Rising Gas Prices! How are You Compensating?

By
Real Estate Agent with Crye-Leike REALTORS® 165062

First of all gasoline has now hit a pain threshold.  I'm yelling uncle at over $3.50 a gallon of regular gas in Atlanta.  Atlanta first of all is a driving town.  We have mass transit, but it really is a novelty as opposed to a full functioning system.  It is very limited, and does not have a great bus system to pull up the slack.  It is a painful event added to a town that already has one of the worse commutes in the nation.  For real estate agents, this could be a "Good News / Bad News" Blog about rapidly rising gas prices.  The good news is that we aren't wasting gas running buyers all over the place in a slow market.  The bad news is that the rising gas prices are quickly depleting our cash reserves.  Since transportation is part of all of our budget both in our business and personal lives how are you compensating for the exponential increases in gasoline and the inflationary effect it is having on out economy.  You can include changes in your diet due to the Ethanol factor (turning foodstuffs into fuels.  It is almost a Biblical event. "a bushel of wheat  for a barrel of oil."  The reasons for rising fuel prices and food prices are many, the falling dollar, supply / demand, and a commodity bubble built on speculation.  Since we all have fixed dollars to play the game of life...what are you doing to conserve money and curb other expenses?  Here are a few ideas to start you off.

  • Change your routines and consumer spending patterns
  • Drive slower, change driving patterns
  • Trade gas guzzler auto for hybrid auto
  • Review real estate and personal budget for expense patterns
  • Review marketing effectiveness of recurring charges - Pay Per Click, lead generation, ads etc...
  • Cancel Cable TV or HBO
  • Cut back on cell phone use
  • Cancel hard phone lines and go to cable package or cell phone only
  • Cancel Fax lines
  • Cancel ineffective marketing
  • Stop going to Starbucks daily
  • Cancel gym membership / personal body trainer
  • Drive a more economic fuel efficient vehicles
  • Drive a diesel with bio fuels
  • Spend more time at home
  • Work from home - go out of office
  • Less impulse shopping
  • Postpone major purchases
  • Cut back on marketing budgets
  • Eating home more often - less dining out
  • Combine trips - Carpooling
  • Mass transit: Train, bus
  • Eat fast foods instead of fine dining
  • Give up smoking
Posted by

James Crawford ABR, Broker Associate

 

 

 

 

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Rainmaker
234,025
Patricia Beck
RE/MAX Properties, Inc., GRI, CDPE - Colorado Springs, CO
Colorado Springs Realty
Great post Jim except about not getting Starbucks everyday, are you crazy?!  ha,ha.  I don't take out people to find rental properties anymore because the amount I get paid weighed against gas just is not worth it.  Many people will have to change things to compensate for the increasing costs of gas and commodities.
Apr 25, 2008 12:01 PM #97
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Jonathan Osman - Charlotte / Matthews NC  That would work!  LOL!
Apr 25, 2008 01:50 PM #98
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Jim Crawford
Crye-Leike REALTORS® - Atlanta, GA
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 Colorado Springs Realty Patricia Beck    Starbuck's?  I started carrying coffee from home again!  I had all those great stainless coffee canisters that were taking up space, now I am using them!

Apr 25, 2008 01:53 PM #99
Rainer
14,319
Geoff Scowcroft
Coldwell Banker - Studio City, CA

We are paying 4.09 a gallon in LA.

