Though a majority of powersports dealerships are known for vehicles that are seen more on the roads and trails than on water, RIVA Motorsports & Marine is famous for its PWC and boat sales.
RIVA, the largest volume PWC dealership in the country, has three locations and an aftermarket PWC parts business, RIVA Racing.
“In Pompano Beach, probably 60 percent of our unit volume is PWC or boats. Key Largo is even more skewed toward the marine side of things,” said Dave Bamdas, who owns the dealership along with his parents and two siblings. The third location in in Miami.
Though the dealership focuses on the water, it also carries motorcycles, ATVs, side-by-sides and even Segways.
Pre-owned sales have become a very profitable area of the dealership, and RIVA has hired a full-time used unit buyer to keep inventory current. His job is to watch Craigslist, classifieds and other sources for units.
“We’d rather be proactive and find our own pre-owned inventory,” Bamdas said.
In new unit sales, the dealership relies on its strong sales process to move units.
“When a unit is sold, it’s taking them through a checklist of departments, so we can maximize profits,” Bamdas explained.
Turnover in the department is low, with the staff averaging seven to eight years of experience.
Because the Pompano Beach store is comprised of five separate buildings, the service department is not housed within the main dealership. To educate customers about the service department and its offerings, RIVA has a customer service rep who sees each customer between the sale and the F&I department.
“This guy is basically a representative of our service department at our main showroom,” Bamdas explained. “He sells prepaid maintenance, and primes the customer about the extended warranty.”
The customer service rep explains from a service perspective why prepaid maintenance and extended warranties are beneficial. So far, this position has increased sales of both products.
At RIVA, the PG&A department is split into two areas — the parts counter for the dealership and the mail order area for RIVA Racing.
“The counter parts department guys have a meeting every week so they can stay up to date with the latest parts and accessories,” Bamdas explained.
“The service department is a bit of a challenge for us because we are in a separate building, which is across the street,” Bamdas said.
Because of this, the aforementioned customer service rep was hired to bridge the gap between the two buildings.
“We go to a great extent to make sure when a customer buys a new or used unit from us, we make sure that they know we have a service department,” Bamdas said. “We found that we were losing a lot of service department customers.”
The prepaid maintenance plans sold by that rep have increased sales in the service department and given writers an opportunity to upsell.
The dealership has two in-house web employees, who work on RIVAMotorsports.com and RIVARacing.com. The dealership also has an e-blast and has started producing one-minute walkaround videos of used units.
“We find those are very beneficial,” Bamdas said.
In addition to the online efforts, RIVA exhibits at some bike shows and boat shows in Miami and Fort Lauderdale, sends direct mail and buys some billboard, TV and radio ads.
RIVA looks to its ADP Lightspeed DMS for up-to-date inventory reports.
“Inventory management covers units and PG&A, and in both cases, our managers are very sharp, and they are constantly running reports with units. What’s been here for 12 months? What’s been here for 18 months? What’s been here for 24 months?” Bamdas said.
The dealership marks down obsolete inventory and incentivizes sales staff to move stale products.
What attracts employees to your dealership?
The Bamdas family likes to make everyone feel like they’re part of the RIVA family. The dealership offers a good benefits program, competitive compensation and a 401K program that RIVA contributes to each year. The company also hosts a summer and Christmas party each year.
“We have an upbeat vibe here,” Bamdas said.
Location: Pompano Beach, FL
# of Locations: 3
Full-time employees: 170
Year founded: 1979
Principals/Owners: Lynn, Steve, Dave and Joe Bamdas and Leslie Fererra
OEM brands: Yamaha, Honda, Sea-Doo, Can-Am, Kawasaki, Suzuki, Quadski, Segway