High Octane

Riding Out the Holiday Season

Christmas is a unique time of year in the automotive industry, sales are historically very slow in most markets of the U.S., and Texas in particular.

Most of you know that I travel extensively across Texas, and so far I have found sales to be slow with ONE exception – CASH.

For decades I have known and passed on to my dealers: from late October until mid February CASH cars are king!

I have dealers all across the state still selling 18 – 25 cash cars – EVEN in December.

Depending on your market / advertising / transparency the pricing ranges from $6,500 up to $11,500 with mileage from 110k to 140k – pay ATTENTION to what I just said!

  • Target market = knowing to “whom” you are advertising / their pricing point and the particularly “hot” vehicle they are after.

This will greatly affect what you are purchasing and from where you purchase.

This is where recon is KING and having a standard 60 /80/120 point STANDARIZED check list is worth it’s weight in gold!

Having all of your inventory go through the same process of reconditioning only assures MORE customer satisfaction and can be on Hell-Of-A-Closing tool for higher gross profit.

Having a DMS (dealer management software – like Frazer) can be an invaluable tool because of the information with in.

What color car sells the quickest?

Which make of vehicle sits on the lot the longest?

Where are your advertising leads doing their best?

All of this information including zip code analysis and more is available to you right now. Most DMS companies can create custom reports for their clients for a small fee or no fee at all!

Having a CRM (customer relationship management software – like Selly Automotive) allows you to “funnel” all those leads through one place with plenty of “tools” built in for calendaring / email / texting / photo sharing / price quoting / etc.

Having all that in one place, along with reminders for you about followup (which leads to more sales and referrals) allows you more productivity and less “Oh Crap I Forgot to …” !

If you have salespeople, you can watch “how” your lead is being handled and what is being said – not to mention switch prospects between salespeople, should the need arise (vacation/termination/etc.).

  • Niche Advertising = knowing where your dollars get their most return – not only in number of leads generated but also in leads closed.

Where is your target market looking first?

Is social media important in your target markets PURCHASING criteria?

If so and you know nothing about social media (Facebook/Twitter etc) then HIRE someone or some company to do it for you!!!

****WARNING**** you had best do 2 things when “contracting out” your advertising

– 1st ask for references and verify that results are worth the money

– 2nd Preview and authorize all verb-age and campaigns BEFORE they are posted
(remember it is YOUR license on the line here if a complaint is lodged).

How much will you spend in advertising in order to garner a sale?

Average advertising dollars that I see being spent out there is $300 per unit.

That being the case the WHY are some of you still only adverting on Craigslist “For Sale By Owner” (besides a lie to the customer – which by-the-way BLOWS your credibility you are limiting yourself to that niche market only) ?

  • Transparency = knowing when to “show your hand” and what to show is now a crucial and key part of today’s selling.

When you have certain standards in place (recon check list and procedures) these become major assets to your sales.

Today’s buyer wants to know as much about your vehicle as possible (CarFax / Autocheck/ NADA / Recalls / etc.) BEFORE it becomes their vehicle and the burden is on you for this information.

Now if this is a $2,995 unit – they can spend the money for the CarFax, however if it were me – I would still provide one (procedures – standards in place).

Your reputation is EVERYTHING in this business – that and most dealers out there are STILL conducting their business based off a 100yr old model.

Business has changed and if you are not willing to keep up and make some changes in your business thinking – then do not complain when you are left behind and your sales tank !

If I had a prospect that was curious as to the vehicle’s condition – promise you they would have an overload on their hands. I would gladly show all my pictures (showing any and all imperfections) along with my recon report showing what I did and what I did not do. Then my CarFax, NADA retail sheets and a “Drive Out” price quote. If my unit is more expensive than another one that prospect is looking at – then I am going to use those reports to build value in my unit / my dealership and myself. People pay for quality and value – EVERY TIME. As a matter of fact in most instances once value outstrips price – people buy!

OK, so there you have a successful formula
to “Ride Out” the Holidays.

Create-a-great-future : One day at a time, one client at a time

From all of us at Tom Hampton Agency (Tom/Lety/Ana/Denise/Barbara)
W
e send our warmest wishes for you and yours – that this season is one of great abundance
(Family, Friends, Love, Health and Happiness)

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Cyber Monday Sale

2017 is right around the corner…

Are you Setup to Succeed in the New Year? If you have any doubts, or just want a refresher, take advantage of our Cyber Monday Sale! Book a Consultation today for a date in January and Save 25%!*

Get Setup for the Following:

  • Sales Training
  • Ins & Outs of Financing
  • Leaving $$ on the Table: How you’re missing 100’s of Dollars each deal
  • What makes a good Vendor
  • Covering (& Re-covering) Your Assets
  • & More!

