Our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone affected by Harvey and Irma.
It’s certainly been a rough few weeks for millions of people throughout the country who are trying to pick up the pieces or return to some sense of normalcy following two devastating hurricanes and residual storms that have ravaged parts of Texas and the Southeast.
Our hat certainly goes off to all of the first responders, workers and other people who have so selflessly given to help recovery efforts. It’s always great to see the tremendous willingness of fellow Americans to do whatever they can when so many people are displaced and affected by such tragedies.
Shifting gears back to lending, and in this case indirect lending, a similar passion and commitment is required to outpace the competition – regardless of your institution’s size. This week, we will focus on four key recommendations to strengthen the processing and funding capabilities of any indirect lending program. They include:
- Rapid responses: Never make dealers wait longer than necessary, because frustrated dealers will use other lenders. When dealers or service providers ask questions on held offerings, respond quickly and be sure all questions are answered the first round to avoid multiple back-and-forth conversations. Again, dealers are looking to seal deals as soon as possible.
- Training for dealers: Dealership staffing can change quite regularly. You need to ensure that new staffers are up to speed as quickly as possible so that your operations are not interrupted. Visit the dealers often and get to know who packages the deals. Once you identify and keep track of those staffers, you can train them whenever necessary on your requirements. You may want to consider leaving information behind to inform new staff members as they come aboard, even when you aren’t around.
- Dealer payments as soon as possible: Once quality assurance is complete, you should offer payment to the dealers that is quick and easy for them to receive. Many of the dealer’s staff members don’t get paid their commissions until payment is received from the lender and the loan is officially on the lender’s books. Also, if you pay out the dealer fee (dealer reserve) as each deal is funded, dealers can reconcile more quickly and pay their staff members immediately as opposed to waiting until the end of the month.
- Connecting customers/members to dealers: Dealers are relationship driven, so finding ways to combine your members/customers with their client base is a time-tested way to strengthen dealer loyalty. The more you view your relationship as a partnership, the easier it will be to strengthen your relationships with dealers. Events such as tent sales, dealer promotions, and financing incentives to bank with your institution are all creative ways that both you and the dealer can execute marketing campaigns to generate more business.
CRIF Select is your one-stop shop for indirect lending success. Our experts have a proven track record of helping institutions of all sizes either launch or refine their programs to capitalize on growth opportunities with an efficient and aggressive approach. State Employees Credit Union of Maryland (SECU) partnered with Select to not only jumpstart its program since leaving the CUSO it had operated as part of for several years, but also shift its strategy from exponential growth to smart growth. Within the first year, SECU’s indirect lending footprint more than doubled. Application volume jumped from 955 to 2,088 applications each month. Funding amounts increased from $101.5 million to $238.8 million.
To learn more about the challenges SECU faced and how partnering with Select helped steer its program in the right direction, please click the button below and request our case study.
Photo Credit: Jonathan D. Abolins