing a SWOT once every three to five years. One last recommendation: don’t wait until the wheels are coming off at your dealership to think about performing a SWOT Analysis. Sure, the weaknesses will be much easier to identify at that time, but it may too late.

SWOT stands for Strength, Weakness, Opportunity and Threats and will allow you to have an honest conversation about your dealership. T e x a s

D e a l e r

February 2020







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