Group fist bump

5 Ways To Create Employee Engagement

  • Recognition
  • Purpose
  • Leadership
  • Collaboration
  • Make it Special

Employees who are fully engaged in their workspace and what they do can genuinely change a company. They are fueled with inspiration and focused on the company vision. When this happens, it can spread to the entire company and positively affects the customers. 

However, recent studies have shown that the most experienced employees are often the least engaged in a company. One study showed that 68% of employees are “not fully engaged at work” (Gallup). That’s well over half of your entire staff! Another showed that Service and Sales departments had the weakest level of employee engagement (Netsurvey). In other words, the employees who have daily interactions with customers are the least engaged. 

That’s not what you, or any business, would want. Thankfully, there are ways to help your employees stay motivated. We compiled a list of 5 ways that have been proven to keep your team motivated in the workplace. Check them out below: 

1)  Recognition 
Your team needs to feel their work is noticed and appreciated. Take time to give positive feedback to your employees. It will make them feel valued and encourage them to engage even more in the company to help bring the dealership to new levels. 

2)  Create A Purpose 
Employees want to be a part of something beyond a paycheck. Perhaps your dealership partners with a charity during a Summer Sales fundraiser event. Or maybe when a customer purchases a new vehicle, a portion of that sale goes to the charity of their choice. Now, more than ever, people want to make the world a better place in any capacity. If you show that your dealership gives back, your employees will feel more engaged in a business that represents a positive contribution to the community. 

3) Top Positions Need To Lead By Example
Whether they are managers, executives, or team leaders, the top positions at your dealership must set an example for being engaged in the workplace. As noted above, the most experienced employees often have the least engagement. Create opportunities for top positions to work together with other team members to create an exciting atmosphere in your dealership. Your top positions must demonstrate they are fully engaged and motivated because this will influence the rest of your team. 

Leading by example will give your staff the incentive to work hard and contribute. People can instantly tell walking in if they want to do business with your dealership, based on the energy they feel. If they can tell your team lacks motivation, they’ll go elsewhere. 

4) Work Together 
Your employees may be lacking engagement because they feel like they have no voice. Have your leadership positions work together with the rest of your team allows them to give opinions, suggestions, etc. This will allow your leaders to note which employees lack motivation, and encourage your stronger employees to step up and grow within the company. 

5) Make Them Feel Special
First days, birthdays, and work anniversaries are all big deals at the workplace. Treating these like just another day misses an easy opportunity to keep your employees engaged. You must make your employees feel appreciated right from the start and throughout the year to create camaraderie among the staff and a welcoming environment where they’re genuinely excited to work. 

Your dealership could be their dream job if you encourage employee engagement. It’s possible, and these are just 5 of the ways you can create that. 

Cideo clapboard

Benefits And Ideas For Video Marketing Your Dealership

  • People prefer to learn visually
  • Visual learners mentally project themselves into the experience they are watching
  • Creating videos is easier than you think

Over the past few years, video marketing has been a proven way to engage with customers and increase sales. Most consumers are conducting online research before they ever walk into a dealership. The more answers they can get online, the more confident they’ll feel in their vehicle purchase. People prefer learning visually over reading a textual explanation. This is where video marketing can significantly benefit your dealership to gain more customers, boost sales, and have a more prominent presence. 

Check out some of these statistics about video marketing from recent years: 

  • A recent Cisco study found video traffic will be 82% of all consumer internet traffic worldwide by 2022. This is a 75% increase from 2017. 
  • 96% find videos helpful when making big purchase decisions online. (Animoto) 
  • 72% of customers prefer to learn about a product through video (Hubspot)
  • 81% of businesses already use video for marketing purposes (Hubspot) 
  • People have a 95% higher chance to retain a video’s message compared to only 10% of those who can retain a message from reading (Forbes

There is ample evidence that video is beneficial for any business, and this is especially true when it comes to car buying. Your brand is the cornerstone of how you market yourself online. Dealerships have to stand out or be swallowed whole by competition who have perfected their marketing. If they have video content and you do not, get ready to be swallowed.

