Best car for new real estate agent?

138 Replies

the best car to get for business is a car you can afford!--to keep on the road. get a new car (under 3 yrs and 30k miles) under warranty with the most covered in warranty; with maintenance included to a degree, get insured with business insurance & include disability so your loan is paid off if you get disabled, work gig jobs so your car will be a business expense on your taxes. since you are independent contractor you are self employed-you want lower taxes. get a car you feel comfortable doing repairs on--buy American so parts are a bit less expensive. keep you car clean. never take clients in your car. get 4X4 if you live in rural area. dont fall for that "must have luxury car" bs.  best wishes. there are great deals in cars --buy the best you can afford. 

Originally posted by @Mindi Rosser :

I'm nearing the end of real estate school and will be taking my state exam in mid-July. 

I've been reading @Scott Trench 's book, Set for Life, and I'm bought into the concepts. The problem I'm having is... figuring out which type of car to get when I move into becoming a real estate agent - don't want to go into much debt, but I also want to put my best foot forward as a professional. I am not quite to the 25k savings goal, but I'm getting close.

I have a 10-year-old minivan currently and don't think that vehicle is appropriate for my market. Any tips or advice?

 A paid for one.

I would think any 4 door sedan would be fine.  I would go with a US auto company in Griffith with all of the blue collar union folks you will likely be working with.

Very interesting reading all the responses. I'd pick something practical that is within your budget. Thinking back with my experiences with real estate professionals, I remember most of them had SUVs; some had trucks. It didn't matter to me what they drove. I cared about their attitude, their knowledge, and if they did what they said they were going to do. I'd probably get an a few years old SUV, something with space for people, signs, or whatever that also has all wheel drive.

Fuel Efficient and under $5k!  I drive a 2004 Toyota Prius and have shown houses to clients in the higher end neighborhoods. If you show up prepped and put together, i have yet to have anyone look twice.

Originally posted by @Parris Crockett :

What car have you been looking at?

To be honest... our favorite car with the "drive for the position you want to have" mentality is this 2015 BMW M3... 

On the more practical, eco-conscious side of me... we've considered SUVs and pickup trucks because of our local area.

We've also been doing some "incognito recon" with friends/acquaintances in our local market about the type of car they'd like to see their real estate agent drive up in. So far, 9 of 10 are saying the BMW. 

The thing is, we truly could afford the BMW (or something in that price range) without taking much of a financial hit at this point because our income is relatively high (could almost pay cash), and we live on half our take-home pay. 

Originally posted by @Mindi Rosser :
Originally posted by @Parris Crockett:

What car have you been looking at?

To be honest... our favorite car with the "drive for the position you want to have" mentality is this 2015 BMW M3... 

(https://chicago.craigslist.org/nch/cto/d/2015-bmw-...)

On the more practical, eco-conscious side of me... we've considered SUVs and pickup trucks because of our local area.

We've also been doing some "incognito recon" with friends/acquaintances in our local market about the type of car they'd like to see their real estate agent drive up in. So far, 9 of 10 are saying the BMW. 

The thing is, we truly could afford the BMW (or something in that price range) without taking much of a financial hit at this point because our income is relatively high (could almost pay cash), and we live on half our take-home pay. 

Hell yeah! Another M3 driver (I daily an E90 M3). This just became my favorite thread.

Put on your flame suit though.

The F80 (the one you are referencing) is overall great, the only minus is the fart-can exhaust, and artificially pumped-in sound.

Originally posted by @Mindi Rosser :
Originally posted by @Parris Crockett:

What car have you been looking at?

To be honest... our favorite car with the "drive for the position you want to have" mentality is this 2015 BMW M3... 

(https://chicago.craigslist.org/nch/cto/d/2015-bmw-...)

On the more practical, eco-conscious side of me... we've considered SUVs and pickup trucks because of our local area.

