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2017-07-27 What Buy-Here, Pay-Here Dealer Need to Know About October

By Doug Debolt, "BHPH  Marketplace" 

Two months ago, buy here, pay here car dealers from across the country were preparing to descend on the Wynn in Las Vegas for the annual conference of the National Alliance of Buy Here, Pay Here Dealers. Now, those same dealers are hearing about another national NABD conference in Orlando this October. The obvious question might be, “If I went to Las Vegas, why should I consider going to Orlando?”

According to Ken Shilson, president of the NABD, that’s not the right question. Dealers, he says, should be asking themselves if they can afford to not be in Orlando, especially given the competition and profitability in the industry.

Shilson says that the most profitable sector of the auto industry right now is in the buy here, pay here world. “Over the last couple of years we’ve seen Wall Street flood the market with a lot of cheap money and lay the risk off to investors,” he says. “Some of those deals haven’t worked out, so we’re starting to see people move into prime and near-prime. And that’s left the biggest opportunity in subprime auto finance.”

That opportunity means that dealers need to prepare themselves to be successful, Shilson says. And these national conferences are a great chance for dealers to get armed with the tools they need to improve their operations and practices. Still, there are some who might think that coming to Orlando will just be a repeat of the conference they already attended the Las Vegas event.

Shilson says that there are two big reasons that dealers need to be in Orlando – whether they were in Las Vegas or not.

First, he says, a lot has happened already since the May conference. “If you want to have a good 2018, you really need to understand the landscape,” Shilson says. “The timing of this is important because it comes before the fourth quarter so that they have a chance to close out this year and get your plan together for 2018.

Shilson also says that the tightening of the capital markets will require dealers to be well-educated to stay competitive. “You need to be on top of your game financially to be able to attract the type of capital you need,” he says.

The capital markets will be a critical area that will be featured in Orlando, Shilson says. “We’re going to have two sessions on capital we’ll have some brand new capital providers that the industry hasn’t seen before that I’ve recruited,” he says.

The entire program will be different, according to Shilson. Some of the features will be:

·                Steve Siebold, keynote speaker. Siebold was a successful tennis player and coach who use his experience in tennis to teach others about mental toughness. Siebold will talk to attendees about the mental aspects of being successful.

·                Richard Flint, keynote speaker. CEO of Richard Flint International, Flint specializes in the organizational training and development. He spoke at the Las Vegas event and, according to Shilson, had the highest ratings of any keynote speaker in the history of the NABD conference. He will speak about “working on” your business rather than “working in” your business.

·                DJ  Harrington, keynote speaker. A business trainer and motivator, Harrington talk about building customer relationships.

·                Expert panels on technology, underwriting best practices and collections best practices.

·                An updated session on benchmarks and trends.

With any conference, there’s certainly time and expense involved. But, Shilson says, that’s true about any business.

“You might say to yourself, ‘I don’t know if I can afford to be there.’” Shilson says, “You can’t afford not to be there.”

The NABD National Conference will be held Oct. 23-25 at the Rosen Centre in Orlando. For more information, visit or call 832-767-4759.