What does your CAR say about YOU?

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with LKN Realty, LLC 242267

Realtor with luxury car

 

Whether you know it of not, your car conveys all sorts of subtle and overt information to your clients...good and bad.  Of course, the condition and cleanliness are very important but what about type and brand?

Coming from Pasadena CA, the typical Realtor car for the agents who did higher-end business was a Lexus, BMW, Mercedes, Jaguar or Cadillac sedan.  There were also the rebels that owned two-seater sports cars and made their buyers follow them when showing property...oh to be so smug.

I lucked out in that the brother of my owner/broker was the Sales Manager for a BMW dealer.  We got the "family discount".  Oh, how I loved my BMW's!

Here in Lake Norman we have more of the SUV's than sedans.  Having never been a fan of SUVs I kept up my BMW tradition until a month ago when I turned in my beloved BMW for a Prius.  I actually was quite torn about making such a move.  What would my high-end waterfront buyers think?  What image am I conveying to potential clients? Will it be comfortable and roomy enough?  Will I miss the power and luxury of my BMW?  But, the truth is,  I am a hard-core recycler, a product of the 1960's and an avid learner of all things "green".  My conscience told me to do it.  It was the right thing to do.

Dark Gray Prius

Guess what?  Much to my surprise, not only do I love my Prius but so do my clients!

Last weekend I took out a family from Michigan and they said as soon as they saw my Prius they knew they would like me.  No one ever told me that when I drove a BMW. 

I guess what my car now tells people is that I care more about our environment than my ego.  Maybe even that I am a person of integrity...a person who cares.  Who knows, there may be some that would prefer to ride in a BMW, but perhaps I will actually influence others to go hybrid as well!

So, what does YOUR car tell your clients?

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Re-Blogged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. D B 12/21/2008 01:45 PM
  2. . 4Terra Land Brokers .. 828-776-0779 Asheville NC 01/01/2009 01:25 AM
Topic:
ActiveRain Community
Groups:
ECO ALL-STARS & GREENIES
The Art Of Marketing You
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Green Marketing
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Rainmaker
645,367
Sun City Grand Homes Surprise AZ Real Estate Leolinda Bowers Designated Broker Leolinda Realty
Leolinda Realty - Surprise, AZ
Sun City Grand in Surprise Arizona

I have a two seat convertible that I drive whenever I feel the urge.  Other times I use my Mercedes.  People have a tendency to drop by my office whenever they see my car parked in the parking lot out front. 

It doesn't make a difference on the type of car you drive, the difference is how you treat people, your integrity, and if you are respected.

I wish you a wonderful Christmas!

Dec 22, 2008 01:29 PM #84
Rainmaker
67,613
Wayne Warshawsky
RE/MAX Four Corners - McKinney, TX
Realtor, ABR,IRES,CDPE,SFR Your Texas

I like my vehicle Texas sized.  I did have a vegetarian, card carrying PETA member client once who owned a Prius.  As much as I annoyed him we are still friends.  He is getting beef jerky for Christmas this year. :)

Dec 22, 2008 02:43 PM #85
Rainmaker
732,603
Eileen Hsu
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Manhattan, NY
LICENSED REAL ESTATE SALESPERSON

Hello Diane! We agents in New York City don't drive buyers around, often we travel by subways, taxi cabs or car service. Though there are agents like to show off around in their posche or sexy rides... In my personal opinion, in this market, we as agents must be and act humble as the rest of the country is going through some financial hard time, but showing off in luxury cars not only does not seem approrpriate, it may sometimes turn some people off.  Good going on your pirus, at the end of the day, we are attracting clients and customers who are most like ourselves, so without showing ourselves, how would we attract anyone? :-)

Happy Holidays

Dec 22, 2008 04:46 PM #86
Rainmaker
536,923
Karen Rice
Davis R. Chant, REALTORS - Hawley, PA
Northeast PA & Lake Wallenpaupack Home Sales

My Honda mini van tells my clients that I am practical, down to earth, sensible, and a family person.  Never, ever will I purchase a car to "be impressive."

My next car is going to be a Honda Fit.  Why?  Because it will be roomy enough for my family and will get over 30 m.p.g.   Sometimes I drive more than 200 miles PER DAY. 

