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15 Gas Saving Tips for Agents

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Gas got your tounge?

In these times when everything from apples to zucchini is going up, and you need a small loan to fill up the tank, we’re all looking for money saving tips. Here are a few to get you started:

Consolidate your travel

If you service your own listings, set aside a day of the week for exactly that task.  My day is on Sunday, this keeps me from sitting long periods in traffic.

Order office supplies online to be picked up at the store.  This forces you to create a great list of needed items and gives you a shot at grabbing any forgotten items there at the store in one trip.

If you have an appointment to show property, try to schedule other tasks in the same area of town for the same day. 

Narrow your daily hours of operation.  Your day in the home office should begin during normal business times, but leaving the house should not happen until after morning rush hour and you should be home before the afternoon rush hour.  All driving tasks should be scheduled between these times.

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Have lunch during off peak times- avoid the lines and the traffic.

Do your banking on Saturday morning.  Avoid the long evening lines, and by all means avoid the drive-thru.  Time saving is not always a money saving.

Fit shopping and errands into your round trip.  If you are off to an appointment, allot time to make stops on the way to and from to make necessary stops. 

Avoid rush hour at your destinations, and it is always a good idea to call ahead to ask when is peak and off peak times for regular stops.

Take the tollway whenever possible, but avoid driving at top speed.  Drive 5 miles an hour under the speed limit to reduce the amount of wear on your vehicle and improve your overall gas mileage.

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Optimize your vehicle

Once a month make sure you evaluate the pressure in your tires, this is one of the most commonly overlooked areas in which to assure you’re getting the best gas mileage.

Quarterly maintenance is crucial.  Have your wheels checked for proper balance and alignment, as well as changing your oil regularly.  Never wait until the sticker expires in your window, make it routine.

Drive with the windows up but the air temperature at a higher setting.  This will reduce the amount of compressor usage, and reduce wind resistance on your vehicle.

Remove unnecessary weight from your car.  The golf clubs, or the extra signs are not items you should drag around in your trunk.  They weigh your vehicle down creating drag that decreases fuel economy.

 Avoid the Pumps

Many folks allow the tank to run dry and then fill completely up, but we suggest keeping your car at 1/2 full at all times.  By reducing the weight of the fuel carried, you’re reducing not only wear on your vehicle but reducing drag on your car, thus burning less fuel.  Also, staying at 1/2 full all the time keeps cash in your pocket by avoiding price spikes and spending large amounts of cash at fill up.  You’re also doing right by the environment by not filling up and leaving gas at the pump equating to less demand overall- there’s a million of us nationwide, and as a group we can make a huge difference in demand.

We can appreciate the need for higher income agents to drive a vehicle deserving of their income and status, but is it really necessary?  It is totally chic to go economy and lose the Texas sized Caddy or the Mothership Mercedes.  There are many luxury hybrids or more fuel efficient vehicles on the market right now that will not only help the environment, reduce oil dependence, but will also gain you a respect from your clients and peers on a much deeper level because you’re leading by example.

Who would have thought a Green Agent was really just an Agent with common sense?  Altough many agents around the country see gasoline as a cost of doing business, and can afford it, many consumers cannot. Agentgenius.com is asking all agents to lead by example because it is the right thing to do-  Encourage your peers, write about it on your site, offer tips to your readers, and by all means share your ideas to reduce fuel usage in your own business.

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Benn Rosales is the Founder and CEO of The American Genius (AG), national news network. Before AG, he founded one of the first digital media strategy firms in the nation has received the Statesman Texas Social Media Award and is an Inman Innovator Award winner. He has consulted for numerous startups (both early- and late-stage), and is well known for organizing the digital community through popular offline events. He does not venture into the spotlight often, rather he believes his biggest accomplishments are the talent he recruits and develops, so he gives all credit to those he's empowered.

10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. Jim Duncan

    May 20, 2008 at 11:30 am

    I bought a bike yesterday. I haven’t quite figured out how I’m going to fully implement it into my business (note to the IRS – but I am).

    If only for going to lunches in town or to listings a couple of miles from my house, it should help save a few bucks. Right now, every dollar counts.

  2. Mariana

    May 20, 2008 at 11:46 am

    This is awesome! I love the gas talk half full/half empty concept.

    We just got rid of our 4-door Ram Truck in favor of a nice, red Jeep. MUCH better on gas. I also moved and now (luckily) live close to the cheapest gas station in the city – on average 10cents cheaper than other stations.

