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#285941 - 04/13/09 12:36 PM Let's talk about our cars
DeanMesaAZ Offline

Registered: 07/17/08
Posts: 112
Loc: AZ
So I have this problem with cars... I drive them until they are dead because I like to get my money out of them. Well I have a 1999 Cirrus that will not die it has 278K miles on it.

Runs strong, outside looks good the only real problem is leather seats are cracking and have seat cover on drivers seat.

It never bothered me that I have an older car because I like being frugal and I refuse to have a car payment.

I was in a discussion with another agent who thinks we get judged by our clients on our cars, I disagree.

What do you think? Break down and buy a 8-10K car with cash or should I try to get another year out of this one?
Twitter: @deanouellette

#285943 - 04/13/09 12:54 PM Re: Let's talk about our cars [Re: DeanMesaAZ]
Perky_REALTOR Offline
Mod Squad
Major Contributor

Registered: 11/27/06
Posts: 7689
Loc: PA
We've had this discussion many times on this board - you might want to do a search and see some of the older discussions.

If this discussion takes off though, I'll make it a sticky, since it keeps coming up every few months.

I think a car needs to look presentable. If it were me, I would buy very nice seat covers for your car so that it looks all uniform. If the car is neat, clean, and well cared for I don't think anyone is going to think you're a piece of worthless trash. LOL

You will have opinions all over the map. I drive a Honda Mini Van. I love it, though I'm thinking of getting a Subaru Forester. Used. I never buy new.

#285954 - 04/13/09 02:36 PM Re: Let's talk about our cars [Re: Perky_REALTOR]
estatereal Offline
Major Contributor

Registered: 01/27/07
Posts: 3321
i have been really busy and have not posted lately.

do i drive a decent car because i sold more houses or did driving a nice car help me sell more houses?

i would say...a little of both.

most clients know NOTHING about me until we meet. first impressions are important. if i tell them that i am successful and drive a bucket, they might not believe me. if i drive a nice car and dont sound successful, they might not believe me. you have to have both in my opinion.

when i first meet someone, all they know of me is what they see of me until we start to talk. if they make a decision in thier mind before i get to the door, i have more "catching up to do". if i look the part of a guy who is successful all i have to do once i get to the door is keep the part.

i think that i have more credability when pulling up to a 500k home in a decent car.

if i bring my bucket of a truck (used to make dump runs) to a house they might think that i am desperate for a sale and that could hurt me. if i look as if i make many a sales that could help. your call, but i would say that if you can drive a decent automobile then you should.

i always buy used. i cant rationalize a new car price.

#286073 - 04/14/09 06:52 AM Re: Let's talk about our cars [Re: estatereal]
super realtor Offline
Major Contributor

Registered: 05/01/05
Posts: 8596
Loc: georgia
I have a 1997 Toyota Tercel with 132,000 miles on it. My mom has one with 281,000 miles on it but hers is a 1996. I have almost all original parts on there if you can beleive that. I get letters weekly from Toyota wanting to buy the car back from me because they have a 6 month waiting list for them.

To bad GM is going down the crapper. They are looking at BK and just recalled over 1 million vehicles built in the 1990's because of possible engine fire hazards.

I like buying American but they just don't hold up like the Toyota's.Go 80k in an American car and I will already be looking at the tranny.

The type of car depends on the client. If you have the stuck up type that is superficial (botox,cosmetic surgery,all that crap) then yes image will matter.

I work with developers and list commercial. I always tell people I love my Tercel as it's effecient on cost and gas. People always like the fact that I am cost effecient. They feel like I will look after their bottom line and work to put more money in their pocket.

I have had developers say they would never buy a car new and those people were idiots for paying full price.Newly rich are the idiots who blow their money. Old money people are astute and keep a low profile and always love to save money.

Most people in whatever income bracket are everyday folk looking for an honest business person to trust and do what they say they will do.

#286131 - 04/14/09 09:30 PM Re: Let's talk about our cars [Re: super realtor]
LizL Offline
Major Contributor

Registered: 08/27/05
Posts: 1795
Loc: Missouri
2006 Buick Rendezvous here. It is a sort of SUV, so it looks like a real estate car. It's a Buick, so it doesn't look pretentious. Yes, I bought it used in 2007.

I do think the car makes some difference, and I do believe I'd need a fancy car if I dealt in $500k houses. I just don't believe that an agent has much credibility if the car doesn't almost match the client. I said "almost" because the agent does not necessarily have to play in exactly the same league as the client, but the client does have to be comfortable in the car.
Broker/Owner, REALTORĀ®,GRI, ABR
REO listing/selling since 2004; BPOs only for current clients

#286141 - 04/14/09 10:08 PM Re: Let's talk about our cars [Re: LizL]
Chadly Offline

Registered: 05/31/08
Posts: 75
Loc: Florence, SC
Heck, I just drive a 08" Accord 4dr and it seems to fit all my needs and all type of client ranges. Its good for cheaper prices and more expensive because its newer.
Chad Yates
Realtor/ABR/CRS member
Assist2Sell Smart Choice Realty
843.317.9747 office
843.317.9756 fax

#286143 - 04/14/09 10:12 PM Re: Let's talk about our cars [Re: LizL]
DPaccess Offline

Registered: 04/01/09
Posts: 10
Loc: Upland, California
The car you drive implies alot about you to anyone who agrees to meet you for a professional purpose.

