Always be prepared. Sounds like the Boy Scouts motto, but in the real estate world, as a real estate agent, this is a quality that truly shows your professionalism and character. So, let’s talk about 15 items you should keep in our car at all times, you know, “just in case” and so you are prepared. Let’s call it a “Real Estate Agent Car Preparedness Kit”.
As all car owners know, there are basics you should keep in your car like a first-aid kit, jumper cables, a spare tire, and an emergency roadside kit (find one here if you don’t have one: https://www.carbibles.com/best-car-emergency-kits-reviewed/) But, what I’m talking about are different essential items, ones that can make your lives easier while out and about, conducting business away from the office.
After receiving a request to write this post (thank you Gina), I asked several agents in my office what they always keep in their car, and here’s what they had to say:
- Water – get a small cooler to keep in your car. When you know you are meeting with clients, grab some ice and small water bottles to share.
- Tape measure – when showing clients houses, they will need to know if their couch will fit in the space. Better to measure now then have them disappointed later when it doesn’t fit!
- Marble – to see if the floor is level. This was a new one for me. Simply place the marble onto the floor – if it rolls away, then the floors might not be level. You could also use an app on your smartphone or bring a level with you too.
- Flashlight and extra batteries – you never know when you might need to shine a little extra light into a room or small space. Especially if you are showing homes at night (which is not recommended).
- Business cards – NEVER leave home without your business cards. Keep a bunch in your car so you can readily hand them out (to everyone).
- Spare combo lockbox – I have heard this is a lifesaver. You never know when technology will fail you. Combo lockboxes are great to allow access for a contractor when work needs to be done on your listing. Make sure you always receive permission from the seller BEFORE doing this.
- Paper and pen – you may need to take notes when you are meeting with a client. Be prepared. Write it down, you cannot remember everything all the time.
- Portable phone charger – I’m sure you would put this on the list of items you already have in your car. Your phone is your business lifeline, make sure it is charged so you never miss a call.
- An umbrella or two – in Northern Virginia it often feels like we have 10 seasons and three of them can happen in one day…. sun, wind, rain… then back to sun. It’s crazy. So be prepared and have an umbrella or two in your car. The large golf umbrellas are my favorite.
- A change of clothes/shoes – as I mentioned above, weather can be unpredictable. So can clients. Chances are, you will get a phone call with an immediate need. Be prepared and have an extra set of (nice) clothes you can change into if need be. Ladies – we love to wear our high heels, but those are not optimal when showing houses (have you ever fallen down the stairs in heels? It’s not pretty). Keep a pair of flats in your car.
- Gum or mints – make a great impression. Make sure your breath smells great and your teeth are clean. Yes, first impressions really matter.
- An actual small toolkit (hammer, screwdriver, pliers, zip ties) – this little kit can come in handy when needing to adjust your yard signs or hang a picture.
- Laptop Computer/Tablet – sometimes searching the internet on your phone just isn’t enough. One agent suggests paying the minimal monthly fee to have Wi-Fi in your car (or hotspot on your phone), especially when you are on the road a lot.
- Snacks – low blood sugar got you down? Agents spend A LOT of time in their cars. Avoid the unplanned stop at a greasy fast food joint – keep healthy snacks in your car.
- Pepper spray – there are mixed opinions on this. When used properly, pepper spray can be extremely effective against harmful predators. If you are previewing homes alone, especially those that are far out in rural areas, it’s a good idea to carry pepper spray with you. You never know when an unwanted guest may be lurking inside or outside the home (think bears, dogs, etc.). Safety first (more on this in an upcoming post)!
While you may not find all of these items necessary or useful, you never know when you might need one of them. Always be prepared. Show your professionalism. Your clients will be impressed. It also helps to have these essentials organized in your trunk so you can easily access them. You can pick up a handy, inexpensive trunk organizer on Amazon.
Did I miss any essential items? What do you keep in your car and has it come in handy in a time of need? Let us know.