Brokers more cost conscious than Realtors?

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Brokers may view material flashiness as an outdated requirement for entrepreneurial success, with several contradicting what was once a popularly-held belief. recently ran a story about whether the flashy image portrayed by Realtors was hurting the profession. Readers echoed that sentiment and argued that focus should be placed more on the business than mere appearances.

“Haven't we learned anything from Warren Buffett or Richard Branson? Wear what you want, drive what you want, be … good at what you do, do good in your community and clients and business partners will respect that, and probably remember you a heck of a lot better than just being another guy in a suit or driving a Mercedes to ‘fit in,’” one British Columbia-based broker wrote. “This is such old school thinking and if a client or business partner wants to judge me by what I drive or wear I wouldn't want to work with them anyways.

“Be confident in yourself, your abilities and knowledge and live by your own rules, not those of others.”

However, there are still some in the mortgage and real estate industries who espouse luxury items with the belief that they will impress clients.

Broker Alana Stockholm told our sister publication, REP, “I used to drive a Toyota – great gas mileage, cheap to run, and I thought it showed that I wasn’t overcharging. I had a long-time client who one day I found had appointed someone else to sell their home. Of course I wanted to know why, so I asked them. They said, ‘Alana, I really like you but you know, you just don’t look successful.’ I went straight out and bought a Lexus.”

Still, there are some who believe thriftiness actually works to brokers’ advantage.

“As financial professionals, it almost seems backwards to be promoting driving brand new vehicles with payments of $500-$1,000 per month instead of following our own advice and putting that extra money towards our mortgages to become mortgage free faster,” an anonymous commenter wrote on “I would sooner trust a financial advisor that drove an older vehicle and was mortgage free rather than one who had the latest greatest everything and was in debt up to their eyeballs.”
  • Robbie Ryan on 2014-10-27 1:39:28 PM

    this has been an ongoing conversation with my contemporaries. I know I've done the odd refinance where the client has to mortgage the car in order to reduce their overall monthly expenses.I've also done a number of files that did not qualify because of vehicle loans.I like nice guys as much as the next guy. Bottom line for me is, they're a depreciating asset. It goes against everything that I tell my clients.Invest in yourself first. A car is not an investment.

  • Robbie Ryan on 2014-10-27 1:40:11 PM

    I meant to say I like nice cars as much as the next guy.

  • Robbie Ryan on 2014-10-27 2:01:11 PM

    bet I gave everybody I good chuckle.

  • Robbie Ryan on 2014-10-27 2:01:15 PM

    bet I gave everybody I good chuckle.

  • OakanganBroker on 2014-10-27 3:36:11 PM

    Yep, that was FUNNY! Not that there is anything wrong with that...:)

  • M Kostelyk on 2014-10-27 4:25:21 PM

    Thanks for the chuckle...was a good one.

  • Omer Quenneville on 2014-10-29 10:35:04 PM

    Image is important. I see realtors showing up in beach cloths, I shake my head. You should look like you are going to represent someone, not be their best friend.

  • Alain Payette on 2014-11-11 8:59:33 AM

    read about lots of frauds done by flashy businessmen in suits with great cars and homes ! Don't judge a book by it's cover.... I personally think that is all old world thinking....If you need that look to get a certain level of success than maybe you are not that good ?

  • Omer Quenneville on 2014-11-11 2:11:29 PM

    Alain, I do understand what you say. The point is you are representing someone. It is not about you expressing yourself. For me, that is about an image that I believe the majority of people would want as a representative. You might be ok with the beach look and your client might be ok with it too (birds of a feather) but what about the person you are presenting to on behalf of your client. They may not be ok with it. Plenty of times clients have accepted offers because they felt the agent was more professional. When you are in a tie race, both offers are close. Appearance can make the difference.

  • Omer Quenneville on 2014-11-11 2:12:18 PM

    Part of being "that good" is knowing that.

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