The rolling office

fireworks2Happy New Year!

I did a lot of driving this fall, so I am more attuned to being in a car than I usually am. It makes me wonder if you, my happy homeowners, have an opinion about whether traveling in my car was a positive for you, or if you traveled apart and liked that better. I want to be the best I can be in 2015.

Sometimes I travel in my client’s car. Parents of young children generally stay in their own cars, so that the safety seats don’t need to get shifted around. Sometimes there is room for me, sometimes not. People without children usually travel in my car. Sometimes it is easier to take separate cars so that we don’t have to go back to another town to pick up the other car. In all cases, it is up to the clients.

My car is a rolling office. I keep everything I need with me. It is neater than my real office because there are no stacks of paper. I get a lot of work done between houses with my clients.

Seeing the neighborhood: I prefer using my car because it leaves the driving to me and the house-hunting to the clients. If my client is driving, the driver doesn’t get as good a look at the neighborhood. If the partner has his or her nose in the GPS, both miss looking at the neighborhood.

There is a lot that can be seen as neighborhoods shift from block to block. It is good to pay attention to whether the houses are close together or not, whether the lawns are well kept, whether the houses are well kept, what kinds of trees and plants are there, how wide the road is, whether there are sidewalks. Things could be missed by a driver or navigator. If someone has to multi-task, it should be me.

Talking about the previous house: The other thing that happens between houses is a discussion of the last house. This can be useful in identifying what to look for in the next house.

For example, if house A had one bedroom that was too small, it will help to remember to compare that room with the smallest bedroom of the next house. After a while, we all see, at a glance, where the line is between small and too-small. When I can participate in these house de-briefings, I can get a leg-up on knowing what my clients are really looking for.

General question and answer: I also use travel time to talk about lending, inspection and other parts of the transaction. It is more fun for me to do this in the car instead of in the office. Would you rather be in the office?

priusI know that my car is also wardrobe. Agents are double-bound by this: if the car is too nice, they get hassled for looking overpaid; if they have a not-so-nice car, they get labeled obvious failures.

I aim for the middle ground. I have been driving a Prius since 2001. I am on my third one. Am I sending the right message by having a car that parks well, is easy on gas, but is smaller than a typical car?


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