March '16

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rv-pro.com MARCH 2016 • RV PRO • 31 Airstream-related videos, online forms for scheduling service, an ample parts catalog and more. "Our digital footprint is one of the things that we try to maintain and keep up to date," Kaiden says. "We know that when you do a search, we want to come up as high as possible so when that happens, we know we have a shot at a deal. It's crazy. A lot of people will use us to shop because they can navigate the website and we do carry big inventories." Rather than reinvent the wheel, the Air- stream sites were based heavily on those serving Kaiden's Infiniti store and its sister auto dealerships. "What do people want to see? They want to see inventory, they want to see pricing, they want ease of operation," he says. "They want to see all those different things that they expect to see on a car website." Like many auto sites today, a chat window pops up when visiting airstream- losangeles.com or airstreamorangecounty. com so visitors can get help. "I think that there's no difference in the majority of the RV buyers than the car buyers. Everybody wants immediate grati- fication. They want to be able to get their response and their answers immediately," he says. "We can give you many, many instances of people coming in, buying an Airstream travel trailer and turning right around and buying an Infiniti to tow it with." Airstream Exclusivity is Worthwhile Kaiden's customers have told him other Airstream dealers that also sell other lines often have fewer choices of units available to examine compared to his stores. Air- streams are RVs people really want to touch and see before they buy, Kaiden says. " We take a lot of deposits and a lot of inquiries from all around the country and all around the world for that matter," he says. "There's a mys- tique to this and you get a lot of inqui- ries based on your website." A common refrain among dealers has long been a wish to see the RV industry adapt processes and procedures like their counterparts in the auto industry, but Kaiden says that's true only to a point. "Yes, we would like the RV business to be more like the car business and that's with respect to technology and for the ease of doing business. It's a little more stream- lined and in the 21 st century, where we're dealing in the '70s and '80s mentalities with the RV industry. It's more done on a handshake than on a contract," he says. "Yet, I can go right to the vice president of Airstream, or the president for that matter, and have a conversation, because it's not that big a company, whereas for me to get to the president of Infiniti or the vice president is not that easy. There's a chain of command." Even with some of the industry's short- comings, Kaiden says selling RVs has plenty of benefits. "If I would have known about the RV business, how it operated and the profitability of it 10 years ago, I probably would've switched," he says. "The car busi- ness is a grind."

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