Growing up with a car nut, weekends always included cleaning the family cars with the old man. Hand washing was always best and no spec of dirt would go unnoticed. The amount of times I have heard “don’t half-ass it” or “don’t be lazy, do it right” has inevitably led to my Fathers voice ingrained in my head during any task I perform.
It didn’t matter if it was the middle of summer or middle of winter in Ohio, my dad always had his cars looking spotless, no excuses. Now that I am on my own, going over to his house is a bit like going to an inspection station, if something isn’t right he’ll notice it and I’ll hear about it. Since I started working in industrial real estate, cleaning my car has fallen a bit by the wayside. I’ll wash my car on a Sunday afternoon, and after a Monday morning showing of an industrial property, the car will look like it hasn’t been washed in weeks. Frustrated by this pattern, I’ve questioned if keeping my car clean is a worthwhile pursuit. After giving the matter some thought, I’ve come to the conclusion that it is in fact worth it, and here’s why:
1. First Impressions Matter
Getting new clients is tough, and as a young guy in a grown man’s business the odds are already stacked against me. Everyone has heard the saying, “You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression.” Well, first impressions can be the difference between getting a listing or not, and they’re happening every single day. Such a first impression could be a potential client seeing me drive up in a filthy car. They will have started to form an opinion of me before I even step out of the car. You may think there is no way a dirty car could hurt your chances at a listing, but to me, if it’s not helping my cause it’s hurting it. I want others to instantly think I take pride in what I do and what I have and this can start with something as small as washing my car.
2. Details, Details, Details
It’s easy to run through the car wash quickly and think, it looks good enough. But let’s face it, the car wash does a half-assed job. It misses spots and leaves water everywhere. To me how you handle yourself in the little things equates into how you handle yourself in the things that really matter. Overlooking the details like wiping down your car properly and getting between the door jams and engine bays could equate to forgetting details that might benefit your client in a deal. Take the time to do tasks right and always think about the details.
3. It’s Relaxing
Everybody needs time to reboot and relax. I’ve read a lot about how work/life balance is impossible and there is no time to do this or that. For me it’s about making the time. I heard someone say that people make time for things that are most important to them. Whether that is spending time with the family, hitting the links, or something as simple as washing your car, it’s good to have that time to forget about work for a while and just relax.