We've also been doing some "incognito recon" with friends/acquaintances in our local market about the type of car they'd like to see their real estate agent drive up in. So far, 9 of 10 are saying the BMW. 

The thing is, we truly could afford the BMW (or something in that price range) without taking much of a financial hit at this point because our income is relatively high (could almost pay cash), and we live on half our take-home pay. 

 @Mindi Rosser,

Than think about this:

-do you have planned for a second set of wheels and tires for the winter?

-does your locale cleans the roads enough for you to drive the BMW as a DD (daily driver)? Do you have enough clearance for the roads?

-does all your various materials for an open house fit in the back seats and the trunk of the BMW?

-what would be your insurance rate increase for a newer car and also covering commercial for carrying customers in the back seat?

-can you wash it 1-4 times a week in winter to keep it from rusting? (even if factory treatment seems pretty good these days)

Originally posted by @Aaron Hunt :
Originally posted by @Mindi Rosser:
Originally posted by @Parris Crockett:

What car have you been looking at?

To be honest... our favorite car with the "drive for the position you want to have" mentality is this 2015 BMW M3... 

(https://chicago.craigslist.org/nch/cto/d/2015-bmw-...)

On the more practical, eco-conscious side of me... we've considered SUVs and pickup trucks because of our local area.

We've also been doing some "incognito recon" with friends/acquaintances in our local market about the type of car they'd like to see their real estate agent drive up in. So far, 9 of 10 are saying the BMW. 

The thing is, we truly could afford the BMW (or something in that price range) without taking much of a financial hit at this point because our income is relatively high (could almost pay cash), and we live on half our take-home pay. 

Hell yeah! Another M3 driver (I daily an E90 M3). This just became my favorite thread.

Put on your flame suit though.

The F80 (the one you are referencing) is overall great, the only minus is the fart-can exhaust, and artificially pumped-in sound.

@Aaron Hunt,

you are mis-guiding the OP/@Mindi Rosser:

You are just thinking as a car fanatic.

You have to led her to think like a business car fanatic.

She does not need a BMW.

She needs a BMW Wagon (hatchback, more space, a bit of conspicuity, yadda yadda)

And by her giving you a vote, I guess that minivan was on the chopping block for some time....

So the thread was more like her finding couple fanatics to approve her already made choice.

Now I will throw what I think will be best for a hypothetical OP:

-Prius v (the wagon)

-Mazda5 (sliding back doors); it's a mini-minivan

-Volkswagen Golf Sportwagen 4motion/Alltrack

-Buick TourX(german euro OPEL with a different badge)

Originally posted by @Dumitru Anton :
Originally posted by @Mindi Rosser:
Originally posted by @Parris Crockett:

What car have you been looking at?

To be honest... our favorite car with the "drive for the position you want to have" mentality is this 2015 BMW M3... 

(https://chicago.craigslist.org/nch/cto/d/2015-bmw-...)

On the more practical, eco-conscious side of me... we've considered SUVs and pickup trucks because of our local area.

We've also been doing some "incognito recon" with friends/acquaintances in our local market about the type of car they'd like to see their real estate agent drive up in. So far, 9 of 10 are saying the BMW. 

The thing is, we truly could afford the BMW (or something in that price range) without taking much of a financial hit at this point because our income is relatively high (could almost pay cash), and we live on half our take-home pay. 

 @Mindi Rosser,

Than think about this:

-do you have planned for a second set of wheels and tires for the winter?

-does your locale cleans the roads enough for you to drive the BMW as a DD (daily driver)? Do you have enough clearance for the roads?

-does all your various materials for an open house fit in the back seats and the trunk of the BMW?

-what would be your insurance rate increase for a newer car and also covering commercial for carrying customers in the back seat?

-can you wash it 1-4 times a week in winter to keep it from rusting? (even if factory treatment seems pretty good these days)

Who would want to drive an M3 in the winter through snow? Rear wheel drive, speed rated tires, low ground clearance and road salt to destroy the paint. My goodness, talk about emotional decision making, no logic here.

