Q&A: How one couple turned their passion for RV travel into profit.
When Stan and Julie Grabiec started RVing in 2007, they had no plans of turning their hobby into an income opportunity.
But that changed three years later when the Ohio natives took the opportunity to become a Good Sam rep team. Now, they travel North America to inspect parks and develop market plans for companies listed in for the Good Sam RV Travel & Savings Guide.
The decision wasn’t made lightly: Stan, an electrical engineer, and Julie, a former art teacher and entrepreneur, had highly successful careers. But they couldn’t resist the chance to hit the road. They took some time from their busy travels to share their experiences with us.
What got you into the RV lifestyle?
We were avid boaters on Lake Erie while living in Cleveland. We sold our boat when we moved to California, but it seemed like a great area of the country to try RVing. We bought our first rig in early 2007.
How did you become reps?
While walking the dog at one of our favorite RV parks, we met a Good Sam consultant. She explained what that entailed, and we applied. We were offered a territory for the 2010 season.
What aspects of the rep life do you like the most?
We’ve seen beautiful sights, from the Florida Keys to the New England coast to the national parks in Montana. We also enjoy the relationships we’ve made with RV park owners over the years. Sometimes, while working, we pinch ourselves and ask, “And we get paid to do this job?”
What are some of the perks of the job?
As with any sales job, you don’t get them all, but it feels great when you’ve helped an owner promote his park and get to write a contract. We also attend annual training conferences at beautiful locations every year.
What skill set/quality is most important in rep teams?
This job is persistence, persistence, persistence. You must adapt to new realities, products and tools. The Internet and mobile devices are two examples of this kind of change.
You must have solid verbal and writing skills. Listening to the customer and being able to quickly respond with the appropriate products is essential.
You also should be compatible with your spouse/partner and divide responsibilities based on individual skills. Flexibility is key! (Check out more rep stories).
Do you have what it takes? See below for more info.