Landlords....Be CAREFUL What Car You Drive to Your Rental Properties

Property Manager with Gibson Management Group, Ltd.

This article from the Contra Costa Times (SF Bay Area of CA) shows the CONTINUAL perception that Landlords are RICH.


CA Landlord Drives Mercedes to Collect Rent$


The second paragraph points out that the Marin County (very RICH) retired architect drives to his Port Richmond (very POOR) rental properties in a Mercedes.....can I get a little Janis Joplin here! while the 74 year old retired Marin architect can certainly drive whatever car he wants for FUN....maybe he should have a 10 year old “beater” truck with good tires and locking doors to go collect his rent in Port Richmond.


From my FIRST day as a property manager, I was cautious of what type of car I drove.  Normally I would have 2 cars - FUN and WORK - and when time$ were tight, I had only the WORK car....and YES!  when I was renting high-rise condo units in Hawaii (prospect client would never see my car), I drove a Mercedes...I traded it for a Datsun (Nissan) station wagon when my husband and I re-located to NoCA in the early 80s



So NOW? WORK car is a 3 year old LEXUS RX....and my FUN (dog car) is a 4 year old LEXUS IS that I can still carry signs in the trunk if needed.

Posted by

Wallace S. Gibson is a Certified Property Manager with over 50 years of property management experience and expertise.  She maintains a specialized property management business in Central Virginia serving Albemarle, Greene, Fluvanna and Louisa counties  


View our available Charlottesville, Albemarle and Lake Monticello rental homes online with photos and floor plans

" be a Virginian, either by Birth, Marriage, Adoption, or even on one's Mother's side, is an Introduction to any State in the Union, a Passport to any Foreign Country, and a Benediction from the Almighty God...." Anonymous



This entry hasn't been re-blogged:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
Just for Fun
Virginia Albemarle County Charlottesville
Cars and more Cars
Property Management
Rental Agents and The Single Family Rental Market
rental property management
homes for lease
homes for rent
lake monticello

Spam prevention
Show All Comments
JC Melvin - Commercial & Business Broker
JC Melvin - KW Southwest - Las Vegas, NV
The ONE Thing Workshop Trainer

Let the games begin! Too bad it has to be this way but people think differently and justify things in their mind... Probably a smart move if you own a bunch of rentals...

JC in Vegas

Jun 27, 2014 12:37 AM #6
Tamra Lee Ulmer
Arizona Resource Realty - Payson, AZ
NRBA ~FORCE~ Over 1000 REO Assets SOLD!

Wallace, Yes, sometimes impression works for different situations. I have a work and fun car all in one. It's also a 4 Wheel Drive. My Hummer is ideal too for the different rough Terrain I have to drive through from time to time to get to certain properties. It's multi-use vehicle, the one I drive the most.

Jun 27, 2014 03:58 AM #7
Karen Mathers - REALTOR®
Keller Williams Vero Beach - Vero Beach, FL
When it Matters, Choose Mathers! 772-532-3221

It does make a difference what you drive when showing properties, but I never gave much thought to the idea of what to drive when you are collecting rents.  I can imagine some types of tenants would get the false idea that you don't really need their rent on time as you are doing just fine while they are struggling.  Interesting point to consider. 

Jun 27, 2014 03:58 AM #8
Wallace S. Gibson, CPM
Gibson Management Group, Ltd. - Charlottesville, VA

The "tenants" in the article probably think that their rents are paying for the MB...the fact that the landlord is 74 and a professional who worked hard all of his life does not enter their minds

Jun 27, 2014 04:00 AM #9
Diana White-Pettis
Bennett Realty Solutions - Upper Marlboro, MD
GRI, CDPE, CNE, WHC Upper Marlboro Homes for Sale

It's unfortunate that this make a difference.  But when showing properties, we need to be very careful with the cars we drive since some people don't think beyond what their eyes see.

Jun 27, 2014 05:57 AM #10
Dan Hopper
Dan Hopper - Gold Way RE - Westminster, CO
Denver Broker / Author / Advocate/Short Sale

Great article, Wallace.  Yes, it is important to "mirror" the client / customer, that makes them comfortable with you.  Not the time to impress them with expensive toys!!

