September '14

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rv-pro.com SEPTEMBER 2014 • RV PRO • 93 The Personal Touch In addition to offering nicer motorhomes, Williams says he differentiates himself in his market by offering a level of personal service competitors can't match. One example: e business takes the time to make sure renters are comfortable behind the wheel of its RVs. "We go through an orientation that takes 45 minutes to an hour," he says, "But only so much of that sinks in because their minds are on their vacation." Many first-time drivers can find driving a 40-footer intimidating, but a little coaching goes a long way. "I was giving somebody a lesson one time and I could see his hands tightening on the steering wheel," Williams says. "He was worried about the cars behind him. I said, 'Just relax. Slow down and let them go around you. You're on vacation and you're the biggest thing on the road.' e cars went around him. He was fine after that." Williams also preps new RV renters with a series of emails that include a YouTube video covering RV basics. He's also devel- oping his own series of videos that his rental customers can watch before and after they roll out of his parking lot that will cover not just how to drive the vehicle but how to operate its various systems, which can often be overwhelming to first-time RV users. Suncoast RV Rental and Management also offers a host of amenities for renters, including kitchenwares, towels and linens, barbecue grills, folding picnic tables and outdoor chairs. Perhaps the most popular add-on is a satellite dish, which is often a must-have for tailgaters. All of those little extra amenities can add up to some nice extra profits for Suncoast. For example, renting a satellite dish costs a customer $50 per trip, plus $5 a day. Still, the biggest value in offering those amenities isn't the fees they generate, it's that they enhance the customer's renting experience and generate goodwill with the renters, according to Williams. Williams, 58 years old, got into RV rentals eight years ago after getting out of the automotive service business. It's a family run business that includes his octo- genarian parents, Wallace and Marlene, and his 23-year-old son, Warren. Don't be a number. Be a Customer. At Northpoint, You Matter. With Northpoint, Inventory Financing Can Have A Personal Touch. contact us by phone (866) 781-2420 or visit us at NorTHPoINTCF.Com SMI Manufacturing, Inc. • 800-893-3763 • www.smibrake.com The Trusted Name in Towed-Vehicle Braking *Patents Pending • proportional • ball-and-socket actuator mount • wireless coachlink™ • set-it-once pedal clamp™ 75% smaller one-hand operation

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