Impress Your Clients and Boost Your Confidence
There are many moving pieces that attribute to marketing when you’re operating your own business. In the beginning, half the battle is marketing yourself, but as you gain experience in your career, you learn more and more ways to develop and improve your presentation. Today, we’ll focus on one aspect: the car you drive.
The Image of Success: A Conundrum
Our culture often tells us that demonstrations of wealth are accurate indicators of success. This presumption seems simple enough: those with higher salaries can inherently afford a life of luxury that others cannot. The real estate example, then, would indicate that excellent agents sell more houses, have a higher income, and can afford to purchase luxury cars for their business. However, the reality is much more complex. Our values, goals, and needs are varied and vast and affect the way we choose to spend our income. Ultimately, our individual purchasing trends tend to reflect our unique identities, influencing the way we brand ourselves to others. In turn, your brand will give you the confidence and pride to flourish in your business, helping you radiate professionalism.
Relating to Your Demographic
Your vehicle should put your customers at ease. Before you pick the right car for your clients, start with assessing your target market. If you don’t know yours, you’ll want to get this established. Think about how you want to spend your work days, and who you want to spend them with. You’ll want to work with clients who you can naturally relate to, as well as people that you enjoy being around. Those who work with wealthier clients are more likely to feel the pressure to drive a luxury vehicle, and sometimes it is expected. On the flip side, if most of your clients are middle or working-class families, a luxury car can be intimidating from the moment you step out to greet them. This is how flashy cars can backfire—clients will sometimes assume that if you can afford a luxury vehicle, you don’t need the money, and will ask for unreasonable discounts. Thus, it’s perfectly acceptable to find a middle ground. Choose something that fits your lifestyle and values, while also reflecting those of your clients. At the end of the day, you’re still the same agent. And some people won’t care either way. Your attention and professionalism out from behind the wheel will ultimately be the deciding factor.
Professionalism Over Everything
From first impression to closing sale, your professionalism will demonstrate both your success as an agent and your attentiveness to your client’s needs. Professionalism is dynamic and multifaceted and is characterized by a few key elements: self-care, confidence, and reliability.
Self-care is paramount when it comes to first impressions. Thoughtful and intentional self-care will demonstrate to your clients that you take yourself and your work seriously, giving them reason to believe you will treat them with the same respect. Thus, it is essential that you keep your vehicle clean. Wash and vacuum your car before every client appointment and avoid clutter of any kind. When you take time to care for your vehicle, you will have the confidence to invite your clients into your car at any time — regardless of what you drive.
Confidence is essential in any type of sales position. Confidence convinces the buyer that you believe in what you are selling, even if you are simply selling yourself. When it comes to your car, you should feel comfortable and confident behind the wheel. This means choosing—or using—a model that feels right for you. Always go for class over extravagance. Everyone has different ideas of what a “nice” car should be, and you don’t want to choose something ostentatious. Chances are, you’ll come across less as successful, and more as a braggart.
Your car’s reliability is just as important as having reliable business practices. Driving a car that seems risky or unsafe could not only put you in a dangerous position, but it could indicate to your clients that you make risky business deals. Plenty of luxury vehicles have high safety ratings that are in line with those of commuter cars, so it shouldn’t be too hard to find a car that’s right for you. And, whatever you do, don’t go for a car that will cause you to live above your means for the sake of appearances.
Similarly, your vehicle should be functional. Real estate agents log a lot of drive time and a fuel-efficient vehicle is key. In this case, luxury cars usually aren’t any better than other vehicles. Since real estate agents typically transport their clients, it’s important to have enough space for passengers of all sorts. Having a practical car demonstrates to your client that you are pragmatic and grounded, and more likely to be realistic in your business practices. Your vehicle should also be practical for the terrain. If you live in an area that has harsh winters, long dirt roads, or otherwise difficult road conditions, it’s essential to have a vehicle that can handle the environment. Functionality, then, is indispensable to your safety, relatability, and professionalism.
Your Car Contributes to Your Brand
Every successful real estate agent has a brand. Branding is not just comprised of classy logos, clever slogans, sleek websites, and flawless business cards. A good brand also has values, goals, and a clear message that benefits every client. Your car choice should encompass all of these important factors, starting with your values. All of us have scruples that determine how we interact with the world, and these should be reflected in your brand. For example, environmentalists often drive cars that have low emissions, great gas mileage, and have hybrid capabilities. Family-oriented agents tend to drive vehicles with high safety ratings, plenty of storage, and space for the kids. Whatever your brand, you should be unique and also demonstrate how your business practices benefit the customer.
Ultimately, you should feel comfortable in your vehicle. People are more confident when they are proud and comfortable in their environment, and confidence will translate to success.
Looking to learn more about how you can better your real estate business? Find continuing education offerings in your state.
This content was created in partnership with Haley Kieser.