Four of the operators who attended the 18th annual National BHPH Conference hosted by the National Alliance of Buy-Here, Pay-Here Dealers last week offered glowing assessments of what they took away from the Wynn Resort & Casino in Las Vegas.
More than 70 speakers and panelists discussed important subjects collected under the theme of “Navigating the Road to BHPH Success.” Three days of material might seem overwhelming, but Owen Gorman of the Gene Gorman Automotive Group said he enjoyed it very much.
“The sessions were just long enough to be informative and not drawn out,” said Gorman, who operates dealerships in the Florida cities of Port Charlotte and Punta Gorda. “The session moderators are a must, and they did a good job.”
The educational sessions featured 14 different workshops covering:
—Current industry developments
—Accounting and tax updates
—Lowering reconditioning costs
—Add-on products that add value
—Maximizing tax refunds
—Using the web and social media to gain market share
—Technology solutions for success
—Turning charge-offs into cash
—Deal jacket reviews
—Inventory acquisition, disposition and financing.
All sessions were interactive, allowing attendees to ask questions and get answers on these important topics.
“The NABD gives me a front-row seat to all of our industry’s hot-button topics,” said David Bearly, who operates Dave’s Greenlight Auto Sales in Greenville, Ill.
“Now that I know what I don’t know, I can direct my efforts to help improve my customers’ experience while protecting my bottom line,” Bearly added.
Lloyd Robertson called this year’s NABD event a “win-win.” Robertson runs Lloyd’s Auto Sales in Hot Springs, Ark.
“Not only did I learn practices that will make me a better, more efficient operator, I will be much more profitable because I learned what not to do,” Robertson said.
Some of what Robertson and other attendees learned about what not to do likely stemmed from the presentation by Malini Mithal, a director at the Federal Trade Commission. Mithal discussed FTC’s jurisdiction and enforcement authority over the BHPH industry and her presentation included examples of current FTC initiatives involving deceptive practices, fair credit reporting and other violations including the furnisher rule, risk based pricing, privacy and data security and other violations.
Mithal also provided helpful guidance to a jam-packed audience on compliance reference materials.
“This session will help attendees avoid regulatory mistakes that can cost them millions,” said NABD president Ken Shilson. “We are deeply grateful to Milani and to the FTC for their candor and insights.”
Other general education sessions included a presentation by Cox Automotive leaders on “simplifying how vehicles are acquired and sold,” a benchmarks and trends update, and the Hall of Fame induction of Mark Sauder, former chief financial officer of DriveTime.
The program concluded with interactive sessions covering collections best practices, phone skills for success, succession planning and a discussion on how regulators are changing the BHPH business.
“Attendees who stayed to the end derived significant information and value from the Thursday morning sessions,” Shilson said.
John Linnehan Jr. and Tim Byrd of DealerRe conducted a motivational session on the final day that got the attendees in compliance spiritually.
“NABD is extremely grateful for their participation and contribution to the success of this event,” Shilson said.
The conference began with a first-timers reception that had more than 200 attendees.
Donnie Cochran wasn’t a first-time attendee; he has come to NABD’s national conference 11 times.
“Enjoy it every year,” said Cochran, who operates Bayou Auto Sales in New Iberia, La.
NABD sold out its exhibit hall as vendors and service providers enjoyed their time at the Wynn, as well.
“This was the best conference that I have attended in my 21 years in business,” Tax Refund Services and TaxMax founder Bill Neylan said.
“We had a record number of dealers come to our booth to learn about our products, and we even had proactive dealers sign up for our service right in our booth,” Neylan continued. “Dealers at the NABD Conference were dealers who were serious about their businesses and were ready to act on products that can better their dealerships. Congrats on such a great show, NABD!”
CAR Financial president Rick Potter offered this assessment for operators who did not make to Las Vegas this year.
“NABD promised it to be one of the greatest BHPH events in history, and it did not fail to meet this objective,” Potter said. “I witnessed standing-room-only crowds in some of the sessions due to the very robust attendance, and talked to a large number of new and prospective dealers during the vendor showcase periods.
“The seminars and speaker panels were fantastic, and focused on the most influential aspects of our industry today. If you did not attend this event this year, don’t make the same mistake in 2017,” Potter added.
For operators who couldn’t make the trip, conference presentations have been posted on the NABD website at www.bhphinfo.com and can be downloaded for free.
“2016 NABD was the single best presentation of events that I have experienced in my 10 years in this industry,” Cal Amp’s Bill Caan said. “Record attendance and a dynamic lineup of speakers and topics made for an outstanding three days.
“Ken and Ingram (Walters) continue to build on previous shows and their hard work has paid dividends. Future NABD events are a can’t-miss for industry participants and vendors,” Caan went on to say.
NABD announced that its next event will be a BHPH conference Nov. 1-3 at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort in Orlando, Fla. “This facility is the nicest resort in Orlando and NABD offers discounted room rates with no resort fees while supplies last,” Shilson said.
More information about that conference is available on the NABD website or by calling its headquarters at (832) 767-4759.
“It’s always exciting to see a diverse group of dealers come together with a focus on improving their business and the industry as a whole. I’m already looking forward to the next NABD event,” NextGear Capital’s Lori Kahre said.
NABD also is considering offering BHPH Master Dealer Certification training. A brief survey is available on the NABD website and survey responses are requested.