You read the statistics and now want to know where to begin. Here are a few video marketing ideas to boost sales for your dealership: 

Virtual Walkaround 

Filming a virtual walkaround of the vehicles you’re selling is a great way to engage with online customers. They can see how the car looks from all angles, inside the vehicle, and any additional features that come with the car. Have the sales rep explain the vehicle the same way they would if a customer was right there with them to create a personal experience, even online. The purpose of this video is to showcase a car before a potential buyer visits the dealership. These videos can be posted everywhere your dealership has a web presence and linked to the vehicle listing. 

Customer Testimonials 

What better way to engage with customers online than to show other customers’ experiences? There is no better proof than filming various testimonials of customers describing their experience at your dealership. It also doesn’t have to be limited to car buying. Get testimonies from specific departments, including Finance, Service, and Parts. Also, testimonial videos create an opportunity for customers to share videos on their social networks. This gives your dealership instant credibility from the buyer’s friends and family members who also might be in the market. 

Introductions 

Filming introductions of your sales and customer service team allow for potential customers to see who they would be interacting with. This is an excellent way for your dealership to engage with prospects because it creates a more personalized experience. Besides, it allows your sales team to highlight their language skills and other specialties that may be better suited for a particular customer. As far as your customer service goes, filming their individualized intros creates welcoming energy to your entire dealership. By the time the customer arrives at the dealership, they’ll feel a sense of familiarity walking in and less like they’re going to be attacked by predators after their money. 

New Model Releases 

Anytime a new model is released, it’s a great chance to create a video showing the upgrades and changes from the previous model. Film it in the same walkaround style as your inventory videos to give a real in-depth look at what the new model has to buy it. You can even film a sales rep explaining why customers might want to consider purchasing the new model as opposed to the previous model or comparable cars in the same category. You might also be able to get video footage directly from the manufacturer in advance of receiving the new model and add in your own audio.

How else can your dealership use this powerful medium to benefit your customers and your bottom line? Ask your team what videos they think would be effective, and let them be part of the process. Video has proven to be a beneficial marketing technique to boost sales and engage with potential customers. It’s easy to do and super fun at the same time. You never know where video can take you! 

Man sea rock horizon

5 Ways To Conquer Your Fear In Decision-Making

As the person responsible for the success of your business, making decisions for your dealership can be a daunting task. Even those who are at the top of their field can still get nervous when it comes to making decisions. You may feel like you don’t have enough data to make a solid decision, and that can add to the pressure to make a call. When the stakes are high, there’s risk involved with every possible choice. All of these are valid reasons to feel anxious about committing to something. That’s why we pulled together some ways you can conquer your fear during the decision-making process. Check them out below: 

 1) Review Past Successes 

It’s crucial that as you are prepping for a big decision that you reflect on past achievements you were able to accomplish for your dealership. Too often, we focus on the areas where things went wrong rather than focus on the areas where things went right. What were the steps you took to achieve those goals? And when there were failures, what did you learn and how did you move the business forward beyond that setback? Once you start to believe in what the dealership is capable of, nothing will stop you!

2) Don’t Forget To Breathe 

Too often, when we’re focused on making an important decision for any business, we forget to breathe. There may be local competition or market forces that are putting on the pressure for you to act fast. Very few wise decisions were ever made on impulse. You may need to step away from the process for a few minutes, hours, or even a few days, depending on how big the decision is. This reflection will allow you to regain focus and have a renewed sense of clarity before you finalize your decision. 

3) Recognize Potential Risks 

As you approach your decision, you’ll be able to recognize any potential risks. Depending on the situation, the riskier option may be the better choice if it reaps bigger rewards.  Big bets can lead to great success, but it’s important to have backup plans in place. It’s essential for each member of your team, across all impacted areas of the business, to understand the risks and know how to respond. There are really only 3 possible outcomes to prepare for: wild success, expected success, or lack of success. If you build plans against each of those outcomes in advance, there will be no time lost in trying to decide how to proceed when the results come in. 

