I drive a Toyota Prius (not a Dodge Stratus, sorry)24th February 2021
When I first entered Real Estate I drove a 2001 Toyota Psion XB.
I bought it for $4000 cash, it was in fantastic shape and had low miles. It was actually a lot more spacious than you would think, drove well, efficient on gas, had above average safety ratings and I actually thought it looked kind of neat. It certainly was recognizable.
It ranked second on Forbes most embarrassing cars to own.
I always joked about how everyone else who had this car was probably a 17-year-old girl. Probably not far from the truth. Either way, the car did what it was supposed to, it safely got me from place to place.
I thought was a fantastic car for marketing to because the walls and windows were so flat I could put decals of my business information all over it and be seen through town. However, because the car was inexpensive, undesirable or the opposite of flashy, Colleen and others thought that it might actually detract from my business.
Now there are some Realtors out there, you know who I’m talking about, who have very expensive beautiful, new cars.
I am not and will not ever be that Realtor. (With the exception of some lotto win, which I don’t play)
For the record, buying a brand new car is one of the absolute worst investment you could possibly choose. No shade, if that’s what you want that is totally up to you, but it does not take away from the fact that when it comes to a return on investment it’s a big loss. You could buy a $30,000 car, brand new and drive it off the lot and literally lose five grand.
Now if I pull back just a little and give you a brief history on myself and how I got to where I am now. Without getting into the weeds of course. I am the son of a banker who had a steady career in banking essentially his entire life. He was money wise, thrifty, frugal, and sometimes downright cheap. Myself, my sister and my brother would complain as children as being in the “held back family” because we never paid for things like cable or other luxuries that adolescence would like.
So here we are today, I am infected with this as a character trait that guides me as a gift and a curse. I now see cars as a utilitarian thing of transportation and sometimes Advertising.
So cruising around in my 2001 Scion XB, box shaped tween mobile I had to rethink whether or not this would actually negatively impact my business. I still don’t have the answer. I also am not quite sure whether my frugal perspective carries over to anybody else in the market who sees a Realtor, helping their clients make a sound investment, pull up in a beautiful horrible one.
There is absolutely some truth to the fact that perception is everything and if someone sees an expensive car they might just assume that the agent themselves is also successful and by default very good at what they do.
So fast forward to today. I have not yet shaken the thought of this idea potentially impacting my business. However I have purchased a new(er) car, second hand from my banker father. And I no longer have decals on my vehicle identifying myself as Eric Morehouse your local Realtor. But I do still wonder, when I connect with new clients that is. They see me pull up in a 2011 Toyota Prius, red.
What are they thinking?
How did they judge me?
What does it say about who I am in my business?
Does it say anything at all?