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ConsumerFi Podcast: Crowd Sourced Securitization with AGORA’s Steve Burke

February 11, 2021

Episode 15


Joel is joined by NAF Executive Director, Jack Tracey, in a conversation with Steve Burke, CEO of AGORA Data, to talk about how crowd sourced securitization can create more access to capital for smaller competitors, more flexibility with how they use it and how these tools can deliver benefits to dealers, lenders and consumers.

ConsumerFi is presented by Nortridge Software: Loan Software That Accelerates Change

And special thanks to The National Automotive Finance Association: The only trade association exclusively serving the nonprime auto finance industry.


[00:00:20] Welcome everybody on today’s podcast. I’d like to welcome, uh, Steve Burke, who’s the president and CEO of Gora data. Steve, welcome to the podcast.

[00:00:29] Steve Burke: [00:00:29] Thank you, Joel.

[00:00:31] Joel Kennedy: [00:00:31] Yeah. Additionally, um, thought we’d have a little fun today, uh, for people that, that are in the know, and if you’re not, I’ll tell you, uh, the national automotive finance association is the only trade group that is exclusively focused on the interests of the non-prime automotive lender.

[00:00:46] And, uh, Steve is, uh, is a legacy in that he created. The trade group, uh, with Jack Tracy, who was the executive director from day one and still at it, Jack [00:01:00] has joined us and he is going to be joining you in the fund, Jack, welcome to the podcast.

[00:01:06] Jack Tracey: [00:01:06] Well, and I’m glad to be here. Uh, when Steve and I, uh, started this, uh, twenty-five years ago, I had light hair and Brown air and, uh, we both looked a lot younger and Steve had hair.

[00:01:20] Time does catch up with you, but, uh, I’m real pleased to be able to be on the podcast here today and to, uh, and to

[00:01:26] Joel Kennedy: [00:01:26] see Steve again. Yeah. And this is kind of a cool little trio. Um, Steve hosted Jack and I really quite impromptu. We were down, I think for the American recovery association conference down in Texas one year, a couple of years ago.

[00:01:40] And this is when you first started getting the Gora platform up and running. And so. Steve, you were so gracious to host us and you showed us a little bit and we asked you stupid questions and you acted like they were good, which was always nice. And, uh, but, but Steve, can you do an intro just for the folks who don’t, I doubt there’s many in the, in the, in the industry, you don’t know who you are.

[00:02:00] [00:01:59] Haven’t maybe even done business with you. I know I have, uh, but give us the background and then, um, and then I want to kind, kinda talk a little bit about, uh Gora and how that started. How does that sound.

[00:02:10] Steve Burke: [00:02:10] That sounds great. Joel. So I spent about 35 years, I guess, in auto finance, you know, in a variety of different roles.

[00:02:17] Um, early on, I had a point of sale subprime finance company, you know, back in the eighties and early nineties and built that up into a decent sized company. Did our first securitization, you know, probably one of the first. Uh, companies to do securitizations back in the early nineties and subprime auto.

[00:02:37] Um, then I moved along to a, another company that I was the CEO of called, uh, FSB financial, where we, uh, purchased from. Um, finance companies and purchase from credit unions and banks and buy here, pay here, dealers loans on what’s called the secondary market. So it wasn’t point of sale paper and built that up into a [00:03:00] rather sizable company and sold it to, uh, BB and T and its subsidiary regional acceptance.

[00:03:07] And then I spent, uh, six years at BB and T uh, regional acceptance, managing acquisitions for them. Um, before I joined my father in a company that he had started called SFG finance, which was similar to FSB financial, where it was an acquire on the secondary market. Of loans again from banks and credit unions and car dealers and the like, um, my dad had passed away in 2011 and then I, I went ahead and sold that company for the bank that owned it, um, started a nother company called center street finance, which was a boutique, uh, portfolio manager.

