Sure, Miami may be a hot spot for tourists looking for a tropical getaway. But working for various dealerships in the city was anything but paradise for Greg Budd.
Greg, who now works as the Pre-Owned Sales Manager at Garber-owned dealership Delray Buick GMC in Delray Beach, Florida, took a few hits — personally…professionally…literally — at those Miami dealerships where he used to work.
With a background in finance, Greg wanted to help dealership customers. His approach? Be honest about financial matters. But the dealerships’ moral compasses weren’t exactly pointing north.
“I started out in Internet sales and then I got into finance,” Greg explained. “I had a prior career in banking, and I felt my knowledge of how finance works and how it applied to the customer and how to explain payments — it all came naturally. It was funny because no one at the dealerships wanted to give me a chance. They said I’d be too honest about it. I said, ‘We should be honest.’ But that was not the car business way there. They operated under the, ‘We don’t care what you do, as long as you don’t get caught’ mentality.
Greg knew he needed to find an employer with integrity and values.
Thankfully, he found all of that – and more — with Garber.
Rolling with the Punches
When Greg worked at various dealerships in Miami, he noticed the end goal was the priority, not the how or whys.
Greg -— who describes Miami as “an aggressive city” — felt the dog-eat-dog attitude on a daily basis.
“They didn’t care how you got the job done, just as long as you got it done,” he said. “In Miami, you’d get threatened, you’d get beat up. It was a different world down there. I was sucker punched by a customer before. I was talking to the husband of a customer and he wasn’t happy about his interest rate, and then she punched me out of nowhere.”
The daily mental grind impacted Greg’s attitude. It was time to take action.
“You get to the point where you get jaded, and I just decided the money was not worth it,” he said. “I had a conversation with the missus and said, ‘I want to work for someone else’ and someone mentioned Garber. I applied to Garber through LinkedIn.”
So why did he apply to work with Garber versus another dealership?
“Garber’s reputation is what got me to apply,” Greg explained. “And I’ve learned since working here that the reputation is 100% accurate. We treat people fair and customers fair. It’s not money-first; it is customer first and money secondary. That’s what I needed to hear. Where I was from, it was money first, customer second. Garber is not like that. That’s one of the reasons I left Miami to come here.”
A Balanced Life
Greg joined Garber as the F&I Manager in October 2019. The contrast between his past and present were staggering.
“Since working for Garber, I am more patient,” he said. “I was a little high strung before. When you’re in an environment that is going 150 mph and doesn’t care about you at the end of the day, and you feel like you’re a number, it changes your mindset. You get aggressive. You lose any loyalty for the business and you lash out more. You carry that onto your customers. Then you take it home and your wife says, ‘Why don’t you take the garbage out?’ and you look at her like she’s got three heads. But at Garber, I don’t deal with any of that. In this environment, I don’t come home upset. I’m chill. I don’t need to sit and meditate for half an hour.”
Nearly three months into his stint with Garber, Greg got promoted to his current role as Pre-Owned Sales Manager in December 2019. Since working here, he said he is amazed at Garber’s dedication to family time.
“I really appreciate the schedule that Garber allows us to have,” Greg said. “You actually can have a life here. When you leave at 6, you leave at 6. You can have quality time outside of Garber. You can have a personal life and a business life at the same time.”
In his early days in Miami, Greg felt like he was on an island. Now at Garber in Delray Beach (45 minutes north of Miami), he can share his opinions without fear of appearing weak.
“At the other places I worked, you didn’t talk to anyone,” he explained. “You had no one to talk to about problems. You did not show any weaknesses. Here at Garber, it’s like, ‘I have a question or concern that we should address.’ It’s not a weakness to ask questions or say, ‘I don’t understand’ or do something different. They value your opinion. There isn’t screaming or yelling here.”
He said he now feels valued and heard. Most of all? He’s relaxed.
“The way we are treated here at Garber has made me more relaxed,” he said. “Our General Manager trusts me. He’s not on us every five seconds, micromanaging. Everyone respects and trusts that you’re going to do your job. And it all gets done. We communicate with each other. Everyone listens and cares. Everyone I work with has the same relaxed attitude. Your opinion matters here. Your voice matters”
Because his professional life has vastly improved, Greg’s family is seeing the positive impact at home, too.
“I could actually eat dinner with my family once I started working for Garber,” he said. “It’s huge because you miss that back and forth with your family. It’s nice to have time to sit down and have your family together and the sunshine is still out. It’s nice. Your children remember. Your wife remembers. It’s nice. It’s not all about the money. We can kayak, we can go to the in-laws…that’s our focus now. Garber helps me have a life.”
First job? Kirby Vacuum Cleaners. I sold vacuum cleaners door to door. I was 18 and my girlfriend at the time said, “You need to make $150 a week” so I went and knocked on 100 doors a day.
First car? Ford Mustang. ’69. Pea green. It was ugly but it was a car.
Three things you can’t live without? Family, my kayaks, yoga
Something people would be surprised to know about you? I go to hot yoga three times a week. The room is about 90 to 100 degrees. I’m trying to learn meditation right now.
Best advice you’ve received? “Treat people the way you want to be treated.” A guy I knew named CT Henry who worked at a jewelry store told me that.