4) Realize There Are No Wrong Decisions 

Anytime you’ve made a decision for the betterment of the dealership, it’s always been what you have felt was right in that exact moment with those circumstances. Even if some past decisions led to mistakes, you and your team learned from them and evolved. There’s no use to lamenting over what happened or what could have happened. When you decide your dealership is ready to evolve once again, realize there’s no such thing as a wrong decision, you’ll be much more confident in making the next one. 

5) Communicate

A dealership can be a big team across several different departments. Communication is critical during this time to make each team member feel like they play an important role in the decision-making process. Your employees need to feel valued, and soliciting input and information from them will also show honesty and integrity on your part. People like to feel like they are part of something and are valuable assets, not just there to do the work. The final decision is yours, but the process of sharing the challenge with others can give you perspective. You’ll gain more supporters encouraging you in your choices for the dealership by doing this as opposed to doing everything solo. After all, there’s no “I” in Team. 

Finger pointing

5 Ways To Manage Conflict At Your Dealership

  • Find the Cause
  • Stay Human
  • Document
  • Eyes on Goal
  • Lead by Example

Conflict happens everywhere, whether we like it or not. It can be a simple disagreement, an absence of something essential, or a significant problem. But what’s a bigger problem than the actual conflict is if you don’t do anything about in hopes that it will “work itself out.” This is absolutely the wrong thing to do. 

So, how can you not eliminate, but successfully manage conflict at your dealership? The following are 5 ways you can effectively do that: 

1) Don’t Point Fingers – Find the Cause 

When conflict arises, it’s in our human nature to want to point the fingers to anyone but ourselves. Sure, there may have been a mistake that a single person did that caused the conflict. However, focusing on what could have been the root cause of the conflict will help your overall team in preventing mistakes from happening in the future. 

2) Understand That Everyone Is Human

You know the phrase, “I’m only human, after all,”? Well, this applies for a way that you can approach managing conflict at your dealership. Be sympathetic towards the situation as we all make mistakes, and work together with your team to understand why it happened. This will create strong problem-solving skills and will strengthen your team as a whole. 

3) Document It 

Write down the root of the conflict and the triggers that caused it to happen. Make sure everyone knows their individual and department responsibilities, as these will differ depending on the groups involved. Documenting the entirety of the conflict will help avoid it from presenting itself in your dealership ever again. It can also serve as a reference point to any potential future lessons or reminders you may need to give team members. 

4) Stay Goal-Oriented 

A dealership is a team effort, not a single person running it all. This is why it’s essential when conflict happens, you remain focused on the goals. Discussing conflict in the workplace is never an enjoyable topic of conversation for anyone. However, if you present and remind about the goals of your dealership, the parties might be more apt to discuss the conflict and how best to work through it to achieve those goals. 

5) Lead By Example 

Only after you’ve discussed the conflict with the entire team, will you be able to show the change that can follow after a conflict. Lead by example to show how your dealership can handle conflict with ease and confidence. Once your team sees that conflict doesn’t mean the end of the world, they’ll be empowered and enabled with the techniques to successfully manage any future conflict. 

There’s an inspirational quote that goes, “every setback is a set up to an even greater comeback.” Follow these 5 ways on how to manage conflict at your dealership, and you’ll have a great comeback.

Scam

How Do You Avoid Being Defrauded At Your Dealership?

Whether you work in the service and parts department or new and used car sales, there are fraud risks that some dealerships may not be aware of. The following are some common fraud risks in each of these departments, and solutions to the problems. 

Parts Department 

Problem: Management or staff substituting aftermarket parts for OEM parts. 

Solution: Has your staff been trained on the latest OEM repair procedures? The way many cars are repaired nowadays requires specific repair procedures using only factory-manufactured parts. Neglecting these repair procedures can cause damage to the vehicle and/or void warranties. Consider setting up an anonymous hotline where employees can report any fraudulent repairs. 

Service Department 

Problem: Sales staff releasing serviced vehicles before the customer pays. 

