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
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
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
With any conference, there’s
certainly time and expense involved. But, Shilson says, that’s true about any
“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 bhphdealerconference.com or call 832-767-4759.