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#6445 - 12/25/06 10:51 PM Best real estate agent's car?
Jeffo Offline
Veteran Member

Registered: 12/14/06
Posts: 873
Loc: Eugene, Oregon
Hello again forum!

Been gradually working my way back through the archives of this forum... great stuff, and a great way for a newbie to learn.

I know it's a huge question, but what do you think is the best car for an agent to use? Sedan? SUV? Minivan? Do you think projecting success via an expensive car is always a good thing, or can it sometimes make clients feel like you are overpaid?

What I am coming into the profession with is an '06 Toyota Tundra and a '97 Toyota Land Cruiser. I've used both to drive clients around and both work fine, but I'd like to get the "perfect" vehicle at some point in the future when I can. I have to own a truck due to lifestyle issues, and truth be told a Tundra is a very nice ride, but I can't take more than one other person in it unless they are small kids. the Cruiser is a great vehicle and holds lots of people but it's my wife's car.

Decent gas mileage would be a big plus.

So what do you vote for? What do you USE? Any thoughts on the subject in general?

-jeff
_________________________
(541) 285-5492

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#6446 - 12/25/06 11:13 PM Re: Best real estate agent's car?
Mr. Foreclosure Offline
Major Contributor

Registered: 09/01/06
Posts: 2834
Loc: upstate New York
It needs only be clean and reliable. I prefer buyers to go in their own car when practical, I'll lead in mine. As you may have noted in other threads/posts, agent safety (particularly when dealing with someone new to you) should be part of your showing plan. That includes independent transportation, the more rural the area (like mine) the more important that consideration.

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#6447 - 12/25/06 11:54 PM Re: Best real estate agent's car?
Jeffo Offline
Veteran Member

Registered: 12/14/06
Posts: 873
Loc: Eugene, Oregon
Quote:
Originally posted by Mr. Foreclosure:
It needs only be clean and reliable. I prefer buyers to go in their own car when practical, I'll lead in mine. As you may have noted in other threads/posts, agent safety (particularly when dealing with someone new to you) should be part of your showing plan. That includes independent transportation, the more rural the area (like mine) the more important that consideration.
Interesting. One of my strengths is that I'm good "in person" and I *think* anyway that the time I spend in the car with my buyers is quality time. I guess I can see another side of it, where the client could decompress a little between homes by being in their own car and not having to interact with me! I'll think on that a little; it may be that I am mis-thinking whether it's a good idea to try to have my clients ride with me whenever possible.

Safety has not been something I've put much thought into... then again I'm male, athletic, 6'3" 205 pounds, and I'm not sure what someone would even attack me FOR! The money in my wallet? Anyway I'm peaceful as they come but I don't look like an easy mark.

In rural areas, I do agree that safety is more of an issue. I actually live on 16 acres in a rural area so I know the drill. I'm not sure how seperate cars would make a difference since whatever threat there might be (meth addict, dog, etc) would be coming almost certainly from someone other than my client!

Anyway, not disagreeing with you per se; just that at this point it's my intent to have clients ride with me when possible and when they want to, and that my personal safety is not really an issue. Knock on wood! :-)

As far as clean and reliable... reliable I've got covered... clean is more of a challenge with the Land Cruiser as it's my wife/kid's car! I have already found myself more than once vacuuming the damn thing out minutes before I'm to meet a client.

-jeff
_________________________
(541) 285-5492

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#6448 - 12/25/06 11:58 PM Re: Best real estate agent's car?
Troy Richardson Offline
Member

Registered: 05/31/06
Posts: 425
Loc: Bennington, Vermont
I *do* think it's important to consider your image - are you showing a million dollar home and driving a Yugo (I hope they don't make those anymore, so I'm not offending anyone!) or are you showing two hundred thousand dollar homes driving a Beemer?

A similar topic has been discussed about how you dress, and I think the car is an extension of that. Dress one "level" above your clients was the best advice I had heard.

