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Some Advice from Forest River’s Priority One

September 10, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Priority One Financial Services logoEditor’s Note: The following story was written by Heather Mariscal, president of Priority One Financial Services, a unit of Forest River Inc., a Berkshire Hathaway company.

When a customer is ready to purchase his RV, he has the option of paying cash or financing the unit. More than likely, you are hoping he is going to finance with your dealership because you have the opportunity to make additional profit through finance reserve and products such as extended service contracts, credit life and GAP protection. However, if the customer says he is going to pay with cash, there are still opportunities to generate additional revenue.

If a customer says he is paying cash, first, make sure his definition of cash is the same as yours by asking, “Will this be actual cash or do I need to put a lien on the title?” If the customer’s idea of having cash means he is going to receive his own financing from a bank or credit union, mention that your dealership offers numerous competitive financing options and can arrange for a loan in less time and with less hassle. Many banks are closed on the weekends and credit union loan committees don’t meet every day. Once the loan is approved, your customer will have to drive to the bank, pick up his check and drive back to the dealership. By taking advantage of dealership financing, the customer can take ownership of his new unit quicker.

For customers that are really paying cash, try a cash conversion. Cash conversions enable your dealership to make additional profit through your finance department as well as maintain control of the sale by discouraging the customer from obtaining outside financing. Educate your customer of the numerous advantages of financing. Many people may not realize that certain RVs may qualify as a second home to the IRS and the interest on the RV loan becomes tax deductible. Other people may benefit from financing if paying cash would leave them without available money for emergencies or investments. Furthermore, if your customer has no credit history, financing may begin his new credit history and help him qualify for future financing.

Consumers that pay with actual cash-in-hand may do so for a variety of reasons: paying with cash means no monthly payments, saving more money for future expenditures and emergency expenses, no worries about late fees and pride that one gets from knowing his purchase is truly his and his alone. If you can’t sway him into financing, don’t worry, your F&I department can still sell products including extended service contracts, road hazard, tire and wheel programs and concierge services.

All customers, whether financing or not, should purchase an extended service contract as it adds value to the unit should the customer want to trade or resell it, protects the unit beyond the manufacturer’s warranty and may even offer additional discounts for travel expenses, leisure activities and restaurants. Customers may also be presented products that provide extra safety measures including road-side assistance, a navigation package and prescription delivery.

When it comes right down to it, financing or paying cash for a recreational unit is often a decision based on your customer’s financial situation and a personal preference. Educating all customers about the benefits of financing will lead to a higher level of finance penetration and increased F&I profit. But for the few who still insist on paying cash, product sales present another layer of opportunity for your F&I department to generate income.


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Bank of America Joins Firm’s AppOne Platform

March 15, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Wolters Kluwer Financial Services announced today (March 15) that Bank of America’s Dealer Financial Services unit will join its AppOne platform to automate and help simplify the marine and RV finance process.

Bank of America’s Dealer Financial Services unit provides retail loan financing and commercial banking services to auto, marine and RV dealers across the U.S. AppOne automates the indirect lending process for lenders and dealers by providing credit application workflow automation and compliant document preparation.

AppOne enables lenders and dealers to more easily connect for applications as well as funding packages nationally. AppOne helps lenders and dealers deliver quicker application response times and faster loan transactions with its DocOne document printing engine and validation tool. DocOne allows dealerships to print loan documents from a standard color laser printer onto plain paper at the point of sale and finance at the dealership location. DocOne also helps ensure that loan documentation is accurate and compliant before reaching the lender for funding consideration. DocOne utilizes Wolters Kluwer Financial Services’ Bankers Systems line of documents, which is built upon more than 50 years of experience and is protected by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services’ industry-leading compliance warranty. DocOne provides data merging and population of these forms through a centralized Web-based delivery source.

“Not only does AppOne automate the finance and credit approval processes, but it also provides forms that are covered by the industry’s leading compliance warranty to document every marine and RV loan,” said Deborah Nunnally, senior vice president of fulfillment at Bank of America’s Dealer Financial Services unit. “Current and accurate loan documents that can be easily reviewed and processed help increase efficiency and improve the dealer/lender experience.”

“Our relationship with Bank of America provides great opportunity for marine and RV dealers to simplify the lending process,” said Lee Domingue, CEO of indirect lending at Wolters Kluwer Financial Services. “Dealers working with Bank of America are now able to more easily connect with this lender through the AppOne platform, which helps them serve their customers faster and more efficiently.”

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