Could this small thing make a difference to your business?

By
Services for Real Estate Pros with Marte Cliff Copywriting

Today on my way home from a trip to visit my son, I was driving up the highway, traveling at the speed limit, as was the car ahead of me.

As I came around a corner and hit a straight patch of road, a car flew around me.

This isn't unusual, because the "out-of-staters" seem to have an attitude that when they get to Idaho they own the road. In the summer it can be dangerous to pull out onto that highway without stopping to listen first - to see if someone doing 90 is about to appear.

Most residents harbor ill-will toward these speeders, because after all there are children and pets who live near that highway, and sometimes livestock gets loose and wanders out as well. Cars and trucks traveling the speed limit is dangerous enough.

But this was no tourist...

Today, what I noticed was that the car had a sign in the back window. It was a local real estate agent.

As I watched, he pulled around and flew past the car ahead of me as well and soon disappeared from sight.

And I wondered, as I made my way home, if potential customers and clients who saw that agent flying up the road with no regard for the safety of others would form a negative opinion.

Could it make a difference in their opinion of him as a person? Could it make them decide to choose a different agent, if they happened to be in the market to buy or sell?

The strange thing is, now I wonder if it was him driving.

I know where he lives, and when he flew past the car ahead of me, he also flew past the turn-off to go home. I assumed he was late for an appointment at the lake when I saw him keep heading North.

About a half hour later, I was reading my email when a new message came in - from him. (He's an acquaintance who forwards me a lot of political propaganda.) He couldn't have gone to an appointment and been back home that fast.

So... was someone else driving his car, causing people to think he was the speeder?

If you think driving habits could affect your business, it's something to think about when you let someone else use a car with your name clearly displayed across the back window.

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Rainmaker
637,283
Maria Morton
Chartwell Kansas City Realty - Kansas City, MO
Kansas City Real Estate 816-560-3758

Marte, couldn't he have sent the email from his phone or using an airbus card on his laptop?

Jan 29, 2011 06:41 PM #1
Ambassador
2,190,241
Debbie Laity
Cedaredge Land Company - Cedaredge, CO
Your Real Estate Resource for Delta County, CO

That is too true. I used a friend's vehicle today, and I was very respectful of his car, and drove it like I do my own. I'm going to have my name and company name put on my car very soon. That also means that my driving will be seen by all. I take this very seriously won't be doing any bad driving. Like I would anyway. Now I will just be more aware of it.

Jan 29, 2011 06:45 PM #2
Rainer
46,013
Marty Van Diest
Valley Market Real Estate - Wasilla, AK
Your Alaskan Realtor

I used to drive a 57 Ford Fairlane with a 390 Police Interceptor engine.  It was very hard to keep that car going slow.  Worse...I had my real estate signs on it.  You could not miss that car in our area, it was beautiful with a very unique paint job.  

For awhile the speedometer quit working.  I had more than one client report to me how fast I was going on a certain road.  

One local realtor would routinely call me on my cell phone and call me "Mario"...as in Andretti.

I don't have that car anymore and now I'm thinking of putting my name in the back window of my PT Cruiser.  I like to think I drive more carefully.

Jan 29, 2011 07:27 PM #3
Rainmaker
1,544,581
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Maria - I doubt it - I don't think there's any cell service that far North of town. We're "in the boonies."

Debbie - You're just naturally considerate, that's all!

Jan 29, 2011 07:29 PM #4
Rainmaker
1,544,581
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Marty - Apparently it didn't hurt your business, since you're still in real estate.

I know what you mean about some cars being hard to "hold down." One summer when I was in my teens the family let me use my Grandfather's old '53 Cadillac. That car could fly, and it was so heavy and held the road so well that you could be doing 80 and not even feel like you were going fast.

I think that's why they didn't let me keep driving that car...