I don't buy into the "image" nonsense...if my vehicle is clean and I am professionally dressed - that should be good enough.

Dec 22, 2008 09:44 PM #87
Ambassador
533,485
Jason Sardi
Auto & Home & Life Insurance throughout North Carolina - Charlotte, NC
Your Agent for Life

Diane - Oh boy, you don't want to see my car;)  I loathe driving, which is precisely one of the reasons I wouldn't make such a good agent.  I'm a buy cash and drive them into the ground type of guy.  You do have a point here, though.  Especially considering the bulk of your business is driving folks around showing them properties.

Dec 23, 2008 03:26 AM #88
Rainmaker
487,085
TIM MONCRIEF
Tim Monciref - Austin, TX
Over 2,000 homes sold…..

The car is meaningless.  I have a Mercedes SL and my business partner has a beat up SUV.  We both bring in about the same amount of business.  I bring in no more or less before I got the crazy expensive car, and he the same when he went from an expensive car to an SUV.  It is all about the relationship and the car does not bring or lose business. 

Dec 23, 2008 04:28 AM #89
Rainer
39,311
Laura Kombrink
RE/MAX Alliance - Collinsville, IL

My car says I'm practical and I don't live above my means.  My car says I'm comfortable and not pretentious.  It says I'm a smart choice.  It tells people that I'm loyal to my country.

It tells people that I'm not perfect, but I am reliable...I'm not the biggest thing on the road, but I'm not a pushover either.  It also says that I'm willing to get a little dirt on me...if that's what it takes to get you where you want to go.

My car says I'm a real person.

Dec 23, 2008 05:48 AM #90
Rainmaker
191,829
Thomas Santore Lic Associate Real Estate Broker
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage/Coldwell Banker Commercial NRT - Yorktown Heights, NY
Realtor®-ABR-Land, Residential & Commercial Sa

Diane- I drive a Lincoln and have for many years. When I parked my Lincoln for something more reasonable in gas usage (it also needed some other work). I found a lot of my clients asking me why I would not get another one. It kind of was my trademark. So after about 9mos of people asking I decided to get another one. The response from my clients has been great.

Westchester County Real Estate

Dec 23, 2008 10:49 AM #91
Anonymous
Janine Ayres - Rezults Realty - Las Vegas, Nevada

I'm with you Diane - Got my Prius this past August.  Still have the Toyota Sequoia SUV that seats eight - and I still need that at times, but I am amazed at the positive comments I get with the Prius.  Put my brokerage logo on the two front doors and my website address across the rear bumper and it's a standout.  I had the publisher of a local newspaper in the small town I live in (Boulder City - a neighboring town to Las Vegas) come up to me and ask me to do a regular column on real estate for his paper - just because the car with the logo caught his eye!

Dec 27, 2008 02:44 PM #92
Rainer
292,552
Diane Aurit
LKN Realty, LLC - Mooresville, NC
Lake Norman Real Estate

Thank you to all who wrote comments since the 22nd.  I appreciate your input and sharing about your own cars!  I'm off to reciprocate !

Dec 27, 2008 11:35 PM #93
Ambassador
807,548
. 4Terra Land Brokers .. 828-776-0779 Asheville NC
REAL ESTATE RESOURCES & NETWORK - Asheville, NC
What's Most Important to YOU? Call(828)-776-0779

Diane~ 

I had to laugh when I read the part of your story that recounted how your clients said that --"as soon as they saw my Prius they knew they would like me"...good going !!!! You have found the secret of authentic GREEN that buyers recognize right away.

Dec 28, 2008 02:39 AM #94
Rainmaker
151,716
Carol Lee
Dilbeck Real Estate - Oak Park, CA
Realtor - Agoura, Oak Park, Westlake CA Homes

I went into real estate when my sons were 12 and fourtenn- and they asked if I was going to get a black BMW, because that is what realtors drive in the movies.

As it is, I have a Honda CRV with over 110,000 miles on it.  And no one has ever said they didn't want to work with me because of the car I drive!!

