As ween on Bigger Pockets...
When you run your own business, reducing your outgoing costs can have a big impact on your overall profitability. Surprisingly, one of the easiest costs for real estate agents to wrangle is the cost of gas. Because no matter what vehicle you drive... how you drive it is likely costing your business cash that could otherwise be generating listing leads. Here are tips that may not be major savings in themselves, but added up, might just reduce your gas costs significantly (at least according to the Federal government’s FuelEconomy.gov website). Note that the calculations below were based on an assumed gas price of $2.50 per gallon.
No 1: Use a Route Planner
Even though you try to make showing homes as efficient as possible, planning a route can be time-consuming and tedious. But it pays off - quite literally. To take some of the burden off your shoulders, you’ll want to take advantage of tools like Road Warrior, which is designed for individuals who travel often. Road Warrior may not be the best tool for you (and there are certainly other great ones out there, so be sure to explore), but it has good ratings on Google Play and the Apple iTunes store. Added benefits for those who plan their daily route... more time in the day to play or close.
No 2: Keep Your Engine in Tune
If your engine failed an emissions test or is making funny noises, it probably needs some maintenance. That problem isn't going away by itself and likely isn't helping your mileage any. In fact, a tune-up adds an average of 4% on your total gas mileage. That 4% represents about a $.10 per gallon savings (for those businesses surviving off the dollar menu... that's lunch).
No 3: Check the Motor Oil You Use
Check your owner’s manual when you go for an oil change to make sure you’re using the oil that’s designed for your engine. Using the wrong oil can lower your gas mileage by 1%-2%, which translates into $.02 to $.05 per gallon. If you're the type of tight-fisted entrepreneur looking for nickles to shave, this could be it.
No 4: Drive Intelligently
You think you're helping your business by jetting around town, but likely, you're actually hurting your bottom line. If you speed, accelerate quickly and stand on your brakes to stop, you could be lowering your gas mileage by about 15%-30% on the highway and 10%-40% in neighborhoods. Backing off on the gas pedal and the brake could save you between $.25 and $1.00 per gallon! Here's a tip... use that extra cash to take your loved ones out for a special dinner (just sayin'). =)
No 5: Monitor Your Speed
It’s true that you can sometimes get run over if you aren’t moving with traffic, but consider what speed is costing you. For most cars, gas mileage decreases when you drive above 50 mph. In effect, you are paying an additional $.18 per gallon for every five miles you drive above 50 mph.
No 6: Don’t Strap Things to Your Roof
If you need to use a carrier to store things that won’t fit in the interior of your car, choose a rear-mount cargo box. A typical roof-top cargo box will reduce fuel economy from 2%-17% if you’re driving at city and highway speeds, and more if you’re on an interstate. That reduction in fuel economy is costing you $.05 to $.42 per gallon! At this cost, the only thing you're carrying is the burden of the oil industry.
No 7: Don’t Leave Your Car Running
If you don’t absolutely need to leave your car idling, don’t do it. An idling car uses a quarter to a half-gallon of gas each hour. Keep in mind that it only takes 10 seconds worth of fuel to restart your car. So for those chilling out for lunch between appointments... roll those windows down and enjoy the breeze whenever possible.
No 8: Check Your Tire Pressure
It’s easy to forget tires don’t need to spring a leak before they lose pressure. Some new cars even warn you when your tire pressure is low, and it doesn’t take much to make a difference in your gas mileage. According to FuelEconomy.gov, for every 1 psi drop in pressure, your gas mileage is lowered by about .2%. However, a study conducted by Edmunds estimated that with the right tire pressure, you’d save $112 in gas per year and as high as $800 for cars with extremely low tire pressure.
$15 here, $800 there... It's easy to see how it pays to save on fuel costs. How much in marketing is your business suffering at the pump?
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