[00:03:45] Hedge funds and banks, and we manage subprime assets for them. And did, um, sat on top of servicers and did all their reporting. We did. SDIC reporting for, you know, lots of community banks. And then in, uh, [00:04:00] 2017, myself and my older son. And, uh, Daniel Burke and my partner, Chris Hawk came up with the idea of why don’t we take what we do at center street finance for, for banks and for hedge funds and create a platform to do that and give everybody access to the software that will enable them to do, you know, really robust modeling and, um, uh, portfolio and loan pricing, and other types of analytics, including.

[00:04:29] You know, building a loan marketplace. So we started the Gore of back in April of 2017 to, um, allow, let’s say car dealers to interact with finance companies and they wanted to sell loans, Excel loans, or, you know, if they want to see valuations or analytics, they can do that on our platform as well. And, you know, fast forward to 2021, where we have lots of other features now, you know, in the Gora platform.

[00:04:58] Joel Kennedy: [00:04:58] And, and for folks that are [00:05:00] listening, um, uh, you can, you can research a lot of this information and see the platform, uh, what the website is.

[00:05:08] Steve Burke: [00:05:08] It’s a Gora, a G R a D a T

[00:05:16] Joel Kennedy: [00:05:16] And, uh, so, so Steve, the thing that I really like about what a Gora is doing is it is streamlining a lot of these processes, but then the other really important thing that you’re doing here.

[00:05:29] Is you are increasing financial access to the ultimate consumer. And let me explain how I came up with that calculus, uh, indirect auto finance, as you know, Steve opens the door to provide financial access to so many in the underserved community. Um, you’re dealing with, uh, bank money that it to, to the, to the buy here, pay here dealers or to these finance companies that is a high cost of capital because you’re going to see a higher.

[00:05:58] Uh, loss ratio as [00:06:00] well, so they need to cover themselves. And so that has to be paid through to the customer, but the customer can get a car, uh, terms have been extending. Um, and that makes affordability a little better. Um, but you know, by doing something like, um, we’re going to get into, I just want to punctuate that this is a state, a flow of cash from.

[00:06:24] From hedge funds and banks through these lenders and buy here, pay here dealers, and then through to the ultimate consumer. And so there is a breakdown when you’re a smaller lender, you just don’t have the size and scale and scope. You’re not a minimum deal size. That is interesting. To a lot of these financial partners.

[00:06:46] And so maybe you can talk a little bit about that. Steve, about your point of view on that. I know you’re, you’re, you’re very bullish on, on creating this market as am I.

[00:06:55] Steve Burke: [00:06:55] So, so let me break it out this way. Joel. So we, we approached the [00:07:00] Gora as three distinct features within our platform. The first thing we did was come out with a feature called Gore insights.

[00:07:08] And what a gory insights is. We, we API or digitally integrated. With dealer management systems. So the data will come directly from the dealer system onto the Gore platform, seamlessly, no need for, you know, Excel files or emailing of non-public information. Everything is server to server. So through that API integration, we’re able to ingest the data from the dealers.

[00:07:36] No system of record with that data, we push back to the dealer insights, which is why we call it the Gore insights on how to originate better, how to lower losses, how to maybe lower LTVs and actually. Make more money in doing so how to lower interest rates and make more money in doing so. [00:08:00] So when you think about LTV or interest rates, those are two things that affect the end consumer.

[00:08:06] So from the insights platform, we provide those analytical tools. So dealers could more efficiently and elegantly lower rates, lower LTVs benefit in the consumer, the second leg or second feature that we developed, we call it Gore trade Gore trade before a Gora. If, if a let’s use a buy here, pay here dealers.

[00:08:30] In example, if they wanted to sell loans that they originated, you know, they would have to deal with a handful of strategic buyers, strategic buyers. You know, defined as finance companies that every day, their core businesses is buying, you know, loans, buying contracts and servicing them. So you have a handful of strategic buyers that could do that.

[00:08:52] Is that through a Gore, a trade. We now open that up. Two hedge funds, family offices, some [00:09:00] PE groups. So what we did there. This connect that buy here, pay here dealer with hedge funds, let’s say, which brings new, fresh, and larger amounts of capital to the market. And that created a situation where the, the buy here pay here dealer, using them as an example, would be able to potentially sell their accounts for more money.

