dealer Spotlight: Ryan Martin

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Ryan Martin dealership, Koncept Motor Sales

When Ryan Martin began working in the automotive industry, he was only 20 years old but already full of ambition. “I started working for a franchise dealer and just slowly worked my way up until I realized how much money I could be making if I owned my own dealership. So, in 2017, I took the leap and that’s how Strawberry Road Auto Sales got its start. We specialize in sports cars which I both enjoy and excel at selling.”

Martin said getting a floor plan was never a question because he had worked with floor plan companies in the past, but NextGear Capital set the bar higher. “My first impression of NextGear Capital exceeded my expectations. I love my Portfolio Manager; he feels more like a friend than a business ally. When the dealership was being run by the previous owner, it only averaged about 20 to 30 units on the lot. As soon as I took over and started using my floor plan, I was quickly able to increase the inventory to about 95 vehicles a month. I started 2021 off strong by selling 170 vehicles during the month of January. I always say that If you want to sell cars, you need the cash flow to acquire new ones, and that’s why you should get a floor plan.”

Another major selling point for Martin was the ease and accessibility that Account Portal provides him. “Having the right tools and technology to support my business was one of my top priorities when it came to selecting a floor plan. After I saw a demo of Account Portal, it was a done deal for me. Running a dealership is very time consuming and there is nothing worse than having to call someone else when I want to floor my inventory, or to access information about my account. I love being able to manage my own floor plan and Account Portal gives me the freedom to view all of my account information in just a few easy clicks.”

Alex Balk is another dealer who loves Account Portal. Hear his testimony in this video:

Unlike some dealers, Martin says that he enjoys the audit process because Self Reconciliation is easy to use and he can clear his audits quickly. “I actually like the audits because they prompt me to check in on my inventory and keep track of what I have which helps me sleep better at night. I also like the aging reports I can generate inside of Account Portal because they help me keep track of what is on the floor and what needs to get turned quickly”

Besides NextGear Capital, Martin says that he uses a wide variety of other Cox Automotive products as well. “I use vAuto, VinSolutions,, Dealertrack, Autotrader, Kelly Blue Book and Ready Logistics all on a regular basis. There is just no comparison for VAuto in the industry and VinSolutions has the best CRM’s. I also love Autotrader’s scarcity report because it helps me know which vehicles I should be sourcing. The nice thing about all of these products being under the Cox Automotive umbrella is that they all integrate well together.”

Martin says that once the pandemic started, he initially didn’t have to make a lot of changes because he was already setup for selling his vehicles online. “Fortunately, we’ve always sold our inventory online, so we were already prepared for that shift. We have also experienced an uptick in cars that we ship out-of-state from about 5% to 20%, which has been an unexpected area that’s generated more revenue for us.”

While he was prepared for selling his inventory online, he did have to make some other adjustments. “Before COVID-19 I used to purchase most of my inventory in-person at auctions. Now, I source 100% of my inventory online. It’s been a little challenging to source inventory because the vehicles that have the highest demand in my area are scarce. So, I began to look outside of Texas to find the types of vehicles my customers wanted. I used to source only about 10% of my inventory out-of-state and now about 40% of my inventory comes from outside of Texas. It was still a relatively easy transition to make and there are definitely benefits to it like having more time to spend at the dealership, but I do miss the camaraderie and being able to see who I’m bidding against at the auctions.”

While he doesn’t want to share details yet, Martin said that he hopes to expand his dealership in the future and has a plan on how he is going to get there. One thing that he doesn’t mind sharing, is his advice to new dealers. “You should make sure you know how to manage your expenses correctly, so they don’t get out of hand. I also encourage dealers to research the market they’re in to ensure they’re purchasing the right inventory. Otherwise, vehicles are going to sit on a floor plan for an extended amount of time.”