We had the good fortune of connecting with Adam Slobin and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Adam, what do you attribute your success to?
The truth behind the success of DriveWise Auto and our brand is that we treat people the way that we want to be treated in life, and as consumers ourselves.
I grew up with my father telling me to ‘do unto others as you’d have them do unto you’. It stuck, and it’s meaningful to me, so it’s something that I purposefully and intentionally weave into my personal life, my professional life and the brand of DriveWise Auto.
Unfortunately, the auto industry has a reputation of greed and distrust, and being successful in it, in my opinion, has everything to do with building trust and relationships – something I believe you can only do if you treat people with the kindness, dignity and respect that you’d like the world to bring to you…no matter who you are, where you’re from, how much money you make, where you live, or what kind of car you have or want.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
DriveWise Auto was born from a philosophy that it’s amazing to create experiences that help people feel good. For our clients, that means that we create amazing auto-buying and leasing experiences that leave them thinking, “Wow, that was the greatest experience [buying, leasing or selling a car] I’ve ever had.” We do so having learned over the years what people hate about leasing and buying cars, and simply not doing those things!
It also means that we think it’s important to pay it forward to those that are not our clients, which by way of our being Charity Driven means that every time we delivery a vehicle, we donate a portion of our proceeds to a charitable organization chosen by our client. This way, when they have a great experience, we make sure that we’re supporting an interest of theirs. In 14 years in business, we’ve contributed to medical research, education, the environment, homelessness, women’s rights, poverty, animal rights, racial equality, and so many more. 14 years ago, DriveWise Auto became the first and only Charity Driven Auto-Buying and Leasing Service. We still are, and to date, have donated in excess of $500k to charities large and small across the country, one car at a time in increments of between $50 & $100 per car!
Getting to a place where we deliver anywhere from 75 – 100 cars per month wasn’t easy. It came from what most would call ‘grass-roots’ marketing, the success of which comes from people telling other people about their experiences. And, the auto industry isn’t easy. Despite our efforts to be honest and upfront and to make our clients experiences easy, we’re met time and again with the battle of making sure that people realize and educating people enough to know that we’re not what most people think the auto industry is. We take great pride in keeping it light, fun, and straight-forward, which we believe car buying and leasing should be. And, we make sure to give the same energy, time and effort to every client we have the opportunity to work with, no matter what kind of car they’re looking for or how much they’re looking to spend. What kind of car people want is of no consequence to us. (In 20 years of doing this, I’ve never quite figured out the right way to say that I don’t care what kind of cars my clients get so long as they feel educated about their decision, they’re happy with the outcome and they had a great time along the way.)
Along the way, we’ve learned that wasting people’s time is a waste of our time, that even if they don’t like it, the truth is what people want and need to hear; that we can feel good about our work when we’ve made a positive impact on people’s auto buying experiences, even when we’re not the company to hand them their new car keys. In fact, it’s not infrequent that those people become amazing referral sources! We’ve also learned that even as technology grows, that auto-buying and leasing is still a massively large and important decision in people’s lives, and that a little hand-holding (sometimes a lot) goes a long way.
We love what we do. It’s challenging, and it’s hard, and we jump through hoops to do what we do, but we’re willing to do it over and over just to see how happy our hard work makes people feel!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Living in L.A., there are tons of things to do and to see, but I’m a creature of habit, so if a friend came into town for a week or so, we’d need to visit my favorite restaurants, take a stroll down the boardwalk at Venice beach, hit the Pantages Theater, the beach, 3rd Street promenade, and some of the amazing LA mountaintop views. We’d also have to take a ride on the beach bike path, and a hike in the Santa Monica mountains. It’s possible we’d make a trip to Disneyland, and depending on the time of year, a day trip to snowboard in Big Bear. We’d take a drive to Santa Barbara for the day, and if we had the time, do some wine tasting in Los Olivos. We’d also have to have some down time, and just hang at a beautiful park or picnic on a mountain top. And, if we had the time, we’d roadtrip to one of my favorite places, ever: UC Berkely, my alma mater!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
The list of people that I am thankful for is, candidly, endless. I’m thankful for the auto-buying and leasing service my career and my craft were born from. I spent six years there. It’s where I am clear that the foundation of DriveWise Auto’s success comes from. I’m immeasurably thankful for my wife who from the time I came home 15 years ago, having just had a newborn, was willing to support my desire to take a massive risk by jumping ship, creating a brand of my own, and who through the ups and downs of being a small business owner has been my biggest fan, my greatest supporter and my most consistent source of encouragement. I’m thankful for my kids who’s interest in my success and the success of DriveWise Auto inspire me to keep doing better, and growing. I’m thankful for my extended family who has been the best support system a guy could ask for! I’m thankful for some of the people in the industry who I’ve met along the way and who, even without knowing it, have taught me in’s and out’s that are now staples of how DriveWise Auto operates on a daily basis. I’m thankful for my mother who taught me to live my life and as an extension of it to run my business with honesty and integrity, and to always put my best foot forward. I’m thankful for my team (past and present) who ‘on the daily’ do everything they can to create amazing client experiences and to uphold the philosophy and 5-Star brand that is DriveWise Auto. And, I’m immeasurably thankful for the community around me and my company who for 14 years have allowed and helped DriveWise Auto to be successful with practically no advertising whatsoever!