[00:09:22] So they wouldn’t have to, again, maximize. Interest rates and LTVs to the consumer to be able to raise enough cash for their operations. And that’s on the Gore trade feature that works really seamlessly. Um, you know, w we, we created aggregation tools. So what happens is if a hedge fund wants to spend a hundred million and there may not be a dealer most buy here, pay here, dealers are.

[00:09:47] You know, 500,000 to 5 million, let’s say in size, we developed aggregation technology that can aggregate, let’s say $25 million buy here, pay your dealers [00:10:00] into a hundred million dollar transaction and make that a whole loan sale to a hedge fund. And when that happens by your payer dealer gets access to more.

[00:10:10] Capital through a loan sale. The third feature that we came out with is for the buy here, pay here dealer, or the small finance company that doesn’t want to sell their loans. They want to own them and collect all of the full residual value of that loan. So we developed, um, a feature called the Gore capital, which I think is what you were alluding to a moment ago.

[00:10:33] Gore capital. What we did is we, we invented a crowdsourced securitization. So if you think of a securitization, a normal securitization, you have, you know, ABC finance company or bank that maybe has $200 million in their portfolio and they have a credit line. And they hit maybe the max, you know, on their credit facility.

[00:10:57] And then they turn those loans out [00:11:00] that 200 million into a securitization and they’re able to do it because they have the scale, the 200 million, they have the sophistication, they have all the reporting necessary. That the capital markets wants to see. And then they also have the balance sheet that allows them to step behind all the reps and warrants and everything with a securitization.

[00:11:22] That’s a typical everyday securitization that Nissan does and chase does and, you know, GM financial sense in there and all of them. So we said, okay, how can we bring that kind of elegant capital market financing to a buy here, pay here dealer with only a half, a million dollars on their balance sheet. So, what we did is we, we invented the crowdsourcing technology to take, let’s say 100, $1 million buy here, pay here dealers, and aggregate that into a capital market securitization.

[00:11:59] That’s what we mean [00:12:00] by a crowdsource securitization. So our technology. Is able to say to 100, $1 million buy here, pay here dealers. We will give you the, the same leverage, the same low cost capital, the same advance rates that a GM financial or a San tan, their gifts and their securitizations, because we are providing the scale through our crowdsourcing.

[00:12:25] We’re providing the sophistication. Through a Gore insights, all of the analytical tools that we’ve built and combined we’re able to now move that into a securitization. What that has done is take a, let’s use it again, buy here, pay here, dealers. In example, that may be paying some resistance count lender, you know, 10%, 12%, 14, 15% for their money.

[00:12:50] And now we move them into a structure where they’re paying low to mid. Single digits for their money. And that one’s just filter all the way down to the consumer. [00:13:00] You know, if a dealer doesn’t have to Mark up, when they’re paying 14% to 18, 19, 20, 21% to the consumer, and now they can take a, as an example of five or 6% rate, maybe they only have to Mark it up to an eight, 9% rate.

[00:13:16] To the consumer and still be very profitable. So that’s our crowdsource securitization.

[00:13:22] Joel Kennedy: [00:13:22] That right there is, is on the nose. Exactly what I was talking about. You brought it all together in terms of that is the final maneuver. I love the, the insights and the trade, but this final maneuver is the piece where if you can create, you’re creating opportunity to cut the operating or the costs.

[00:13:42] Cost of capital across a volume of buy here, pay here dealers and have them included in something bigger. And I just really truly believe that this is ultimately good for the Americans consumer.

[00:13:54] Steve Burke: [00:13:54] Yeah.

[00:13:56] Jack Tracey: [00:13:56] Let me come a little bit on that. Uh, as, [00:14:00] uh, Joel said I’m the executive director of the national automotive finance association.

[00:14:04] So my role in the industry is to try to, uh, see that the, uh, elements of competition are as equitable as they can be. And it’s been four years that I have felt that the, uh, the buy here pay here dealer was, uh, Getting the lesser opportunity, uh, to optimize the situation. And it’s because of his access to capital and by a 48 by your pay your deal, or now the ability to join with other, by your, uh, pay your dealers and go into a securitization.

