Best car for new real estate agent?

138 Replies

Originally posted by @Peter Stewart :

@Aaron Hunt I didn't mention any of my cars except the first since it's not really relevant to the discussion. If we want to talk cars though I'm happy to do so! I could chat all day :)

Better not to mention enthusiast cars here. People tend to get flamed and shamed for it.

If you have a car that’s worth more than a lawnmower and you actually admit it here you’ll get a, “Do you even real estate, bro?” in response.

The single most important feature has to be a trunk big enough so it can hold the cardboard you'll put under your car so the oil doesn't drip on the driveway.

@Matthew Olszak hit the nail on the head. Many investors don't care about fancy cars, but who is your target audience for selling homes? The average American drives the nicest card they can afford to make payments on. People in general believe cars are a status symbol. So the question is do you want to meet people driving $40-60K vehicles in a 15 year old Chevy worth $3K on a good day? I certainly don't think people will respect you more for driving a sh1tty car. Maybe they won't care either way, but some may judge you or your success by what you drive. That is just how some people measure success. I know it sounds dumb, but I can tell you living in a neighborhood where everyone is getting new cars every two years, that is just how it is. 

I generally advise people to drive a less expensive used car, but my exception is real estate agents. I would either lease something like @Russell Brazil suggested, buy a less expensive new car or buy a luxury used car. Either way it is a tax write off. You can find used Caddilac or used Lexus with nice leather interiors that don't cost very much. It will help put off the image of successful real estate agent, versus new and broke. As others mentioned your car should always be clean inside and out. A clean used car looks better than a dirty new car.

I do have to call out my good friend @Jay Hinrichs who says cars don't matter, yet owns his and hers Tesla models. I am pretty sure if Jay picked up a banker friend in a 15 year old chevy that it would raise a few questions. I love Tesla, but it is hard to claim that buying one is the "economical" decision. Even after $7500 rebate, when it starts out at $70K to $140K, arguably the tax credit doesn't do much. That being said, if you have the money, live in luxury! I am just jealous Jay...

For my rental business I drive a used minivan. Tenants don't need to see me roll up in anything great and it is practical for when I need to do work. It easily converts to a child hauler and road trip mobile. The best feature is I am stealth to police speed traps. Ever see a light blue minivan pulled over?

Take a look at certified pre-owned Cadillac cars. They depreciate quickly for whatever reason but are great cars that offer luxury with a comfortable ride and reliable. The ATS on lease return is usually below 20k and come with everything you need to feel comfortable showing clients property. If you can, the CTS and SUV are a better option. You can also apply for the GM credit card and use it to buy everything so the points can be used on your next purchase when it’s time to trade in.

@Joe Splitrock   you have to back out NO  gas and on the west coast were gas is 3.50 a gallon  and no maintenance oil brakes and all upgrades come over the air as software upgrades.. you have to back that out and get to an effective cost of the car which is darn near half of purchase price..  its cost me 2 dollars for a full tank of Energy when I fill up at 10pm at home.. and its free at the super chargers

From a purely financial perspective, I would suggest continuing to drive the minivan until you have established yourself as an agent.

Toyota Camry

Most American made car

Best selling car in America

High resale value

Most importantly-Indestructible. 

Originally posted by @Joe Splitrock :

@Matthew Olszak hit the nail on the head. Many investors don't care about fancy cars, but who is your target audience for selling homes? The average American drives the nicest card they can afford to make payments on. People in general believe cars are a status symbol. So the question is do you want to meet people driving $40-60K vehicles in a 15 year old Chevy worth $3K on a good day? I certainly don't think people will respect you more for driving a sh1tty car. Maybe they won't care either way, but some may judge you or your success by what you drive. That is just how some people measure success. I know it sounds dumb, but I can tell you living in a neighborhood where everyone is getting new cars every two years, that is just how it is. 

I generally advise people to drive a less expensive used car, but my exception is real estate agents. I would either lease something like @Russell Brazil suggested, buy a less expensive new car or buy a luxury used car. Either way it is a tax write off. You can find used Caddilac or used Lexus with nice leather interiors that don't cost very much. It will help put off the image of successful real estate agent, versus new and broke. As others mentioned your car should always be clean inside and out. A clean used car looks better than a dirty new car.