Originally posted by @Joe Splitrock :
Originally posted by @Dumitru Anton:
Originally posted by @Mindi Rosser:
Originally posted by @Parris Crockett:

What car have you been looking at?

To be honest... our favorite car with the "drive for the position you want to have" mentality is this 2015 BMW M3... 

(https://chicago.craigslist.org/nch/cto/d/2015-bmw-...)

On the more practical, eco-conscious side of me... we've considered SUVs and pickup trucks because of our local area.

We've also been doing some "incognito recon" with friends/acquaintances in our local market about the type of car they'd like to see their real estate agent drive up in. So far, 9 of 10 are saying the BMW. 

The thing is, we truly could afford the BMW (or something in that price range) without taking much of a financial hit at this point because our income is relatively high (could almost pay cash), and we live on half our take-home pay. 

 @Mindi Rosser,

Than think about this:

-do you have planned for a second set of wheels and tires for the winter?

-does your locale cleans the roads enough for you to drive the BMW as a DD (daily driver)? Do you have enough clearance for the roads?

-does all your various materials for an open house fit in the back seats and the trunk of the BMW?

-what would be your insurance rate increase for a newer car and also covering commercial for carrying customers in the back seat?

-can you wash it 1-4 times a week in winter to keep it from rusting? (even if factory treatment seems pretty good these days)

Who would want to drive an M3 in the winter through snow? Rear wheel drive, speed rated tires, low ground clearance and road salt to destroy the paint. My goodness, talk about emotional decision making, no logic here.

 @Joe Splitrock, 

you forgot Indiana potholes/road cracks....

I think the OP already made her mind, and just wanted confirmation.

Me, I drive 2 wagons: 1 VW Golf Sportwagen and 1 Mazda5.

I did make due (renovation-wise) with a Toyota Yaris sedan and a Hyundai Elantra seda .

And I did drove a Chrysler minivan loaded to the gills and it  had not trouble moving....Actually it had a LOT OF  PUNCH!

Originally posted by @Sergio Alvarez :

@Russell Brazil I'm a new agent in California. Do you have any recommended reading on car leasing?

 I dont have recommended reading. But if leasing, get a car with a high residual value.  Remember the price of the car is negotiable, to bring down the lease payment.  Make sure you get enough mileage.  Try getting maintenance, oil changes included in the lease.   Putting down security deposits can bring your lease payment down.

Originally posted by @Russell Brazil :
Originally posted by @Sergio Alvarez:

@Russell Brazil I'm a new agent in California. Do you have any recommended reading on car leasing?

 I dont have recommended reading. But if leasing, get a car with a high residual value.  Remember the price of the car is negotiable, to bring down the lease payment.  Make sure you get enough mileage.  Try getting maintenance, oil changes included in the lease.   Putting down security deposits can bring your lease payment down.

 I'm not trying to get into the lease vs buy vs get a nice car vs get a practical car debate...  I'm just genuinely curious.  How would a busy real estate agent be able to lease a car and not go way over the allotted miles? I understand there are options for 10, 12 and 15K miles, but wouldn't an agent drive well over 20K a year?

Originally posted by @Roxie Kim :
Originally posted by @Russell Brazil:
Originally posted by @Sergio Alvarez:

@Russell Brazil I'm a new agent in California. Do you have any recommended reading on car leasing?

 I dont have recommended reading. But if leasing, get a car with a high residual value.  Remember the price of the car is negotiable, to bring down the lease payment.  Make sure you get enough mileage.  Try getting maintenance, oil changes included in the lease.   Putting down security deposits can bring your lease payment down.

 I'm not trying to get into the lease vs buy vs get a nice car vs get a practical car debate...  I'm just genuinely curious.  How would a busy real estate agent be able to lease a car and not go way over the allotted miles? I understand there are options for 10, 12 and 15K miles, but wouldn't an agent drive well over 20K a year?