[00:14:42] It creates a level playing field so that their pricing can be more in line with the Santander’s. The Westlake’s the bigger one. And this has better for the consumer. Uh, and I, uh, really, uh, uh, credit Steve and his, uh, [00:15:00] ability to look at the market and see this opportunity. It’s an opportunity for his company, but, uh, uh, more so than that, it’s an opportunity for the, uh, For the ultimate buy here, pay your customer, uh, that, uh, or the ultimate, uh, non-prime customer who has to pay a little bit more in order to get financing.

[00:15:21] He has more sources now to do it. He can go directly to a, an auto dealer and get the same kind of pricing and underwriting that he would if you were to go to a much larger bank. So.

[00:15:36] Steve Burke: [00:15:36] Jack. Thank you. But, but to your point, so in, in the deal that we closed December 29th of 2020, um, again, that was the first crowdsource securitization ever to be done, you know, anywhere in the United States. And I think in the world, um, it wasn’t only buy here, pay your dealers small to mid tier finance companies also experienced the same.

[00:16:00] [00:16:00] Um, you know, lack of access to capital. Yeah. And, and, and, and, and we aggregate them as well. So I like, I’ll give you an example. We had one dealer, believe it or not with $11,000 worth of loans. Go into a securitization. And then we had one more than 20 million and everything in between. So, so when you think about the power of, of a crowdsource securitization, it’s not just more elegant financing with a lower rate and a good advance it’s, you know, securitizations are non-recourse debt.

[00:16:40] Number one, number two, what we really provide is that dealer or that finance company can dream big because we open up that access to capital. So E you know, the rates are lower shore is, you know, when [00:17:00] you think of a, a dealer with two loans and $11,000 now has access to, you know, Securitization that’s dream.

[00:17:11] How big do you want to get dream big? As long as you could, as long as the dealer exhibits that they could underwrite their loans consistent, you know, and, and, and, and fairly, they can dream as big as they want to dream. Well, the thing is what’s, what’s really interesting if you think about a lot of these dealers and.

[00:17:30] Finally it’s companies. They have lots of restrictive financial covenants on their lines of credit. So when you have a senior lender that provides you a line of credit, you have a tangible net worth test or an EBITDA test or, or whatever. If you want to go buy a boat, if you’re a buy here, pay here, you only want to go buy a boat and take a distribution out of your company.

[00:17:51] You have to get permission from your senior lender. To take that distribution, you know, for 50,000 or a hundred thousand to buy a boat in a [00:18:00] securitization, you know, those loans are already moved off into a special purpose vehicle. Um, if the dealer wants to spend his own money, you know, to buy a boat, I can’t stop them.

[00:18:12] I can’t restrict them. So it’s not only the lower cost capital. It’s not only the access to capital. It’s the freedom. Of what that capital provides you provide flexibility. Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. I’ll give you, um, you know, a case example, we, uh, a case study, we had, uh, one particular dealer. I won’t mention the name.

[00:18:38] In our last transaction that, um, had a credit facility where they were maxed out an $8 million portfolio. They were maxed out on the credit facility. Beautiful, fantastic performing paper, but they’re maxed out on their facility. They couldn’t grow. All they could do is cover runoff. So [00:19:00] their runoff was about 2% a month.

[00:19:02] So they could put on roughly, you know, 200,000, 150 to 200,000 in new loans a month. And that’s it. That was all. So basically they could run it off and build back up to that $8 million. Well, we refinanced that portfolio through the crowdsource securitization, so that 8 million, their senior lender got paid off in full.

[00:19:24] There was a couple hundred thousand over and above the payoff to the senior lender that the dealer received and now, and on top of everything else, they, more than half the rate that they’re paying and the securitization from the rate that they were paying to the senior lender, but most importantly, they now have $8 million of capacity.

[00:19:45] So they can now grow and inside of a year, end up with a $16 million portfolio or a $20 million portfolio that they could just not do that without having access to, you know, Gore capital, securitization.

