Should Real Estate Agents Buy Themselves an Expensive Car?

The time has finally arrived when you can afford a new car. The promise of gaining riches in real estate has come true due to your hard work, persistence and positive attitude. In this special report, we will examine the best way for you to reward yourself.

The decision you make at this point in your career, may or may not have a positive impact on your future real estate career.

As I have mentioned in previous posts on this website, in establishing my newsletter publishing business I have sold newsletter marketing programs to real estate agents in virtually every suburb of Australia and New Zealand.

On one particular trip, I had booked in to see five of the best real estate agencies in a particular coastal suburb. Having met with the first Principal, who signed up for my exclusive newsletter marketing program on the spot, he then offered to shout me a sit-down lunch at his favourite club.

When we walked outside his office, he offered to drive me to lunch. Having learned in our meeting that he owned the largest and most successful agency in his region, I was quite surprised to find us driving to lunch in an old Ford Fairlane.

As we drove down the main street he pointed out the various commercial properties he owned. As he spoke, it became evident that he had to be the most successful agent I had come across in this part of Queensland.

On the way to the club, he then pointed out a series of expensive European vehicles sitting outside a small real estate office in the main street of town.

As we drove past those cars he said, “Three of those cars belong to sales reps who started selling real estate six months ago. When they first started they could barely afford the down payment on a beat up second-hand Holden and now they drive around in flashy cars. Just goes to show you anyone can lease a flashy car.”

Having enjoyed a delightful lunch with my new client, we walked back to his car for the drive back to his office.

As we stepped into his car he said, “You are probably wondering why I’m driving around in such an old car. Around here the average property owner is blue-collar worker struggling to pay off their mortgage. The last thing they need to see is a real estate agent arriving at their home in a flashy expensive European car that they are unlikely to ever afford.

“Whereas when I turn up in my old Ford Fairlane, I find that they immediately put at ease. I am sure the sight of the old car reassures them that I am not going to rip them off with my real estate fees.

“Just last week, I was given a listing by a local who told me that she had also interviewed another agent, but when he turned up at her home in a flashy European car she was immediately turned off.

“She told me that even his expensive tastes in suits made her feel that he would be getting a better deal selling her home then she would. That’s also the reason why I only dress in smart slacks, long sleeved shirt and tie. It is businesslike without appearing dressy.”

As I drove away from my new client’s office that day, I learned a most valuable lesson.

If you are meeting a prospect for the first time, it is best to present yourself in a manner the homeowner can relate to. In the case of my client, he knew that his customers would be made to feel uncomfortable if he turned up in a car out of their reach.

As I got to know my client, it turns out that he is a collector of expensive and rare European motor vehicles, but as he sells to working class people he turns up to their home in a second-hand car they can relate to.

Remember, people like to deal with people similar to themselves.

I’m sure that if my client started selling to a wealthy clientele he would arrive in a car they would expect him to own.

Even though we are taught we should not judge a book by its cover, unfortunately people do and they want to deal with people like themselves. In most cases, when a home owner meets an agent for the first time, the only thing they have to judge them by is the agent’s manners, business attire and vehicle they drive.

If you are real estate agents selling to a wealthy clientele then you will enjoy driving around in your top-of-the-line Mercedes as wealthy people expect to deal with a successful agent who is successful enough to afford such a car.

However, if you list and sell in a working class market, maybe you should leave the Mercedes at home for your wife to drive as you will be better served turning up in your wife’s second-hand Toyota – a car the average working class Australian can relate to.

Question: In your market, does the car you drive help you or hinder you in selling real estate?