Your Success is important to us here at Tom Hampton Agency!

Call us at 713-481-6712 or Send us an e-mail to book today & see the full range of things we have in store for you.

Create A Great Day!
Tom Hampton

*Bookings must be paid in advance to qualify for 25% Discount. Must book by 12/10/2016. Promotion applies to Houston Area Only. Travel fees may apply for locations outside promotional area.

 

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Thanksgiving 2016: Time to Reflect

Here we are in November 2016, two months into the 4th Quarter. The time of year that is historically slow in our industry is the perfect time, my friends, to BE thankful. Thankful for the opportunity to Reflect & Change.

During this slow season we encourage you to capitalize on the ONE thing missing the rest of the year – TIME. Use this time to look back over your 2016: your inventory, your make-ready, finance, vehicle sources, and  advertising dollars. Is where you are now where you wanted to be at the beginning of the year? Have you reached your goals?

Looking back allows you the best viewpoint. After all, they say hindsight is 20 /20. To see any of the failures or “mis-takes” that may have been made. “Mis-takes” that may have been encouraged and ended up costing time, money, or clients in some form or fashion. By finding the so called mis-takes, you know where to make adjustments to make your business even more successful.

Every successful business has course corrections along the way. These come from taking responsibility for important Business Decisions and learning from both Successes AND Setbacks. By looking at our “failures” we gain the opportunity to learn, and then change that aspect of our business.

Allow me to give an example:

  • Year to date – 78 Units Sold
  • Year to date – 127 Units Purchased
  • Year to date Gross Profits – $93,600
  • Year to date Net Profits – $32,760

That leaves quite a gap between Gross and Net Profits. So where is the missing $60,840 ?

  • Divide $60,840 by 78 sales = $780 per unit
  • Subtract $200 per unit in Advertising and last minute recon,  that leaves $580 per unit.
  • Rent $3,000 / Utilities $1500 mo = $45,000 divided by 78 sales = $576.93

and THAT my friends eats up the $580 per unit carried.

What this tells me as a Dealer – 1 st is that I have MADE profit.

2nd is that I did not make enough to GROW my company

3 rd Time to change the way that I do my business so that I can GROW my dealership in the coming year, starting Jan 1, 2017

Here are a few things that I would be looking at very closely

  • Business plans -vs- Action plans
  • Shift Advertising dollars into Referral dollars
  • Shop finance companies and floor planners
  • Find 3 new mechanics
  • Find 3 new inventory sources
  • Invest into networking and social media
  • Transparency -vs- Take-home mentality

Some of this must sound like a foreign language – it is the language of Business and Change.

Every and I do mean EVERY successful Dealer has incurred SPECTACULAR failures along his journey’s way. Failure is an integral part of success – if you never fail you will never know HOW to succeed. Where the difference in success comes from, is by doing exactly as we did in the example above – Analyze and Learn. Then immediately apply ACTION in the needed areas.

Belly-aching or Brainstorming – which is going to make you the most money for time spent? I will testify to the latter of those two . If you are stuck and can not see a way to change, then brainstorm with a successful buddy (regardless of business type). A fresh set of eyes and ears can make a HUGE difference on your perspective. Helping you find your desired outcome from the changes you are willing to make.

Let’s be honest, shall we? – At one point, we have all allowed Pride to take money out of our pockets. That can be human nature, at times. The better part of human nature also allows to invest in our dreams. That investment can be financial / physical / social / emotional or just plain old Time.

When was the last time you looked at your “dream”? Do you have the same dream, or in the last 10 months, has your dream shifted? If your dream has shifted, do you like the direction it’s going now?

Knowing your Dream and keeping your dream alive, having it in front of you everyday, will act as a compass towards greater success – EVERYDAY!

YES, November is a month of thanksgiving and evaluating – in not only business but relationships as well.

I appreciate all of you in a way you may never fathom. You are my Clients, my Friends, my “Comrades-in-Arms”. We have exchanged so much knowledge and learning between us. You have allowed me to build a business that I so dearly cherish and champion! I thank you for every opportunity you have given us.

The holiday season is upon us! We here at THA wish all of you a healthy, happy, most successful and prosperous seasons to come.