 All depends on your business model.  Agents who Farm close to home might put on as little as 5,000 miles per year.  I get a 15,000 mile per year lease and pay 15 cents per mile over.  I do about 18,000 miles per year pretty consistently. 

Steve Vaughan Investor from East Wenatchee, Washington
replied 2 days ago

"As a seller (You don't want my car advice, trust me) of many houses, I am turned off by the 'Escalade', big hair and pumps. But that's just me."

-------------------

Ah, but to have the big hair and pumps in the back of the Escalade (after hours of course). . . 

A good clean car conforming to the minimum expectation standards for r.e. agents in your area, seems to be the theme, and is the best advice anyone has given. People will know you are just starting out, so use that to your advantage. Splurge on the Caddie after 20 years in the business and you have an established base.

As a Realtor for over 9 years, property investor for over 30 here is what I used to decide on a vehicle.  I goggled best MPG SUV and several years ago came up with a Toyota Highlander Hybrid.  Then I searched prices nation wide and found that here in Las Vegas that car used would cost around $20k to $22K depending on milage so I found one just outside of Atlanta, GA for $14,500 with 96,000 miles.  Paid couple hundred dollars for plane ticket, flew out ,had dealer meet me at airport, test drove car and drove it back to Vegas.  It now has 221,000 miles on it, still gets over 25 MPG, had original brake pads replaced at 173,000, and oil changes every 5,000 miles.  Large enough to haul a client and I have had a Billionaire and his wife ride with no complaints a few times.  Also the back is large enough that I have even hauled refrigerators to rental properties, strapped ladders and mattress to roof rack.  Most expect the vehicle to last to over 300,000 miles. 

 I also used to hold Open Houses every weekend and for my open houses I put out 25 signs, 6" folding table, 2 folding chairs, printer, computer, and internet hot spot.  When people walk in to my open house, I had a COMPLETE office setup so if they did not like the house, the floorpan, the size, etc. I could pull up other listings to find them what they were looking for in their price range and then set times to show them other houses.  You can not provide that level of service with a Telsa or compact car.

Do NOT buy a vehicle for how others will perceive you because that will last about 5 minutes when you start talking to them about real estate; the real reason a buyer or seller will choose to work with you or not is the VALUE you bring to the transaction and not what you drive.

Originally posted by @Dumitru Anton :
Originally posted by @Aaron Hunt:
Originally posted by @Mindi Rosser:
Originally posted by @Parris Crockett:

What car have you been looking at?

To be honest... our favorite car with the "drive for the position you want to have" mentality is this 2015 BMW M3... 

(https://chicago.craigslist.org/nch/cto/d/2015-bmw-...)

On the more practical, eco-conscious side of me... we've considered SUVs and pickup trucks because of our local area.

We've also been doing some "incognito recon" with friends/acquaintances in our local market about the type of car they'd like to see their real estate agent drive up in. So far, 9 of 10 are saying the BMW. 

The thing is, we truly could afford the BMW (or something in that price range) without taking much of a financial hit at this point because our income is relatively high (could almost pay cash), and we live on half our take-home pay. 

Hell yeah! Another M3 driver (I daily an E90 M3). This just became my favorite thread.

Put on your flame suit though.

The F80 (the one you are referencing) is overall great, the only minus is the fart-can exhaust, and artificially pumped-in sound.

@Aaron Hunt,

you are mis-guiding the OP/@Mindi Rosser:

You are just thinking as a car fanatic.

You have to led her to think like a business car fanatic.

She does not need a BMW.

She needs a BMW Wagon (hatchback, more space, a bit of conspicuity, yadda yadda)

And by her giving you a vote, I guess that minivan was on the chopping block for some time....

So the thread was more like her finding couple fanatics to approve her already made choice.