[00:19:59] Jack Tracey: [00:19:59] And, [00:20:00] uh, if they have to be price competitive in the marketplace to get a deal they’re able to now where they couldn’t before.

[00:20:07] Yeah.

[00:20:09] Steve Burke: [00:20:09] That’s that’s

[00:20:09] Joel Kennedy: [00:20:09] a, that’s a big deal to me because we’ve all, uh, had experienced dealing with some of the smaller, uh, regional lenders that tend to grow. They create a presence and then economic cycles can really do a number on a smaller company. That’s holding a portfolio of say sub $50 million. It’s my real hope that.

[00:20:31] Tools like, like this, Steve are going to help strengthen that market because I want to see that that market, I don’t need every small dealer or every small lender to become the next big thing. I just want them to be able to do what their intentions were and get the access to capital. Just like the big guys.

[00:20:48] That’s I’m not asking for any favors. I just want them to have a little bit of an easier road to hoe, right.

[00:20:56] Steve Burke: [00:20:56] No. I look at a buy here, pay here dealer. If you think about community banking, [00:21:00] you know, and if you want to think back to the Oh eight Oh nine nine know recession, right? I mean, the world was coming to an end and there were banks that were considered too big to fail and lots of new rules and regulations came out.

[00:21:16] And what did those rules or regulations really do? They pushed out the smaller. Community banks that couldn’t compete and the banks are too large to fail, became even larger. And, and those are facts today. There are less community banks and more large banks and that’s okay. Nothing wrong with that. Large banks are great.

[00:21:37] And community banks are great, but the analogy I’m trying to make is if you look at a buy here, pay here dealer, they’re a small entrepreneurial dealer, that’s under bank, and then you have all the big players in the industry and we don’t have to name them, but we all know who they are, you know, where you could just.

[00:21:54] Go on your iPhone today and have a car delivered and 15 minutes in your front yard, [00:22:00] or, you know, go to, uh, a Superstore that has, you know, 500 cars in inventory and sooner or later, those smaller entrepreneurial buy here, pay here. Dealers like community banks will be squeezed out and you’ll only be left with.

[00:22:16] You know, larger platform dealerships and again, nothing wrong with logic. Well dealerships they’re great operators. They give consumers great deals, but it does remove a segment of small finance companies and small car dealers from it. So we’re, we’re sort of Jack, I think you alluded to it leveling the playing field by now saying, okay.

[00:22:38] The, the big box stores, the way they get their money. Well, the, the street corner dealer, as long as he’s honest and moral and ethical and originates, you know, cleanly and sticks to good underwriting guidelines can have the same capital access that, that huge, you know, store down the block that has 500 [00:23:00] cars on their lot, same kind of capital we’re providing to the smaller dealer.

[00:23:04] And that allows them to compete.

[00:23:06] Jack Tracey: [00:23:06] And I know, uh, from my years in this business, that many, uh, non-prime consumers would rather deal with a smaller operation. They feel closer to it. They feel it’s part of their community and given the preference, uh, where they’re able to get, uh, similar pricing and underwriting, uh, many, uh, consumers will go that route.

[00:23:28] Steve Burke: [00:23:28] Yeah, I agree. I agree. It’s I

[00:23:32] Joel Kennedy: [00:23:32] think it’s a welcome addition and I know a beat the beat the hell out of this, but I, you know, I want to make sure that the folks that listen to this, that work in other aspects of concern, be it regulatory or whatever that this is something, you know, we’re we’re here. We hear loud and clear.

[00:23:50] I saw the letter from Maxine waters. I hear all the rumors about the Biden administration about their focus. On the consumer. And this is something that, you know, [00:24:00] obviously the consumer is somebody we deal with on a daily basis. We collect on these people, we hear their hardships. We probably hear more about this than the regulators do, honestly.

[00:24:10] And we, this is a space we’re comfortable and it’s just, I just think it’s really nice to show that the industry is in step with the way that the world is moving. And that’s, that’s what I really like about it. So along those lines, Innovation, obviously something that you’re passionate about, Steve. Um, and that is one of the pillars that I wanted to make sure we were, we were bringing forth within this podcast.

