Why I Drive a Big Ugly Yellow HUMMER
(Besides the fact that it’s a HUMMER!!!)
So there I was, 22 years old and only 3 or 4 deals into my real estate investing career in May of 2009 when I got a call from my best friend, Carl, who said, “Jim, I know you were thinking about putting some lettering on your pickup truck, but I just saw a yellow Hummer for sale, and they dropped the price from $25k to $21k. I thought that might be a better vehicle for advertising for you.” I’ll spare you the details, but when I told the salesman, “Hey, if you’re telling me that for that butt-ugly, gas-guzzlin hummer you can’t come down at least another $4,000, then I’ll go down the road and get something else” and he agreed, I knew I had just negotiated a deal that would serve me very well for months to come.
If you’re reading this, then you’ve probably seen the pictures of the ridiculous-looking lettering I have all over the Hummer, but before I give some tips on designing the decals for your vehicle, I’m going to give a reallyquick breakdown of some of the deals I’ve done as a result of the lettering on this truck.
- Dudley street – $5k profit on a simple wholesale deal
- Watkins st. – $22,000 spread on a Lease-Option deal
- Sears St. – $1,500 – wholesale deal. (I know…not much money, but it’s not bad for 1 visit to the house and 5 short phone calls )
- Walnut st. – $18,000 spread on Lease-Option deal
- Newkirk st. – I got a building lot for free as a finder’s fee for wholesaling this house!
I laugh to myself everytime someone has a mild heart attack when I tell them I drive 25,000 miles per year in a vehicle that gets 10mpg! If I drove a PRIUS, at the end of the year, I would have less money than if I drove the Hummer. If you don’t believe me, just do the math. Add up the profit on those deals and calculate the potential difference in my fuel bill for the year. Besides, if you’re worried about gas prices or mileage, you’re just not making enough money!
Ok, now for some quick tips on designing the decal job for your vehicle:
- Less is more – Don’t clutter up your car/truck. It’s got to be easy to read at a glance
- Use the glass – Your windows are the most visable, so make good use of them
- Initial Caps – I never use all capital letters in marketing, but somehow I forgot to abide by that rule when I got my Hummer all lettered up!
- Business card holders – Mine are affixed using double-sided 3M sticky tape, but you can get magnetic ones at http://www.mytakeacard.com/. Just google “acrylic business card holder” to find what you need. Be sure to get a spring-loaded lid!
So, besides the fact that it’s a Hummer, it makes me tons of money, I don’t get stuck in snow (ok…sometimes I do ), and it’s just the “maucho thing to do” as my Mentor would say, it provides a tremendous amount of credibility when I pull up to a house that I’m looking to buy. Sellers often say, “Wow! That’s a nice truck you got there. You must be buying a lot of houses.” Credibility issues for a (now) 24-yr old….gone!