Solution: Consider having signs posted that prohibit anyone but authorized service personnel to release a vehicle back to the customer. Let your employees know that they’ll be held responsible for paying for any unpaid repair bills if they let a customer take their vehicle before the bill is paid for in its entirety. 

Problem: Service staff charging the manufacturer for warranty repairs they didn’t perform. 

Solution: All warranty repairs should only be authorized by the service manager or the assistant service manager, mainly because of their qualifications to manage the business side of the operations. Mechanics should be evaluated based on properly performing a warranty repair. Compliance requirements can also apply to any other incentives your dealership may provide your staff, such as bonuses. 

New Car Sales

Problem: Sales managers or staff issuing “dealership rebates” not approved by the manufacturer. 

Solution: Have your accounting manager make sure none of these rebates are present during a transaction. Also, require every team member on the sales floor to sign a statement acknowledging that “dealership rebates” are not allowed. 

Used Car Sales

Problem: Used car management team are purchasing high priced auction cars in exchange for kickbacks. The used car sales team is also wholesaling cars below their current book value. 

Solution: The accounting department should frequently monitor the amount used cars were purchased for at auction versus their current book value. Your accounting department needs to keep track of the cost of any used cars that come into your dealership. 

The Solution To It All

Let each department in your dealership know that you’ll be performing various check-ups to prevent fraud. It’s an inexpensive way to let your employees know you’re regularly checking in on them. What gets measured gets managed. Knowing that they are being monitored can help prevent fraudulent activities happening in any department. It’ll also give you peace of mind that your dealership is not doing any shady business. Not to mention, it also shows your employees you care about them and their job. It’s a win-win for all.

Street of SUVs

SUVs Are Packing Dealer Lots With More Coming

  • Nearly half of new vehicles sold are SUVs
  • Growth continues but seems to be slowing
  • Dealers are running out of space as vehicles sit longer

Over the past few years, SUVs have been an increasingly popular choice among consumers. Just this year, the sales of SUVs and crossovers increased by 1.6% in the first half of 2019. They also make up over 47% of the new-vehicle market sales. Car manufacturers can tell this is a popular choice among consumers, which is why they are releasing more models of different sizes and price ranges. It sounds ideal in the world of vehicle sales, but there’s also another side that is adding stress to dealers across the country. 

There is a big problem with the increasing distribution of these sport-utility vehicles. Dealerships are running out of space for these vehicles, and as a result, sales are dipping. In fact, according to the Wall Street Journal, “…companies are resorting to more sales promotions to keep inventory from piling up…And yet, automakers are getting ready to roll out even more sport-utility offerings in the next few years, further packing U.S. showrooms.” 

Take a look at this graph showing growth in U.S. SUV sales from 2015 to now. While growth continues, it’s less than half of what it was last year: 

Sure, this is a good thing for customers since they’ll have a hidden selection of vehicles to choose from and better deals. There are currently 96 crossover and sport-utility models on dealership lots as of this year, which is a significant increase from 70 back in 2014. A Bank of America report recently stated, “that figure is expected to rise to 149” by the year 2023. 

As mentioned above, with the continued rollout of these vehicles, it’s taking significantly longer for dealers to sell the cars. One thing is to give consumers several different choices. But it’s an entirely different thing when they have too many to choose from that they end up leaving the dealership without a purchase. According to data collected by edmunds.com, SUVs, and crossovers are sitting on the lot longer and longer each year. In 2015, the average amount of days these new vehicles were on the lot was 51. Last year, it increased to 63 days, and as of May, the average vehicle sitting for 2019 is 71 days. That is nearly 2 and a half months. Dealerships don’t need any more cars filling these lots. They’re past vacancy and beyond capacity. 

Car manufacturers don’t seem to be too worried, as they feel this is simply the future of the car buying process. Although sale rates may be decreasing, there’s still a demand for SUVs and crossovers. Bill Fay, Senior V.P for Toyota North America, even stated, “our crystal ball has this continuing.” 

The only thing dealers really can do is keep the promotions rolling, and the sales will follow. After all, SUVs are the most popular choice for consumers purchasing a new vehicle. From the looks of it, conventional sedans are steadily decreasing while SUVs have significantly increased over the past 4 years. Check out the graph below and prepare your dealership for the continuation. It’s only going up from here on forward. 