I do have to call out my good friend @Jay Hinrichs who says cars don't matter, yet owns his and hers Tesla models. I am pretty sure if Jay picked up a banker friend in a 15 year old chevy that it would raise a few questions. I love Tesla, but it is hard to claim that buying one is the "economical" decision. Even after $7500 rebate, when it starts out at $70K to $140K, arguably the tax credit doesn't do much. That being said, if you have the money, live in luxury! I am just jealous Jay...

For my rental business I drive a used minivan. Tenants don't need to see me roll up in anything great and it is practical for when I need to do work. It easily converts to a child hauler and road trip mobile. The best feature is I am stealth to police speed traps. Ever see a light blue minivan pulled over?

Can the mini-van even reach the speed limit to warrant getting pulled over?

Nobody pulling you over cause that 0-60mph is like 48 hours.

For the rest of us: radar detectors.

Originally posted by @Luka Milicevic :

Toyota Camry

Most American made car

Best selling car in America

High resale value

Most importantly-Indestructible. 

Most American made car?

Best selling car in America?

#fakenews

Ford just rolled over in his grave.

From a consumer standpoint as long as my real estate agent is honest and ethical with me I dont pay attention to what they drive.

@Mindi Rosser do not worry about purchasing a new car. FOCUS on getting clients and with your great service to them and hard work you will eventually earn a new car. I have been in the real estate sales game since I was in college  I had a "hoopty" car  94 camry with a different color gas door LOL, im dating my self just a bit (and no I am not an old granny yet!) and  I still sold properties!  Morale of the story: Work hard and everything will pay it self off. But don't try to fake it until you make it. This idea will only cost you money when you should be saving and working on getting your name out there. Apply that money that you would be spending on a new car to marketing your self as a new agent in this already saturated industry/ markets.

People are more interested in the service that you give, they will be more inept to work with you if they know you are hard working and are working towards a goal. May it be a new car or new lifestyle change. A new car is the least of your issues, majority of clients meet me at the properties, I never pick them up. Other times I just have them follow me to the house. 

Other thought, even if your clients judge you, remember you are building a relationship with them. People can gauge from a conversation whether or not you are being genuine or even true to your self. Just own that Mini van and trust me eventually you will see the fruits of your labor. Work HARD! Inbox me if you have questions on how I got started, I didn't have money to waste, I was putting my self through college and starting my own business. BTW I still drive my 10 year old car to showings (not a Camry any more but still an older car)lol. AGAIN it doesn't matter what you drive its what you can add to the deal and help the home buyer or seller get it sold! 

Originally posted by @Aaron Hunt :
Originally posted by @Joe Splitrock:

@Matthew Olszak hit the nail on the head. Many investors don't care about fancy cars, but who is your target audience for selling homes? The average American drives the nicest card they can afford to make payments on. People in general believe cars are a status symbol. So the question is do you want to meet people driving $40-60K vehicles in a 15 year old Chevy worth $3K on a good day? I certainly don't think people will respect you more for driving a sh1tty car. Maybe they won't care either way, but some may judge you or your success by what you drive. That is just how some people measure success. I know it sounds dumb, but I can tell you living in a neighborhood where everyone is getting new cars every two years, that is just how it is. 

I generally advise people to drive a less expensive used car, but my exception is real estate agents. I would either lease something like @Russell Brazil suggested, buy a less expensive new car or buy a luxury used car. Either way it is a tax write off. You can find used Caddilac or used Lexus with nice leather interiors that don't cost very much. It will help put off the image of successful real estate agent, versus new and broke. As others mentioned your car should always be clean inside and out. A clean used car looks better than a dirty new car.

I do have to call out my good friend @Jay Hinrichs who says cars don't matter, yet owns his and hers Tesla models. I am pretty sure if Jay picked up a banker friend in a 15 year old chevy that it would raise a few questions. I love Tesla, but it is hard to claim that buying one is the "economical" decision. Even after $7500 rebate, when it starts out at $70K to $140K, arguably the tax credit doesn't do much. That being said, if you have the money, live in luxury! I am just jealous Jay...

For my rental business I drive a used minivan. Tenants don't need to see me roll up in anything great and it is practical for when I need to do work. It easily converts to a child hauler and road trip mobile. The best feature is I am stealth to police speed traps. Ever see a light blue minivan pulled over?

Can the mini-van even reach the speed limit to warrant getting pulled over?

Nobody pulling you over cause that 0-60mph is like 48 hours.

For the rest of us: radar detectors.

