Selling real estate is all about thinking through every possible eventuality. That means you need an in-car kit that does it all.
I was texting with a colleague recently when we got onto the topic of go-bags. Real estate agents have to do everything and think ahead to every possible scenario, from a sudden luxury listing appointment to a buyer’s toddler having to use the bathroom when you’re showing a vacant home.
The conversation got me thinking about my own go-bag and asking around to friends and colleagues to see what they have that I never thought about.
Agent Essentials On the Road
For me, the key is starting with a really nice bag in the first place.
I’ve noticed that some of my favorite bags are designated as law enforcement organizers. I think the people who are marketing these bags should be marketing them to Realtors as well because they’re truly ideal for the way we work.
The benefit of having a bag like this is that I can take it in and out of my car, but I don’t have to worry about it tipping over in the trunk and everything spilling out. In fact, I keep my drone in my bag so I don’t have to worry about it sliding around in the trunk in its case.
In my bag, I typically have a Mag-Lite flashlight, a lightweight jacket and the following:
- Toilet paper
- Cleaning towels
- Work gloves to pull weeds
- Lockbox combo
- Zip ties
- Painters tape
- Tape measure or laser measure
- Smoke detector batteries (usually 9v)
- Extra smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector (in case the appraiser needs it)
Another good idea, though I don’t use one myself, is a car desk. It gives you a place to keep your paperwork organized, work on your computer, and fit in some work time without having to drive all the way back to the office. This is especially useful for those who work with investors or those who are out and about most days.
One of my neighbors is a retired Los Angeles County sheriff. He said that back in the day, he always carried extra water and snacks in his car, and this seemed to be a theme with a lot of agents I talked to as well.
For some of them, it’s because they need to keep their blood sugar stable, while for many others, it’s simply the fact that they’re on the go so much that they basically live on snacks and want to avoid fast food. I keep cashews in my car for quick protein to keep me going when I’m out and about previewing homes and visiting open houses.
Of course, we think about all of the things we’ll need at the houses we visit, but spending so much time in the car means that we also need to have car care and safety basics. Check your spare tire and make sure it’s filled and in good condition. Consider jumper cables or a car battery jump box. A first aid kit like this one is also a good idea.
If you’re a new agent and you don’t know anything about cars, it’s essential that you have a roadside assistance plan, either through your car dealer, your auto insurance provider, or a company like AAA. They’re not expensive, and they could literally save your life by rescuing you from a tough situation.
What’s in your go-bag?
Want to tell the difference between a veteran real estate agent and a newbie? The veteran has learned from painful experience just how many things can go wrong at open houses, showings, previews and other day-to-day tasks. They’ve arrived at lockboxes that don’t work, no power, no plumbing, and oh, so much more.
I asked some of my friends about the most-used or most-unique items they carry in their go-bags. Here are just a few of their ideas.
TP, zip ties, batteries, scissors, smoke detectors, Solo cups, ink cartridges that I need to recycle
I think rolling around with toilet paper in your car really sets you apart from the rest of society. That or my stick with a pencil on the end of it my dad made me to test smoke detectors. I’m short, so it comes in handy.
I always have baby wipes, Listerine strips, Purell, dental floss
LiquidFix door lock and hinge lubricant
FSBO branded guides to give to homeowners trying to sell their homes themselves.
I carry some yellow stickies and a pen, so when I get an idea, I write it down and don’t forget.
Carbon monoxide/smoke detector combo, plug-in. Always plug-in.
60-degree wedge, baby wipes, Skittles, vape, charger (always), change of clothes.
A taser, Jack Daniels minis, hangover cure of choice, Preparation H, Pepto Bismol, Depends, or your adult diaper of choice.
Check-in with me on Instagram and let me know what you carry in your go-bag as well as what you’ll be adding to it based on this list of possibilities.