[00:24:34] So thank you very much for, for being here to present this, but along those lines of innovation, I have to tap your brain because I, so I, I, I have a joke about you. I don’t know if you know it, maybe your ears were burning, but w when Jack and I sat there and you were showing us a Gora in the beginning couple of years ago, and.

[00:24:53] I had all these thoughts and all these questions in my mind and everything that I asked, especially the ones where I thought, okay, I’ve got [00:25:00] one, I’ve got one that Steve hasn’t thought about yet. You already thought it through, you already had a plan. So I thought, okay, well, this guy has a level of clairvoyance and that’s, that’s pretty cool.

[00:25:11] So let’s tap into that and whether it’s a Gora or the market broadly, What do you, a lot of people really want to know what 2021 has in store. Obviously I’m, I’m, I’m thinking compliance is going to be a big thing. I think more and more lenders and buy here, pay here, dealers getting more efficient using omni-channel methods is going to be a big push, but in terms of innovation, in terms of next steps for you guys, in terms of the market, what do you think for 2021?

[00:25:38] Steve Burke: [00:25:38] No great question. I mean, it’s, you know, 2020 was challenging with COVID 20, 21, um, appears that COVID will still be here with us for a while. You know, probably through the summer, I think with the Biden administration, you know, you hit it on the head, we’re going to see a couple of things. Some, uh, and regulation is not necessarily bad, [00:26:00] you know, it’s just overregulation may be.

[00:26:03] You know, bad, but regulation is always needed and necessary. Um, you know, w what’s the saying that that regulation only affects the bad actors. You know, it, it tracks the honest people are going to stay honest and, and the non honest people need, we need regulation, but, but putting all that aside, what I see for 2021 with the Biden administration and they were announcing it today is $2 trillion of stimulus.

[00:26:29] I think that’s stimulus for 2021 is going to be huge in the non-prime markets. So we have two sides of coin, right. We have lots of folks out of work. You know, and, and hurting because they don’t have a job. And then on the flip side, we’ve got a lot of stimulus coming out, um, in the form of commercial type stimulus, you know, with PPP loans and stuff like that for the businesses and then stimulus with direct checks to [00:27:00] consumers and higher unemployment benefits and all that stuff.

[00:27:03] So first I don’t think the consumer, I think the consumer is going to be in good shape in 2021. I really believe that our. Congress will pass some, you know, whether you agree with it or not, we’ll pass, you know, a lot of stimulus to help the consumer. And I think that’s going to be good. Um, I think 2021 is going to be the year of a lot of changing regulation and wake up calls to people that haven’t focused on that in the past and need to start focusing on it.

[00:27:36] You know, the CFPB certainly going to be more involved. Um, than they were under the Trump administration. So, so from a compliance standpoint, I would advise anybody that touches, you know, anything to do with the consumer. I don’t care if you’re selling a waffle iron. If you touch a consumer, I would think you would want to really pay attention to regulation, you know, even outside the [00:28:00] auto industry.

[00:28:01] Um, but in the auto industry, I think regulations are going to get very, very tight and, um, you better, you know, You, you better focus on it. First car sales. I think 20, one’s going to be a good year. I think in car sales where we’re seeing indications right now. Um, I, I know you read reports about softening prices and, you know, um, more inventory becoming available in the market.

[00:28:26] We’re actually seeing one of the unique benefits we have at Gora through our integrations is we get to see lots of transactions all the time. We’re seeing, you know, the good, the bad and the ugly, how, how cars are selling. Um, how, um, repossessions occur in charge of sicker delinquencies and all of that.

[00:28:44] And we even have a COVID tracker that we did not see rising delinquencies in any material fashion during COVID, we’re starting to see repossessions picking up, you know, like most of the reports, but, you know, [00:29:00] Joel, I just think 2021 is going to be the year of new and heavy regulation. And a ton of stimulus out there.

[00:29:10] I mean, I don’t know if I’m clairvoyant beyond that and I don’t know that that’s even clairvoyance. I think it’s, I think it’s, I think you can pick up any newspaper and probably read everything I just said.

