Des Moines, IA – When Des Moines business woman Mary Lawyer bought her first used car from Tab Miller eight years ago, it wasn’t just a transaction. It was the beginning of a relationship focused on her driving wants. She didn’t find what she wanted on the lot but she’s never looked back.
“In that time, I have traded three vehicles,” Lawyer says. ”And in each case, Tab has been wonderful to work with to determine which kind of vehicle was right for me. I like to have low miles and relatively newer model so I trade pretty often. He finds me a great deal. He’ll scour the earth for the right vehicle for your needs.”
It’s Miller’s customer-focused approach that is the basis of the award-winning used vehicle dealership he and his wife, Mona, founded less than three years ago. Preowned Solutions, located in Urbandale, helps customers find everything from that first car to boats and trailers.
At the 2014 National Independent Auto Dealers Association in Las Vegas, they represented Iowa in the competition for National Quality Dealer of the Year. Competing with dealerships, some up to 10 times their size, Preowned Solutions was selected as one of 19 finalists that were given recognition and had their story told at the ceremony.
“We just do things differently here,” notes Miller. “From the minute you drive on the lot to walking in the door, we are not what people of think of when shopping for a used car. And we want it that way.”
“Between us, we knew there had to be a better way of helping customers with their vehicle needs,” Miller says. “From financing to service after the sale, we believe in being with our customers every step of the way. We also know that means we are partners in meeting their needs.
“We took what we knew and the positive feedback from those customers and turned it into a one of a kind car buying experience,” says Mona Miller, who spent years in the banking business. “We are working “outside of the box,” changing the way people thinking about and actually buy used cars.”
The dealership itself is as unusual as the approach. The refurbished building Preowned Solutions calls home includes a relaxed atmosphere, living room type seating, a fireplace and yes, even a family dog, Maggie.
Equally unusual is that a dealership as young as the Millers’ would be recognized not only nationally as one of the 19 finalists but also as the Iowa Independent Auto Dealers Association 2014 Quality Dealer of the Year. Miller started his automotive career in 1975 but he and his wife started Preowned Solutions in October 2011. An award decided by their peers, admiration from customers, fellow business people from the community garnered the Miller’s recognition, and some of the very dealers the Millers compete with for customers
Since first being awarded in 1976, the National Quality Dealer Award has come to embody all that it means to be a dealer who is committed to quality, excellence, and outstanding customer service while making their community a better place for everyone. This award honors dealer nominees representing their state associations from across the country. The award has become more and more coveted because the standards and what it takes to achieve the award reaches new levels with each recipient selected.
“Just representing Iowa was an honor,” Miller says. “But it also supports the excellence we believe can exist in the used vehicle industry and new options for consumers both here in Iowa and across the U.S.”