Will you make more sales if you upgrade your car?

Will you make more sales if you upgrade your car?

Will you make more sales if you upgrade your car? While a sleek Mercedes and a gold watch were once the hallmarks of a successful real estate agent, some experienced agents think that flashy image is doing damage to the reputation of the entire profession. How do brokers compare?

“A lot of people are coming into the business for the wrong reasons, thinking about how easy it is to make money as an agent,” veteran agent Justin Kua tells our sister publication, REP. “But they’re not thinking about how they can serve the industry and, more importantly, their clients.”

But appearances are still key, with a well-kempt agent – most often in a suit – the industry’s standard bearer. Still, grasping for the trappings of success far beyond that ideal, can land younger agents in hot water, cautions Kua.

“Being self-employed, you’ll find there are a lot of expenses, just like any business,” he says. “Don’t be swayed by what someone who has been in the business for 15 years looks like; focus on what they’ve been doing to survive in the industry that long.”

Indeed, Kua represents increasingly popular industry thinking, which takes the emphasis off of cars and clothes and places it squarely on study and training as a means of attracting and retaining client relationships.

“When [new agents] don’t take time to develop a passion for the business or they don’t have a mentor, they develop unrealistic expectations,” he explains. “I’d first say find a mentor who can coach you and give you’re the proper perspective before you look at Mercedes lease options and custom suits.”

There are, however, limits on just how much to skimp on your accessories. Broker Alana Stockholm told 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.”

 CMP will run its Broker Lifestyle feature in November’s magazine. Watch out for that to see how broker sentiments stack up to their Realtor counterparts. 
  • Ron Butler 2014-10-23 12:58:38 PM
    I found you, Mercedes Benz.
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  • Jake Abramowicz 2014-10-23 2:09:24 PM
    I happily drive a vw. In lending I think it's a bit different than in real estate brokering. I don't want to show up to my client's house in a brand new M5 primarily because they may think "oh, here comes the loan shark".

    And hey, there's nothing wrong with a top-of-the-line VW, it's the same thing as an Audi only $20K cheaper!
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  • John Gimblett 2014-10-24 8:57:12 AM
    The quality of a mortgage agents car doesn't bother me all that much, however I just can't reconcile a mortgage agent showing up at a client's house with their auto "wrapped" with advertising. There just seems to be a disconnect with confidentiality.
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