Jan 14, 2009 04:22 PM #95
Rainmaker
129,423
Joanne O'Donnell
Chic Home Interiors - Oakland, CA

I love this story, it really makes sense to me, I would have the same reaction to a Realtor in a Prius...  I understand the concept that clients want a successful agent (or stager) and so all the hi-end cars make sense... but I just can't care about cars in the sense of status symbols and, frankly, as a stager... my car needs to work as hard as I do - schlepping...  I have the CRV like Carol Lee and it works for me but, oh, to have a hybrid or electric or anything green... I would be in heaven.  and if this year they develop a really good alternative that has a lot of cargo space for my inventory, i will be proud to follow in your footsteps!  Good job, Diane.

Jan 14, 2009 04:38 PM #96
Rainer
84,210
Mary McGraw
GLREA - Rockford, MI
2015: Solar Energy Is Still A Simple Machine!

Hi Diane - I had to comment when I heard what the Michigan family said!!! That's awesome! My "boss" has a Prius and I have been known to get real jealous, almost ready to kill, when he spent as much on gas as I did on a cup of coffee!!! ( great story!)

Myself, I drive a '97 Olds...I call her Christine (remember the movie!) because she has a mind of her own. But I am well attached to her and she is extremely sustainable!

She's been around a long, long time and hopefully for many more!!! I replaced my 11 year old battery - original - just last year! Now THAT's sustainable!!! And she looks real classy, too!

I don't like to link on other's posts but if you care to you can read about a field trip Christine and I took last fall!!!

Great Blog!

Jan 14, 2009 04:50 PM #97
Ambassador
1,254,038
Susan Emo
Sotheby's International Realty Canada - Brokerage - Kingston, ON
Kingston and the 1000 Islands Area

I know alot of Realtors who swore by their 'flash' cars, their image!  I think some of them are sleeping in them now - sad but true!  I have had clients pass remarks about other Realtors vehicles, such as the car must be a substitute for lack of personality or self worth.   I drive a Chevy HHR which is perfect for our business.  Great mileage, fold down back seats for signs and posts, plus it fits 2 dogs & 2 sets of golf clubs!  Great post and great comments too

Jan 18, 2009 12:28 PM #98
Rainmaker
323,213
Kim Cameron, CRS
Better Homes & Gardens Preferred Properties - Town and Country, MO
Broker Salesperson, CRS

Best advise I've heard (beyond reading Shift) is to get rid of credit cards and car payments...I drive a BMW, but unlike a couple comments above, I own it, no car payments. My car is 9 years old and my clients see me as having a smart business mind, not trying to impress with a new car every 24 months.  I'll drive this car until it dies. It's at 150K miles, so I think I have another 100K to do before I'll pay cash for my next car.

Impress your clients with your knowledge, not a car (unless your car is making a statement with an eco-friendly car)

Jan 20, 2009 01:02 PM #99
Rainer
2,748
Kinson Tan
Flushing, NY

Thanks for the heads up!

Jan 14, 2010 04:31 AM #102
Rainmaker
264,980
Nicky Dou
Keller Williams Market Pro Realty - Fayetteville, AR
The BEST REAL ESTATE AGENT in Northwest Arkansas

I love your post. I am in the market for a new car. I have a Cadillac Escalade and love it - and my husband is going to take it over and I am looking to get a new sedan - I would really like a Prius however sometimes I just dont think it is going to have enought power to get me where I need to go in our Ozark Mountains!!! I am considering other larger ones - the Lexus Hybrid... I am just looking for good ideas of best cars for Realtors. I do think when I went from my not so nice car 2 years into the business to my Cadillac that my sales grew. I think it had to do with my confidence over people liking what kind of car I drove though...

Jan 18, 2010 07:02 AM #103
Rainmaker
1,180,079
Adrian Willanger
206 909-7536 AdrianWillanger-broker.com - Seattle, WA
Profit from my two decades of experience

Hi Diane-your blog is still getting good mileage! Just started looking for a new car and I had to find out what the community scope was.

 

Best

Jan 24, 2012 03:49 AM #104
Rainmaker
438,777
Pete Cullen ~ Broker Associate
Bailey Properties, Inc. - Santa Cruz, CA
Serving The Entire Monterey Bay Area

Still lovin my 2006 Escape :)

Dec 12, 2013 02:57 AM #105
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Diane Aurit

Lake Norman Real Estate
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