How To Avoid A Data Breach At Your Dealership

How To Avoid A Data Breach At Your Dealership

  • Keep What’s Needed
  • Be Aware
  • Be Prepared
  • Destroy Before Trashing
  • Button It Up & Lock It Down

Last July, almost 47,000 files of factory records from Ford Motor Co., General Motors, Tesla Inc., Toyota Motor Corp, and others were discovered in a data leak. The breach exposed company trade secrets that could be used by competitors to have an unfair advantage in manufacturing their vehicles. In addition, the data breach gave employee data, such as their names and ID photos accessible online. 

If you have a data breach happen at your dealership, you’ll not only lose revenue and customers, but your very reputation and brand could be ruined. Reputation is everything, as it is the very essence of who you and your brand are. If your customer’s confidential information is leaked due to a data breach, your dealership’s reputation will crumble. 

So, how do you avoid a data breach at your dealership? Below are ways you can develop a cybersecurity plan and prevent a data breach: 

Keep what you need

When you minimize the amount of collected information or data, this allows you to keep only the necessary information on file. Also, don’t have the data stored in many places. Keep it minimized to know what you keep and where it was kept. 

Cybersecurity awareness 

It’s crucial that all employees at your dealership are aware of the potential of a data breach and what they can do to eliminate it from happening. Assign a management team member to lead a cybersecurity training program. This education can inform your employees what information is confidential or contains sensitive data and what they can do to protect that data. Make it a requirement for employees to log off their computers and lock where they file confidential information at the end of each business day. 

Be prepared for the worst case scenario 

It’s important to be ready if and when a data breach does happen. Have a detailed and document Incident Management Plan already designed to guide you and your dealership through the incident. Have designated roles and assign responsibilities ahead of time, so it’s not a chaotic scramble figuring out who does what, if the breach were to happen. Most states have data breach requirements to follow. Already have someone designated for this and make sure your team knows who that person is. Otherwise, there could be fines and penalties. 

Destroy before trash

Simply deleting files or reformatting a hard drive doesn’t remove the data from existence. Use specific software that is designed to wipe the hard drive completely. All portable media, such as DVDs, CDs, USBs, etc. need to be destroyed. It’s best even to minimize the use of portable media, as these are more susceptible to be stolen or misplaced. Photocopy machines keep a copy of whatever document they scanned, so clear the data on there as well. Eliminate any paper trails by cross-cut shredding paper files before trashing any confidential information. 

Secure Computers and Laptops 

Passwords need to be changed regularly (i.e., once a week) and to something that doesn’t contain any personal information, such as name or birth year. Set up all computers or laptops to require someone to re-login if it’s been inactive for some time. Security software should be installed on all computers and laptops. This includes firewalls, anti-virus anti-spyware, and more, which keeps the security up-to-date electronically. Make sure every employee is aware of not keeping personal information on the computer or laptop unless it is necessary for business needs only. In addition, train your employees never to leave their computer or laptop unattended. 

There’s no saying if or when a data breach might happen at your dealership. But it’s always better to be prepared by practicing these safety tips to avoid it happening to you. After all, better safe than sorry. 

Image credit: blogtrepreneur.com/tech
Rainbow Cars

How Vehicle Color Affects Depreciation

According to a recent study from https://www.iseecars.com/ on 1.6 million vehicles that are three-years-old, the car’s paint color has a significant effect on how long it takes to sell and the vehicle’s depreciation. It may come as a big surprise that orange and yellow are the top 2 vehicle colors that depreciate the least after the three years are up. How is it that these vibrant colors, often seen on sport or exotic cars, depreciate the least? After all, they only make up 1.5 percent of the market. Are we missing something, despite their flashy colors?

Simply put, the reason why these two colors are the ‘least depreciated’ is that they are not a color we’d normally see for the daily drivers. Orange and Yellow cars are for those monthly day trips down the Pacific Coast Highway or a day in Beverly Hills. You’d never see a Yellow Bugatti at a grocery store parking lot. If you do, then the owner is clearly loaded and may have a few more like that back at the mansion.

