Women in Remarketing: Christina Shepard of BSC/Bel Air Auto Auction

Auto Remarketing is recognizing the 2022 Women in Remarketing honorees in the May issue of the magazine, and will be posting Q&As with each of these outstanding leaders on the website.

Next up is Christina Shepard, who is dealer sales and marketing manager, BSC America/Bel Air Auto Auction.

Auto Remarketing: What is the top trend you’re watching in remarketing/ wholesale automotive this year?

Christina Shepard: Working in the auctions, new-car inventory and wholesale pricing are always top of mind for me. The lack of supply and increase in demand that we have seen over the last 2 years is something brand new in my 10-plus years at Bel Air Auto Auction. Adding in new factors, such as rising gas prices and additional supply chain disruptions, it is difficult to predict where the market will go. It has been a strong seller’s market, with wholesale departments having record breaking profits year-over-year.

Buyer’s criteria for purchasing units have been greatly relaxed in a continued effort to obtain enough used car inventory for their lots, to supplement the lack of new cars. It has made for an exciting time in the auction industry, and I am eager to see what the next few months will bring.

AR: How has technology/innovation impacted your specific area of remarketing/wholesale the most?

Shepard: Technology allows us to stay connected with our customer base. When the pandemic hit, we were forced to get creative with how we interacted with everyone, since so many were on stay-at-home orders. Since customers couldn’t come to us, we had to figure out a way to bring the auction to them. We knew we needed to think outside of the box and use technology to our advantage, so we started a video walk-around program that allowed potential buyers to get a full view of the car from the comfort of their home.

At the height of COVID, we were sending out videos to customers across the country, helping us maintain our traditionally strong conversion rate. As restrictions eased, we discovered that some customers had become quite accustomed to this new way of “walking” cars, so we decided to continue this program and off er it as a selling point to potential new customers. It has allowed us to branch out to new buyers, increasing our simulcast participation on units that don’t typically see as much bidding as those with full condition reports. This helped bring together our brickand-mortar auction with the quickly rising desire for digital options.

AR: What piece of career advice would you have for someone new to the industry?

Shepard: I would say that with all the advances in technology and the digital marketplace we have seen over the years, to never forget the importance of your personal connections with the people behind it. I began my auction career as an on the road dealer sales representative. It was the relationships I built early on with my customers that allowed me to grow our market share and bring more buyers and sellers to the auction.

Once I had gained their trust as a client, our continued rapport opened the door for me to gain referrals from them to obtain new prospects for the sale. As I advanced in my career, opportunities like attending the Auction Academy allowed me to network with professionals from every corner of the remarketing world. I cherish the relationships that I made over those two years and have invaluable industry allies that I can reach out to whenever the need arises.

AR: What is your proudest moment/accomplishment, career-wise?

Being nominated for this award is definitely one of the proudest moments in my career. I am so grateful to the Nichols family and the Bel Air Auto Auction for all the opportunities they have afforded me over the years