CDK's purchase of Auto/Mate may create a major disruption in the dealer management system (DMS) industry. Here is our take. DOWNLOAD
If you want it done right, just do it yourself and save money while you’re at it!
1) Control. Having the control of your inventory what and when you want. No more calling to find out when someone is coming to take pictures, having them retake them because they didn’t turn out good, having to wait until next week to get new trades and program cars online, etc, etc. Now you can take pictures that are tailored to your specific vehicle that focus on what is special about your car and have them online today. You will find when you take your own pictures it’s a whole new World with much better results. It’s time to take control.
2) Quality. I am not going to pick on any "on the lot service" but the fact is, when salespeople are trained on how to take pictures and they are the ones selling the cars - they know what are the advantages of taking QUALITY pictures, LOTS of pictures, what attention to detail means and will make sure it’s done right. Or if you choose to train someone at the dealership that doesn't sell to take the pictures, you can train them, continue to train them and make sure the pictures are being done just how you want them done. Nothing is better than pride of ownership. No crooked steering wheels, crooked floor mats, stickers from the dealership the car came from, blurry pictures, etc, etc, etc.
HOT TIP: Writing out a process for how you want pictures taken is a must: Background, angles, straight steering wheel, what pictures to take, how many pictures, etc. If you would like to see the process I created for the dealer groups I was over just email me and I would be glad to share it with you.
3) Post inventory to online - NOW. As soon as the car is cleaned up (or even before if it’s already clean), you can take pictures and upload into your inventory management system. If you have the inventory management system plugged into your website, your pictures will show up instantly. If your inventory management system sends them to your website company, they will show up that evening! Not a single day wasted. No waiting two, three days or more for the “on-the-lot” service to show up. Your inventory will be posted on your OEM website and all third party websites that evening when they receive the feed from your inventory management system. And if it’s a Friday, you can always get your pictures up for the weekend instead of waiting until Monday or later.
HOT TIP: Write down a process on how pictures are to be taken at your dealership. Cover everything, every step the car goes through. Clean up, service, etc. Write it down and give copies to managers and everyone involved in the picture taking process. Once again, if you would like to see mine, just send me an email.
4) Take more photos – No Charge. Forget the standard 6 to 12 pictures that the “on the lot” service would take and having to worry about the cost of having them take more. Take 20+ pictures and the cost stays the same. When you are taking pictures of highline cars with lots of options, 30+ is necessary. If you are selling on eBay, 30+ is a must.
5) Show me the money! Cutting expenses is top of mind lately and taking your own pictures will not only save you money but also make you more money by having awesome, quality pictures and getting them online more quickly and the sooner they are online, the sooner they sell. Turn. How many things are out there, where you can pick the better way to do it, the better product and have it cost less and make more money??
6) More Traffic. With awesome pictures, come more phone calls and emails. When someone is looking a car with 20+ awesome photos and another one with 10 photos and both are in the same price range, they will call on the one with 20+. Every time I have gone with taking pictures in-house, we get more phone calls, we set more appointments and more people show up at the front door. It always drives more traffic for the Internet Department and the Floor.
7) Customer Feedback. WOW! Take awesome pictures and you will hear over and over from customers that the reason they called you, the reason they stopped by your place first, was because of the awesome pictures you took. Trust me when I tell you this. Customers love this. It lets them see everything about the car. Customer Confidence. They don’t want to call you to ask you about the side of the car you didn’t take or the condition of the tires. Besides, they don’t trust you - yet, (you’re a salesperson) so seeing is believing. Pictures gives them confidence!
8) Salespeople will KNOW the cars. ISM's that take pictures, know the cars. After they take 20+ pictures of a car, they will know it inside and out. When someone calls on a car they will not only know the one they are calling about but also the one that would be a perfect alternative. And when their appointments show, they can easily switch people to a different car if need be because they know the cars.
9) Take pictures of your New Cars. As customer demands grow and you’re looking for ways to get an edge on your competitors, taking pictures of your New Car Inventory is one area you will want to add. Now you can take pictures of some of your New Cars or better yet, ALL of your new cars without adding a dollar to your expense report.
10) Custom Comments. Writing custom comments for your used car inventory sells more cars and it is a lot easier to write custom comments when you are looking at 20+ pictures than when you are looking at only 6 to 10 pictures. If the person writing custom comments is also taking the pictures, you can bet they will know the car enough to write custom comments after taking 20+ pictures.