That said, the top 5 colors making the lowest deprecation rates are listed below in no particular order:

  • Orange
  • Yellow
  • Green
  • Brown
  • Red

As far as the colors that are the most common paint choices and with average depreciation rates, you can probably imagine what made this list. They are:

  • Gray
  • Blue
  • Black
  • White

Beige and silver used to be the most in-demand colors back in the 90s and 00s, so they have an even higher depreciation rate than the ones listed above. However, the color that has the worst depreciation rate (just shy of 34%) is also the third-fastest-selling color: gold. Nevertheless, beige vehicles take the longest to sell and are on the market close to two months before they sell.

Vehicle colors are just part of what contributes to the depreciation. It’s only standard that the value of cars lessens over time. Whether you have a yellow Lamborghini or a beige Hyundai, take care of your vehicle, and you’ll be able to have a better value for your car. Make sure you take it to get its regularly scheduled maintenance and don’t neglect any repairs. If you are a dealership, be meticulous in your reconditioning operations, paying attention to paint correction and matching, regardless of the color. Brighter colors may have the lowest depreciation rate, but a well-maintained car will always have more value than a car that is not.

Automotive SM Landscape

5 Marketing Tips for Dealerships

  • Website Improvements
  • Online Chat
  • Video Content
  • Ratings and Reviews
  • Social Media Versatility

 

We live in a digital age where consumers are coming to their conclusion about a business before they even step inside the front doors, all because of how they present themselves online. According to a NADA DATA report, US dealerships spent just over $8 billion in advertising back in 2014. That figure rose to a peak of nearly $10B in 2016 and has had a slight decline each year since.  

We’re nearly halfway through 2019, and although a lot has changed, traditional advertising like commercials and radio spots are still valuable to dealerships. However, salespeople at dealerships notice that the majority of car shoppers are on their phones while they’re on the lot to compare with prices and other options. Overall, US dealerships allocated just over half their 2018 advertising spend on digital channels, which is a significant sum and reflects the trends in shopper behavior. How do we adapt to the changes and market ourselves to remain relevant?

Here are 5 marketing tips, just for dealerships:

  1. Give Your Website A Face Lift: When was the last time you updated your website? According to marketing expert Marcus Sheridan, 70% of business is conducted online with a decision already made by the consumer before they even make contact. Your website is the first impression, so is it good enough to have the consumers make the next move and contact you? Is it mobile friendly? Does it have a sleek and professional look to it that is easy to read on any device and is a good representation of your brand? These are all things to keep in mind when revamping the website for your dealership.
  2. Use Live Chat: When a potential customer is exploring your site, they are searching for answers to several different questions. Having someone to communicate with via live chat is similar to holding their hand through a complicated process. Live chat is there to answer any questions they may have about scheduling, inventory, location, and more, and your chance to capture their information and begin the sales cycle.
  3. Create Videos: Videos are a quick and immersive way for a customer to get an inside look at your dealership. Not to mention, they are a representation of your brand. Over 50% of marketing professionals say that video brings in the best ROI. Whether it’s a commercial, filming a test drive with a customer, or just talking about your summer clearance event, videos are a sure way to bring in new customers.
  4. Customer Reviews: Any potential customer is going to want to see what other people have said about your dealership, as they offer a personal experience. Look at social media and review sites to see what people are saying about your dealership and highlight some of these on your website. If you don’t have any reviews, reach out to past customers and ask them to give a testimonial of their experience at your dealership. You’ll also find this is a great way to see how you’re doing and where you can improve in areas that you may have neglected. After all, the customer is the most important aspect of the entire decision-making process, and their decisions will be influenced by independent endorsements.
  5. Social Media: Nowadays, with Facebook Pages and Instagram business tools, social media has become an increasingly popular way to engage with new, potential, and previous customers. People who engage on the social media pages for businesses have the same expectation for responsiveness as they would on a telephone call. They could inquire about any number of things, like asking about a service, inventory, or even sharing their personal experience at your dealership. Additionally, social media is a great platform to advertise promotions and events happening at the dealership. This is the best part of social media, as you’re able to connect with users who are looking for a variety of information. Your job as the dealership is to know your customers, what they are looking for, and provide the answers. The more of a reliable source you are, the more you’ll appear as a knowledgeable, trustworthy dealership and the place they’ll want to take their business.


