Just as a home’s curb appeal and exterior make the initial impression on home buyers, the real estate agent’s car is usually the first thing buyers see when meeting for the first time. If you are a realtor, your car can have a strong impact on your client’s perception of your work and capabilities, but also to your attention to detail and personality. Keeping your business car in the top conditions whether you need it to reach remote properties on time or fill in the papers on the roadshows clients that you’re handling the situation.
For many realtors, the car is an extension of their office, and conversely an extension of their client relation policy. The personality of the car needs to make the client feel safe and comfortable. A sporty Corvette, especially a visibly used one, can give off a shady realtor who’s mainly interested in flipping properties for profit. Instead, look for a car that breathes confidence and success without being pretentious. Perhaps a European mini-van in a high trim level, or a comfy BMW 5-Series estate. Some agents view their cars as mobile billboards, helping to spread the word wherever they go. If the nature of your office calls for driving all day long in the city, you should consider a smaller and more convenient smart car which is comfortable to use in the city rush, but also capable of quickly reaching out-of-town clients.
If your clients are mostly upscale property owners, nothing less than pure luxury, strength, and comfort would convince them that you’re the one for the job. A large sedan like Mercedes Benz S550 as well as several alternatives would be just fine. On the contrary, some agents put a lot of effort into advertising themselves as environmentally conscious entrepreneurs, choosing a Tesla to show their commitment to the latest trends. A Range Rover Sport is the perfect car for an agent who’s mostly handling business clients. It’s roomy, comfortable, and has lots of glass, so clients can better survey the neighborhood they want to invest in. Such a thoroughbred SUV also comes handy in harsh winters, when mobility often means the difference between success and failure.
Keeping it client-friendly
It goes without saying that the car in which you drive the clients around, looking for properties, needs to be spotlessly clean. As a complimentary service, keep some water bottles and a few packs of snacks in the air-conditioned storage if the property hunting draws on. You can equip it with an extra iPad for clients to use, and load it with info on properties you’re listing. You should also consider the comfort of the ride and safety, which means you should keep your tyres in top shape. If the tread depth has worn off past the tread wear indicators, you should replace them with a new set. It shouldn’t set you back a lot, especial now since many online vendors offer promotions on new tyres with cashback and buy 3 get 4 deals. Finally, keep an extra USB free, so clients can charge their phones and turn the radio down so you and the client can talk.
When to replace the car
As a rule of thumb for a business that relies on the direct agent to client contact, you should replace your vehicle every three years. Not only would you be sure that your car will always be reliable, but it also sends a powerful message to your clients – that your business is growing as a result of your professional skills. Also, technology is changing quickly and if you spend a lot of time in your car, you need the latest style and comfort experience for your clients. You shouldn’t splurge on a premium category every time, but having a well-packed quality car is an indicator of your success as a real estate agent.
Pragmatic and secure
Visual impact aside, your vehicle should provide a sense of security, which then translates to you offering reliable services and working in the client’s interest. Driving a car that is known as unsafe can potential let you down in the client’s eyes, telling them that you don’t care about your own safety either. So, make sure to drive a car that not only feels like a tank but has the NCAP ratings to back it up. Besides, the vehicle you drive your clients around needs to be practical, with enough space for clients od all sorts, couples, families even. Driving a practical and functional vehicle indicated dedicated to your business practices and keep the things real.
Not unlike the manicured lawn, freshly painted siding, and replanted flower beds speak of the house and the owners, the realtor’s car speaks volumes about them and the way they run their business. Whether you’re a seasoned agent or a rising star, you need a vehicle that evokes success and professionalism on one side and pragmatism and care for the client on the other.
Lilly Miller is a Sydney-based graphic designer and a passionate writer. Loves everything about home decor, art history, and baking. Shares home with two loving dogs and a gecko named Rodney. You can find her on Twitter.