So, you need to have a nice car to be in real estate, right?
Is this still true? Some people argue that it isn’t. I am not one of them.
I believe in the importance of a first impression. When a Realtor goes to see a new lead for the first time, it is realistic that they will see your vehicle before they see you, and they will already be forming an opinion before that door opens.
Rustbucket? Vespa? Pickup truck? Pigeon dirt? S Class Mercedes? Hybrid? Damaged?
What does your car say about you?
If you don’t want to be flashy, then you shouldn’t, but it’s important to make sure the car is clean and in good repair. In our business we can write off a good portion of the cost of our vehicles on our taxes, so leasing is a good option for making sure your vehicle is covered under warranty and that you are in a current model. When it comes to options, Bluetooth is essential and Navigation is a real bonus. I also love my sunroof.
I think the right car needs to flow from your personality, your business style and where you want your business to go. I think you need something that your can clients relate to and are comfortable in. What do they drive? They will judge your level of success (i.e. competency) or your modesty from your vehicle.
If you are a downtown condo agent, you may be able to get away with a car that seats one passenger, but it’s always better to have a backseat, even if it is just for open house signs and trays of Pusateri’s sandwiches. A Volkswagon Jetta or Golf, Smart Car, Toyota Corolla or maybe the new Fiat 500 would work well.
If you’re into lofts or higher end condos, a MINI Cooper, BMW 3 series or Audi A3 would set the right tone.
If your market is midrange houses, you need a car that can comfortably seat at least a couple or a small family and which speaks to safety and security. You are also going to be at a slightly higher price point, so nicer cars are expected. That being said, I think it’s important that your clients drive nicer cars than you and don’t feel like you are getting paid too much money. Small SUV’s work well here, the Audi Q5 or the A4 Avant, Mercedes GLK, BMW 5 Series, Nissan Maxima, or maybe a Lexus.
If you’re selling higher-end Toronto properties, it’s worth investing in a car that will reassure your clients that you understand the finer things. Some agents have drivers, but still keep their vehicles more modest than their clients. A driver will allow you to be more productive when travelling around the city. Mercedes seems to be king of this level; S Class, GL’s, ML’s are all expected, Range Rovers, Lexus RX 350’s and BMW 7 Series.
There are definitely agents who drive sports cars, but they usually don’t pick up their clients in them, they just show up to the office meetings after a fresh polish.
What do you think are other great Realtor cars? What else makes a good car for a Realtor?