[00:29:21] Joel Kennedy: [00:29:21] Well, I tell you this, this, this whole event, you know, whether it’s a pen and you call it a pandemic or a cycle or whatever, what have you, I remember the last great recession and I was just really banging my head against the wall.

[00:29:31] I was frustrated and I felt that the, you know, and I’m not trying to politicize anything by any means, but I just felt like there was just, there could have been a lot more done. To help the businesses in the American consumer, because it’s just really a shame when, you know, and the car manufacturers really benefited from that and look what they did.

[00:29:48] They paid it back in space. So, you know, I think that my hope is, is along your lines, that, that at least if nothing else, the government can get together [00:30:00] on the stimulus to help keep things moving along. And I, you know, I view, like I said, I view, I view this innovation that you’ve created as, as very helpful.

[00:30:08] Um, kind of a help yourself kind of thing. Um,

[00:30:12] Steve Burke: [00:30:12] you know, this, this may sound a little bit nuts, but money is not our driver at a Gora, you know, we make money. Obviously we have to pay our bills, but that’s not our number one driver. And. This is going to sound strange coming from a person in finance. But our number one driver is really creating a community for buy here, pay here dealers and small finance companies to be able to thrive.

[00:30:40] And, and for that benefit to get passed down to the consumer. And if we’re successful in creating that community for car dealers and small finance companies and, and the consumer. We make money, you know, that that’s, that’s the by-product of creating that. So when we approach things here [00:31:00] at Gore, our first.

[00:31:01] Thing that we look at is not profitability. I know that sounds crazy. And, and especially for me, because you know, my dad always told me that you open your business story, you gotta make money day one. And then I went into the technology business and I learned that making money is not usually day one or year three or four it’s somewhere else down the road.

[00:31:24] But, but building a community was very important to us and. You know, for that reason car dealers pay us nothing. We charge a car dealer zero, um, and we provide lots of things. For instance, you know, we have a, another feature called Gora gold, which is a certification process. And, and if you’re on our platform, we get sample contracts.

[00:31:47] We look at servicing. You know, and we certify that dealer, you know, silver or gold, you know, we have two steps in the process. Um, it’s dissimilar than what you have [00:32:00] jacket NAF on your certification. This is more, you know, digging into the nuts and bolts of a buy here, pay here dealer and how they interact with the consumer and all of that.

[00:32:11] So that’s even that certification, you know, we have compliance folks, senior compliance folks here. At a Gora that, that are here and we have a couple of outside companies as well. Um, and, and we do that for free the analytics that we give back to the dealer to help them sell cars, you know, uh, more efficiently and treat the consumers better.

[00:32:33] That’s also free. So everything that we do other than when we move someone into a securitization, we don’t charge the dealer on that. Either we make money. From the securitization itself. So at the end of the day, community is what a Gar is really about and what we, what we strive for. And that’s our number one goal.

[00:32:53] When we look at a new feature or a new product,

[00:32:58] Joel Kennedy: [00:32:58] well, I love it. [00:33:00] So Jack, as the, as the best looking person on the call today, Um, I’ll allow you to have kind of the last word or last, do you have any more questions for Steve?

[00:33:09] Jack Tracey: [00:33:09] No, I dumped, but I, uh, come back to the, the point I made earlier. Uh, the association is always tried to, uh, see that the community of non-prime auto finance, the non-prime auto financing industry, not just the dealers themselves and the, uh, Uh, the finance companies put the consumer and, uh, what, what Steve is doing here is, um, uh, Better for that community.

[00:33:36] And I’m just really pleased that someone was able to come up with a way to make, uh, uh, the playing field more level for all, uh, levels of finance companies from the guy that’s got $11,000 on his book to, um, you know, several billion, uh, to the extent that the, uh, the players in the, in the [00:34:00] arena. Can compete the consumer benefits.

[00:34:03] And that’s what it’s all about.