Marketing is all about connecting with your audience in as many ways possible, in order to be there when they choose to engage. Luckily, there are so many resources available to you to make your content engaging and fun, while also being the best representation of your brand. Focus on who you’re targeting and what makes your dealership the best choice to serve their needs. When you do that, you succeed in marketing your dealership.

Nissan 350Z

Make Your Inventory Pop With These Photography Tips For Dealerships

In the automobile industry, your dealership’s website is just as much a first impression as when a potential customer walks inside the dealership doors. But this isn’t about what you should and shouldn’t have on your website. This article is about the photos you have of your dealership’s inventory. Only having pictures uploaded with the vehicle information just doesn’t cut it anymore.

Your inventory photos need to grab the attention of a potential customer who’s looking to buy a new car. If you have just cellphone quality shots of your inventory, it lessens the quality of your overall dealership. At the same time, if you use stock images of the vehicle but not actual photos of the car on your lot, it’s just as bad as using cellphone quality shots, if not worse.

Here are some ways to make your inventory pop, from actual professional photographers:

Lighting: Every professional photographer will tell you that light is everything. Direct sunlight will create strange shadows, whereas the shade could hide details of the car. The time of day is a good indicator of how harsh the sun will be, which is why shooting early morning or early evening is usually a good time to shoot. Also, overcast days act as a natural “diffuser,” which means it lessens the intensity of the sunlight. It’s optional if you’d want to use any additional lighting. But the same rules for working with sunlight apply to using artificial lights. Even a flash can sometimes be too intense and detract from the overall picture you’re trying to capture.

Background: Your background is just as important as the lighting because you want to make sure the vehicle is the only focus of the picture. Not only is it distracting to see other cars in your inventory in the background, but it will ruin the picture if you have anything else be the focus other than the car you’re capturing.

Take Lots of Photos: The more really is the merrier. The more photos you have of the vehicle, the more a customer can get a real feel of the car ahead of the time. Not to mention, having multiple photos for the customer to look at online makes them even more ready to make a purchase once they come inside the dealership.

Get Inside: When you capture the car’s interior, this shows any future buyers that you really care about the driver. They want to see the condition of the seats, what the car looks like from the driver’s POV, etc. Perhaps they want to see if there are any additional features such as heated seats or a USB cable for their phone. Let alone the fact that they may not want a cream interior or leather seats. All of this plays a vital role when someone is interested in a car. If they don’t get an accurate visual of the vehicle before coming into the dealership, they’ll feel like it was a waste of a trip if the car isn’t exactly as it’s pictured.

Experiment: Sure, you want to make sure that you or your photographer is capturing the images possible for your car. But what about capturing it away from the dealership? Depending on the type of photographer you have, it might be cool actually to capture the car in motion on the streets. Or if you’re near a scenic spot, take the car there to get some really epic and cinematic shots. People are all about the image of what looks best, so why not create some content that adds a unique flair to the typical dealership photos of your inventory?

Another way you can experiment is with the angles. Shoot from below to make the car look more powerful. Or cut off some of the car for a shot if you’re getting a real close-up shot and nothing else is going to detract from the focus being on the vehicle. Shoot vertically as well, since many people will be checking out your dealership’s website while on their smartphone.

Have Fun: It sounds a bit cliché, but having fun with taking photos of your inventory will show to any potential customer. People want to do business where it’s a welcoming environment, full of people who genuinely enjoy what they do. Not to mention, you represent a car dealership. You want the customer to have an enjoyable experience from start to finish because then you earn their customer loyalty (which is something money can’t buy). You might as well give them something they’ll never forget, starting with the photos.