For Katie Bursey, it doesn’t feel like work
“I’m not sure, exactly, how the business office got to be known as the business office in the car industry,” says Katie Bursey.
Her official title is Financial Services Manager, but in truth, she does much more. Once you’ve placed a deposit on a car and signed your bill of sale, it’s Katie that takes care of arranging your financing and leasing approvals, verifying your insurance coverage, getting your vehicle licensed and plated, and scheduling the delivery of your new vehicle.
There is, surprisingly, a lot that goes into that last part: the car needs to be prepared and detailed, there is a stack of paperwork to get done, and the delivery bay needs to be arranged. If you’ve ordered accessories or any protection options, they have to be installed and applied by different departments within the dealership. All of this can happen, if a vehicle is in stock, in the space of less than 48 hours.
While entering the business office after buying a car can be viewed by some buyers as an imposition on their time, Katie feels it’s important for her to fully explain the options available upon a purchase. Her office provides an array of protection and cosmetic options, including stone guard, window tinting, paint and interior protection, lease protection and extended warranties. While each comes with an additional cost, she explains that they can save customers money in the long run.
“Let’s take lease protection, for example. It covers any appearance-related repairs, $1,000 an item up to a total of $10,000. It ensures a smooth transition to your next vehicle, with none of the surprise charges that come up at the end of a lease where dents, scratches and other cosmetic damage needs to be repaired. Similarly, appearance protection covers you for the length of time you choose, for a similar amount; there’s no deductible, you don’t have to deal with your insurance company, and you ensure your car is always looking its best.”
Katie started in the car business in 2002 after studying early childhood education at Niagara College and spending six months working on a cruise ship. She spent several years commuting between her home in the Newmarket area and downtown Toronto, where she established the business office at Mini Downtown, and subsequently worked at BMW Toronto. As she developed her network, she became aware of an opening at H.J. Pfaff Audi through a friend in the organization. The timing was fortuitous; she’d just become a mom, and the shorter commute meant she could spend more quality time with her family.
Still, her typical day runs from 9:00 am to 8:00 pm, par for the course in the car business but long hours by most standards.
“It would be different if I didn’t like working here so much,” she says. “But from the time I first came in for an interview, everything just felt right. The environment, the people, are wonderful; everybody seemed to be so happy here. So while I spend a lot of hours at work, I’m with my friends every day. I love cars and I love the people I work with, so to me, it doesn’t really feel like a job.”