Kunau Implement’s two dealerships are decidedly focused on production agriculture. But the DeWitt store is seeing an increase in rural lifestyle customers, with the percentage sitting at 7-10% now, Todd Kunau estimates.

The demand for compact tractors, zero-turn mowers, lawn tractors and other equipment is driven mostly by the dealership’s proximity to the Quad Cities metro area that includes Davenport and Bettendorf, Iowa, and Moline, East Moline and Rock Island, Ill.

Until the mid-1990s there really wasn’t a commitment to the sundown farmer or multi-acre homeowner at Kunau Implement. So in 1994 the company picked up the Kubota compact tractor line. The Kunaus haven’t regretted it. Todd says he would recommend the Kubota contract to any dealer.

“Kubota is a household name, it’s extremely high quality, and they’re very focused on customer needs,” he says. “They have products that serve a niche from many different angles.”

Dick Kunau says his salesmen in DeWitt are adjusting to selling to rural lifestylers, who often discover the dealership while driving on the highway and scoping out equipment choices. These customers might not be familiar with Kunau Implement or its history, which presents a branding challenge for employees.

“A major farm equipment purchase will take weeks even longer, but the lifestyle customer will be make one or two trips and their decision is made,” Dick Kunau says.

“We’ve tried to maintain a low-pressure approach in sales, but that’s somewhat less possible with the urban customers because you might only get one or two shots at them.”