As a Realtor, your car is one of your most important possessions. It’s what allows you to get to and from showings, closings, and open houses, and it’s how you scout out potential properties for your clients.
In short: it’s vital to your job.
As such, caring for that car is vital to your job, too — but that’s easier said than done. Cars are complicated beasts. Throw in that you’re already busy striking that delicate work-life balance, and taking a few hours every weekend to tune up your vehicle probably isn’t No. 1 among your priorities.
So what can you do? We’ve put together this handy list of important features, maintenance tasks, and other car tips for Realtors just like you. Use it to keep your car — and your career — on schedule.
Maintenance and Cleaning Checklist
You probably don’t have hours to devote to your car each week, but you don’t need it. Here are some car tips for Realtors that can help you keep your vehicle in tip-top condition as you go.
- Keep a box of wet wipes in the car. Use it to wipe up spills, crumbs, dirt, and dust when you see it — instead of waiting until it piles up and is noticeable to clients.
- Have a trash bag. Put wrappers, napkins, and other trash in the bag as you create it. Just make sure to take out the bag when it starts to get full — or if you put food or other smelly items in there.
- Put a few baskets or hanging organizers in the back seat. Use these to collect and organize smaller items you have in the car, without clogging up your console or glove box.
- Store your vacuum in the garage just outside your car door. Once a week, when you get home, run the vacuum hose over the mats and seats to keep it clean.
Professionally, you should take your car in for these regular appointments. These may seem like obvious car tips for Realtors, but it’s far too common for busy professionals to let this type of general maintenance slip. Set alarms on your phone calendar to remind you!
- Oil change. Keeping your car on schedule with oil changes is vital if you want your vehicle to last the long haul. The exact timing depends on your oil type and your vehicle, but follow your mechanic’s recommended schedule (it can usually be found on the oil change sticker they put on your windshield.)
- Tire rotation. You should rotate your tires every 3,000 to 5,000 miles to extend their life as much as possible. Make sure you watch the pressure in your tires, too. Low pressure hurts your fuel efficiency and can increase your chance of blowouts.
- Change the air filter. Air filters need to be changed every 12,000 miles or at least once a year. This keeps the A/C system in prime working order (which is especially important if you live in a hot state!)
Replacing Your Car
You don’t want to run your car into the ground — especially if you’re using it to tote around clients on the job. That’s just dangerous (and probably bad for your reputation).
If your car starts to show these signs, you might want to consider replacing it:
- You’re paying lots in maintenance or repair costs. If it equals more than a hundred or so every few months, it’s time to move on.
- It’s quickly decreasing in market value. Naturally, you want to get top dollar for the car when you sell, so you don’t want to drive it into the ground. Check Kelly Blue Book for the value of your car, and don’t wait until it’s too low to sell.
- It’s making you look outdated or unprofessional. Is the car old, dirty, and run-down? That reflects on your image as a Realtor, too.
If the car is over 100,000 miles and you notice these signs, it’s definitely time to trade it in and upgrade. You don’t want an unsafe environment for you or your clients.
Car Tips for Realtors: Must-have Features
Getting a new car? Replacing an old one? Here’s are the biggest factors you’ll want to look for:
- Good gas mileage, to keep your costs low when driving around town
- A GPS system, to ensure you don’t get lost or show up late
- A roomy interior, in case you’re driving around clients
- Bluetooth connectivity, so you can pick up calls on the go
- An easy to clean interior, to make maintenance a breeze
Remember, your car is an extension of your image. It shows clients (and potential clients) how seriously you take yourself and your career, and it says a lot about your professionalism and reputation. Take this into account both when choosing your car and when caring for it.
Need more help in your career as a Realtor? Embrace is here to support you. Contact a loan officer today.