  • We have been car pooling more
  • Taking shorter trips
  • Planning out our trips ahead of time to economize
  • Walking
  • Cooking at home more
  • Working out at home
Apr 25, 2008 01:55 PM #100
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Jim Crawford
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Geoff Scowcroft  Well done!  I forgot about that I cancelled my LA Fitness membership also.  Coffee and dining out are scaled way back!  Making combined trips for the car.
Apr 25, 2008 02:01 PM #101
Rainmaker
597,934
Valerie Osterhoudt
Johnson Real Estate, Inc. - Cromwell, CT
ABR, Cromwell, CT Real Estate ~ 860.883.8889
Jim, I own a mini van and live in a condo complex.  Now once a month, there are 3 of us that carpool to a grocery store, that might be a little out of the way, but we get good deals there.. better than the store around the corner.  We all chip in on gas. 
Apr 26, 2008 09:35 AM #102
Rainmaker
131,644
Michele Reneau
Certified Staging Professional (CSP) Elite Instructor - Summerville, SC
Realtor, GRI ~ Charleston, SC Relocation Experts Team
Speaking of the rising price of gas, I've noticed less activity with Open Houses. Perhaps buyers don't want to waste gas driving around either.  On that note, it's not uncommon to get a buyer that wants to just look. When I'm not certain of a buyer's motivation, I try to get them to follow me to the houses so they have a "gas investment" and won't want to waste time or money either if they are following me versus riding with me and they aren't serious. 
Apr 26, 2008 02:53 PM #103
Rainer
135,795
Michael Shankman
Award Realty - Las Vegas, NV
Selling Las Vegas 702-498-3383
I work at home and I make sure my buyers are ready to buy-I hate being a tour guide.
Apr 27, 2008 02:05 AM #104
Rainer
56,895
Tori Lynn Wallitsch
Prudential Ambassador / Ross Designs, LLC - Omaha, NE
Jim - I co-host a radio show on Saturday mornings with a builder and he loves to stir the pot and make enemies.  One of his favorite things to suggest on the radio is for people to call an agent and ask them to show him houses and make sure that on the route they get the agent to stop at their bank, dry cleaners, grocery store, etc and then call a different agent the next week and do the same thing. That way people can abuse an agent's gas bill as opposed to their own. He's a terrible person.
Apr 27, 2008 03:37 AM #105
Anonymous
Anonymous
Well, what goes around comes around and he will get his fair share of people wasting his time and money if he keeps up that attitude.  Perhaps customers listening to him will treat him as he treats others.
Apr 27, 2008 04:20 AM #106
Rainmaker
54,995
Nyles Courchesne
Peskin, Courchesne and Allen, P.C. - Springfield, MA
Massachusetts Real Estate Attorney
Wow, you received more comments than I had the stomach to read through.  I think that one thing that you should never do is stop marketing.  In fact when times are tough it is a great time to increase market share.  If everyone cuts back on their marketing and you don't, whose marketing materials will get read? - Yours!  I think business people make this mistake all of the time because they can see an immediate buck saved that will not have an instantaneous detrimental effect, but after a month of cut back marketing, you will likely experience cut-back hits on your materials as well.  Review, cut out what does not work, but replace that media with something that works!!!
Apr 27, 2008 04:30 AM #107
Rainer
5,952
Peter W. Bennett
A Full House Inspection Co. LLC - Little Silver, NJ

We will be purchasing a MB diesel to convert to SVO for around town stuff.  I am still trying to find my dream Ford Excursion to be converted to SVO too.

A school disstrict in South Jersey has 4 dozen buses running on SVO. 

Apr 27, 2008 06:02 AM #108
Rainmaker
565,518
Mike Saunders
Lanier Partners - Athens, GA

I will be cutting back on golf, to once every two weeks instead of once a week (although, since I am new to the area, this is one of my primary means of meeting people).

Will continue our one night a week out to dinner. Lunches, if I am on the road will be sack, unless with client/customers.

 I don't go to Starbucks, already have Bocajava at home and it, IMHO, is much better. I might cut back on it though. With summer almost here I will probably drink more iced tea.

Plant a garden (although I do that every year). It really isn't a lot of work for tomatoes, cukes, squash, onions, radishes, etc.

Apr 27, 2008 08:56 AM #109
Rainmaker
920,312
Larry Brewer - Benchmark Realty llc
Benchmark Realty LLc - Nashville, TN
Jim - I agree with you that expenses need to be kept to essentials, and we should do that even in the best of time. THat being said, I think that now is the best time for good realtors to really pick up market share. A lot of real estate agents are giving minimal effort right now, but buyers are starting to show up.. Make a few extra calls, and pick up a few extra customers.
Apr 28, 2008 01:24 AM #110
Anonymous
Ken

I can understand cutting the gym memberships.  I cut mine recently and saved $35 plus the gas to and from.  I found working out at home to be just as good.  I liked dailyfitnesstrainer.com, which showed me a bunch of free 3 second video clips of home exercises plus a daily workout updated each day for advanced or beginners.

Jun 19, 2008 07:36 AM #111
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Jim Crawford
Crye-Leike REALTORS® - Atlanta, GA
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Ken  I dropped mine also.  I think it is smart.

Jun 19, 2008 11:29 AM #112
Rainer
6,489
Chris Stewart
Windermere Pacific West Properties - Salem, OR

Great post and some great comments.  I, too, have joined the ranks of changing my lifestyle and budget just to pay my gas bill. 

I recently had a realtor refuse a referral because it would cost too much gas to deal with a buyer.

 

Jun 19, 2008 12:10 PM #113
Rainmaker
290,032
LaNita Cates
REMAX of Joliet - Joliet, IL

I've cut back going to Targt or Walmart or Walgreens and buying crap I really don't need. Remember the days you would toss things in your cart that you really could do without? Not anymore!

Jun 19, 2008 02:03 PM #114
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Jim Crawford
Crye-Leike REALTORS® - Atlanta, GA
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Chris Stewart (Windermere Pacific West Properties  I think since I wrote this it has become even more painful.  We have made more cuts.

Jun 19, 2008 03:00 PM #115
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Jim Crawford
Crye-Leike REALTORS® - Atlanta, GA
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 LaNita Cates (REMAX of Joliet)  I've started enjoying the dollar store!  I don't need anything there, and if I go crazy, I do not buy much, and can even pay cash!  LOL!

Jun 19, 2008 03:01 PM #116
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