Jan 29, 2011 07:52 PM #5
Ambassador
2,061,703
Michelle Carr Crowe,Altas Just Call...408-252-8900!
Get Results Team...Just Call (408) 252-8900! . DRE #00901962 . Licensed to Sell since 1985 . Altas Realty - San Jose, CA
Family Helping Families Buy & Sell Homes 40+ Years

Yes, I've thought of that when I make a poor driving decision.

Jan 29, 2011 09:26 PM #6
Rainmaker
3,363,223
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Marte --- interesting post.  It reminds me of the saying "perception is reality".  Was he driving or not, your perception was that he was the driver.  Maybe others would think the same.  We can never control what someone thinks or says about us but we can control our actions.   It's interesting you coincidentally received an email from me shortly after the incident.   Curious, huh?

Jan 30, 2011 04:35 AM #7
Rainmaker
443,684
Melissa Marro
Keller Williams First Coast Realty - The Marro Team - Orange Park, FL
Jacksonville Real Estate and Home Staging

I know when my vehicle used to have my company logo and lettering on the side of it that I hated letting my husband drive my car.  He's from Detroit and thinks nothing of honking, etc.... that just isn't the way it's done here in Charleston. 

You have to be more courteous and exhibit zero "road rage", etc. when it's your name out there for public perception...  

Jan 30, 2011 04:40 AM #8
Ambassador
3,093,114
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

If you are driving around advertising yourself as a real estate agent by your license plate, car magnets, window ad or entire car wrap, be very mindful of how you act while driving.  This is inspiring an entire post for me.

Jan 30, 2011 05:51 AM #9
Rainmaker
1,544,581
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Michelle - Surely you don't do that too often!

Michael - I'm sure others would think the same... the car went around me too fast to catch a view of the driver!

Melissa - Exactly. Everything you do is an advertisement of sorts.

Chris Ann - Glad to inspire. I'll be watching for that one!

Jan 30, 2011 07:27 AM #10
Rainmaker
291,279
Kate Bourland
Marketing with Kate - Redding, CA
Onlilne Marketing Mobile Marketing

I know that they do.  There is an insurance agent in town who is the rudest driver ever.  I will never do business with him.  Have you considered emailing him and telling him what you saw? Maybe it was his kid.  I'd want to know!

Jan 30, 2011 06:00 PM #11
Rainmaker
1,544,581
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Kate - I'm pretty sure it wasn't his kid. They're all grown up and moved away. Unless they were visiting, I suppose. Might have been a girlfriend - and if so I don't want to go there!

Jan 30, 2011 06:32 PM #12
Rainmaker
188,743
Christina ONeal
At Home Real Estate Group - Ripon, CA
Realtor - Ripon California

Marte... So true.  Anyone in business should be in tuned with their driving skills.  Oh it just dawned on me that sometimes I have let my teenagers drive my car. Oh man, I should put a sign in the back window.  (This is not Christina, it's her son).  ok not really, but I should have a conversation to re-iterate the importance of driving politely.  Thanks for the story.

Chrisitna Oneal

Jan 31, 2011 02:02 AM #13
Rainmaker
1,544,581
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Christina - Good idea. Tell them their driving habits could affect whether or not there's money for that next new pair of jeans!

Jan 31, 2011 04:48 AM #14
Rainer
140,514
Maureen Fukumoto
Help-U-Sell Realty Pro - Mililani, HI
Maureen

Marte, I am originally from New York but since moving to Hawaii I've changed my ways.  Everyone here is so polite when driving and an obnoxious driver really stands out. 

Jan 31, 2011 07:05 PM #15
Rainmaker
1,544,581
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Maureen - I wish I could say that about our area.

We aren't generally rude and obnoxious like I've seen in big cities with congested traffic. But we get a lot of tourists who seem to think that when they get out here in the country, common sense and the rules of the road are unnecessary. Excessive speed is the biggest problem.

That's not to say that some of the locals don't speed as well... There have been times when there were people living on our country road that I really hoped I wouldn't meet on a corner.

Jan 31, 2011 07:55 PM #16
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