“Empower Programs” are they a thing of the past?

“Empower Programs” are they a thing of the past?

Hello Jan,

I hope all is well in your marketplace. I have a question I know only you may be able to answer.

In today’s marketplace, RV sales have tightened tremendously in placing A+ loans through your major players. The downturn has recently hit RV dealers harder than ever. Your main players of course being Bank of America and Bank of the West. With the credit standards today, and the major player being Bank of America, will they ever consider bringing back to the industry “Empower Programs” or is this a thing of the past?

Kind Regards,


What I gather you are asking about is will the lenders bring back instant approvals to the RV industry?

History has shown that when any lender pulls something away, it is because whatever it was had a history of being abused by the client. No one knows the future, realistically; all we can deal with is the present. At present the lenders want each customer to have an equity position in the deal. That means sales personnel are going to have to ask for down payment.

In working with sales consultants, I realize that they do not want to ask any questions that open the door to a negative answer from the customer. Rather than asking “Do you have anything that can be used as a down payment? Perhaps a better way would be a question like this: “The lenders would like to see customers in an equity position, they would like to see 25-30 down, how close to that can you come?” The question is worded in such a way as the response is something other than a negative. The sales consultant can quantify what the customer has.

Keep in mind, just because the sales consultant does not have anything in savings, does not mean their customers do not have resources. I think quite often the sales consultant places their own economic situation into the mind of the customer.

Ron, let us remember the past fondly, work in the present to make something happen, and hope for a better brighter future!

RV Trade Digest Blog October 2008