Best car for new real estate agent?

138 Replies

@Joseph M. Seems to be about once a month for me, although it can be a few times a month if a Buyer is in town for  a ew days. Renting is a great suggestion(!), although personally I would be concerned about an agent's insurance covering the rental in case of an accident with a family in the car, availability of the rental, and the cost. My example of buying a $15k Honda might be a low monthly payment too - maybe less than the rental would have cost.

@Ben Howard Oh ok that makes sense in that situation . Once a month or more is pretty frequent . Yeah those are good points regarding insurance coverage. Speaking of that in general do you need a certain insurance policy on your personal vehicle as an agent , like a commercial policy that covers one when driving around clients?
Something I hadn’t thought of before.

I agree with @Jay Hinrichs the days of driving clients around are over. I've been an agent for 6 months now and have worked w/ several clients showing houses & only one client has sat in my car. The rest have always met me at the home location. I would stick w/ the van, keep it clean, make it smell good and you'll be alright. 👍🏽

@Joseph M. I have a pretty experienced insurance agent and work for an experienced broker. Both suggested that I needed to notify them that I have clients in my car. Combine that with umbrella policies, etc. and I think it is always best to be very transparent with these things. When you have something to lose it is my opinion that it is best to be transparent.

Originally posted by @Alex Shoaee :

If you pull up in an Aventador is pretty much guaranteed you'll close without even saying a word.

Had to look this one up. A $400k Lambo. Just looking at it, I would think it would be more. The Aventador is sweet! I've seen ugly $400k cars.

I know you were joking, but an agent in a really really nice car just says to me they will say every house is perfect. Perfect time to buy or sell no matter what.  They are desperate for any sale because of their massive car payment! 

Originally posted by @Aaron Hunt :
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.

 @Aaron Hunt,

Got it!

"Buy what makes you smile" (Quote from a guy I know)

P.S. I think between both our posts, the OP (or anybody reading the thread) may have a pretty good idea about owning a sport car in the 4-seasons land.

Let me first say, I'm known to be frugal. That said, I would keep driving the minivan.  Hopefully, when you go show a property you've already developed some relationship with the client and they are more interested in your service than your wheels.  If you get a property under contract on the same day as you get your license, you are still likely looking at 20-30 days to close (pay day).  I would hate to increase my expenses and have to start wearing L'eau de Desperation cologne.     Acting desperate is more noticeable than a car.  

Also, bear in mind, unless you're going to brokerage as an employee, you may be paying for your marketing materials, MLS fees, CRMs, etc.

Best of luck!

Originally posted by @Steve Vaughan :
Originally posted by @Alex Shoaee:

If you pull up in an Aventador is pretty much guaranteed you'll close without even saying a word.

Had to look this one up. A $400k Lambo. Just looking at it, I would think it would be more. The Aventador is sweet! I've seen ugly $400k cars.

I know you were joking, but an agent in a really really nice car just says to me they will say every house is perfect. Perfect time to buy or sell no matter what.  They are desperate for any sale because of their massive car payment! 

There are many agents who earn bad reputations for focusing too much on the sale. My business is relational vs transactional, which I believe will last much longer and you'll have a better reputation. I would much rather be honest and work with the same people regularly than just say whatever I have to say to get the sale and then find a new client.  

Originally posted by @Aaron Hunt :
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.

Based on your response, I can tell you have no winter driving experience.

Tires are only part of the issue in snow. Ground clearance and weight over tires that spin is equally important. That little M3 could easily get stuck on a pile of snow at an intersection. Any tires you put on it will just spin, because the snow lifts it from the road. As far as 50/50 weight distribution, it is better to have more weight over your tires, so that is why FWD is better on snow. 

Ice is actually more dangerous than snow and causes most accidents. Snow tires are often not better on ice because you want more rubber contact with the surface. FWD and AWD vehicles far out number RWD vehicles in cold weather states. It comes down to physics. That is why BMW and Mercedes sell lots of AWD vehicles here and in Europe.

I am not sure the most important thing to a new realtors career development car speed and performance. But if that is important to someone, my suggestion is get a Subaru WRX STi. It is about as fast as the M3, has all wheel drive traction plus it is half the cost and Subaru is more reliable. 

Congratulations Mindi!  I drive a Tesla S.  I love it because it is fun to drive, easy to maintain, and I can run my office out of it.  However, I generally meet clients at properties.  Many of my clients like my car and may have been impressed by it.  However, I wouldn't choose a real estate agent or any other service person or vendor because of the car they drive.  Be a knowledgeable agent who follows up on questions and looks out for your client's best interests.  If you do that, people who deal with you will tell others about you.  Best, Teresa

I'm not an agent but here's my take on car buying.  

Tax write off on a lease maybe helpful but I tend to look at the cars as depreciating assets and think of how to get the best bang for the buck.  Also consider insurance and cost to own..

If you do end up needing to buy a car, consider this. 

New cars are nice but they depreciate at 10-30 percent the first year and sometimes by year 3-5, they have depreciated from 35-70% of their original cost.  Consider if a 5 yr old car can lose half it's value then their life expectancy by price feel like 10 years.. but that's not the case. 

There's a sweet spot where you can buy a car and drive it for 2-4 years and have very little depreciation even while you rack up some miles on the car.  That's when you should sell the car and get yet another low mileage used car that's taken a big depreciation.  If you are not in the market where you have to drive clients around a lot, then just get a used car and keep longer until it becomes unreliable or unsafe.

Go find a copy of Consumer Reports Used car issue and look at the reliability of the make and years.  Also look for ones that depreciate slowly from years 3-5.  Yes Lexus, toyota, honda subaru are reliable but so are hyundai and kia these days and they come with a long drive train warranty.   For example a Santa Fe 5 or 7 passenger may depreciate fast but if you buy a 3 yr used from a hyundai dealer, they will most likely give you a 10 yr 100K warranty on the drive train.  So you got the added assurance of protection for 7 yrs or until 100,000 miles. 

See the example below.. 

https://usedfirst.com/cars/hyundai/santa-fe/

"On average, you should expect to pay only 75% of the original cost with 92% of the vehicle's lifetime remaining for a 2017 model. That gives it a Net Used Value® score of 16.64 which factors in expected annual maintenance, price decline & reliable years left.

These sought after 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe models may be hard to find. Also consider a 2016 or 2015 as those were the next best values."

I had a mini van and the gas was killing me. 

Most of my clients I meet at the property or Starbucks, no one has time to get chauffeured around.

Just in the course of driving to look and preview properties I felt it was best to get a prius. Love it saves gas and people respond on the earth friendly message.

But your current car is probably sufficient until you get some income coming in.