Maybe the same should be true for the car. It should be clean, smell nice, reliable and not too flashy. I have my car detailed twice a year, washed at least every other week, and I regularly remove the Burger King bags, so my clients can't tell how many gourmet meals I've had.
_________________________
Troy Richardson
Maple Leaf Realty - Commercial Division
210 South Street
Bennington, Vermont 05201
Bennington VT Commercial Real Estate

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#6449 - 12/26/06 01:42 AM Re: Best real estate agent's car?
Tucker TX Offline
Member

Registered: 01/22/06
Posts: 257
Loc: South Texas
Quote:
It should be clean, smell nice, reliable and not too flashy.
I drive an '01 corvette. People love this car and I get nothing but complements on it. Flashy cars say you're successful, build people's confidence in you and sets them at ease. Anyway, 'not too flashy' ain't no fun. Can you say Buick?

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#6450 - 12/26/06 01:50 AM Re: Best real estate agent's car?
Troy Richardson Offline
Member

Registered: 05/31/06
Posts: 425
Loc: Bennington, Vermont
Again, I think that this might be a market thing. If I drove a Corvette I would never be taken seriously in Vermont. I drive the unofficial car of Vermont, a Subaru Outback.
_________________________
Troy Richardson
Maple Leaf Realty - Commercial Division
210 South Street
Bennington, Vermont 05201
Bennington VT Commercial Real Estate

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#6451 - 12/26/06 02:04 AM Re: Best real estate agent's car?
ManFromTheBand Offline
Veteran Member

Registered: 08/23/05
Posts: 706
Loc: Spring Hill, FL
Acura MDX. Very happy with it. Seats 5 comfortably, 7 in a crunch.
_________________________
I'm not an attorney... Jussayin.
Connect with me on Facebook and let's have a party!

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#6452 - 12/26/06 02:05 AM Re: Best real estate agent's car?
realtor1126 Offline
Member

Registered: 09/03/06
Posts: 324
Loc: Southeast Iowa
Working often in rural areas and bad weather, I love my Toyota 4Runner. Only thing I don't like is the low gas mileage. If I had my way, I'd also have an economical car for the times I'm out on my own--maybe a Toyota Prius.

I do agree about the image thing, but personally, I don't like to see a real estate or insurance agent driving around in a megabucks car. My thinking is, "they don't need my money." But I can see how, if you deal with a lot of high-end clients, it might be a necessity.

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#6453 - 12/26/06 04:01 AM Re: Best real estate agent's car?
DreamLV.com Offline
Member

Registered: 11/17/06
Posts: 230
Loc: Las Vegas, NV
Depending on your budget, I would suggest either the Mercedes S500 (or 430) or the BMW 745LI.

I gave my wife my Chrysler 300C, which is a very spacious car, but also very bad on gas (it was getting somewhere in the 12-14mpg range, which can turn gas into an additional mortgage payment if you drive 150+ miles per day). I actually think that it is the ideal car for real estate outside of the damn gas, which is why I purchased it last year. I got every option you can imagine (leather, navigation, dvds, HID headlights, backup sensors, etc.) and only paid $45,000 for it brand new. You can comfortably fit 4 adults in it without a problem (my friends and I are all taller than 6'0 and we've taken road trips in the car with no complaints). It has a ton of trunk space, a 5.7liter HEMI V8, and power/heated everything you can imagine, lol. You will receive more compliments than you can imagine, trust me, I was pleasantly surprised cool !

My next "real estate car" will be a Corvette Z06, lol. If they can't fit in the passenger seat, they will just have to follow me to the house, lol! (Seriously though, the S-class Mercedes, any year (2000-2006) works just fine!)

Your vehicle is basically your office on wheels and it speaks a lot about your success financially, which (to most) is a direct indication of your proficiency and expertise as an agent (you had to have done enough transactions to afford it, at least that is what they assume). Just lease a car and write it off as a business expense!

(While we are on the image topic, invest in a nice watch and some nice shoes as well, everything in between doesn't really matter as much!)

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#6454 - 12/26/06 04:18 AM Re: Best real estate agent's car?
Tucker TX Offline
Member

Registered: 01/22/06
Posts: 257
Loc: South Texas
Vermont is a beautiful place. I've been to Killington and Sugarbush. You really do need a 4wd up there. Us flatlanders only need trucks/4wd to cut across the freeway to the service road and back when one or the other is stalled.