It's the "dress for success" concept. It applies to your whole image. You wouldn't meet a client in a tank-top and board shorts, would you?

lizl has the right idea. Nothing over-the-top, but try to imply that you're not struggling.

People always get caught up in how human nature should work rather than how it does.

The average person would pick lizl over deanmesaAZ or super realtor if they had just that information about them.

It matters.

#286405 - 04/16/09 10:34 PM Re: Let's talk about our cars [Re: DPaccess]
TicoRealty Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/13/09
Posts: 1
Loc: Costa Rica
The car you drive when you take clients to visit properties is a lot like the shoes you wear.

If your car is clean, looks good(not expensive but looks good) and smells nice that is all you usually really need.

For example, if you were driving a client in a BMW but the the car had not been weashed in a few months and the inside smelled bad, that would leave a worst impression then driving a 1996 Tercel.

#286493 - 04/17/09 02:47 PM Re: Let's talk about our cars [Re: TicoRealty]
SheKaep Offline

Registered: 07/09/07
Posts: 259
Loc: Washington, DC
Alot of the times, we are gonna get judged by our cars, dress and other things in or out of the RE I said, all that matters in the end result is that you deliver and REALLY impress your clients. I know we all do it, but you really get another whole kind of education working in Real Estate!

Right now I don't have a car, I get around on public transportation, I will be buying a point A/point B car pretty soon...I just activated my license and signed on with an office at the end of last month. It's a business that takes money to make money, at least in the beginning. I would love to push a Prosche or a BMW, but the income doesn't call for that at the moment. When and if it allows, I will continue to move business and gather gather gather when it comes to generating leads and doing car and style of dress will change more than likely, but my business sense will not

#286502 - 04/17/09 03:22 PM Re: Let's talk about our cars [Re: SheKaep]
Don-COH Offline

Registered: 04/02/08
Posts: 39
Loc: Ohio
I think that what you drive depends on what your target clientele would be. If you are in a fairly large metro area, looking to become the #1 agent with ultra luxury homes, I don't think that you would be taken seriously with a 1998 Ford Pickup. On the flip side, if you are showing some 10 acre horse farms, the Zegna suit and new LS430 probably won't really score you many points either.
For most of us, the lions share of our business will be in the middle of those extremes, and "clean and presentable" rules the day.
On a personal note, I am much more impressed with at 5-10 year old car that is super clean, than some new lease vehicle that rolled right off the lot...
Don in Central OH
My Site:

#286681 - 04/19/09 02:10 AM Re: Let's talk about our cars [Re: Don-COH]
Malok Offline

Registered: 08/18/07
Posts: 441
Loc: Kentucky - in a barn!
I'm sure there is probably a car upholstery repair shop somewhere around you. Whenever my leather seats start to wear, I just take them there and get them fixed. (I like driving the wheels off my cars as well.)

Might be your best bet. smile

Thats assuming of course, that the rest of the car doesn't have a smashed in fender, haze oil smoke, etc. smile

#286713 - 04/19/09 08:38 AM Re: Let's talk about our cars [Re: Malok]
Agent 007 Offline
Major Contributor

Registered: 02/05/05
Posts: 2713
Loc: Las Vegas
I just bought a Cadillac Escalade and I think it reflects a great image of my success and business. I have had several compliments made by clients about my Escalade too.

So I think image matters. I think a vehicle is a part of your image, just like the clothes you wear. This is just my opinion.
Len McGuirk
Prudential Americana Group
Direct: (702) 203-6688
Las Vegas Real Estate

#286743 - 04/19/09 01:53 PM Re: Let's talk about our cars [Re: Agent 007]
Rainbowtyedye Offline

Registered: 01/15/09
Posts: 128
Loc: NJ
Add me to the list of people who drive the wheels off of their cars before getting rid of them. I had an '89 Chevy Beretta that had 198K on it when I traded it in for a '01 Chevy Cavalier. The Cavy had 130K on it when I swapped cars with my BF for his Nissan Maxima. I would have held on to the Cavy until it died but I did need something with 4 doors. Say what you will, but cheap Chevy's that are well maintained never die.

I'm thinking about trading the Maxima in for a Certified Pre-owned Mercedes C300 once I start getting something that resembles a steady income. Looks impressive, but can pick up an '07 or '08 for under $30K.

#286747 - 04/19/09 02:04 PM Re: Let's talk about our cars [Re: Rainbowtyedye]
loveofcreed68 Offline

Registered: 09/30/08
Posts: 161
Loc: IN
I drive an '02 Lincoln Navigator. Bought it used in '04. Now it has over 100k but I still love it. With two kids, the inside is a bit messy but in my area, we don't drive clients around, they meet us. I do believe you are judged by what you drive but again it depends on your clientele. My clients are anywhere from a $100,000 to $350,000.

#287064 - 04/21/09 05:35 AM Re: Let's talk about our cars [Re: loveofcreed68]
ReoSam Offline

Registered: 07/14/08
Posts: 16
Loc: L.A California
I drive a 06 dodge charger custom convertible and a Infinity qx56. On nice days i drive the convertible and if i drive really far i jump into the infinity for a smother ride.

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