Sincerely,

Tom Hampton & the Team of Tom Hampton Agency

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New Documentary Fee

Starting June 1, 2016, the documentary fee amount, that does not require a cost analysis, was increased to $150. This is a result from recent amendments to the documentary fee rule at 7 Texas Administrative Code §84.205.  While a dealership could file for a documentary fee up to $150 starting May 25, 2016, your dealership could not charge a documentary fee up to $150 until after June 1, 2016.

The new online filing system became available in the Application Licensing Examination Compliance System (ALECS), in late June. Documentary fee filings will only be accepted through ALECS. We encourage your dealership to link your ALECS account if not done so already and you intend to submit a documentary fee filing.

A retail seller must comply with the notification requirements of Texas Finance Code, Section 348.006(e) prior to increasing its documentary fee above $50 or prior to increasing its documentary fee from any previous filings above $50 up to $150. Documentary fee filings above $150 will require supporting cost analyses to review for a determination of reasonableness. The OCCC will provide written notification when a documentary fee has been determined reasonable. The new filing system in ALECS will allow a dealer to check the status of a documentary fee filing.

How to change your Documentary Fee in ALECS:

Log into your ALECS Account

  • Choose Manage my Business On the Left side of your screen
    • in the License group
  • Doc Fee Filing (on the far right side of the screen)
  • Select your license  (Motor Vehicle Finance License)
    • Add the Amount you want (up to $150)
      • Add your Name, Email and the Start Date then click on Submit

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Selly Automotive

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The newest tool in CRM and Internet Lead Management, Selly Automotive. Selly Automotive is a highly advanced Sales app, with a built from the ground up platform that allows dealers to manage internet leads and customer follow-ups. Selly integrates with many of the products already on the market as well as several DMS systems.


  • Great way to keep track of Leads from websites (like Cars.com, AutoTrader, CarFax and more)
  • Customized for the Independent and BHPH Dealer.
  • It has the ability to Automatically send out emails to leads that come in.
  • Custom Workflows to move a lead to a different rep if no contact has been made in “x” amount of hours. The systems helps to make sure that a lead does not slip into a crack.
  • Ability to scan DL and VIN! Automatically adds information to your system.

Contact Us for more Information!

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RepoNotice –

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RepoNotice offers a new, easy to use, affordable Repossession Document Management System to all Independent and BHPH Dealers. With the click of a button on their handy dashboard, a user is able to

  • View Pending Orders
  • Send out State Specific Required Notices
  • Fill out a Vehicle Condition Report
  • Track Reasons for Default and the entire Repossession process.
  • … and all from the comfort of your home or office!

No more waiting in line at the Post Office. No more shuffling for forms. RepoNotice takes the hassle out of tracking your repossessions. Contact us for more information or call them directly at 1-844-Notice1.

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Thanksgiving Message from Tom

Happy Thanksgiving!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING

As most of you know; I travel extensively across this fair state to assist dealers like yourself grow their business.

I was watching a stunning sunrise over the gulf in Corpus Christi and was listening to a YouTube of – “Fanfare For The Common Man” by Aaron Copeland.

I began to think of what that piece of music really stood for, how it melds all of humanity in to one and pays homage to its diversified harmony.

That lead me to think of you and what a wonderful diversified group of clients you really are.

In the 10 yrs of owning my agency I have learned so much from you.

Growing up 3rd generation in the business I thought I had seen it all, heard it all; yet I am astonished by the amazing accomplishments I hear and see each day.

You my friends – with all your different views and practices along with the “Great Leveler” (the internet) has brought me to a space in time where I can dream again.

Thank you.

One can get extremely “jaded” after a few decades in this business and it becomes just a series of numbers, processes and procedures.

There is no joy, no fun – only business.

Stop and think about the season it is; November is the month that thanksgiving is a “national” focus.

Thanks Giving – those two words can become a great part of your life and really change your future forever.

Take a minute and step out of your dealership from it’s day-to-day grind and hassles.

Remember back to a time when all of this was one great “game” – a game that paid good money.

The sport was in the “hunt” – either for the car or the client and for a few – both.

I am only going to say this once: Take charge of your life, rekindle your dreams, forget the competition, be thankful of where you are, who is in your life and the prosperity you work hard for.

Keeping your attitude and outlooks positive whenever you can; can always gives you the “upper hand” in any given situation, because you will be the most flexible.

Remember not only is flexibility key in our business; so is resourcefulness – thinking on our feet – it keeps us sharp, able to pay the bills and bank some bucks.

We all have our strengths; some of us are fantastic buyers, and can smell a deal at 1000 yards.

Then there are some that are superstars of sales – they know their inventory, they do solid recon and they understand that teaching and selling are the same thing.