[00:34:06] Steve Burke: [00:34:06] You know, I, I gotta add something to that about NAF. So when back in the early days of NAF, I remember sitting around in the board meetings. And talking about what did we want to do as an association? And it wasn’t just providing another place for someone to go, to meet someone and have drinks with them and network and eat dinner or whatever.

[00:34:26] It was a place to go, the add value to add education, to, to, you know, cause you can network anywhere. Right? So it was, and there’s tons of networking at NAF as well, but it was really an association where. If I went there, I learned something. I came away with more knowledge after attending, you know, NAF conference, let’s say, then I would have had I not gone.

[00:34:50] And, and I give a lot of credit to Jack and Jack’s team over the years, as, as you really accomplished that, Jack. You know, with your certification programs and, [00:35:00] and every, all the other educational opportunities. I mean, I, I actually, and I don’t know if you’re going to believe this or not, but you know, when I mentioned I sold a company right.

[00:35:10] To BB and T, that was a great deal for me, you know, from a financial standpoint, that only happened because of the NAF association, because I’ve met the guy that bought my company. At NAF, I don’t even want to mention names, but, but you know, those kinds of things and that wasn’t, and because I met someone that had a drink with someone that that was because we worked together.

[00:35:35] To better the industry and to Jack’s credit. That’s what NAF strive for is to better the industry, not to provide a place where I’m going to charge you a thousand bucks and you can network with someone. It was a place where you could better the industry. And yeah, I vividly remember that Jack I’ll I’ll never forget that meeting.

[00:35:55] Because some of us were arguing, no, let’s just get them in the door and, you [00:36:00] know, make some money. And Jack was no, we have to better the industry. And, and that’s what then the F has done. And I think we’re a much better industry today because of.

[00:36:12] Jack Tracey: [00:36:12] Uh, I remember when we started the association, uh, Steve, the non-prime world was, uh, looked at in a, uh, a skeptical way.

[00:36:22] And, uh, it certainly is

[00:36:25] Steve Burke: [00:36:25] gentlemen part of our industry.

[00:36:27] Jack Tracey: [00:36:27] Uh, that’s in part because of the people that join to form the association. And that was our driver to, to make it honest and fair to the consumer. And we’ve come a long way. Thanks for a little history. There.

[00:36:43] Steve Burke: [00:36:43] It’s a good history. Yeah, it is. Thanks.

[00:36:46] Joel Kennedy: [00:36:46] I, well, you guys know where I stand on that.

[00:36:48] I love building community and I love spending time with people that are honest and hardworking like yourselves. Uh, real quick, before we close up, I’m gonna ask you guys to, uh, shout out the website, uh, [00:37:00] provide any information Jack. If, if, uh, for the NAF association. Uh, the website and if anybody wants to join, you know, how do they, how do they do that?

[00:37:08] Or learn more about the process

[00:37:10] Jack Tracey: [00:37:10] it’s on the website and it’s NAF association spelled, uh,

[00:37:17] Joel Kennedy: [00:37:17] that will get you there. And every standard website. Outstanding. And, uh, and Steve, uh, Gora we, we, we, we, we mentioned the URL earlier, but if let’s say somebody is a high flyer, they just want to shoot over an email.

[00:37:32] Hey, I got to talk to somebody. I got to get it dealt with, you know, should they, who should they email?

[00:37:38] Steve Burke: [00:37:38] So two ways, if you want to reach me, just email me it’s or you go to our website, Gord and, you know, go to the about us section. And my cell phone number is there. And my office number is there.

[00:37:53] My email address is there and as with the other members of our team, so very accessible and you know, I take [00:38:00] phone calls. Literally 24 hours a day. My wife beats me up, you know, at two o’clock in the morning when I’m answering my phone, but that’s just me.

[00:38:09] Joel Kennedy: [00:38:09] Well, Steve, thank you so much for taking the time today, Jack.

[00:38:13] Thanks for joining to help go hostess with me. Um, everybody, uh, like I said, thanks. Thanks Steve. Thanks Jack. The consumer fi podcast has been brought to you by Northbridge loan software. That accelerates change. We’d also like to thank the national automotive finance association, the only trade association, exclusively serving the non-prime auto financing industry.

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