Jun 27, 2014 06:23 AM #11
Jane Chaulklin-Schott
TEAMCONNECT REALTY - (407) 394-9766 - Orlando, FL
TeamConnect Luxury Homes - Orlando, Florida, 32836

Very wise post, Wallace. This thinking runs across a gamut of areas in our lives. One great example is in the election of our presidents. If one does have an abundance of wealth, better to tone down the perception, at least to those who live lives economically below average or even worse, at poverty level.

Jun 27, 2014 10:13 AM #12
Conrad Allen
Re/Max Professional Associates - Webster, MA
Webster, Ma, Realtor

Hi Wallace.  I know perception is reality but I have always driven high end vehicles.  I want to look successful.

Jun 27, 2014 08:57 PM #13
Steve Ewing - Keller Williams Realty
Keller Williams - Stockton, CA

Wallace - During the REO times I was asked to go post a house for a bank.  Not a pleasant activity in the first place.  Then I received an email from a friend about a nasty post that had been put on the net about me.  Anyway to make a long story short, this article railed about me driving my expensive Mercedes to harass these poor people.  Aah well I do not own a Mercedes however I do own a 2001 Ford Taurus with a whole lot of miles on it.  The person that wrote that article did not know me or the situation.  Funny how it is preceived that we all drive expensive cars and take advantage of people.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Thanks for the bolg.

Jun 28, 2014 04:37 AM #14
Wallace S. Gibson, CPM
Gibson Management Group, Ltd. - Charlottesville, VA

Even when I drove my 6 year old Mini Cooper to showings...I would explain that it was my dogs' car.....this Marin landlord ows 3 SROs (single room occupancy) in a very poor area and he collects his rent in cash.....I'd go in a TANK with Mr.T as backup

Jun 28, 2014 04:44 AM #15
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Wallace, makes sense. And it should be very much applicable to listing appointments!

Jun 28, 2014 02:16 PM #16
IRMA Beltran
Century 21 M & M and Associates-Turlock homes Real Estate - Turlock, CA
Your Real Estate Agent 4 Life Always there 4 You!

Very unfortunate the we have to worry about what we drive after working hard all of your life but yes people don't seet past their eyes.

Have a Blessed Day!!!!

Jun 28, 2014 02:20 PM #17
Wallace S. Gibson, CPM
Gibson Management Group, Ltd. - Charlottesville, VA

Cars - like homes - still appear to be a status symbol and items of envy....


Jun 28, 2014 02:32 PM #18
Pete Xavier
Investments to Luxury - Pacific Palisades, CA
Outstanding Agent Referrals-Nationwide

I'm looking for a Buick soon, driving a high end car to every place or "situation" does not bode well.

Jul 01, 2014 07:42 PM #19
Wallace S. Gibson, CPM
Gibson Management Group, Ltd. - Charlottesville, VA

I can remember when a Buick was an old-man's car...YIKES!

Jul 01, 2014 10:54 PM #20
Joe Petrowsky
Mortgage Consultant, Right Trac Financial Group, Inc. NMLS # 2709 - Manchester, CT
Your Mortgage Consultant for Life

Good morning Wallace. I had to laugh as I read your post. I have my rent collecting pickup, I have owned this pick for over 20 years. If only this pick up could talk.

Thank you for commenting on my post.

Jul 02, 2014 12:26 AM #21
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

When I drive my Honda, I never receive the nasty notes like those left on my Mercedes.

Jul 03, 2014 12:39 AM #22
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

Wallace, Thanks for the good advice. I like the idea of having a fun car and a work car.

Jul 04, 2014 09:36 PM #23
Debbie Malone
Londeree's Real Estate & Property Management - Lynchburg, VA
From Lynchburg To The Lake (434) 546-0369

I agree Wallace....A few tenants have had the impression that we just stuff all that rent $$$ into our pockets every month. We use our work truck & trailer for the rentals.

Jul 06, 2014 04:36 AM #24
Susan Haughton
Long and Foster REALTORS (703) 470-4545 - Alexandria, VA
Susan & Mindy Team...Honesty. Integrity. Results.

Unfortunately, tenants (and people in general) can make false assumptions about landlords simply due to resentment.  

Jul 13, 2014 12:23 AM #25
Show All Comments

What's the reason you're reporting this blog entry?

Are you sure you want to report this blog entry as spam?


Wallace S. Gibson, CPM

Ask me a question

Additional Information