With supply shortages in all areas of the economy, one of the biggest attention grabbers is the lack of car inventory. Today, I’m happy to interview Patsy Butterfield of H.M. Brown and Associates to get her perspective on buying a vehicle.
Kristi: We are hearing horror stories about supply chain issues as it relates to buying cars. Should we even bother or are there vehicles somewhere available to buy?
Patsy: It is true, I have never seen the market so slim. There are many factors that play into this scenario. We have the chip problem that folks are hearing about, but there are other contributing factors to the situation as well.
For example, shortage of foam for the seats. Who knew! I even have read about the lack of metals that production needs. While there are many rumors out there, it is undeniable that we have a serious issue with inventory.
But there are some cars available. You may need to have your patience in check, but we can still find, and even order cars to push you to the front of the line of production. As with any major life event, industry finds a way. I’m confident things will be better, but we are going to need to be inventive and patient.
Kristi: As a woman car buyer, I have definitely felt ignored in the presence of my male co-buyer. And here you are a woman in the car selling business. What motivated you to this line of work?
Patsy: It is still a male dominated business, but I’m happy to see more women getting into the game. I think women bring such a different perspective to the buying process. And since most of the new cars in the country are being purchased by women, this is a match made in heaven.
Women tend to feel cautious when purchasing through a traditional car dealership. I certainly felt that way. And when I needed a career change, I thought, “I could sell cars”. My father made sure that his daughters could take care of their cars, and I thought I could bring a different prospective to the car buying process. I would say 60-70% of my clients are women, and I often hear how they have been treated.
Even men often feel they may have been taken advantage of. I treat my clients with respect, and transparency. After a home, this is probably the second major purchase most people make. It should be fun and exciting, not stressful.
Kristi: I used to think of auto brokers as only being able to help with buying a new car. Can you describe the range of services you provide?
Patsy: Working with a broker is a win-win for the client. I can help with a new car, or a used car. Together, we can explore the best options for your particular situation, whether it’s a purchase or a lease. I’m able to give you all the info and then you can make the decision which is right for you.
Another important aspect of working with a broker, I have no loyalty to a particular manufacturer. I can bring objectivity to the process. If you go to a Subaru dealer, they are going to tell you everything wonderful about a Subaru and steer you away from a competitor. I can share my knowledge of different brands without bias.
Since I work with the fleet side of the business and not the retail side, I’m able to get better pricing. Typically, only the “great negotiators” walked out of the dealership with a good deal, and the next guy who isn’t such a good negotiator got the shaft. Not a respectable business model. We sell at fair market to all clients.
Oh, and one more important thing, there is no fee to the client, I’m paid a commission from the dealerships. Like I said, working with a broker is a win, win for the client.
Thank you, Patsy for being a guest in my newsletter! Patsy Butterfield is an Auto Broker with HM Brown & Associates, where she works with clients to help with the car buying process from start to finish, including finding cars, bidding on trades, and financing, as well as any extra aftermarket wish lists.
Patsy came from an Ad Agency & Post Production industry before deciding to make a big career change to the car world. She works with all manufacturers, banks and credit unions and cultivates those relationships to bring the best client experience possible. You can expect 100% transparency, no horror stories, and nasty surprises when working with Patsy.
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