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#6455 - 12/26/06 04:20 AM Re: Best real estate agent's car?
Jeffo Offline
Veteran Member

Registered: 12/14/06
Posts: 873
Loc: Eugene, Oregon
Quote:
Originally posted by DreamLV.com:
Depending on your budget, I would suggest either the Mercedes S500 (or 430) or the BMW 745LI.
(While we are on the image topic, invest in a nice watch and some nice shoes as well, everything in between doesn't really matter as much!)
One thing I have to consider is that Eugene, Oregon is not a place that people flash their money. There are a lot of very wealthy people driving Subaru's and the like.

Another thing I have to consider, again in Eugene Oregon, is that this is a fairly "counterculture" town, and in fact I am a fairly counterculture agent, at least compared to the stereotypical Realtor.

But I'm not sure how hard to play that card. The other two brokers in the small brokerage I work in do very well being a little bit "funky". There's no shortage of funky people in this town who have money and want a home and would prefer a Realtor that is more like them. OTOH, we as a brokerage are not listing the high-end homes in this market!

Well, it's all moot at this point anyway; I need to pull some commissions before it's an issue. As a new agent, even getting a (large) car loan might be tough, since I'm now sort of doubly self-employed (I also run a business) and don't have squat for income to show right now. And I sure ain't tapping my savings that took years to accumulate to make this career jump possible!

I think I could see sort of a mid-level sedan like an Avalon, or a midsize SUV like a Highlander or one of those Lexus SUV's if I sold my Land Cruiser. I know those are not flashy, however.

I think gas mileage will factor into my decision for the first time EVER buying this car, too. I live 25 miles from the population center that I mostly work... that gets brutal at 16 mpg and $3.00/per!

Thanks for the suggestions; keep 'em coming!

-jeff
_________________________
(541) 285-5492

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#6456 - 12/26/06 04:50 AM Re: Best real estate agent's car?
ManFromTheBand Offline
Veteran Member

Registered: 08/23/05
Posts: 706
Loc: Spring Hill, FL
Look into the Lexus RX Hybrid. classy, good on gas (32/city, 27/highway for the FWD version)

overall sounds like something you might want to look into...
_________________________
I'm not an attorney... Jussayin.
Connect with me on Facebook and let's have a party!

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#6457 - 12/26/06 05:06 AM Re: Best real estate agent's car?
pikes peak Offline
Major Contributor

Registered: 12/15/04
Posts: 2794
Loc: CO
A car that is clean and dependable.
As a professional, do you care what your accountant, hairdresser or doctor drives? I don't, and I don't equate their proficiency of what they do by what they own.

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#6458 - 12/26/06 05:15 AM Re: Best real estate agent's car?
Jeffo Offline
Veteran Member

Registered: 12/14/06
Posts: 873
Loc: Eugene, Oregon
Quote:
Originally posted by pikes peak:
A car that is clean and dependable.
As a professional, do you care what your accountant, hairdresser or doctor drives? I don't, and I don't equate their proficiency of what they do by what they own.
I like that thought!

That said, the only difference is that my accountant or doctor doesn't drive me around <g>! I guess part of why I started this thread was to get a feel for the forum's collective wisdom on how the car you drive affects your income (to be blunt!) since it seems like almost a unique profession in that your clients are actually in the dang thing with you...

-jeff
_________________________
(541) 285-5492

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#6459 - 12/26/06 05:58 AM Re: Best real estate agent's car?
Agent 007 Offline
Major Contributor

Registered: 02/05/05
Posts: 2713
Loc: Las Vegas
This is always a depressing, yet undeniable issue for me. I think having a flashy, expensive car is important to show off. Unfortunately, I am still awaiting the opportunity to be able to obtain one. Currently I drive a black 1998 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am. It is fast and flashy, but I don't like that it's not very professional. I plan on buying another vehicle when I sell this one. Hopefully I can sell it sometime soon. I am looking into getting a newer Chevy Tahoe. I think they are perfect for this profession.
_________________________
Len McGuirk
Prudential Americana Group
Direct: (702) 203-6688
Las Vegas Real Estate

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