As always; I am not here to “tell you” how to run your business or your life – that is YOUR job.

I am here to help open your mind as you have opened mine; to a limitless world that we can create together (a man by himself can only do so much, then with a little “help”…).

There is room for all of us because in this great state of Texas the mass transit systems just can not keep up with the growth we are experiencing.

Texas has one of the “healthiest” economies in the nation. That means for a long time in to the future this place is going to need good cars and great dealers to sell them.

  • That’s where you come in; in this season of thanksgiving (and historically SLOW sales) let’s change the game.

Cash cars sell quick and keep your skills honed. In the “between times” you can map out where you want your business to be in 2016 – start the year with a good game plan.

  • Do something different in the coming year – stay FOCUSED and POSITIVE as much as you can.
  • Get a friend to help keep you on track and you will do the same for him/her.

There is only ONE constant in all of life everywhere on this planet – that would be CHANGE.

Those of us that become “masters of change” can succeed at everything we do.

I appreciate all of you so very much!

Yes, I am very thankful for you and all that you share (business, knowledge, support and friendship).

I wish you, your dealership and your family the very best along with a healthy and abundant future.

Create-A-Great-Day,

Tom Hampton

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TxDMV IT Scheduled Outage Notification

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Notice to our Dealers:

Over the weekend of November 20, 2015, the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (TxDMV) will be performing a technology update as part of a broader TxDMV technology enhancement effort that will help position their systems for the future while also allowing for more customer-centric enhancements. As part of this deployment, users will not be able to access the mainframe and the applications it supports (the Registration and Title System, eTAGs, webDEALER, the Internet Vehicle Title Registration Service, and so on), beginning November 20, 2015, at 11:00 p.m. CST and ending November 23, 2015, at 7:00 a.m. CST.

Dealers will need to ensure they have sufficient Internet Down tags preprinted for this time period before the outage begins. As a reminder, every dealer should maintain a minimum of 30 Internet Down tags. Please remember that after using an Internet Down tag, you must enter the information for that tag into eTAGs as soon as the system is accessible. Doing this will ensure you always have the full allocation of unused Internet Down tags available when you need them. Also remember that unused Internet Down tags are valid for one year from the date they are printed.

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TxDMV- Motor Vehicle Title Manual Update

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The latest update to the Motor Vehicle Title Manual (see link below) is now available via Registration and Title System workstations and at www.txdmv.gov.

Changes have been made throughout the manual due to the recent Supreme Court decision on same sex marriage, primarily to Chapters 16, 17, and 18, changing the terms husband and wife to spouse(s) in most instances.

Additionally, the following are brief summaries of the chapters updated in the September 2015 revision.

Chapter 14 -Vehicle Types
Chapter 14 was reorganized and consolidated for clarity.  The following subsections were deleted: Multi-Purpose Type Vehicles, New, and Transfers.

Subsections labeled “Converted Trucks and Buses” and “Chopped, Cutaway, or Incomplete” were deleted as they were previously moved to the Assembled Vehicle Manual.

Section 14.2, “Motorcycles,” was updated with new definitions for “Enclosed Three Wheeled Motorcycles” and for “Autocycles” as a result of legislation passed during the 84th Legislative Session.  Registration and Title Bulletin (RTB) #004-15 was distributed May 26, 2015, to provide guidance regarding autocycles.

Section 14.7, subsection “Definition,” includes a statutory update on the width and length of house trailer type vehicles and camper trailers.

Section 14.14, “Miscellaneous Vehicle Types,” is a consolidation of smaller sections of material in this chapter. Within this new section, “Implements of Husbandry” was updated to reflect legislative changes passed during the 84th Legislative Session.

Chapter 15 – Odometers
Section 15.7, “Correcting Odometer Errors,” was created, in part, from an existing section. In addition, the “Odometer Errors Caught by NMVTIS” subsection was created to provide guidance on the requirements for correcting odometer readings that are not a result of a data entry.

Chapter 23 – Foreclosure of Miscellaneous Liens
Section 23.1, “Mechanic’s Lien,” was updated to reflect legislative changes made during the 84th Legislative Session impacting the date of public sale as it relates to the copy of the foreclosure notice being filed with the county tax assessor-collector’s office. Detailed guidance was provided in RTB # 008-15.

Chapter 24 – Certified Copies
Section 24.5, “Owner Verification Procedures/Acceptable Identification,” was updated for consistency with the language used in Texas Administrative Rule and Chapter 6 of the manual. There were no substantive changes to this section.

View the Full Title Manual

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