Why You Should Thank the Next Person That Compares You to a Used Car Salesman

Mortgage and Lending NMLS #238304

I was wondering what would happen if used car salesmen were called Wheeltors, and real estate agents were called "used house salesmen"?

Do you think that Wheeltors would stand around at the car dealership wondering why people would lump them in the same sleazy category as some "used house salesman"?

After abandoning my real estate career to join the family business I figured this out: The reason I was (accidentally) so good at selling cars was because I had been a Realtor BEFORE my husband got the crazy idea to buy a car business.

Go ahead. SQUIRM.

I know you don't like thinking that you have any similarity to someone who sells cars for a living.   Selling used houses is far superior different.

But here's the truth: Wheeltors and used house salesmen have a lot more in common than handing over keys at the end of a transaction. 

In both cases:

  1. Customers are nervous because they are making a major purchase
  2. Customers usually must finance this purchase
  3. The world makes judgments about you based on what you drive and where you live. That makes the decision emotional
  4. Buying a house or buying a car is one of the only purchases where there is negotiating. In our culture, negotiating is NOT second nature. It is uncomfortable.
  5. Other than first timers, the old house or the old car has to go away before you can get the new one.
  6. You want to make sure you are not buying a moneypit
  7. You appreciate a pristine presentation from staging/detailing
  8. All that fine print and paperwork makes you crazy.
  9. Secret thought # 1: "Am I paying too much?"
  10. Secret thought # 2: "Does this salesperson have my best interests at heart? Or only his commission?"

Maybe...just maybe... what makes a used house salesman the same as a Wheeltor is much more important than what makes them different.

Maybe respect is overrated. Respect is about what other people think, after all.

But if respect is important to you then understand you don't get it by showing a lack of respect for another hard working soul.

Respect is not something you get by claiming your superiority or by explaining all the reasons you deserve to have respect in comparison to another.

We cannot demand that the world respect our profession.

Respect is a lot like trust. The only way to get it is to earn it.

You do it one set of keys at time.


Written by Janet Guilbault, Mortgage Banker, Broker and Direct Lender Based Out of the San Francisco Bay Area




Re-Blogged 1 time:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Maria Marriott 12/12/2009 09:08 AM
Real Estate Sales and Marketing
The Ninety-ninth Percentile
real estate agent
selling real estate
smarter ways to sell real estate

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Richard Shuman
The Only B.S. I Have is from the University of Massachusetts - Longwood, FL
Realtor, Broker - Preferred Realty of Florida - ww

What a great post - Great Points

Thanks for sharing!

Dec 09, 2009 08:31 AM #1
Janet Guilbault
Walnut Creek, CA
San Francisco Bay Area Direct Mortgage Lender

Thanks Richard. Love your logo. LOL Skip the Bull. That's great.

Dec 09, 2009 08:38 AM #2
Julia Odom
Select Realty Professionals - Chattanooga, TN
Chattanooga Homes for Sale

Love the term Wheeltor. Many moons ago my dad went from being a builder, broker & used house salesmen to becoming a Wheeltor. He never looked back.

Dec 09, 2009 08:45 AM #3
Tom Boos
Sine & Monaghan Realtors, Real Living - Grosse Pointe Farms, MI
Providing the very best of service to Sellers and

A Sales career is challenging no matter what the product is that you are selling.  I have great respect for anyone who has "answered the call" to be a Sales Professional.  Some of the best salespeople I know happen to sell automobiles, while some of the worse sell homes.  It's all about professionalism and how serious one is to match a "client" with a "product" that will best suit his needs and pocketbook.

Dec 09, 2009 08:52 AM #4
Janet Guilbault
Walnut Creek, CA
San Francisco Bay Area Direct Mortgage Lender

Tom: Thanks for a great comment. You summed up what I was trying to say perfectly. Based on my experience the sales staff in ANY organization has never gotten the respect they deserve. Those that do selling are not celebrated, they are considered low on the respectablitity scale.

But I agree with you. Selling is not easy. The best of the lot (no pun intended) deserve reward and respect. But I'm okay with just the reward as long as I respect myself.

Dec 09, 2009 09:11 AM #5
Janet Guilbault
Walnut Creek, CA
San Francisco Bay Area Direct Mortgage Lender

Julia, while in the car business, I never introduced myself as the owner of an auto leasing company. I ALWAYS introduced myself as a used car salesperson instead.(It was true, we sold our cars that came off of lease)

It was important to me to see their reaction to this, since everyone was far too shocked, and far too polite to say what they were thinking "What the hell is she doing selling cars?"