Now I will throw what I think will be best for a hypothetical OP:

-Prius v (the wagon)

-Mazda5 (sliding back doors); it's a mini-minivan

-Volkswagen Golf Sportwagen 4motion/Alltrack

-Buick TourX(german euro OPEL with a different badge)

Uh, I never said to go buy a BMW, let alone a top of the line, current generation M car. If you’re buying Euro - you know what you’re getting into!

I just said you don’t have to drive something you are miserable in.

An M3 is about as extreme/far-off as it gets from an investor mindset. If they were considering this, this thread was long gone before it even began, haha. You have to really be an enthusiast or have deep pockets (or both). 

Will lay out all the negatives: premium gas only, mileage is God awful, very expensive repair costs (even if you DIY, which I do), eats through performance summer tires, needs winter tire set-up for sure, increased insurance rates, back seat is not good if you got a kid in a carseat, or adults for long trips.

Believe me, it’s not pretty at times! We use the wife’s X3 for all else as our “material hauler” (moving more than just me around).

I’m also an investor and not an agent, so my opinion is only from the perspective of a client. My agent drives a nice car, but to me it matters more about how communicative and intelligent the agent is. If he wasn’t damn good, and as quick in communication as he is - doesn’t matter what car he has. Seen too many airheads in high end cars that are just awful agents.

Originally posted by @Joe Splitrock :
Originally posted by @Dumitru Anton:
Originally posted by @Mindi Rosser:
Originally posted by @Parris Crockett:

What car have you been looking at?

To be honest... our favorite car with the "drive for the position you want to have" mentality is this 2015 BMW M3... 

(https://chicago.craigslist.org/nch/cto/d/2015-bmw-...)

On the more practical, eco-conscious side of me... we've considered SUVs and pickup trucks because of our local area.

We've also been doing some "incognito recon" with friends/acquaintances in our local market about the type of car they'd like to see their real estate agent drive up in. So far, 9 of 10 are saying the BMW. 

The thing is, we truly could afford the BMW (or something in that price range) without taking much of a financial hit at this point because our income is relatively high (could almost pay cash), and we live on half our take-home pay. 

 @Mindi Rosser,

Than think about this:

-do you have planned for a second set of wheels and tires for the winter?

-does your locale cleans the roads enough for you to drive the BMW as a DD (daily driver)? Do you have enough clearance for the roads?

-does all your various materials for an open house fit in the back seats and the trunk of the BMW?

-what would be your insurance rate increase for a newer car and also covering commercial for carrying customers in the back seat?

-can you wash it 1-4 times a week in winter to keep it from rusting? (even if factory treatment seems pretty good these days)

Who would want to drive an M3 in the winter through snow? Rear wheel drive, speed rated tires, low ground clearance and road salt to destroy the paint. My goodness, talk about emotional decision making, no logic here.

Yes, cause no one in Europe drives RWD cars in snow.

The M3 has a near 50/50 weight balance. RWD with proper snow tires will run circles around most cars out there. 

If you live in the stix where there is no snow plowing - then yes, avoid due to relatively low clearance.

I have read each and every response so far, and I appreciate every perspective.

The more the hubby and I discuss a potential car purchase, the more we are realizing we enjoy building our cash reserves MORE than having a sweet ride and signing up for another car payment... until the numbers make sense. 😊

@John Sauber In L.A when there weren’t really other hybrids or electrics available a lot of wealthy people and celebrities would drive the Prius as a “statement vehicle” I remember Leonardo DiCaprio and some others would drive them around .

Doing their part to save the environment and then hop in their private jets !

@Ben Howard just curious how often do you need a 7 passenger vehicle ? Is it like a couple times a year or more like once a month or more That does make sense some people might bring kids along , but I would think there would be some notice if bringing several kids and one could rent a larger vehicle for the day ?
Guess it depends what area one is working if it’s more suburban or urban . In L.A it can be a pain parking larger vehicles .
The Honda Pilots are nice though .

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