    Like you, I also service my listings once a week – same day. I drive around either between 9-2 and/or after 5pm. I also double book myself with errands on my way.

  3. Candy Lynn

    May 20, 2008 at 1:20 pm

    My F250 4 door 4×4 diesel truck always added a certain credibility to my horse property clients but I’m changing from big truck to Hyundai Santa Fe driver. Traded in the truck yesterday, sad day.

    Its part of my effort to be more “green”. I am also selling large gooseneck horse trailer that requires large truck to pull in favor of purchasing an European style trailer designed to be pulled with smaller vehicles.

    I love the whole concept but it sure feels strange not having a big load truck to drive around in.

  4. Teresa Boardman

    May 20, 2008 at 1:25 pm

    Here are some outside of the box ideas that have cut my gasoline expenses way down:

    Drive a fuel efficient Vehicle, mid sized or smaller.
    Work close to home – most of my listings are within walking distance.
    Say no to listings that are far away.
    Limit your service area for buyers.

  5. Art

    May 20, 2008 at 3:53 pm

    This is just silly. The amount we spend on gas is so small compared to total cost of running a business. If you keep your tank 1/2 full you just waste more time (time has value) at the pump. How about eating less. That will not only save world resources but save on gas for transportation of the food and you’ll weigh less and use less gas.

  6. Jon Griffith

    May 26, 2008 at 2:13 pm

    I wasn’t aware of how much gas I was burning because of my driving style. I recently sold my ’98 Toyota Tacoma which commanded a 16 gallon price tag every fill-up and only managed to cough out a measly 17 miles/gallon. With older technology installed in the truck, I wasn’t able to see how my driving habits affected the potential savings I was missing out on.

    Now that I have a new 2008 Honda CR-V, I can watch at any given moment what my current MPG consumption rate is, and the speed at which I accelerate from a stop and drive on the highway are evident in real-time. Now, I’m quickly learning when to let up on the gas pedal and when to give it a go. I have been able to commute on the highways at above 30 MPG just by slowing down. I always thought it was ridiculous that driving slower saved fuel because I factored in the additional time the engine was burning fuel. What I didn’t know was that the increase in wind resistance as you drive faster and faster is exponential, and the difference between 65 and 75 MPH is far greater than the difference between 55 and 65. So sacrificing that extra bit of speed is making up for itself at the pump.

    However, one challenge is to actually gauge the benefit based on a steady fuel price between fill ups. This is the wrong planet to attend on a daily basis if one wishes to see gas prices remain at a certain level for more than a week. 🙂

  7. Vancouver Real Estate

    May 26, 2008 at 10:02 pm

    These are great gas saving tips. Any savings are good to have. But, what is beyond $4.00 a gallon gas? i.e.: once we arrive at optimal savings and feel we have adjusted our budgets to the new reality what do we cut out or change once gas hits $6.00 to $8.00 a gallon?

  8. Benn Rosales

    May 27, 2008 at 7:54 am

    @Vancouver the best position is a total reduction nation wide for demand- anyone that was privy to the mid 80s has seen this movie.

    It’s funny, last night (about 6-7ish) I was driving down I-35 coming home from the movies at 60 mph, bare in mind last night was the night everyone has to be home to prepare for the work week.

    Now anyone that knows anything about the United States knows doing 60 mph on I-35 at the end of a holiday knows that that is next to impossible, but the fact is, no one was on the road. Nor were they there Thursday, Friday, Saturday, nor Sunday and that tells me, people remained local this Holiday weekend for the most part- the reduction in demand is already happening and will translate in the coming months.

    Now, I realize that my study is not scientific, but I am a study of behavior and habit, and 60 mph on I-35 was definately a new habit/behavior to behold- I was at the airport Sunday as well and Austin International was a ghost town- I noticed AAA said travel would only be down slightly, I have a feeling they’ll be making an adjustment in that figure shortly or they’re lying through their teeth.

    Last evening I was at a gas station in front of our local grocer on the way home- cheapest gas on the block- no cars in the bays.

    Demand is going down and maybe we’ve all adopted new habits a long the way that will keep it down- I know our family has, regardless, we’re doing the best we can to do our part.

  9. MikeBike

    September 26, 2008 at 7:56 pm

    If you are trying to save as much money as you can, by not putting it all into your gas tank, a motor cycle is a good idea. But it worries me with all the motor cycle related deaths. I have a pocket bike that i have a lot of fun on, but i guess that is not any safer.

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