I learned this trick from my doctor clients. I noticed they all drove beat up old cars and it was like pulling teeth to get them to admit they were doctors.

Obviously they had discovered that people make judgments....good or bad....based on your stated profession.

It helps you see the stuff people are made of, you know?


Dec 09, 2009 09:18 AM #6
Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi
NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656 - New Lenox, IL
708.921.6331 - 37 yrs experience

Janet:  Your last sentence summed it up perfectly.  We must focus on the individual we are servicing at the time and earn their business.  For the present.  For the future.  As a professional in any sales position, we earn it one individual at a time.  If we don't, we fail ...

Thanks for the great thought-provoking piece ...


Dec 09, 2009 10:07 AM #7
Kate Ford
Get-Your-Best-Mortgage-Rate.com - San Diego, CA
Ask Kate a mortgage question...

One of my daughters buying a house told me she has the perfect Realtor, one who listens. I can tell that agent earned her respect!

Dec 09, 2009 10:11 AM #8
Janet Guilbault
Walnut Creek, CA
San Francisco Bay Area Direct Mortgage Lender

Gene: The only person's respect that I care about is the one I helped to buy a house. After a long career of being in "sleazy" sales positions I would say this: A lot of the reasons sales people do not get respect is because of they way we are paid, not because of what we do.

In addition, what appears easy to others is NOT easy at all. Time and time again, the people within an organization who criticize the sales staff the loudest, are the ones who fall on their face when they try to switch over to selling.



Dec 09, 2009 10:17 AM #9
Janet Guilbault
Walnut Creek, CA
San Francisco Bay Area Direct Mortgage Lender

Hey Kate: Whenever I am the customer and someone is selling ME something, the number one thing I am looking for is someone who takes the time to listen and the time to understand.

It is rare, unfortunately, to find this in the sales world.

Dec 09, 2009 10:19 AM #10
Bill Gassett
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Hopkinton, MA
Metrowest Massachusetts Real Estate

When you are in sales it is easy to be classified. The goal is to be classified in the best light possible:)

Dec 09, 2009 10:29 AM #11
Janet Guilbault
Walnut Creek, CA
San Francisco Bay Area Direct Mortgage Lender

Bill: I agree..and also to ignore those who seek to classify you in a negative light.

Dec 09, 2009 11:25 AM #12
Melina Tomson
Tomson Burnham, llc Licensed in the State of Oregon - Salem, OR
Principal Broker/Owner, M.S.

The problem with our industry is that we don't respect ourselves enough set our standards higher. I mean in Oregon they talked about making so that in order to keep your license you had to close just one trasaction a year. One.  It died in the committee due to backlash. Sheesh...

Seriously, we refuse to make our entry standards harder, keeping your license harder.  As such we disrespect those professionals that work really hard to build up the profession.  So then we rant about each other and bash other business practices rather than do the hard thing and lobby for tougher standards. It is always easier to point out the ills of other professions, rather than take a long hard look at the ills in our industry.

Dec 09, 2009 12:46 PM #13
Janet Guilbault
Walnut Creek, CA
San Francisco Bay Area Direct Mortgage Lender

Melina: You said it far better than I did. I was very uncomfortable with the recent featured post about used car salespeople.

 You are so right. We do not need to bash. We need to concentrate on raising our own standards.


Dec 09, 2009 01:11 PM #14
Barbara S. Duncan
RE/MAX Advantage - Searcy, AR
CRS, GRI, e-PRO, Searcy AR

This blog was very cleverly written.  I like the used house salesman phrase. 

Dec 09, 2009 09:05 PM #15
J. Philip Faranda
J. Philip Faranda (J. Philip R.E. LLC) Westchester County NY - Briarcliff Manor, NY

Buyers are wrecks. They are stressed and nervous, so they'll be understandably difficult in some cases, and sometimes they'll say unkind things. I've had plenty thank me at the closing for putting up with them. We have to porve ourselves over and over to new people. That's just the business.

Dec 10, 2009 04:57 AM #16
Maria Marriott
Executive Properties - Roseville, CA
Realtor - DBRealEstateTeam.com

Janet...I love the post. We're all sales people and agree that the ONLY way to get trust is by earning it. I'm re-blogging this one :) !

Dec 12, 2009 09:05 AM #17
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