"The shortage of inventory has hurt us, but we're turning our inventory, I think, at a better pace," he said. "And it's all stemmed from our marketing."
More than 35 percent of the dealerships' sales come from social media posts. Last year, in a town of fewer than 5,000 residents, the Henson dealerships made more than $6 million, five times their profit before Barbosa and a co-owner bought them in late 2018. The three stores, located between Houston and Dallas, sold a total of 250 to 275 new and used vehicles a month in 2021.
"We measure everything. That's something I learned. You've got to measure all your analytics," said Barbosa, who co-owns the stores with Foundation Automotive Corp., a Canadian dealership group that has expanded into the U.S. in recent years.
The Henson Brand stores track their return on investment, but "we really want to go after our return on engagement," Barbosa said. "The more people engage with our stuff, the better opportunity we have to sell them something at some point or connect with them."