Business & Finance

To Buy or to Lease? Don’t Drive Yourself Crazy!

What’s your background in the automobile industry?
Cars were a big deal when I grew up. My father, Solomon Friedman, started Duo Leasing in 1986, and I joined the business in 1989. Subsequently, my son Willie joined the company in 2010. You could say we live and breathe cars.

How does an independent leasing specialist differ from a dealership?
We do all the preliminary work over the phone or by email; you don’t need to come in person to our office to get the “real“ price. We also deliver your car right to your door.
Furthermore, suppose you walk into a Honda dealership. The guy on the sales floor would never tell you “From what you’re saying, I think a Toyota will work better for you.”
Perhaps there’s an option like a blind spot monitor included. If the dealer doesn’t have a car with that, they will downplay the benefit of that option, unlike an independent leasing company that has access to inventory at any dealership in the tri-state area and beyond.
When you use a company like Duo Leasing, we’ll tell you the pros and cons of each car, based on your needs.

What skills do you need to succeed in this business?

Listening! That is key to great customer service. Get to know what your client needs most: whether they need immediate delivery, the lowest possible price, or a specific color… Clients will normally have a “top item” on their list. Our job is to make sure we get them what they want.

What benefit do you bring your customers?
It’s not the final sticker price on the car that frustrates people; it’s the lack of clarity when a salesman quotes all kinds of figures during the transaction. Taking the time to review all options and terms, while making suggestions based on the client’s needs makes all the difference. Clients want to know where they stand.

What do you find challenging about the car leasing industry?
Technology is changing at a fast pace. We need to keep up with a younger, more tech-savvy, clientele. We need to do the research in order to advise the client on, for example, which gadgets are offered on new cars and how cars will interact with new devices.

In general, who would be better off leasing a car than buying one?

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to that question. If you anticipate high mileage, leasing is the way to go, as certain cars will depreciate at a faster pace than others and the leasing company takes the brunt of the depreciation.

What kind of practical feedback do you get?

Whether my customers are carpool parents or commuters, I will receive valuable real-world feedback. They might mention that this particular car has a terrible blind spot, or that the rear seat is much smaller than the older version of the same car. This information is crucial for helping future clients.

Do clients call you knowing what they want or do they consult with you from the outset?
Most people know the type of car they want: sedan, SUV, minivan, etc. They tend to ask which model makes the most sense for them. I will often know a client’s circumstances, and can provide the insight that, for instance, their elderly father’s wheel chair won’t fit in the trunk of the car they are considering, or the step into the vehicle may be too high for him to manage.

Have you seen any industry changes in the last decade?

I have seen a major shift away from used cars. There are two reasons for this:
Number one, the cost of leasing has dropped, making it a viable option. The premise is that you don’t really know what you’re getting with a used car.
And number two, in the last few years, great new features such as lane departure warning, blind spot monitors, surround-view cameras and more, are offered on even the less expensive cars. Leasing gives you the opportunity to take advantage of new technologies as they come up.

Can you describe a typical workday?
We sell or lease cars every day, but there is always something that makes the day unique. Recently, I got a call from a client in Riverdale. Her son’s car (a 10-year-old spare family car) broke down in Cape Cod. She had all kinds of questions for me: should they get the car fixed there or bring it back to New York? if they fix it there, how much should it cost? can they rely on the information the mechanic there is giving them?
We got on it right away. We did some research and decided the best course of action was for them to have the car towed back to NY. It turned out to be a minor repair so we actually helped the customer save thousands of dollars, even after the cost of towing!

Do you recommend any car safety products?

I like blind spot monitors and the lane departure warning system. Should you get distracted or doze off and drift out of your lane, the system can save your life.

How does your service differ from industry standards?
Our accurate quoting policy and total honesty means there are no last-minute surprises. We won’t play the classic bait and switch game. Our customers get what they were promised!

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Contact info
phone number: 718-782-0500 e-mail: david@duoleasing.com

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