Haha, I am sure your car (payment) is great too. Mini vans are just like every other vehicle. Most have fairly powerful V6 engines because they need power to 8 carry people, cargo and for towing. Any brand you buy easily goes over 100 mph which is faster than I need to go.

I didn't even know radar detectors were still a thing, but I have owned radar detectors. I got rid of mine years ago after I got a ticket. It was quiet as a mouse for 30 minutes, then I came up over a hill and the detector lit up like the fourth of July. Cop was right there waiting. Most radar and laser guns don't emit continuous signal, so they can be hard to detect. I prefer the app Waze, which is a crowd sourced alert system for speed traps. Check it out.

The ticket was in a sports car and was the third time I had been pulled over for speeding in that car. I sold the car and have not been pulled over since, even though my driving hasn't changed. 

Toyota Camry. Reliable. Respected and Economical. 2018 XSE is a good fit

In my humble opinion, the best car for an agent that it is just starting out is a good reliable car. Not necessarily new, you must keep it clean and make sure you service it on due time either by you or a professional. I am a new agent and RE investor my self. I own a 2013 Toyota Corolla, it looks pristine and runs smooth. Even if you have he means to buy, like good credit and down payment, do not buy, unless you don’t have a car, because as an agent you must have a car, but that’s a very different conversation.

Your first year in Real Estate is tough and expensive. It really depends on what Niche you’re going for also. If you’re going for Luxury High End Real Estate it makes a difference. If not you might stick with the mini van until after your first year.

@Mindi Rosser there are a few variables that come into play in answering this question. The first that come to mind are 1) What can you afford, 2) What is your clientele and 3) How often will you be driving the vehicle. 

What can you afford - You want to get a vehicle that is within your budget and that still allows you to save for other investments and expenditures. It's not going to do you much good if you have a nice car and are making an extra sale or two if you are spending a majority of that income to help pay off the car. 

Whats your clientele - There are definitely going to be clients that judge your success off the type of car that you have. Not that this is right, but it certainly happens. That being said most times, this will be a first impression. If you are professional and are a "go-getter" then I think this will speak more to your clients about whether or not they're choosing the right agent than the type of car that you drive. 

How often will you be driving the car - this will allow you to determine whether or not its more cost effective for you to rent or lease. There are many posts about this in the forum for you to delve deeper into what make sense for you. 

My advise would be to get an affordable car that you keep in tip top shape and let your actions speak louder than your car, so to speak. Get some clients under your belt and utilize the references of those clients to help drive your success. Good luck!!

We all know that real estate agents only drive black SUVs with vanity plates... It's like a uniform.

A Tesla?

A more practical answer is to lease. Check out lease hackr. We picked up a Buick Encore for 2 years at $150/mo with nothing due at signing. Many other deals out there!

@Mindi Rosser It sounds like you may need an upgrade, but please do not rationalize an expensive new car purchase just because you will be an agent. Nobody, and I mean NOBODY lists their house or chooses you as a buyer's agent because of the type of car that you drive. I recommend a 10 year old luxury car, like a 2008 Lexus, that you can get for $6000.

This is as obvious as it gets. It would have to be a 1956 Jaguar XK-140.

Chevy volt - it’s a plug in hybrid that gets 40 miles on electric and the rest 365 on its gas engine. Is purchased mine back in February and it is an excellent daily commuter . They are very reliable since the engine barely is ever used and the electric motor can get over 400k miles without replacement . Here are a few video testimonials from some uber drivers

https://youtu.be/kxlxc-E8lJ4

https://youtu.be/MFkdAkvbf_Y

Lead with Revenue....that's our mantra.   You don't need to buy a "Realtor" car until you have the cash to do so....or almost anything else for that matter.  You don't need a laptop, pad, fancy phone, car, marketing materials, websites, or anything else for the most part until you have money.  

Figure out a way to do everything you can FREE until you have money, then you can chase all the shiny squirrels you want.

Can clients follow you?  Can clients pick you up and they drive?  Can you go after listings only and not buyers?  Can you only prospect and refer out to other agents?   Lots of ways to make money without having the fancy realtor car and a big stupid payment.

I might be biased since I work for the company, but you should look at some of the newer small SUVs from Chevy, Buick, or GMC. They’re all pretty affordable and stylish without looking too bouji.

There’s always great incentives running all the time, as well. Let me know if you have any questions!

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