It’s often said that once a car drives off a forecourt that it halves its value. So, whilst the salesman must be rubbing their hands together at the sale, they’ll also from time to time be looking at the state of the concrete.
Solid as a rock, hard as nails, build like a concrete block, etc. doesn’t mean a surface is indestructible.
Whilst the main car showroom’s floor might be coated with medium to heavy use paint, for footfall and occasional vehicular ‘traffic’, the forecourt’s surface is a different matter. Concrete and tarmac surfaces can fall victim to cracks, depressions, blemishes or potholes, and unless repair work is carried out quickly, the damage can spread. Be it for emergency concrete repair work or a larger scale re-surfacing project, putting it off can be costly – not only for the repair work, but to loss of customers. First impressions count, and who’d buy a car from a salesman who can’t take care of their forecourt?
Cracks and depressions are frequently overlooked as being ‘the norm’, but if they are not taken into account during regularly conducted concrete and tarmac surface surveys, they can turn into potholes. Depressions and divots can be a bane to a company. If cars and vans are left parked on forecourts for long periods, water (puddles) can build up underneath them and over a recurrent period of time, weaken the surface.
It’s rare to find chemical, petrol or oil leaks on a car forecourt, unless it’s a very old-school second-hand car dealership, but it’s a different story inside the repair garage.
Blemishes are a discolouration to the concrete surface, which may not look like structural damage, yet. If there is a customer car-park on your property, then there’s likely to be a lot of blemishes.
Tarmac and concrete surfaces that are not cleaned regularly can see the top layer softening around overly-exposed chemical abrasion areas. If there is a line-marked car-park, look central in each space and in more than one case there will be some mid-to-severe blemishing.
As soon as divots or depressions are spotted, it’s time to act, before the surface weakens further and a pothole develops – especially over mid-to-heavy vehicular sections.
Don’t wait for the asphalt to loosen and crack around the edges of a damaged area, or a bigger repair job will need to be budgeted for.
It’s worth noting that it’s not only the tarmac or concrete road surface that may need surveying – it can also be the path or any pedestrian paving area. Frequently these areas are used for vehicle manoeuvring and often become ignored. Think about future sales and the customer’s opinion before you overlook them next time.
Unless the car dealership showroom is a brand new build, with no previous buildings having been on the plot, then it’s likely that areas of the external surfaces have been cut into to lay cables, pipes and/or to repair them. It’s these areas, where the two differently aged surfaces come together, that cracks, splits and craters can occur.
5 additional reasons to survey the forecourt today
- People like to take photographs of a new car they like and share it with friends and family on social media. If there’s any damage, blemishes or worse to the concrete surface, then that’s negative press. Encourage customers to take photos and share them online – by getting those repair jobs done today.
- Some people love a lawsuit, and if there’s any surface damage than could cause an injury to pedestrians, somebody will find it! Yes, the interior showroom may be pristine, with cordoned off areas, gleaming floors and cars, and staff on-hand every minute of the day, but outside? The customer’s safety must come first, but the company’s safety must be a given.
- Every forecourt should look like it’s fit to sell a Rolls Royce, and if your company’s forecourt is different, some people might turn their nose up. There are customers who go to Waitrose or Marks and Spencer instead of Tesco or Asda, just because of brand – so, establish your brand as being a cut above the rest locally and have a stunning showroom, internally and externally.
- Property value – if the long term goal is to sell the company, or the property, then you must anticipate pre-sale opinion. No-one will walk in and make an offer on the company/premises from a rumour, if the outside sales area looks sub-standard. Don’t wait until the last minute to start getting photos online and spreading the word about the company – boost up its social media profile and local press. Then when it’s time to announce publicly about the sale, most of the promotional work has already been taken care of.
- Sell, sell, sell. It’s not all about the sales-person to do the sales – inside, a spotless showroom does a huge amount of first impression sales, so let that ethic be the same for the outside forecourt too. Look to get passer-by traffic turning around and coming back to you by having an external showroom better than the internal one. Some people know they want to go car-shopping, others don’t – try and appeal to both.